If you want to ruin friendships, blow up kittens, become a detective, or laugh until you die, these board games are perfect for any old-school college game night. You have a choice from any genre, any sort of time limit, and a wide range of player numbers, there is something here for any type of vibe.
- Do you want to laugh uncontrollably at your friends’ dirty minds? Cards Against Humanity.
- Do you want to find a killer? Deception or Sherlock
- Do you want to blow up a kitten? Please get help… or just play Exploding Kittens 😉
Find the best board games for college and university students below.
Our Top Picks for Best Board Games for College Students
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
College Major Pairing: International Relations
If you feel like capitalizing and building your empire, there is no better place to start than with Catan. You might initiate a few fights when picking the starting location for your settlement, but then after it’s everyone for themselves.
You will have to trade sheep, rock, brick, hay, etc. to try to build roads to ports and build up your civilization before your friends. This game is best played with 3-4 players, or enemies.
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College Major Pairing: Political Science
If you’re feeling like rounding up a bigger group of pals for some political rivalries, Secret Hitler will divide the parties for sure! Divided liberals and fascists will compete to find the player who is secretly Hitler, and the game is won by enacting enough policies that support one of the political sides. If you’re a political science major, you got this one in the bag!
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: SOCIAL DEDUCTION GAMES | THE RESISTANCE: AVALON REVIEW
Cards Against Humanity
College Major Pairing: Dropout
Perfect for parties, perfect for feeling out how dirty-minded (or not) your friends are, Cards Against Humanity is a cult favorite. Similar to Apples to Apples, but make it adult, this game will have you in fits of laughter, and you will learn a bit too much about your co-players. This game can be played anywhere, at any time, but the more beers the better!
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: GAMES LIKE CAH | CAH EXPANSIONS | PARTY BOARD GAMES | JOKING HAZARD REVIEW
Deception: A Murder in Hong Kong
College Major Pairing: Forensic Science
For those who don’t last that long in the bedroom (playing games of course), this is perfect for you. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong has a 20-minute gameplay of murder, mystery, lies, and confusion.
The murderer must stop the forensic scientist from convicting them of the crime, meanwhile, the scientist must help the crew of investigators piece together the scene. You can play in a small group or big group. Are there any forensic science majors here?
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College Major Pairing: Communications
If you’re good at social media stalking, then you’ll love this one. Codenames is a spy game, for four or more players and work by a spymaster operating the tables and giving a word and numerical clue to their team.
You must be careful not to reveal a card/agent of the opposing team, or even worse — end the game by revealing the one and only assassin.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: BOARD GAMES UNDER $25 | CODENAMES: DUET REVIEW
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
College Major Pairing: Criminal Justice
If you’re too much of a baby to watch a mystery movie, and would rather live it instead — look no further than Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. This gameplay is a bit longer, more in-depth, and can be played with a range of 1 to 8 players.
You will have many tasks: interviews, clues, visits to crime scenes. The good thing about this game is that you won’t be shouting at each other at the end because you must work together to solve the case!
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: MYSTERY GAMES | DEDUCTION GAMES | SHERLOCK HOLMES GAMES
Dominion (Second Edition)
College Major Pairing: Accounting
We all dream of riches right? At least I did in accounting class. Dominion (and its myriad expansions) can turn your imagination into reality as you make your way from rags to riches in this deck-building empire gameplay.
It will challenge you as you compile points, resources, and allocate them to build the best empire in the surrounding lands. If you love the original base game, there are so many amazing thematic expansions to try in this variable set-up, Mensa Select card game.
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College Major Pairing: History
Did Cardi B WAP before Drake was in his feelings? If you know the answer, this might be your game. Using historic event cards, you must put 10 in a chronological timeline in order to be the top dog.
Gameplay depends on how much history you know, or don’t know. Play with up to 8 players if you wanna learn a lot in one night!
The Red Dragon Inn
College Major Pairing: Brewing Science & Operations
Similar to my freshman year, The Red Dragon Inn is all about being good with your money while getting as viciously drunk as possible. You and your companions just returned from a long and difficult adventure slaying monsters and now is the time to party!
The goal is to end up the most conscious and rich at the end of the night. Good practice for real-life, hey?
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: DRINKING GAMES | DRINKING CARD GAMES | WINE GAMES
College Major Pairing: Veterinary Science or Chemistry
Think Kittens + Explosions + Russian Roulette party games. Exploding Kittens from the legendary creator of The Oatmeal is a quick and fun game where you must avoid getting an exploding kitten or you LOSE!
You will have some cards from the deck to help you or blow you up, so get your claws ready! 2-5 players are purr-fect for this game and super portable as it’s a card game!
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We hope you enjoyed our picks the for best board games for college students and other recommendations! Have you tried any games on this list? Do you know of awesome university board games that we missed? Drop a comment below and educate us.
Looking for more Funny Games to play? Check out our video below:
Kendra has always been a hardcore fantasy nerd. Growing up in the worlds of Tolkien, Sanderson, Jordan, and Abercrombie, DnD & board games just came naturally. She and her husband, Bryan, started GameCows.com in 2018 as a fun passion project that just took over their lives. An avid board gamer since childhood and chronic DnD chronicler for more than two decades, she loves to play, write, travel, and learn dead languages.