Best Board Games For Seniors

Jacob Reno
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After 60 you might think it’s too late to play board games like Scrabble and Clue (along with a ton of the other games designed for adults). Think again and expand your horizons.

No matter what your age, playing games is still a wonderful way to spend your free time together with family and friends. It’s also a fantastic way to learn new skills, whether it’s working out strategies, managing your time, or just letting your imagination run rampant.

And board games are more popular than ever — it’s “a thing.” You can take group board game get aways at resorts, people host board game nights at home, and you can even buy board games at theme parks.

I remember playing board games with friends at sleepovers when I was a kid. I spent my adolescence playing board games in my basement with my brother and one of my closest friends. I have wonderful memories of a time gone by.

NameCategoryProduct
Catan The Board GameBest OverallCatan The Board Game
Big Letter BANANAGRAMS: Family Word GameBudget PickBig Letter BANANAGRAMS: Family Word Game
Yellow Mountain Imports Professional Chinese Mahjong Game SetUpgrade PickYellow Mountain Imports Professional Chinese Mahjong Game Set

1. Catan The Board Game

Our rating: 9 / 10

Catan The Board Game

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Pros:

  • it is a classic for all ages
  • for 3 to 4 players
  • no special rules required, just fun
  • good way to learn strategy
  • it’s fun way to play with friends and family
  • it is an award-winning game
  • German design
  • fun to play such as play the game called Robber
  • Includes five expansion packs, so you’re never finished with play
  • Made from wood

Towns is a classic board game which is simple yet challenging. This is the number one rated board game on Amazon and that is for good reasons.

Multi-award winner, Catan brings a new family gaming experience. Play on your own or with friends for hours.

Early on, build your network of roads, settlements, and cities to grow your civilization and extend your influence throughout the game.

2. Ticket To Ride

Our rating: 9 / 10

Ticket To Ride

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Ticket to Ride is a board game for 2 to 5 players that was released in 2004. It has won multiple awards over the years. The game setup involves each player receiving a random ticket for a destination route. The player with the longest ticket at the end of the game wins. You can use collect train cards to claim routes of varying lengths to reach your destination. If players lose their tickets, they lose all their train cards, they can consider themselves out of the game.

Ticket to Ride is not a complicated game. It is intended to be a strategic game as you need to see beyond your initial destination to get to the final destination. It is a game of some subtlety in that you do not always want to give up your points so easily to your opponents. There is a lot of counting involved, as you have to be sure that there are points available on your destination route. It can at times be frustrating, but it is a fun experience overall. You will learn as you go and get better at it.

3. Mysterium

Our rating: 9 / 10

Mysterium

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Pros:

  • Dozens of list-based board games available
  • Has an intriguing background story
  • Has a variety of gameplay modes
  • Elementary gameplay
  • Clear instructions
  • Really easy to find all the components
  • The game has a decent playtime at 30-45 minutes

4. Yellow Mountain Imports Professional Chinese Mahjong Game Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

Yellow Mountain Imports Professional Chinese Mahjong Game Set

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Pros:

  • Teaches strategy and reasoning skills
  • Can be enjoyed by more than just seniors

The tiles used in these games are smooth and round, making it simple to stack and store. Plus, the set comes with a wind indicator to help you calculate chances. And, it’s lightweight–making it perfect for travel.

We absolutely love Chinese Mahjong games! What better way to spend your golden years than to start learning about this ancient game that originated in China. This is the set that we recommend for any beginners who are interested in learning everything about the game. Just remember that you can always have three generations playing this game–they’ll have fun too.

5. Golden Bell Studios Web of Spies Board Game

Our rating: 8 / 10

Golden Bell Studios Web of Spies Board Game

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Pros:

  • Multiple levels of learning
  • With this board game, memory will be improved
  • Helps to a certain extent in developing logic
  • This board game has been approved and recommended by teachers
  • Easy to store
  • This family game will bring the family and parents back together
  • This game is fun
  • The game can be played by anyone around the world

Cons:

  • This board game may require an adult to assist with reading the cards
  • Some adult gamers feel that instructions could be written better
  • Some residents with severe dementia may not have the ability to recall some of the cards

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6. Big Letter BANANAGRAMS: Family Word Game

Our rating: 8 / 10

Big Letter BANANAGRAMS: Family Word Game

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Pros:

  • Simple to grasp and play
  • More durable than traditional Scrabble
  • Multiple expansion packs with different themes
  • Fun for all ages – young children to the elderly
  • Great for improving word and memory recall skills

Cons:

  • Does have small parts, which may pose a choking hazard to toddlers and small children
  • For serious Scrabble players, it's not as challenging as regular Scrabble
  • Not the best option for solitaire players

Do you have seniors in your family, or maybe a friend that you want to engage and entertain? Does he or she have a good poker face and a love of all things Scrabble?

If so, we think you should check out Big Letter Bananagrams because it's one of the best activities for senior citizens. It shares nearly the exact same rules as traditional Scrabble, but instead of using letters with points assigned to them, it uses tiles that each have a single letter.

This means that you can spell out words with many letters instead of only using single and double points within your group of tiles. The tiles are a little larger than normal Scrabble and the boards have larger grids as well.

7. Windsor Premium Collection 3-in-1 Game Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

Windsor Premium Collection 3-in-1 Game Set

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Pros:

  • Velcro pockets to keep accessories from becoming lost
  • Solid surface chessboard and checker board
  • Solid weighted chessmen and checkers
  • Quality construction
  • Includes a backgammon board
  • Transportable
  • Includes a convenient travel pouch

Cons:

  • The chessboard and backgammon board aren’t discrete
  • The game pieces could be better secured

The Windsor 3-in-1 game set offers you a bunch of options for family fun. It’s one package that lets you play checkers, chess and backgammon, all in one convenient package.

The chess board is a 19.75” square, which makes it large enough for a game between two players. It’s also 5” deep.

The cushioned checkerboard is a 10.75” x 10.75” square which is a good size for two players to get in on the action.

8. Andux Land Wooden Sudoku Puzzle Board Game

Our rating: 7 / 10

Andux Land Wooden Sudoku Puzzle Board Game

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Pros:

  • Provides a great way to help your senior maintain their cognitive skills and keep their brain active
  • Comes with a drawer for holding all of the pieces, making it easy to store away when not in use
  • Very well built, with smooth, polished wood pieces
  • Features a beautiful wooden board
  • Helps improve critical thinking skills as well

Cons:

  • Will likely need a good amount of space to place the full game on
  • May not be ideal for those with trouble carrying large objects
  • May need some extra time to get used to how to play

For a unique game for intellectually active seniors, this game is one that you should consider. Not only does it provide a fantastic way for older adults to maintain their cognitive skills during their golden years, but it also can provide them with a mental workout and also be a fun activity to participate in.

The beautiful wooden pieces are quite easy to use as well, and since they can be placed into a drawer, it makes it easier for you to store away when it is not in use. With only 55 pieces to keep up with, it means that you will have less to keep up with as time goes on. All in all, this is a great board game for seniors that we recommend.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What board games do old people play?

Here at Unit2, I think we get this question a lot from parents who want to find games for their grandparents and other older folks.

And while I won't even humor you by answering "Life", there are a few board games that are actually good for older folks and do a good job at easing them into board games.

If you are looking to introduce your grandparents to board games, or you know anyone else that might fall in that category, then you can't go wrong with the games listed below.

The rules for most of these games are relatively simple, and they all have very little reading involved. They are focused more on the physical interaction and the fun than complicated strategies and building up decks of cards.

What games are good for seniors?

The fun thing about board games is that there are so many “ adult appropriate ” ones out there now. Sometime’s it’s easy to get stuck with Monopoly or the like forever. So with the recent resurgence of board games, I wanted to make sure to note which are better for your grandparents than Risk.

Here are some games that were made with you in mind. They’re all family friendly, too.

What are the Top 10 board games of all time?

Ask almost any board game geek which is the best game of all time and they’ll tell you the same thing: Chess, which is considered the ultimate strategy game. It is the oldest known strategy board game for two players. Its objective is to checkmate the opposing king.

From there, you can slice and dice the list according to different criteria. You could ask what board games are the family-friendliest, or which are historical, or which are among the most addictive. Here are a few of our favorites…

What do seniors do all day?

Seniors have a lot of time on their hands but can be hard for them to fill. And, just between you and me, sometimes their eyesight and dexterity can make it hard for them to continue playing the games they used to play in their early years. Board games are also great because they help to keep their minds active, helping them to stay healthy as they age.

Conclusion

We consume far more digital content today than our elders. So if you're looking for a fun and social way to connect with your older relatives, we think you'd be hard-pressed to top the simple and engrossing fun of a board game. After reviewing many different games, we think the best board games for seniors are the one's that have the best combination of a solid track record of being never-ending fun, and easy to learn. We’ve found both of those qualities in the games below and we hope you will too.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Catan The Board GameBest OverallCatan The Board Game
Big Letter BANANAGRAMS: Family Word GameBudget PickBig Letter BANANAGRAMS: Family Word Game
Yellow Mountain Imports Professional Chinese Mahjong Game SetUpgrade PickYellow Mountain Imports Professional Chinese Mahjong Game Set