Holidays used to be so fun. You’d hardly sleep, awaiting all your new toys and games. And when it was finally morning, you’d run down the stairs ready to shred some wrapping paper.
And then you got old. Started paying taxes. And all anyone gives you for the holidays are undergarments and practical items you need for your home. But adult holiday presents don’t have to be socks and nonstick frying pans. Bring back toys as presents! Get merry with some games!
Whether you’re trying to spice up your family holiday party, you have a friend that’s a true #gamer or you need to bring something someone will actually want to a gift swap, we’ve rounded up some of the highest-rated and most beloved card and board games for adults. They’re fast-paced, fun to play in a group and best of all, most of them open the door for many inappropriate jokes to made.
While Monopoly and Settlers of Catan are timeless classics, you and your loved ones may already have a copy, especially if you enjoy playing games. Because of this, we intentionally looked for newer games that maybe you haven’t seen before, or newer releases of old games. They make for easy, not-too-expensive presents for friends and family members, though you’ll likely end up buying a set for yourself, too.
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If you’ve memorized all the Cards Against Humanity prompts
When Cards Against Humanity isn't going to cut it, but you're looking for a fun, quick game, it's time to Cheer Up! Tom Schenck, a sales associate, game educator and Dungeon Master at The Philly Game Shop
, says Cheer Up! gives more opportunities to get creative (and inappropriate) with your answers than Cards Again Humanity, and is ideal for larger groups.
"Cheer Up! is a very popular one, I like it more than Cards Against Humanity," Schenck previously told HuffPost
. "The cards that you play [put down for the prompt], are constructed out of three different cards, so it doesn't have the same repetitiveness like Cards Against Humanity can have once you've played it a bunch of times."
If your crew likes doing puzzles
Meet Azul, a tile placement game that's a little like making mini puzzles, only extra competitive. Recreate colorful mosaics with smaller tiles, race each other and see who makes the most accurate pieces. Promising review
:"Fun game recommended by family. Takes a little time to get the strategy to playing this. There's definitely different strategies that you can use, and there's still a bit of luck and unpredictability, making it a great game!" — SMD
If you love inside jokes
The goal of Blank Slate isn't so much getting the best
answer, it's getting an answer that will match another player. You're given prompts, you write the rest of the phrase and you try to make sure you and someone in the group are on the same page. Promising review:
"This game is so much fun. See who thinks like you...enjoy learning about each other while having lots of laughs. I have told lots of people about this great game. The seller got it to me timely and this game is exactly like it is described." — DANE MA
If you’re a trivia-obsessed human
While it's hard to believe that 2010 was over a decade ago, knowing there's a new Trivial Pursuit out likely eases the pain. Test your pop culture knowledge — now including social media trends — and see who is the trivia king of them all. Promising review:
"This is a great update to a great game, still family friendly, still full of excellent questions from before, but updated with questions on smart phones and technology, politics and entertainment, this brings the game back up to speed and enjoyable for younger player who might not remember tv shows from the ‘80s! Great update!" — Stacey Horcher
For big, loud parties and people that love to talk
If you love that Instagram Story filter where you're given a gibberish phrase that you have to say out loud, this is the game for you. It's light and quick and not too
intimate, so it's great for bigger parties or hanging out with new friends you're still getting to know.Promising review:
"So back in the day, our family played the game mad gab all the time. We loved it! When I stumbled acrossed this I couldn't wait to see if we would love it just as much. We got it for Christmas and on new years invited some close friends and family over for game night! We all laughed soooo hard and had such a good night playing it! We loved that it was more of an 'adult' version with some of the cards. I could see where overtime you may be able to memorize some of the answers especially if played frequently. We still love it and will continue to keep this one in our rotation for our 'adult' game nights!" — Denise dunn
For players that love a visual aid
Statistics nerds, rejoice! For a visual card game based on connecting prompts to not-actually-scientific line graphs, Schenck recommends Charty Party. “[This is] one of my favorites,” Schenck said.
If you're obsessed with Wordle
Finally, a way to get everyone off their phones — but still play Wordle. You heard that right: They've made a board game version of everyone's favorite app. Players switch off choosing what the secret word is and then distribute yellow and green chips as the other players guess. Some reviews say you may want to use your own dry erase markers. Promising review:
"The game comes with everything you need - a scoreboard, three game boards, the privacy shields, three dry erase markers and yellow and green tiles to mark your letters just like the online version." — Mary Braxton
If you like Scattergories
In the world of board games, Off Topic is like Scattergories's cool Gen Z little cousin. Roll a die to find your letter, then think of as many answers starting with that letter as you can for your given prompt. Then, debate among your friends to see who wins each round. It's played in little white boards to keep everything speedy. Promising review:
"My friends and I do a weekly game night and we are always looking for fun new group games to try. This one was an absolute hit. It's kind of like the old school Scattergories but you can write more than word down, including entire phrases. We had so much fun laughing at the crazy things each of us came up with for some of the topics. I can't wait to play again (warning, it's not a kid's game. Some of the topics are adult)." — beachlover
For TikTok fiends
Tell Me Without Telling Me brings the joy of the internet to real life. Styled after the TikTok meme
, this game gives you a prompt with a word you're not allowed to say, inviting you to act or talk around it. Reviewers say it's laugh-out-loud funny and totally topical. Promising review:
"The creators did not hold back on this game!! It’s a creative, smart and full of adrenaline once you get started. The packaging is perfect and easy to store everything back into place, the timer makes your adrenaline pump and the NSFW deck… WATCH OUT! The creators went there!! It’s AMAZING! 100 out of 5 stars! The rounds are perfectly timed and the deck keeps things speedy and interesting. This is a must have to bring out to parties and drink along to. You’ll learn new things from your team mates you didn’t think they would know (wink) haha!! Love love love!!" — Jonathan & Jose
For people who aren't into “game-y” games
There's no winner or loser here, just a stack of questions prompting serious, silly and sentimental group conversations. Though you might start by answering the direct question written on each card, the hope is that you'll organically move to other related — and unrelated — topics. Reviewers say it's a great way to get the conversation started, or go deeper, whether in a small group or even on a date night. Promising review:
"Everyone likes a good debate! We played this game for a date night activity, and my husband got into it. It's perfect because you only get ten minutes, so you're forced to keep it moving, and no one can take the answers personally. The questions are excellent; they're current, provocative, and unpredictable." — AnUrbanMa