Best Board Games For 12 And Up


Board games are a great way for young adults to bond and spend quality time together. As the popularity of board games has surged over recent years, more people are discovering the enjoyment, camaraderie and educational benefits of playing them. Studies conducted by The NPD Group, Inc. have found that sales of board games in the U.S. hit an all-time high in 2018 with worldwide spending estimated at $9.6 billion in retail value. There are countless numbers of fantastic board games suitable for players aged 12 and up that offer endless hours of fun and amusement while they engage in strategic problem solving, testing social skills such as teamwork and communication or ignite their imagination or memories of popular franchises such as Star Wars or Harry Potter. Below I will outline what I believe to be some of the best board games suitable for players aged 12 and up and why they may make an excellent addition to family game nights!

The Benefits of Board Games for 12 and Up

Board games are a fun and engaging way for individuals aged twelve and up to utilize their skills in problem solving, cooperation, decision-making, and cognitive development. Spending quality time together amidst a game creates an environment of trust as players must rely on one another in order to share ideas and come up with solutions. Many times, when playing board games with friends or family members, players gain insight into the thought processes of others as well as a better understanding of taking turns in working towards a common goal. Board games can also be used to practice mindfulness—being fully aware of the present moment whilst enjoying the experience—and also foster creativity through meaningful play. Although board games involve concepts like strategy or logical thinking, they often involve random elements (seen in dice rolls) that can provide surprise moments that encourage spontaneity and quick thinking. In addition to cooperation and socialization, decision making plays an important role in board gaming; whether it’s deciding which move to make next or deciding how best to spend resources like money or time, playing board games encourages players to look at their options with patience and care. Furthermore, cognitive development is stimulated by board games as players are presented with different scenarios or puzzles that need logical reasoning for resolution; this not only requires paying attention but also assists with memory retrieval over an extended period of time. Playing board games when you’re 12 years old and older can have numerous benefits from developing problem-solving skills, collaborating more effectively with others, making responsible decisions quickly, all while having fun!

Top 10 Board Games for 12 and Up

1. Catan: It is a strategy game where players collect resources, build settlements and roads, and compete to be the first to 10 points. Two to four players can play in one game, it takes around 1-2 hours to complete. The age level recommended is 12 years old and up. This game requires good strategic thinking and a strong sense of competition which provides a great social interaction with other players.

Board Learning Games

2. Pandemic: This board game puts players in charge of the world’s top medical experts operating against time and racing to cure diseases before they spread throughout the population. It allows between 2-4 players and can last from 1-2 hours depending on the difficulty level chosen by the player. Suitable for ages 12 years old and up, this game has moderate levels of social interaction as each player tries to predict their opponents’ moves in order to cure every disease before pandemics take over the world!

3. Betrayal At House On The Hill: Players explore a creepy mansion together until betrayal unexpectedly occurs as one housemate secretly turns against them! This thrilling game requires 3-6 players, takes 60 minutes or longer, recommended for 12 years old and up, and features high levels of social interaction as housemates cooperate strategically while at least one untrustworthy opponent threatens their survival opportunity!

4. Ticket To Ride: Players construct rail networks connecting transportation routes across Europe with 169 trains over 19th century style tracks that may have tunnels or ferries! It is suitable for 2-5 players aged 12 years old and above with an estimated game time of 30 minutes – 1 hour duration. Ticket To Ride encourages ample social interaction as all competing parties try to outwit each other by claiming multiple rail routes across cities without their opponents snaking them away!

5. Carcassonne: You build an entire medival settlement on a grid board using tiles which feature meadows, cities, roads, paths and cloisters—all drawn from the era’s artistic architectural themes! Playable between two to five people with games lasting approximately 30 – 45 minutes, this classic German board game encourages quick problem solving skills among participants getting them from ages 8 years old upwards involved in exciting buyouts or competitions along with heightened social interaction too when alternative strategies are pitted against each other as they try claim their share of increasing resources amongst limited space on offer!

Bonus Tips For Hosting a Great Board Game Night

When it comes to board games for 12 and up, you want to make sure you choose games that will appeal to the older crowds. Check out our list of the best board games for 12 and up, which includes strategy-based classics such as chess, checkers, scrabble and even light strategy options like Catan.

To create an unforgettable game night experience for your group of teens, here are some helpful tips:

1. Choose the perfect gaming space: Whether you’re hosting a game night at home or in a venue such as a library or community center, select a space that provides enough room for gamers to comfortably move around and store their boards during play. Set up chairs in a circle or provide couches with plenty of extra pillows and blankets for coziness.

2. Serve up snacks: Board game nights wouldn’t be complete without snacks! Get creative with easy-to-prepare snack platters of cheese and crackers, chips and dip, cut vegetables and fruits, plus an assortment of cookies and other sweet treats.

3. Facilitate group activities: To keep things interesting between rounds or between switching up games require short team building activities such as sharing fun facts about each other or solving puzzles together. This quick break in monotony will foster positive teamwork among players while also providing them with the opportunity to get to know one another better.

How To Play Kanban Board Game

4. Offer appropriate learning curves: Consider the skill level of your players—beginners will struggle with complex board games while advanced players may already have mastered simpler ones—and pair those who would benefit most from playing together on the same team or against each other in competition Games like Ticket To Ride Europe perfect for newcomers because it introduces essential game play mechanics without overwhelming them by too many rules all at once
Newer players should also be given hints from time to time if they are having difficulty understanding how different strategies within a game work; support from more experienced players can encourage inexperienced ones to stay engaged throughout the night!

5 Introduce low-pressure challenges: For an added competitive twist introduce low-pressure challenges such as awarding points for landing on certain squares or guessing correctly on trivia questions about the history of various board games during gameplay With these small tasks interspersed throughout gameplay gamers can compete against each other without feeling too much pressure and even spur conversations when discussing answers They’ll still be playing (and winning!) but overall atmosphere remains relaxed!


Board games are a great way to spend time with family and friends, have fun, and disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. They provide an opportunity to bond, practice problem solving skills and build mental focus. For people in their teens to adult years, there are many fantastic game choices available. Popular titles include Ticket To Ride, Stratego, Betrayal At house On The Hill, Carcassonne, Quoridor and more.

When preparing for a game night make sure all players understand the rules of the game as well as establish any house rules. Additionally clear up any misunderstandings or disagreements before they become an issue. Keep games interesting by changing up the style of gameplay and mixing up who plays with whom each session.

By playing board games 12 year-olds and up can spend quality time together while enjoying fun activities that will challenge them in unique ways. Whether you’re looking for a great family activity or a way to connect with friends, the best board games offer hours of entertainment and lifelong memories! So gather your favorite people around the table and let the gaming begin! If you’re looking for board games for 12 years old and beyond be sure to check out our online store for top picks!

Send this to a friend