12 Best Board Games for Adults in 2024

Looking for the best board games for adults? We've got you covered with these top picks that guarantee fun nights.
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Codenames coverTicket to Ride coverCatan cover

The 12 Best Board Games for Adults: An Entertaining Adventure

On this list:

12 Codenames

Codenames cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 2-8
  • Play Time: 15-30 minutes

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Codenames is a great word-based party game for adults. With its simple rules, it’s easy to get into, but it also provides a lot of strategic depth. Trying to give clues that connect multiple words without revealing the wrong ones led to some hilarious moments. Perfect for game nights with a group of friends!

11 Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 30-60 minutes

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Ticket to Ride is a fantastic game for adults who love strategy and a bit of competition. It’s all about building railways across the country. We found it easy to learn but hard to master, making it a go-to game for many of our game nights. Plus, who doesn’t love playing with colorful train pieces?

10 Catan

Catan cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 3-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 minutes

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Catan is a classic for a reason. This game of trading and building settlements on an island is perfect for adults looking for a bit of negotiation and strategy. We’ve had many tense moments over trading sheep for wood, and the randomness of the dice keeps things exciting.

9 Azul

Azul cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 30-45 minutes

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Azul stands out for its beautiful components and simple yet deep gameplay. In this game, you draft tiles to complete patterns on your board. It’s very satisfying and makes for some light-hearted competition. We love bringing it out for more relaxed game nights with adults.

8 Pandemic

Pandemic cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 45 minutes

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Pandemic offers a cooperative experience where players work together to stop global outbreaks. It’s intense and can get quite challenging, but the teamwork aspect makes it really engaging. For us, winning or losing together adds a unique element to game night.

7 Carcassonne

Carcassonne cover

  • Age Range: 7+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 35 minutes

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Carcassonne is a tile-placement game where you build cities, roads, and fields. It’s simple to learn but provides plenty of strategic depth. We enjoy the mix of luck and strategy, plus the satisfaction of completing a big city. It’s an excellent choice for adults who enjoy constructive play.

6 7 Wonders

7 Wonders cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 2-7
  • Play Time: 30 minutes

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7 Wonders is a card-drafting game that feels epic in scope. Players build their civilization by selecting cards over three ages. It’s quick to play but offers deep strategy. We love how every game feels different and the rush of building a formidable wonder.

5 Scythe

Scythe cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 1-7
  • Play Time: 90-115 minutes

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Scythe is a visually stunning game that combines resource management, area control, and engine-building. Set in an alternate history, it’s complex but deeply rewarding. For our group, the mix of strategy and interaction made it a memorable experience every time.

4 Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 3-6
  • Play Time: 60 minutes

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Betrayal at House on the Hill is perfect for adults who enjoy a bit of spookiness. You explore a haunted mansion, and one player eventually betrays the group. It offers a mix of cooperation and betrayal, creating plenty of suspense and excitement.

3 Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 1-5
  • Play Time: 120 minutes

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Terraforming Mars is an epic game of strategy where players work to make Mars habitable. From resource management to card drafting, there’s a lot to love. We enjoyed the deep strategy and long-term planning involved. It’s a game that genuinely feels like an adventure.

2 Wingspan

Wingspan cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 1-5
  • Play Time: 40-70 minutes

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Wingspan is a beautifully illustrated game about attracting birds to your wildlife preserve. It’s peaceful yet strategic, with a lot of replay value thanks to the variety of bird cards. We found it to be a relaxing yet competitive game perfect for adults.

1 Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 1-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 minutes

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Gloomhaven takes the top spot for being the most immersive and rewarding game we’ve played with adults. This dungeon-crawling adventure offers deep strategy, an evolving story, and cooperative gameplay. Every session feels like a journey, and the legacy aspect keeps us coming back for more. It’s a commitment, but absolutely worth it.

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.