The Best Play games of forever, for everyone.

These are the best 20 games ever made for any audience. Each of them should be great fun for any group and have all been vetted by our families as well as friends.

If you are looking for some deeper games with a bit more complexity, then check back later in the week as we kick off our countdown of the top 10 best games for the connoisseur.


20. Above and Below

When the fascinating Tales of the Arabian Nights came out, a lot of people thought it would transform games with its rich, hilarious and dynamic storytelling elements. For whatever reason, that never happened. What did happen though, was Above and Below, a brilliant village-building game that involves regular adventures deep down into the mysterious caverns below.

Exploring these depths involves making decisions whenever you encounter some crooked trader, ferocious golem or abandoned city, all through the use of a smart and well-written book of ‘choose your own adventure’ scenarios.

It’s a game just as much about playing as it is about winning, though there are plenty of parts that will satisfy the more strategically-minded too.

Shout out: Tales of Arabian nights, a big story telling game about entering a rhino.

Get it here


19. Catan

Ye olde faithful. It’s the gateway drug to proper gaming for most people, and remains one of the most accessible board games available today. 

While many believe the formula has improved since its release more than 20 years ago, but there’s something to be said for the pure, distilled version of Catan that makes it a timeless classic that people return to over and over again.

Perhaps it’s the abstract pacifism of the game. It’s not about getting the most money or fighting to the death. It’s about building roads, and villages and sheep.

It’s also attracted a huge community and countless expansions and iterations. We documented some of the best homemade boards in one of our articles here.

Get it here


18. Sushi Go

The cutest littlest game about sushi since … OK, we don’t know any other games about sushi.

It’s what’s known as a drafting game, meaning each turn you pick a card and pass the rest on. You’re trying to build up your perfect piles of sushi whilst keeping track of what everyone else is doing.

The winner is the one with the most points, and probably the most pudding!

Shout out: 7 Wonders, its deeper and more strategic sister.

Full recommendation here. Buy it here


17. Snake Oil / Funemployed

Snake oil is like cards against humanity but instead of being risque you get to pitch your made up inventions

Unfortunately the company making it have gone bust and so it’s hard to find for cheap. It’s a great game if you do manage to get hold of it though.

So as an alternative we recommend Funemployed. That game means that instead of your crude and lewd jokes you’ll be interviewing for a job … with just a few personality defects.

Shout out: Cards Against Humanity. Not for everyone’s taste but it’s been a gateway for many of us.

Snake Oil buy it here US. Buy Funemployed


16. Monikers

Monikers

A party game that is simply perfect for generating in-jokes amongst your family and friends

Your first round is simply describing the characters on the cards

In the second you have to do it with just one word.

The third round is when things get really funny with charades. Trust us, it’s much more fun that we’re making it sound.

The twist is you are always using the same deck, creating memes for your group with each game. Describing Rosa Parks might be easy – boring, even – but doing it with just one word is hard. Doing it in mime is harder yet, and trying to convey the meaning of that civil rights activist with just a facial expression? Well that’s just ridiculous.

Buy it here


Come back soon to discover the games that fare even better on our Wintery list.