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Best board games for adults 2023: Our favourite board games for date nights, parties and get-togethers

Sick of Cards Against Humanity and Monopoly? Check out our pick of the best board games for adults

Nothing brings a group together like a game and the best board games can turn an ordinary evening into an excellent one. In the last few years, the market has exploded with new and exciting games to try out. Just like vinyl and trading cards before them, board games seem to be the latest physical, real-world item to be going through something of a renaissance.

Although this is amazing for potential get-togethers, it can make the question of what to play much harder to answer. Whether it’s for a group of friends after work or a double date at home, finding the right game can be a tough choice. While there are plenty of fun card games, board games tend to have a bit more substance, offering extra longevity for players around the table.

Of course, there are always the familiar classics like Monopoly, but after last time, when your friend wouldn’t sell you Park Lane and priced you out of the game, maybe it’s time to find something new. Thankfully, we’ve assembled a list of the best board games for adults that you can play right now.

Best board games for adults: At a glance

Best game for two playersPandemic | £24Check price at Amazon
Easiest game to learnTicket to Ride | £34Check price at Amazon
Best game for partiesSecret Hitler | £35Check price at Amazon
Best game for replay valueBetrayal at House on the Hill | £45Check price at Amazon

How to choose the best board game for you

Can kids enjoy these games too?
Board games can be fun for the whole family. So, even though most of the picks on this list are more suitable for adults, there are a few that can be played with older children too. Fortunately, most games come with an intended age range on the box, which should clear up any concerns you might have regarding whether something is appropriate.

You can also check out the key details at the bottom of each entry – they will steer you in the right direction about what is and isn’t suitable. But, at the end of the day, we’re all still just big kids at heart, right?

It should be noted that, although these games might be intended for adults, none of them are NSFW (not safe for work), so they shouldn’t lead to any awkward moments or uncomfortable questions from the kids.

Are the rules easy to pick up?

We’ve all been there: everyone’s ready, dinner’s been served and the players are sitting around the table. Now comes the hardest part of game night: explaining the rules.

The games in this guide have all been chosen with that challenge in mind. No one wants to sit through a 30-minute lecture about how the game works so most of our picks avoid that. While some of the fantasy-style games might take some explaining, our key details highlight how difficult each one is to pick up.

How much should I spend?

Just like video games, board games can be surprisingly expensive. Exactly how much you’ll spend can depend on a multitude of things, including how many players there are in your group, or even a game’s licensing.

Most base games won’t break the bank though, and you shouldn’t have to spend more than £25-£50, especially affordable if you can split the cost between players. If you find one you like, then many of them have separate expansion packs you can buy later to help keep the game fresh and exciting.

READ NEXT: Best two player board games

The best board games for adults in 2023

1. Catan: Best strategy game for negotiators

Price when reviewed: £33 | Check price at Amazon

Formerly known as Settlers of Catan, this game sees three to four players building their own settlements from the unique resources found on the board. Certain settlements require specific quantities of each resource and it’s very rare for one player to have access to all of them. This can lead to some industrial rivalries and intense negotiations: don’t have any sheep but have pockets full of wheat? A fellow settler will most likely strike a trade deal with you, as long as you’ve played your cards right.

Keeping things interesting is the thief figure, who starts the game in the middle of the board and works his way around whenever a seven is rolled – when resources are stolen, tensions start to run high. The best part? Resource placements can be completely different each time, giving this game loads of replay value – not to mention the number of expansion packs and scenarios that you can buy separately and add to the game.

Key details – Age range: 10+; Players: 3-4; Difficulty to learn: Easy-Medium; Game duration: 1-2hr

2. Pandemic: Best game for two players

Price when reviewed: £24 | Check price at Amazon

Were there times during the global pandemic when you disagreed with world leaders and decision-makers? Well then, do we have a game for you! Originally inspired by the 2002 SARS outbreak, Pandemic is a board game where two to four players take on the roles of the experts who have to try and stop the spread of deadly diseases. Not only does this cooperative game make a nice change from competing against each other, but it can also be played by just two people. So, if you’re struggling to find a board game to play on date night, this could be your solution.

Players have to find cures for each disease before the time runs out, so planning ahead, working together, and using your experts’ special abilities are all crucial. If the deck of cards runs out, the virus cubes take over the board, or if outbreaks go untreated, then the experts lose the game. If you aren’t still riddled with COVID-19 anxiety, Pandemic is a great co-op board game to play.

Key details – Age range: 8+; Players: 2-4; Difficulty to learn: Easy; Game duration: 45min

3. Secret Hitler: Best board game for fans of Among Us

Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at Amazon

If you were at all caught up by the gaming craze that was Among Us then Secret Hitler could be right up your street. Set in pre-WW2 Germany, this game puts players in teams of fascists and liberals, pitting them against one another to try to secure a majority in parliament. Let just three fascist policies go through and Hitler’s reign begins but, if the liberals figure out who the fascists are and guess who is playing as the infamous dictator-to-be, they win the game.

At the beginning of the game, players close their eyes, allowing the fascists to reveal themselves to one another. Meanwhile, the Secret Hitler keeps their eyes closed but puts their thumbs up, so their fascists know who they are.

The entire game then starts to feel like the basement scene from Inglourious Basterds except, instead of everyone getting shot at the end, you get to call your friends fascists.

Key details – Age range: 13+; Players: 5-10; Difficulty to learn: Easy; Game duration: 45min

4. Ticket to Ride: Easiest game to learn

Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at Amazon

Beautifully simple and always a joy, Ticket to Ride sees players building railroads across America to connect cities together. Build a longer route and you earn more points – it really is that simple. On top of that, you can fulfil ‘destination tickets’ for additional points. It’s clear to see why it’s earned the accolade of ‘easiest game to learn’ on this list, as you can pick it up in only 15 minutes or so.

Easily played with the family after dinner, or with a group of friends after a busy day at work, Ticket to Ride is a pleasure to play. Thanks to its long-standing popularity, there are now plenty of different editions to keep things fresh – if America doesn’t tickle your fancy, why not try Ticket to Ride: Europe? Or build your own New York subway system with Ticket to Ride: New York?

Key details – Age range: 8+; Players: 2-5; Difficulty to learn: Very Easy; Game duration: 30 to 60min

5. Mysterium: Best spooky game

Price when reviewed: £38 | Check price at Amazon

If you or your friends are into the paranormal, this could be the game for you. Up to six of you take on the role of psychic investigators trying to communicate with a ghost and solve the mystery of its murder. The player acting as the ghost can’t speak and can only communicate using ambiguous dream-like cards. Once the group has worked out which characters were in the house at the time of the murder, a game of ghost-Cluedo commences to try to crack the case.

Even though this one may take some time to learn, it has a wonderful presentation and some serious depth and replayability for enthusiastic groups. Its 1920s Scottish theme will also set the stage for some truly Oscar-worthy party performances.

Key details – Age range: 10+; Players: 2-7; Difficulty to learn: Hard; Game duration: 40 to 50min

6. Betrayal at House on the Hill: Best game for replay value

Price when reviewed: £45 | Check price at Amazon

Much like Mysterium, Betrayal at House on the Hill will scratch that haunted house itch. This game essentially mixes the versatile board structure of Catan with the role-playing and mystery of Secret Hitler and Mysterium. Designed for three to six players, Betrayal at House on the Hill is a tile game that lets you build a haunted house while you play. As your group of hand-picked characters explore the house, tile by tile, one player eventually becomes a traitor and you’ll need to stop them before they feed you to their evil machinations.

Originally released in 2010, this game continues to be a best-seller, with an expanded third edition that hit shops in August 2022. Even though it’s more expensive than some of the other games on this list, it has serious replay value, with different characters and almost unlimited house designs.

Key details – Age range: 12+; Players: 3-6; Difficulty to learn: Medium; Game duration: 1hr

7. Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel: Best game for all the family

Price when reviewed: £28 | Check price at Amazonbest board games for adults Michael McIntyres The Wheel

This is a great Christmas Day game, whether you’re fans of the hugely popular BBC TV game show or not. Spin your way to victory by being the first player or team to answer seven category questions correctly – without landing on a red space and being ‘Shutdown’ – and complete your own Wheel. Choose the question categories from 14 subjects, ranging from Science to Social Media, that are inclusive enough for all the family to participate.

The game is super easy to set up and understand, especially if you’re already familiar with the show, and revolves around the push-button 20cm mechanical wheel. We like that the accompanying web app at allows you to play each spin of The Wheel with the theme tune – it’s a nice touch.

Any downsides? Well, while the questions are inclusive, they often veer towards the easy side and, over time, they can get a bit repetitive – extra sets and harder sets of questions would really improve this game.

Key details – Age range: 10+; Players: 2+; Difficulty to learn: Easy; Game duration: 30-45min

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