Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Exploding Kittens at Amazon
"Get strategic about sabotaging other players and stacking your hand."
Best Board Game: Catan at Amazon
"This game promises unlimited rounds of fun and competitive play."
Best Drawing Game: USAopoly Telestrations 8 Player at Amazon
"Perfect for kids, and short rounds allow you to play several times in one sitting."
Best Portable: Spot It at Amazon
"This compact matching game is perfect to store in your bag."
Best Dice Game: LCR Wild Dice Game at Amazon
"A simple, yet amazingly fun game that can be played by anyone three and up."
Best Budget: Hasbro Connect 4 Game at Amazon
"This game’s affordable price and accessibility for all ages makes it a top pick."
Best Guessing Game: HedBanz Game at Walmart
"Helps children develop deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills."
01 of 07
Best Overall: Exploding Kittens
Speciality card games have become increasingly popular in recent years, and there’s a new super-fun card game your family simply has to try: Exploding Kittens. This silly game is like nothing you’ve ever played before, and it actually requires quite a bit of strategy! Exploding Kittens comes at a great price, and you can play the game with two to five players ages seven and up.
Exploding Kittens includes 56 cards, illustrated with things like exploding cats, wizard goats, pig-a-corns, and more. During the game, each player takes turn drawing a card from the deck, hoping not to pick the exploding kitten card, which means you’re out of the game. However, there are several ways to defuse the exploding feline or otherwise avoid it, depending on what cards you have in your hand. While there’s a lot of luck involved in Exploding Kittens, you can also get strategic about sabotaging other players and stacking your hand to reduce your risk of exploding—the more you play, the better you’ll get!
Both kids and adults will love playing this “kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette.” Exploding Kittens’ unique concept, great price and laugh-inducing gameplay make it one of the best family games to buy right now.
"The game’s creators recommend ages 7 and up, but we think that depends a lot on the 7 year old. Age, really, is less relevant than temperament. There’s not a lot of reading, and the concept is simple to understand, but there’s strategy required to make the game fun and not just random, and that requires patience and concentration. Some younger kids might find that kind of a tall order."—Danielle Centoni, Product Tester
02 of 07
Best Board Game: Catan
No family game collection is complete without the Catan board game. Catan is designed for three to four players, and promises unlimited rounds of fun, competitive play for adults and kids eight and up.
Each game of Catan usually lasts around an hour. The objective is to collect resources, such as ore and lumber, and use them to conquer the island of Catan, racking up points for each city and settlement you build. Along the way, you can trade with other players, sabotage their settlements and earn extra points for things like building the longest road.
Because the Catan board is made up of 19 randomly-placed hexagonal region pieces, no two games will ever be the same. You and your family will face a new challenge every time you bring out this competitive board game, which has won several awards, including “Game of the Year.”
"The strategic thinking needed to decide when and what to buy is somewhat sophisticated, giving more mature players a leg up on younger ones."—Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester
03 of 07
Best Drawing Game: USAopoly Telestrations 8 Player
You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy Telestrations. This family game is a visual version of the “Telephone Game,” and it’s perfect for groups of four and up.
Telestrations is sure to keep your family laughing as you try to interpret each secret word. There are more than 1,700 words included in the game, as well as eight erasable sketch books, complete with markers and cleanup cloths.
Here’s how Telestrations works: Each player gets a secret word and has 60 seconds to draw a picture of it. You pass the sketch books to the player next to you, then everyone writes down a guess of what the picture is. You pass the books again, then you draw the previous person’s guess. This continues until the books are back with their original owners. Just like in “Telephone,” the original word gets twisted and confused, and the end results are simply hilarious!
This game is best played with a larger group of people—the more guessing that takes place, the funnier the results will be! It’s perfect for kids, and the relatively short rounds mean you can play several times in one sitting.
"Telestrations is very simple to understand, so even when playing with the uninitiated it only takes a minute or two to explain it and start playing. Also, the rounds go by fast, and since there’s no scoring, you can play for as long as you want, and players can opt in or out of play whenever a round is over. This is great when you’re playing with restless kids or just trying to squeeze in a little fun before dinner is ready."—Danielle Centoni, Product Tester
04 of 07
Best Portable: Spot It
If you need a compact game to bring to the park or into the backyard, Spot It will be a lifesaver. This compact matching game is the perfect size to store in your purse and bring out when your family needs a distraction.
Spot It comes with 55 cards in a travel-size tin, and it’s recommended for kids seven and up. Each card has a random array of symbols on it—shapes like moons, bugs, animals and simple words—and any two cards will only have one common symbol between them.
There are several different ways to play with Spot It cards, including the Tower game, where each player has one card in front of them and the rest of the deck is in the middle. The top card on the deck is flipped over, and it’s a race to see who can spot the matching symbol between their card and the deck card. Whoever figures it out first claims the deck card, and when the deck is gone, the person with the most cards wins. Spot It’s versatility and compact size make it the perfect on-the-go game for families.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Dice Game: LCR Wild Dice Game
This wild family game is full of fast-paced action. The LCR Wild Dice Game is a simple, yet amazingly fun game that can be played by anyone three and up, and it will keep your whole family entertained for hours.
You need three or more players for a game of LCR Wild, also known as “Left, Right, Center.” Each participant takes turns rolling the special dice, which have L, C, R, and “Wild” on their sides. If you roll an L, you have to pass a chip to the player your left, and if you roll an R, give a chip to the player on your right. If you get a C, you put a chip into the center pot, and if you roll “Wild,” you can take a chip from another player.
Gameplay is that simple, and each round usually lasts about 15 minutes. The last player with chips is the winner and gets to collect the pot for the next round. This fast-paced game is sure to bring out your family’s competitive side, and you might find yourself playing several rounds per day!
06 of 07
Best Budget: Hasbro Connect 4 Game
Hasbro Connect 4 offers your family a whole lot of fun at an unbeatable price. This classic family game is beloved by both young children and adults, and it comes with several new ways to play, keeping things fresh for your family.
Connect 4 is the same fun game you used to play as a child. With this set, you’ll get the slider bar and its legs, as well as 21 red discs and 21 yellow discs. For the classic version of this game, two players take turns dropping their discs into the slider bar, trying to get four in a row. There’s a little bit of strategy involved as you try to block your opponent, but the concept is simple enough for younger children to understand. At the end of a round, simply release the bottom of the slider bar and the discs will tumble out.
To keep things interesting, this version of Connect 4 comes with several new games. For instance, you can play “Connect 4 Frenzy,” where both players use one hand to drop discs at the same time, trying to get four in a row as fast as they can. This game’s affordable price, versatility and accessibility for all ages makes it a top pick among modern family games.
07 of 07
Best Guessing Game: HedBanz Game
The Hedbanz Game is a fun interactive guessing game that’s perfect for children six and up—and it’s pretty entertaining for adults, too!
This game comes with 74 cards, 24 chips, six headbands and a timer. The premise of the Hedbanz Game is simple: Each player gets three chips and a card that has an animal, food or common object on it, but you can’t look at your card! Instead, you wear your card on your headband for other players to see, and on every turn, you get 60 seconds to ask yes-or-no questions about your card, trying to guess what it is. If you guess correctly in 60 seconds, you discard one of your chips. If you don’t guess it, you pick up a chip. The first person to get rid of all their chips is the winner!
Not only is Hedbanz a lot of fun for all ages, it also helps children develop deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills. They’ll never even know they’re learning!