These Board Games Are So Fun They've Literally Won Awards

Group of creative friends sitting at wooden table. People having fun while playing board game.

Game night is always fun, but choosing a good board game is essential. Thankfully, there are tons on the market to choose from. These award-winning board games on Amazon will bring game night to the next level. Some are strategic and take hours to play, while others are quick and carefree.

There’s a little something for everybody in here. Looking for educational game? Make sure to check out Election Night, which was the winner of a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. And while playing, everyone is challenged to “learn” their way to the White House by completing math equations, historical facts, and more. But if you’re looking for something a little more strategic, check out Carcassonne. Not only did it win the coveted Spiel des Jahres award, but with 95% positive four- and five-star review feedback, it’s clearly a hit with Amazon shoppers as well. And don’t worry if you aren’t into traditional board games — I’ve made sure to include a few wildcard options like Telestrations and Reverse Charades.

Whether you love thinking strategically or learning a few facts along the way, there’s definitely a cool board game that can fill your afternoons with fun. And because each game on this list has been given an award, they are all well-vetted.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


Election Night: Learn Your Way To The White House

Election Night! is perfect for family game night and homeschooling alike. Players complete challenging math equations, learn U.S. geography, and more as they work their way towards the White House. And if you struggle with math, it's not a problem — the patent-pending PlaySmart Dice system is designed to make it easy to learn harder math problems. The best part? You can choose from multiple difficulty levels depending on the players' skillsets.

What fans write: "As a fifth grade teacher, I know all too well how not knowing multiplication facts impacts learning math concepts! Election Night lets kids practice these facts while competing to win electoral college votes. Concepts my students are working on while playing this game include addition facts, multiplication facts, skip counting, number combinations, geography, state abbreviations, and the basics of the electoral college process!"


Ingenious: The Ultimate Family Strategy Game

You don't have to sacrifice hours of your life when playing Ingenious, as the rounds move quickly (each one only takes about 45 minutes). Players take turns putting tiles on the game board, and they earn points depending on how many of the colored symbols that radiate outwards in straight lines match. While up to four people can play together, you also have the option of playing by yourself using the included solitaire mode rules.

What fans write: "I like to play games but I'm not a great strategist and I don't have the desire, or attention span, for a 4 hour game. This game was easy to learn, fairly quick (depending who you are playing with), and requires a little bit of strategy (but not a game where you have to plan 10 moves ahead). I have a family of game nerds and strategists and I definitely am not. But this game worked for all of us."


Kingdomino: A Strategic Family Board Game

Similar to the classic game dominoes, but in Kingdomino, players use their tiles to build an entire city. A little strategy is involved, but it's suitable for people who are at 8 years and older. The game ends once all players have completed their five-by-five grid, and points are awarded depending on the number of tiles that are connected.

What fans write: "One of the few games that was a hit with both the 'hardcore' game group and at home with the family. You never once feel like the game is 'playing you'. For as few mechanics as there are, it still feels like you have a vested interest in every decision. This is rare in a simple game and speaks volumes for why it won the Spiels (International game of the year) this year."


Spy Alley: A Game Of Hidden Identities

Designed for up to six players, Spy Alley only takes a few minutes to learn — but it's challenging enough that it can take years to fully master, no wonder it's a Mensa pick. Players act as spies for their given country, working to unmask their opponents and reveal their secret identities through deductive reasoning. It only takes about 45 minutes to complete one round.

What fans write: "I was looking for a strategic board game for my 14 year old son and came across this game. I had never heard of it before and gave it a try. He loved it. We have four kids ranging from 7-14 and everyone has been able to play this game together. The rules and premise are easy enough for the 7 year old to follow and the game is challenging and entertaining enough to keep everyone's interest, plus it is different every time."


Trekking: A Board Game Where Players Explore The National Parks

Created by parents, Trekking is made for practically anybody you can think of — outdoor adventurers, teachers, board game enthusiasts, the list goes on. The board can be set up in multiple ways so that no two games are alike, and most reviewers were able to get the hang of the rules in less than an hour. Each game lasts about 60 minutes but can take as little as 30 (depending on how familiar players are with the rules).

What fans write: "We helped each other for awhile, but once we understood the rules, it got crazy with competition and booting each other back to start. So much fun! It took about 30 minutes for all generations to catch on. My in-laws are in their 80’s and have been to most of the parks. Everyone enjoyed hearing about their memories."


Latice Hawai'i: A Board Game That's Kind Of Like Chess

The goal of Latice Hawai'i is simple: Play your tiles as quickly as possible in order to get the edge over your opponents while making sure to save resources for future turns. (One reviewer noted that there's a lot of strategy involved, writing that it's "easy to learn but you quickly realize it’s a bit like chess and you need to plan your moves.") If you're playing with a variety of ages, this ensures that everybody gets to play throughout the entire game.

What fans write: "Great game for the whole family. Like color dominoes, matches can be made by either color or design. The twist that introduces strategy is being able to earn points that allow extra turns and tile movement. Easy to learn, keeps interest until the end."


Carcassone: The Game With More Than 10 Million Copies Sold

If you've ever wanted to build your own medieval city, now's your chance with Carcassonne. Players lay down tiles to fill the countryside around their cities, and they can strategize in order to block neighboring cities' growth. As the map grows, so do your chances to muddle with everybody else's plans. But be careful, because everyone is adding to the same map. If you don't put down your pieces quickly enough, someone else surely will.

What fans write: "Lots of fun, can be simple or complicated, great for kids and adults alike, fast game play (no waiting for long turns to be completed), easy-to-learn/easy-to-follow rules, bright and beautiful colors, and no game is ever the same! Never gets boring!"


Codenames: A Board Game That Only Takes About 15 Minutes

If you're looking for a game that won't have you glued to your chair for hours on end, make sure to check out Codenames. Only the two spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents, and the rest of the players only know the agents by their codenames. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the table, but the rival spymaster can use your clue to help their own team.

What fans write: "This is a great party game. The concept is you form teams, and the team leader gives out one word clues to help their team guess which words belong to the team. Guessing wrong could give points to the other team, could be benign and simply end the turn, or could be disastrous and end the game. Discussions about which words to choose can be side-splittingly funny, so it's hard to keep a poker face as a team lead."


Gloomhaven: A Role-Playing Game That Takes Up An Entire Afternoon

World building, character development, and hours upon hours of fun — Gloomhaven has it all. Just like other role-playing games, players are given their own special set of skills and backstory while exploring this fantastical world. This will take at least one very long session or be played over the course of multiple sessions. But if you're looking for a quick, easy-to-learn game, you're better off considering some of the other options.

What fans write: "Definitely one of the best (or maybe *the* best) board game I've ever played. It's big, has a pretty steep learning curve and takes a while to really get into and the setup and teardown are definitely quite cumbersome (you'll need some way to organize all the components). However, the payoff is definitely worth it, no other game compares."


Terra Mystica: A Fun Strategy Game That's Easy To Learn

Protect your land in the game of Terra Mystica, where players compete to develop their territory more successfully than their opponents — but there isn't enough space for everybody, so be strategic about it. You can build structures that provide you with workers, money, and power to gain the advantage over other players, and there's very little luck involved in this one.

What fans write: "While this game works great with 3-5 players, my girlfriend and I play this multiple times a week as a two player game. We had played lots of Catan, but this has completely overtaken that for us. The different races make for novel gameplay each time, and learning how to best use each one adds a lot of replay value."


Telestrations: The Cross Between Telephone And Pictionary

Combine the classic schoolyard game of Telephone with Pictionary, and you'll get Telestrations. Players are given a secret word at the beginning of the round, then draw that word in their notepad. They then pass the notepad to the next person, who looks at the picture, and tries to guess the word. Players continue to pass their notepads until they get their original one back, then read out loud all the guesses — and with over 1,700 words to choose from, it's highly unlikely you'll wind up with two of the same game.

What fans write: "You want bonding and laughter, this is it!!! Great family and party game! Everyone had tears running down their faces from laughing. We've got a cabinet full of games, but between this and Catan, we're set for the holidays after dinner."


The World Game: A Card Game That's Teach You Geography

You can make The World Game as hard or as easy as you want. Don't know where a certain city is located? Just answer with what continent it's on. And if you're looking to learn facts while you play, each card has information about flags, capitals, and more on countries all around the world. The best part? The cards also double as flashcards when studying. Who knew learning could be so much fun?

What fans write: "I’m a huge geography nerd and wanted to try this game out to see if it could challenge me, and I absolutely loved it! It’s a great study and learning tool if you really want to refine your geography skill. The game itself is quite fun and I loved that you could play with pretty much anyone regardless of how good they were at geography with the use of game styles that can be altered per person."


Reverse Charades: A Hilarious Twist On A Classic Game

If you love Charades, you'll definitely want to try out Reverse Charades. The rules are basically the same: Players split into two teams — but instead of one player guessing while one acts, one player guesses while the rest of the team acts out the secret word.

What fans write: "Box came wrapped and in good shape, Such A fun belly laughing game to play especially when you have 2 or more teams"