Get in on the action! Board games are a new trend and here to stay. Looking for the most popular board games in 2018 for your next Game Night, to play over Thanksgiving, or for a White Elephant party? See our top picks of the year so far to impress your friends, family, and co-workers, along with our Top Strategy Board Games and Social Deduction Games.
This is literally the ‘Game of the Year’ for 2018 as voted on by the Spiel des Jahres in Germany so you rest assured that this is a good recommendation. A popular board game that can be learned in 10-15 minutes, if you like colored tiles, and the option of occasionally screwing over your fellow other players, then this is the game for you. Pick and place tiles on your board accordingly over several rounds, and gain points. Beware – this isn’t as easy as it looks!
Check Price – Azul, 2018 Game of the Year Winner
The Mind was also a nominee for Game of the Year in 2018, and it might just blow your mind. Though it can be played with 2-4, I would recommend 3 or 4 players. Without giving too much away, let’s just say, the set-up is simple, with a deck numbered 1-100 being the majority of the game contents. This is an absolute must play for 2018, and one of the most popular board games trending in the community right now. I also make an analogy to how playing this game is like playing the traffic game.
Check Price – The Mind, 2018 Game of the Year Nominee
This is an oldie but a goodie. It also involves tiles, like Azul, however, plays differently in that players pick tiles randomly from a main pile of tiles, as opposed to selecting from fixed stacks of tiles placed each round. There is a community ‘board’ that all players interact with which makes a dynamic game, and one that doesn’t get old.
Check Price – Qwirkle, 2011 Game of the Year Winner
One of the most recent well-known and popular board games, the title of this game is apropos. Teams compete against one another giving hints about their respective cards using limited information and want to convey as much about the cards as possible without confusing their teammates. Once you play CodeNames, you’ll wish you did more brain exercises in your off time to get better at this game.
Check Price – CodeNames, 2016 Game of the Year Winner
Super fun, super light, super fast, and with a focus on one of our favorite cuisines – sushi! – Sushi Go is an epic and winning game from the start. Focus on getting points from collecting certain sets of cards, or types, and deducing what other players might want – Sushi Go keeps the energy levels high while still being a challenging game. A fun crowd pleaser with tons of expansions to keep you entertained.
This is an absolute must play for a fun loving group that likes to use their imagination and on our list of family board games . Make no mistake though, despite art cards, and coming up with fantastical clues or quotes to give other players hints about your card, there is massive skill involved in this game. Winner of the Spiel des Jahres in 2010, Dixit is an absolute must play and phenomenally fun and one-of-a-kind experience.
Check Price – Dixit, 2010 Game of the Year Winner
One of the most elegant games out there, board game critics and reviewers, often praise Splendor, and there is good reason for that. Board Game Geek calls it a ‘Family’ game and, the Publishers describe it as a fast, tactical, and addictive game. Enticing and enchanting, once you play Splendor, you will understand why it’s one of the most popular best-selling games out there. Like, you may become obsessed so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Check Price – Splendor, 2014 Game of the Year Nominee
This is the most classic of all the “euro” games out there, despite having been published in 1995. Having been out for over 20 years, one might think Settlers of Catan would be on it’s way out, however the opposite has been the case. A game friends and groups play 100+ times, the dynamics, dice, and resource distribution, and competitive element changes every game and the thrill never ends. It also helps that the designers published a Game of Thrones version.
Check Price – Settlers of Catan, 1995 Game of the Year Winner
The best cooperative game out there, and everyone knows it. Matt Leacock left a career in Tech and Silicon Valley to design board games and we’re sure glad he did. There are now many versions of Pandemic from Pandemic: In the Lab to Pandemic: Iberia changing the setting, though the game mechanics remain super fun, challenging, and maddening, and are able to uniquely bring out many different skillsets in players. Fight outbreaks and epidemics of the virus and contain and cure the disease to save humanity with your team and have a lot of fun in the process.
Check Price – Pandemic, 2009 Game of the Year Nominee; 2016 Connoisseur Game of the Year Nominee
This game requires a somewhat larger group, and though the game can scale up to 20 or 3o, a great game can be played with 8 players including 1 who must act as a Moderator, which is an equally fun role. The only ‘social deduction’ game on this list, if you’re interested in seeing what it’s like to lie, persuade, outmaneuver, attack, and defend, all in the name of claiming victory for either the Villager team or the Werewolves, then Werewolf is your game. A must try for willing participants who want to engage with other players as the main driver of the game.