Our Top Picks
Best Overall: PlayMonster 5 Second Rule at Amazon
"The premise may seem simple, but you’ll be surprised at how tricky it is to name three items in just five seconds!"
Best for Adults: Cards Against Humanity at Amazon
"This inappropriate card game quickly became a cult classic in households across the country thanks to its raunchy, laugh-inducing gameplay."
Best for the Whole Family: Spin Master Games Head’s Up at Amazon
"Your teammates will give you clues and you have to guess what the card on your head says."
Best Budget: University Games Smart Ass at Amazon
"The rowdy gameplay will get pretty competitive as everyone vies to be the 'ultimate Smart Ass.'"
Best for Kids: Ideal Electronic Hot Potato at Amazon
"This modern version of Hot Potato can be played with two to six people, and it's perfect for anyone over the age of 4."
Best for Teens: Lightning Reaction Reloaded at Amazon
"This intense party game is a hit with teens, as it provides a hair-raising zap to whoever loses each round."
Best for Outside: Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers at Amazon
"The tower starts off at 2.5 feet tall, but it will quickly grow as you pull blocks out and place them back on the top."
Best Video Game: Telltale Games The Jackbox Party Pack at Amazon
"Jackbox Party Pack comes with five unique games that can accommodate anywhere from 1 to 100 players."
01 of 08
Best Overall: PlayMonster 5 Second Rule
For an incredibly fun, affordable game that's perfect for groups of all sizes and most ages, you need 5 Second Rule. It will keep everyone at your party laughing as they try to beat the timer to score points. The premise may seem simple, but you’ll be surprised at how tricky it is to name three items in just five seconds!
You can play 5 Second Rule with three or more people, and it’s a whole lot of fun with large groups. It's recommended for ages 10 and up, but many reviewers say younger children can pick up the simple gameplay as well.
To play, you pick a card and read the topic. Then, start the timer, and you have five seconds to name three things that match the topic on the card—it could be pasta dishes, book series, football teams, or something completely unexpected. The fun twisted timer makes a silly sound as the marble races down—definitely more interesting than a standard sand timer!
This party game has more than a thousand positive reviews—and for good reason! People say it's quick to learn, and it can be family-friendly or raunchy, depending on who you're playing with. Plus, it's great for parties because people can drop out or join in at any time without messing up gameplay.
02 of 08
Best for Adults: Cards Against Humanity
If you’re hosting an adults-only party, there’s no better game to pull out than Cards Against Humanity. This inappropriate card game quickly became a cult classic in households across the country thanks to its raunchy, laugh-inducing gameplay.
You can play Cards Against Humanity with four or more people, so it’s great for large groups. The recommended age range is 17 and up, and most reviewers agree that you don’t want kids getting into (or overhearing) this risque game.
It’s incredibly easy to pick up how to play Cards Against Humanity: In each round, one player reads a question from one of the black cards, and the other players have to anonymously put down the funniest white card in their hand. The dealer picks their favorite answer, often resulting in inappropriate, awkward, and hilarious responses. The person who put down that card gets a point.
Gameplay might sound simple, but don't underestimate how fun this game is. Cards Against Humanity boasts more than 30,000 enthusiastic ratings on Amazon, and people can’t say enough about how amazing it is for adult parties.
03 of 08
Best for the Whole Family: Spin Master Games Head’s Up
If you’re a fan of the "Ellen Degeneres Show," you've definitely seen her play Head’s Up with guests. Now, you can entertain the whole family with the same hilarious activity, entertaining players both young and old with the Head’s Up Party Game.
This version can be played with two to six people, and it's recommended for anyone ages 8 and up. What's great is that it's just as entertaining for kids as it is for adults!
To play, split up into teams. One person puts on the headband and slips several cards into it—there are four categories of cards, including Superstars, Sound It Out, Blockbusters, and Act It Out. Your teammates will give you clues and you have to guess what the card on your head says. You’ll earn chips for each correct answer you get.
Reviewers say this is an awesome party game and is entertaining for the whole family. The only complaint they have is that there are only 200 cards. Once you've played a few times, you might have a good idea of which cards are likely to come up.
04 of 08
Best Budget: University Games Smart Ass
You don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get a great party game. Smart Ass is a highly-rated, quick-moving board game that's great for small groups. The rowdy gameplay will get pretty competitive as everyone vies to be the “ultimate Smart Ass.” Oh, and did we mention it's incredibly affordable?
To play Smart Ass, you need two to six people, and it's best for ages 12 and up. Because of the limited number of players, this may not be the best party game if you're anticipating a large crowd.
The object of the game is simple: Be the first person to answer Who, What, and Where Am I questions, advancing around the board when you get them right. Smart Ass can get pretty boisterous because you don't have to wait your turn to yell out the answer. This adds an instant layer of competitiveness as everyone tries to yell over each other.
Reviewers write that Smart Ass is a hilarious, fast-paced, and challenging game. It’s quick to learn, and many say that it's fun when you have more people. However, it’s not necessarily appropriate or accessible for younger children.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best for Kids: Ideal Electronic Hot Potato
Planning a birthday party or sleepover for your kids? Keep them entertained for hours with the Hot Potato Electronic Musical Passing Game.
This modern version of Hot Potato can be played with two to six people, and it's perfect for anyone over the age of 4. All you need is the electronic plush potato and the included “chip cards” for a wildly frantic good time.
Squeeze the potato to start the game, and then pass the musical spud to the next player. Toss it across the room or lob it to someone else—the only rule is that you don't want to be holding the potato when the music stops. If you are, you have to pick up a chip card. Once you collect three chip cards, you're out. The last person standing is the winner!
According to reviewers, this electronic Hot Potato is perfect for toddlers and school-age children. Many note that it’s a soft plush, so kids won't accidentally get hurt if the potato goes flying. Plus, several say the game has held up for a few years, making it a worthwhile investment.
06 of 08
Best for Teens: Lightning Reaction Reloaded
Your teenagers will have a shockingly good time at their next party with the Lightning Reaction Reloaded Shocking Game. This intense party game is a hit with teens, as it provides a hair-raising zap to whoever loses each round.
You can play Lightning Reaction Reloaded with up to four people. It’s designed for teenagers 14 years and older.
Gameplay is simple: Each person simply grabs one of the four handles, then someone hits the button in the center. A red light will blink as suspenseful music plays, and when the light turns green, everyone races to hit their trigger button. The last person to react will receive an electric shock via their handle. There are four shock levels, starting at a tickle and working all the way up to a hair-raising zap.
Reviewers write that this shocking game is incredibly suspenseful, and it's perfect for teenagers, who will get endless entertainment out of zapping their friends. Overall, it's a great party game when you have a house full of teens you need to keep occupied.
07 of 08
Best for Outside: Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers
Take the party outside this summer with a game like Giant Tumbling Timbers from Yard Games. While on the more expensive side, reviewers say this outdoor party game is incredibly high-quality and will become a staple at your warm-weather gatherings.
Giant Tumbling Timbers can be played with as many or as few people as you have. It's also appropriate for all ages, making it a versatile outdoor party activity.
The game is essentially a super-sized version of Jenga. To play, you simply stack the 56 oversized blocks and take turns pulling them out, trying not to send the whole tower tumbling. The tower starts off at 2.5 feet tall, but it will quickly grow as you pull blocks out and place them back on the top.
According to reviewers, this outdoor game is fun for all ages. Many say they break it out at summer barbecues and it’s always a hit with both kids and adults. As an added bonus, it comes with a carrying case where you can store the blocks when they’re not in use.
08 of 08
Best Video Game: Telltale Games The Jackbox Party Pack
For a treasure trove of party games that you can play on your gaming console, you need the Jackbox Party Pack. It is hailed as the “ultimate collection of party games.” This particular version is for Xbox 360, but you can also purchase the game for other popular consoles.
Jackbox Party Pack comes with five unique games that can accommodate anywhere from 1 to 100 players. That's right—up to 100 people can play at once! What's cool about this video game is that you don't need controllers for every person. Instead, everyone logs into the game using the web browser on their smartphone.
Among the included games are Fibbage XL, where you try to outsmart other players with strategic lies, and Drawful, where you draw pictures right on your phone.
According to the glowing reviews, the Jackbox Party Pack games are perfect for large groups, as they let everyone get involved. Many people also say that they've been playing the games for years and they never get old!