Looking for unique, fun, and a long lasting gift for someone? Are you trying to introduce your family into the world of board games? Is your family game night stale? Or does your family have a holiday tradition of playing a game together?
The following is a list of 7 of the BEST board games for family gaming, people new to board games, and even long time board game enthusiasts. If you gift one of these games or bring one home to the family, good times will be had. These are in no specific order, in fact the highest rated game is the last on the list.
Each game has a short description followed by its ranking on BoardGameGeek.com, a YouTube video showing how to play the game, and a few pictures. Some of the YouTube videos are hosted by Wil Wheaton, a famous actor who portrayed the character Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: Next Generation.
Ticket to Ride
With elegantly simple gameplay, Ticket to Ride can be learned in 3 minutes, while providing players with intense decisions every turn. Players collect cards of various types of train cars they then use to claim railway routes in North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who fulfill Destination Tickets – goal cards that connect distant cities; and to the player who builds the longest continuous route.
Board Game Rank: 76 out of 60,000+ games
Family Game Rank: 8 out of 1,000+ games
How-to Video: TableTop Games – Ticket to Ride
In Small World, players vie for conquest and control of a world that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Picking the right combination from the 14 different fantasy races and 20 unique special powers, players rush to expand their empires – often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory.
Board Game Rank: 64 out of 60,000+ games
Strategy Game Rank: 57 out of 1,200+ games
Family Game Rank: 6 out of 1,000+ games
How-to Video: TableTop Games – Small World
Settlers of Catan
In Settlers of Catan, players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players then choose to trade or use their resources to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.
Board Game Rank: 92 out of 60,000+ games
Strategy Game Rank: 97 out of 1,200+ games
Family Game Rank: 11 out of 1,000+ games
How-to Video: TableTop Games – Settlers of Catan
Several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand. The game board depicts Earth with several major population centres. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station.
Board Game Rank: 46 out of 60,000+ games
Strategy Game Rank: 49 out of 1,200+ games
Family Game Rank: 4 out of 1,000+ games
How-to Video: TableTop Games – Pandemic
In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can “buy” as they can afford them. Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end.
Board Game Rank: 14 out of 60,000+ games
Strategy Game Rank: 16 out of 1,200+ games
How-to Video: Dice Tower Review – Dominion
Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of his meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.
Board Game Rank: 88 out of 60,000+ games
Family Game Rank: 10 out of 1,000+ games
So simple no How-To Video is needed.
7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.
Board Game Rank: 13 out of 60,000+ games
Strategy Game Rank: 15 out of 1,200+ games
Family Game Rank: 1 out of 1,000+ games
How-to Video: Drakkenstrike’s 7 Wonders Review