We love to play board games around here. Just about anytime we have friends over, it’s pretty much guaranteed that we’ll be pulling a game or two out after dinner! We always have friends that are surprised by the types of games we have, because they’re a little more unique than your typical Monopoly or Taboo! So, today, I’m sharing a few of our favorite games to play with friends.
We’ve had lots of friends who were originally resistant to playing board games with us, but by the end of the night they’re usually asking when we can do it again! It’s taken us some time to gather a good collection of games that work well with a crowd, but we’ve got a lot of favorites now! Here are a few we love to pull out again and again.
Board Games to Play With Friends
- LCR Wild (Unlimited players) – This is a really simple dice game perfect for a crowd. Simply roll the three dice and pass your chips to the right, left, or center of the play area depending on where you land. When you’re out of chips, you’re eliminated! It gets a lot more exciting if you have everyone bring three $1 bills to play with instead of the chips – last player standing keeps the entire pot!
- Spyfall (Up to 8 players) – This game is perfect for a party. Everyone at the table has a card that they have to keep secret. Most of them have a location on them (the same location for every card) and one of them says “Spy”. Everyone asks one another questions, and the person who is the spy is trying to figure out where they’re at. At the same time, everyone else is trying to figure out who the imposter is! It’s silly and a ton of fun. We always end up in fits of laughter when we play this one. Best for a group who doesn’t mind being put on the spot.
- Codenames (Technically up to 8 players, but can be played with as many as you want) – This game is played in teams. So, the game recommends up to 8 but we’ve played with way more! The set up is a bit like the old computer game, Minesweeper. On the grid, each time has specific words assigned to them that only the clue giver knows. The clue-giver on each team tries to get everyone else to guess the words assigned to that team. The catch? They can only give a one-word clue. We almost always play multiple rounds of this one!
- Just One (Up to 7 players) – We love this game so much we bought a second copy for up to 14 players! It’s incredibly simple – everyone works together to get each other to guess words on a card. The only catch is, the clues can only be one word, and only one person can give each clue. So, if two people write the same clue they both have to erase it! People always want to play this game multiple times, and it’s never not been a huge hit for us.
- Ultimate Werewolf (Up to 30 players) – I used to play this game with a plain ol’ deck of cards at every slumber party I went to as a kid. It is so much fun and it’s one of those games that just gets better the more people you have. This one is best played with a group who isn’t afraid to get a little silly! There’s also a shorter version (that’s maybe even more popular) called One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
- Telestrations (Up to 8 players, up to 12 if you buy the Party version) – This game is a perfect mash-up of Pictionary and Telephone. And, it’s probably my personal favorite party game! Each person starts with a prompt and has to draw a picture. They pass it to the next person, who writes down what they think it is. Then they pass it to the next person, who has to draw what the previous person wrote down…etc, etc. It’s pretty fun and it’s great for when your group includes kids!
- The Resistance (Up to 10 players) – This is another “secret identity” game. One team is playing a group of resistance fighters and the other group is playing the government trying to shut them down. The resistance has to infiltrate the government by succeeding at a series of missions without being found out by the other team. It always takes people a round or two to catch onto, but we almost always have friends requesting to play this again immediately after we finish!
- Secret Hitler (Up to 10 players) – Everyone is always a little skeptical of the theme of this game, set in 1930’s Germany with a goal of taking down Hitler’s fascists, but it’s honestly a total blast. It helps that the illustrations are absolutely beautiful, too!
- Wavelength (Up to 12 players) – This team party game is all about predicting what your teammates think. One person on the team is trying to get you to guess where a hidden target is on the game board. They do it by giving you a clue and having you guess where on the spectrum between two things that is. For example, it might be a spectrum of “Hot” to “Cold” and they give the clue “Coffee”. The categories change every time (things like Overrated/Underrated and Wet/Dry), and it’s always a really great time.
- Pantone (Up to 20 players) – In this team game, you’re trying to get your teammates to guess clues by using Pantone color swatches! It sounds almost impossible when you first start, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how each (and fun) it is!
- Hues & Cues (Up to 10 players) – Try to get the group to guess a very specific color swatch on a board full of tiny color swatches. You’ll give a clue for the color and they have to try and place their markers on the exact hue. It’s harder than you might think!
- Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (Up to 8 players) – This fast-thinking card game is like the classic game of War but with a twist. As you flip cards, you take turns saying the name of the game (the first players says “Taco”, the next player says “Cat”, and so on). If the card you flip matches the word you say, you try to slap the stack to take the cards! Jackson got this game for Christmas, but I think it’s the perfect adults-only party game too!
A Few Other Ideas
- Set out a few puzzles for guests who aren’t into the games.
- If all else fails, the classic board games like Uno, Yahtzee, and Clue are always a blast!
- Go really old school and play Spoons!
- If you have any gaming consoles those are always a fun surprise for adults at a houseparty! A good multiplayer game will get everyone invested. We love to bust out the Nintendo Switch for a round of Mario Kart. You’ll be surprised at how competitive your friends get!
- For a big group, we love playing Heads Up. It’s similar to Charades or the classic Taboo, but played on your phone. You can find it in the app store and it works on iOS or Android! It always leaves us in fits of giggles.
- Another great online game is Jackbox Party Packs! It can be played on most video game consoles and can be played with a big group. It has a variety of games, but the basic mechanics are the same for most of them – everyone has a prompt (sometimes to draw a picture, sometimes to answer a question, fill in the blanks, etc.) and then once everyone has answered all of the prompts, they’ll reveal them and everyone votes on their favorite.
- For a small group, we love escape room style games. This brand is great, and we had a ton of fun with it!
- Don’t let distance stop you! We’ve done video chats and zoom calls with friends to play Codenames or other similar games via our laptop. This was also great for us during the pandemic.
- Another similar idea? Many of your favorite games have mobile versions! You can play online with friends at your own pace.
These games all make very frequent appearances at our dining room table! We’ve tried our fair share of party games, but these are the ones we keep going back to over and over.
What kinds of games do you like to play with a big group?