55 Best Games to Play With Friends on Game Night

©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

Nothing beats a good game night, especially if you’ve got the right lineup of games to play with friends. (And, let’s be honest, the right snacks on hand.)

The first known game night happened some 5,000 years ago, which means that game nights have been a source of connection and (mostly) friendly competition for pretty much ever. During the early days of the pandemic, though, it often wasn’t possible to crowd-in around the coffee table for board games with our buds. Seeing the need for fun games to play with friends at a distance, game developers adapted, piloting creative new games to play over text and Zoom and adding more online multiplayer games to their rosters. COVID may not have invented the need for games you can play with friends online, but it sure did incentivize companies to bulk up their offerings.

Today, this means there’s a wider selection than ever of games for both virtual and IRL groups to choose from. And we should be playing games with friends. Not only are multiplayer games a fun way to build up social connection, they’re also linked to good brain health, offer an everyday way to boost skills like problem-solving, and help us reap the psychological benefits of playfulness.

So, whether you’re hosting a good, old-fashioned game night with chips and dip at home, getting the crew together for the virtual equivalent, or looking for big group games to whip out at a party, we’ve rounded up the very best games to play with friends, from online multiplayer games with immersive stories to simple card games. Find your favorites and make a monthly hang of it!

In this article:

  • The best large group games

  • Games to play with friends in real life

  • Fun games to play with friends online

The best large group games

It can be tough to find big group games that every single person in your friend group will like. It gets even harder when you have an especially large group to satisfy. The following game ideas accommodate big crews (up to 20+ people, in some cases), making them particularly good party games for large groups.

1. Rabble


$30.00, Amazon

There’s really no limit to how many people can play this card game, though the official directions say “20+.” Rabble offers a mix of hilarious challenges (think: act like a T-rex) and word guessing. It’s one of those games people can drift in and out of, making it the perfect party addition.

2. We’re Not Really Strangers

We’re Not Really Strangers

$25.00, Target

Reserve this one for when you’re with a large group of your closest friends, or a crew that you want to get to know better. This question-based game kicks past the small talk and digs into the deep feelings. Expect questions like “How are you, really?” and tasks like “Each player, write a message to the other. Fold and exchange. Open only once you two have parted.”

3. Monikers

With capacity for more than 12 players, there’s only one goal for this favored party game for a large group: Get your teammates to guess the name on your card. It’s like charades, but even simpler. And much funnier. The real secret sauce here are the quirky call-outs on the cards — from pop culture to history, this is far from your grandparents’ guessing game.

4. Priorities


$23.00, Amazon

This game gets better the larger your group is. If the name gives you any indication, this is a game of choice: players are given two options and forced to voice which one is more of a priority for them. See where this is going? Cue the (friendly!) judgment.

5. Things They Don't Teach You in School

Things They Don't Teach You in School

$20.00, Amazon

Fans of trivia will love this deep dive into the unexpected and obscure. There are more than 400 questions and answers, so call everyone you know and invite them over.

6. Lisotography


$25.00, Amazon

Ok, all you Type-A Virgos out there — this game was actually made for you. Each player is required to make a list on a number of thought-provoking topics. The winner is the person who makes it around the game board first, blazing a trail of unique list items that no one else could come up with.

7. The Voting Game

The Voting Game

$25.00, Amazon

If you love superlatives, you’re in for a treat. This game allows each player to anonymously vote who among the players is the best fit for whatever title is shown on the card. Some examples: Who gives the most awkward hug? Who would you want to be your mom or dad? Who will marry someone who isn’t born yet? Go into this pick for big group games with some good humor.

8. Tenzi Slapzi

Tenzi Slapzi

$25.00, Amazon

Fans of funny games will get into the quick-pace of this hands-on card game to play with friends. Players are asked to match a picture card to its twin clue card; whoever gets there first, wins. Trust us: It’s going to quickly dissolve into a flurry of grabs, accidental hand slaps, and lots of laughs. This game is recommended for up to 10 players, but get a few games going at once if you have a massive group.

9. Rotten Tomatoes: The Card Game

Rotten Tomatoes: The Card Game

$20.00, Target

There are clearly a lot of fun games to play with friends out there, but a group of film buffs will spend all night glued to this one. Suitable for up to 20 people, this card game calls for players to rank iconic movies by what they think the films’ Rotten Tomatoes scores are, and it’s as eye-opening as it is funny.

10. Werewolf


$12.00, AliExpress

The fact it can be played with up to 75 people makes Werewolf a solid option for larger group hangs. (Although, to that end — who even knows 75 people?) Players are given character cards that split them up into two camps: Villagers and Werewolves. The Villagers, while being picked off one by one, are tasked with figuring out who the Werewolves are before it’s too late. Not one of your run-of-the-mill card games to play with friends, Werewolf is also available as the smaller-group game One Night Ultimate Werewolf and has earned a devoted fan base for a reason. (Ever played Mafia? Ever watch The Traitors? This is the same concept but with more rules.)

11. Pun Intended

Pun Intended

$20.00, Amazon

Any group of seven or more people is guaranteed to include someone who uses puns a little too liberally. That’s just math. While the serial-pun users among us will especially love this card game, Pun Intended is a fun exercise in wordplay and on-your-feet thinking for just about anyone, and it’s ideal for large groups. Get ready for a lot of laughs and probably just as many groans.

12. DIY Who Am I? or Hedbanz

DIY Who Am I? or Hedbanz

$45.00, Amazon

It’s a classic party game for large groups for a reason. Known by different names, and mega-popularized by franchises like Heads Up! and Hedbanz, you can buy multiple spins on this celebrity guessing game online (we’re partial to the sound of the “totally 90s” version). That said, you can also easily go the DIY route with post-it notes here, catering your picks in celebs to the comedic tastes of your crew. That’s probably a better plan than downloading the Ellen Degeneres-owned Heads Up! app, since putting money into her pocket today feels iffy at best. Plus, half the fun is getting to see questionable celebrities’ names physically plastered to your friends’ faces, and you just can’t get that from an app.

13. 5 Second Rule Uncensored

5 Second Rule Uncensored

$12.00, Amazon

The premise of this game is simple: draw a card, then name three things in your category before the five-second timer runs out. Essentially forcing you to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, it’s a recipe for gaffes and laughs and can be played with a group of just about any size. The “uncensored” version is, really, just for late teen and adult players, and the prompts don’t get as irreverent as you might expect. The way you answer the prompts, though, could be a different story.

Games to play with friends

If you’re looking for games to play with friends at home, you’re in luck. These 25 picks are sure-fire wins; tell your pals to wear comfy clothes (because you know this is going to end with everyone sitting cross-legged on the floor) and to come bearing their favorite munchies. For those of you with long-distance best buds, don’t worry. Many of these can be played over Zoom, and we’ve still got a whole section of games you can play with friends online coming, too!

1. Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill

$53.00, Amazon

Horror fans may get a little something extra out of Betrayal at House on the Hill, an award-winning suspense and strategy game. But with more than 8,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, it’s a game with plenty of broad appeal, too. The basic premise is this: Players enter a haunted house and, as they move through it, a ghost story is revealed. With 50 spooky stories to play out, each game night is bound to feel different.

2. Catch Phrase

Catch Phrase

$24.00, Amazon

Effectively no different from charades, Catch Phrase gives you more than 5,000 words and phrases to act out and is a classic game night pick for a reason. In the mood to mix things up with a theme? Opt for one of the special-edition games, like Star Wars Catch Phrase or Catch Phrase: Music Edition.

3. Blockbuster


$22.00, Amazon

This game comes packaged in what appears to be an old Blockbuster VHS case, and if that isn’t reason enough to buy it, what is? Plus it includes, for some reason, a replica of a Blockbuster parking lot? Sold. Billed as a “movie game for anyone who has ever seen a movie,” you don’t need to be a full-on cinephile to enjoy this movie quiz game.

4. Catan


$60.00, Amazon

Formerly called Settlers of Catan, we think the popular online version has a truer-to-form title: Colonist. This is, after all, a game you win by consuming and monopolizing the natural resources of a land you’ve newly arrived to, so — accurate? One round of Catan can take hours, and someone will strike up an argument over another player’s terms for trading sheep. So, if not with caution, approach this top choice for games to play with friends at home with a fully provisions-stocked kitchen. You’ll need all the snacks you can get. play with caution.

5. Mahjong


$60.00, Amazon

Mahjong, sometimes styled as mah-jongg, is something of a national pastime in China, where it was developed and rose to prominence in the 19th century. The game, which involves assembling sets and sequences of 144 domino-like tiles, was then imported to the U.S. in the 1920s, where it found a foothold in New York’s Jewish community. Today, Mahjong is played — and, in some cases, reappropriated — across the world. There are some super pretty (if pricey) new and vintage sets on Etsy, and you can also play it with friends online.

6. Golden Girls Clue

Golden Girls Clue

$40.00, Amazon

Ever found yourself wanting to utter the phrase “it was Blanche on the lanai with the bathrobe”? By playing the Golden Girls-themed version of Clue, you can, as you work to uncover the most pressing mystery of all: who ate the last piece of cheesecake. One of the game’s tokens is Sophia’s purse, and did I mention this is now in my Amazon cart? If Golden Girls doesn’t do it for you, there are plenty of other pop culture-inspired Clue iterations out there, from The Office to The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

7. Truth or Dare

Who said all of these IRL-game-night picks had to be board games or card games? When choosing the best games to play with friends, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. A few rounds of Truth or Dare will give your hang major old-school sleepover vibes, in the best way. Make up your own questions or leave the hard work to us and use our Truth or Dare idea generator. Afterward, you can keep the confessional theme going with a game of Never Have I Ever, 21 Questions, and This or That.

8. Pantone: The Game

Pantone: The Game

$58.00, Amazon

If you’re someone who counts down the days until Pantone’s annual Color of the Year is announced, this game is for you. To play, the “artist” uses Pantone color swatches to create a Pictionary-esque depiction of iconic pop culture characters, with the other players left to guess who they’ve depicted. After you’re done playing, you can use the swatches to pick out your next bedroom paint color. Talk about multi-player and multipurpose!

9. Disney Villainous

Disney Villainous

$40.00, Amazon

Disney diehards will delight in the chance to play their favorite villains in this game of strategy. Your goal? To complete the evil scheme your villain was thwarted from finishing in the movie. With characters like Captain Hook, Maleficent and Ursula to choose from, may the most diabolical villain win.

10. The Hygge Game

The Hygge Game

$20.00, Amazon

If the coziness of a good game night is pretty much the reason you’re there, you’ll love the Hygge Game, inspired by the Danish term for simple, shared comforts. With cards that include over 300 thought-provoking questions and conversation starters, it’s the perfect way to get your circle to open up. Play it with friends you’re already close to, or use these questions to ask friends as a jumping-off point for forging deeper bonds with new pals. If it sounds like we’re summing up your taste in games to play with friends in real life, you probably aren’t someone who needs this advice, but we’ll give it anyway: lean all the way into the night’s hygge theme with blankets, candles, and sweet treats for snacks.

11. What Do You Meme?

What Do You Meme?

$30.00, Amazon

Ever thought you could moonlight as a meme creator? This is the game to let you do just that. A bit like Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples in format, you’ll pair caption cards with photo cards in the hopes of delivering that round’s winning meme. Dark senses of humor are particularly welcome!

12. Jumanji


$30.00, Amazon

Part of the reason we love game nights is the nostalgia they conjure up. Why not lean into that with a round of Jumanji? Those who’ve seen the 1995 movie will know the rules. Just don’t make the mistake so many of us disappointed 90s kids did by expecting real-life critters to come with the game. (Feel like seeing some money evaporate? Columbia Pictures offers replica boards for $145, and there are yet-more deluxe versions out there, too.)

13. Escape Room In a Box: The Werewolf Experiment

Escape Room In a Box: The Werewolf Experiment

$33.00, Amazon

Why pay for an IRL escape room outing when you can recreate the experience in your pjs? There are all kinds of board games in the escape room milieu nowadays, with themes ranging from haunted dollhouses to the Titanic, but Werewolf Experiment is one of the more popular versions. You and your team, while racing against a 60-minute clock, must solve 19 puzzles before a mad scientist turns you into werewolves. No pressure!

14. Game of Phones

Game of Phones

$29.00, Amazon

Billed as the “ultimate digital scavenger hunt,” Game of Phones is an app-and-cards combination game that challenges players to find the funniest and full-on weirdest things on their phones in response to different challenge cards. Each round, a designated “Influencer” will choose the winner, and with special challenges like Like and Unfollow, subtlety isn’t exactly the name of the game here.

15. Quiplash


$10.00, Amazon

Jackbox Games ballooned in popularity during the pandemic, adding 10 million new users between the months of March and June 2020 alone. Quiplash is, arguably, the company’s most popular offering and a top pick for the best games to play with friends. The madlib-esque nature of the game is pretty standard, with players voting on the best anonymously submitted response to a given prompt, but the way Jackbox gamified this concept is engaging. ProTip: Get the Jackbox Party Pack 3 for access to the equally fun Trivia Murder Party.

16. Pandemic


$40.00, Amazon

Game nights make such great escapes from the real world, right? Except for when they, uh, don’t. In this game built on strategy and cooperation, players work to find a cure for four diseases that threaten to upend civilization. If you’re among the contingent of people who binged infection movies during COVID’s early days, this game is probably for you.

17. Telephone Pictionary

You’ll only need notepads for this one, and the game is pretty much what it sounds like: a mashup of Telephone and Pictionary. To play as a group, start by writing down a phrase — whatever comes to mind — on the second sheet of your notebook. Pass it to the player on your right who, after reading the second page, will attempt to draw that thing on the third page. The next player will then write down their interpretation of page three on page four, and so on. Keep going until you’ve got your notebook back; then, see how contorted your original message got!

18. Sing For Your Supper

Sing For Your Supper

$20.00, Amazon

Your musical theater-leaning friends will want to make this a game night mainstay, guaranteed. To play, you’ll draw a card that features a hit song, with music from five genres and six decades represented. To unscramble your card’s lyrics and figure out the song in question, you’ll rely on the game’s clues — then, you’ll have to sing the song out loud. The first player to guess the name of the song correctly is that round’s winner.

19. Dune


$50.00, Amazon

If you can’t get enough of the Dune franchise (or the friendship between two of its stars), bust out the board game version of Dune which, like the films, is also based on the beloved Frank Herbert sci-fi book. While playing, you’ll become the leader of one of Dune’s six factions and compete with other players for control of its most coveted resource: the spice melange. A game of politics, warfare and strategy, make it your friend group’s followup hang to seeing the movie.

20. The Worst Case Scenario Card Game

The Worst Case Scenario Card Game

$20.00, Amazon

If you’re the person who recites the bear attack rhyme every time you hike or who enjoys picturing every way to survive a plane crash, boy, do we have a game for you. This card game, based on the popular book of the same name, is advertised as containing “0% trivia and 100% humorous fun.” Meaning, anyone hoping to pick up actual tips for, say, escaping a sinking car or surviving the zombie apocalypse should look elsewhere. For everyone else, it’ll be full of absurd thought exercises and laughs.

21. Guess Who?

Guess Who?

$18.00, Amazon

You might remember the classic game Guess Who? from childhood. Or, more recently, you may have seen it reemerging on TikTok. By banning questions about appearance (a la “Is your person wearing glasses?”) in favor of subjective questions (see: “Would your person vote for the Green Party despite not knowing who the candidate is?”), the possibilities for snark are kind of endless. There’s a bunch of Guess Who? spin-offs available on Etsy, too, with themes like punk music and The Office, and you can even make a DIY version featuring people you know IRL. The only downside is that this game is meant for just two people, but if you divvy up into teams and take turns guessing, it could work as a party game for a large group, too.

22. Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter

$56.00, Amazon

If the afore-recommended Pandemic game felt up your alley, or if you count yourself among zombie movie lovers, you’ll want to add the board game Dead of Winter to your list. Set in a post-apocalyptic world with plenty of immersive storytelling, players must cooperate to face down the undead, their characters’ psychological weak spots, and the threat of winter, keeping their small colony of survivors alive. Morally gray situations and the possibility of inter-group betrayal keep this one interesting.

23. Taste Test

Taste Test

$17.00, Amazon

Planning a potluck? Follow up dinner with this equal parts fun and informative pick for games to play with friends at home. With 200 different trivia questions covering culinary pop culture, regional dishes, cooking techniques, and more, it’s the perfect post-meal entertainment for a group of foodie friends. In the same vein, there’s also Foodie Fight, which features harder trivia questions, or Bake it Happen for the friend group that’s mostly feeding themselves on frozen Trader Joe’s meals.

24. Mysterium


$55.00, Amazon

Mystery lovers and anyone who loves the movie Ghost will enjoy playing Mysterium. In some ways, it’s simply a more involved, immersive version of Clue; one player is the “ghost,” and they attempt to lead other players in guessing who murdered them through a series of abstract clues. With 45 minutes of play per game, Mysterium gives you plenty of time to dive into deductions without turning the whole night into a murder mystery party. (Although, now that we say that, that also sounds fun?) There’s an app, too, that lets you play online with up to seven people.

25. If You Know You Know

If You Know You Know

$20.00, Amazon

If you’re someone who gets (kind of weirdly) competitive about knowing your best friend better than anyone else does, this is the game where you can flex. With 300 multiple-choice cards that include G-rated questions on topics like friends’ preferred french-fry styles as well as a bonus pack of adults-only questions, players get a point for every answer they guess right about that round’s “judge.” This would also be a great game to play at a birthday party; rather than taking turns, let every question be about the birthday pal.

Fun games to play with friends online

Sometimes you just can’t get together in person — but that doesn’t mean you can’t virtually convene for some fun. The following games can all be played completely online, and many of them are free to download; all you need is a Wi-Fi connection and a group of good sports.

1. Words with Friends 2

With as many as 57 million global users playing at any given moment during the app’s zenith, the Words With Friends juggernaut may not be what it once was, but this is still one of the most popular online multiplayer games of all time. Essentially, it’s Scrabble, with your vocabulary and spelling skills being the tools that’ll get you to the top. The sequel includes some features the original mobile game was missing, like different Lightning Round and Team Play options for playing live with friends.

Download it for free on Google Play or from the App Store

2. Exploding Kittens

If you can get past the fact Exploding Kittens involves, well, exploding kittens, you’re likely to be one of the many (many) people who enjoy playing it. Billed as a “kitty-powered version of Russian roulette,” it’s the most funded game in Kickstarter history. While also available in card game form, playing online via the app lets you organize games with friends from afar, and you can play against strangers, too.

Download it for $1.99 on Google Play or from the App Store

3. Gartic Phone

For simple but fun multiplayer games, Gartic’s got you covered. Their Gartic Phone game lets you put your friends’ Telephone Pictionary skills to the test anytime, anywhere, with funny prompts that are likely to lead to yet-funnier doodles. Up to 30 people can play at once, whether you’re choosing to play against friends or strangers. The only downside is that the game itself doesn’t include video conferencing abilities, so you’ll want to confer on a Discord or group call to hear each other.

Play it for free on

4. Chess

Ready to channel your inner Beth Harmon a la Queen’s Gambit? offers a super accessible (and free!) way to play online chess with friends. Challenge family and friends to a round, get matched with a random player, or level up your chess chops by playing the computer first.

Download it for free on Google Play or from the App Store

5. Skribbl

Another game that’s basically Pictionary, Skribbl is free, online and great for big groups; you can invite up to 50 friends to join! It works best on a tablet, but we won’t lie — there’s something pretty satisfying (read: sillier) about the wonkiness of a smartphone sketch.

Download for free

6. Emoji charades

Just because you’re looking for online multiplayer games with friends doesn’t mean you need an app or immersive storyline to make things fun. Give your favorite group chat a game-night moment with a round of emoji charades, where you try to get each other to guess the name of a movie, TV show, celebrity, or book using only emojis. Chances are, you’re likely already doing some version of this over text anyway. (Those highly appropriate, emoji-filled chain texts we all get, or send, every holiday, anyone?) With a little thought, you can turn emojis into free games to play over text; no app required.

7. Uno

Sometimes, you don’t need the bells and whistles. You just need a good ol’ game of Uno. There are a handful of free sites that let you play Uno online with friends, and you can play it on Facebook, too.

Play it for free on Facebook

8. Codenames

Espionage-themed games are some of our favorite throwback games to play with friends. (Obviously, we’re talking about Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? and Spy Alley here.) Created in 2015, Codenames follows that tradition. Successfully guess your team’s codenames and make contact with the right secret agents before the opposing team does — and try to avoid the secret assassin and double agent among you while you’re at it. For a version of the game to play with friends IRL, there’s also Codenames: Pictures.

Play it for free at

9. Alice Is Missing

Alice Is Missing

$22.00, Amazon

Consider yourself a fan of scary games to play with friends? An eerily immersive role-playing game, Alice Is Missing is unique in that it's played entirely over text. While in character, you and your friends will investigate the disappearance of Alice, a girl from your town. From start to finish, the game takes about two hours, with clues gradually dropped in over text until the fate of Alice is ultimately revealed.

Buy it on Amazon for $20.73

10. Among Us

An online game-turned-pandemic phenomenon that’s set in space, Among Us is equipped for cross-platform play, including iOs and Android devices. That means both the Nintendo Switch loyalists in your group as well as the friend who’s never gone near a video gaming console in their life can join in, with some playing as crewmates and others as secret, game-appointed “imposters.” The game’s plot inspiration draws heavily from John Carpenter’s The Thing, making it a social deduction game with plenty of thrills. And thanks to the free (with ads) app version, this is likely one of the most popular free online multiplayer games on our list.

Download it for free on Google Play or from the App Store

11. Word Battle

If a slightly higher-octane version of Words With Friends sounds fun, Word Battle might be just your ticket. While the former puts you and friends on separate game boards, Word Battle happens in real-time on the same board, forcing players to make moves simultaneously and making for more competitive gameplay. With each round lasting 40 seconds, it’s proof that internet games with friends don’t need to be involved or time-consuming to be entertaining.

Download it for free on Google Play or from the App Store

12. Dead by Daylight

A multiplayer online game that horror fans will love, Dead by Daylight divides your friends into two groups: survivors and a killer. Billed as a “deadly game of hide and seek,” each survivor must follow a map and repair a series of generators to escape before the killer finds them. The best part? The game gives you the option to play as iconic horror movie killers like Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Ghostface, making this a Grade-A option for scary games to play with friends. And if your friends aren’t free, you can always play as the killer solo.

Download it for free on Google Play or from the App Store

13. Ticket to Ride

Fans of the popular Ticket to Ride board game will be happy to know there’s an online version, and that it’s super faithful to the original analog game. To compete in building train routes and connecting cities across the world from your phone, start an online game with friends or join a multiplayer match with strangers from around the globe.

Download it for $4.99 on Google Play or from the App Store

14. Dominion

Game enthusiasts credit Dominion as launching a whole new style of gameplay thanks to its central deck-building strategy. With a medieval theme and frequent comparisons drawn to Magic: The Gathering, you and your friends can nerd out with Dominion’s free app and cross-platform play options. Or, sharpen your skills by playing against AI opponents.

Download it for free on Google Play or from the App Store

15. Kahoot!

If your idea of a perfect game night is really just a trivia night, you’ll probably love Kahoot!, which lets you challenge friends to quizzes you’ve found on the platform or created yourself. For real-time gameplay, share your Kahoot! quiz’s unique PIN code with pals and see how people’s answers stack up on the live leaderboard.

Download it for free on Google Play or from the App Store

16. GamePigeon

Looking for more games to play over text over friends? For those with iOS devices, GamePigeon is an iMessage app extension that lets you play a number of one-on-one games directly within iMessage, with options ranging from darts and mini golf to shuffleboard, mancala, and the popular Sea Battle. Its user interface can look a little dated, but if that doesn’t bother you, this is a super simple way to play games with friends online.

Download it for free from the App Store

17. Eyes Horror & Coop Multiplayer

If you like the concept of escape rooms but don’t feel like spending $50 to be locked inside a room at your local mall, this popular horror game could be a good substitute. Team up with friends or join another group of players online to navigate a maze-like haunted mansion and survive supernatural threats. Out of all the free online multiplayer games on our list — although, to note, you will be prompted to pay for some optional-but-useful features — it may have the most impressive audiovisual design; this game looks and feels genuinely chilling. With plenty of unpredictable encounters and cooperative gameplay, it’s guaranteed to conjure up some shared scares.

Download it for free on Google Play or from the App Store

Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue