cover image for an article explaining which board games are good to play with teenage kids as a family

Best Board Games to Play With Your Teenage Kids

Best Board Games to Play With Your Teenage Kids

Navigating the teen years can feel like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded. When you think you’ve got a side figured out, everything shifts. Capturing the attention of your teenage children, especially for something as seemingly "ancient" as a family game night, might seem like a quest destined for failure.

Here  lies the magic of board games - a trove of treasures that surprisingly aligns with the teenage quest for independence, challenge, and fun. These games offer quality family time and sneak-in lessons on strategy, critical thinking, and cooperation, all wrapped up in an entertaining package.

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Why Board Games Rock with Teens

In today's screen-saturated world, convincing a teenager to look up from their device might seem as feasible as scaling Mount Everest in flip-flops. Yet, here lies the underrated charm of board games: they're not just another "family activity" but a gateway to engaging, unplugged interaction that even the most tech-obsessed teens can get behind.

These games cleverly bridge the generational divide, offering something for the strategic thinker, the fantasy lover, the budding entrepreneur, and the quick-witted joker in the family. Beyond just being a platform for friendly competition, board games weave in moments of shared laughter, critical thinking, and teamwork, subtly teaching life skills under the guise of entertainment.

It's in these moments, dice in hand, strategy in mind, that the usual teenage reticence fades, replaced by genuine engagement and interaction. For a few precious hours, board games transform the living room into a battleground, a fantasy realm, or a high-stakes trading floor, proving that, in the battle for quality family time, board games are the secret weapon we've been overlooking.


a family with teenage kids having a board game night by playing jenga

The Best Board Games to Play with Teenagers

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list - this is just a starting point allowing you to get a jump start, and lead you to the games that are best for you! And as always - let us know in the comments, which games you think we should add to the list!

Best Board Games for Teens: For the Fantasy Adventurers

Game 1: Fantasy Meets Strategy - The Spheres of Life.

Dive into "The Spheres of Life," a game where strategy meets fantasy. Players embark on a journey to collect points through strategic card collection, ability use, and timely actions. With elements drawn from lifestyle card games to classics like poker, it’s designed to engage teens and adults alike.

Game 2: Cooperative Fantasy Adventure - Legends of Andor

Team up to save the land of Andor from various threats. With a series of legends (scenarios) to work through, players must balance advancing their characters with the defense of their realm. It’s a cooperative experience that encourages strategic teamwork and imaginative play.

Game 3: Competitive Fantasy Game - Small World

This game pits players against each other in a fantastical land that is too small for everyone. With a mix of races and powers, strategy and imagination combine as players vie for conquest and control.

Well Known Best Board Games for Teens

Game 4: A Modern-ish ClassicCatan

This very popular game challenges players to dominate an island through strategic building and resource management, with gameplay involving dice rolls, trading, and tactical positioning. It is great to play with your teenage kids, as it is moderately difficult game, and there is a chance that they will have at least heard of this game.

Game 5: Family Feud - Monopoly

It may not be the most modern or exciting game, but who does not know Monopoly? Most likely you, the parent, had played it when you were in your teens! So why not play it with your kids, right? Just remember, how long it can take, so be sure to play it when all of you have time to burn.

Game 6: Chaotic Engineering - Jenga

Another game of last century you probably have played in your youth! Jenga is great for family game nights, as it can be set up within a few minutes and take less than a minute to teach! 

Best Light Strategy Board Games for Teens 

Game 7: Modern Classic Strategy - Kingdomino

A twist on traditional dominoes with an added strategic layer, Kingdomino challenges players to build the most impressive kingdom. It’s easy to learn but offers deep strategic gameplay that will have teens (and parents) plotting for hours.

Game 8: Simple Yet Fun - Carcassonne

A tile-placement game set in southern France, players draw and place tiles depicting various landscapes such as cities, roads, and grasslands, ensuring the features align correctly with previously placed tiles. Fun and simple game you can learn in uder an hour and then quickly explain. Which is just perfect for the always-in-rush teens.

Game 9: Building a Railway Empire - Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride offers straightforward gameplay where players collect train car cards to claim railway routes, earning points through longer routes and fulfilling destination tickets. Its simplicity, combined with strategic decision-making makes it an excellent choice for engaging teenagers, providing a perfect balance of learning and entertainment with quality components that enhance the experience. Read our full review here.

Best Mystery Board Games for Teens 

Game 10: Detective Mystery Game - Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

Dive into the world of Victorian London and work alongside the famous detective. This game tests deductive reasoning and attention to detail, which is perfect for teens who love unraveling mysteries.

Game 11: Interactive Mystery Game with App Integration - Chronicles of Crime

Blending traditional board gameplay with modern technology, this app-driven game immerses players in various detective scenarios. It’s a blend of virtual reality and board gaming that brings stories to life.

Best Board Games for Teens: For the Quick Thinkers

Game 12: Fast-Paced Party Game - Anomia

Anomia challenges players to think quickly under pressure. With a constant exchange of ideas, it’s a test of speed, wit, and laughter, making for a lively family game night.

Game 13: Trivia with a Twist - Wits & Wagers

It’s trivia, but not as you know it. Wits & Wagers introduces betting elements, meaning you don’t need to know the answers to win, making it inclusive and engaging for all players.

Quick and Easy Board Games for Teens 

Game 14: Old, but Fun - Uno

Most know Uno, but that does not mean you should exclude it. It still is fun in a brutal sense by allowing to scheme, sabotage, and live the thrills of ups and downs. 

Game 15: Also Simple Fun, but Newer - Exploding Kittens

Similar to Uno, Exploding Kittens is a drafting game where you need to do a lot of sabotaging to win the game, but it adds modern twist with more abilities and a cartoon style illustrations. Great for quick laughs with your teenage kids!

Incorporating Digital Elements in Board Gaming

Digital apps and components have significantly enhanced the board gaming experience, introducing a new level of depth and immersion. Board games, like Scythe, Dune: Imperium, Through the Ages and others have PC or mobile App versions that can be amazing gateway for tech-savvy teenagers, or simply for learning the game by playing against AI, or playing online with each other.

This marriage of the physical and digital worlds in board gaming makes each game night a unique and memorable event, appealing to both traditional board game enthusiasts and those who appreciate the flair that technology can bring to the table. These advancements ensure that board games continue to evolve, offering diverse and engaging experiences that captivate players of all ages, especially the tech-savvy teenage demographic.

Educational Yet Fun: Learning Through Play

Some board games (like Hegemony, Wingspan) blend education with entertainment, offering lessons in economics, strategy, and teamwork without the feel of a classroom. Also some board games introduces many thematic mechanisms that resemble real life events (economic, history, business etc.).

Of course, board games are not learning tools per se, but they can be a fun way to introduce teenagers to a variety of topics, and maybe even get them interested in them!

Tips for a Successful Board Game Night with Teens

  • Choose Wisely: Select games that match your teen's interests and the mood of the evening. Variety is key.
  • Set a Positive Tone: Approach game night with enthusiasm and a spirit of fun. Your 
  • attitude sets the stage for the evening.
  • Encourage Teamwork: Opt for games that require collaboration. It fosters communication and strengthens bonds.
  • Keep It Light: Don’t take the competition too seriously. The goal is fun and engagement, not winning or losing.
  • Be Flexible: Be ready to switch games if one isn’t hitting the mark. The aim is to ensure everyone is having a good time.
  • Include Snacks: Never underestimate the power of snacks to keep the energy and mood positive.
  • Celebrate Effort, Not Just Victory: Acknowledge good strategies, clever moves, and teamwork, not just who wins.
  • Involve Them in the Choice: Give your teens a say in which games to play. Ownership of the decision can increase their engagement.
a parent with his teenage kid playing monopoly board game


Finding common threads connecting family members is invaluable in the complex tapestry of teenage development. Board games offer a surprisingly effective medium for these connections, bridging gaps through shared challenges, laughter, and strategy. They're not just games but opportunities for engagement, learning, and creating lasting memories.

By exploring these unique and engaging board games, you're not just passing the time; you're strengthening bonds, encouraging learning, and, most importantly, having fun together. So, dust off that game board, gather around the table, and let the games begin. Your next unforgettable family game night adventure awaits.


FAQ Section: Best Board Games to Play With Your Teenage Kids

How do I choose the right board game for my teenager?

Start by considering your teenager's interests and preferences. Are they drawn to strategy and planning, fantasy and adventure, mysteries and puzzles, or fast-paced and quick-thinking games? Use these preferences as a guide. Also, consider the complexity and length of the game to ensure it matches their attention span and skill level. Involving your teenager in the selection process can also increase their interest and engagement.

Can board games truly compete with digital games for teenagers' attention?

Absolutely! While digital games offer their own set of attractions, board games provide a unique face-to-face interaction that digital games can't replicate. They encourage social interaction, critical thinking, and real-time problem-solving in a way that's different from online environments. The key is to find board games that align with your teen's interests, offering them challenges and themes they enjoy.

Are there board games that can help with my teenager's learning and development?

Yes, many board games are designed with educational outcomes in mind. For instance, "Acquire" introduces basic principles of economics and business, while "Legends of Andor" encourages strategic planning and teamwork. These games can enhance critical thinking, problem-solving skills, financial literacy, and cooperative behavior, all under the guise of entertainment.

How can I make board game night a success with my teen?

To ensure a successful board game night with your teen, choose games that match their interests, set a positive and enthusiastic tone, and encourage teamwork. Keep the atmosphere light and fun, avoiding overly competitive dynamics. Flexibility is key; be prepared to switch games if something isn't engaging everyone. Including snacks and allowing your teenager to have a say in the game choice can also contribute to a more enjoyable and inclusive experience. Celebrating effort and strategic thinking over just winning can help keep the focus on fun and learning.

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Looking for a new card game to play with your friends?

The Spheres of Life: Mythical Forest is a new competitive fantasy card game for 2-7 Players. From stunning design to fun gameplay, this exciting game can be a fantastic addition to your family and friends' game nights!

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