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Great family board games are usually also great gateway games, making them some of the best board game investments since they often get the most time at the table. Finding cooperative board games for the family can be a bit difficult, though, since you want to find games that people of all ages can enjoy equally. Well, that’s why this list was created!
The games listed on this page aren’t necessarily the highest-rated cooperative board games, but they are the ones that members of my group have enjoyed playing with their families the most. To make it onto this list of top family board games, the games needed to have simple rules and very high replayability. Oh, and they needed to be FUN, of course!
Okay, let’s get to it… Here are our Top 10 Family Board Games!
10. Slide Quest
Slide Quest is a fantastic dexterity board game for families to play. Your goal in this one is to use the four levers to slide the knight around the map and complete missions. It was designed to feel like a video game in board game form, which it definitely does. You can play it untimed or as a real-time game (using the app) and there’s a good mix of easy and challenging maps to try out, which makes it a great game for gamers of all ages.
Read our full Slide Quest review
Cahoots is one of the better limited communication card games out there and it can work for any type of group. The rules are extremely easy to learn—you just play a card to one of four piles by matching the pile’s color or number—but it can be very challenging, especially when you increase the difficulty level a few notches.
Cahoots is one of my most-played games over the last couple of years and it’s had a higher success rate as a family game than The Mind, which is another great limited communication card game.
Read our Cahoots review
One of the best co-ops of 2018, Menara has you attempt to reconstruct an ancient temple by placing uniquely shaped tiles on top of columns. It has a really nice look to it, it’s challenging, and every game plays out differently since the cards you draw dictate how you build the temple. It also has a good amount of tension because thee’s always a chance that the temple will fall.
Menara works great as a family game because the rules are straightforward and everyone seems to love watching the temple form in the middle of the table.
Read our Menara review
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle is a light deck building game that lets you play through the seven books in the Harry Potter series. It includes just about every major character, spell, and item from the books/movies, so it’s very easy for fans of the series to get into it. If you have one or more Harry Potter fans in your family, Hogwarts Battle is a must-try. It’s also one of the best family board games to get if you’re looking for a great intro-level deck building game.
Read our Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle review
Forbidden Island has been considered one of the top family games for about a decade now, and for good reason. Your goal is to move around an island and find/collect four treasures as the island sinks around you. It can be quite difficult to beat, but most people enjoy every game of it regardless of the outcome.
You might be wondering why Forbidden Island is here over Pandemic and Forbidden Desert, two other popular co-op games that have similar mechanisms. Well, both of those games are fantastic and could be in this spot, but Forbidden Island is the quickest to teach, learn, and set up, arguably making it better than those other two as a family game.
Read our full Forbidden Island review
Hanabi is easily the most portable family game on this list since it’s just a small box of cards. What makes it great is what you do with those cards. You’re not allowed to look at your hand and you have to help your teammates figure out what they have, making it a very unique co-op puzzle.
You might assume that Hanabi will lack replay value since it’s just a small deck of cards, but it actually has plenty of replayability. While the goal (fix/build fireworks) never changes, each game plays quite differently because you never know how the cards will come out of the deck.
Read our full Hanabi review
Quirky Circuits combines programming and limited communication in a very cool way. You work together to move a robot around a map, but the twist is that you can’t talk about the cards you’re playing to program the robot. There are plenty of great scenarios to play through and it’s definitely the type of game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and experience levels.
Quirky Circuits was my group’s favorite co-op family game of 2019 and I think we’ll be playing this one for years to come.
Read our Quirky Circuits review
3. Castle Panic
Castle Panic is arguably the best tower defense game for families. Throughout the game you work together and use your cards to prevent a horde of monsters from destroying your castle. It plays extremely smoothly and it has a great look to it.
There are a few different versions of the game, including Star Trek Panic, but I still recommend the original over the rest. They’re all solid board games for adults and kids, though. There are also some excellent Castle Panic expansions if you want to add even more content and replay value to the game.
Read our full Castle Panic review
5-Minute Dungeon has shown up on a lot of different lists on this site, including high up on our Top 40 list, because it’s a consistently fun real-time game that people of all ages enjoy playing. In this game you’re simply trying to use your cards and powers to make it through a dungeon (a stack of cards) before time runs out. There’s a ton of tension as you try to communicate with your teammates and use your cards as efficiently possible.
5-Minute Dungeon works equally well as a filler game and as a “main course” family game. It’s a co-op that I think everyone should own.
Read our 5-Minute Dungeon review
Flash Point: Fire Rescue isn’t too high up on our list of top cooperative board games anymore, but it 100% deserves this top spot. It has a theme that everyone can get into, it has great cooperative mechanisms, and it is very easy to learn how to play it. Those are the exact things that most people want from a family co-op game.
Your goal in Flash Point is simple: Save everyone inside the house! Regardless of the firefighter role you choose, you will have a blast working with your teammates to put out fires and save as many people (and pets) as you can. It’s just an excellent cooperative family game.
Read our full Flash Point: Fire Rescue review
What are your favorite cooperative board games for families? Any that didn’t show up on the list?