Best Party Board Games 2017 – Games You Can Play To Get That Party Going

If you are done with board games you can play by yourself, and are ready to invite some people over, we have just the list of games for you to try. This list of the best party board games has been narrowed down from 100’s of options to help you get the most out of your night.

Back in the day, you might remember your parents playing games like Pictionary, Charades, Trivial Pursuit, or maybe even Scattegories. All of which are great classic games. In fact many would have made the list except there are none modern day games that involve a lot of the same concepts, but with a different twist to them.

That is what we are exploring in this list. We have picked our favourite party board games based on a few criteria in hope that our list will help you find something that will work perfectly for your group of guests.

When picking a game to play as a group you should look for a few things such as being easy to learn, so no one feels lost. The game should be playable by a minimum of 6 people, and should allow everyone to play at once as a group or in teams. They should also be fairly quick to set up and play, as well as high energy, allowing everyone to get involved. Of course, you want a game that can be played often without getting to stale (a common criticism of party games), and preferably will get everyone laughing and talking about the game for the rest of the night and years to come.

We picked games that have success with varying groups of people so that you won’t have to feel too worried about who is playing. Also, we factored in games that can be played (if not get better) with a couple of drinks.

For us, some of our best memories have come from these nights, whether it is someone acting something out ridiculously or blurting a hilariously stupid answer. We are hoping this list of top party games will bring you and your group the same amount of joy.

As always, we encourage you to contribute with your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section, also add in why you like it to help us and our readers out!

Best Party Board Games Comparison Table

(Click thumbnail to jump down page)

Image

Game 

Players

Time

Price

Our Rating

2-8+

15 min

$

4-30

30 min

$$

3-10

30-90 min

$$

4-16

30 min

$$$

4-18

60 min

$$$

4-8

30 min

$$

3-8

30 min

$

4-18

25 min

$

Pit Board Game

3-8

10-90 min

$

3-8

20 min

$

Our Rating:

Hexagamers

Codenames is first on our list because of its immense popularity with our group (and others). It was recommended to us by a few different groups of gamers, and we have since recommended it to others as well.

In this game you and your fellow spies are trying to get in contact with the agents in the field that are using codenames. One player is the spymaster and must give a one word (and a number) clue to connect various agents on the 5 x 5 grid. Your team must correctly guess which agents are on your side before the rival gang does the same with their team. For a quick understanding of how this game works check out our How To Play Codenames: Simplified.

This game is great since it is super easy to set up and super easy to learn. Although this one has some slight strategy to it (unlike many others on the list), everyone will understand it within a few minutes or 1 round of play.

This game might not have everyone yelling and screaming like some of the others on the list, but it will have everyone involved, especially if you are trying to screw up the other team by trying to lead them astray on their turn. We love this aspect of the game, even if you accidentally help them out.

This game has AMAZING replay-ability. In fact, so much so that you would never have 2 of the same games. To top it off every round has some luck of the draw to it, so it could be very easy to link your words together or it can be impossibly tough.

This game works for groups of any age, and can be played with a huge groups of people. Although it does get seemly harder to get everyone to agree on the answer if you get too many people playing. That being said, you can drift in and out of this game without hurting your team if you have a small bladder really wanted to.

We also find that the games are quick, yet everyone wants to try their hand at spymaster, so this game gets a lot of play when it come out.

So many reasons why this is on our list of top party board games, definitely add it to your connection.

Hexagamers

At this point, it seems that everyone knows about Cards Against Humanity, but we’d be remised if we didn’t include it in our list of the highest rated party games.

If you haven’t played this game, the concept is very simple. One person will read a question (or phrase) and all players must give an answer from their hand. The players will want to submit what they believe to be the best/funniest answer to the question. The reader will shuffle all answers and read the responses, ultimately picking the one they deem to be the best. Whoever handed in that answer is the winner of the point.

The twist with this game is that the answers are very crude and generally inappropriate. Thus its namesake.

This game is easy to set up, and easy to understand the concept, but maybe not so easy to win if you can’t get in the head of the person judging. Half the fun of this one is seeing everyone’s reaction to your answer, not just the judge. It’s like finding out who is on your same wavelength so you can enjoy laughs with them later on in the night.

You do need a good sense of humour and/or the ability to take things with a grain of salt for this board game. It does go well to be drinking some adult beverages while playing this one, but isn’t necessary.

We find that it takes a few rounds for people to loosen up and really start laughing, but once people start, our nights turn out to be much more relaxed and filled with laughs. A trait of a good party game.

Lots of people can play this one at any given time, which is great for what we are talking about here. Some people have noted that the game can get staled if played too much (i.e. knowing all the cards takes out some of the shock humor effects), but we always get laughs and have a good time. It is well worth the money (in fact you can print off a version for free if you really want to).

There is some luck of the draw in getting some of the funnier cards, but our group usually does a few ‘burner rounds’ to get rid of bad cards.

This one is good for some laughs, though it may not be one you want to play with your grandma or kids. That said, if you like the concept, Apples To Apples is the same style of game but can be played by anyone.

Our Rating:

Hexagamers

If you like the concept of Cards Against Humanity but are looking for something a little different, but want the same crudeness there are a few options, but our favourite right now is Joking Hazard.

This game, brought to you by Cyanide and Happiness, plays in the same nature as CAH with the judge and players competing to have the funniest or best answer. The twist with this game is that it is in the form of a comic panel.

The board plays one panel, then the judge plays the next panel (either before or after the first panel), then everyone else throws in one card to complete the comic strip.

This one adds some variability in that the panel can be put in different orders every time it comes up, increasing its replay-ability.

This one is definitely not meant for kids, but works great with adults, especially those with a good sense of humour. Yes, some of the cards are a little immature, so make sure you are ready for that.

If you know anything about these comics, the usually start off as an innocent strip, but then end up being very crude and/or have an unexpected ending to them. With lots of times you are sitting there thinking to yourself “WTF did I just read”.

This one is easy to play whether you want to go a few rounds or have it take up lots of your night. It quickly became a favourite with our group.

It is a simple game, so it is easy to teach and learn, with lots of great laughs throughout the game. There is a reason this game did so well on Kickstarter and it is rated so high as a party game. We highly recommend it.

Hexagamers

If you are looking for a game that gets everyone’s blood flowing, and has lots of feverish yelling, Catch Phrase is the one you are probably looking for.

This game is a twist on the game you played in elementary called hot potato. Except that you can’t pass the potato/game until your team relieves you of it.

What do we mean exactly? Well, you will be holding a circular game board (electronic or not), that has a word on it (e.g. Basketball), and you must get your team to say the word or ‘phrase’ before you can pass it to the next team. The obvious rule being that you can’t say any of the words on the game, or rhymes with, or starts with. Following the example above, you can’t say ball but you could say “this is a sport when you have to shoot something through a hoop”.

The beauty of this game come in the random timer. The timer has a beeping noise it makes and gets increasingly frantic as it nears its end, but you just never know when that is going to be.

We find that people tend to get frantic and excited when they get the device, not to mention your whole team madly shouting answers at you.

This game is super simple, and everyone can be involved. It gets really loud, chaotic, and hilarious with the more people that play it. Yes, at a certain point it gets hard to hear the answers, but that just means you aren’t yelling loud enough.

As with most games that have a set amount of cards, you may eventually run into clues being reused, but it would take so long to get to this point that you will have definitely got your monies worth.

It is a great party board game that anyone of any age can enjoy. They also have an electronic version that's even easier to get going (although pricier).

Note: If you like the concept of having your team trying to guess your clue without using certain words, you might also like Taboo. Which is similar, but you have a larger list of ‘taboo’ words you can’t say to your team (much harder).

Our Rating:

Hexagamers

Time’s Up is somewhat similar to Catch Phrase in that you are trying to get your team to guess clues from the cards in front of you, but with a bit of a twist.

In this game, you are split into 2 teams, and every player picks a certain amount of clues (you decide the amount) out of the stack of cards. You then take turns over 3 rounds to try to guess the clues. The interesting part here is that every round is different.

First round you can say anything but the word to try and get your team to guess (no skipping), the second round you can only use 1 word to describe your clue (one guess per clue), and third round you have to act out the clues (unlimited skipping if need be).

This game made the best party board game list because it checks so many boxes on our requirements for a good game. It has lots of yelling while you try to guess, it is quick to set up and easy to learn, it allows everyone to play at once.

Not only that but you can get laughing really hard during the acting phase. It takes charades and adds a bit of a different dimension in that you are trying to get as many as you can in a certain amount of time.

There are a lot of clues in the box, so it has fairly high replay-ability, yet eventually you would find yourself repeating some of the same clues. That said, you can easily implement rules to eliminate repeats from previously played games.

You can drink while you play this one, but don’t get too carried away, while it might make you a better actor, it will hurt your memory in the later rounds (since the same cards are reused every round).

You can easily have lots of people playing this one without losing control. In fact it can be better with more people, not only cause it adds to the energy level, but because some of the clues can be hard. I would say this game can be played by any age group, but if you mix adults and kids, the kids might be lost on some of the older clues. They can still get around this by breaking down the word for their team, so not all is lost.

This one is a good one to have on the shelf when having groups of people over.

Our Rating:

Hexagamers

If you are looking for a more laid back party board game that gets everyone involved Telestrations may be the one for your group.

If the game Telephone (where you whisper in each other’s ear down the line) and Pictionary had a baby, it would be this game. It is also sometimes referred to as phrase-picture-phrase.

How it works is that everyone gets a booklet of white boards (or pieces of paper) and starts by writing some phrase on it. In the game they give you suggestions, but really you can write whatever you want and get as crude or personal as you want. This is actually what makes this game hilarious and memorable.

You then pass that phrase to the person beside you and they have to draw what you wrote… then you pass it and they have to write what they see in your drawing… Then pass it again to draw… and so forth until the book has made it the entire way around the group.

The great part about this game is that everyone is drawing/writing at the same time. There is little to no waiting involved. Plus, the more people involved, the more chance for things to get screwed up.

The hilarity comes at the end when you reveal the story or line of thought that the original phrase has gone through. Just as you laugh at the end of ‘telephone’ when the final saying got all jumbled up by the end, so does the phrase here. The added benefit here is you get to laugh at all the terrible drawings that were given along the way. The worse you are at drawing, the more hilarious this game becomes.

This one doesn’t involve as much action and yelling as the others, but is a great party game nonetheless. We don’t play this one for points, which is also nice if you have people that get a little too competitive.

This one has been a great addition for when we have new people that we don’t know that well. It really lets people come out of their shell and laugh at themselves and others. That’s why we added it to the list.

Yes you can get it on Amazon, which is nice because it makes it way easier to set up and reuse, but we wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t tell you that you can play this one by cutting up pieces of paper and numbering them.

Our Rating:

Hexagamers

Say Anything is the game you can bring out if you have a group of people looking to get to know each other, or just have a good laugh.

This one is similar to Cards Against Humanity but instead of picking a response based on the cards in your hand, you will be writing down your responses.

The reader/judge will read a question from the deck and everyone writes down what they think the answer will be, or alternatively they can write down something they think is funny. The name of the game is Say Anything, so can do just that.

Eg. “What is my favourite band?” A1: “Metallica” A2: “Back Street Boys” A3: “Rubber Bands”

The judge will pick which answer they like best (it could be the most accurate or the funniest), but before they pick, all participants get to vote on who they think the winner will be. Get it right, and get a point.

This game is great if you are trying to get to know people, or maybe find out who has similar interests as you. This can lead to good conversations later in the night. It also works good if you have a group with a great sense of humour. We find the more ridiculous and funny the answers the better. Many a time the judge has been faced with a situation of picking the best of the worst crude answers and it’s lived with them all night.

This game is easy to learn and play, it can be played with anyone, and have lots of people playing at once. It works well if you are having some drinks and don’t take the game too seriously.

We find that some of the questions in the box can be a little tame for getting a party started so we often just make up our own questions and only use the cards if we get stuck (or are too lazy).

This is one you probably won’t play all night, but is a good way to get people interacting to start your night. Like we mentioned, make sure you don’t take it too seriously, and actually Say Anything.

This game has a tonne of reviews on Amazon, and is a highly rated party game for a reason.

Hexagamers

Wits and Wagers is somewhat similar to Say Anything, but is more trivia based. We all seem to have a friend who is really good at trivia… and usually they dominate those type of games and it becomes no fun for anyone else. Wits and Wagers tries to eliminate that problem and does so fairly effectively.

In this game, a trivia question is read (eg. When was the first Apple computer built), and all the participants have to write down their guess of what they think the answer will be. All the answers are lined up on the board in order from lowest to highest. Then, this is where the game gets interesting, players get to bet (or Wager) on what they think the right answer is going to be.

The nice thing here is that you don’t actually have to know the correct answer yourself, but can bet on the person who you think would probably know this the best.

You get different odds depending on what you bet on, and you always have your starting token so you will always have money to wager, even if you get it wrong every time.

It is a really easy concept to get once the game is set up and anyone can play. An advantage goes to trivia players like with most trivia games, but that can be taken away if you are willing to risk it via gambling.

This game is really quick, but like most games of this nature, the cards could get stale after a lot of use. What we found was we would just ask random questions and then google the answer afterwards. Eg. What year did the NHL start? That helps to keep the game fresh and also to tailor it to the audience that is playing. Way better way to play trivia games in our opinion.

This one doesn’t have a lot of yelling or isn’t super high energy, but does have a lot of player interaction and excitement, which is why it made it in as one of the top party board games.

Our Rating:

Pit Board Game

Looking for a really quick game that involves a lot of yelling, high energy, and a lot of player interaction? Pit is the one you want.

Pit is modeled after the stock market floor trading area. You are commodity trader in this game, and must make trades with other players to complete a full set in your hand. You start with a random set of 9 cards and once the bell rings to start the day you let everyone know what you have to trade “I’ve got 2. 2. Who needs 2?!”, then you proceed to make a trade with someone who has 2 they want to trade. You don’t tell anyone what you have and you can’t split sets up.

This game is a race, so you have to move as quickly as possible. This means being loud enough that everyone knows what you have, and moving quickly enough that someone else doesn’t snag the trade before you.

We advise to move drinks off the table for this one because there is a lot of reaching across the table as quickly as possible.

Once you have a full set you ring the bell in the middle and get the number of points on the complete set of cards in your hand. You can keep score up to a certain number or you can just play a few rounds.

This one is simple to grasp and can be played by anyone of any age. It isn’t a game you will play all night, but it is a good way to get everyone out of their shell and get the blood flowing.

We recommend this one as a starter game if everyone is low energy, and probably best played before people have too many drinks and get a little too aggressive.

You can play this one with a bunch of people (8), with very little set up. It can get loud (there are variants for a quiet game if needed), so be aware of this if you have kids trying to sleep. It’s not our favourite party board game, but deserves to be on the list for what it brings to the table.

Honourable Mention

Our Rating:

Hexagamers

Would You Rather is a game that makes you choose between 2 sets of options. The range of questions can be something simple, or something disgusting, or anywhere in between.

This game is super simple so anyone can jump in and play. The best game play from this game comes when players actually take the time to argue why they choose what they did.

We find that this game works best as one of those things that is played casually by guests rather than sitting down to play, which is why it is only an honourable mention here.

The game comes with a bunch of questions, however, we find that as soon as we start playing this one, people have their own questions that they want to debate.

A couple examples of questions:

  • “Would you rather fight 1 horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?”
  • “Would you rather swallow a cup of a stranger’s saliva or eat all the hair in their drain?”

The second is disgusting, we know, but we put it in there to give you an idea of where this game can head.

It is hilarious to hear what and why people chose what they did. It can create massive debates on what the right answer is… the beauty being that there really is no right answer. It gets people talking and interacting, and usually getting other people’s opinions to try to help back them up. To us, this is a great feature of a good party game, thus why it is on the list.

If you leave this one on your counter for people to discover themselves it usually starts small but ends up bringing a lot of people. You would rather talk about something ridiculous and interesting than having boring small talk with someone you just met. It’s a great way to break the ice and make instant friends (or foes if they disagree haha).

We included a link to one of the best deals on Amazon, which is a great starting point, but again, this is one of those games that you don’t necessarily need to buy to enjoy.

Conclusion

We know that everyone parties a little bit different from one another, so we tried to include a big variety of games in our list so that everyone could find something to suit their own party/guests. Your mileage will vary with every game and with different groups of people, so keep that in mind. There are loads of party games available and we couldn’t include all of them on our list of best party board games, so if there are some you think people should know about, let us know in the comments. We are constantly trying new board games, so we will keep this list updated if we find another great party game.

Looking for a Board Games you can all play cooperatively? Check out...
Top Cooperative Board Games

About the author

HexaGamers

We are the HexaGamers. Six good friends that love all things game related that gets us together to enjoy each other's company.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: