15 Great Games to Fill Your Table This Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas, Auntie Sandra, Lying to your mother
What are the very best card and board games to play with coworkers and family this holiday? Games that are actually FUN - that you could bring to a party as a great gift for cheap, or tuck in the stocking for Christmas Eve?

Quinns will be writing a piece next week about games more suited to those who already love the hobby, but as part of our ongoing mission to convince the world that board games are great, we wanted to put together an easy resource for the question we seem to get almost all the time: “What game should I buy to play with my family?”

If you’ve been linked to this by someone else who loves board games, hello! We’ve put this list together as both a video and a written list. Enjoy!

Matt: Greetings Holiday Humans, it’s time to mildly panic as you realise that family will soon descend upon you like a flock of seagulls to a discarded ice-cream. Rather than trying to explain your job to relatives to the point that you might have a mental breakdown, we’d recommend playing board games instead.

These are the 15 best big-family games: all play with at least 6 people, and most can handle 8. In no particular order, let’s go!


Review: Cockroach Poker Royal

hot ants, cool dogs, regal bats, and an average man
As our team continues playtesting and preparing for the first of the year's Big Reviews, here's a cheeky appetiser! While Quinns was on holiday this month he filmed a couple of lightweight reviews on his favourite travel games, starting with the ever-entertaining Cockroach Poker.

(Yes, we published an article about Cockroach Poker before, but in 2018 our written articles reach a fraction of the audience that our video reviews do. In other words, if a game's absolutely awesome then us writing about it is basically the worst thing that could happen to it, so going forward you can expect us to occasionally re-visit a classic game in video format.)

(And no, you're not wrong, Quinns mentions Galaxy Trucker in this video but forgot to film that bit of the script. His waterlogged English brain was probably struggling with all that sunshine.)


Our Holiday Gift Guide, 2017!

big or small, wood or plastic, candle or no candle
Quinns: Christmas is almost upon us, everyone! That sweet stretch of the calendar where board games take center stage, or at the very least share the stage with potatoes and Jesus Christ.

Are you thinking about buying a new game to play with your relatives? Or are you wondering which game to buy for the stalwart board game collector in your life?

Either way, we’ve got you covered with the below holiday game guide. Enjoy, everyone!


SU&SD’s Top 50 Games Ever, 2015! The Also-rans

quinns still wishes he was a wizard, also dogs, honest it's a bat
SU&SD's Top 50 Games Ever, 2015! The Also-rans
Paul: Aha! Did you think we were done? Did you think it was all over? The sad truth is that, in assembling our gigantic Top 50 list, so many games don't quite make the cut. We shift them up and down. We debate their inclusion. We resign ourselves to seeing favourites fail to break the Top 50 by the tiniest of margins. That's how it is, though. You stick in a Codenames and the whole list shifts. Someone has to be number 51.

All the games that follow are good games. We don't want you think we've lost our love for them because they weren't featured last week. These are our Honourable Mentions.


Review: Cockroach Poker Royal

royale with cheats, hair eggs, lil' mandibles, the queen's duties
Review: Cockroach Poker Royal
Quinns: Catch Team SU&SD at our most tired and soul-blasted, when we’re done walking the halls of a giant convention, and there’s a single game we'll always still be able to play. It’s Skull.

It's the arsenic-laced wafer thin mint of board gaming, and there’s always room for its lies and laughter. The one thing more impressive than Asmodee daring to call Skull "the very quintessence of bluffing” is that actually, I don’t think they’re wrong.

Two months ago I was in a pub with a friend who I trust completely. “If you like Skull,” he said, “Then write this down. ‘Cockroach Poker’. Best £10 you’ll ever spend.”

Today I’m the proud owner of one “Cockroach Poker Royal”, the en-complicated 2012 sequel to 2004’s Cockroach Poker. And I’ll tell you what! It’s not just a great game of lying to your friends. It’s a great game of lying with your friends.