The 8 Best Simple Board Games

Board games are a great way to pass a rainy afternoon or even a raucous night drinking with friends. But sometimes overly complicated games can slow down the fun. That's why the best simple board games are a reliable crowd-pleaser.

But what makes a game not just simple but fun, too? And how do you know it meets that criteria before playing? Obviously, this is largely subjective, but reading reviews can be a great tool to get the gist of what a game is like.

When doing my research, I scoured Amazon carefully, sifting through dozens of games and reading hundreds of reviews. For the final selections, I looked for options that met the following criteria:

  1. Fun: A large majority of reviewers said they had a great time playing them. (Special consideration for phrases such as "hilarious and intoxicating" or "rolling with laughter.")
  2. Simple: Generally speaking, customers agreed they were easy to learn and didn't require lots of time reading instructions.
  3. Fast: They could be played in a reasonable amount of time (i.e. you don't have to commit to a six-hour Friday night).
  4. Engaging: They provided some degree of challenge. (Super complicated games are no fun but neither are the ones that are too easy).

To accommodate a wide variety of ages and interests, I included a combination of classics and modern inventions, keeping in mind all occasions from wild drinking parties to mellow family gatherings. Check out my list below of the best simple board games.