Kids aren’t the only ones who can appreciate games. In fact, some of the best games out there are made and marketed for adults only, and they’ll serve as great gifts for people from all walks of life.
Whether you’re looking for raunchy drinking games or intense tabletop strategy games, here are just a few good titles to get the dice rolling!
My Selection Of The 34 Best Adult Games
Find the Fuhrer: Secret Hitler
Do you trust your friends? Secret Hitler puts that question to the test in a game where everyone is divided into “liberals” and “fascists,” but no one knows who anyone else is. Some players might be your allies while others are your enemies.
To top it all off, one player is secretly Hitler! This deceitful, multi-layered game involves lying, plotting, scheming and fighting with other players just as much as dealing cards. It’ll make an excellent gift for people who enjoy high-drama game nights.
To Improve Your Teamwork: Pandemic
Pandemic is a cooperative game where everyone works together to defeat the game itself. In this version, players are trying to stop viral diseases from ravaging humanity and ending the world as we know it, so the stakes are nice and low.
No one will argue, and no one will draw bad cards or make poor strategic decisions that result in outbreaks, quarantines, lost cities or abandoned research stations. Everyone will hold hands and save the day with the power of friendship.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
For Fans of Studio Ghibli: Kodama
Filled with friendly forest critters, Kodama is a relaxing and visually pleasing game with just enough strategy to keep you entertained. It centers around kodama, the tree spirits of Japanese folklore, and your goal as a player is to build them a tree with elaborate branch formations that will serve all of their food and shelter needs.
The artwork is lush; the rules are relatively simple. Anime fans will love it, especially if they’re fond of tabletop games already.
To Keep Them Busy for Months: Gloomhaven
Gloomhaven comes in a 20-pound box, and every ounce is filled with cards, figures, boards, maps, stickers, tokens and journals. It’s a mammoth game that can be stretched into multiple sessions and replayed for even more.
The gist is that you choose a character in a grim, combat-heavy magical world and take them on a “choose your own adventure” journey where every decision builds on the next. You’ll complete missions, increase your stats, travel across the board and interact with other players regularly.
It’s a fantastic RPG that you can play in the real world.
To Fart Rainbows and Sparkles: Unstable Unicorns
Collect all of the unicorn cards before any other player. It sounds simple, right? But the fun of Unstable Unicorns is that everyone else is trying to do the same thing, and you’re all allowed to sabotage each other.
The result is a crazy and chaotic card game that will destroy friendships in the best way. There’s something incredible about promising vengeance with the power of a sparkly, rainbow-filled unicorn card, and this game will let your favorite people experience it!
For Travelers, Collectors and Hoarders: Mancala
As one of the world’s oldest games, Mancala has millions of players worldwide, and it comes with editions that range from “cheap and plastic” to “luxuriously ornate.” This version belongs to the second category.
It has a handsome wooden board with dazzling glass stones set in multiple colors, and it can be folded in half and slid into a travel case for easy transport. Are you looking for games that can be played on the go? What about a game that can be displayed as a collector’s item? Mancala is suitable for both types of gifts.
To Gamble Without Gambling: Qwixx
Qwixx is a fast-paced dice game that will satisfy the reward centers of your brain just like a game of craps. It doesn’t require a lot of skill or strategy, and it’s all about the instant gratification of rolling the right numbers or calculating the right odds for a big points jackpot.
You can play by yourself or with others. If you know someone who loves the casino but hates losing money, give them Quixx for a good time that won’t cost a cent.
For Dog Lovers: Exploding Kittens
If you know someone who likes simple card games like Uno and Old Maid, this one is similar. It just involves kittens that explode. When you draw the dreaded explosion card, you’re out of the game, so the goal is to avoid it and be the last player remaining.
Skip turns; reshuffle the deck; force more cards on other players; reverse their actions against you. Exploding Kittens is a simple but addictive game that can take a lot of twists and turns, so it’ll be a great gift for anyone who isn’t squeamish at the thought of Mr.
Fluffy turning into kitty chow.
To See What All of the Fuss Is About: Cards Against Humanity
Billed as a “party game for horrible people,” Cards Against Humanity is one of the most infamous card games of all time, and it definitely lives up to its reputation. It’s filled with terrible, tasteless jokes that would horrify any upstanding member of the community.
.. so it’s a blast! Each round is more outrageous than the last, and some of the things that get said will be burned into your brain forever. You won’t want to give this gift to the sensitive or easily offended, but if they can take a joke, they’ll love it!
To Let Your Hair Down: Oh Fruck!
Squawk like a chicken when you draw a 10. Get on your hands and knees when you draw a four. Oh Fruck! is a chaotic card game that will involve your entire body, so it’ll be great fun for parties, sleepovers, game nights and camping trips.
The object of the game is to get rid of your cards, but you’ll be forced to draw every time that you forget the “rules” of the round, and the rules are constantly changing. This time, it might be telling other players “I love you” whenever you draw a heart.
The next time, who knows?
For Fantasy Fans With a Love of Combat: Risk: Game of Thrones
Risk is a popular tabletop military game, but it can be a risky gift purchase since it’s based on real-world countries with borders that are constantly changing. It might be outdated by the time that Christmas rolls around! To preserve the game but eliminate the danger of an old, obsolete present, consider the Game of Thrones version of Risk.
It lets players conquer Westeros instead of a traditional map, so it’s only going out of style if the White Walkers destroy the entire planet in the last book.
For Your Raunchiest Friends: Drawing Without Dignity
Do you know someone who laughs in the face of political correctness? Make their day with Drawing Without Dignity. It’s a quick-moving version of Pictionary where the clues are both funny and filthy, so they’re sure to have a blast when they’re given just 60 seconds to doodle things like “pillow biter,” “fat camp,” “orgy” and “pissing into the wind.
” It’s definitely a game that should be saved for after the kids have gone to bed, but that’s part of its charm. Drawing Without Dignity is for dirty-minded adults who aren’t afraid to live on the edge.
Putting the Shawshank In Your Redemption: Escape From Iron Gate
Modeled after the show Prison Break, Escape From Iron Gate is like an escape room in a box. Players will have to solve puzzles, draw cards, roll dice and generally just use their wits to survive their turns.
The catch is that only one player will make it out of the penitentiary, so even though you’re working with everyone else as innocent characters who have been framed and jailed for crimes that they didn’t commit, they’re your enemies when it comes to freedom.
When Chess Has Gotten Boring: Quoridor
Quoridor is a deceptively simple game. Played by two people on opposite sides of a board, the goal is to reach the other end. When it’s your turn, you can choose between taking a step forward or placing a wall in front of your opponent.
The challenge is in gaining ground, predicting your opponent’s moves, blocking them from advancement and keeping yourself from getting trapped. There’s a lot of strategy to juggle, and every new opponent will bring a fresh perspective to the game.
Quoridor will be a nice gift for the buddy who has worn out their chess or backgammon set.
For Fans of Oregon Trail: Catan The Board Game
Originally known as Settlers of Catan, this tabletop strategy game is one of the most famous of its kind. Players are expected to buy, sell and trade their resources to build their own civilizations, but their progress can be hindered by everything from an opponent’s sabotage to an unlucky roll of the dice.
It’s a game that will take some time to play, and the winners will be patient, intelligent people who know how to plan ahead. Is this ringing any bells? Do you know someone who could appreciate the complexity of Catan?
A Gift for Strategists: Salem 1692
Salem 1692 is the New England version of Secret Hitler. Some players are witches who are trying to survive the purge, and others are constables who are trying to find them and kill them. Not only is it a rancorous game where the accusations will fly left and right, but it’s also a beautiful one: The cards are printed with detailed, full-color illustrations, and they tuck into an aged wooden box with a brown leather cover.
Salem 1692 will be a great gift for history buffs, art lovers, board game enthusiasts and anyone who has a general fascination with witch hunts.
For Movie Buffs: Jumanji
With a raised dome in the middle of an old-fashioned slide board, Jumanji is styled just like the one from the original movie. But the good news is that it won’t suck you in and force you to battle evil monkeys! It’s a simple, straightforward game where you roll the dice and move around the board.
You might have to use the decoder to figure out if you’ll be in danger during your turn, but that will just bring back fond memories from childhood. Jumanji is perfect for board game enthusiasts and cinephiles who would enjoy a nostalgic collector’s item.
For That Friend Who Tokes on the Side: High Ball
While it’s advertised as a game for the stoned, High Ball can be enjoyed by partygoers of all types. If they’re drunk, for example, the glowing lights will be just as mesmerizing, and the sequential memory games will be just as challenging.
The only requirement of people playing High Ball is that they aren’t firing on all cylinders. It’s a rather simple game, so you have to be in the right mindset to enjoy it. Have you ever hypnotized an inebriated friend by shooting a red laser pointer on the walls? It’s like that.
Beautiful and Bohemian: Azul
Played with tiles that come in elegant colors and patterns, Azul is one of the prettiest board games that you can give to an art lover. Its premise is simple: You win points for taking tiles that you can arrange in specific sequences on your board, and you lose points for taking tiles that you can’t use.
The object of the game is to earn the most points while mitigating the point losses that your opponents force on you with their own tile selections. It’s a bit like chess mixed with bingo, but the design is much more striking, so it blows the stereotype of “cheap board games” right out of the water.
When Google is Down: …I Should Have Known That! Trivia Game
Who founded Facebook? What is Greece called in Greek? If you want to go starboard on a boat, do you go to the left or right side? These simple but wide-ranging questions make up I Should Have Known That, a card game that can be played individually or in teams.
It’s basically an extended version of Trivial Pursuit, but the questions have a knack for dredging up things from the back of your mind or putting half-remembered facts on the tip of your tongue. If you know someone who always whips out their smartphone whenever they’re asked something, challenge them to a round of ISHKT.
See if they can do it even without a search engine.
Desecrate Your Childhood: Go Fish Yourself
Go Fish Yourself offers an awesome, adults-only twist on the classic card game. Instead of making pairs for yourself, you force other players to match their cards. This is because the cards are printed with funny, bizarre and embarrassing rules that the player has to follow when they create a pair, so the object of the game is both to win and to unleash maximum hilarity on your opponents.
It isn’t your childhood favorite anymore. It’s a winner-take-all battle where people will have fingers up their noses and hands pressed against their butts!
For Cerebral Fun: Mastermind
Mastermind is a two-player game where one person is the codemaker and the other is the codebreaker. The first person will come up with a specific sequence of colored pegs, and the second person will try to figure it out in a certain number of turns.
With more than 2,000 combinations for the pegs, it’s a game with a lot of replay value, and it will incorporate logic, strategy, deductive reasoning and other STEM skills. If you know a mathematician or statistician who likes to analyze the odds, they’ll definitely pull out their calculators for Mastermind.
For Scream Queens and Horror Kings: Betrayal at House on the Hill
Known to diehard fans as “Betrayal,” this behemoth game combines horror, mystery, strategy and survival tactics. You’ll play as a specific character that starts in a room and slowly “builds” a haunted house all around you.
The trick is that you still have to survive the house, and the cards are filled with all kinds of bloody missions and black magic items. If they’re afraid of monsters, seances, pentagrams, weapons and voodoo dolls, Betrayal isn’t the game for them.
If they live for horror concepts, however, Betrayal will be right up their ghostly alley.
A Tasty Treat: Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a mad libs game where you supply crazy answers to simple prompts. Unlike some of its cousins, however, this one has a “judge” in each round, and they decide who gets the points for the best answer.
This means that you’ll have to play to the judge’s sense of humor more than anything else, which adds a fun layer of strategy and duplicity to the game. Can you predict what your friends will find hilarious? Can you sabotage other players with unexpected judgements? Apples to Apples is a gift that can be played by all ages and genders, so it’s an appropriate present for any demographic.
Charades On Easy Mode: On a Scale of One to T-Rex
Advertised as “a card game for people who are bad at charades,” this title is a rare crossover hit that can be played by drunk college students and parents with kids. It’s basically an open game of charades where everyone knows the action that’s being performed; the guesswork comes from the fact that all players have been assigned a different intensity level.
You win points by matching your intensity level with someone else. It’s a fun, low-stakes game that will let your friends live out their dreams of pretending to be a dinosaur or acting like they’re in a car chase.
To Create a Night That Everyone Will Remember: Bad Aim
Have you ever played Truth or Dare with dart guns? Bad Aim lets you set up a foam dartboard with your choice of questions and challenges, and the goal is to shoot down all of the cards before the opposing team.
If you don’t, you could be forced into anything from “play the rest of the game without pants” to “show everyone your Instagram search history.” It’s an absolutely outrageous party game, so it’s not for the faint of heart, but your more shameless friends should love it!
Get To Know Your Friends On a Whole New Level: Pick Your Poison
Pick Your Poison is “would you rather” in the form of a card game, and it’s just as addictive as it sounds. Would you rather be attacked by a shark or have snakes for arms? If you had to choose between never being able to lie or always believing everything people told you, which would be the better fate? Pick Your Poison has hundreds of cards, so your gift recipient will go through hundreds of scenarios before you start getting repeats.
They might even choose to play by themselves rather than saving it for game night! It can be an interesting psychological exercise just as much as a party game.
Relive a Childhood Favorite: Twister Ultimate
Everyone has an embarrassing childhood memory thanks to Twister, and with Twister Ultimate, you can bring that mortification to adulthood as well. The mat is double the usual size, so there are twice as many colored spots and twice as many ways to become a human pretzel.
There’s even been a technological upgrade: Instead of using a spinner, you can have Alexa call the shots. Consider giving Twister Ultimate to someone who loves nostalgic gifts and would be charmed by a modernized take on an old classic.
For Best Results, Play When Drunk: Bean Boozled
Bean Boozled is more of a party favor than a board game, but if you’re looking for something quick and easy to give a friend, colleague or bar buddy, it’ll get the job done. The rules are simple: Spin the wheel and eat the jelly bean that it lands on.
Just hope that you don’t pick up a foul-tasting bean that’s been disguised as a delicious one! Lime could also be lawn clippings; chocolate could also be canned dog food. You won’t know until you bite down, so brace yourself.
To Appreciate the Wonders of Nature: Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is such a beautiful game that it’s almost a shame to play it and wear it out. Filled with soft, peaceful images of a sun-dappled forest, it mixes art and science in a way that celebrates the natural world while still entertaining players as a game.
The goal is to grow trees by earning and spending “light points” on various resources until you have a well-managed piece of land. But beware! The sun constantly rotates around the board, so your levels of light absorption won’t always be the same.
You’ll need to plan, strategize, weigh your options and keep an eye on your opponents if you want to have the best land in the end.
No Ice Cream Required: Brain Freeze
If it’s not a successful game night without laughs, arguments, middle fingers and accusations of unfairness, Brain Freeze is a gift that will keep on giving. It’s a “speak before you think” game that encourages players to shout the first things that come to their minds, and the results are just as entertaining as you might expect.
It can be played by any amount of people, and the rules are simple enough for all ages. It’ll be an excellent gift for someone in your gaming circle who will share it with the rest of you.
For Fans of the Mouse: Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game
If their shelves are packed with Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid, they’ll love the Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game. Each player takes on the role of an iconic Disney villain, and the object of the game is to help them achieve their sinister, smoke-twirling goals.
Once your friend has mastered one villain, they can move on to the others. Each character has a unique path to victory. Whether they’re playing as Jafar, Ursula, Maleficent or Captain Hook, villains always have more fun, so they’re sure to enjoy themselves as they relax their morals and crush those pesky heroes!
Leave This Planet Behind: Constellations: An Xtronaut Game
Astronomy fans will absolutely adore this game. Designed by real NASA engineers, it will teach players about the types, temperatures and densities of various stars as they race to complete their constellation boards.
Everything is factually based and scientifically correct, so it’s educational and entertaining at the same time. If you have a friend who is always trying to get you interested in cosmology, this gift will satisfy the both of you.
For Feel-Good Fun: Ravine
Ravine is a rare co-op game where you genuinely work together with your fellow players. The premise is that you’ve all survived a plane crash and are trying to make it through the wilderness, so you’ll need to guard your health tokens while building shelter, avoiding animals, foraging for food and sustaining your fire.
There’s also a hint of madness in the air, so you won’t want to stray too far from camp. You win the game by surviving as a group until the end. There’s no benefit to sabotaging other players, so it’s a nice game for a chill night with friends.
Your Complete Gift Guide to Adult Games
Studies have shown that board games are more than just fun pastimes. They can actually improve everything from cognitive function to hand-eye coordination, so you can consider them a gift that gives back. Here are just a few ways to choose good ones!
Consider Their Playing Time
It’s common for games to advertise their playing time. A fast-paced card game might last 10 – 15 minutes; a complex military board game might be spread over the coffee table for 100+ hours.
Check the corner of the box to see if the manufacturers mention their expected time sink. You’ll want something that fits into your friend’s schedule.
Know Your Audience
Some adult games lean heavily on the “adult” part by featuring sex, drugs, alcohol or X-rated humor.
Other adult games are fine for youngsters in terms of content; they just have lots of parts or involve lots of strategy, so they might bore a child. Make sure that your gift is appropriate for your recipient before you get risque.
Count the Players
Who will be playing the game? Consider the usefulness of your present. If they live alone and don’t have a gaming group, a six-player game might just sit in their closet and collect dust.
On the flip side, if they have a large, boisterous family, a quiet two-player game might not be the best choice for keeping the peace.
Consider the Type of Game
Do they like turn-based strategy games, or do they prefer simpler games that can be played at pubs and parties?
Do they get absorbed in escape rooms, logic puzzles and roleplaying games, or do they perform the sign of the cross when confronted with player statistics? Everyone has their own preference for game night, so buy them something that they’ll truly enjoy.
Adult games can be memorable and meaningful gifts for the people that you care about, especially if you use them as an excuse to spend more time together.
You just need to find the perfect game for your loved one!
Do you like our list of adult games? Do you see anything that intrigues you? Have we left out any awesome titles that are absolute essentials for game night? We’re always open to suggestions, so let me know!