The 17 Most Popular Board Games For Adults

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by Amber Petty
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Many adults have come a long way from Candyland and The Game of Life. Now, there are tons of super clever board games that are actually fun to play over the age of six. And the most popular board games for adults offer the right amount of complexity or more adult themes to make sense for a grown-up game night.

Now, just because these games are aimed at adults, doesn't mean they are all outrageously NSFW. You’ll find crime-themed or horror board games on the list that might be a bit much for children, as well as board games like Catan that are just a little more complicated or over-the-top than your average family fare.

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find easy-to-play adult party games, which range from mildly suggestive to hilariously unfit for a family setting. These games tend to require almost no setup, utilize rules that make sense in under five minutes, and have room for large groups of players. Whether you want to bust out a classically cheeky game like Cards Against Humanity or learn some new facts about your friends with the revealing The Voting Game, there's something that'll entertain everyone.

Just because you're not a kid anymore doesn't mean you have to leave board games behind. With these amazing board and card games for adults, you'll want to find any excuse to play.


A Game That Teaches You A Lot About Your Friends

Really get to know your friends with The Voting Game. Each round starts with a question like "Who would survive the longest in a zombie apocalypse?" Then, you vote on which friend best fits the bill, and after the results are given, you try to guess who voted for you. Basically, you learn what people really think about you in a hilarious way.

One fan wrote: "Bought this to play with friend groups that play Cards Against Humanity, Jackbox, What Do You Meme, etc. It's a fun one, as long as people don't take things personally. Questions, results, and explanations can all be hilarious. And--contrary to what you might think--it might actually be better with some strangers in the mix too!”

  • 5 — 10 players, ages 18+


A Spy-Themed Party Game

Live out your James Bond fantasies with Codenames. All the players (or agents) know each other only by code names and they race to see who can identify an agent first. If you like games like Werewolf and Mafia, this one really takes that to the next level.

One fan wrote: "We had played this game with friends and then had to get our own! There are so many ways to use the cards that you have a different game every time and the combinations are almost endless. We look forward to playing this when we have family get togethers.”

  • 2 — 8 players, ages 10+


A Game For Adults Who Love To "Act Up"

If you and your game night crew love to "act up," Cranium Dark should be the next addition to your board game collection. Cranium tests your trivia chops, creativity, and problem-solving abilities, and is just as much fun as a single-player game as it is with teams. The rules are pretty straightforward, and there's no board — everything is based on cards — so you can get down to hilarity sooner. Reviewers also note that it's a bit more PG than some other adult-focused board games, which makes this a great choice for mixed groups.

One fan wrote: "I go to a game night at a bar and they have wild card night where you can bring in your own game to play so I brought this. Let me tell you I haven’t laughed this much in years. To see a grown man acting like Godzilla screeching at the top of his lungs [...] then to have a woman act out her card while pretending to be Elvis. It’s a good adult game that gets you comfortably out of your comfort zone."

  • 3+ players, adults only


A Game That Brings Out The Worst In Everyone

Touted as "The Worst Game Ever Made," Disturbed Friends makes you decide what you and your friends would do in horrible situations. When you have to answer questions like, "In order to destroy my arch-nemesis, I will..." you tend to learn a lot about how terrible you and your friends really are! Once you play, you can really never go back (but you won’t want to — it’s a lot of fun).

One fan wrote: “This game delivered a very dark/humorous twist to an evening with friends the other night. I like how the cards each have cartoon images on them (some which are just as disturbing). But really, the entertainment from the game all came down to your friends and how they interpret things. Each time you play, it is different, and I still get a laugh every time I play this.”

  • 4 — 10 players, ages 21+


A Board Game That Sends You On An Epic Adventure

Kind of like an IRL Oregon Trail and a less fantastical Dungeons & Dragons, Catan gives you a totally different playing experience every time. Players discover the isle of Catan and go on a quest to settle its wild lands. With more than 20,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.8 rating on the site overall, it’s safe to say that players love the combination of trading, tactics, and strategy that this game requires.

One fan wrote: "Wondered if this game would live up to the rave reviews—it surpasses them! My kids joke that we no longer have a kitchen table, we have a Catan table (because we haven’t put it away since the day after Christmas when we first played). It is the rare game that has my 14 yo daughter, 17 and 20 yo sons and my husband and I all obsessed. It is somehow competitive and relaxing all at once.”

  • 3 — 4 players, ages 10+


A Fan Favorite Card Game With Over 100,000 Ratings

Cards Against Humanity has pretty much taken over the board game world. With over 118,000 reviews, this is an enormously popular Amazon product. Reviewers report that it’s a hysterically good time that tends to result in laughter. With 150 new cards since the last edition, this game is great if you've played it once or 1,000 times.

One fan wrote: "The best party game for adults.... ever.......If you have ever played the much tamer Apples to Apples, you already know what to expect. People get cards with outlandish actions, people, or things and use them to fill in the blanks on otherwise innocent questions to produce some very nc17 results. And that's pretty much it. Competition never gets too high. In [...] fact, some games, you will probably find yourself hoping no one wins because you just want the laughs to keep coming.”

  • 4 — 20 players, ages 17+


A Game Where You Compete To Make The Best Memes IRL

Over 29,000 people on Amazon have given this meme-centric game an overall 4.7-star rating, so it’s clearly a hit on game night. Designed for three or more players, you compete to see who can make the funniest meme. It can get pretty raunchy, so this is definitely not a game for the family reunion.

One fan wrote: "If you’re on the fence about buying this game, don’t be! Buy it! We played this for a game night and it was the funniest game we’ve all played in a long time. I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard as I did for quite some time! You won’t regret buying it and you’ll have a ton of fun."

  • 3+ players, ages 17+


A Game That Was Enormously Popular On Kickstarter

Exploding Kittens got its start by being one of the most-backed games in Kickstarter history, and people on Amazon are keeping the love going with this NSFW edition that’s just an incredibly fun time. The party game is described as a "kitty-powered version of Russian roulette." With over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, this game is extremely popular and growing more and more loved every day.

One fan wrote: "I consider myself something of a board game/card game enthusiast. This is a very fun and easy game to play. You can definitely grasp the concept and the strategy after just one or two playthroughs [...] The explicit version is definitely rated NR, but it is pretty hilarious.”

  • 2 — 5 players, ages 17+


A Funny Comic Creation Board Game

Stick figures have never been funnier. In this "offensive" card game, you and your team create comic strips that are always hilarious and definitely NSFW. With a super easy setup, this game is great for a party of up to 10 players and will definitely get everyone laughing.

One fan wrote: "Crass, irreverent, and at times embarrassing and shocking. This is Cards Against Humanity with pictures.”

  • 3 — 10 players, ages 18+


A Game That Lets You Call Out Your Friends

Get real with your friends with this hilarious party game. Each card gives a prompt and you have to decide which of your friends is most likely to do it. Between figuring out which friend "is going straight to hell" or calling out who's most likely to "get a popcorn bucket from the trash for free refills," you and your friends will have an awesome time poking fun at one another.

One fan wrote: "I've played this with friends; I have played it with family; I have even played it with people I didn't know well. The same thing happens regardless of who holds the cards - a whole lot of laughter. It's a great get-to-know-you game as well as a roast-your-friends game. Definitely one of my favorites. Buy it and enjoy. Warning: It can be crude so if you can't handle disclosing sexual preferences, swear words, or hard truths...maybe pass. Or grab it for a White Elephant/Secret Santa gift and enjoy the pandemonium."

  • 4 + players, ages 17+


A Family Board Game With A Twist

The family game Charades gets an adults-only makeover in this “dirty” version of the board game. How it works: Divide up into two teams and sit in a group. The goal is to get your teammates to guess the word on your card simply by acting out the phrase. This adult take on a classic game is sure to be a hit at your next game night, especially since most people already know how to play charades.

One fan wrote: "I got this game for an adults only party.... freaking epic! Everyone loved this game, there was not 1 person who didn't get into it! Even acting it out the "dirty deeds" was hilarious. We found our selves laughing, yelling, jumping around, and getting way too into it! I cannot wait to play again!”

  • 2 teams of players, ages 18+


A Spooky Horror Board Game

Enjoy the thrill of monsters and mayhem while investigating spooky mysteries in Arkham Horror. In this chilling game, players work cooperatively to save humanity from the terrifying Lovecraftian creatures that are awakening in the city of Arkham. Play as your choice of a dozen investigators, each with different useful abilities, as you gather clues — and since the game can follow a bunch of narrative paths, it never gets boring, no matter how many times you play. Since Arkham Horror might be a little too creepy or complicated for kids, it’s a perfect pick for an adults-only game night.

One fan wrote: "This is by far the best board game I have ever played. After playing through every scenario multiple times, I could easily say the price of this game is a steal! Most board games these days are so pricey, but Arkham Horror 3rd edition is fairly cheap compared to other games of similar complexity. The artwork is beautiful, and there is so much replayability. While the gameplay did the us a couple of hours to figure out, once you know how to play, things run a lot smoother, and you are left with a fantastic immersive experience. If you like Lovecraft or gothic aesthetic then you should definitely consider this game. This game turned me into a board game fan."

  • 1 — 6 players, ages 14+


A Classic Board Game For Fans Of Marvel

Monopoly Avengers is similar to the classic board game, but with a fun twist. Instead of selling and buying properties, each player is tasked with assembling an all-star team of superheroes. The goal? Outlast your friends. Even better, the tokens are golden Avengers statues, so you can play as your favorite character from the Marvel Universe.

One fan wrote: "I play Monopoly a lot with my friends and family and this version is fantastic! The larger amount of player tokens is great for variety and if you want to play with more people. The new rules with the children of Thanos make the game more exciting and it's easy to learn the difference of rules so don't let that deter you. For sure one of my favorite versions, great for any Marvel or Monopoly fan!"

  • 2 — 6 players, ages 8+


A Drawing Game That Involves Hilarious Miscommunication

A guessing game for artists of any skill level, Drawing Without Dignity is one of the most hilarious party games you’ll ever encounter. It includes 670 inappropriate things to draw and players get 60 seconds to sketch for their team. Then, teammates try to guess what the drawing is before the other team swoops in to steal the point. It’s like adults-only Pictionary, and it’s backed by a 4.6-star overall rating after more than 5,000 game enthusiasts weighed in.

One fan wrote: "If Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity had a baby, you'd get this. I got this to have around the house for when people stop by. It's compact and isn't complicated to play. It's awesome!”

  • 4+ players, ages 17+


An Immersive Murder Mystery Game

True crime fans and anyone who loves a good murder mystery will appreciate this immersive game designed to make you feel like an actual detective. In the game, someone has just plummeted to their death beside the local dive bar, and it’s up to you and your fellow players to figure out who’s to blame. With lots of evidence, ciphers, and suspects to consider as you search for the truth, the game might take you more than the suggested hour-long play time — but don’t worry, because many Amazon reviewers report that they loved every minute of it.

Because this is a mystery, it’s only designed to be played once — as soon as you solve it, you already know the answer. But multiple reviewers suggest that it was totally worth it and that they enjoyed passing it along to family and friends once they cracked the case. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe. this will — it has more than 5,000 reviews on Amazon, and more than 4,000 of those give the game a five-star rating.

One fan wrote: “I actually screamed. Hunt A Killer-you just did that!! [...] I read that ‘Death at the Dive Bar’ was a 45-60 minute experience. I thought 'Ok, that seems pretty quick with all the deciphering.' I was surprised that everyone became quickly engaged. We quickly skimmed over the directions and went through all the evidence. We took a 'cookie intermission' and yes, 3 adults were playing. It took us 3 hours to come to a conclusion. We could have broken the session up into two sessions but another life could have been at stake! No time to tarry! After you have solved the case be sure to verify that you caught all the clues by reading through the hints and reveals. I fell in love with this game. The company was able to surprise me all the way to the end. I have no regrets!”

  • 1+ players, ages 13+


A Party Game That Asks “What Would You Rather Do?”

If your sense of humor is on the risqué side, you’ll love the Pick Your Poison card game. According to Amazon reviewers, the game is a hilariously good time for groups. To play, the judge selects two “would you rather?” scenarios and players anonymously make a choice. Once everyone’s answers are revealed, you’re sure to learn a lot about your friends.

One fan wrote: “Great questions that really expose the side of a person you did not know was there. Laughs galore and some eyebrow raises as well.”

  • 3 — 10 players, ages 15+


A Unicorn-Themed Game That’s Totally Outrageous

In this NSFW edition of Unstable Unicorns, your goal is to collect seven unicorn cards — but everyone else is trying to do the same thing, so you’ll need to foil their attempts in order to win. While the original base game is silly fun that’s appropriate for teens, the NSFW edition features cards that are truly only for the eyes of adults and even has the option to incorporate drinking or stripping rules. There are a bunch of expansion packs available if you want to add more variety to the game. And if you think you might not want to play with NSFW cards 100% of the time, there’s a NSFW expansion you could buy alongside the original base game. But no matter how you mix and match the game’s three versions (the base game, the NSFW base game, and the travel base game) and its five expansion packs (Dragons, Legends, Adventures, Rainbow Apocalypse, and NSFW), you’re sure to love it; these editions and expansions have a combined Amazon rating of 4.7 stars, from more than 17,000 Amazon reviews.

One fan wrote: “This game did not disappoint. I played with my husband once without drinking game rules and twice afterward with the drinking tiles. Both ways were super fun and the names of the unicorns are hilarious. We thoroughly enjoyed our time playing this game and we highly recommend this game for friends and couples.”

  • 4+ players, ages 17+

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