Top 10 Games for Family Game Night

We are a game loving family.  We're always looking for new games to play and then returning to our old favorites.  Here's a list of our most recent top 10 that will stay on our shelves for a long time and make family game night a favorite for all.

1.  Chess


This is my son's absolute favorite game.  He recently received a magnetic chess board that hangs on the wall so that he can have a game going at all times.  Best Birthday gift ever!

His sisters are not as thrilled with the strategic game, but they got him this Super Mario Chess and have had so much fun with the cute little pieces.  He's pretty excited because he has some more willing players!

2.  Ticket To Ride

Ticket To Ride

Ticket to Ride is my favorite game.  We got it a couple of years ago for Christmas and I could play this one all day long!  I love the combination of strategy, geography, tiny trains, and luck.  Everyone in the family can play this one and it only takes about an hour to play (as long as everyone is engaged in playing)!  Each player has one color train cars and they select routes like Vancouver to Miami.  As you play, you draw cards with colors that match the train routes on the board.  It's pretty simple to learn and fun to play.

My favorite memory of playing this game was with kids and my husband's grandpa.  He loved the maps and trains and playing with my kids.  It was a wonderful bridge between generations!

3.  Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples is a classic for all group ages and sizes.  If you have young players, Apples to Apples Junior or Disney Apples to Apples are fun options.  One player selects a card with a descriptive word on it like "Expensive." They are the judge.  All of the other players submit their best card that represents something expensive like: Motorcycles, San Francisco, Vietnam, and Going to the Dentist. The judge picks which card they think best describes "expensive," and whoever submitted that card wins the round.

4. Clue


Another family favorite is Clue.  This classic murder mystery game is still going strong in my home even though several of the characters are missing.  Good thing we have some trusty Lego mini-figures to stand in for Ms. Scarlet and Mr. Green! Before we were ready for the mature version of this game, we loved Clue Junior as the mystery is about the missing birthday cake.  We took a cue from this game and made it the theme of my girls' birthday party!  They played a live game of clue as they searched for "Who Cut the Cake?"

5. Castle Panic

Castle Panic

Castle Panic was introduced to us last year by some good friends and my kids LOVED it.  What we enjoyed about this game is that it is a cooperative game...that is you're competing as a group against the game!  It has a medieval theme with knights and ogres and such, but it's pretty simple to play, and all ages love it.

6. UpWords


UpWords is a classic game that my kids learned to play at their grandparent's house.  They love the interactive building of words that this game requires.  It's a twist on the old scrabble game, but challenges players in new dimensions!

7. Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is a trading and building game that is fun for everyone.  As you collect goods, you can build roads and settlements.  Because the game board is pieced together fresh every game, the strategy required to win the game changes with each play.

8. Bounce Off

Bounce Off

Bounce Off is a great game to mix things up. Once we got the hang of the bounce, we were addicted! The challenge is to get your color balls to land in a pattern that matches the card before the other team does.  There are different complexities of the cards, but this game lends itself to so much variety that it offers endless fun!

9. Whoonu


My kids have played Whoonu for hours without ever getting tired of this game.  There are tokens that have different point values that the judge sets in front of him.  The other players submit cards of things they think the judge will like.  The judge then places the cards in order of like from greatest to least.  He then reveals his decision and whoever submitted each card gets that token.

It's such a quick and simple game for everyone to play!  One year for Christmas we all made homemade gifts for one another.  My son made Whoonu2 for his sister because she loved it so much.

10. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a fascinating strategy game that keeps players moving and thinking all through the game.  While settling your island, each round every player gets a job like governor, mayor, or settler.  Every job has a special task that yields results for every player.  It takes a bit of time to set up and learn, but it is a game that never plays the same with great variety.  Ages 12 and up.

Top 10 Games for Family Game Nights

That brings us to the end of my list of top 10, but there is no way this is the full list.  You can be sure there will be more favorite games yet to come!

What are some of your family's favorite game night games?


  1. Rachel on December 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    We love Ticket to Ride and Catan! Can’t wait til my kids get a little older to try some of these others!

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