With so many games to choose from, it can be a tall order to find one the whole family will enjoy. That’s why the best games for family game nights are suitable for a variety of ages and are engaging enough to keep everyone invested. Games come in a lot of different formats, so picking one that fits your family’s tastes is super important — and before you settle on a game, make sure you consider the number and age of players, length of game play, and complexity level that make sense for your family, too.
Whether you’re looking for a game to play with young children, older kids, or just adults, your pick for family game night should appeal to everyone involved. It can be helpful to look at the suggested age recommended by a game’s manufacturer, but also take into account the way the game is played and how players interact. A game with a lot of instructions, high complexity level, or lengthier gameplay might not be best for younger kids. And likewise, an overly simplistic game with little replay value might be boring for adults. If you have a range of ages to work with, look for a game that’s technically easy to play, but has extra depth or strategy opportunities for those who might appreciate added complexity.
Many types of games can draw in players of any maturity level. Cooperative games are a great way to engage family members of all ages (or save intensely competitive families from unnecessary conflict), since they require the players to work together to achieve a common goal or outcome. Adventure games bring the players into a themed world where they can explore or solve puzzles. Strategy games focus on decision-making and creating a plan to win, while trivia games ask players to rely on history, sports, and pop culture facts that they know. But not every game fits neatly into a specific category — some less traditional options might feature challenges or accessories that defy expectation.
Whatever your family is in the mood for, these highly rated games on Amazon will make any game night a success. Let the games begin!
1. A Portable Card Game For All Ages
Family game night can be fun for everyone when you’ve got a game like Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. The rules are simple: Players lay down cards while calling out, “taco, cat, goat, cheese, pizza” and if the card they laid down matches the spoken word, all players race to slap their hands on the central pile of cards. The last person to slap their hand down must take all the cards, which puts them at a disadvantage because the objective of the game is to get rid of all your cards. Despite its simplicity, one fan calls the game “fun, easy to learn, yet challenging!” adding, “There is just enough of a challenge that even if you have played before, it takes concentration and focus to win.”
The game is packaged in an easily portable box, making it a great pick for traveling game nights. Reviewers love that it’s fun for all ages, but some advise gentler hand slapping with younger kids or older adults.
Helpful Amazon review: “This game is hysterical! I played with my 7 year old daughter and my 70 year old father and we all enjoyed it. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!”
- Ages: all
- Players: 1 to 4
- Game play: 10 to 15 minutes
2. A Classic Strategy Game For Families, Made For Kids
If you love the game Catan, but feel it might be too challenging for the little ones in your family, Catan Junior is a great place to start. The game takes place in a group of tropical islands, where each player has a few pirate lairs. Players build ships to travel between islands, collect resources, and build more lairs. According to reviewers, the rules are easy to learn, and the gameplay is shorter but still challenging, making this a good starter strategy game for kids and adults alike. When your kids are ready to level up, they’re familiar with the basic setup for an easier transition to classic Catan.
Helpful Amazon review: “Great family game that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out like other 'classic' kids games. Enough chance to it that even the younger kids with little to no strategy can still win. As usual, catan games have quality pieces that are durable... no junk here! Highly recommend for a family who loves games as an intro to the world of strategy gaming.”
- Ages: 6+
- Players: 2 to 4
- Game play: 30 minutes
3. A Complex Fantasy Adventure Game You Can Play Over Multiple Sessions
For a family adventure game night that extends over several nights, there’s nothing better than Gloomhaven. Each player takes on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special skills, working together to clear out dungeons and ruins. After each scenario, players have to decide what their next step will be. The game is semi-cooperative, so the whole family can work together, but each player has personal goals (some of which are secret) and individually keeps any loot they acquire.
Gloomhaven has a recommended age range of 12 and up, which makes sense given the intricate rules, sophisticated strategy, and significant setup the game requires. The manufacturer and reviewers alike advise that this isn’t a quick game to pick up and is ideally played over several sessions. That said, you shouldn’t discount this game for tweens and teens in addition to adults — one fan wrote that Gloomhaven is a “great game for friends to play and kids and parents to bond over!”
Helpful Amazon review: “My formative years included countless sessions of D&D. For years I've wanted to revisit those fond memories in the context of modern board gaming. Earlier attempts [...] fell completely flat with my family. In sharp contrast, and as the ultimate endorsement, they are all *loving* Gloomhaven. The depth of the combat system is unprecedented and edge-of-our-seats engaging. Videogame-esque mechanics like dropping coins and unlockable content make instant sense to my kids. The storytelling, character development, and persistent world overlays a sense of purpose and intrigue. Setup and teardown are bit of a bear and play time is on the long side for us, but thus far such imperfections have been a minor and manageable downside that we're more than happy to navigate. The biggest problem at the moment: maximum players is 4, and we can have as many as 7 who want to play.”
- Ages: 12+
- Players: 1 to 4
- Game play: 60 to 120 minutes
4. A Wildly Popular Card Game For Up To 10 Players
Not all games can accommodate a group of 10 people, but the Exploding Kittens Party Pack is up to the task. It includes cards from the original Exploding Kittens deck (so you don’t need to buy it separately), the Imploding Kittens expansion deck, 10 new cards, and the box even plays “kitty-themed dance music” when you open it. The rules are simple and can be picked up in minutes: You lose if you draw an exploding kitten, but if you don’t explode, you win. This game is more than popular, since it’s sold more than 10 million copies and was one of the most-backed Kickstarters of all time — plus it boasts over 54,000 reviews on Amazon and a solid 4.7 star rating. It’s just purr-fect for family game night.
Helpful Amazon review: “After a little convincing I managed to get my whole family to play this game and I really did discover new sides of them I never knew existed. My grandma is a con-artist and will blow you up just as easily as she'll help you. My mother doesn't have the heart to betray anyone and she never wins. If you have the courage to blow up your own grandpa you can be the winner of the evening, and lose everyone's trust. Whether for better or for worse, this game will definitely leave an impact on your life.”
- Ages: 7+
- Players: 2 to 10
- Game play: 10 to 20 minutes
5. A Highly Rated Cooperative Strategy Board Game
Families of epidemiologists and non-epidemiologists alike can enjoy playing the strategy game Pandemic. Players have to keep the world safe from four pandemics, while working to find the cures and eradicate the diseases. The game is cooperative, so everyone works as one to plan their strategies, which can be great if you have kids that are different ages — as one reviewer noted: “Usually the younger ones can not compete with the older kids. With this game they all work together to beat the game.” The rules are moderately complex, and fans advise that the first game might require a little time to get acclimated. Warning: More than 11,000 reviewers have given Pandemic an impressive 4.8-star rating, so enthusiasm for this game can be contagious.
Helpful Amazon review: “I love this game. We do family game night, took a chance on this and what a pay off!! I love the strategies and that each time you play it’s totally different! Risk meets monopoly but instead of money it’s disease outbreaks.”
- Ages: 8+
- Players: 2 to 4
- Game play: 45 minutes
6. A Quirky Trivia Game That’s Accessible For Kids & Adults
If your family loves trivia games, or if you’re tired of trivia games that favor players who know a lot about specific categories, look no further than …I Should Have Known That! With questions like, “Is a penguin a bird?” or “Does the Statue of Liberty hold the torch in her left or right hand?” players will be challenged by more than 400 questions that, well, you should know the answers to. According to reviewers, the questions feature a mix of easier and harder trivia, which makes it fun for a variety of ages. It’s a bare-bones game with not a lot of rules, so families can start playing right away. One fan raves, “This is so much fun! We play the game at dinner and it gets conversation going which is important when you have lots of kids that spend most of their time in their rooms. Brings the whole family together.”
Helpful Amazon review: “Fun for the whole family! Many trivia games are geared either for kids or for adults, with little in between. This game strikes the right balance. Each card has fun simple questions that the kiddos can answer and be excited about, as well as more challenging ones for the grown-ups. Nothing overly in-depth. Just light fun.”
- Ages: 14+
- Players: 2+
- Game play: doesn’t specify
7. A Popular Historical Strategy Game
Have you ever been playing a board game with your family and thought, “This is great, but I wish I was connecting North American cities across a map of the 20th-century United States?” Well, then you should be playing Ticket to Ride. This is the game where you do exactly that, while building train routes and earning points along the way. The manufacturer promises that the rules can be learned in 15 minutes and reviewers confirm that it has an “easy learning curve” even though the relatively simple game offers multiple strategy options and ways to score. For an added twist, you can use a compatible Echo device and have Alexa walk you through the rules, or even play against Alexa. With an impressive 4.9-star rating after more than 17,000 reviews, many families agree that this game is just the ticket.
Helpful Amazon review: “We played this whilst visiting our older boy and it was so much fun we ordered it immediately when we came home! It's simple enough that even gradeschool kids can understand the rules. It doesn't take all night like Monopoly, but there are some similarities. You build railways between cities and get points for completing routes on ‘ticket’ cards. You have to do simple things, like match train colors to the colors on the map most of the time, but the rules again are minimal and simple enough for old and young alike. The more you play, the more strategy you can pick up on, so it's not just a ‘kiddie game.’ Great fun!”
- Ages: 8+
- Players: 2 to 5
- Game play: 30 to 60 minutes
8. A Wacky Challenge Game For An Interactive Game Night
For families that don’t want a standard collection of games, the highly interactive challenge game Beat That! provides some quirkier game pieces alongside the more traditional elements like cards and dice. You can start playing right away, because the rules are simple — pick a challenge (they can be a solo, cooperative, duel, or battle royale), bet on your ability to complete the challenge, attempt it, and the winner(s) score points. The game comes with cups, balls, dice, chopsticks, and a tape measure to help everyone tackle 160 dexterity-based challenges. Fans noted that there are plenty of challenge cards to keep the games fresh, but suggested that families with younger kids or older adults might have to skip or revise challenges based on their physical abilities. With more than 16,000 reviews and a solid 4.7-star rating overall, a lot of reviewers have really enjoyed playing the game with their families, but since the game promises to get everyone up and moving, you’ll want to remember to limber up beforehand.
Helpful Amazon review: “This is probably the most exciting game I’ve played with my family thus far. Each round is full of unexpected task and excitement. We laughed the entire time we played which was for three rounds. I definitely recommend for game night with friends and family.”
- Ages: 9+
- Players: 2 to 8
- Game play: 40 minutes
9. A Cooperative Mystery Game For Families With Young Kids
Finding a game that’s fun for both an adult and a 5-year-old can be tough, but Outfoxed! does the job. It’s a simple mystery game that sets players as chicken detectives on a hunt to find the guilty fox who stole a pot pie. The game can be played in 30 minutes or less (a bonus when you’re dealing with young attention spans). And the game can help kids develop their logic and reasoning skills, deducing who can be a suspect and who should be eliminated. It’s also a great way to introduce younger kids to cooperative games so they can work together, stay engaged when it’s not their turn, and celebrate winning as a team.
Helpful Amazon review: “I have played this game with my kids many times and still enjoy it when we get to play. As a father that has many board games and wants to pass that love on to my kids - I get tired of playing games like Hi-Ho Cherrio or Clue Jr over and over as the games just feel stale and repetitive. This game allows children to play the same game over and over but solve the problem from different angles and learn great board game skills along the way. This game has the randomness of dice throws, decision making, a "countdown" timer to a win or lose condition, pawn movement, problem solving, and a memory element. I encourage every parent with younger kids to try this one out. I play this with my 4 year old and 6 year old regularly and while the game is fun the best thing about it is that my 4 year old stays for the whole game because it holds his interest. Hope your family enjoys it as much as we do.”
- Ages: 5+
- Players: 2 to 4
- Game play: 20 to 30 minutes
10. A Pirate-Themed Adventure Game That Can Be Cooperative Or Competitive
Get prepared for a lot of “arrrghhhs” and “shiver me timbers” when you play Plunder A Pirate’s Life. Your family can wage wars against rival captains, build ships, conquer islands, collect resources, navigate dangerous waters, and rule the seas. Reviewers report that the game is fairly easy to learn, but might take some time to set up at first. There’s a modular ocean map and double-sided board tiles, which allows for extensive replays and unique map configurations. Although the box says for ages 14 and up, one reviewer with a 10-year-old found the game to be the right balance of easy for their child to learn, with deeper strategy if you’re looking for it, plus a board that’s “changing each game so no one strategy can win every time.” And since the game can be played competitively or cooperatively, there are several ways for your family to face off or team up. Enter as a family, leave as pirates.
Helpful Amazon review: “It’s a great game for our whole family or even just the adults. Who doesn’t like the idea of living out their fantasies of becoming a pirate and making their spouse or dad WALK THE PLANK!? Leave your issues behind because he make no friends in the high seas of Plunder! High quality pieces for a non-miniature based game. Thick board, good feeling pieces, ya know...all the right heft in all the right places. Easy enough for my 8-yr old to grasp and get into yet deep enough for us to put the kids to bed and invite another couple over...and THAT makes this game a rare treasure indeed!”
- Ages: 14+
- Players: 2 to 6
- Game play: 20 minutes per player