Party games have been delighting us for decades and if you have come to find those best party board games, you have come to the right place. Big groups can be hard to manage and nothing reins everyone in like a good activity. The definition of party game is pretty general and can include many different things, but we tend to think it is about bringing everyone together and getting them talking and a little active. This is our list of the top 10 best party board games.
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#10 | Sushi Go Party!
Sushi Go Party just makes it on to the list of the best party games. It is a do things with pieces, score points and move a marker game which is traditionally not associated with party games but this is a great one for a group of up to 8 people. It is very light, crisp and an easy game to laugh about and joke over. It also has the word “party” in the title.
This is a game about playing with your dinner, and there are all sorts of adorable sushi cards (tempura, dumplings, etc) that help you do this. Over 3 rounds players draft one card at a time to complete sets. Each card has its own special thing (like collect 4x of these and get 12 points) and it is up to you to strategically see what is coming around and pick the right card. Points are scored and new cards handed out in between each round. For 2 – 8 players, games last about 20 minutes each.
FOR MORE: Sushi Go Party Guide | How To Play Sushi Go Party | Sushi Go Party Review | Games Like Sushi Go Party | Buy Sushi Go Party
#09 | Times Up!
Times Up makes the list of the best party games because it is just a well-rounded city. Nothing special here, this could have easily been Categories, Taboo, Pictionary, really that guarantees a good time and gets you active, gets you talking and makes you think. Times Up is from a different century (1999) but is that classic warm hug of a party game that came from the 90s.
This is a charades-based party game for teams of two or more players. Before the game begins, each player looks at several cards featuring famous historical or fictional characters and chooses some of them. Each player’s cards are shuffled to form a deck, and this deck of famous names is used for each of the game’s three rounds. In each round, team members take turns trying to get their teammates to guess as many names as possible in 30 seconds.
FOR MORE: Buy Times Up!
#08 | Decrypto
There is something about team versus team games that just make for great party games and Decrypto is no different. It is all about having both the cooperative and competitive elements. This is a fun one because it uses communication and logic in such a crafty way. If this seems in your lane, this is the title on the list of the best party games to look at.
Players compete in two teams in Decrypto, with each trying to correctly interpret the coded messages presented to them by their teammates while cracking the codes they intercept from the opposing team. Each team has their own screen, and in this screen they tuck four cards in pockets numbered 1-4, letting everyone on the same team see the words on these cards while hiding the words from the opposing team. For 3 – 8 players games run 15 – 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Decrypto
#07 | Telestrations
Telestrations makes the list of the best party board games because it blends together many of the classic party game mechanics we all know and love. Drawing clues, racing against time, recycled and distorted communication, this game has it all. It is like Pictionary meets Telephone and is still going strong after bring out for over ten years.
Each player begins by sketching a word dictated by the roll of a die. Everyone is put on the sand timer and have a short period of time to complete this. All players, all at the same time, pass their sketch to the next player, who must guess what’s been drawn. Players then simultaneously pass their guess — which hopefully matches the original word — to the next player who must try to draw the word they see — and so on.
FOR MORE: Buy Telestrations
#06 | The Resistance
The Resistance makes the list of the best party board games because it is one of the best theme-driven social deduction games out there with plenty of meat on the bone. You get a couple clues and you make a decision, it is very quick. It is fun to play along with the theme as you go along as much or as little as you want. It is like a murder mystery game except the objectives are a bit different.
The Empire must fall. Your mission must succeed. By destroying their key bases, you will shatter Imperial strength and liberate your people. Yet spies have infiltrated your ranks, ready for sabotage. You must unmask them. In five nights you will reshape destiny or die trying. For 5 – 10 players, games run about 30 minutes.
FOR MORE: Games Like The Resistance | Buy The Resistance
#05 | Dixit
Dixit makes the list of the best party games because it masterfully uses the secret submit and judge mechanic (apples to apples, cards against humanity, what do you meme) which is the perfect thing for parties. That is where you take turns having a person be an overall judge and everyone secretly submits something to them from which a winner is picked. In Dixit, it is done with aetherial photos and storytelling,
You play the game with six cards of different interesting images in your hand. Taking turns, one player is the storyteller and needs to use a card from hand and give it a few words to sum it up. The other players have to submit one of their cards they think matches. These are mixed together and everyone votes on which card they think belongs to the clue giver. Point scoring interesting and basically the clue giver wants to say something that isn’t everyone or no one. For 3 – 6 players, games last about 30 minutes.
FOR MORE: Dixit Page | Buy Dixit
#04 | Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is the guilty pleasure of the board game world and an easy choice for the list of the best party board games. Nothing brings people together like shocking and raunchy humor. Whether it is your best friend, a stranger or your grandma, this is a fun one to play together and great for any sized group.
Cards Against Humanity is like making a dirty mad lib. There are black question cards and white answer cards. Each turn a “card czar” flips over a black card and all other players submit a white card from their hand. The Czar judges based on what combo they like best and a point is awarded. Very much like Cards Against Humanity in gameplay and in the target audience. For 4 – 30 players, games run about 30 minutes.
FOR MORE: How To Play Cards Against Humanity | Cards Against Humanity Review | Games Like Cards Against Humanity | Buy Cards Against Humanity
#03 | Secret Hitler
Do not let the name fool you, Secret Hitler is a laugh out loud and thoughtful good time. Secret Hitler makes the list of the best party board games because it is a masterful blend of communication trickery, strategy and theme for a larger group. The layers of the game and positive things we could talk about here are endless, just trust that it is fantastic.
Everyone is secretly split into either the evil red communists or the just blue liberals, and one person is Hitler. Red wants their laws past and the liberals want theirs. Each round the “president” role moves around the circle and they name a “chancellor”. A stack of laws is drawn by the pres who removes one and gives to the chancellor who also removes one, then others see the remaining. The point is that you can start to gather clues about who is the evil red based on the cards that are coming through when different people are in power. Then you call them out. For 5 – 10 players, games run about 45 minutes.
#02 | Just One
In a change of pace, this one has everyone working together. Just One make the list of the best party board games because you play together to discover as many mystery words as possible in a fun and dynamic atmosphere for any sized group. A great word game with a twist. Just One won the coveted Spiel des Jahres award so you know it is a great choice.
There is a “guesser” that moves around the circle. They show a card with five choices to the other players and calls out a number to signify the word. All other players now write a clue on their board to help the guesser. Before these are revealed, all players compare and if more than one gave the same clue, those are eliminated. If the guesser gets it right everyone gets 1 point, if they get it wrong everyone loses 2 points and if they pass they lose only 1 point. You want to get to 13. The trick is giving clues that don’t get knocked out. For 3 – 7 players, games last about 20 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Just One
#01 | Codenames: Pictures
You can argue with us all you want, but there is no question that Codenames: Pictures is the best choice for the #1 spot on the list of the best party board games. Not by a little. It is a fantastic game that everyone loves and we can not recommend it enough (specifically the “pictures” version). It is a two-team game that involves giving clues based on many changing factors. If you are going to buy only one game for your household, make it this one.
It is all about who can pull their spy operatives out of the field first. There is always a 5×4 grid of cards in the middle with interesting pictures, like a monkey with a space helmet for example, that hide the locations of each team’s spies. Each round, one representative per team gets to see a decoder card with the locations and they need to give one-word clues to their team so they can find them. The key is you have to give clues that apply to many of your cards without being related to any of your opponents. For 4+ players, each round is about 15 minutes.