June 15, 2024

The Best 45+ Tween, Teen & Adult Games for Family Game Night

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The best tween, teen, & adult games! Tips & ideas for a simple & easy family game night with board, dice, & card games to play together.

A family playing gamesA family playing gamesA family playing gamesA family playing gamesA family playing gamesA family playing gamesA collage of games for family game nightA collage of games for family game nightA collage of the best games for family game nightA collage of the best games for family game night

The best tween, teen, & adult games for family game night! These are tips and ideas for a simple and easy family game night with board, dice, and card games for teenagers and adults to play together. These games make great gifts to buy and are the perfect addition to any home’s game basket. 

PIN IT FOR LATER!

A family playing board gamesA family playing board games

I love games. I’m very good at games, too, as are my beautiful children.

Board games are a great way to enjoy quality time together as a family. They reduce the pressure on deep conversation and give everyone something to focus on while still providing the time together that builds deep bonds.

My kids used to talk to me all the time.

ALL. THE. TIME.

But as they’ve gotten older, their chatter has slowed and almost stopped. They don’t want to tell me about their conversations with their friends or how so-and-so hurt their feelings. They avoid eye contact and have become more private.

But when we play games together, we talk. We talk about the plays and about our turns and our scores. It’s instant bonding, and we usually end up laughing.

These games are also really great for your teen’s party or movie night. No tween or teen wants babyish games brought out when her guests are visiting! So make sure to purchase some really good and mature (but not too mature!) games for her next get together or slumber party.

Most of the game ideas below involve reading, so if you’re playing with a non-reader, you may want to check out this post instead – 30+ best games for family game night with no reading required. There is a lot of overlap between the two, but below, you will find many more strategy and reading-required games that don’t appear on the other list. I’ve also shared a fun list of 25 single player logic games that are really good.

Visit the Christmas gift guide for families for hundreds more gift ideas!

The Best Tween, Teen, & Adult Games for Family Game Night

Here are some of our favorite games to play as a family with our most favorite listed first:

Scrutineyes gameScrutineyes game

Scrutineyes – This is our #1 favorite game EVER. I scoured ebay for it years and years ago after remembering playing it as a kid with my mom and sister. Basically, you get these elaborate and intricate pictures and you have to find things in one of the pictures that begin with a certain letter and then you trade with the other players. A lot of the things in the pictures can have different names, and a lot of them are obscure animals and things with precise names. I absolutely positively love it and got my family and most of my friends hooked too. Problem is this game is no longer made and can these days be hard to come by. If you find it on ebay for less than $50, scoop it up. It’s totally worth it.

Prime ClimbPrime Climb

Prime Climb – This is a new to us game that we totally fell in love with. It’s very simple: you roll the dice and either add, subtract, multiply, or divide the numbers on the dice with the numbers your pawns are sitting on. You can jump all around the board, and the first person to get both of her pawns to 101 is the winner. I love this game so much, I play it by myself.

Scattergories gameScattergories game

Scattergories – This is a classic game sort of similar to Scrutineyes except everyone works with the same list of categories and the same letter of the alphabet, and you all try to think of words that no one else will think of. For instance, if the category is animal and the letter is C, you probably don’t want to write cat because there’s a good chance someone else will. You want to write something less obvious like chimpanzee or canary hoping that no one else will write it and you’ll get the point. Or, go ahead and write the obvious one because maybe no one else will. It’s really fun.

Pass the pigs gamePass the pigs game

Pass the Pigs – This is another of my all-time favorite games. You have 2 little pigs, and you roll them like dice. Depending on how they land, you score points. You can keep rolling until you get the magic “zero” combination which means you lose all your points for that round or you can stop rolling at any time and keep your points. I think this game is super fun, and I play it with anyone who will play with me. My kids love it.

Sleeping Queens gameSleeping Queens game

Sleeping Queens – This is totally a kids’ game, but when I asked my teenager what games she thought I should include on this list, Sleeping Queens was her first answer. Our entire family absolutely adores this game and plays it whenever we can. It’s a card game where you have to wake up the queens by playing certain cards. You can steal other players’ queens, put them back to sleep, and defend yourself. The game ends when the last queen has been awakened, and then the player with the most queen points wins. The version that I linked is the 10th anniversary edition which has extra queens and comes in a tin. We had the original before, but lost it, and then sprung for the one with the tin, and we were glad for it because the extra queens make the game a bit longer and a lot more fun.

Skipbo gameSkipbo game

SKIP-BO – I love SKIP-BO. I love it so much that I found SKIP-BO Junior and taught my kids to play it. Basically, it’s a card game where you have to make piles of numbers from 1-12 (10 in the junior version). You have a big pile of cards, and the first person to get rid of her stack is the winner. It’s simple and easy and depends way more on luck than anything else, which makes it perfect for families where one person is way more word-oriented than the others.

Sequence Cats gameSequence Cats game

Sequence Cats – My girls and I love cats, so this game was a no brainer for us. If you’re not a cat lover, there’s a dog version and of course a bunch of others including Bible Sequence, Number Sequence, and the original Sequence. Not sure what’s on the squares in the original version, but I think they might be playing cards. It’s a bit like Connect 4 in that you have to make a line of 4 tokens, but your moves in Sequence depend on what cards you draw.

Mystic Market – This is one of our new favorite games, beloved as much by my 9-year-old and teen as by my husband. It’s only been on the market for a year, but it was an instant classic for us. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is, but here goes: you collect potion ingredients. When you have a full set of ingredients, you can sell them to the bank at a price that is constantly changing. You can also use bits and pieces of your ingredients to make actual potions that can change your luck or the luck of someone else in the game. Get this one. You won’t regret it.

Taboo gameTaboo game

Taboo – This is a 4+ player game where you try to get your partner to guess a word without saying any of the taboo words. Instead of playing the intended way, we take turns giving the clues and guessing. It’s fun that way, and it removes the winner and loser aspect. We work as a team and see how many of the answers we can get.

actually curious card game best Christmas giftsactually curious card game best Christmas gifts

Actually Curious – This isn’t your typical card game. Its tagline is Cards For (Not Against) Humanity. You know that other card game that you definitely can’t play with your kids? Well, this is nothing like that one. It’s a bunch of cards, and each one has a prompt or question on it. The original white deck has four levels of cards from easy to challenging, including questions like “Share one positive characteristic about each person in the group” and “What are you willing to fight for and why?.” The pink Happy Hour deck is all one level, meant to be mixed in with the original deck, and has questions like “What did 12 year old you want to be when you grew up?” and “If I could re-do one moment of my own life, it would be…” It’s not the most popular game on the list, but it’s a really fun way to get to know your friends and family members.

Phase 10 gamePhase 10 game

Phase 10 – Honestly, Phase 10 is not my favorite game because it takes a long time to play, but it is another one where winning is mostly luck. It’s a card game that’s sort of like rummy, and you have to get series of 10 different phases in order to win. A lot of people love it and say it’s their favorite game. It has over 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, so don’t trust my opinion on it.

Rummikub gameRummikub game

Rummikub – I love this one. It’s another luck game, this time where you use tiles instead of cards and basically play rummy. I played this as a kid with my grandmother (not Old Grandma, my dad’s mother), and I still laugh at all the weird things she said while we played on her front porch. I like to play with my kids now. There’s a good bit of strategy and creativity involved in Rummikub because you can shift around the tiles to suit yourself as long as everything is played at the end of your turn.

UNO deluxe gameUNO deluxe game

Uno – I love Uno. If you’ve never played it (where have you been all your life?!?), it’s a card game where you lay down number cards that either match the color or the number of the card played before you. Very simple, but there are also special cards that can thwart your opponent and mess everything all up. It’s another great game where the winner is mostly determined by luck, and it is super fun. I remember playing this with my whole family when I was a kid, and we had such heated battles that we had to make a little arrow on a piece of paper so we’d remember which direction the play was supposed to move. Great times.

Yahtzee gameYahtzee game

Yahtzee – I love Yahtzee, too. I used to play Yahtzee with Old Grandma for hours, and we both got really good at it. There’s a lot of strategy involved in Yahtzee although it’s a very simple game. You roll dice and add up the totals and record them on the score pad. You have to get certain combinations of dice in order to win and everybody hopes for the bonus at the bottom of the score card. It’s super fun and a great adult game because kids don’t totally understand the strategy behind using certain boxes at certain times.

Scrabble gameScrabble game

Scrabble – Scrabble is hands down one of the best board games of all time. I love it, but I’m also really, really good at it which makes it not so much fun for my family. I’m a word nerd, and they are so much, so we don’t play very often. But it’s still worth mentioning because it’s super fun. I linked to the tile lock edition which is only about 50¢ more than the regular version but eliminates the annoying problem of the tiles sliding around on the board. 

Boggle gameBoggle game

Boggle – I also love Boggle. I love it so much that I sometimes play it all by myself. But it’s a nice family game because you’re looking at the same letters and trying to come up with words. Basically, you shake up all the dice which have letters on them and they settle into spots, and then you have to find words using adjoining dice. Again, I’m a lot better at this than anyone else in my family, so we don’t play that often, but I love it when they indulge me and take a stab at it.

Carcassone gameCarcassone game

Carcassone – Basically, you build a countryside, with roads, streams, and buildings, and you can put your followers on each tile depending on certain rules. You have to strategize which moves will give you the most points based on what the other players are doing and what you have coming up. I had heard rave reviews about Carcassone in the gameschooling groups I belong to, and when I bought it, I was not disappointed. This is a super fun game that the whole family can play together. Love this one.

Say Anything gameSay Anything game

Say Anything – Grace got Say Anything from a friend for her last birthday, and now she has been giving it to all her other friends for their birthdays. It’s really a simple game that’s perfect for family play. On your turn, you ask a question from a card. Everyone writes down an answer, and you pick your favorite. Then everyone tries to guess which one you picked.

Apples to Apples gameApples to Apples game

Apples to Apples – Apples to Apples is one of our favorite fun party games. We really love it, but you need 4 or more players who can read well, and we don’t get to play very often because there are only 3 of us. It’s a lot like Say Anything, but instead of writing an answer to the question, you have to choose a card from your hand, and then the person who’s “it” chooses the one she likes best for the category. We always laugh a lot with this game because it just begs for silliness.

Latice gameLatice game

Latice – I bought Latice on a lark on Amazon Prime Day, and only then because it was cheap. I knew absolutely nothing about it at the time, but we love games, and it was a cheap game. (I got Go Nuts for Donuts the same way, and we love that one.) So Latice. It’s almost like UNO in that you have to play a tile that matches a tile on the board either in color or shape. Then you can score gems for matching multiple tiles at the same time, and you can use those gems to earn extra turns (part of the strategy to win the game). This is Allie’s current favorite game.

Santorini gameSantorini game

Santorini – I also bought Santorini on Prime Day because it was cheap, and I don’t know why I waited so long. I’d had it on my wishlist for ages though, because it’s a strategy-based building game with a nod to Greek mythology. Game play is quick, as long as you don’t agonize over each turn, and you can play over and over and get a different game every time. Full disclosure: my sister thought this game was stupid. Allie and I play it over and over and love it. I think it’s better as a 2-player game than it is with more people.

Forbidden Island gameForbidden Island game

Forbidden Island –  This is a cooperative card game where players work together to find treasure on an island before the island falls into the ocean. You aren’t competing with your team members but rather helping each other to succeed. More players mean that the game is more difficult, but there are more resources to use. I just bought this one but haven’t played it yet.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle gameHarry Potter: Hogwarts Battle game

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle – This is another cooperative card game. I got it when we started reading the books together as a family. Basically, you have to work together, as one or more of the four main characters of the series, to defeat a villain from one of the books. There are 7 individual games, one for each book, and they get progressively harder as you play. I actually bought this game, opened it, and then lost half of the pieces before ever playing, so I bought it again. The trouble is that it takes a full table space to play, and our table is always covered with assorted detritus and not available for playing. But we have played it twice, and we loved it both times.

Pandemic gamePandemic game

Pandemic – This is a third cooperative game. It’s not what you’d think of as one of the traditional teenage party games, but I love it because everyone is working together. In this one, killer diseases are breaking out all over the world, and participants have to work together to eradicate them. It’s extremely difficult, but it’s so much fun and so interesting that you won’t mind even if you lose constantly.

Telestrations gameTelestrations game

Telestrations – Imagine if Pictionary and the old Telephone game from grade school had a baby. That’s Telestrations. The first person picks a card and draws what is on the card. The next person looks at the drawing and guesses what it is, writing the guess on her pad. Then the third person draws what the second person wrote, the fourth person guesses what the third person guessed. You can go around and around as many times as you want, and it just gets funnier and funnier. I love this as a great teen party game.

SET gameSET game

Set – This is a super intense game where each player is trying to collect 3-card SETs before her opponents see them. Age and experience offer no advantage, and my tween is as likely to win as my teen (maybe more so because the tween’s visual-spatial abilities are amazing). The winner usually only gets four or five SETs, so it’s anybody’s game right up to the end.

Clue Master Detective gameClue Master Detective game
Harry Potter Clue gameHarry Potter Clue game

Clue Master Detective – Clue is a logic game where you have to figure out who the assassin is, where the crime took place, and what the murder weapon was, all before the other players figure it out. Grace is getting Harry Potter Clue for Christmas this year, but we already have Clue Master Detective, the original one that I got for Christmas when I was in fourth grade. If you’re wondering why you’d want Master Detective over the much cheaper regular Clue, it’s because M.D. has more suspects, more weapons, and more rooms which results in a longer, slightly more challenging and much more interesting game.

Trivial Pursuit gameTrivial Pursuit game
Harry Potter Trivial PursuitHarry Potter Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit – Did you know this was still a thing? Well, it is, and there’s a Harry Potter version which I am considering buying for Grace for Christmas this year because HP dominates our lives. (Update – my sister gave it to her instead!) But if you’re not into HP, consider the regular edition which is styled just like the 1980s favorite. Because game night isn’t game night unless you can add a pink wedge to your pie. We like to play Trivial Pursuit in teams because your teammates often know things that you don’t know. We’ve even played where one team answered Harry Potter questions and the opposing team answered regular Trivial Pursuit questions.

Suspense gameSuspense game

Suspend – This is the simplest game on the list, but that does not mean that it’s boring. Even adults will get hooked, trying to balance the rods on the sculpture without toppling it. You can play this alone or in a group, making it great for family game night.

Tenzi gameTenzi game

Tenzi – Tenzi is a fun, fast-paced dice game when you play the original instructions. Each person gets 10 dice and has to keep rolling them until she gets all 10 to match the number you’re playing for. There are dozens of additional games you can play with Tenzi dice, and they are all great fun.

Left Right Center gameLeft Right Center game

Left, Right, Center – My in-laws introduced my girls to this game where you roll dice based on how many chips you have, and you might have to give them to the person on your right, the person on your left, or into the center bowl. This can be used as a gambling game for an all adult crowd, but my kids love it. Even when you are out (meaning that you’ve lost all your tokens), there’s always the chance that someone will have to pass you one or more of their tokens, bringing you back into the game. The last person with chips (or Skittles or M&Ms!) is the winner. It is a whole lot of fun when you play with 4 or more players. There’s also an LCR Wild Dice game that just came out, but we haven’t tried yet. I’m sure it’s awesome, too.

Jenga gameJenga game

Jenga – If you’ve never played this stacking game, you are missing out. You stack these little wooden blocks in an alternating pattern and each player takes turns pushing out one block at a time and restacking it at the top of the pile without knocking the pile over. Both of my girls really love Jenga.

The Ultimate Book of Family Card GamesThe Ultimate Book of Family Card Games
Ultimate Book of Card GamesUltimate Book of Card Games

The Ultimate Book of Family Card Games and a deck of cards – This isn’t one game; it’s a book of games that you can play together. It holds rules and instructions for over 50 different card games, and you are guaranteed to find something that your family likes among its pages.

Labyrinth Despicable MeLabyrinth Despicable Me

Despicable Me Labyrinth – Grace asked her grandparents for Despicable Me Labyrinth last year for Christmas, but she didn’t get it. I was so into the game that I bought it for the girls in January, and we all love it. (There’s also a regular, non-character Labyrinth game.) This is a strategy game where players place and remove and rotate wall tiles to change the labyrinth in order to thwart their opponents. We even got Old Grandma into playing this the last time we visited her. It’s challenging, but simple and fun.

Bounce Off gameBounce Off game

Bounce Off – I had my eye on Bounce Off for a long time because the first review on Amazon says it’s like beer pong for kids, and that was one of my favorite hobbies in college. I was never any good at it, but the concept of bouncing balls into a pattern was intriguing to me. I took the plunge and bought this for us at St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a really fun, very challenging, game, and the kids are just as good as I am. The only downside of this game is that it requires a pretty large space to play, but we all really enjoy it.

Dragonwood gameDragonwood game

Dragonwood: A Game of Dice and Daring: I got this game for our kids, but I love it, too. It’s a card and dice game from the makers of Mystic Market where you have to battle against and collect foes. But then, you can also collect cards that help you to battle and make it easier to collect the monster cards. It’s a little complicated to explain but very fun.

Farkle gameFarkle game

Farkle – I got Pocket Farkle to take with us on a date night last year. It’s the size of an old film canister, and it was fun. It’s a dice game where you have to get certain numbers in order to score points, and you can keep rolling as long as you’re earning points, but if you get a roll with no points, you lose all of your points from that round. We bent some of the rules to suit ourselves, but we really like the game.

Racko gameRacko game

Rack-O – This is another super simple game. You have 10 cards, and you have to get them in order from smallest to biggest, except that you can’t actually switch them around. You can only change them out for cards you draw from the draw pile, so you have to be clever about where you put those cards in order to win the game. I used to play this with Old Grandma when I was a wee little girl, and I like playing it with family just as much.

Bananagrams gameBananagrams game

Bananagrams – Bananagrams is a little like Scrabble in that you use letter tiles to make connecting words, but that’s where the similarities end. In Bananagrams, you have to race against each other to use all your letter tiles. The first person to go out wins. It’s a lot easier because there’s not as much strategy in that you don’t score the words themselves, just race to make more and more words. It doesn’t matter if you use all 3-letter words, as long as you play words and use your tiles.

5 second rule game5 second rule game

5 Second Rule – In this one, you get a category and then have 5 seconds to list 3 things from that category. It’s fast-paced and funny because the players often get tongue-tied trying to spit out an answer in time. In such a short time period, all kinds of wrong answers will pop out. You’ll be amazed at how much you know but can’t think of in time!

Ticket to Ride gameTicket to Ride game

Ticket to Ride – I haven’t actually played this game, for the same reason that we weren’t able to play the cooperative Harry Potter game above (that being that it needs a lot of space and we never seem to have the table cleared off long enough to get it out), but I bought it years ago. The premise is that you have to ride a train all over the United States (although there are versions for Europe, Asia {expansion pack only}, and other places) and collect as many cities as possible in 7 days. It is a fast-paced game that requires concentration, which makes it perfect for an adult date night, but it is easy enough that you’ll be able to play it with your older kids as well (recommended for ages 8 and up). It’s a great investment because, in addition to being able to play it over and over, there are loads of expansion packs that change the game completely. The only thing that’s holding me back from buying this at this point is that it requires a big area to play, and our dining room table is always covered with papers and junk. It would take an hour to clean it off, and then we wouldn’t have time to play the game.

Blokus gameBlokus game

Blokus – I haven’t played this one before, but it’s on my wishlist. It’s another simple game – you place colored tiles on the board, making sure that each one touches one of the corners of a tile you’ve already placed. It sounds easy enough, but like all the above games, there is a lot of strategy and planning involved. From what I’ve read, it’s pretty easy as a two player game, unless each player plays two colors which effectively makes it a four player game. I’m really looking forward to getting this one.

Photosynthesis gamePhotosynthesis game

Photosynthesis – This is a very simple game that has a very complex strategy! Basically, you need to build the most trees and collect the most sun to win. But your opponents can block your trees from the light, and you can cut down your trees. The sabotage factor makes it not the best for younger kids, but it’s really fun and interesting with an older crowd.

Munchkin deluxe gameMunchkin deluxe game

Munchkin Deluxe – This is a fast-paced, silly game where you advance from level 1 to level 10 to win the game. You have to collect certain cards and conquer monsters along the way, but it’s almost impossible to do without getting some help from your opponents. There are lots of expansion packs to get if you get tired of the original game.

Azul gameAzul game

Azul – I just bought this game, and we haven’t gotten the chance to play it yet. In the game, you are an artisan decorating the royal palace by picking up and placing decorated tiles and scoring points. I’ve read that you need to watch some YouTube videos on how to play to really grasp it, so I am going to do that before we try it out.

Exploding Kittens – I put this game at the bottom because I personally hate it, but my teen and all her friends LOVE it so I couldn’t leave it off. Also, it has 51,000 Amazon reviews and a total of 4+ stars, so I am in a very small minority of haters. Anyway, it’s a card game where you can draw as many cards as you want, but if you get an exploding kitten card, you lose and are out of the game. It’s not as easy as it sounds because there’s a lot of strategy.

There you have it, 40+ games that you can play on family game night with your tweens, teens, and older family members. I hope these games will help you to bond in a way that you haven’t before, and you will both enjoy the time you spent playing together.

Tell me in the comments – what games do you like to play with your older kids?

There are lots more fun family bonding games in these lists, too:

  • 30+ Best Games for Family Game Night (When You Have a Non-Reader)
  • The Best 20+ Adult & Teen Games for Date Night
  • The Best Games for Elementary School Kids
  • 17 St. Patrick’s Day Minute to Win It Games for Kids and Families (can be adjusted to other times of year)
  • 15 Awesome Thanksgiving Games for the Whole Family

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