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15 Best Board Games to Play Online

Gather your friends and family for an exciting and memorable virtual game night.

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Grid of different iPhone game applicationsvia (8)

Since we have all been isolated at home this past year, there really hasn’t been much of an opportunity to have those game nights with friends and family that everyone secretly adores. Your classic board games are probably collecting dust on your bookshelf (except for the games for two people that have now been overplayed by you and your partner), and maybe you have been working on one of the most challenging jigsaw puzzles by yourself at the kitchen table. Regardless, we all miss board game nights and are patiently waiting until it’s safe enough to gather in someone’s living room again. But why wait? We have technology! And technology allows us to play online board games with friends right from the comfort of our own home. Grab some snacks, brush up on some mild trash talk, and get ready for a fun virtual evening with the crew over some of the best board games out there.

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A true crowd favorite! Although it has been adapted and modernized, Backgammon is one of the oldest known board games that have stood the test of time. Two players each have 15 pieces that they have to move between 24 triangles of alternating colors on the board according to the numbers rolled on the dice. If you haven’t already played before, the board may look intimidating, but the game is a lot less complicated than it looks and certainly a fun one to try out.

RELATED: Best-Reviewed Board Games to Play While in Self-Quarantine

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Of all the online board games, this one is for the serious gamers to show off the skills they have accumulated after spending hours hunched over this game building settlements and armies. This app allows you to play the most basic version of the hyped board game with friends for free with additional expansion packages you can purchase when you’re up for new quests.

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They say “do not pass go” and “do not collect $200,” but we say go right to the app store and download this online board game ASAP! A truly timeless game of entrepreneurship, managing finances, and learning who the real cheaters in your friend group are. Invest as much as your heart desires without damaging your real bank account, but with all the corresponding stress that comes with spending. In hindsight, that sounds awful, but we think we can all agree this game is popular for a reason.

RELATED: How to Win Monopoly, According to Experts

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Virtually gather six friends (or enemies) and go on the adventure to achieve world domination. Take over enemy territories, build alliances, and gradually eliminate your friends from this nail-biting game. You’ll be on your toes all night long.

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This one is for all the mystery-loving, thriller-seeking people out there. Was it Colonel Mustard with the knife in the living room? Professor Plum with the candlestick in the library? Roam the halls of the mansion and uncover clues about the dangers lurking behind closed doors. It’s anyone’s game and no one can be trusted.

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Calling all word nerds! Show off your vocabulary skills and find as many words as you can on the grid in the allotted amount of time. You can play with as many people as you can round up! Boggle for everybody!

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You sunk my battleship! Call out a letter and a number to see if you can find your opponent’s floating ships in the vast ocean. The first person to sink all the battleships of the other person is declared the winner.

RELATED: 15 Hardest Puzzles You Can Get on Amazon

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My personal favorite of all the online board games. There’s nothing quite like huddling around the timer with friends as you scramble to think of all the words you can, always inducing a ton of laughs and hilarious debates. Now we can all play it through our screens. Just gather a few people into the virtual room and type the evening away.

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We all have that one friend that gets overly competitive about Scrabble. If you can’t think of one, then it’s probably you. Similar to Boggle, this one is also for vocabulary experts and is definitely more of a widely known game. There are an endless number of strategies to read about online to beat this game, but mostly we’d say to brush up on the lesser-known words in the dictionary to really throw your opponent’s off.

RELATED: 30 Little-Known Words That Will Help You Win Scrabble

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Ready to go to college and be a lawyer? Or maybe you want to just jump right to filling your car with children and building a home? Regardless, you and your friends will embark on a wild journey of making decisions, handling money, and watching life zip right by you. The online version of this classic board game looks relatively similar to the original—and ultimately just as fun.

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Ticket to Ride 

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I’ll be the first to admit that I always think of the classic The Beatles song when I see this game title, but the game is just as addicting as the tune. Players set off on a railway escapade and whoever is the fastest at connecting cities by train tracks to reach the final destination is declared the winner. Develop your strategy, block your competitors’ trains, and dominate routes before your opponents do, all while virtually traveling the world.

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Beware of the assassin! For this game, you and your friends will divide into two teams. The teams compete to see who will be able to contact all of their agents first, but the catch is that you can only use one word at a time.

RELATED: The 20 Best Road Trip Games to Play

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Trickier than it seems, Taboo is all about getting your pals to guess the word on your card without using the other words listed that are commonly used to describe that word. You’ll really have to dig into your creative brain to get people guessing and in my experience, the game usually takes a turn for the humorous. The best part is, there isn’t a limit so you can play with as few or as many people as you would like!

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UNO is arguably the best card game in existence, and if you haven’t played it before, it’s probably the easiest game on this list to learn. Players have to match a card in their hand with the number or color of the current card that is lying face-up on the deck. The first person to dispose of all their cards is crowned the winner. The deck is also riddled with special action cards including wild cards, draw four cards, skip cards, and reverse cards that make the game a little more competitive.

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While this one will require some sort of video call, this online generator will produce words that can be used for Pictionary. You can select easy, medium, or hard, for an endless number of words that will keep you entertained for hours. All you need is some sort of material to sketch on and a drawing utensil. We would recommend a dry erase board and markers. Pro tip: This game is more fun when no one knows how to draw.

Now that you have scouted out the best online board games for game night, exercise your mind in preparation with the best brain games to boost your brain power.

Emma Taubenfeld
Emma Taubenfeld is an assistant editor for Reader’s Digest who focuses on digital lifestyle topics such as memes, social media captions, pick-up lines, and cute pets. When she’s not working, you can find Emma reading corny young adult novels, creating carefully curated playlists, and figuring out how to spice up boxed mac and cheese.