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Best board games for adults 2022: Our favourite board games for date nights, parties and get-togethers

Duncan Robertson
13 Apr 2022

Sick of Cards Against Humanity and Monopoly? Check out our pick of the best board games for adults

Nothing brings a group together like a game and the best board games can turn an ordinary evening into an excellent one. In the last few years, the market has exploded with new and exciting games to try out. Just like vinyl and trading cards before them, board games seem to be the latest physical media going through a renaissance.

Although this is amazing for potential get-togethers, it can make the question of what to play much harder to answer. Whether it's a group of friends after work or a double date at home, finding the right board game can be a tough choice. Thankfully, we’ve assembled a list of the best board games for adults that you can play right now.

While there are plenty of fun card games, board games have a bit more substance, offering extra longevity for players around the table. Of course, there’s always the familiar classics like Monopoly, but after last time, when your friend wouldn’t sell you Park Avenue and priced you out of the game, maybe it’s time to find something new.

Best board games: At a glance

How to choose the best board game for you

Can kids enjoy these games too?

Board games are fun for the whole family. Even though the picks on this list are more suitable for adults, there are a few listed below that can be played with older children, too. In fact, most games come with an age range on the box, which should clear up any concerns.

You can also keep an eye out for our key details at the bottom of each entry – they’ll steer you in the right direction about what is and isn’t suitable. But at the end of the day, we’re all just big kids, right?

It should be noted, although these games are intended for adults, none of them are NSFW (not suitable for work), so they shouldn’t spark any inappropriate moments or awkward questions from the kids.

READ NEXT: The best Lego you can buy

Are the rules easy to pick up?

We’ve all been there: everyone’s ready, dinner’s been served, and the players are sitting around the table. Now the hardest part of game night – explaining the rules.

The games in this guide have all been chosen with that moment in mind. No one wants a 30 minute lecture about how the game works and most of our picks avoid that. While some of the fantasy-style games might take some explaining, our key details highlight how difficult each one is to pick up.

How much should I spend?

Just like video games, board games can be surprisingly expensive. Exactly how much you spend can depend on a multitude of things including how many players there are in your group, or even a game’s licensing.

Most base games won’t break the bank, though, and you shouldn’t have to spend more than £20-£50, especially if you split the cost between players. Then, if you find one you like, many of them have separate expansion packs you can buy later on to keep the game fresh and exciting.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best board games

The best board games for adults in 2022

1. Catan: The best strategy game for negotiators

Price: £33 | Buy now from Amazon

Formerly known as Settlers of Catan, this game sees three to four players building their own settlements from the unique resources found on the board. Certain settlements require specific quantities of each resource and it’s very rare for one player to have access to all of them. This can lead to some industrial rivalries and intense negotiations: don’t have any sheep but have pockets full of wheat? A fellow settler will most likely have a trade deal for you, as long as you’ve played your cards right.

Keeping things interesting is the thief figurine who starts the game in the middle of the board and works his way around whenever a seven is rolled. From there, resources are stolen and tensions start to run high. The best part? Resource placements can be completely different each time, giving this circa £30 game bucket loads of replay value.

Key details – Age range: 10+; Players: 3-4; Difficulty to learn: Easy-Medium; Game duration: 1-2hr

Buy now from Amazon

2. Pandemic: The best game for two players

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

Were there times during the global pandemic that you disagreed with world-leaders and decision-makers? Well, do we have the game for you. Originally inspired by the 2002 SARS outbreak, Pandemic is a board game where two to four players will take on the roles of experts who have to try and stop the spread of deadly diseases. Not only does this game make a nice change from competing against one another, but it can also be played by just two people. If you’re struggling to find a board game to play on date night, this could be your solution.

Players have to find cures for each disease before the time runs out, so planning ahead, working together, and using your expert’s special abilities are all crucial. If the deck of cards runs out, the virus cubes take over the board, or outbreaks go untreated, the experts lose the game. If you aren’t still reeling from post-covid anxieties, Pandemic is a great co-op board game to play.

Key details – Age range: 8+; Players: 2-4; Difficulty to learn: Easy; Game duration: 45min

Buy now from Amazon

3. Secret Hitler: The best board game for Among Us fans

Price: £26 | Buy now from Amazon

If you were at all swept up by the gaming craze that was Among Us, Secret Hitler could be right up your street. Set in pre-WW2 Germany, this game puts players in teams of fascists and liberals, pitting them against one another to try and secure majorities in parliament. Let just three fascist policies go through and Hitler’s reign begins. However, if the liberals figure out who the fascists are and guess who is playing as the infamous dictator-to-be they win the game.

At the beginning of the game, players close their eyes, allowing the fascists to reveal themselves to one another. Meanwhile, Secret Hitler keeps his eyes closed, but puts his thumbs up so his fascists know where he is. The entire game then starts to feel like that basement scene from Inglourious Basterds, except instead of everyone getting shot at the end, you get to call your friends fascists.

Key details – Age range: 13+; Players: 5-10; Difficulty to learn: Easy; Game duration: 45min

Buy now from Amazon

4. Ticket to Ride: The easiest game to learn

Price: £26 | Buy now from Amazon

Beautifully simple and always a joy, Ticket to Ride sees players building railroads across America to connect cities together. Build a longer route and you’ll earn more points – it really is that simple. On top of that, you can fulfil ‘destination tickets’ for additional points. It’s clear to see why it’s earned the accolade on this list for easiest game to learn, as this game can be picked up in only 15 minutes or so.

Easily played with the family after dinner or with a group of friends after a busy day at work, Ticket to Ride is a pleasure to play. Thanks to its long-standing popularity, there are also plenty of different editions to keep things fresh. If America doesn’t tickle your fancy, why not try Ticket to Ride: Europe Edition or even build your own New York subway with Ticket to Ride: New York.

Key details – Age range: 8+; Players: 2-5; Difficulty to learn: Very Easy; Game duration: 30 to 60min

Buy now from Amazon

5. Mysterium: The best spooky game

Price: £36 | Buy now from Amazon

If you and your friends are at all into the paranormal, this is the game for you. Up to six of you will take on the role of medium investigators who communicate with a ghost to try and solve the mystery of its murder. The player acting as the ghost can’t speak and can only communicate using ambiguous dream-like cards. Once the group has worked out which characters were in the house at the time of the murder, a game of ghost-cluedo commences to try to crack the case.

Although this one may take some learning, it has wonderful presentation and some serious depth and replayability for enthusiastic groups. Its 1920s Scottish theme also sets the stage for some Oscar-worthy party performances.

Key details – Age range: 10+; Players: 2-7; Difficulty to learn: Hard; Game duration: 40 to 50min

Buy now from Amazon

6. Betrayal at House on the Hill: The best for replay value

Price: £39 | Buy now from Zatu Games

Much like Mysterium, Betrayal at House on the Hill will also scratch that haunted house itch. This game essentially mixes the versatile board structure of Catan with the role playing and mystery of Secret Hitler and Mysterium. Designed for three to six players, Betrayal at House on the Hill is a tile game that lets you build a haunted house while you play. As your group of hand-selected characters explore the house tile by tile, one player eventually becomes a traitor and you’ll need to stop them before they feed you to their evil designs.

Originally released in 2010, this game continues to be a best-seller with an expanded third edition hitting shops in August 2022. Although it’s more expensive than some of the other games on this list, it has serious replay value, with different characters and almost unlimited house designs.

Key details – Age range: 12+; Players: 3-6; Difficulty to learn: Medium; Game duration: 1hr

Buy now from Zatu Games

7. A Game of Thrones: The best fantasy game 

Price: £43 | Buy now from Amazon

This is your opportunity to right the wrongs of Game of Thrones’ final season or kill some time before Winds of Winter comes out – if it ever does. A Game of Thrones picks up at the end of the first book and season of the popular HBO show. King Robert Baratheon is dead and Westeros lies on the brink of all out war and chaos. Role playing as heads of great houses across the seven kingdoms, you’ll use diplomacy, force and strategy to win yourself the iron throne. 

This game is particularly fun if you’re already a fan of the source material but with a bit of explaining from the table’s resident geek, anyone is bound to enjoy this game if they want a deeper role playing board game to get stuck into.

Key details – Age range: 14+; Players: 3-6; Difficulty to learn: Medium (depending on Game of Thrones knowledge); Game duration: 120 to 240 mins

Buy now from Amazon

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