Buying board games for teenagers can be a minefield. Teenagers are stuck somewhere between childhood and adulthood. They want to be seen as being grown-up but at the same time still find enjoyment in many of the same activities they did when they were younger.
We’ve put together this guide to the best board games for teens to help you find the perfect game for your teen.
Considerations When Choosing a Board Game for Teens
Age Range – The teenage years cover a wide range of abilities and maturity so it is important to pay attention to the age guidance when purchasing a game. Kids games or ones aimed at college students may have material in them not suitable for a 13 year old.
Gender – Most family games appeal to all genders but there are a few games which are targeted more at girls than boys and vice versa. Have a look at the list to see which board games for teen girls best and which are the latest board games for teen boys.
Party Size – The number of players can be an important consideration. If you are looking for party games for teenagers then you want a game which accommodates lots of people, or which can be played in teams. If you are looking for good board games for teenagers to share with their friends then ones which are designed for 2-4 players may be a better bet.
Top Board Games for Teenagers in 2020
Here you will find our reviews of the best board games for teens of all time. There’s something for everyone from card games to strategy, and prices to suit every pocket.
1. Unstable Unicorns
Starting with a cute baby unicorn the aim of this game is to protect your stable (army) of unicorns whilst attacking the stables (armies) of your opponents. With twenty different unicorns to collect, each bringing a special power to strengthen your army, the adorable artwork is sure to appeal to unicorn lovers. Special Upgrade and Downgrade cards allow you to attack your enemies, or strengthen your own stable, whilst Instant cards and Neigh cards ensure you can never be sure what’s going to happen next.
One of the most popular games for teenage girls, this card laying game promises to delight time and time again and can be played by any number of people up to a maximum of 8. When the excitement of the original game begins to wane the game can be expanded with the addition of Dragons or a NSFW adult deck.
2. Phone Phever
Is your teen a smartphone addict? If so, then Phone Phever will be right up their street. All you need is a smartphone and internet access (no apps required) to complete the challenges and answer the questions as you move around the board.
The aim of this multi-award winning game is to reach the Phone Phever shop at the end of the Mall. Along the way you will need to answer Phun Phact questions, separate Phact from Phiction and complete Phone Phever challenges such as typing with your nose. Ideal for a party up to 8 players can work together or in teams to be the first to enter the store and win the game.
3. Spontuneous The Song Game
A hilarious game of singing, or shouting, that requires no talent on the part of the players – just a knowledge of music and quick reactions. Players take it in turns to be the Tunesmith who announces a word and starts the timer. The race is on to sing (or shout) at least five words from a song containing that word. If the timer runs out the Tunesmith wins!
One of the best party board games the recommended number of players is between 4 and 10 and any genre of song is permitted meaning even grandparents and younger siblings can take part. Now all those times you heard a word and started humming a song can be put to good use by being Spontuneous.
4. Pick your Poison Card Game
Teens have been playing versions of “Would you rather?” for as long as anyone can remember and Pick Your Poison takes it to the next level. The Judge chooses two scenarios, answers any questions the other players may have before each chooses which “Poison” they’d rather experience. Then comes the big reveal – are your friends as messed up as you thought they were?
Great for parties the game can be played with as few as 3 or as many as 16 players and expansion packs (including a NSFW version for adults) keep this teen board game fresh and fun for the foreseeable future. This is a very popular games for teenagers who have a large gathering.
5. 5 Second Rule
Sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun as is shown by “5 second rule”. All you have to do is name three things in five seconds.
Sounds easy doesn’t it? But when the timer’s running there’s no knowing what you might come out with as you scramble to shout out the answer before the clock runs out.
Game starts when a player takes a topic card. The topics should pose no problem – for example name 3 breeds of dog – but with the timer making a distracting “zoooop” noise to let you know how little time is left it’s not as simple as it seems, especially with the other players waiting for you to slip up!
6. Taboo Party Game
A classic game brought up to date to appeal to a new generation of board game lovers. The game seems simple enough – guess the word being described by the current player before the timer runs out, but if the player mentions a “taboo” word the electronic buzzer will sound and they’ll lose their turn. Teams take it in turns to guess the word at the top of the card and the team with the most cards wins.
As it is played in teams Taboo is a great game for a large group of teens, but needs just 4 people to make it work, while the generous pack of 450 cards ensures there’s plenty of variety of topics.
7. Rollick Charades Game
Described by some reviewers as “Charades on steroids”, whilst others “still can’t stop laughing” Rollick brings an old favorite up-to-date and adding an intriguing twist to the proceedings as it does so.
Instead of one player acting out a clue for the team to guess the whole team have to act out the clue for a single player, with just 60 seconds to get the message across and absolutely no speaking allowed.
Ideal for bigger parties and get-togethers the game comes with 750 cards aimed at all ages from 8 years upwards and between 6 and 20 people, ensuring that everyone can join in the fun.
8. The Awkward Storyteller Party Game
A game intended for older teens, The Awkward Storyteller sees a new narrative brought to life by the efforts of the players, and just a little dash of silliness. You need the ability to think quickly as your story unfolds based on the actions of your friends.
The Storyteller selects a story card and reads it to the rest of the group. This is the first line of a whole new story. Each of the other players then takes it in turn to ask the Storyteller a question, the answer to which must start with the letter on the card or include the word shown. As a final twist the Storyteller has just ten seconds to respond and players can challenge answers to change the way the story is going.
9. What Do You Meme?
Think you’re the best at memes? One of our favorite new board games gives you the chance to try out your memeing skills and pit your wits against your friends. Intended for older teenagers the manufacturers suggest a lower age limit of 17. Because there are some things you just can’t unsee.
Each round a new photo card is chosen and a different player has a turn at being the Judge. The remaining players then choose the best caption from the seven in their hand – with the completed meme the Judge likes best winning that round. With 75 photo cards and 360 captions you can be sure that this game offers years of enjoyment, and unsettling insights into your friend’s sense of humor.
10. Relative Insanity
Families are traditionally the bane of every teenager’s existence and this game, created by comedian Jeff Foxworthy, gives them the chance to live some crazy scenarios and invent even crazier relatives to make them feel better about their real family.
Relative Insanity is a card matching game. Each round one player reads out a set up card and the other players choose a punch line to create the craziest family imaginable! For example ‘While walking past my sister’s bedroom, I heard her say…’ …. ‘It’s not my fault! It just popped out!” Whoever comes up with the funniest punch line is awarded the point, and the winner (and craziest relation) is the one with the most points at the end of the game.
11. Escape Room Game
Among the most popular board games for teens, if you enjoy puzzles and can keep your cool under pressure then Escape Room could be the game for you. Working with your friends you attempt one of four different scenarios – Prison Break, Virus, Nuclear Countdown and Aztec Temple – with each room more difficult than the last. With the clock ticking you have just 60 minutes to solve the clues and enter the code into the electronic Chrono Decoder to escape the room.
Playable with between 3 and 5 players each room is full of apparently impossible conditions, but there’s a solution to every puzzle and a lock to every key if you can only find it in time. Each room is playable only once because, like a real escape room, once you know the answers you lose the fun, but the manufacturer promises that expansion packs with new rooms are coming soon. This is a super cool board games for teenagers who like high-pressure games, full of excitement.
12. What Are The Odds?
A game of dares with a bit of a twist “What are the odds?” rewards you for not completing dares.
Each turn The Challenger takes a dare card and reads it out to the rest of the group, challenging one of them to complete the dare. The Dared announces the range of likelihood – for example between ½ and 1/10 – that they will complete the dare. Both Challenger and Dared then shout out a number in that range on the count of three. If they shout the same number the Dared must complete the dare, and the Challenger wins the card. Otherwise, the Dared becomes the Challenger and the newly Dared player has to choose lower odds – for example ½ and 1/7) than previously. Sooner or later someone has to do the dare to win the card and the game is won when one player owns three challenge cards.
13. Shocktato Party Game
Why play “Hot Potato” when you can play “Shocktato”? This twist on a classic party game comes with three modes to spice up your gameplay. Featuring an electronic potato, Shocktato is a last-person-standing game with a shocking finale. Any number of players sit or stand in a circle and the armed potato is passed quickly from hand to hand. In Normal mode music plays to let you know it’s ready to shock, but in Extreme mode there’s just eerie silence. When the potato decides to shock you the player holding the potato is out and game restarts. In Lame mode, ideal for younger players, the potato simply buzzes to let you know you’ve lost. You can even use it in Extreme mode to prank your friends – just turn it on, pass it over and wait for the sparks to fly!
14. Catch Phrase Game
A guessing game for at least four players, divided into two teams. Players take it in turns to hold the electronic timer and offer clues to their teammates relating to the word or phrase displayed on the face of the timer. If they guess correctly before the buzzer sounds their team scores a point, otherwise play passes to the other team. The game unit keeps score with the first team to reach 7 points being crowned the winner and catchphrase champions!
With over 5,000 phrases divided into five categories – Fun and Games, Entertainment, Everyday Life, Variety and The World “Catchphrase” is a self-contained compact size ideal for traveling.
15. Butts in Space Card Game
Defeat Evil Butt, repair your spaceship and gather the most toilet paper before repairs are complete in this humorous toilet themed card game. Evil Butt has stolen all the toilet paper in the Universe – clearly a disaster – and Bow Butt, Hairy Butt, Classy Butt and Butt Butt are on a mission to stop him, just as soon as they’ve repaired their damaged spaceship that is!
Match your Butt to the Toilet Paper to collect it but beware – Power Farts can wreck havoc and Action Cards could help you out or sabotage your plans. Be sure to wear your Lucky Underpants to avoid coming to a sticky end. This game proves that fun games for teens don’t have to make sense!
16. Sequence Game
Taking just a few minutes to learn, but hours to master, the Sequence Game combines strategy and luck in just the right combination. Simply play a card from your hand and place the counter on the matching square on the board. If you get five in a row you’ve made a Sequence. When you’ve made enough Sequences you’ve won the game. Watch out for Jacks – they can remove counters from the board just when you thought you were about to win!
Simple enough for younger players, but with enough strategy to interest older teens Sequence is the ideal family game to encourage the whole family to enjoy something together.
17. Better Me Game
The teenage years can be a struggle with emotions and personal development. Old enough to have views and opinions but lacking in life experience it can be tricky for teens to analyze themselves.
Not many games for teenagers are able to encourage personal development but here you are encouraged to think about your actions and motivations in a gentle non-threatening way, with the security of your friends or family around you. As players move around the board they draw cards when prompt them to share memories, commit to positive actions outside the game and consider philosophical questions about their motivations and perceptions. Points are gained by completing the tasks on the cards and players compete to see who can fulfill the five areas of their life – heart, mind, body, people and tangibles – before the others.
18. Clue Harry Potter Edition
Perhaps the perfect board game for Harry Potter fans everywhere you get to take on the role of either Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna or Neville as you investigate the disappearance of a student from Hogwarts.
Based on the popular murder mystery game you seek to determine who the perpetrator is, what spell (or magical item) they used and where the student vanished. Once you’ve gathered your clues the race is on to be the first to Dumbledore’s office to announce the results of the investigation.
This beautifully crafted game brings Hogwarts to life – and even includes rotating secret passages to move you quickly around the board.
19. Tension Word Game
If you like fun game that get you thinking against the clock you’ll love Tension. The aim of the game is to think of as many words on a given subject as you can. You have 60 seconds in which to shout them out and find the 10 words printed on the card.
The game requires a minimum of four players as you need to play in teams of two or more. Each word you find on the card will score you one point and move you along the scoring track. Reach the end of the track first and your team is the winner.
Subjects range from “Foods that are naughty, but nice” to “Annoying habits” and when you’re pushed for time anything could come out of your mouth! This hilarious and fast-paced game is ideal for teens who just want to have a bit of a laugh with their mates.
20. Codenames Card Game
Budding spies will have lots of fun puzzling out the identities of their team’s secret agents in this fun word association teens board game.
Codenames requires teamwork and logic to master. Each clue consists of a word associated with some of the codenames, and the number of agents it refers to – for example “Hot 2” if “Dog” and “Fire” are codenames. The game is ideal for mixed ages as teams can be picked to keep a level playing field.
Players divide into two teams and appoint a spymaster. The spymaster knows the identities of their own secret agents and can give clues to guide the rest of the team to work out which codename applies to which agent. But beware – make contact with the assassin and you’re dead!
21. Conspiracy Theory Trivia Game
Spend any time on the internet and sooner or later you’ll come across some crackpot theory about a conspiracy, whether it’s chemtrails in the sky or the location of Atlantis.
Think you’ve heard them all? Then you’re ready to play Conspiracy Theory – a game that starts out fun but will soon have you looking over your shoulder at every shadow. QR codes on the cards let your find out more about interesting theories – if you dare!
Test your knowledge of conspiracies against those of your friends. There are five categories – Mythos, Aliens, Technologies, Schemes and Random. Answer questions correctly to win cards and assemble a matching set to win the game. Watch out for Government Cover-ups that will confiscate some of your evidence!
22. Family Secrets
There’s nothing like a family gathering to bring all the skeletons out of the closet and Family Secrets is the board game to get your family’s skeletons up and dancing on the table.
The aim of the game is to show how well you know the other members of your family. On each turn you roll the dice, read the question and compare the responses. Since everyone is required to respond each round it’s a great game for keeping the whole family engaged. As well as highlighting how much (or little) you actually know about each other.
The basic game has questions suitable from age 13, and which shouldn’t cause too many family feuds to start. To spice things up you can order adult “red” cards with more provocative questions from the manufacturer.
23. Charades Classic Game
Sometimes the old games are the best and Charades is a classic game that never fails to please. This version has been brought up to date and is designed for players over the age of 16.
Like all versions of Charades the aim of the game is to guess the hidden word or phrase known only to a chosen team member. To make things a little bit more interesting some challenges involve the traditional mimes, whilst others require drawing, modelling, describing verbally, singing, or reversing the order.
Successful guesses move your team around the board and the winner is the first to reach the end.
24. Monopoly Fortnite Edition
If you’re finding it hard to get your teen away from their console perhaps this fusion of one of the top board games and top computer games – Monopoly and Fortnite – will fit the bill.
Players move around the board earning Health Points (HP) to stay alive and avoid the Storm. Well-known game locations feature instead of the traditional landmarks and players can use loot chest items and the action die to battle their opponents.
With 27 outfits your teen can play as their favorite Fortnite character, and the action die lets them build walls, pick up health packs and deal damage to their rivals. Last player standing wins!
25. Exploding Kittens
The most-backed project in Kickstarter history resulted in this simple card game with artwork by Oatmeal. One of our best board games, it’s simple to play: all you have to do is avoid the exploding kittens.
Players take it in turns to draw cards from the pack. If you draw an exploding kitten you’re dead and you’re out of the game. Unless you have a Defuse card which distracts the kitty and allows you to get to safety. Special power cards allow you to influence the game flow by skipping turns, attacking other players, sneaking a peek at the pack or sending an Exploding Kitten elsewhere.
Its small size makes it a great game for traveling and can be played by up to 5 people – more if expansion packs or extra decks are purchased.
26. Yahtzee Classic Dice Game
For years considered amongst the best strategy board games, this classic game of strategy and luck has been reissued in a new format with “Casino cool” dice and a shaker that doubles up as a storage box for traveling.
The game is simple you have 13 rounds and up to three rolls on any turn. You have to fill in the boxes on the score sheet and be the person with the highest total at the end. Cunning and cool are needed in equal parts as you decide whether to stick with what you’ve got or risk it all for a Yahtzee.
A deceptively simple game that is bound to keep your teens occupied for hours.
27. Deluxe Scrabble
Scrabble is amongst one of the longest running popular pick so improve your vocabulary and show off your knowledge of obscure two-letter words in style with this latest version of an old classic. This surely is one of those intellectual board games for teenagers that they will either love or hate!
Frustration (14 points) and fun in equal measure describe playing Scrabble. Some of the biggest frustrations are not watching your opponents get the letters you need, but rather having to read the board upside-down and the tendency of the tiles to slip around every time someone gets up to get a drink.
This deluxe version addresses these issues by introducing a rotating board, so everyone has the chance to read the board the right way up, and fitting the board surface with a non-slip grid to ensure that once laid the tiles stay put. Wooden tiles and a neat carry case are the finishing details on this well-thought out reboot.
28. Monopoly Game of Thrones Edition
Game of Thrones may have reached it’s final finale but that doesn’t mean your GOT fan needs to miss out on the action and adventure of Westeros and beyond.
This version of Monopoly combines all the ruthlessness of Daenerys with the joy of spending pretend wealth. Play as a Dragon Egg, White Walker, Three-eyed Raven, Iron Throne, Crown or Direwolf as you make your way around Westeros buying up properties, and building villages and keeps with Gold Dragons. The Community Chest has been renamed The Iron Throne while the Chance Cards are known as Valar Morghulis. And indeed in Monopoly it is the last player alive who wins the game.
An ideal gift for a Game of Thrones obsessed teen, or any one else, mourning the end of the series.
29. Pandemic Game
Would you survive the end of the world? In Pandemic you can put your apocalypse skills to the test as you, and your team, journey round the world fighting outbreaks of four deadly diseases and searching for the cure before its too late.
A co-operative game for 2-4 players each team member has different strengths and weaknesses that can help, or hinder the efforts of the others. The aim of the game is to work together to discover the cures for the diseases and eradicate them from the world. Outbreaks and epidemics threaten to intensify a disease at every turn, which could lead to the extinction of the human race, while research stations make movement between disaster areas faster leading to better containment of hotspots.
Great games don’t come any better than this for encouraging teamwork as either everyone wins or the pandemic takes over.
30. Hasbro Risk
The original game of conquest and diplomacy for 2-6 players, and one of the more famous board games for college students. The aim of the game is to take over the world, forming alliances and double-crossing your friends to gain territory as you do. This is one of those strategy board games for teenagers and can last hours!
With a stylized, yet beautifully detailed, game board and model soldiers and artillery to occupy your land the game is as enjoyable to look at as it is to play. Newly updated and improved mission cards speed up gameplay and the game includes four variants including Classic Risk, Secret Missions, Two-Player Risk and Capital.
Budding megomaniacs and tactical geniuses alike will enjoy playing Risk – the game where who dares wins.
31. Klaus Teuber’s Catan
Teenagers often seem to think they know it all and Catan gives them the opportunity to put that attitude to the test through settling the remote, yet resource rich, island of Catan.
Players start by mapping out the island – the random mix of elements means no two games are alike – then take it in turns to acquire resources and build villages, roads and civilization. Robbers can relieve you of your hard won gains at a moments notice and lucky dice (even when it’s not your turn) can reward you handsomely. Beware of your rivals cutting off your access to resources or playing a monopoly card!
Catan requires all the skill, luck, strategy and clever trading you know to gain the required 10 victory points and win the game.
32. Trekking the National Parks Game
If you have a love of the great outdoors then this could be the game for your family for those bleak winter days when you have a greater love of the warm indoors!
The aim of the game is to travel round the National Parks of America, gaining Park Cards and Trail Stones until either all stones are claimed or one player has five cards. Points are tallied based on the number of parks claimed, number of stones and other bonuses and the player with the most points wins.
It’s a deceptively simple game that can be played by all members of the family, yet offers enough strategy to engage most teenagers. Plus the beautifully designed cards, complete with facts about each park, may inspire a love of the great outdoors. We really love and think this is one of those great board games for teenagers.
33. Double Ditto Family Game
How well do you know your friends? Do you sometimes find yourself coming out with the same ideas that they do? Double Ditto is the ideal game to put yourself to the test and see if you really do know your friends as well as you think you do!
On each turn you simply draw a card from the pack and write down two answers you think your friends will come up with. Once the time is up, compare answers and see if any match – or if any are so far off the mark you can’t stop laughing!
A simple, yet hilarious game for teenagers of any age that can be adapted for play by any number from 4 – 10.
34. Talk It Out
Often getting teens to open up about their anxieties – or even about what’s good in their life – can be hard but this game is designed to make it easy for them.
Players move around the board. The game can be played competitively with players earning chips as they move, or not as the mood takes you. At each point questions are posed which act as talking points to encourage your teen to open up a bit and let you see life through their eyes.
Designed by a Gordon Greenhalgh, Ph.D. the game is recommended by parents and psychiatrists alike as a non-threatening way to Talk it Out and open up lines of communication.
35. It’s In The Bag Party Game
What makes a good party game? Teamwork? Fun? Laughter? Fun board games for teens combine all of these and this twist on that old favorite of Charades is no exception.
Players form teams and work together to guess as many words in the bag as possible. In round one players can use any words they like, except the one on the card, to describe what they’re reading. In round two they’re only allowed to choose a single word to describe it and in round three they must act out a mime to help their team mates get the right answer.
Teams work against the clock and the winning team is the one with the most correct guesses at the end of the game. Perfect for any size of gathering and intended for ages 12 upwards.
Our Best Board Game for Teenagers
Exploding Kittens has to be the one of our top rated board games. It’s fun to play, easy to learn and portable enough to fit into a bag for playing at a friend’s house. The rules are straightforward, and there’s enough strategy involved to stop it being too childish for teenagers.
What are the Benefits of Playing Board Games?
Games like these generally don’t need the internet, WiFi or electricity to work which means you can play them anywhere – on an airplane, at the beach, or in a cafe. They build the skills of teamwork, strategy, logical thinking, addition, co-operation and patience and many games can be enjoyed by a wide age range making them an ideal family activity, even when younger siblings or older relatives are playing.
Can all the Family Play These Games?
A few of the games are targeted specifically at teenagers and either deal with issues which wouldn’t be suitable for younger children or tap into the knowledge that older generations may not possess. A lot of the games are suitable for the whole family, or can be adapted by playing in teams to include everyone.
The party ideas board games for teenagers might not be the ideal pick, but it really depends on each household.
How Long Does a Game Last?
Most of the games listed here last from between 30 minutes to one hour. A few of the games, such as Shocktato, are quicker.
Games such as Classic Risk and Scrabble can often go on for a long time but are easy to pause and can be shortened by using timers to encourage faster play.
Can I Buy Spare Parts for any of These Games?
Some manufacturers, such as Play Monster and Hasbro, have a replacement parts service, provided the game is still in production.
Items such as Yahtzee score pads, which are used up in the course of play, are readily available through the outlet you purchased the original game from. Some manufacturers, such as Spin Master (who make Escape Room) offer downloads of consumable game pieces for you to print out yourself.
If a spare part is not available from the manufacturer there are online sellers and eBay stores which may be able to help you.