college students enjoying themselves playing games

11 Best Board Games for College Students (That Not Enough People Know About)

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Seriously fun board games for college students

laughing millennials having a good time playing a board game

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

1. Catan

Catan The Board Game, Multicolor

Buy from Catan (also known as Settlers of Catan) is the quintessential college board game if there ever was one! Many people were first introduced to this game as students and haven’t been able to stop playing since.

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

Secret Hitler, fast-paced board gameBuy from
Secret Hitler is a game that comes out of the gates storming. I mean, the name alone is enough to pique curiosity!

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

Great Western Trail Board GameBuy from For a tabletop game where the main objective is to herd cattle from Texas to Kansas City, Great Western Trail has a surprising amount of depth.

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

Hasbro Gaming Clue Harry Potter Board GameBuy from It’s been over 10 years since the conclusion of the series, but Harry Potter continues to be massively popular.

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

Rummikub by Pressman - Classic Edition - The Original Rummy Tile Game, BlueBuy from Rummikub is rather unassuming, but it’s easily one of my favorite games to play with a group of friends.

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.


6. Carcassonne

Carcassonne Board Game StandardBuy from Carcassonne is an unpredictable game of skill and a touch of luck.

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!


7. Scythe

Scythe Board Game - An Engine-Building, Area Control Stonemaier Game for 1-5 PlayersBuy from This next board game is a bit complicated but the experience is highly rewarding. And really, it appears more complex than it actually is.

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

Forbidden Island – The Cooperative Strategy Survival Island Board GameBuy from Forbidden Island stands out from the crowd by being a cooperative game. So rather than having players trying to beat each other, everyone is working together for a common goal.

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

Bezier Games One Night Ultimate WerewolfBuy from One Night Ultimate Werewolf is an easy to learn, yet highly engaging, board game.

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

Buffalo Games Chronology - The Game Where You Make History - 20th Anniversary EditionBuy from Chronology is a total blast to play with a group of friends. It’s fast paced, educational, and can be played with teams or individual players.

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

GMT Games Twilight Struggle board game - Deluxe EditionBuy from Twilight Struggle is the final board game on this list. Unlike the others, it’s strictly a two-player game.

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

group playing Catan board game

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?




fun board games to play in college Pinterest infographic

Best Board Games for College Students

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