- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
My Top 10 List of Best Family Games
We Believe our List Contains the 10 Best Family Games
We play family games and define a great game as one which involves strategy, challenge and the possibility for anyone to win, young or old. Our top 10 best family games list has taken years of game playing to determine.
We love variety, so our favorite family games include board games, card games, dominoes, dice games, and educational games, as we believe that the best family games cross these categories. While we are always happy to try new games, we have been playing most our favorites for years.
Age appropriateness is part in our selections, and this list is aimed towards families with tweens and teens. I hope we have included your top picks, if not there is a spot at the end of the list to add your favorites.
Families That Play Together - Stay Together!
#1 Labyrinth by Ravensburger - Best of the Best Family Games
Labyrinth is the best strategy game we have ever played! It is fun, fast paced, and visual so everyone can play. The game involves altering and following a maze to reach designated treasures. The directions offer two versions for play, the normal game and an alternative for younger kids or when a quicker game.
We are a fan of Ravensburger from their high quality jigsaw puzzles, and the Labyrinth Game is equally durable. We have owned ours for years, played it often and it still is in great shape. It has won Parenting Magazine's "Parents Choice Gold Seal Award."
Quiddler is our favorite family card game.
Once we started playing Quiddler, it was difficult to decide the number one spot on this list. What I love most about this game is that anyone who can read basic words can win. Using a given number of letters there are points for the longest words, as well as an equal number of points for the most words.
Don't miss my detailed review of Quiddler.
Quiddler is a great family card game which the entire family can enjoy (needs only basic reading skills). You make words from the letters in your hands.
#3 Rummikub - A Challenging Family Game of Numbers
Rummikub (same game as Rummy-o) is fun, challenging, ever changing and always interesting. The Kids don't see how it actually helps with math and logical thinking skills, but isn't that the mark of a great game.
Once we discovered Rummikub, it quickly moved on to our family games favorites list. It is challenging and fun for both kids and adults. I even play it once per week with a group of ladies, so if this list were just my favorite games (rather than those of the entire family, this would top the list.)
The game is played with numbered tiles, each in one of four colors. The object is to combine tiles into runs (consecutive numbers - same color) or sets (all same number) until you have no tiles remaining. The twist is that the game allows you to rearrange and reuse any tiles which have been played as long all tiles in play end up in a run or set at the end of your turn.
Finally, game pieces we won't fight over!
Qwirkle is another game that sounds really simple, but the more you play, the more you discover that there is quite a bit of strategy that can be employed. Or, it can just be an evening of fun if you don't feel like doing too much thinking. Colorful and fun, it's a family winner.
Qwirkle is an award winning strategy game and Mindware's Best-Selling Game of All Time. Qwirkle simplified is matching tiles and winning points. It is one of those special games that is fun for everyone in the family (recommended for ages 6 and up). Qwirkle is a Parent's Choice Gold Award winner and was named Mensa Best Mind Game Award Winner, Major Fun Award Winner and was Games Magazine Award: Best Family Game Runner-up.
We Find Games Which Are Fun for the Whole Family
#5 SET Card Game
Set is a deceptively challenging family card game, that children seem to pick up on just a little quicker than adults. Especially children who are visual learners. It's a game about finding matching patterns or "Sets".
The cards contain different combination of four criteria: color (red, green or purple), symbol (diamond, squiggle or oval), shading (solid, striped or open), and number (1, 2 or 3). A "set" is any three cards with all features either the same or different. Directions have lots of example so it is quite easy to understand. It is recommended for age 6+, but our girls were able to play it even earlier. The best part, it if fun adults too.
Fun Times Ahead!
#6 Ticket To Ride - A Fun Adventure Train Game
It's different (not a traditional board game, but neither are most of the ones on my list), fun for the family, and considered to be one of the most popular specialty games of all time. This is the first year it has made it on my list, and I predict a top three placement by next year.
Ticket to Ride is a really fun train adventure game, that is a lot more challenging than it sounds. To play we each collect cards which allow us to claim and build North American railway routes - the longer the better. And we do "build" the routes as the game comes complete with 240 Colored Train Cars, 110 Train Car cards and 30 Destination Tickets.
You don't have to have read the Jules Verne novel, "Around the World in 80 Days" to enjoy this challenge. Although the premise of this game is based in 1900, 28 years after Phileas Fogg accepted the around the world challenge. In Ticket to Ride It's time for a new challenge - crossing North America in just seven days.
#7 Pentago - A Wonderful Stragegy Game for Two Players
Pentago is one of my favorite strategy games. In it's simplest form, players try to make a row of five marbles. Like most games, it's not as easy as it sounds. After you place each marble, you must rotate one of the board quarters. It didn't earn a higher spot on this "family list" only because it is a two player game. There is now a family version too, but we haven't tried it yet
Wondering Why Chess Didn't Make the List?
#8 Dominoes - Great Family Game and Also a Wonderful Tool for Learning Math
Dominoes offer so many games. Our favorite is a game of skill and strategy called Mexican Train. The game is played by building "trains" by matching end numbers out from a central point. We play with double 12 dominoes and a full game will take about 3 hours.
When you're not playing dominoes, you can always build a domino chain. Here is someone taking this concept to the extreme. It is really cool, and worth taking 2 minutes to watch.
#9, 10: Hedbanz and Spot It
Sadly, my girls have outgrown both of these fun and exciting game. However, each deserves a spot on my list as they are great family games.
This really fun game lives up to all the hype. As a family, we laugh when we play this fast-paced game of questions. Each player draws a card and places it on their headband, so everyone else can see it, except the wearer. Players ask questions to try and deduce which animal, food or other common object is on their head. Kid friendly and loads of fun.
This is another fast-paced, fun family game, great with primary school age children. Our girls have out grown it, but I couldn't make a like about our favorite family games with out including it. Spot It is played by drawing cards and being the quickest to discover the matching symbols.
More Family Fun and Unusual Games
- Bubble Soccer in Auckland - Funniest Thing I Have Seen in Weeks.
I had to ask when Sarah came home with a huge smile, and rambling on about trying bubble soccer. While the game might be fun, the photo are hilarious.
- Jugger - It Looks Lika A Medieval Rugby Game (photos from Spain)
Today we watched what looks a medieval rugby game. It's called Jugger. It involves a ball in a chain, poles to hit people with and a ball. Check out the photos
© 2009 Rhonda Albom