Top 10 Board Games for Families

Our look at 10 board games to play with your family

As we move ever closer to the festive period and the daunting prospect of spending cold, Winter nights inside with the in-laws and your children what better way to while away the hours than all sit round the kitchen table as a family and play a board game. We have compiled a list of the top 10 board games for families that will bring you together and inspire joy and fun from Grandad to Grandson.

TL;DR Just Want The Games?

Can't be bothered to read through the entire post and just want to know what the games are? Well, here's the list.

Summary list of the top 10 board games for families

Jumanji Buy Now
Monopoly Buy Now
Codenames Buy Now
Forbidden Island Buy Now
Catan Buy Now
Camel Up Buy Now
Love Letter Buy Now
Sushi Go Buy Now


Jumanji Original Board Games
Jumanji the board game for all those animal high jinx

Everyone of a certain age will most likely remember the film Jumanji starring Robin Williams and a very young Kirsten Dunst. In the film, the two main characters play an antique wooden board game called Jumanji, where the pieces move by themselves and all manner of crazy animal-related high jinks happen. Now you can play the board game with your family although in the real-life version the of the board game, Jumanji you have to move the pieces with your hands and there will be no supernatural zoological happenings during play.


The board game Monopoly
Monopoly: the Christmas favourite a repetitive march towards anger and resentment

Anyone can play and nobody wants to. Ok, so this inclusion in our list of the top 10 board games for families is a bit of a joke as no one likes playing Monopoly, do they? But still, it is easy to teach and easy to play, if repetitive and boring. Don't take our word for it why not buy a copy of the board game and find out and own one of The Top Selling Board Games of All Time. And let us not forget that earlier this month Hasbro announced they were making a 'female' version of the game called Ms Monopoly!


The board game Codenames
Codenames is a great family game for all ages

This is a modern classic and beloved by almost everyone that plays it. Essentially, Codenames is a wordplay game where players must guess words that link to a special word that they are given, the concept being that they are secret agents trying to guess each other's identity. Be careful though because guessing the wrong word give your opponents the upper hand and they could steal the win. Codenames is a top family board game and well worth a go why not buy yours today.


The board game Pandemic by Matt Leacock
Pandemic: like World War Z but with less zombies, less Bard Pitt and more disease

What more can be said about Pandemic? It's fantastic, comes with very pleasing components has complex but easily understood gameplay rules and is very, very satisfying when you win. Easy enough to teach to 10+ it gives you much more involved gaming experience and because it is a co-operative board game everyone is working together to win so there is less chance of one player angrily flipping the board up when they lose.

Read our review of Pandemic or read more about the game and where to buy.

Forbidden Island

The board game Forbidden Island by Matt Leacock
It's a board game, it's on an island, the island is forbidden and you must escape

Like Pandemic before it, Forbidden Island is another board game from designer Matt Leacock and like Pandemic it is also small, simple but so very satisfying to play. It combines some card management skills and player movement across a tiled board with players trying to escape a flooding island whilst collecting four treasures that are placed throughout it. If they can collect all the treasures they must then all get back to the helicopter tile to fly away in victory but remember this is a co-operative game so everyone wins or everyone loses. This is a more complex board game but definately one that all family members will be able to understand and enjoy.


Image of the board game Catan
Catan the board game. It's got tiles, meeples, houses, little wooden things, numbered counters...

Trade things, build stuff and live whilst conquering the board and beating everyone else to win the game. The great family board game Catan generally regarded as one of the best games, literally ever and has been awarded the prestigious title of 'Game of the Century', so no pressure then. It's straightforward enough to teach to younger children but if you feel too daunted there is a Catan Junior.

Camel Up

Image of the board game Camel Up
Camel Up introducing your children to the wide World of gambling

A lovely little game with quality components, cheeky artwork and camels, lots of camels. Camel Up is another easy game to learn and ideal for the younger children in your family, it also introduces them to the overtly adult pastime of gambling which is less child-friendly but done in a cheeky, Carry On style. Each player bets on the outcome of a camel race with different types of betting that can be done each round, and the player with the most money at the end of the race wins. Simple which is why we think Camel Up is in out list of the top 10 board games for families.

Love Letter

Example of the card illustrations in the card game, Love Letter
Example of the card illustrations in the card game, Love Letter

Ok, so not strictly a board game, Love Letter is a tiny card game that comes in a small red pouch and can fit in your pocket. Like so many on our list, this is a simple one to learn but can be played over and over again without the charm fading. In the card game Love Letter, players are dealt two cards and they must play one of those two cards based on what the card says. The idea is to find out who has the Princess card. Love Letter is a great card game best played with 4 players.

Sushi Go

Sushi Go the card game
Pretend to be a master sushi chef and make maki rolls like there's no tomorrow

Here we have Sushi Go, a card game that comes inside a tin. A colourful, cartoon sushi based card management game where players are dealt cards, must then pick one of those cards and then pass the remainder to the player on the left. Each player is aiming to collect sets of sushi to make things like Maki Rolls, Nigiri and desserts. Points are awarded based on how well you've collected your sushi cards and the player with the most points wins.


Seriously, Scrabble can **** off. Buy it though by all means if you are lexicographically inclined.

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