FAIR WARNING THIS REVIEW IS GEARED TOWARD ADULTS. THERE MAY BE SOME OFFENSIVE OR FOUL LANGUAGE. No pictures, though.
Sometimes you don’t want the youngins at the table or you’re feeling like a fun and rowdy game session without having to handhold the kids through the game. No shame in that. We all need a break and having a blast without a filter or gaming without distractions is just what the doctor ordered.
Today we’re looking at the best adult board games. Not all of them are going to be the obvious Cards Against Humanity-type because “Adult” doesn’t necessarily mean a joke about dick fingers.
So put the kids to sleep and strap in. This is our list of the best adult board games.
Our Top Picks for Best Adult Board Games
In a hurry? Check out our favorite adult board games and party games before you dash off.
|Product Image||Product Name / Primary Rating / Price||Primary Button / Secondary Button|
Although Dungeons & Dragons is probably the best social game for adults to drink and get a little silly, traditional RPGs aren’t necessarily board games.
Enter Drinks & Daggers, a D&D-inspired drinking game.
In Drinks & Daggers, each player chooses a custom deck of cards representing their character. The object of the game is, of course, to kill the big bad evil guy but all of the cards revolve around giving and receiving drinks.
You don’t necessarily have to drink and instead can use drink tokens to keep track… but where’s the fun in that?
- Officially Licensed
- 2-6 Players
- Ages 21+
As a teacher, it was difficult getting several small children to sit still for 20 minutes let alone the entire length of a game of Twilight Imperium. This solidly places Twilight Imperium in the adult board games category.
Twilight Imperium is a masterpiece space opera. It’s epic. I know that word gets thrown around a lot, but a game that can accurately represent war, trade, and civ-building on a galactic scale is hard to dismiss.
If you want an adult evening full of serious board gaming goodness then Twilight Imperium is hard to beat. There’s nothing explicit in this game but being bawdy doesn’t necessarily make a fun adult game. Strategy, serious mechanics, and an attention span longer than an episode of Spongebob are definitely required for a game of Twilight Imperium.
This War of Mine
Few games I’ve seen have ever hit the war theme quite like This War of Mine. Whether you’re looking at the video game or the board game they hit the war theme right in the feels.
No invincible soldiers or roided-out juggernauts of destruction. This War of Mine takes a look at war from the perspective of the everyday person. How do you feed your family? What if you get sick? What do you sacrifice for survival?
This War of Mine does an incredible job exploring what it’s like being a civilian trying to survive in a warzone. These are some serious themes that show an adult board game doesn’t need to be all fart and dick jokes. You can create a mature gaming experience through innovative storytelling and mechanics as well.
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
Dead of Winter is not only a fantastic adult board game, it’s one of my favorite zombie board games.
Dead of Winter deviates from the typical hack-and-slash zombie theme by adding a bit of the human element into the mix. Players need to complete an overall objective while simultaneously working on a smaller personal objective. They don’t always match up, and there’s always the possibility of a traitor sabotaging the group from within.
I think the Crossroads mechanic they created adds a ton of thematic flair as players are constantly being bombarded with tough choices.
Do you leave the lost orphan children to die?
Do you risk not finding food to save a friend?
It’s these types of hard questions and gameplay mechanics that secures Dead of Winter’s seat as one of the best adult board games.
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
To really get the most out of A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, you’re going to want to leave the youngins out. A Game of Thrones is known for not being a particularly kid-friendly franchise, and the board game version is no different.
The beauty of the game comes from its political nature. You could be forgiven for looking at it and immediately dismissing it as a complicated version of Risk or some other war game, but the beauty of the game comes from forming and breaking alliances.
The alliance you’ve built could last just long enough to gain the upper hand, but this is A Game of Thrones. You know you’ll be betrayed at just the opportune moment to find your armies completely surrounded and out of position. It’s always better to do the backstabbing than to be stabbed.
Telestrations After Dark
Telestrations is an incredibly simple board game that I used to play in high school. I know that that doesn’t particularly sound like an adult board game but it all depends on the players.
It’s the drawing form of the Telephone game we used to play as kids. Instead of whispering, players have to draw a picture of the prompt and pass it along. The next player has to guess what’s been drawn and write a new prompt for the next person. It gets awfully weird especially with the After Dark version’s prompts.
The weirdest thing I’ve personally seen is a drawing of a hot dog stand turning into a cannibal nightmare.
Channel your inner weeb.
Tanto Cuore is a set collection, deck-building game that draws heavily on anime tropes. Players take control as the master of the household and hire scantily-clad maids to fill the house.
Depending upon the number and type of maids collected, players receive a certain number of points. Granted, there’s nothing overtly sexual about the game but it’s definitely not one you want to bring out when grandma comes to visit.
- For 2-4 Players
- 45 minute playing time
- Standalone game or integrates with the other Tanto Cuore games
Anatomy Park: The Game
For a cartoon, Rick & Morty is absolutely not designed for children and that’s why Anatomy Park definitely hits the criteria for our best adult board games list.
For those of you who are familiar with the show, Anatomy Park will be a walk down memory lane. Those of you who have never seen Rick & Morty, should probably go ahead and watch the show. It’s hilarious and horrifying.
Anatomy Park is a miniature theme park built inside of a homeless man thanks to Rick’s mad scientist technology.
It’s a relatively simple game, but fans of the style of humor from the series will be able to see the humor in it.
The Opolies of the world have long since been adapted to every fandom, theme, and wisecrack you could possibly imagine. It’s not necessarily the Opoly game that makes it fun but usually the people and ridiculous theme currently being played.
For your adult viewing pleasure, I give you Wineopoly and Drinkopoly.
Drinkopoly is your standard board-game car crash between drinking games and classic board games. There are the classic drinking game tasks like drink-the-beer, truth or dare, weird sexual stuff, and drink-more-beer combined with the classic board game mechanics of roll-some-dice and draw-some-cards. What’s not to love?
If you want to be a little more high-brow, check out Wineopoly. Kendra and her mom got this one as a Christmas gift and did not skimp on the wine. There’s no particular rule or requirement to drink, but each property is a different type of wine or region. As you play, you get to learn about each different type.
If you want to get serious with your Wineopoly, I suggest playing the Kendra variant. Kendra and her mom bought a bottle of each different type of wine and as they bought and sold properties, they opened up that particular wine and gave it a taste.
Worth it? Oh yeah!
I’ve decided to split these into a separate section of their own. Each one is an adult-themed party game with very similar mechanics, so instead of just having one big party game section, I wanted to focus on what each one brings to the table.
Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is undoubtedly the king of adult board games. It started off the adult-themed party games genre and quickly made its way into every barbecue, bar, or party you can think of.
If you haven’t tried it, I don’t believe you. It’s stupid and perfectly paired with copious amounts of alcohol. Cards Against Humanity also gets pretty stale if it hits the table too many times but I would feel like I was doing a disservice to you dear reader if I didn’t at least mention it. It’s also spawned countless expansions, knock-offs, and spin-offs.
From the creators of Cyanide and Happiness, Joking Hazard is clearly geared towards adults. This adult board game puts you in the shoes of comic creators of the irreverent Cyanide and Happiness comics that bring some of the most horrendous jokes alive.
Played similarly in style to Cards Against Humanity, players instead create a 3-panel comic with players placing the third card as the punchline after the Card Czar sets up the first 2 panels.
It’s an absolute blast and is perfect for bringing out while traveling, bar-hopping, or any type of social shindig.
Of course, you’ll want to keep the youngins away because although it looks kid-friendly, it most certainly is not.
The Awkward Storyteller
This is one of those games that all depends on the crowd you’re playing with. It’s perfectly fine for any age but if you add a bunch of adults and some questionable morals, it can get pretty weird.
The Awkward Storyteller is a simple game in which a player is designated as the storyteller and starts a simple story by playing a card. The story has to use the word or phrase from the card in the story. Next, each player takes turns playing a card and asking a question to elaborate on the story. They need to use whatever is on the card within the story.
See? Perfectly acceptable for all ages… until it isn’t. The Awkward Storyteller is a great party game, especially for those friends that like to make each other uncomfortable or just like making stuff up.
Drunk Stoned or Stupid
Drunk Stoned or Stupid is another goofy party game that requires you to know your audience a little bit.
Each player is given a card with some kind of situation like, “Most likely to ____.” Players then choose which player fits the situation best. It would be something like this person is the one that “would take the last parachute.” Players then decide who would be most likely, even though it’s probably Karen.
After players have chosen, they get to defend their argument. “Karen would totally take the last parachute because last time we were going home from the bar, instead of sharing a cab she jumped in the only one and gave us the finger and rolled out…” freaking Karen.
It’s a game about mocking your friends, getting to know each other, and generally shouting at each other. What more could you ask for?
Special Mention: Kingdom Death
Kingdom Death gets its own little section because it’s almost a hobby in and of itself. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a 20+ pound box that is full of miniatures and some pretty graphic themes and imagery.
Again, it’s technically a board game, but that’s still not a full representation of the whole.
Kingdom Death is its own hobby. It comes with a massive following and full of miniatures and lore. I believe the creator Moot regularly releases limited-edition models that add flair to the game but mostly add to the collection and miniatures aspects of the game.
I put this as a special mention because it is simply too damn pricey to be within reach of the normal gamer. The base game is nearly always out of stock and even if you find a copy, its retail price is around $500. That already pushes it out of the realm of the casual gamer, but if you have a friend or a group of players super committed, it’s a hell of an experience.
We hope you enjoyed our round-up of the best adult board games and party games. We tried to include games that would appeal to adults. An adult game doesn’t necessarily need to be raunchy, although a few have been included.
What are your favorite adult board games? Did yours not make the list? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
Looking for for more Adult Board Games to Play? Check out round-up of the best 2-player adult board games below:
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.