Best Board Games for Middle Schoolers – Top 14 Options

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Looking for the best board games for middle schoolers? We’ve put together 14 great options that will keep the kids off their phones and engaged in a real-life game! Let’s check them out…

best board games for middle schoolers

Settlers of Catan

Catan Board Game (Base Game) | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Adventure Board Game | Ages 10+ | for 3 to 4 Players | Average Playtime 60 Minutes | Made by Catan Studio

Each player in this game is an adventurous settler who wants to tame the gorgeous island of Catan, slowly taking over the mountains, deserts, fields, pastures, hills, and forests. By acquiring resources and building trade routes, players can work to build their empire while stopping others from being able to create their own settlement. 

  • Longer play time is great for older kids with better concentration
  • Tons of replay value
  • Players must have a strategy in mind to create their trade routes without disruption
  • Understanding how to stop other players from succeeding is key to winning the game
  • A mix of trading and development is important to help players succeed

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Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride Board Game | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Train Game | Ages 8+ | For 2 to 5 players | Average Playtime 30-60 minutes | Made by Days of Wonder

Trains have never been as fun or interesting as they are in this fascinating and difficult game. Each player competes against the others to try to build an incredible railway that crosses the US, connecting cities and allowing them to create vast trade routes that their opponents can’t match.

  • Gorgeous and high-quality components are built to last
  • Players earn points by connecting cities across the US
  • Each player must focus on connecting cities as well as stopping their opponents from doing so
  • By collecting and playing train cards, players can slowly claim routes across the land
  • Points are awarded for connecting various cities and for having the longest route

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Spot It!

Spot It! Classic Card Game | Game for Kids | Age 6+ | 2 to 8 Players | Average Playtime 15 Minutes | Made by Zygomatic | Color/Packaging May Vary

This fun observational game surpasses generations, but it is a great option for middle schoolers who want something fun and easy to do when passing the time. Thanks to the simple rules and the fast gameplay, this is a great option for players to pull out when they have a little free time and want to laugh and race each other. 

  • Fast action is exciting and requires players to constantly pay attention
  • There are 5 different ways that the game can be played, preventing boredom
  • With 55 cards and bright illustrations, every game is different
  • Improves spoken language skills, fine motor skills, focus, and visual perception
  • Great for larger groups of up to eight kids

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Pandemic

Pandemic Board Game (Base Game) | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 8+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 45 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

This game is incredibly popular among middle schoolers who want to play a cooperative game that will allow them to all work together in a bid to save the world. With major diseases to battle and only a few resources at their disposal to try to stop them, players must put aside their differences to win. 

  • Cooperative game requires all players to work together to try to save the world
  • Diseases are spreading quickly, and players must use their resources wisely to stop them
  • Multiple expansion packs available to improve gameplay
  • Players race against the clock to stop disease
  • With continuous outbreaks, this game can be very stressful and demanding

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Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens - A Russian Roulette Card Game, Easy Family-Friendly Party Games - Card Games for Adults, Teens & Kids - 2-5 Players

This is a great competition game where there isn’t much at stake, which is why it is so popular with middle schoolers. The fun way that players can get out of the game by being exploded adds an element of suspense to the game and keeps everyone on their toes when playing. 

  • Great party game for larger groups, but only lasts 15 minutes
  • Fast draw-based game mechanism keeps the game moving quickly and prevents boredom
  • Players must have certain cards in their hands to prevent being exploded
  • Trying to get other players to explode while protecting yourself is key
  • With fun graphics and a fast pace, this game is highly enjoyable

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Balderdash

Mattel Games Balderdash, Multicolor, CFX43

Not only do players need to think on their feet and come up with answers that their opponents will believe when playing this game, but they must also be able to tell when others are bluffing. Calling bluffs and hiding the truth from opponents are both key to success in this game and ensure that it is a lot of fun.

  • Perfect game for players who love to stretch the trust
  • Opponents must decide when other players are lying and call them out on it
  • With a mix of four categories to choose from, players are sure to find questions they can answer
  • Each player participates during every round, which keeps players from getting bored
  • Even when players don’t know the answer they can participate and pretend that they do

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Blokus

Blokus Game [Amazon Exclusive]

This is a quieter strategy game that requires a lot of thought and planning ahead so that players have the best chance at winning. By carefully placing tiles on the board and trying not only to match their own, but also to block opponents, players can take over the board and win.

  • This impressive strategy game requires players to think about their moves while blocking their opponents
  • Each player tries to get as many of their pieces on the board before the game is over
  • Strangely shaped pieces make it difficult to fill the board without wasting space
  • Every piece must touch one of the same color, but only at the corners
  • Practicing the game makes it much easier for players to win

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Jenga

Jenga Classic Game

A strategy game that requires players to think through their moves and plan ahead, this game is difficult to master, even though it is easy to learn how to play. Being able to plan where to place blocks after pulling them out of the tower will give players a huge benefit in the game and help them stack the blocks higher. 

  • Classic game that requires skill, strategy, and a steady hand to win
  • Durable hardwood blocks won’t dent or ding when they fall
  • The last player to pull a block without breaking the tower wins
  • Each pulled block must be placed on top of the tower, making it higher and less sturdy
  • Great for any number of players

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Forbidden Sky

Gamewright Forbidden Sky – The Cooperative Strategy Survival Rocket Building Board Game, 5'

Team building is easier than ever with cooperative games that rely on all players to work together for success. This fun game requires players to think outside of the box and support each other if they are going to be able to launch a rocket before time is up.

  • This fun cooperative game is a great way for middle schoolers to work together and to bond
  • Players must try to connect cables in order to launch a rocket to succeed
  • Fast thinking and speed are key to avoiding being electrocuted
  • All players must work as a team, or they will all fail
  • The gorgeous board adds to the fun and interest of the game

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Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment

ESCAPE ROOM IN A BOX The Werewolf Experiment

Enjoy all of the fun of an escape room at a fraction of the price with this fun game. Thanks to a unique storyline as well as locked boxes, jars, and puzzles, this game is difficult, yet exciting. By working together, players can prevent their friends from being turned into werewolves and escape the mad scientist. 

  • Fun cooperative game requires players to solve 19 puzzles
  • A mix of mental and physical puzzles means that all players can contribute
  • With just an hour to win, the pressure is on
  • Connecting to Amazon Alexa makes the game even more immersive and involved
  • Players must solve both 2D and 3D puzzles to win

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Machi Koro

Pandasaurus Games Machi Koro - Family-Friendly Board Games - Adult Games for Game Night - Card Games for Adults, Teens & Kids (2-4 Players)

With playtime of just 30 minutes, this game is great for middle schoolers who aren’t interested in a very involved game. With rules that are easy to understand and fast gameplay, it’s sure to become a favorite among kids who want to dominate the board and improve their city with buildings and better crops than their opponents. 

  • Durable and high-quality components last for a long time
  • Easy to play thanks to the revamped rules
  • Players are the major of their own town and must try to improve their city
  • By planting crops and making business, players can increase their prestige
  • Carefully earning money and then building landmarks is key to winning the game

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Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft

Dungeons and Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game

There are 200 treasure and encounter cards in this game, which means that players will never know what is coming next, no matter how many times they have played the game before. With a clear scenario book and rulebook, it’s easy to teach new players how to master this game. 

  • Designed for just one to five players, this is great for small groups
  • Terrifyingly fun quests will keep all players on their toes
  • Players are heroes who must face challenging scenarios to survive the dungeons and castles
  • With 40 plastic monsters and heroes, this game can be very involved
  • Interlocking dungeon tiles create a game board that is different with every play

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Speed Charades

Charades Party Game – Speed Charades Board Game - Face-Paced Party Game - Includes 1400 Charades - Perfect for Groups and Family Game Nights

While competing against each other to do a better job of acting out words, players try to lead their teams to success. Each team tries to guess four out of the five words on the card, which will then earn them a point. There are 10 rounds in the game, and the team with the most points at the end is the winner.

  • Twist on an old favorite makes this a fun game for middle schoolers
  • Players compete with each other and try to get their teams to guess certain words
  • Thanks to the speedy gameplay, this game is sure to keep everyone involved
  • Perfect for breaking the ice or for regular game night
  • Includes 1,400 words so that players won’t repeat the same word twice

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Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation

WizKids Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation Adventure System Board Game

The incredible interlocking dungeon tiles ensure that each time this game is played, it will be different from the last. With more than 300 tokens and 225 cards, players will enjoy amazing suspense and excitement each time they open the box to play. 

  • Multiple scenarios to choose from prevents players from getting bored
  • Can be played as a single layer or in a cooperative group
  • Play lasts an hour, which is great for longer game nights
  • Multiple high-quality components add to the interest and fun of the game
  • Players must try to use spells and traps to stop monsters

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