Best Board Games for Teens Reviewed in 2018

Teens these days are becoming more and more attached to their phones. Parents are spending time and energy trying to have unplugged time with their children so that they can connect and bond. They struggle with finding activities that will keep their teenager engaged. Family time is premium in our busy modern society. Finding a movie that the whole family will watch can be difficult and feel like a waste of time. What is a modern family to do? Why not give board games a try. They are an engaging and fun way to bond; board games have a ton of benefits for the entire family. Look no further, below you will find the top ten board games to play with your teen. They might even like these games so much they play them with their friends, or they might also ask to play them without prompting!    

Unfortunately, in our modern society, cell phone addiction is real. Children are getting phones earlier and earlier, and they are taking them everywhere. You can go on vacation with your family and see young teens taking selfies and playing games on their phones while parents look on in exasperation. Teens these days need a reason to unplug; they are wired to be constantly entertained. Parents feel like they have to compete with the mighty cell phone. Compete no more, bring a fun, entertaining board game on your next family vacation. Heck, bring three or four board games. You can be entertained as a family while you bond over some of the board games on our list.

Parents often forget that a teenager’s brain is growing as fast as their body. Teens go through many physical and mental changes as they age. Puberty is a time of rapid brain development. Teenagers are learning to navigate life as an individual. Board games can help to facilitate positive brain development. The board games on our list will help your child develop spatial reasoning, social skills, cognition, improve their memory, and reduce stress. Not only will they help with development they will make your teen laugh and have fun. It will be like when they were a small child again, for a few moments. This is a win-win situation for your family! Get some of these board games today.

10 Best Teen Board Games

1. Codenames

1. Codenames
Our top pick is Codenames by Vlaada Chvatil. This engaging and quick to play game will have your teen begging to play again. They will play it with their friends and gladly bring this game out at family gatherings.
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This is a multiplayer game where you get cues to help you find secret agents. You can work together as a family to beat the game or play against each other as rival teams. This fun and easy to play - the game will have you laughing and making lasting memories as a family in no time.

Benefits
This game can be played with just two people for a special parent-child bonding time or over 8 people to keep the entire family or a group of friends engaged. This game will have your teen's social skills improving while they use their logical reasoning skills to find all of the secret agents faster than their opponents. This is one game your teen will want to share with their friends!

What We Like About It
This game is catered to the 14 and up crowd so your teen won't feel like they are playing a child’s game. It only takes around 15 minutes from start to finish for a game, once you understand the rules. This game will be over before your teen can start whining about not having a phone. You will get to spend time with your growing young adult and have some fun. They might even have so much fun that they ask you to play again!

Cost and Value
The price point for this game is super affordable. It comes in at the middle range of prices on our list. You won’t be disappointed when you purchase this fantastic family-friendly game.
Pros

Quick play

Engaging action

Social skills improvement

Logical reasoning improvement

Wordplay

Cons

Quick game play

2. Labrynith

2. Labrynith
Labyrinth nabs our number two spot on this list of top teen board games. Ravensburger Games has created a fun family-friendly game that will have you and your family racing to find the treasure.
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The high-quality game pieces will stand up to many hours of family play. This game is perfect for the whole family. It can be played by people 8 years old and up. This is the perfect game to set up for a family game night so your teen can bond with younger siblings and have fun with mom and dad, too.

Benefits
Labyrinth will have your teens working on their cause and effect skill set, building a strategic planning skill set, and using their social skills for good! This is a game the whole family can bond over. It is full of fun and surprises with a constantly shifting maze keeping you from finding the treasure. You can keep this game around for years of family fun!

What We Like About It
This action-packed game will have your family involved in some fun friendly competition. Each time you play the game the board is different so it keeps you on your toes. This game will create many wonderful family memories.

Cost and Value
This fun game is near the top of our price point for this list. Its value is in its ability to provide fun for the entire family from eight-year-olds up to 80-year-olds. You and your family will appreciate this purchase.
Pros

Great replay value

Fun for 8 years and up

30-40 minute gameplay

Action packed fun

Positive brain development

Cons

Older teens might find it boring

3. 5 Second Rule

3. 5 Second Rule
Our number three pick is Play Monster’s 5 Second rule. This silly word game will have your family bonding over their silly verbal fumbles. It will entertain you with the unique timer and silly topics.
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This game has fantastic replay value and will have your teen asking to play again and again. You and your teen will spend some great times together coming up with three things that have a common trait. Which teenager doesn't enjoy watching their parents make silly mistakes?

Benefits
This game will provide you and our teenager with hours of wordplay. You will be using your memory and logical thinking skills to connect three things to silly topics. Can you name 3 bald actors in 5 seconds? These are the types of questions you will be answering in this game. It will have you laughing and fumbling over your words for the entire game. Laughter is the best medicine!

What We Like About It
This game will not only engage your teen in fun action-packed play, you can include the whole family. This funny fast-paced game will create many great memories for you and your teenager. When they bring this game out to play when friends come to hang out and you can rest easy knowing the game is appropriate for them to play.

Cost and Value
This fun silly game is at the lower end of our price point. It will provide your family with tons of entertaining laughter. This is a game well worth its affordable cost!
Pros

Hours of replay value

Funny

Family oriented

Only need 3 players

Uses memory skills

Cons

Simplistic

4. Bounce-Off

4. Bounce-Off
Mattel’s Bounce Off snags our number four spot. This game will have your teen using logical thinking skills, fine motor skills, and their memory to quickly recreate patterns before the other team. This is the perfect game for parent-teen bonding.
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You can play against each other or in teams to bounce balls and create patterns for the win. This will have your teen using knowledge of geometry and physical science while having a good time. They will never know that this game is educational, and you can feel confident that they are utilizing skills they have learned in school in real-world situations.

Benefits
Remember all of those times your teen said math and science were useless for the real world? This is one example that you can give them to debunk that rumor. You will have to figure out exactly how much force to bounce the balls with to create the correct pattern in this game. A win for physical science! Your teen will also have to figure out the best angles to throw the balls at so they will land in the correct location. This is where geometry comes into play.

What We Like About It
Your teen is being enticed to use the skills they learned in school while having fun with you. It's a win-win for parents and teachers everywhere! Also, when have you ever told your teen to throw balls in the house? Now is the time to let loose and have some fun!

Cost and Value
This game is at the bottom of our price list. You and your teen will have hours of fun bonding over creating patterns by throwing balls. This game is a wonderful value.
Pros

Throwing balls in the house

Using science and math skills

One on one bonding

Strategy

Engaging

Cons

Balls are easy to lose

5. Scaggetories

5. Scaggetories
Our number five pick is Hasboro Game’s Scattagories. This fun game of categories will have your teen wanting more. It is created with teens in mind and great for parents too.
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You will spend many hours making funny and intelligent lists of words. Just pick a category and roll the die for hours of exciting and fun gameplay.

Benefits
Your teen will have to quickly think of words that share the same first letter in a specific category. This will help them use those English vocabulary words they keep complaining about. This game is action packed and fast paced. Your teenager won’t be looking for their phone because they will be so engaged in trying to beat mom and dad, siblings, or friends in this fun game. Time will fly by on your next vacation or during your next family game night because everyone will be having so much fun!

What We Like About It
This game has great replay value with over 3,500 possible category combos. You won’t get bored playing Scattegories. This game will help your child’s vocabulary grow. You can also have good-natured arguments over the existence of words that you choose to write down for your lists.

Cost and Value
The middle price point is a great value for a game you can play so many times. You and your teen will enjoy this fun game.
Pros

Creative

Wordplay

Uses memory skills

Age appropriate

Exciting

Cons

Only for four players or teams

6. Spontuneous

6. Spontuneous
The number six pick for this list is Spountuneous. Does your teen love to sing, are they in the choir, or do they just sing loudly in the shower? Either way, this is the perfect game for you. Even if your teen doesn't sing it’s a great way to have some silly fun.
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It is a race to sing a song with a specific word as a lyric. No singing experience necessary! It works for any genre of music, so you and your teenager can share some of your favorite songs with each other. This game is a blast to play with small or large groups of people.

Benefits
You and your teenager will be able to grow your self-confidence as you sing your way through this fun game. This highly awarded game will give you and your teen a great chance to share some of your favorite songs. You won’t have to listen to their music blasting loudly because each player has to sing at least five words of the song to win. It is a great way to bond over your favorite music and silly songs you might both know.

What We Like About It
This game is cross-generational. The next time Grandma and Grandpa come to visit take this game out for some fun bonding. You pick a word and then sing the first song that comes to mind! It works your memory and performance skill set.

Cost and Value
The price of this game is near the top of our list. It will create hours of fun play for your family and allow you to bond over music. This game is an excellent value, and bonding with your teen is priceless.
Pros

Musical

Cross-generational

Exciting

Great for 4-10 players or more

All genres of music allowed

Cons

Must have a good memory for music

7. Smart Ass

7. Smart Ass
Our number seven pick is University Games Smart Ass. Your teen will love this game if for no other reason than they get to say ass without getting into trouble. It is a fast-paced party game that will keep everyone in stitches. This game will have your teens yelling out answers and racing to win the title.
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Does your teen love to interrupt and always have something to say? This is the perfect game to get them talking out of turn when it is allowed. You and your family will make many fun filled memories around this game board. They will take this game out when their friends are over and have a blast.

Benefits
This game will help with brain development and cognitive thinking skills in your teen. They must think quickly and speak quickly to win. It will have them playing word association games and trying to figure out clues so they can advance around the board. You get to have fun and laugh all while knowing that you are helping your teen’s mental development and social skills grow.

What We Like About It
This is the perfect game to play with a large group of people. Your teen might want to play it at a party with their friends or at a family gathering with their cousins. It is also great for family game night.

Cost and Value
The price for this game is lower than most on our list. It is a great value for a family looking for a funny engaging trivia style game. You will not be disappointed with the extra fun it will add to your regular game night.
Pros

Super funny

Trivia style

Takes less than an hour for normal gameplay

Helps foster proper development in teens

Great for parties

Cons

Similar to other trivia games

8. The Game of THINGS

8. The Game of THINGS
The Game of THINGS by PlayMonster takes our number eight spot. It is a fantastically entertaining game that will have you and your teens laughing for hours. You will be given a card that says THINGS you should do (when sleeping, while walking, on a trampoline) or THINGS you shouldn’t do (in a park, on the highway, when you ride a bike).
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Then the players will make a list corresponding to the topic. You will get to know the other players well because the game is fast paced so they will be forced to write the first thing that comes to mind. Purchase this game and you will be spending your game night rolling with laughter.

Benefits
It will get you and your teen talking about crazy funny topics. This game is great fun at parties with just teenagers or with multiple age groups 14 plus years old. You will get to guess who wrote what response to the topic given. Everyone will have fun with this game! The topics that come up in the game are great conversation starters and will get you and your teen talking about subjects that might not normally come up in everyday conversations.

What We Like About It
This game will have you thinking quickly and facilitate decision making and social development skills in your teen. They will have to think fast and analyze the answers and their peers to know who wrote what answers.

Cost and Value
This game is near the top of our price point for this list. We think is a fantastic value for your family. After all, laughter is the best medicine. This game will have you laughing out loud the entire time you are playing.
Pros

Funny

Developmentally appropriate

Facilitates proper social development

Great for the whole family

Great conversation starter

Cons

Handwritten answers, so you may be able to tell who wrote each answer

9. Pictionary

9. Pictionary
Mattel doesn’t disappoint with our number nine pick Pictionary. This exciting drawing game will keep your teen engaged in the good-hearted fun for hours of play. Drawing and doodling is something everyone can try, this game is not only for aspiring Picasso’s it is also for your average person who draws stick figures.
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You must think fast and draw fast to win at Pictionary. Everyone can play, even if you cannot draw well. Your teenager and their friends will dissolve into fits of giggles while playing this game.

Benefits
This game has a plethora of benefits for teenagers. It will help them practice their fine motor skill set and spatial reasoning while they are drawing pictures. Their social-emotional skills will get a work out when it is their team’s turn to guess what a teammate is drawing. This classic game is just plain silly fun.

What We Like About It
This fast-paced game of drawing clues will have your teen and their friends in stitches. It is great for family game night and will be a staple in your game rotation for years to come. This game has been around for a while so you might be sharing part of your childhood with your child.

Cost and Value
Pictionary is at the low end of pricing for our list. It will give you hours of funny family-friendly fun. You will get excellent value from this purchase.
Pros

Social skills development

Fine motor skills development

Funny

Fast paced

Cross generational

Cons

Need more dry erase boards and markers

10. Ungame Teen

10. Ungame Teen
TaliCor Pocket has brought you our number ten game, Ungame Teens. This is a game made specifically with teenagers in mind. If you have a tight-lipped teen this game will get them talking.
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Does your teenager obsess over just one topic? Maybe you have a crazy amount of knowledge about their favorite video game or band. Now you can play this game and have some real thought-provoking conversations. This game will get your teenager thinking about real-world situations and give you the opportunity to help them navigate life.

Benefits
This thought-provoking game will have you discussing light-hearted and hard-hitting topics with your teenager in no time. You will both enjoy the bonding experience this game provides. Bring it in the car for a road trip, to the beach or ask a few questions over dinner. It will entertain you and make you really think about your personal opinions and feelings on a variety of subjects.

What We Like About It
The best thing about this game is its portability. Take it anywhere you go with your teen. Wan to t go hiking and have something to talk about on the trail? This is the perfect game for you. You will be bonding with your teenager in no time and it might just open the door to them talking to you more often about heir life. This social game will have your teen's social skills improving while they use their logical reasoning skills to find all of the secret agents faster than their opponents.

Cost and Value
You will not pay an arm and a leg for this game it is at the lower end of pricing for our list. The value comes in hours of fun gameplay and social skills development for your teens.
Pros

Compact

Non-competitive

Good icebreaker

Great way to connect with your teen

Good for large or small groups

Cons

Some of the questions are a bit controversial, read through the cards before playing with your teenager

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Board Games for Teens

Entertaining

Our number one criteria are that these games entertain your teenagers. These games will make them laugh, keep them on their toes, and give them an outlet for all of their energy. All of these games have been tested for entertainment value by a multitude of families. You can rest assured that these games will entertain even the most sullen of teenagers.

Educational

Board games have tons of benefits for teenagers. We wanted to make sure that the games on our list had some type of educational value. You will find trivia games, thought-provoking games, and games to aid in proper brain development. All of the games on our list assist with social skills development, and most of them will have your child using spatial reasoning skills and logic to win the game.

Age Appropriate

Each game on this list has been tested with teens in mind. All game making companies do product testing to make sure their games are appropriately entertaining for the recommended age groups. Each game on our list has passed market testing to make the grade for teenagers.

Multi-Player

We wanted to make sure that these games can be played with friends as well as family. Each one is multiplayer. Our list includes games that are playable by two players all the way to a large party of people. These games are perfect for a family game night, parent and child bonding, a teen party or a family reunion. Your family will thank you for this purchase.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is my teenager going to have fun playing these games?

A: This list consists of a variety of top rated games for a teenager. There should be a game for every teen. Our list has trivia games, logic games, and games where you throw balls.  All of these games have been playtested on multiple groups of teenagers and have been tailored to their likes and dislikes. We can not say for certain that your specific child will or will not have fun playing these games because we do not know your child. You should pick the game from our list that you think would best fit the needs of your family.   

Q: Do these games have any educational value?

A: Each one of these games will help with proper mental development for your child. Some of them will assist with fine motor development as well. All games help with social and emotional skill development because they need multiple players. Our list has games that will cause your child to use math skills and science skills. We also have games that require logical thinking and singing. There is a game for every teen on our list, and each of them has something educational to offer your child.

Q: Are these games appropriate for my teenager?

A: Many of the games on this list are rated fourteen years and up. They are all intended to be appropriate for teenagers thru adults. A few of them are rated lower in age but are still intended for older players, such as your teenager. Some of the games that include questions have a few questions that might toe the line of appropriateness, depending on your specific families set of morals and values. Our recommendation is to look through any question cards before playing the game to ensure that the game fits your family’s standard s for decency.

Q: How long does it take to play these games?

A: The total play time per game will vary greatly depending on a lot of factors. The average play time is between 20-40 minutes. One factor that might affect your game time is your familiarity with the game. You play time might also be affected by how many players are playing or if you choose to modify and rules. Our recommendation is to set aside at least an hour the first time you or your teen sit down to play one of these games. This will give the players enough time to get familiar with the rules and not feel stressed about finishing quickly.

Q: Are these games family friendly?

A: Every game on our list can be played with children age fourteen and older. A few of the game shave lower age ratings. Our recommendation is to look at the age rating for your game and use your judgment when it comes to younger children playing with older siblings. If you have a family of teenagers or you are having the grandparents over to visit these games should be perfectly fine to play.

Q: Where can I get replacement parts?

A: Losing parts to a game can ruin the fun for everyone. If you lose a part to your game check your instruction manual to find information on how to replace the lost part. If you have also misplaced your instruction manual, then you should check the manufacturer’s web page for information on ordering replacement parts.

Conclusion

Board games are a great way to pass the time and get your teenager to unplug. They help keep teenagers off of their phones and give everyone something fun and entertaining to do. Cell phone addiction is real and it is changing the brain chemistry of our children. Taking time to be away from your phone on a regular basis can help to break the cycle of addiction. The games on this list will get your teen to put their phone down and maybe even talk to you for a while. Board games are a great way for family and friends to bond.  

You can play them at parties, over dinner, for a family bonding game night, or on vacation. Board games are a classic way to have good clean fun for teenagers and their friends and family members. The games on our list will have your teenager laughing, using strategic thinking skills, practicing their social-emotional skills, and bonding with friends and family members. You will not be disappointed with the money you spend on these games; they are all affordably priced and time-tested with other teens and their families. Our list has games for every type of family to play.

You can find something for every type of game player on our top ten list. No need to pour over reviews or ask everyone you know for recommendations. You can trust our list to help you find the perfect game. If you are active and like to spend time outdoors take the Pocket Ungame along with you on your next excursion. Does your family have lots of get-togethers and throw parties? You can bring out Pictionary, Scattegories, The Game of Things, or Spontuneous to keep a crowd entertained. Maybe you have a group of unruly teens that need a silly outlet for their energy. Give them Smart Ass, 5 Second Rule, or Bounce-off to keep them entertained and out of your hair.  

Sources

  1. Health Fitness Revolution, Top 10 Health Benefits of Board Games, Web Article,
  2. Pawns and Prints, The Educational Value of Board Games, Blog,
  3. Bead Game, 8 Reasons Why You Should Play Board Games Regularly, Blog,
  4. Sandee LaMotte, Smart Phone Addiction Could be Changing Your Brain, Web Article,
  5. PsychGuides, Cell Phone Addiction, Web Article,