11 Best Board Games for College Students (That Not Enough People Know About)
Seriously fun board games for college students
When you think of board games the first ones to pop into your mind might be Monopoly, Life, or Candyland.
While those games are fun, by the time you’re a young adult the tried and true classics can get a little stale. Plus, there are SO many other tabletop games out there – an overwhelming amount really.
College is a time of exploration and trying new things, including pastimes like board games.
So to give you place to start, below are the 11 best board games for college students.
Try one, try them all, discover a new favorite pastime, or give the gift of a lifelong obsession!
Popular Board Games for College Students
It’s an addictive game of strategy, you get to gather and trade resources with the goal of taking over the island. Catan can be played with 3-4 players (or more with the extension) and it keeps everyone’s attention – even those who aren’t normally into playing board games!
If I could only play one board game for the rest of my life, THIS is the one I’d choose.
2. Secret Hitler
So what is it?
Secret Hitler is a game of lies and it gets players really fired up. Shouting is an inevitability. But in a good way, because by the last round everyone is laughing and enjoying themselves.
Each round only takes 20-30 minutes to complete, but college students often find themselves getting lost in the game for hours. This board game is an excellent way to have fun with a group of friends while also perfecting your poker face and honing your skills of deception.
3. Great Western Trail Board Game
The gameplay is robust, challenging, and keeps things fresh with a board that changes every time you play. With a complex set of rules there is a learning curve, but once you catch on you’ll want to play again and again.
College students who are board game enthusiasts will find Great Western Trail to be especially enthralling.
4. CLUE: Harry Potter Edition
It seems like every college student has read the books or watched the movies when they were growing up. And as such, all things Harry Potter have a big nostalgic factor.
CLUE: Harry Potter Edition is a must-have board game for any die hard fan. There’s a lot to love about this twist on the classic game of mystery!
5. Rummikub, The Original Rummy Tile Game
The goal is to be the first one to get rid of all your tile pieces. You can accomplish that by creating sets of sequential numbers (2, 3, 4) or numbers of the same kind (5, 5, 5).
You can build or even poach tiles off of sets that have already been laid down. Rummikub is a fun and stimulating brain game that keeps players (like me) coming back for more.
While the rules are straightforward and easy to learn, the gameplay will keep the gears in your brain turning. It’s the type of board game that brings out the competitiveness in everyone.
Carcassonne is a fantastic casual strategy game, with all the expansion packs the fun is endless!
Scythe is another strategy style game (similar to Catan) with a special focus on income and territory expansion. Though battles are part of the gameplay, too!
Overall it’s fun, challenging, aesthetically pleasing, and a fabulous game for avid gamers.
8. Forbidden Island
The board is randomly arranged each time to keep things interesting. Plus, there are different levels of difficulty so you can make things more or less challenging depending on your preferences.
Forbidden Island combines teamwork and excitement in the best of ways which is why it’s always a favorite among the college crowd.
9. One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Each player is randomly assigned a unique role at the start of the game. An app guides you through the game play as you all try to figure out who’s the werewolf.
It can be played with groups of up to 10 people and each round lasts about 10 minutes – it’s perfect when you need a break from studying. But you can play as many round as you want, it’s easy to get hooked!
10. Buffalo Games Chronology
The general premise of that game is that you have to decide where your card falls in the timeline you’re building. For instance, which was invented first – matches or lighters? (surprisingly, lighters were invented before matches!)
Overall, Chronology is an essential board game, and especially for history buffs!
11. Twilight Struggle
And with typical playing time lasting 3 hours, it’s not for the faint of heart. This historical simulation game has the depth and complicity that every strategist dreams of.
It’s easy to play, but difficult to master and that’s why raving fans can’t stop playing!
Conclusions on college board games
That wraps up this post on insanely fun board games for college students.
If you’re having a hard time choosing, just pick one randomly and roll with it! You really can’t go wrong with any of the above 11 options. After all, they’re popular college board games for reason.
Have you played any of the ones we covered? Which board games have you enjoyed over and over again?
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Charlie is the co-founder of College Life Made Easy and author of the book 175+ Things to Do Before You Graduate College. She’s a 2015 graduate who teaches overwhelmed students and parents of students how to confidently navigate the whole college thing. As a former broke college kid, she’s passionate about helping students develop the skills they need in order to thrive (instead of just survive), stress less, and actually enjoy the full college experience.