We’ll be keeping this page updated throughout the year. (Last Updated: April 8, 2018)
Finding cooperative board games for families can be a bit difficult since you want to play games that people of all ages will enjoy equally. Well, that’s why we decided to post some of the best ones all on one page! These aren’t necessarily the most popular family board games, but they’re our favorites.
Great family board games are usually also great gateway games, so they are some of the best board game investments. All of the games found below also happen to be some of the best co-op games for couples, though for that we recommend checking our list of great games for two players.
To make it onto our list of top family board games, these games needed to have simple rules and plenty of replayability. Oh, and they needed to be FUN!
Okay, let’s get to it. Here are our Top 5 Board Games for the Family!
Hanabi is easily the most portable game on this list since it is a small box of cards. What makes the game great is what you do with those cards. You are not allowed to look at your hand and you have to help your teammates figure out what they have.
You might think that Hanabi will lack replay value since it’s just a small deck of cards, but you’d be very wrong in that assumption. While the goal never changes (fix/build fireworks), each game plays quite differently because you never know how the cards will come out of the deck.
Read our full Hanabi review!
4. Burgle Bros.
The heist theme in Burgle Bros. might not seem great for families, but it’s done in a light-hearted way. Trying to avoid the guards so you can complete the robbery is great fun for people of all ages. This game also looks fantastic on the table.
The basic gist of the game is that you are trying to navigate through the building, crack some safes, and make it out without being caught. There are no other cooperative board games like Burgle Bros., and I have yet to meet someone who did not enjoy it.
Read our full Burgle Bros. review!
Whether you are just getting into new-age board games or simply want one of the top family board games around, you can’t do much better than Forbidden Island. As we mentioned in our review, it can be quite difficult to beat, but you will enjoy every game you play regardless of the outcome.
You might be asking why Forbidden Island is here rather than Pandemic or Forbidden Desert. Well, both of those games are fantastic and could be in this spot, but Forbidden Island is the quickest to teach and set up. Some people actually prefer Forbidden Island for those reasons alone.
Read our full Forbidden Island review!
2. Castle Panic
If you’ve only played traditional board games and are looking for a great family game, Castle Panic might just be the best option for you. There have been a few different versions of the game (like Star Trek Panic), but we still recommend the original. They’re all great board games for adults and kids, though.
Castle Panic has been one of the most popular and best cooperative family board games ever since it came out back in 2009. What makes it so great is that it is extremely easy to teach, yet it has a ton of replayability. It is easily the best castle defense game for families and it will probably stay on this list for a long time. There are also some excellent Castle Panic expansions out there if you want to add even more content to the game.
Read our full Castle Panic 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 right now. It has a theme that everyone can get into, it has excellent cooperative mechanisms, and it is very easy to learn. Those are the exact things that you want to find in a family co-op game.
The goal of Flash Point is simple: Save everyone inside the house! No matter which firefighter role you choose, you will have a (water) blast working with your teammates to put out fires and save as many people (and pets) as you can.
Read our full Flash Point: Fire Rescue review!
Pandemic – This is one of our favorite board games, but it missed out on this top 5 list since younger gamers sometimes have a tough time understanding how to play it. Definitely get the game if you know that your kids can handle it, though. It belongs in everyone’s collection. (read our Pandemic review)
Escape: The Curse of the Temple – Real-time games aren’t usually in the “family games” category since you don’t have a chance to teach them as you are playing. However, Escape: The Curse of the Temple got around this issue by making an easy-to-learn game that has plenty of theme and replay value. (read our Escape: The Curse of the Temple review)
Forbidden Desert – It was tough to choose Forbidden Island over this one, but it is just a little bit more advanced for younger gamers. This is definitely one of the best cooperative family games, though. (read our Forbidden Desert review)
Mysterium – Mysterium isn’t often thought of as a family game, but it really is. Plus, in my group’s collective opinion, it has some of the best artwork of any co-op game out there. (read our Mysterium review)