Best Party Board Games

Everyone can agree that a great party is one where people can socialize and have fun with each other, but how do you do it? Most party-goers have a couple of drinks and share stories; through it, you can connect with others, especially those who you do not know too well.

Alongside the drinks and the stories, you can also add another fun element to the mix: board games. The party can have a ton of hilarity and chaos with the proper board games.

However, not all board games are fit for the occasion. Many parties have people of all backgrounds, and overly-complex games can deter those who are new to the scene.

While Gloomhaven is a fun and exciting experience, playing it at a party can be inappropriate, considering it can take one to two hours to finish.

So, this guide will teach you which of them are perfect for parties and social gatherings. I will also be pointing out the traits you need to look out for when picking games for parties. This list does not contain every party board game; thus, the selection criteria can guide you in choosing more.

My Top Picks at a Glance

My Top Pick for Party Board Games with Strategy

  • Exploding Kittens: This fun game is simple on the surface but challenging once you have learned how to play it. Among the games in this list, Exploding Kittens can satisfy people of different demographics; even the ones who are not into board games can have fun with it. While luck plays a significant part in your victory, you still need to form a plan based on the cards you have. However, I recommend Two Rooms and a Boom if you want something more physical.

My Top Pick for Party Board Games with Social Deduction

  • Secret Hitler: This game has never failed me in forming a chaotic yet entertaining environment during social gatherings. The rules may be confusing, but after a couple of rounds, everyone will understand how to play Secret Hitler. Several minutes later, you can expect deep analysis and anarchic conversations, which is good for forming engagement at a party.

My Top Pick for Party Board Games with Word Guessing

  • Codenames: Codenames is one of my favorite games because of how easy yet engaging it is. Even new players can understand how to play this game in a minute or two. What makes it fun is the dynamic between the leader and the team members as they frantically figure out what the leader’s hints mean. Decrypto is also a solid recommendation perfect for groups of four to six.

My Top Pick for Party Board Games with Drawing and Guessing

  • A Fake Artist Goes to New York: Everyone, even people who cannot draw like me, can have a blast when playing A Fake Artist Goes to New York because it does not rely on your artistic skill. Instead, it depends on the synergy between the players and the spy’s bluffing prowess. It is my top pick in this section because the players create a chaotically beautiful and unique artwork by the end of the round.

Selection Criteria

There is no denying that board games make gatherings fun, but not all board games are fit for parties. These occasions usually have people of different experiences come together, and choosing the wrong game can hinder a good time.

The games in this list are perfect for parties because they have the following traits:

  • Brief duration: While parties can last for hours, everyone might not like being in a game for half that time. Board games that last relatively quickly are best for parties because it ensures that people can come and go whenever they please. It gives other people a chance to play while those who want to try something else can freely explore without missing out. I suggest games that are 15 to 30 minutes long, although there may be exceptions to the rule.
  • Simple and easy to understand: Since board games that quickly finish are great for parties, you also need ones that require only a quick explanation of the rules without expanding too much. People do not want to play a game only to spend most of the time learning how to play.
  • Engaging and interactive: People go to parties to interact with other people, and board games that encourage interaction are fantastic for the job. All of the games in this guide require you to communicate with other players in one way or another. This trait is the reason why board games with social deduction work.

The Best Party Board Games with Strategy

Sushi Go Party!

board game Sushi Go Party

  • Release date: 2016
  • of players: 2 to 8 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 8 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 3/10

Are you up for chaos and mayhem? Sushi Go Party is the perfect topping for your crazy party night. I talked about Sushi Go Party in my “Best Gateway Board Games Guide,” so I recommend you read it for more info.

Your goal in Sushi Go Party is to acquire the most points by the end of the game, and you do it by playing the cards in your hand. However, your hand frequently changes because everyone passes their hand to the left player every turn.

There are five categories of dishes in the game: nigiri, sushi rolls, appetizers, specials, and desserts. Playing nigiri cards will immediately net you points, while sushi rolls will net you points by the end of the round.

Appetizer cards will net you points by making stacking them up and making combos. Special cards do not necessarily earn you points, but they can help you get more. Finally, dessert cards net you points by the end of the game.


skull board game

  • Release date: 2011
  • of players: 3 to 6 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 8 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

Are you partying in a pub or someplace where there is alcohol? Skull is a great game that you can play in these places because you can play the game using coasters!

In Skull, each player has four coasters; three have flower prints, while the remaining one has a skull. During the first round, each player chooses and places a coaster on their mat. After the first round, each player can either place another coaster or issue a challenge.

When someone issues a challenge, they announce a number; they have to be confident that when they flip the same number of coasters, they must not flip one with a skull. Otherwise, they lose a coaster.

Other players can either bid to raise the number or pass. After everyone except for the last bidder passes, they become the new challenger.

The challenger must flip theirs first, then flip other people’s coasters in any order as long as they flip from top to bottom. The first player who succeeds in two challenges wins!


Exploding Kittens

  • Release date: 2015
  • of players: 2 to 5 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 8 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

If you want a game of wits and strategy while still maintaining the party vibes, I recommend playing Exploding Kittens. Like Sushi Go Party, I talked about Exploding Kittens in my “Best Gateway Board Game Guide.”

To summarize, your goal in this game is to be the last player standing. Players take turns, and during your turn, you can play the cards in your hand (or not). You must draw a card from the draw pile to end your turn.

If you draw an Exploding Kitten, you must play a defuse card. If not, you are out! The game has a ton of ways to keep you alive. For example, if you know the next card is an Exploding Kitten, you can use a skip card to skip your turn.

I also recommend playing with its expansion packs, although you should play the base game first to know if it is the game for your party.

Two Rooms and a Boom

two rooms and a boom board game

  • Release date: 2013
  • of players: 6 to 30 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 12 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 3/10

If the party wants to play a game but there are too many players, Two Rooms and a Boom is the solution for you. It is like a game of werewolves, but the villagers and werewolves must meet halfway sometimes.

To start, randomly but evenly divide the players into two areas (a.k.a. rooms). Then, each player receives a face-down character card that is either red or blue. One player will receive the blue president card, while another will receive the red bomber card.

The game spans three rounds, and during every round, players must not interact or communicate with the other room. You also cannot swap character cards with other players.

When the round starts, the first player that receives a leader nomination becomes the leader of their respective room. An abdication or majority vote can change the position, though.

During each round, players discuss among themselves in their room who to pick as a hostage. When the time runs out, the leaders finalize the decision and swap hostages.

If the president and bomber are in the same room by the end of the third round, the red team wins. Otherwise, the blue team wins.

The Best Party Board Games with Social Deduction

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

one night ultimate werewolf board game

  • Release date: 2014
  • of players: 3 to 10 players
  • Average play duration: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 8 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 3/10

If everyone at the party wants to play a social-deduction game with suspense and thrill, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is the way to go. I have discussed this game in another article called “Best Gateway Board Games,” so I advise you to read it for more information.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf is fun for a party because of the variation in the roles. The more people involved, the crazier and weirder the game can get. Each player receives a card indicating their role, and they can perform their corresponding action.

For example, the doppelganger changes into the role of the card they viewed. The robber can change cards between two people. So, what would happen if a doppelganger views and changes into a werewolf, then the robber switches the werewolf’s card with a villager?

Chaos and laughter will fill the room when everyone’s roles are revealed.


spyfall game board

  • Release date: 2014
  • of players: 3 to 8 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 10 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

Spice up your party by playing Spyfall, a game that will show you which of your friends is a bad liar. One player will become the spy, and they need to quickly adapt to their surroundings to not get caught.

To start, choose a bag of cards, then shuffle and deal one to each player. All these cards except for one detail, a specific place, and a role. Meanwhile, the exception is the spy card.

A starting player must ask another player a question regarding the place, and the recipient must answer it in a way that befits their role. For example, if the location is “hospital,” Person A can ask Person B how often they come by.

If Person B is not a spy, and their role is “doctor,” they can answer, “every day.” If Person B is a spy, he must improvise and gather context clues to answer it that will not arouse suspicion.

At any point, someone can accuse another of being a spy, and if the vote is unanimous, the accused reveals their card. If the spy is outed, they lose, and if not, they win. Each player can only do this action once.

Similarly, the spy can stop the game at any point to guess the location. If they guess right, they win, and if not, they lose.

Secret Hitler

board game secret hitler

  • Release date: 2016
  • of players: 5 to 10 players
  • Average play duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • Age recommendation: 14 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 4/10

Despite the terrifying name, Secret Hitler is a fun social-deduction game you can play with family and friends. You can find an extensive guide about this game here, so I suggest reading it if you are interested in learning how to play it.

In the game, everyone is secretly divided into two teams: the liberals and the fascists. The liberals aim to identify and kill Hitler, while the fascists aim to elect Hitler after the third fascist policy card is enacted.

If these two goals seem hard, each team can also win by enacting five policy cards of their respective team.

Secret Hitler can test everyone’s ability to bluff and call out bluffs. It is a great game to play at a party because, aside from a large number of possible players, it forces everyone to communicate with each other. It can make you talk to people you have not talked to before.

Wits and Wagers

wits and wagers board game

  • Release date: 2005
  • of players: 3 to 7 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 8 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

A trivia game is a great way to develop and strengthen friendships since you understand more about how other people think. One big weakness that trivia games possess, though, is that they tend to rely on everyone’s knowledge, and not everyone has the same level of knowledge.

However, one trivia game circumvents this issue, and it is Wits and Wagers, a 2005 board game fit for three to seven players. You can even play it with more than seven players by teaming up with people.

I explained everything about the game in my “Wits and Wagers Guide,” so I recommend that you read it. In the article, I provided the rules and sample scenarios that will clear up any confusion.

Essentially, the game makes you answer a question that requires a number. After everyone has written down their response, the answers are arranged on the board. Next, everyone will bid on what they think is the right answer.

You do not need to correctly answer if you are unsure because you can bet on other people who you think are more knowledgeable on the matter.

The Best Party Board Games with Word Guessing


board game codenames

  • Release date: 2015
  • of players: 2 to 8 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 10 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

Codenames is a great party game, especially with many people. Plus, you do not need to have in-depth experience with board games to have fun with them. I talked about Codenames in my “Best Gateway Board Games” article, so if you want to read more about it, check out the guide.

The game splits the party into two teams, and each team elects a leader among them. In full view for everyone is a 5×5 grid of identical cards with different words on them. The leaders unanimously get a key card that tells them the colors of these cards.

The leader’s task is to give out hints for the words on the cards associated with their color during their team’s turn. For example, the leader for team red can say “polar, 2” to indicate that two cards on the 5×5 grid are red and related to the word “polar.”

The first team that can uncover all their cards wins! However, the first to uncover the lone assassin card loses, so be careful.


decrypto board game

  • Release date: 2018
  • of players: 3 to 8 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 10 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 3/10

If your party likes Codenames, then I recommend giving Decrypto a shot. In many ways, both games are similar. There are only two teams, and there is someone giving you words as a hint for other words.

Each team has a numbered list of four words; these words are for their respective team’s eyes only! During your team’s turn, someone becomes the encryptor (this role rotates every turn). They pick out a code card that details three numbers of one to four in random order.

Then, they give out hints for the team’s words in the order indicated. Both teams must guess the order based on the words hinted at, and when they are done guessing, the encryptor reveals the order.

If the opposing team correctly guesses, they receive an Interception Token. If your team incorrectly guesses, your team receives a Miscommunication Token.

The first team to get two Miscommunication Tokens loses, or the first to get two Interception Tokens wins.


board game monikers

  • Release date: 2015
  • of players: 4 to 16 players
  • Average play duration: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 16 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

Monikers is a game based on Celebrities, another board game that is so ancient it belongs in the public domain. However, I think Monikers adds a lot of improvement and variety to the original game.

To start, each player takes ten cards and keeps five. Then, shuffle all kept cards into a draw pile. The players are separated into two teams.

During your team’s turn, each member has 60 seconds to take a card from the pile, make their team guess the name on it by giving hints, and repeat the process. Players can skip, but the hinter must not say the name or part of it.

Each card has a number that indicates the points earned when a team correctly guesses it. You play the game in three rounds; in round two, you can only say one word as a clue, and in round three, you can only do charades.

Just One

just one board game

  • Release date: 2018
  • of players: 3 to 7 players
  • Average play duration: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 8 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

Sometimes, playing a game where you compete with other players does not make people happy. If you want a game where you cooperate instead, you should try Just One.

To start, shuffle all the cards and pick 13 by random; pile these cards into a face-down deck. Each player must have an easel and marker.

Choose someone to be the active player; they must draw the top card and place it on their easel. The card must face the other players so that they can see the words while the active player cannot. The active player chooses a number from one to five to pick out the mystery word.

Next, the other players write down a word on their easels that they think will help the active player guess the mystery word. Then, the active player closes their eyes as the other players compare answers.

They must eliminate similar words. After doing so, the active player opens their eyes and guesses the mystery word based on the hints.

If they succeed, the team scores a point. If they fail, they discard the current card and the top one on the deck. If they skip, they discard the current card only.

The Best Party Board Games with Drawing and Guessing


telestrations board game

  • Release date: 2009
  • of players: 4 to 8 players
  • Average play duration: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 10 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

Are you looking for a fun and hilarious game that does not require you to track points? If so, Telestrations may be the game for you and your friends. I recommend it if you are in a silly mood, especially during drunk parties.

In Telestrations, everyone takes turns illustrating and guessing words. To start, each player picks a word from the cards and writes it down on their sketch book’s “secret word” page. Then, turn to page one, which is a “sketch it” page.

If there are an odd number of players, everyone passes their sketchbook to their left. During the “sketch it” pages, you draw the word written on the previous page. After drawing, you pass the sketchbook to the left.

The next player must guess what the previous player drew; they write it down on the “guess it” page. Eventually, the sketchbooks will land with their original owners. You can then view how the secret word transformed into the final guess.

It can be fun even if you are not a talented artist! The most important part is to see the funny guesses and illustrations in your games.

Dixit Odyssey

dixit odyssey board game

  • Release date: 2011
  • of players: 3 to 12 players
  • Average play duration: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 8 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

Dixit Odyssey is another board game that lets you understand how the people you are playing with think. I have talked about this game in another article, namely the “Best Gateway Board Games Guide,” so I suggest you head over there to read more about it.

In Dixit Odyssey, players take turns choosing a card from their hand and describing the card’s artwork. Then, the other players choose which of their cards closely matches the description. All the cards are shuffled, and everyone votes on which of the cards they think is the active player’s card.

It is a good game for parties because it encourages the players to talk with one another. If you play Dixit Odyssey with friends or people you just met, you can learn more about them by observing how they describe things.

You also do not need to be stern about your descriptions. You can try to make your descriptions funny but still informative.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York

a fake artist goes to new york board game

  • Release date: 2011
  • of players: 5 to 10 players
  • Average play duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 8 and above
  • Difficulty rating: 2/10

Whether or not your party has talented artists, this game will make the atmosphere livelier and noisier from laughing and arguing.

In A Fake Artist Goes to New York, everyone (except for the Question Master) contributes to drawing on a large drawing board. Everyone knows what they are trying to draw except for one person.

To start, a designated Question Master (or QM) chooses a word and writes them on pieces of paper. However, one piece is marked with X instead. The QM distributes these pieces, and the person who receives the X-marked paper is the fake artist.

Players take turns drawing on a large canvas. After every round, everyone votes for who they think is the fake artist. If it is not a majority vote, the round continues.

If the fake artist is caught, they must correctly guess what the word is. If they do, they and the QM receive two points each. If not, the other artists receive one point each.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Which Party Board Games are Perfect for Eight Players?

Answer: I recommend Secret Hitler, A Fake Artist Goes to New York, Codenames, One Night Werewolf, Sushi Go Party, and Two Rooms and a Boom for parties with eight players. Aside from these games allowing eight players, they also become more chaotic and fun the more players involved.

Question: What are the Best Party Board Games for Adults?

Answer: Telestrations has an adult edition known as Telestrations After Dark, but you can also try out all the party games with word guessing, i.e., Codenames, Decrypto, Monikers, and Just One. You can change the words to make them more adult.

Question: What are the Best Party Board Games for Families?

Answer: Every game in this list is family-friendly, but most of them would be Sushi Go Party and Dixit Odyssey. The former contains cute pictures of food without any offensive material, while the latter contains beautiful artwork you can describe in your own way.

What is your Favorite Party Board Game?

As a board game enthusiast, parties are great events to introduce new people to board games. If you played a board game during a party and remembered having fun, you will most likely seek more. Board games are fun, and parties are fun. Combine the two, and you get a super fun party.

However, you might also run the risk of making people stay away from board games, especially if they had a rough or unfun time. Thus, it is important to choose which games you have to bring out from your shelves.

Of course, you can introduce Scythe to new players at a party, but make sure to analyze your target beforehand. Do you think they are the type to enjoy spending long hours playing a board game during a party?

I recommend introducing them to simpler ones first, like the entries in this list, before diving into the more complex games.

Which of the party games in this list is your favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts! And I hope this guide helped you find the right board game for you and your friends.

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