When picking the best board games of 2017 we looked for games that are fun for all players, whether they are doing well or not during a game session. Board games have moved beyond the traditional games of Monopoly and Risk and offer more compelling game play that will keep all of the players engaged for the duration of play.
We didn’t limit ourselves to games released this year when picking the best board games to give as gifts or buy for yourself. We know it’s important to include all of the best board games on the market and we are recommending the best overall games and games that are popular with game players.
Best Board Games of 2017
These games are not listed in any particular order, but by browsing the list can find a game right for your interests and the skill levels of game players.
Settlers of Catan
This is an annual favorite and is on our best board games list due to its addicting nature . The latest edition is referred to simply at Catan.
Players of Catan take on the roles of settlers attempting to expand their holdings on the game board. Successful players will acquire resources and trade with other players. While the game is easy to learn, there is a good amount of strategy involved. Because the board is made up of hexagonal tiles, the board changes with every game played. Players are typically involved in game play right up until the end.
Games can last 1 to 3 hours, but typically finish up rather quickly and a couple of games can be played in a session.
Game type, Strategy; number of players, 3-4 (Up to 6 with expansion pack); ages, 10 and up; play length, 1 to 2 hours; suggested retail price, $48.99 (Regularly discounted).
Ticket to Ride Europe
From the makers of Ticket to Ride comes Ticket to Ride Europe, an updated version of the popular train travel game. Compete to see who can score the most points while building a train empire across Europe. Based on the original Ticket to Ride, Ticket to Ride Europe adds some new game play elements, including tunnels, ferries and train stations. This is a stand alone game and does not require the original Ticket to Ride to play.
The game is quick to pick up and games typically last about an hour, allowing for several games to be played in a session.
Game type: Strategy; number of players: 2-5; ages: 8 and up; play length: 1 hour; suggested retail price: $49.99 (Regularly discounted).
Reverse Charades is an imaginative rethinking of the classic game of charades. Instead of one person acting out a clue, a team acts out clues for one person. Reverse Charades is a fun game for families, parties or as a team building activity.
Because it’s based on the classic game of charades, Reverse Charades is easy for everyone to quickly learn how to play.
Game type: Party; number of players: 6 or more; ages: 6 and up; play length: 30 minutes to 1 hour; suggested retail price: $19.99 (Regularly discounted).
7 Wonders is another strategy game that requires the gathering of resources through the selection of cards. While there is not common game board, each player has their own board for tracking their progress. Play lasts for three rounds, or ages, where players collect and play cards in order to build an ancient wonder.
There is a medium learning curve to 7 Wonders, but once everyone has picked it up games usually last only about 30 minutes.
Game type: Strategy; number of players: 3-7; ages: 10 and up; play length: 30-45 minutes; suggested retail price: $49.99 (Regularly discounted).
Pandemic is a little different than the other games mentioned here. In Pandemic you work as a cooperative team to try and defeat the game itself. Each player takes on the roll of a specialist in a team trying to fight a disease outbreak. Players must work together to make decisions and play resources before the disease overwhelms the game map.
There is a medium learning curve and it takes at least one game before it’s obvious how best to work together. Some players will love the cooperative aspect of this game.
Game type: Cooperative strategy; number of players: 2-4; ages: 13 and up; play length: 1 hour; suggested retail price: $39.99 (Regularly discounted).
Wits & Wagers
Wits & Wagers is a unique party game that combines trivia and betting. Players make their own best guesses to trivia questions and then wager on each of the players answers to win game chips. This is a fun game that benefits from a large number of players.
The learning curve is low and this is one trivia game where you don’ t need to know trivia to do well. Having good gut instincts and good control of wagers can give anyone an edge in the game.
Game type: Trivia; number of players: 3-47 ages: 12 and up; play length: 30 minutes; suggested retail price: $34.99 (Regularly discounted).