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23 Laughter-Inducing Word Board Games

Are you looking for something nerdy-fun to do at home? As a former librarian and English major, I love playing word board games. Discover some of our favorite word games for book lovers, writers, and families, including classics like Balderdash, Scrabble, and Boggle plus newer and adults-only games, too.

Best Word Board Games Word Games blog post cover with scrabble letter tiles
Below, uncover our favorite board games with word play.

I grew up in a household filled with board games. We had Hungry Hippos, Pictionary, Operation, Battleship, and of course, card games like Uno and Old Maid. Can you tell what era I grew up in? I also obsessively watched Garfield and Friends on Saturday mornings.

As I got older and found my true love–books, books, books–my gaming habits matured and got a little more geeky-fabulous. I loved playing word board games like Taboo and Scattergories. Our coat closets nearly burst from the seams with word-themed board games, and as I moved from state to state, I kept a few with me.

With so many games out there today, though, how do you choose the best word board games? Which games are perfect for adults, the whole family, and children? What are the newest word games that everyone is talking about?

Below, discover some of our favorite classic word games along with newer games that are perfect for a rainy day inside with friends and family.

Best Word Games pinterest pin with scrabble letter tiles spelling out 'words'
In a rush? Save these word games that you can play with friends and family for later on Pinterest.

Classic Word Board Games

What are some sentimental classic word games that remind you of your childhood? Here are a few of mine:

Boggle

Word board games like Scrabble such as Super Boggle with letters in a plastic tray, Boggle box, and sand timer

Although I’ve never been amazing at Boggle–my mind just doesn’t work like that–set the timer, shake up letters, and watch where they fall. Try to make as many four-letter plus words as you can before time runs out. Super Boggle is a tad bigger so each round lasts for 3-minutes.

Scrabble

Scrabble word board game box with tiles with letters

Scrabble is probably one of the most well-known classic word board games perfect for ages 8+. Players take turns making words with letter tiles to earn points.

Bananagrams

Board games like Scrabble, Bananagrams yellow banana bag carrying case

Bananagrams is a word board game like Scrabble fit for the whole family. Players attempt to make crossword word grids and is all about spelling. Bananagrams is super portable and great for traveling. You may also like Pairs In Pears.

Scattergories

Classic word game, Scattergories, red box with two black shadow people holding pads and pens

One of my favorite word games as a kid, every household needs Scattergories. Roll the letter dice and in a set amount of time, fill in categories using only words that start with that letter. The more unique and longer, the better.

Hangman

Word board games perfect for travel, Magnetic Hangman, orange tin with cartoon hanging above letters

I feel like something about Hangman might not be so PC these days… But, magnetic hangman is perfect for the fridge and travel. If you really want to go old school, grab paper and a pen or chalk and chalkboard.

Mad Libs

Word games for writers, purple Mad Libs pad

Mad Libs were all the rage in the 90s. I’m not sure if everyone considers them a ‘board game,’ but they are a fun word game for writers in the making. Grab a pen to fill in the blanks for a half-completed story. Each blank asks for an adjective, noun, or something slightly more specific. Make your narrative as silly or as serious and real as you like.


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Word Board Games Like Scrabble

Are you looking for word board games similar to Scrabble? Try these:

Dabble

Dabble board game with letter tiles on a stand

Dabble is a word game that the entire family can play. Recommended for 8+ years old, players race to spell out 5 words using their 20 tiles. Two to four people can participate, and this word creation game is perfect for spelling and vocabulary building.

Quiddler Word Game

Quiddler word board game box with letter cards

A fast-paced game perfect for 1 to 10 players, Quiddler asks participants to organize the letter cards in their hands into short words. With each round, players take on more cards and the highest score wins.

Upwords

Word board games similar to Scrabble like Upwords, game box with letter tiles stacked on top of each other with pig and dog balancing on a log on a egg

Upwords is exactly like Scrabble except that players can build words on top of existing ones. The higher you stack your letters, the more points you earn. Upwords is for 2-4 players, ages 8+.

One Up!

One Up! The Wicked Smart Word Game tin with wooden tile letters

Be the first person to make a word out of the tiles flipped upside down in the center of the table. But, beware as players can steal your word by adding their own letters.

Family-Friendly Word Board Games

What are some of the best word board games that you can play with the entire family? Here are a few:

Super Big Boggle

Word board games for the family like Super Big Boggle 6x6 letter grid, timer, and game box

There are a ton of versions of the word game, Boggle, and Super Big Boggle is one of them. Imagine Boggle but with a 6×6 letter grid. Players have 6-minutes to create as many words as they can.

Pass The Pen

Pass The Pen word and drawing game box with pen with a timer and paper with a sketch

Pass The Pen is a fun and fast-paced game for families that incorporates words and drawing. You have 10 seconds to draw a picture while all of the other players have to guess what it is. If someone guesses correctly, you earn points. If not, you pass the pen to the next player.

Crazy Letters

Crazy Letters board game box

A lesser-known game of words, Crazy Letters is a fun family-friendly word game for older children, 10+. Can you read a word when its letters are all flipped around? There are both easy and hard words.

Last Letter

Last letter board game box with cards with pictures on them

Players must think of a word that is pictured on one of their cards. The word must begin with the last letter of the last word used. When you shout out your word first, you discard the card. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins.

Word A Round

Word A Round board game with blue and red spinners

Word A Round is an award-winning board game that is fun for everyone. Words are positioned in one continuous ring. Players must figure out where the word starts and be the first to read it aloud.

Danger Word

Danger Word board game box with cartoon Ellen DeGeneres on it

Created by Ellen DeGeneres, Danger Word is best for ages 10+. Guess the winning word to win, but if you accidentally say the danger word, you lose the card.

It’s In The Bag

It's In The Bag board game box

If you love games like charades and Pictionary, try It’s In The Bag. There are three rounds: describe the word, describe the word using only one word, and act out the word.

Blank Slate

Blank Slate board game with single words on cards box

If you need a word guessing board game for family game night, Blank Slate asks players to predict what everyone else is thinking. Write a word to complete the phrase, and earn points if you match only one other person.

Word Board Games For Adults (and Teens)

In need of word games for adults and teens? Try these:

4-Bidden Words

Word board games for adults, 4-Bidden Words purple to blue ombre game box

A game recommended for 17+, 4-Bidden Words’ players compete against a timer to guess the Buzz Word without using any of the forbidden words. This adult guessing word board game is recommended for holidays, reunions, and party nights.

Balderdash

Balderdash word board game with box, playing cards, board, and pieces.

Balderdash is the perfect board game for tweens, young adults, and adults. Players roll the dice for one of 5 categories: famous people, words, initials, laws, and movies. Each player writes down what they think the real definition or explanation is while one player records the correct answer. Players then vote on which answer they think is right.

Codenames

Word board games for teens Codenames box with woman and male spy and cartoon talking bubbles

Codenames is a contemporary and social word board game recommended for ages 14+, best with 4 players. Teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their secret agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues, which indicate multiple words on the board. Teammates must avoid guessing words that belong to their opponents. Don’t get caught by the assassin.

Taboo

Taboo board game purple box

A classic word game for adults and teens, Taboo is recommended for 13+. We love to play this one around the holidays. Guess the word based on clues without saying the forbidden word.

What Do You Meme?

New word board games, What Do You Meme white game box

Recommended for 17+, compete to create the funniest memes. What Do You Meme? is a newer word board game for adults only that is sure to make you laugh. You can also order expansion packs.

Word Board Games For Adults Writers Book Lovers pinterest pin with scrabble tile letters
Looking for ideas for a rainy day or your next party? Save these word-themed board games for later on Pinterest.

What Other Word Board Games Do You Love?

What are some of the best word board games that you’ve played or created? Are there any word games that we are missing that you absolutely love? Let us know in the comments.

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Hayley Yager

Monday 27th of April 2020

There are some great throwbacks on here! My family used to love Upwords. Dom introduced me to Scattergories and it is my absolute favourite! We got Bananagrams for Christmas and that's also fun. If you've not played Cranium and Articulate, they are my two other recommendations. We rarely played board games when I was younger as everything needed four players and as an only child, we only ever had three ?

Christine

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Scattergories is literally the best! We played Bananagrams when I lived in Indonesia. OMG, Cranium. I totally forgot about that one. It's been over a decade probably since I have played it. I haven't heard of Articulate--thanks for the recommendation. I get it: I am also an only child. Usually, my grandma would play too.

Rachel @ Never Enough Novels

Monday 27th of April 2020

Bananagrams and Scattegories will forever remain two of my favorite games!!! I always made my parents play Scattegories when I was growing up even though I'm pretty sure they hated it haha! We still have the original game with a set of cards that have extra "notes" from when I was little to help explain some of the categories, like character traits! I guess I've been playing it for a long time!

So many of these are new to me so I'll be pinning this to check out later. These would make great gift ideas for me :)

Christine

Monday 27th of April 2020

Scattergories was definitely my all-time favorite growing up. We still have the original game, too! That's so sweet that you still have the little notes.

We love gifting board games and books--and getting them.

Macey @ Brine & Books

Friday 24th of April 2020

Balderdash and Quibbler are two games I've always been intrigued by but have never actually played :') Perhaps lockdown is the best time to get started with that :') My family have been reaching for Monopoly over Scrabble during this time, but maybe I can turn the tables haha!

Christine

Monday 27th of April 2020

Oh my gosh, you have to try Balderdash sometime! It's hilarious! I haven't played Monopoly in quite some time. We tend to favor Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity lately.