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My Top 10 List of Best Family Games

Updated on November 23, 2015
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Families that play together, stay together! Travel blogger Rhonda Albom is a fan of family games.

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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.

Don't miss my detailed review of Ravensburger's Labyrinth.

Labyrinth is a great game!
Labyrinth is a great game! | Source
Ravensburger Labyrinth
Ravensburger Labyrinth

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."

 
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#2 Quiddler

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.

#2 Quiddler

Quiddler Card Game
Quiddler Card Game

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.)

Rummikub -- The Original Rummy Tile Game
Rummikub -- The Original Rummy Tile Game

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!

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#4 Qwirkle

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 Board Game
Qwirkle Board Game

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: The Family Game of Visual Perception
SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception

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!

Scrabble is a classic game that fell off our list this year.  It's still frequently played, but when the family voted, it just didn't cut the mustard. However, the message here, "Fun Times" seemed appropriate for any page of best family games.
Scrabble is a classic game that fell off our list this year. It's still frequently played, but when the family voted, it just didn't cut the mustard. However, the message here, "Fun Times" seemed appropriate for any page of best family games. | Source

#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
Ticket To Ride

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

Mindtwister USA Pentago Strategy Game, Travel Edition
Mindtwister USA Pentago Strategy Game, Travel Edition

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?

While we love chess. It's only a two person game, so not ideal as a family game. Unlike Pentago where two can play quickly and rotate turns, Chess takes a whild.
While we love chess. It's only a two person game, so not ideal as a family game. Unlike Pentago where two can play quickly and rotate turns, Chess takes a whild. | Source

#8 Dominoes - Great Family Game and Also a Wonderful Tool for Learning Math

Cardinal Double 12 Color Dot Dominoes in Collectors Tin (Styles May Vary)
Cardinal Double 12 Color Dot Dominoes in Collectors Tin (Styles May Vary)

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.

 

Domino Reaction

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.

HedBanz Game - Edition may vary
HedBanz Game - Edition may vary

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.

 
Spot It
Spot It

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.

 

© 2009 Rhonda Albom

What's Your Favorite Game? - Do you like the same games that we like?

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    • Lady Lilith profile image

      Lady Lilith 2 years ago

      You have some great games. I think we own almost all of them.

    • james25882 profile image

      james25882 2 years ago

      Interesting Lense... very Helpful I may be purchasing a couple soon! thanks!

    • yayang0405 lm profile image

      yayang0405 lm 2 years ago

      Scrabble, snakes and ladder and domino. Nice lens.

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 2 years ago

      We go for scrabble and domino. Great lens.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @Charito1962: I haven't tried Smart Mouth yet :) Thanks.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      My family likes Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Smart Mouth, Taboo and Cadoo.

    • martingallagher profile image

      martingallagher 3 years ago

      Monopoly is a big hit in the family. Great for family times.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Scrabble & Sudoku!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @WordChipper: Chess is on the list added by readers. We play it as a family, two boards and the winners compete for house champ, currently my daughter.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 3 years ago

      My youngest is old enough now to play games, would like to introduce her to monopoly. She played a mean game of Uno last Saturday, making sure I lost!!

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      Kmignosa 3 years ago

      Apples to apples is a lot of fun as is bubble talk Balderdash is another good family game

    • lovettuk profile image

      lovettuk 3 years ago

      Wow! I want to play Labyrinth!! I just might have to get that so my family can play over the holidays, total sci-fi/fantasy fiction fanatic so that is right up my alley!!

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 3 years ago

      We love Ticket to Ride!

    • WordChipper profile image

      WordChipper 3 years ago

      Some great family games there. I'm not convinced that 'Chess' is a family game though since there's only two players...

    • Baddew Fibes profile image

      Baddew Fibes 3 years ago

      Great selection here - thanks!

    • ThingsAMommyNeeds profile image

      Heather George 3 years ago

      My kids love game night! Great suggestions. Thanks!

    • chrisilouwho profile image

      chrisilouwho 3 years ago

      Board games like these are fantastic gift ideas. I always look forward to spending time with family at the holidays and games are a great way to do this. Thanks for this list!

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 3 years ago

      I used to love playing games, but somewhere along the way, I stopped playing them. I recently rediscovered my love for games while at a party.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      I love Agricola, but I've only recently discovered Ticket To Ride, it's great.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @Ruthi: There are lots of fun solitaire games out there. My favorite are all maths games like Sudoku or Kakuro.

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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @grrbtn: Depending on where in the world you live it would be called Chutes and ladders. Instead of snakes, they land on chutes and slide down to another square. Otherwise it's the same game.

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      Ruthi 3 years ago

      Scrabble and Monopoly are my favorite games. Unfortunately, I have no one around to play games with anymore.

    • grrbtn profile image

      grrbtn 3 years ago

      Great games show here, our family favourite has always been Monopoly, and we are all pretty ruthless when we play it at Christmas lol, But what happened to snakes and ladders? our children used to love landing more on the snakes than the ladders. They used to giggle with delight as they slid their counters all the way back down the board.

    • PlumberJorge profile image

      PlumberJorge 3 years ago

      nice lens! I love chess and scramble. it's one of those games where you need to do a lot of thinking and strategy to win. :)

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Great games! We are domino players.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Didn't have a lot in my childhood, usually Monopoly or Scrabble, but enjoyed them both

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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @squid-pinkchic18: Which ones?

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @anonymous: Thanks for sharing.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @anonymous: Thanks for sharing.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @anonymous: It is still on my list.

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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @anonymous: Isn't it one great game.

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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @pdxdonna lm: It has never come off our list.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @pauly99 lm: There are some great new games out there.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @ringthepost: Actually, it was on last year's list.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @takkhisa: Our family loves them too.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @brownee lm: We like all three of those too, they just are not all on my list any longer as we have found games we like more.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @ajmac: Thanks AJ.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @anonymous: One of my daughters is also big on Chess.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @JimmPlus: Which ever you pick, it's one of our favorites.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @Erin Mellor: Agricola sounds like a game worth trying.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @yarfodg: I agree. We love our weekly family game night.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 3 years ago from New Zealand

      @strategylab: I have never heard of either of these. I will have to check them out. We love new games.

    • strategylab profile image

      Jeph Maystruck 3 years ago from Regina, SK

      How about "Settlers of Catan" and "Quelf" Two of my favorite! Great list!

    • yarfodg profile image

      yarfodg 3 years ago

      Great games selection... There is nothing like a true family game to bond the tribe together... Thanks for sharing!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      I love Agricola too as it works for families as well as just two people.

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      JimmPlus 4 years ago

      Great selection for the whole family. Thinking of buying one or two featured in your lens.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Mine fav is chess

    • profile image

      ajmac 4 years ago

      Nice selection of games.

    • brownee lm profile image

      brownee lm 4 years ago

      Great choices! My family's favorites are Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Monopoly.

    • profile image

      RaksTheBlogger 4 years ago

      Great Lens as always.Also can you do me a favour and please check out my Lens?I am a newbie and I need the confidence to keep moving ahead .I would greatly appreciate it if you do so!

      Thank you

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