20 of The Best Family Board Games for Teens

I grew up playing a lot of board games. My mom taught 5th grade and I remember a little side hustle she took on selling Discovery Toys. Are those still a thing? {Quick Google search says they are!} Board games are a way to bring everyone together to enjoy a shared experience and those shared experiences are so important for a family, especially a family with teenagers. I collected a list of our family favorites and opened up the floor to some of my readers on social media who had some excellent suggestions too. Want to pick that perfect family board game? Look no further!


20 of The Best Family Board Games for Teens


If there was one thing that came out of 2020 it was the bonus family time, especially for those of us with older kids who were just getting started lording over their own schedules. It's not uncommon for teens to want to spend the majority of time in their rooms, so as parents, it's our job to be as creative as we can be to entice them out of their lairs. These are the board games we played on repeat during quarantine and that will continue to be a part of our family game nights.

Pro-Tip: nearly every game has a YouTube video that will explain how to play it. We often watch a few before we get started AND we read the directions, but learning a new game can be hard and since many of us are visual learners, watching an online tutorial is a godsend!


You trade cards, you build settlements, and you race to see who can get to 10 points first. Catan is a fun strategy game that often takes just as much time to set up as it does to play. The board is flexible, so you can constantly be changing it and we have a few house rules that work for our family. 

One of the downsides is that this is at least a 3 person game. You can play with more people, but you will need an expansion pack. This brings me to...

catan board game for teens

Catan Expansion

We played Catan for years without any expansion packs, but when I found the Traders & Barbarians {do not buy it at this price, this price is ridiculous. I got it for $25 during Black Friday sales, so keep your eyes peeled} we thought we'd try it. Full disclosure, there are probably four different variations included in the expansion pack and we've played one of them, but that one totally changed the game {for the better!} and we are loving it. So if you are dragging your feet on buying an expansion pack like for Catan like we did, just do it...but wait for a good sale.

Ticket to Ride

There are lots of versions of this game we call the "train game", but we just have the USA version. The game is quick and can be played with 2-5 players. You are tasked with building train routes using colored trains you draw. The fun comes in the strategy and the blocking of routes. 

For those of you with younger kids, some reviews say that the USA version is the best. If you want a more complex strategy-driven version with older kids {12+}, the reviews are strong for the European version.  


This National Parks game was a COVID gift and one that was well-received and often out of stock! This game is for 2-5 players and you work to collect trail stones and claim park cards. It's actually secretly educational as we learned about the National Parks. We've added a few parks to our "must-see" list now and it got us excited to travel again.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

This card game is weirdly addicting. It's great for a group and easy to take anywhere. Every single time we played we ended up laughing and it takes about four seconds to learn how to play it. Seriously, if you buy one game, get this one. 


I bought this 2 person game because sometimes there are just a few of us that want to get roped into game night. You take on the role of a trader and collect coins along the way. Add up the coins and the camels to see who wins. It's a quick game that's easy to learn and has a little strategy involved. 


We almost always pack this game with us when we travel because it's a good game for a crowd and it's pretty compact. You take the letters to form words and create a personal crossword as you scramble to use up all the tiles before your opponents. 

5-Second Rule

This one is another game that will get everyone laughing. You have 5 seconds to name three things that fit the topic. If you can't do it, the next person has a chance, but they can't repeat any of your correct guesses making it more and more difficult. I hear there is a "naughty" version the older kids play, but this one is family-friendly. 

Cover your Assets

The goal is to collect matching assets and be the first to get to $1 million dollars. Are you sensing a trend with the card games that are good for a group? This is another one of those that was easy enough to pack away for an international trip {ah, remember those...}. 

escape mail escape room at home

Escape Mail

This one isn't a board game, but more of an experience. It's like an at-home escape room you can do with your family. You receive a letter in the mail that provides everything you need to solve several challenges and each clue builds on the next. You will need access to the internet for this one.  


Your Favorite Family Board Games

I opened up the question on my social media, and you all came through! I have added a few to our list to buy, purchased a couple I can't wait to try, and wanted to share the rest so you can add them to your list too!

Sushi Go

Great reviews on this quick 2-5 player card game and the price is right! I do love a card game that is easy to play with a group and also easy to pack and bring with you places. 


The illustrations look amazing on this! Players take turns coming up with words to describe the pictures in their hand and then everyone votes. Sounds a bit like Apples to Apples, so if you like that one, this might be a new favorite!


This one intrigued me because you can play a 1 player game or play with up to 6 players. The goal is to build structures, plant vines, and fulfill wine orders as you try to become the most successful wine owner in Tuscany. The reviews talk a lot about how the expansion packs change the game {sounds a bit like Catan}, though the most recent version has some of the most popular expansions already built-in, so read reviews before you buy so you know which to get.


This fast-paced word game looks like it's easy enough to get started with and fun enough to not realize you are doing spelling {kids!}. You race against the clock to find words that fit the remaining letter. 


We don't own this actual game, but we have played it in a group a few times and it is hilarious! It's a bit like the telephone game and Pictionary in one with a fun surprise ending. I've always played the game by cutting paper and playing this old school, but having the wipe-clean sketchbooks would make it easier. 


Poetry for Neanderthals

This one was recommended a few times as a fun game. It's like Taboo, but you can only give single-syllable words for people to guess your clue. If you use a word with more than one syllable, the other team gets to bop you on the head with an inflatable club. Kind of reminded me of the game Throw Throw Burrito, so if you're into that, you'll probably like this one. 

Exploding Kittens

My older son and his fiance love this game, we've struggled to get into it though. Players draw cards until someone gets an exploding kitten, strategy dictates the rest. 


This partner game has you competing to see who can contact all of the agents first. Reading the reviews and the gameplay make me kind of think that it's a bit like the popular app game Among Us. It comes in with mixed reviews, but overall, gets a pretty high rating for a large group game. 

Wits and Wagers

This looks like the perfect game for a trivia loving family who doesn't always have all the answers! The fun is in the guessing and sometimes you might get lucky!

Stay Cool

Our family has mixed feelings about this game. It's a race against the clock, literally, and you've got two people on both sides of you shouting out challenges and questions and the player has to simultaneously answer and complete the challenges. I'm not very good at it, but it is kind of fun to see how others react when under pressure.  

Save this post for later!

family game night

I'd love to hear if you try one of these games or if you have a favorite that isn't listed! Send me a message or find me on social media @msrachelteodoro

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