I play board games one or two times a week. I think that they are a fantastic way to engage with a group of friends or family. The best board games can ignite a healthy competitive spirit, or exercise team work. The best board games can be silly fun, or intensely strategic.

So, if you are looking for a cheap way to have a fun and engaging evening with friends or family, I hope you’ll find my list of the best board games helpful.

Ticket to Ride

Why it’s one of the best board games

Ticket to Ride is the epitomy of simple rules that somehow manage to provide a depth of strategy and tactics that can bring out the gamer in anyone. This one has universal appeal.

My wife is ga-ga for Ticket to Ride, and simply refers to it as “trains”, as in “let’s play Trains!”. If you think you like board games, there is simply no reason not to own this one.

  • Accessible rules
  • Lots of small decisions
  • Can be played friendly, or cutthroat

Where to get it

Ticket to Ride on Amazon


Why it’s one of the best board games

Dominion is another game with relatively simple rules, but what makes it special is the almost infinite variety packed into the box. The game includes 25 types of cards, and any given game uses 10 of them. Throughout the game each player builds up their own personal deck to play with. This one also has universal appeal.

  • Innovative “Deck Building” Mechanism
  • Tons of variety and replayability
  • Fascinating card interactions

Where to get it

Dominion on Amazon


Why it’s one of the best board games

In Pandemic, players work together to save humanity from global outbreaks. Who would have thought that team work could be so fun! Pandemic is awesome for any situation, but it is a god-send for families with kids who are prone to arguing or whining in competitive games when things don’t go their way.

  • Super awesome theme
  • Teamwork, rather than competition
  • Fun, puzzly challenge

Where to get it

Pandemic on Amazon

The Resistance

Why it’s one of the best board games

The Resistance is NOT for the faint of heart. Believe it or not, this board game will have your heart pounding throughout it’s 30 minute playing time. In my experience, almost every play of this is followed by the phrase “lets go again!”

Most players are loyal members of the resistance, but a few are spies for the corrupt goverment. The spies know each other’s identities, but everyone else is in the dark. The game is about deduction and deceipt… and it is a blast!

  • Panic-inducing suspenseful gameplay
  • A shouting match has never been so fun!

Where to get it

The Resistance on Amazon

7 Wonders

Why it’s one of the best board games

7 Wonders let’s you play a great game, with lots of players (up to 7), and a short playing time. Because everyone chooses their action simultaneously, You can add players without adding length.

  • Scales well between 3 and 7 players
  • Lots of ways to win

Where to get it

7 Wonders on Amazon

Stone Age

Why it’s one of the best board games

In Stone Age, players build up a tribe of workers and deploy them to gather resources, and develop culture. The best part is that it lets you experience the thrill and luck of the dice, without being a slave to their unlucky whims.

  • Mitigated luck
  • A smelly leather cup

Where to get it

Stone Age on Amazon

Space Alert

Why it’s one of the best board games

WARNING This one isn’t for everyone WARNING It’s fairly complex, and takes several plays just to learn the basic rules. On the other hand, the time investment is worth it if you like science fiction and team work.

Space Alert is a real-time, cooperative game. It doesn’t have turns. Instead a soundtrack provides a timer mechanism and announces the arrival of enemies. I can’t really describe how crazy this game can get.

  • Unique real-time play
  • Chaotic gameplay
  • Awesome teamwork

Where to get it

Space Alert on Amazon

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28 April 2013