When one thinks of board games, classics like Monopoly and Scrabble are probably the first ones that come to mind.

However, in the family board game genre, these big titles are only the tip of the iceberg. Today’s board games are incredibly diverse, with gameplay ranging anywhere between few minutes to a few days and requiring few players or even the entire family!

If your family game’s over the holidays still consists of only the classics, you are missing out on all the incredible fun that these contemporary board games bring. Here is a list of some of our Top Board Game Choices to play instead of your usual Classics.



Settlers of Catan should definitely be in your arsenal of board games if you have family game nights regularly and over the holidays it gets even better. This is a strategic game, perfect for three or four players. The premise of the game is rather straightforward – Players have to collect resource cards to build structures around the island of Catan. Players earn victory points as they build structures and the first players to get ten points, wins the game! The twists, obstacles, clever rules that are simple to teach and the very theme of building a settlement, make this game super fun.



Codenames is a fantastic game that is suitable for the whole family. This challenging spy game will keep you on the edge of your seat all throughout and have everybody in the family wanting to play round after around due to this simple game play and social elements. The premise of this game is to guess the identity of your secret agents with the help of your team’s spymaster. 25 cards are laid on the table, each representing the two team’s secret agents. Spymasters give one-word clues that point out their cards on the board. The teammates guess words of the right colour while avoiding the cards that belong to the opposing team, and everyone wants to avoid the assassin. The gameplay is quick, challenging and extremely competitive.



In Tokaido, players take a journey through the “East sea road’, traveling from medieval Edo to Kyoto in Japan. In this competitive board game, players meet people, taste fine meals, visit temples and wild places and do many interesting things on their journey. At the end of the trip, when everyone has arrived at the end of the road, you’ll have to be the most initiated traveler. It shouldn’t be just a trip, it has to be a journey with the most interesting and varied things. This game is the Japanese adventure you could not afford this year and is a fantastic way to feel like you are on vacation in your living room.


Is your family still wanting to play the classics and you are feeling the pressure then Captain Sonar is an innovative real-time game that feels like a live action version of the classic battleship where two enemy teams are trying to locate each other’s submarines in order to blow it out of the water. In this challenging game, the teams consisting of Chief Mate, Radio Operator, and Engineer take their submarines head-to-head in a thrilling battle and try to win by destroying the enemy’s submarine, a task which is far more difficult and exhilarating than it may first appear.


Ticket to Ride

With elegantly simple gameplay, Ticket to Ride can be learned in under 15 minutes, while providing players with intense strategic and tactical decisions every turn. Players collect cards of various types of train cars they then use to claim railway routes in North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who fulfill Destination Tickets – goal cards that connect distant cities; and to the player who builds the longest continuous route.

“The rules are simple enough to write on a train ticket – each turn you either draw more cards, claim a route, or get additional Destination Tickets,” says Ticket to Ride author, Alan R. Moon. “The tension comes from being forced to balance greed – adding more cards to your hand, and fear – losing a critical route to a competitor.”

Ticket to Ride continues in the tradition of Days of Wonder‘s big format board games featuring high-quality illustrations and components including: an oversize board map of North America, 225 custom-molded train cars, 144 illustrated cards, and wooden scoring markers.

Since its introduction and numerous subsequent awards, Ticket to Ride has become the BoardGameGeekepitome of a “gateway game” — simple enough to be taught in a few minutes, and with enough action and tension to keep new players involved and in the game for the duration.


Sushi Go Party

The most adorable game on the list, Sushi Go Party the standalone expansion to the classic sushi go with its simple rules, family-friendly gameplay and adorable artwork, is a must-own game even for the most jaded gamers. Sushi Go Party is a card drafting game where you pick a card from your hand and then pass the rest of your hand to the next player. The basic theme of the game is that all the players are at a sushi-go-round, the cards get passed around and at each round, you’ll get to pick one thing of the conveyor belt as it goes past. Its easy to play and highly addictive even grandma will love it.

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