I love board games. They encourage planning and strategic thinking. They develop sportsmanship or good natured trash talking and most of all they are a sweet way to enjoy the company of the people you love. Finding great board games for parties with a large group can be a challenge though. Most board games are best played with 4-6 players which is great for a family game night but not for a party.
But when your guest list is larger there are still a bunch of really fun games out there that will have the whole gang engaged.
I’ve come up with a list of the best 5 board games that I’ve really enjoyed playing with large groups, say 8 to 12 people.
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Number of Players: 4+ (unlimited since you can do teams) | Ages: 8+
Wits and Wagers is the ultimate party game for a large crowd. It’s the first one I pull out when my guest list is more than 10 people.
Wits and Wagers comes in different versions. If you’re going to have the kids play, then the Family or the Party editions are your best bet. A lot of fun for adults and kids alike because you don’t need to know the answers to win. Each team offers an answer to an unusual question then each team goes back and bets on their best guess from everyone’s answers.
All the questions are unusual so more than likely no one will know the right answer and several generations can play together for an evening of fun and laughter.
Number of Players: 4-12 Ages 6+
Every time I play Telestrations my cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. Literally you will ache from laughter.
The best way to describe Telestrations is that it’s a combination of the game Telephone and Pictionary. You get a word and have to draw a picture of that item or action on a little dry erase note pad. Then you pass the note pad to your neighbor and the next person has to write a phrase that describes your drawing without seeing the original clue. They pass the notepad and the next person has to draw a picture of that phrase. And so on.
You could keep score but at my house, we’re usually laughing too hard to keep it straight. We just play for the fun.
It’s a great game for those with a quick wit or a mischievous streak because your clues can take some really strange turns. It’s also a game that highlights the really gifted and truly horrible artists of the group. The horrible artists often make it WAY more fun.
Number of Players: 2-10 (Although I’ve played with many more) | 14+
If you have a more serious crowd, then pull out Chronology.
If you’ve ever sat through a dull history class bored out of your mind thinking “There has to be a way to make this subject interesting and engaging”, then Chronology is the game for you.
Which came first? The invention of mayonnaise or decaffeinated coffee? Lincoln’s Gettysburg address or John Deere’s first plow? Chronology will test your knowledge of dozens of historic details that you’ll realize you know surprisingly little about.
Each player will build his or her own timeline of cards, each listing one historical event. On your turn, someone will read you a historical event from another card. If you decide correctly where that event falls in your timeline, you get to keep the card. The first player to collect 10 cards wins!
This game always provides one or two jaw dropping moments when you realize that important historical events, whose order you would have sworn you knew, happened in an entirely different order. It’s history, finally made fun!!
Number of Players: 2-10, 2+
This is the board version of the Heads Up I-Phone app. I personally only have played the app but the board game is a great option if you don’t have an I-Phone.
You can play Heads Up in teams which makes it great for a crowd. One person holds a card (or their phone) to their forehead and the other team members have to describe or act out what’s on the card for him or her to guess.
This game can get really animated and very loud. Hilariousness is guaranteed.
Number of Players: 2 teams Age 2+
Pictionary is a classic that’s always a crowd pleaser. We get a large dry erase board out but you can play with the boards included in the box or notepads or a stick in the dirt if you’re out in the boonies.
The game is quite simple and can be played by all ages. One player gets a card with a word or phrase on it and then attempts to draw to the best of their ability to get fellow teammates to say what’s on the card. No pointing, no talking and no drawing of letters or numbers. This game is all about the “art” or the terrifying lack thereof!
These 5 games are still being made, are readily available online, and are sure to win a crowd over. I hope you find one to play with your friends and family this weekend.
I also want to add a little-known gem of a game called “What were you thinking?“. The game is no longer in production, but it’s sometimes available on Amazon or Ebay. It can be played by a very large group (I’ve played with more than 20) and every time we play it, somebody in the group will inevitably scour eBay to find it so they can have their own copy.
You get cards asking you to list specific things like “What time do you go to bed?” or “Name the 5 best movies of all time”. Your task is NOT to write down your answer but to instead write down the answer that you think most of the other players will write. So you’re trying to think like them and they’re trying to think like you, and sometimes everyone gets it all backwards. The more you think like everyone else, the better you score. And to turn things on their heads, you play until one person loses. Everybody else wins.
A hilarious game that will definitely have you saying: “What were you thinking?”
Share it now, pin it & play it!! And check out my post for the best games for family game night.