12 Board Games That Are Perfect for a Big Group
Whether you're prepping for a party with friends or a visit from your extended family, we found the best games to entertain a crowd.
The greatest party games meet these three criteria: easy to explain, quick to play and accommodate a large group. Game-lovers know it can be hard to find one for more than six players.
No matter what type of crew you're gathering together, we have you covered. Below, shop options for competitive play where you're pitted against each other, cooperative play where you work together, shout-out-your-answer excitement for those who love the hype and quieter, strategic play for those who don't thrive in the chaos.
Designed as the ultimate party game, there's no limit to how many people can play on a team. Codenames begins with two rival spymasters who guide their teams to make contact with all their secret agents through one-word clues. It's simple to describe and understand. Each round takes about 15 minutes to play, and people can even jump in mid-game. Just be sure to avoid the assassin!
BUY IT: Amazon, $12.99
A small group of resistance fighters are taking on a corrupt empire, but spies have infiltrated their ranks. In a game of secret identities and deception, being quick-on-your-feet is key. Play time lasts about 30 minutes with up to 10 people. Can you figure out which of your friends is trying to sabotage your mission?
BUY IT: Amazon, $14.79
The classic game of Sequence is a great option for extended family gatherings since you can play with up to 12 people and with kids as young as seven. You simply play a card from your hand, place a chip on the corresponding space and try to get five in a row. Plus, it helps builds STEM skills for the younger (and maybe older!) ones in your crowd.
BUY IT: Amazon, $17.97
Let the competition begin! This fast-paced twist on charades will have your whole group on their feet yelling out answers. Players go head-to-head to see who can get their team to guess the most words on their card. The team with the most points after 10 rounds wins. There's no limit to how big of group you can play with and everyone, no matter how young or old, can be involved.
BUY IT: Amazon, $24.99
This game is for a smaller group (only eight players) but is a clever, cooperative game. You and your fellow detectives set out to solve 10 of Sherlock Holmes' cases, including four that tie together to challenge you to stop Jack the Ripper. Once you think you've solved the case, see how you match up against Sherlock Holmes himself — good luck!
BUY IT: Amazon, $44.49
The classic game of telephone goes visual in Telestrations. Everyone rolls the dice to draw a word. Then, they pass their sketchpads to the next player who writes down his guess. Keep passing until you get back to the original owner and then everyone shows off the laugh-out-loud miscommunications. Grab the party pack so you can play with up to 12 people.
BUY IT: Amazon, $39.98
Similar to Apples to Apples or its raunchy counterpart, Cards Against Humanity, The Game of Things is played by everyone writing down his or her answer on a card that's read aloud. Things…you keep forgetting to do. Things…you can't stop giggling about. And, then, players try to guess who wrote which answer. These are great party games since a lot of people can play, and they usually induce tons of laugher as you learn more about your friends and family.
BUY IT: Amazon, $24.98
As the cheapest game on our list, Saboteur gives you a lot of gameplay for a crowd with very little $$$. This strategy card game is simple to learn, takes about 30 minutes to play and is a fun mix of cooperation and betrayal. Lay down tunnel cards as you dig for gold before you're thwarted by the saboteur. But who can it be?
BUY IT: Amazon, $8.16
You don’t have to be a trivia buff to conquer this game — you can win by knowing how to place a good bet. A trivia question is read aloud and everyone writes down their answer. Then, the cards are placed face up on the table, and you wager on which answer you think is correct. Question about tennis? Bet on your sports-loving cousin. What year did a big event happen? Wager on your sister who always has a history podcast in her ear. Take a gamble with up 18 players.
BUY IT: Amazon, $20.87
Bluff your way through the mascarade party to uncover your opponent's identity while keeping yours a secret. Easy to set up and play, the game takes about 30 minutes, so it doesn't drag out like some strategy games can — making it ideal for a party. Play it with up to 13 friends.
BUY IT: Amazon, $25.99
No singing talent required. A single word is given and the first person to sing (or shout out) a song with that word gets the point. The only caveat is you have to be able to sing five words of the song. It's a straighforward game to pull out at any gathering and play with both young and old.
BUY IT: Amazon, $29.99