Are you looking for the best game night games to play at your next game night? Sit tight, we’ve got you covered… We’ll go over the best games for game night that are currently on the market.
Every weekend, we host a game night and invite all of our friends and family over for a night of gaming and delicious game night food. Over the years, we have been able to narrow down our favorite games to play, building our ultimate list of the best game night games.
For instance, we love playing different types of board games, card games, and party games. I am all for anything where we can goof around and compete against each other all in good fun. For most game nights, we like to play board games that are more like “party games.” We prefer these games over ones that are too strategic and involve a lot of thinking.
However, we still have some nights where we like to bring out some of the more strategic games. Some of the best games for game night still include more strategic games. Therefore, we will list some of our favorites here as well.
Best Game Night Games
At Game Night Gods, we have found that game nights are awesome because it gives everyone the opportunity to unplug and interact with each other in a way like no other. We LIVE for game nights and we always make sure that we are playing the best game night games.
This is our list of some of the best game night games for game night! Most of these games can be played with any age group, but some are best played with other adults (they can get a bit raunchy). You will also find that some of these games are based around some really cool board games themes.
We decided to split up our favorite game night games into different categories including:
- Best Board Games for Game Night
- Best Card Games for Game Night
- Best Party Games for Game Night
- Exciting Game Night Games for Everyone
- Best Strategic Game Night Games
Feel free to jump around to different games for game night categories that may intrigue you!
These games aren’t in any necessary order, so feel free to choose a game that you think will most likely work well with the group of people you are playing with. Scroll on to see our list of the best game night games!
Best Board Games for Game Night
There are many different types of games that you can play at game night. However, one of the most popular types of games are just general board games. We will list some of our favorite board games to play at game night that are easy to learn and fun to play!
1. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride probably has to be one of our favorite games. It is a very simple game to grasp, and once you get going, it is really fun!
Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn.
Additional points come to those who can fulfill their Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities, and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway.
Just check out the awesome game map below after we completed a full game. The artwork is great and the components are very colorful!
This game is downright fun and can be played with 2-5 players. The rules are simple enough to write on a train ticket – each turn you either draw more cards, claim a route, or get additional Destination Tickets.
Ticket to Ride has become so popular, they have come out with many expansion packs that map out the entire world.
We feel like Ticket to Ride should be in everyone’s board game closet. So what are you waiting for?
Kingdomino makes a great game for newer board gamers as it is easy to learn, has a short play time, and an affordable price tag. The game offers great artwork and gameplay. All of these aspects make Kingdomino a great game to introduce to friends or family who have yet to set foot in the board gaming community.
The basic gameplay consists of each player having their own castle where they must use “dominos” with varying terrains to make a grid around their castle. These game pieces allow players the ability to create lakes, fields, plains, mines, and more. The goal is to combine similar terrains together in order to gain more points.
This game is simple to play, yet involves some light strategic play when picking tiles that will enhance your kingdom or prohibit players from enhancing their own. We feel that Kingdomino could really be at the top of the list for one of the best games for new board gamers on the market today.
A simple and easy board game to play with friends is Dixit. With Dixit, you can let your imagination run wild as this is the ultimate storytelling game.
On your turn, you are the storyteller and you must choose a card from your hand and give a clue for it. This clue could be a word, a sentence, or a song. Then, each of the other players in the game chooses one of their cards from their own hand that best fits the clue that you gave. They will have to find clues within the imagery of their card in order to choose the best card that will fit the clue. Next, the storyteller shuffles and reveals all of the chosen cards.
All players use voting tokens to guess secretly which card the storyteller chose from their hand at the beginning of the round. Once everyone has voted, the scoring begins! Players earn points based on how many voting tokens were placed on their cards.
Dixit is simple to learn, easy to navigate, and fun to execute. This is why we chose it for one of the best board games for game night.
If you are looking for a specific game night game that will support how many players you are playing with, then be sure to check out our article on best board games by player count.
Best Card Games for Game Night
There are many different types of games you can play at your next game night. Some of the most easiest games to setup are card games. All you have to do is gather around a table or sit in a circle on the floor and hand out some cards to your guests. Card games are relatively easy to learn and don’t involve too much strategy.
See below for some of our favorite card games to play at your next game night.
4. Sushi Go
Grab some chopsticks, because it’s time to eat some Sushi! Well, not really. Sushi Go is a fast paced card game for 2-5 players that can be played in as little as 15 minutes!
In this card game, you are eating at a Sushi restaurant and must grab the best combination of Sushi dishes as they become available.
Different cards can be made into unique combinations that score you points. Gain the most points and win the game by collecting the most sushi rolls or making a full set of sashimi.
Choose your cards wisely and be careful as to which cards you let your neighbors take. They may be creating combinations of Sushi cards that will beat you. This simple “draft and pass” game is great for playing with board gamers and non gamers alike.
Sushi Go is a great card game to add to your board game collection and have on hand for special occasions. It is easy to learn and loads of fun for everyone involved! Most importantly, you don’t have to like Sushi in order to play this game!
5. Phase 10
Phase 10 is a rummy-type card game where players will compete against one another to see who can complete 10 varied phases first. The cards look a lot like uno. However don’t be fooled, as this is an entirely different game.
The different phases of Phase 10 consist of matching different sets of cards or creating runs of consecutive numbered cards before your opponents.
This game can be a bit chaotic as some players can move to new phases while others are left behind. Work fast to complete your phase before others so that you can leave your opponents in the dust!
6. Exploding Kittens
Exploding kittens is a fast paced, intense card game that can create a lot of laughs and shouting around the playing table. It is a very well known game that has made it to our table tons of times. It can also be considered a ‘party game,’ but since it has cards in it, we decided to put it in the card section.
The website describes this game as “a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions, and laser beams, and sometimes goats.” And hey, we must agree! Who doesn’t love goats?
Exploding Kittens is known for being the most-backed game in kickstarter’s history. Meaning that people saw the awesomeness of this game and wanted it to be made, fast!
In addition to being highly-strategic, this game is like a kitty-powered version of Russian roulette. It can provide your group with fun for hours as you can keep playing rounds over and over again. And trust me, we have played many rounds of this game.
Below is an example of what type of silly cards you can encounter during this card game…
Exploding Kittens Gameplay
The play style is similar to most card games as each player goes around the table and takes turns drawing cards. The deck contains some cards called “Exploding Kittens” and if you draw this deadly card, then you explode. If you explode, you’re out of the game.
This process continues until only one player is left. Sounds simple, huh? There is some strategy to this game as you must use all the other cards and their funny prompts to lessen the chances of blowing up. Different cards allow you to do different things, whether it is helping avoid picking up an exploding kitten, or making someone else take the risk of picking one up.
If you hate cats, you should still get this game. Why? Because there are also goats and laser beams. I mean come on. You are sure to have a great time with Exploding Kittens.
Hanabi is a cooperative game in which you will try to create the perfect fireworks show by working with other players to place cards on the table in the right order. It holds a different pace than some of the other cards games listed here, as played must work together in order to become victorious.
The card deck consists of five different colors of cards, numbered 1–5 in each color. For each color, the players try to place a row in the correct order from 1–5. Sounds easy, right? Well, not quite, as in this game you hold your cards so that they’re visible only to other players and must work together to let others know which cards they hold.
To assist other players in playing a card, you must give them hints regarding the numbers or the colors of their cards. Players must act as a team to avoid errors and to finish the fireworks display before they run out of cards.
8. The Mind
The Mind is a team experience in which you can’t exchange information, but must work together to defeat all the levels of the game.
Collectively you must play cards into the center of the table on a single discard pile in ascending order, but you cannot communicate with one another in any way as to which cards you hold. This is where the craziness happens.
You simply stare into one another’s eyes, and when you feel the time is right, you play your lowest card. If no one holds a card lower than what you played, great, the game continues! If someone did, all players discard face up all cards lower than what you played, and you lose one life.
The number of lives you start with are equal to the number of players. If you lose all your lives, then you lose the game. Complete all the levels, and you win!
The Best Party Game Night Games
We like to call this section of the post, the ‘best fun and crazy game night games.’ In other words, these are great party games that will be sure to involve a lot of fun and laughs.
So be careful reading on. Things might get a bit crazy.
9. Throw Throw Burrito
Throw Throw Burrito is a combination of dodgeball and a card game. Yes, you heard that right. In case you didn’t hear us the first time, we said dodgeball and a card game squished together to make a game called Throw Throw Burrito.
The rules are simple. Collect cards, play your hand, and throw things at your friends! Playing this game for the first time was so much fun. Who knew chucking a squishy burrito at your friends face would be so fun. We sure didn’t.
This is another fast paced game where you must stay on your guard at all times. Get ready to dodge, duck, and dive to avoid those flying burritos! We also love the movie dodgeball.
How to Play: Place the pair of burritos on the playing table and everyone starts to draw cards. Find matches of cards and rack up points. Three sets in a deck will award even more points.
If someone plays the special burrito cards, the battle begins. Declare war on your friends or dual to determine a winner. The first person to get hit by a burrito from the other party, loses a point.
Are you ready to start throwing burritos? We sure are. Well, actually now I’m kind of hungry and want a burrito. Nevermind, onto the next game on our list of best game night games!
10. Jackbox Party Pack Games
The Jackbox Party Pack Games are a huge hit in my household especially since you only need a tv and each player uses their own cell phones as their “controller” or game pad.
If people at your game night are hesitant to part ways with their phone and focus on a physical board game, then this is the perfect game. You literally need to use your phone as your controller.
Each Jackbox party pack game comes with 5 games in one great pack. Jackbox is now up to their sixth pack! There is so much to say about these packs because there are so many different games to play.
To sum it up, if you want to have fun with friends, firing up one of the Jackbox Party Packs is an easy way to do so. Some of our favorite games to play are Quiplash and Bidiots!
How to Play Jackbox Party Pack Games:
Install one of the Jackbox Party Packs onto a device hooked up to the TV (Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, etc.) and grab a group of friends. Fire up a game and have all of your friends connect their phones to the game using a special unique code that is listed at the start of each game.
Once everyone is connected, start the game and listen to the instructions. Each game is different but simple for everyone to understand and enjoy. Follow the instructions and use your phone as your “controller” to answer prompts, draw something, or select different options!
11. Telestrations and Telestrations After Dark
Telestrations is a hilarious drawing and guessing game where Pictionary meets Telephone! This game really has no winner making it the perfect choice for creating a lot of laughs and endless fun.
There are two versions of the game “Telestratons.” The regular version contains ordinary prompts that are suitable for younger audiences. Telestrations after dark contains mature content and is most definitely adults only!
At the start of a round, each player grabs his or her whiteboard booklet and chooses a prompt. They then flip the page and proceed to draw that prompt. Once everyone has finished drawing, players pass their booklet to the person next to them. It is then their job to guess the prompt from the drawing given to them.
Once each player has made a guess, everyone passes their booklet to the next player for them to then draw the guess prompt. Play continues until each player receives their original booklet back. Players finish the round and flip through their booklet, sharing the guessed prompts and drawings!
12. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is one of the most well-known adult party card games currently on the market. It can be hit or miss at game nights, but it is definitely worth a try to test out with your group of friends. It doesn’t take much to get the hang of matching cards together to make up hilarious scenarios and wildly inappropriate statements.
You may see this game advertised as a “party game for horrible people,” and this statement can hold true once you’re a few rounds deep playing with your friends (and maybe a few rounds of drinks in).
How to Play Cards Against Humanity:
One black card containing a fill-in-the-blank sentence is put down, and every player must then put down a white card from their hand to fill in the blank. The goal is to try to create a hilarious, raunchy, or gross statement.
One person is the “Judge” for that round and picks their favorite combination. The person who the judge picks get a point and is deemed the winner of that round. Play as many rounds as you want and the person with the most points at the end wins!
We love playing cards against humanity and it is one of the easiest games to whip out during a party with friends. The concept is simple, but you need to turn on your charm and sense of humor to make sure you are making the best combinations with the cards you have been dealt.
The team at CAH have even come out with a bunch of expansion packs, so if you get bored of the cards in the base game, you can purchase a unique expansion pack with even more crazy prompts and scenarios.
See some of our favorite expansion packs below:
You can never go wrong with cards against humanity. Just make sure your friends aren’t overly sensitive and can take a joke. Get your copy of cards against humanity today and become a horrible person in the best way possible.
Exciting Game Night Games for Everyone!
We decided to add this section because it contains games that get you up and moving, acting out a role, or simple word games that even your grandma can play. Check them out below!
When you are out of ideas on what to play or just want a great game that everyone loves, charades is the answer! Everyone should know how to play charades, and if they don’t, it’s a very simple game (and there might be something wrong with them).
It’s the classic game of acting out words or phrases and having your team try to guess what you are acting out. You don’t need anything fancy to play this game, all you need is a few pieces of paper and some pens so that guests can write down prompts that their opponents will have to act out and guess.
How to Play: We like to play our versions of charades where there are two teams. Each person on the team will write down 2 ideas (book titles, movies titles, famous person, an action, etc.) that they will put in a jar for the other team to pick from.
Each round, one person from each team will choose an idea from the other team’s jar and act out for their team to guess. Here’s the catch, you must set a timer so that person only has one minute to mime what is on the paper. If the team guesses right within the minute, they get a point! Play as many rounds as you want and be sure to keep track of the points. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Now this is a fun game that can make even the shyest player break out and shine. In this fun-filled game, teams work together to race around the game board by completing a mix of 14 hilarious activities.
This is a colorful, silly, and creative game that is full of goofy, unpredictable activities. Cranium is great for large groups or events, and family game nights. This game constantly challenges players in trivia and creativity, providing a lively and fun atmosphere for all.
How to Play: This is a team game so you will need at least 4 people to play. The first team chooses from one of four categories to choose a card from. These categories are creative cat, word worm, data head, and start performer.
Depending on the card, you must complete your task successfully, whether it is answering trivia, defining words, drawing or sculpting, or acting something out. The more tasks you complete, the more chances you have to roll the dice and make it to the end. The first team to make it to the end wins!
If you are looking for a fun and energetic game for a large group of people, then this is the perfect game. We have had so much fun playing numerous rounds of this game that results in a lot of playful arguments and people talking over each-other.
Everyone has a secret role and the villagers must work together to identify the mafia and execute them! The Mafia must lie and pretend that they are part of the villager group so they do not get executed.
You can either play this game by creating roles yourself and looking up a guide online, or purchase the actual Mafia game that will help guide you.
How to Play: One person will be the chosen moderator and will have to keep track of what happens during the day and night. Everyone chooses a card (role) at the beginning of the game and keeps their role to themselves. They must not tell anyone their role.
These roles can be a doctor, civilian, mayor, mafia, or more. Each role has a specific duty that they can perform during the night in order to narrow down who they think the mafia players are. After each night, the players have the decision to reveal what they found out during the night and discuss with other players so that they can help each other narrow down who the mafia players are and ultimately execute them.
If the villagers can successfully execute all mafia players, they win! If the mafia players can lie and execute all the villagers, then they win!
This game can get pretty complicated with multiple roles, so we recommend picking up a copy of the mafia card set to help guide you through the game.
16. Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a game of crazy combinations and creativity that is fun for any type of game night. This game is pretty similar to Cards Against Humanity but is less inappropriate and raunchy if you aren’t into that kind of stuff.
Apples to Apples is a very quick and easy game to play that involves matching cards up to create the best, and most funny, combinations possible.
How to Play: The first round starts with a judge who then deals seven red apple cards face down to each player (including him or herself). Each round, the judge picks a green apple card and reads the card out loud.
All of the other players then look through their red apple cards and chooses a card that they think will best match up with the green card to create a crazy, funny, or absurd response. The judge picks their favorite response and as a result, the person who’s card gets picked wins that round. Play as many rounds as you want and the person with the most points at the end wins!
We were talking about burritos before and now apples. Now I am really starving…
Ahh the good ol’ Scattegories. We have played this game so many times and it never gets old! Each player gets their own special notepad and depending on what round you are starting on, you have 10 categories in front of you.
Someone rolls a 20 sided dice and a letter is chosen after the roll. You must then think of a unique word starting with the chosen letter for each category.
This game involves a lot of thinking and can really get players to think outside of the box. This is a must have for all board game players!
If you get the version that we have, be careful. When the timer runs out, it makes a very loud noise that always scares the sh*t out of me. Not sure why. Like I know it’s coming, but I still jump when time is up.
After all, Scattegories is a great game to play with your “smart” friends as it can really test the depths of their mind.
It never gets old trying to look around the room for an object that starts with the letter “K.”
Best Strategic Game Night Games
These games are board games, but are a little more strategic than the ones we listed in the first section. They involve a little more thinking and skill, but still can be a great addition to your next game night!
With beautiful tile playing pieces, Azul is one of the most visually pleasing board games out there. Azul can be played with 2-4 players in about 30-45 minutes.
The premise of the game consists of players taking turns drafting colored tiles from their suppliers and placing them on their player board. Players score points based on how they’ve placed their tiles to decorate their own palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets with your tiles. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Azul brings an air of simplicity, elegance, and beauty, making it a great game to play on those nights you just want to relax and chill. We recommend you rip this one open right away to enjoy with friends and family, as it will surely lead to a fun game night.
Our go to cooperative game for first time co-op players, Pandemic, is a high stakes, thought provoking strategy board game that offers players the opportunity to work together to find a cure and save humanity!
It is the perfect gift for the holidays for board gamers who haven’t stepped foot into the co-op board gaming world. Pandemic is a must have for every board game collection as it offers players a chance to work together, rather than against each other, which some players might find more appealing. While the gameplay itself might be intense at times, players sometimes have more fun playing a game where everyone playing wins or loses, rather than having only one winner.
The main goal of the game is to prevent the spread of deadly, contagious diseases. You must work together to stop a shared threat and save humanity. Each player has their own specific roles that grants them a special ability in the game to help the team as a whole. Work together and find the cure before your chances run out!
You may have heard of Catan as one of the greatest board games of all time. We feel like this statement is actually a strong one. It is definitely one of our favorites.
The foundation of Catan consists of players trying to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards)—wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone—to build up their civilizations and expand using roads.
The setup is usually randomized and the game can be complex to newbies, but trust us, you will be addicted once you start playing.
Points are accumulated by building settlements and cities, having the longest road and the largest army (from some of the development cards), and gathering certain development cards that simply award victory points. The game is over when a player hits 10 points during their turn.
It may sound like a lot, but Catan is one of the best strategy games out there that is actually so much fun to play.
Where else could you trade sheep for wood!?
This is another game that should be in everyone’s board game closet.
Featuring cute creature meeples and beautiful components, Everdell is a game of dynamic tableau building and worker placement. It is one of our favorite engine building games that is played with 1-4 players in about 40-80 minutes.
In Everdell, a player will be the leader of a group of critters with their intents on performing different tasks. There are buildings to construct, lively characters to meet, events to host, and so on. It’s a busy road ahead!
On their turn a player can take one of three actions. The first action includes placing a worker on one of the board locations, events, or destination cards. Workers will perform actions that will further the development of a player’s tableau. The second action includes playing a card that will either generate resources, grant abilities, and ultimately score points. The final action is preparing for the next season as workers are returned to the player’s supply and new workers are added.
The game is played through the four seasons starting in winter and ending when the following winter ends. The player with the city that contains the most points at the end of the next winter wins. If your board game lover already has Everdell, have no fear! There are THREE expansions, Spirecrest, Pearlbrook and Bellefaire, that are available for the game. They may not be willing to buy them for themselves, making it a great gift for the holidays!
Honorable Mentions – Best Game Night Games
Here are some honorable mentions of games that you may want to include in your next game night! They didn’t make it into our top list of 21 best game night games, however, they are still awesome games for game night.
Happy Salmon is a 90 second game by Exploding Kittens that you will probably play multiple rounds over and over again. Our game night group got together to play this chaotic card game and we were sweating by the end of it!
In Happy Salmon, players each have their own stack of cards. On each card is one of four actions. These actions include fish bump, switch it up, high five, or happy salmon. Countdown from 3, 2, 1 and players flip over their first card and begin to shout which action they have on their card. Match up with another player shouting that action and you can drop your card on the floor.
If no-one else is shouting your action, then move on to your next card to try and find a match to get rid of your cards. The player who gets rid of all of their cards first, wins! This game can turn very chaotic with people shouting, switching places with one another, high fiving, fist bumping, and doing a silly handshake (happy salmon).
Poetry for Neanderthals
Poetry for Neanderthals is a silly party game that will get you talking in broken sentences, just like a neanderthal! Try to have your team guess the word you are saying on your card by using only 1-syllable phrases and simple vocabulary. Be careful though. If you mess up, you may get bopped on the head by an inflatable club.
We had a great time playing this game and loved hitting one another when we messed up!
Dutch Blitz is a fast paced card game that can get a bit crazy. Each player has their own deck of cards with specific numbers and colors on them. Every player will play at the same time, working to get rid of the cards in their hand. There is no turn taking, just chaotic slamming down cards when the opportunities arise.
You must be the fastest player to place your cards in sequence and in the same respective colors on the center piles while other players are using those same piles to get rid of as many of their cards as possible. The first player to exhaust their Blitz pile, wins!
King of Tokyo
King of Tokyo is a fast paced, high stakes, battle for power, board game! The name says it all, each player must fight to become the one and only King of Tokyo, but be careful not to lose too many hearts while in power! This game is great for geeks who love mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and strange aliens. Pick your monster and get ready to fight!
In order to win the game, one must either destroy Tokyo by accumulating 20 victory points, or be the only surviving monster once the fighting has ended. King of Tokyo is a 2-6 player game that is quickly learned and can be played in about 30 minutes.
Dominion is one of the best deck building games for 2-4 players that can be played in 30 minutes. It involves some in depth strategy that may be a little overwhelming for new players. Each player has an identical deck of cards where they can “purchase” cards from the center of the table with in game currency once players are able to afford them.
Players will then construct their own deck of cards by purchasing cards and playing their hand depending on which cards they draw. The goal is to create the most efficient path to victory points before the game ends.
The Best Game Night Games Conclusion
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best game night games to play for a grownup game night. I sure enjoyed writing it.
I’m kinda sad that it’s over, but we plan on adding more to our list once we play more games. Now I think I am going to get myself a burrito and play some cards against humanity later with friends.
Please leave us a comment below if you enjoyed this post or have any questions!
Looking for more games to play, we have more posts on recommenced games for a bunch of different categories over on our blog! Also, be sure to check out other types of board games that will be sure to make your game night great. Here are some you may be interested in:
- The Best Board Games and Party Games to Play While Drunk or Tipsy
- The Best Games for an Outdoor Game Night
- Board Games that Support Higher Player Counts (6-10 Players)
- Board Games that are Easy to Learn and Play in Under an Hour
- Best Gateway Board Games to Introduce New Players to Board Gaming
As always, happy gaming everyone!
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