Best Competitive Adult Games that Require Strategy, Thinking, and Attention

It’s game night again, and everyone brings their favorite board games over to play. However, tonight’s different because you have a bunch of extra competitive players, and you’ll need something challenging to play. Here’s some of the best adult board games we found, many which you’ll play over and over. Most are quick to learn, however some can be pretty difficult to master. With a high skill cap, these games can provide hours of entertainment. And when you’re tired of them, they turn into completely different games after a few drinks. These games are sure to liven up any party.

Cards Against Humanity

The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and everyone else answers with their funniest White Card. A reviewer says, “Ever wondered what a grown-up version of Apples to Apples would look like? Well, Cards Against Humanity is the perfect response to that desire.”

Price: $25.00
List Price: $25.00
Manufacturer: Cards Against Humanity LLC.
Model: CAHUS
Price Checked: 2016-12-19

  • 550 cards (460 White cards and 90 Black cards)
  • Over 13 duodecillion possible rounds (10^40) with 6 players
  • Professionally printed on premium playing cards
  • Includes game rules and alternate rules, shrink-wrapped in a custom box
  • American’s #1 gerbil coffin

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Edition

King Robert Baratheon is dead, and the lands of Westeros brace for battle. Can you claim the Iron Throne? Designed for ages 14 and up, A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Edition is a classic game of warfare, diplomacy, and intrigue for three to six players. A reviewer says, “This game is incredible and has made me interested in playing more serious board games in the future. I will not attempt to explain the complex rules of this game. Fantasy Flight Games’s website has very helpful resources for this, including the complete rules PDF and a tutorial video.”

Price: $44.95
List Price: $59.99
Manufacturer: Fantasy Flight Publishing
Model: VA65
Price Checked: 2016-12-19

  • A board game based on A Game of Thrones, a novel now adapted to an HBO series
  • 3-6 players take command of the Great Houses of Westeros
  • Updated second edition, incorporates elements of past expansions
  • Features a streamlined rulebook and updated art
  • Includes welcome new enhancements like Tides of Battle cards and player screens

The Resistance: Avalon Social Deduction Game

The Resistance: Avalon pits the forces of Good and Evil in a battle to control the future of civilization. It’s pretty much Mafia, where people must talk to each other, lie to each other, and figure out who’s who without being discovered. A reviewer says, “The first night we played, we went for almost 3 hours… Everyone kept saying, “one more!”, and “again!””.

Price: $13.47
List Price: $19.99
Manufacturer: Publisher Services Inc (PSI)
Model: AVA1IBC
Release Date: 2012-11-28
Price Checked: 2016-12-19

  • The Resistance: Avalon is a standalone game and while The Resistance is not required to play; the games are compatible and can be combined
  • For 5 to 10 players
  • Takes 30 minutes playtime


This game works very well with 4 players if you prefer to guess without help. Or you can add more players if you prefer lively discussion. It’s very similar to password. You have to play to play in teams, but if you have 4 or more people its lots of fun. Each team has one clue giver and a guesser (or guessers if more than 4 players). The two clue givers (one red/blue) simply say a one-word clue followed by a number of how many cards could go along with that clue.

Price: $13.69
List Price: $19.95
Manufacturer: Publisher Services Inc (PSI)
Model: 00031CGE
Color: na
Price Checked: 2016-12-19

  • For 2-8+ Players
  • 15 minute playing time
  • Ages 14 and up

Coup (The Dystopian Universe)

To be successful, you must destroy the influence of your rivals and drive them into exile. In these turbulent times there is only room for one to survive. A reviewer says, “I missed out on the kickstarter, but grabbed a couple copies of this game as soon as it was available on Amazon. It’s tons of fun to play, even with only 2 players. Games are short (5-10 minutes).”

Price: $7.89
List Price: NA
Manufacturer: Indie Boards & Cards
Model: COU1IBC
Size: 1.2 x 4.1 x 6.2 inches
Color: Silver
Price Checked: 2016-12-19

  • Ages 10 and up
  • For 2 to 6 players
  • Playable in 15 minutes

Catan 5th Edition

This is probably the most difficult game in this list. It requires a lot of strategy, and there’s lots of people providing help on YouTube. Don’t try this unless you plan on getting addicted. Your life will forever be altered. You’ll find yourself begging strangers to come over to play. Guide your settlers to victory by clever trading and cunning development. Use resource combinations— grain, wool, ore, brick, and lumber—to buy handy development cards and build roads, settlements, and cities. Acquire your resources through trades, cards, or lucky dice (even outside your turn).

Price: $30.99
List Price: $48.99
Manufacturer: Catan Studios
Model: MFG 3071
Size: One Size
Color: One Colour
Release Date: 2015-04-23
Price Checked: 2016-12-19

  • 3-4 Players, 60 minute playing time
  • Tons of replay value
  • New graphics, board and cards
  • Expanded Rule Book
  • Winner of “Game of the Century” award

Games are fun, and prevent people from staring at their cell phones all night (sometimes). Just buy some games, and you’ll have a good reason to have friends over.

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