A beginner's guide to the various board games!

Board games are still booming, even in today’s digital age. Whether it’s during a game night with friends or a battle between parents and kids on the living room floor, board games are a beloved source of fun and competition. While classics like “Sorry!” and “Candy Land” are popular for all ages, some games are designed especially for adults. They help reduce stress, promote social interaction, and develop individuals’ interests. So which are the hottest board games for adults, according to expert reviewers?

Board games are a great way to spend time with friends and family, and there are many different types of games to choose from.

Some of the most popular board games for adults include:

  • Catan: A strategic game about building settlements and trading resources.
  • Azul: A tile-laying game about creating beautiful patterns.
  • What Do You Meme?: A party game where players match captions to memes.
  • Wingspan: A bird-themed game about collecting and breeding birds.
  • Jaipur: A fast-paced card game about trading goods.

These are just a few of the many great board games available for adults. With so many different options to choose from, there is sure to be a game that everyone will enjoy.

Here is some more information about each of these games:

  • Catan is a game for 3-4 players that takes about 60 minutes to play. The goal of the game is to build settlements, roads, and cities on the island of Catan. Players collect resources from the island and use them to build their civilizations. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
  • Azul is a game for 2-4 players that takes about 30 minutes to play. The goal of the game is to collect and place tiles to create beautiful patterns on your player board. Players score points for completing patterns and for collecting bonus tiles. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
  • What Do You Meme? is a party game for 3-10 players that takes about 30 minutes to play. The goal of the game is to come up with the funniest captions for memes. Players take turns drawing a meme card and then choosing a caption card from their hand to match it with. The other players then vote on which caption they think is the funniest. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
  • Wingspan is a game for 1-5 players that takes about 45 minutes to play. The goal of the game is to attract and breed birds to your nature reserve. Players collect food and eggs to lay new birds. They also use cards to gain abilities that can help them attract more birds. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
  • Jaipur is a card game for 2 players that takes about 15 minutes to play. The goal of the game is to collect sets of cards and trade them in for points. Players take turns buying cards from the market and then playing them in their tableau. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

So Games and Love

First, let’s dive deeper into those benefits you may not realize you’re getting. If you’re looking to reconnect with your partner, one study found that all you may need to do is dust off your favourite board games sitting in the closet. You may also need to take an art class together. In fact, scientists at Baylor University say couples experience a high level of oxytocin, the so-called “love hormone,” when playing board games and painting.

There are also incredible brain benefits from avoiding screens and turning to old-school activities. A study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland concludes that people who reported routinely playing non-digital games performed better on thinking and memory tests in their 70s. Moreover, the study authors also report that even participants who started playing board games only during their 70s were still more likely to score higher on cognitive assessments. This was compared to adults who rarely took part in non-digital games.

Board games are a fantastic way to connect with friends and family. If you are searching for the highest quality board games that everyone can play, we recommend checking out this list of the top seven-game night hits for players of all ages 

The Verge

With all that said, in our search for the finest board games for adults, we examined 10 expert websites. We evaluated their popularity, value, and difficulty level. We found the most popular games across reviews. We also considered where these games ranked on their list. Of course, you may strongly disagree with this — and that’s fine! Let us know which one is your favourite game in the comments below.

The List: Best Board Games For Adults, According To Experts

1. Catan

“Catan is an absorbing and engaging game for teens and adults alike. Plus, players unknowingly learn lessons about the importance and consequences of access to resources, odds, the snowballing effect of luck (or lack thereof) on human success, migration, bartering, and other economic issues, says our tester. Players of all ages also hone their critical thinking and strategic skills with every game. The only downside is that the world-building game may take a while to understand. Once you’ve mastered the rules, it will dominate your next game night,” writes The Spruce.


Games Radar mentions, “Catan whisks you back to the days of settling wild frontiers. There’s an uninhabited island to claim and kingdoms to build on it, so trading and expanding your civilization is the top priority. It really is one of the finest classic board games around.”

The NY Times calls it “a settlement-building strategy game that inspired a board game revolution. Catan provides fun and competitive (if frustrating) play.”

2. Azul

“An ideal game for history buffs, art enthusiasts, and designers. Adults will appreciate this game more than younger people. Azul is inspired by the ancient practice of azulejo, decorative ceramic art dating from the medieval period in Spain and Portugal. Each player designs King Manuel’s royal palace, and the pattern that scores the most points wins the game. Completing specific patterns and sets with the tiles means a higher score. Everyone has a beautiful pattern to admire at the end,” says Game Rant. 

Games Radar explains, “Azul is downright beautiful, and its mechanics are just as enchanting.” For those who prefer more relaxed tabletop experiences, we’d highly recommend this one – it’s among the finest puzzle board games for adults by a long shot.”


“The work of an interior decorator may not strike you as the most exciting premise for a board game. However, Azul makes for a soothing puzzle experience, as you arrange colourful tiles into pretty patterns,” says War Gamer. 

3. What Do You Meme?

Do the Spruce‘ says players should be prepared for hours of laughter when playing What Do You Mean? 

“If you like match games like Apple to Apple and Cards Against Humanity, and you spend a fair amount of time online, you’re the ideal audience for What Do You Meme? It has a similar premise to those beloved games, but with an online twist,” they write. “Answers tend to be as outrageous and silly as the people you’re playing with, so clear your schedule and grab your funniest, most web-savvy friends. A previous tester had a blast playing this with her friends, noting, ‘Most of the memes were hilarious and the crazy combinations had us laughing hysterically.’”

“What Do You Meme? Instruct players to match one of the caption cards in their hand with the photo card in play to come up with the funniest meme. The photo cards are taken directly from some of the biggest memes of the moment, from Gunshow’s “This Is Fine” to Chloe’s “side eye” meme. If you want more photos and captions to choose from, there are several expansion packs. These include a Game of Thrones expansion pack and an NSFW expansion deck. What Do You Meme? Holds a 4.7-star average rating from more than 32,000 Amazon reviews,” notes NBC News. 

What Do You Meme?

Hip 2 Save adds, “Have you ever seen a funny meme that brought you to your knees? This game is packed full of them all. Similar to Cards Against Humanity, you’ll choose a card to match with so the more memes you know, the more you’ll appreciate every round. Even better, they make different editions of What Do You Meme? So depending on what you find funny, you can choose the game that’ll be best for you and your crowd of friends.”

4. Wingspan

NBC News writes, “In our guide to the best board games for quarantine, Lincoln Damerst, the director of media at BoardGameGeek, noted Wingspan’s ‘fantastic art and production value.’ The game caters to bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike as players must attract and hatch the most diverse bird collection. It has a 4.8-star rating from almost 8,300 Amazon reviewers.”

“Wingspan is a surprise favourite among adult board games. Besides being the winner of the well-respected Spiel des Jahres award, it’s popular enough that some cheeky retailers charged triple its list price when it ran out of print a few years ago. That tells you about its quality,” says Games Radar.


Game Rant explains, “Wingspan is slow-paced, relaxing, and beautiful. The kind of game a group of people can play on a quiet, leafy patio while enjoying a round of cold drinks. The polar opposite of the kind of competitive, ruthless game that breaks friendships, this board game for adults is fun no matter who wins or loses.”

“There’s no better place to start this list than with one of the most popular and engaging games of the last few years. Wingspan is often sold as a family board game but in truth, it’s too complex and challenging for kids. It is pitch-perfect for adults, though, with a clever weave of tactics and strategy together with a winning theme as you try to attract birds to a nature reserve. Different birds need different foods and habitats but they will contribute to your growing ecosystem which becomes a kind of engine, generating resources to allow you to play with bigger and more beautiful birds,” writes IGN.

5. Jaipur

Apartment Therapy says Jaipur is an ideal game for a couple having a home date night or for friends looking for a fun challenge. “In Jaipur, players play two of the city’s most powerful traders seeking to earn their invitation to the Maharaja’s court. A blend of strategy and luck, Jaipur is a fast-paced card game that’s deep and easy to learn.”

“Its focus on staying flexible is another feather in the game’s cap – the faster you sell an item, the more points you’ll earn. What we’re left with is a masterful balancing act of waiting for your chance while beating your opponent to the punch. It makes Jaipur one of the most enjoyable card games we’ve ever played,” says Games Radar.


Jubilance mentions that this is another two-person game and is about collecting cards to get invited to the Maharaja’s palace. Grab one of these couple’s games for your next date night!”

These are just a few of the many great board games available for adults. With so many different options to choose from, there is sure to be a game that everyone will enjoy.

What are your favourite board games? Is there a title you are stunned by that isn’t on the top five list? Please leave your comments below!


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