Looking for ways to keep teenagers entertained without relying on electronics? You’re in the right place. As a mom of four who has a teenage son and an adult daughter (which means we both survived the teen years, woohoo!), I have experienced lots of fun game ideas that teens actually love. Here I’ve listed a variety of fun games for teens that are perfect for parties, get-togethers, or even just a rainy day indoors. By providing engaging activities for teens to play, these games aim to strengthen bonds and create lasting memories.
As a parent or party host, you know that keeping a group of teenagers engaged can be quite a challenge! Without direction, they may resort to just scrolling on their phones — and we don’t want that!
Here you have a list of games that cater to different preferences, ranging from icebreakers to team-based activities, so you can find the perfect option to suit your large group, slumber party, or even your whole family on your next game night. With these games in hand, it’s sure to be a fun experience for everyone involved.
Get ready for endless laughter and excitement as you and your teens dive into these entertaining games. Our family has played almost every game on this list, and we think you’ll love them as much as we do!
Whether it’s a large party or a small gathering, these options will help create the perfect atmosphere for a memorable event. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of fun games for teens!
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The Purpose of Gaming
At first glance, gaming might seem like a simple pastime focused on achieving high scores or conquering virtual challenges. However, it delves much deeper than that. Gaming is an immersive experience that touches the very core of human interaction and mental stimulation. It’s a world where joys are amplified, lessons are learned, and bonds are solidified.
Strengthening family bonds: The shared excitement of a last-minute win or the collective groan over an unexpected loss transcends the screen and becomes a cherished memory. Whether it’s parents connecting with their children over a classic board game or siblings teaming up in a video game, these experiences help create a deeper understanding among family members. It’s the little moments, like a surprise victory or a clever move, that often become the stories families reminisce about for years to come.
Fostering healthy competition: Competition has been an integral part of human nature, and games provide a safe and fun platform for it. They teach us resilience in the face of defeat and humility in victory. Moreover, they remind us that while the desire to win is natural, the journey and the camaraderie developed along the way are just as important. As players strategize, adapt, and face challenges, they learn that it’s okay to compete, as long as it’s in the spirit of fun and fairness.
Enhancing cognitive and problem-solving skills: Beyond entertainment, games serve as mental gymnastics. From chess’s intricate strategies to the rapid decision-making in digital action games, players are constantly pushed to think, react, and adapt. Many games, especially those of strategy and puzzles, demand a blend of creativity, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. These skills, honed in the gaming realm, are invaluable in real-world scenarios, be it in academic challenges, professional dilemmas, or everyday decision-making.
Gaming is much more than a mere diversion; it creates experiences, lessons, and connections. Through gaming, we not only entertain ourselves but also build relationships, nurture our competitive spirit, and sharpen our minds, making it a holistic activity deeply rooted in human culture and evolution.
Criteria for Selection
Choosing the best games means looking for:
- Age-appropriateness: Ensuring content is suitable for teens and all family members.
- Educational value: Some games sneak in learning amid all the fun! (We won’t tell if you won’t.)
- Entertainment factor: It should captivate players and create enjoyable moments.
- Replayability: The best games are those you want to play again and again!
Indoor Games for Teens
Playing indoor games can be a great way to have fun and pass the time, especially with party guests or on family game night. Here are some of our favorite indoor games that are perfect for teens and their friends to enjoy together.
To keep things organized, I’ve sorted popular board games into strategy games, word and trivia games, and cooperative games. Further down, you’ll find card games and some fun teen party games too!
Board games and card games have long been an excellent source of entertainment for all ages. Here are some popular family games that can be enjoyed by teens too.
Catan: A strategy-based game where players compete to build settlements, cities, and roads using resources gained from the game board. This is a great game but it can take a while to play. (For you Parks and Rec fans out there, I totally equate Catan to the Cones of Dunshire game – and the TV prop was actually created by the makers of this game!)
Monopoly: This traditional property-trading game can be engaging and fun for teens as they attempt to bankrupt their opponents and own more land. There are a lot of variations of this game that make it more interesting, like a Lord of the Rings Monopoly or Monopoly Avengers version.
Ticket to Ride: Race to build the longest railways connecting major cities. Plan routes, block opponents, and strategize to claim victory.
Carcassonne: With every tile placement, watch as a medieval landscape of cities, roads, and fields unfolds. A game of strategy and foresight.
Word and Trivia Games
Scrabble: Challenge your vocabulary and strategize with every letter tile, aiming for those high-scoring spots on the board. My kids enjoy this competitive game, and we take our words seriously!
Codenames: Dive into a world of spies and agents. Using cryptic one-word clues, guide your team to make connections and avoid the assassin. Our family just started playing this game earlier this year, and it’s one of our new favorites!
Trivial Pursuit: Put your knowledge to the test across various categories. The classic version of this game is always a lot of fun, but the modern versions are great too! Appeal to teens’ love of pop culture with Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit or another themed edition.
Pandemic: When we played Pandemic, the thrill of racing against time to stop global outbreaks was so exciting. You and your team of specialists collaborate, devising strategies to contain diseases and hunt for cures. The beauty of it? Every game feels different because the diseases spread unpredictably, making each round a unique challenge. The tension as you near the brink of global collapse and then, hopefully, pull back to victory? Absolutely exhilarating. Trust me, you’ll be on the edge of your seat, planning, discussing, and hoping with every move. You’ll love it!
Forbidden Island: You and your friends work together to find treasures on a sinking island. The island’s pieces keep disappearing, and you have to grab the treasures before they’re gone! It’s so much fun, especially when everyone joins in to make a plan.
Escape Room in a Box: Escape rooms have become increasingly popular among teenagers, and you don’t even have to leave home to play! This group game, designed for 3-5 players, has a 60 minute time limit. This game combines features from the best board games and new age online games. With the mp3s and Alexa enabled, the escape room sound effects make the game more thrilling.
Overall, these educational games for teens offer numerous benefits while keeping things entertaining and engaging. Whether you prefer trivia, category games, or problem-solving activities, you’ll find a diverse selection of enjoyable options to enrich your learning experience.
What Do You Meme: This is one of my son’s favorite games. The first player turns over a meme photo, and the rest of the group has to provide the best caption for the photo. Whoever’s card gets chosen gets the point! This game is tons of fun and always has us laughing until we are in hysterics!
This one is the family version, but there is another version that includes a few “adult” captions — or get The Office version for you Michael Scott super fans! We also love another game that’s similar – New Phone Who Dis!
Cards Against Humanity: An edgy, adult-themed card game where humor takes center stage. This one has a mature rating, and is NOT for kids. It’s best for older teens and adults, with parental discretion. A more PG-13 version called Kids Against Maturity is available, as well as a similar game we like called Not Parent Approved.
Exploding Kittens: Dodge, strategize, and hope you don’t draw the dreaded exploding kitten card in this quirky game of chance.
Whozit: This one is a card game, but also a cooperative game, so it kinda fits in both categories. In Whozit, players take turns picking a character card while others try to guess who they’ve chosen based on given clues. The catch? The clues can be hilariously vague or oddly specific! You’ll have a great time trying to get into your friends’ heads and deciphering their clues.
Throw Throw Burrito: Are you ready for this? How about a dodgeball card game! I would highly recommend playing this game in a large space. Obviously, you need at least 2 players. The object of the game is to get 3 matching cards to earn points, but, if someone plays the burrito card, it means war. If you get hit with the squishy burrito, you lose points. There is no time to Taco-bout it. Game on!
Unstable Unicorns: This is the game that won Toy of the Year in 2019 with People’s Choice Award. A battle with unicorns. Doesn’t that sound like a great time? This is the perfect choice when shopping for teenage party games. Build an army with 7 unicorns and be the last person (unicorn) standing. Super fun card game.
Party Games for Teens
Looking for entertaining party games for teens to liven up your next gathering? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s a list of games to ensure your group of teens has a blast.
Never Have I Ever: This game works best in small groups where the participants know each other well. Each player takes turns saying, “Never have I ever…” followed by something they’ve never done. The goal is to surprise your friends with unexpected revelations. If other players have done the activity, they must put down a finger or take a token. You can use candy as a playing element, where each player gets a candy for an interesting revelation.
Wink Murder: Also known as Wink Assassin, this classic game of stealth and cunning is perfect for a group of four or more players. To start, create paper chits, write “murderer” on one of them, and distribute the chits. The player who gets the “murderer” chit must secretly wink at other people to “murder” them while keeping their identity hidden.
Would You Rather: This conversation-starter puts players in hypothetical situations, forcing them to choose between two difficult options.
Truth or Dare: A classic party game where players are faced with having to reveal a truth about themselves or take on a dare, pushing the boundaries of comfort and hilarity.
Medusa: A group game that involves eye contact and quick reflexes. Everyone sits in a circle with their heads down, and when the designated leader says “Medusa,” everyone raises their heads. If you make eye contact with another player, both of you must shout “Medusa” and put your head down. The last player with their head up wins.
Charades: No words allowed! A classic game played with team members. The first person must act out the description they drew from the deck of cards, without talking. Their partner must guess what they are trying to be to earn points and win.
Twister: Twist, turn, and hope you don’t topple in this physical game of balance.
Chubby Bunny: This hilarious game involves players stuffing as many marshmallows into their mouths as possible while still being able to say “chubby bunny.” Be cautious with this game, though, as it can be a choking hazard. Make sure players participate at their own risk and that everyone is aware of the risks involved.
Pictionary: Can you draw a picture worth a thousand words? Or at least a correct guess? No, you don’t have to be good at drawing to win this game. I’m proof of that!
Party Bowl: Have each player write down a few words or phrases on slips of paper and put them into a bowl. Split the group into two teams and take turns acting out the words or phrases for their teammates to guess in a set amount of time. It’s like charades, but with a fun twist!
Two Truths and a Lie: In this game, each person creates three statements about themselves: two truths and one lie. Your friends must guess which statement is the lie, encouraging everyone to share interesting facts and stories. As a result, this game helps to develop a sense of responsibility in sharing information truthfully while promoting the value of tactful communication.
One last fun activity that isn’t quite a game — Create a Saran Wrap Ball featuring an assortment of teen favorites like candy, makeup, nail polish, or gift cards. Wrap each item between layers of plastic wrap and have players take turns unwrapping the ball, uncovering the prize in each layer. This game is a great bonding activity for small groups or sleepovers and appeals to teens’ competitive nature.
These are just a few examples of indoor games that can keep teens entertained and engaged. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply looking for a fun way to pass the time, these games offer a variety of entertainment options for everyone involved.
Multiplayer Online Games
- Fortnite: A vibrant battle royale where 100 players compete to be the last one standing. Customize characters, team up with friends, and outplay opponents in this fast-paced shooter.
- Among Us: Who’s the imposter among the crew? Complete tasks and engage in detective work to uncover the traitor before it’s too late.
- Minecraft: A limitless sandbox world. Build, explore, and survive, letting your imagination reign supreme.
Adventure and Role-playing Games
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Traverse vast terrains, solve intricate puzzles, and confront dark forces in this legendary open-world adventure.
- Stardew Valley: Tend to your farm, mingle with townsfolk, and uncover secrets in this charming life simulation.
- Skyrim: Embark on an epic quest in a world of dragons, magic, and Nordic lore. Every choice determines your destiny.
Puzzle and Indie Games
- Portal: Manipulate space and time with a handheld portal device, navigating mind-bending challenges in a mysterious facility.
- Celeste: Climb a mountain both literally and metaphorically in this touching platformer, confronting personal challenges along the way.
- The Witness: Explore a serene island filled with puzzles, each more captivating and clever than the last.
Mobile Phone Games
Mobile gaming has taken the world by storm, offering endless entertainment at our fingertips. Here are some top picks that have captivated teens around the globe:
- Genshin Impact: Dive into the magical world of Teyvat in this action role-playing game. With stunning graphics and an open world to explore, players can switch between characters, each possessing unique abilities, to battle enemies and unravel the world’s mysteries.
- Among Us: Already a favorite on PC, its mobile version has seen widespread success. This multiplayer game revolves around crewmates on a spaceship trying to complete tasks, but among them lurk impostors aiming to sabotage their efforts. It’s a test of strategy, deceit, and detective skills.
- BitLife: Life simulation at its quirkiest. Players navigate a virtual life, making choices from birth until death. Every decision, whether it’s related to education, career, or personal relationships, affects the game’s outcome, leading to endless replay possibilities.
- Subway Surfers: An endless runner game that never gets old. Players take on the role of a graffiti artist, dashing through train tracks and dodging obstacles, all while being chased by a grumpy inspector and his dog. Collect coins, power-ups, and special items along the way to achieve high scores.
- Brawl Stars: From the creators of Clash of Clans, this multiplayer online battle game pits players against each other in a variety of game modes. Teams of three can battle in real-time, collecting gems, scoring goals, or being the last team standing to achieve victory.
- Selfie Scavenger Hunt: As the name suggests, this game puts your selfie skills to the test. Get together with your friends and come up with a list of funny, creative, or challenging items to capture in your selfies. Set a time limit, start snapping photos, and share them with your group to see who manages to tick off the most items on the list!
- Fortnite Mobile: Engage in intense Battle Royale action with your friends in the ever-popular Fortnite. Build, loot, strategize, and become the last player standing.
- Pokémon GO: Bring the world of Pokémon into your neighborhood as you catch, train, and battle these creatures using your phone’s GPS and augmented reality technology.
Each of these games offers unique experiences and challenges, ensuring teens have a diverse range of mobile entertainment options at their disposal. So grab your phone, invite your friends, and dive into a new world of fun and adventure with these entertaining mobile phone games!
Outdoor Games for Teens
Teenagers love spending time outdoors, and outdoor games are a fantastic way to keep them entertained and active. This section covers a range of games that fall into two categories: Sport-Related Games and Team Building Games. These activities require minimal equipment and can be played in your backyard or a nearby park.
- Basketball: A classic sport that is always popular among teenagers. All you need is a basketball and a hoop, which can be found in most parks or even attached to your garage. Encourage your teens to invite their friends over for a friendly game or even organize a mini-tournament.
- Yard Twister: You can easily recreate the classic Twister game in your backyard using spray paint or chalk. Draw the colored circles on the grass, and you have an outdoor version of this fun, challenging game. Yard Twister is perfect for testing your balance and flexibility while enjoying the fresh air.
- Soda Bottle Bowling: This unique game requires very little equipment. Collect some empty soda bottles and use them as pins. Find a ball (like a soccer or basketball) to use as your bowling ball. Set up the bottles in your yard, and have fun knocking them down to see who can get the highest score!
- Tug of War: This classic game is perfect for a camping trip. Simply find a long, sturdy rope, have two teams stand on either side, and see which team can pull the other across a designated line.
- Baby in the Air: Players must catch water balloons using only a bedsheet or towel. Hold the corners, toss the balloons up, and try not to let them burst!
- Water Balloon Dodgeball: This game is pretty self-explanatory! Divide the whole group into two teams. Each player should get about 5 water balloons. Players stand in a line and try to bust their water balloons on the opposing team members.
- Spikeball: This game is best played 2 on 2. Very similar to volleyball, however, you want to rebound the ball off the net in order to pass it to the other team. This is a very fast-paced game and the perfect game to burn off that teenage energy.
Team Building Games
- Ball Circle: This game helps develop communication and teamwork. Have the group of teenagers stand in a circle and give them an inflatable ball. The objective is to keep the ball in the air by hitting it with their hands, arms, or head. Establish a pattern so that each person in the circle knows when it’s their turn to touch the ball and try to increase the speed of the game.
- Giant Jenga: This supersized version of the traditional Jenga game can provide hours of fun. Stack wooden blocks and challenge each other to carefully remove them without collapsing the tower.
- Human Knot: Form a circle with the participants standing shoulder to shoulder. Everyone should reach across the circle and grab the hand or wrist of another player, ensuring that they’re holding hands with two different people. The objective of the game is to untangle the human knot without letting go of each other’s hands. This challenging game promotes teamwork, problem-solving, and communication.
- Paintball or Cyber Tag: These active games are perfect for adventurous teens. Make sure you follow safety protocols and use designated areas for play.
- Capture the Flag: For the number of players, you can have up to 16 people! Great for larger groups. Play during the day, or, add a fun twist and play at night! Outdoor games are the best! Which team will be the first team to find the opponents flag? Who will be captured and go to jail? Seriously, one of my favorite games growing up.
- Nerf Bunkr Battle: Tell me this, have you ever met a kid that doesn’t enjoy a good nerf war? The Bunkr Battle Pack provides inflatable hiding spots, like barrels and ammo holes. My kids have spent so much time having war. I consider it one of the best ways to get them to spend quality time together.
These outdoor games for teens are sure to provide hours of entertainment and help build bonds between friends. Encourage your teenagers to participate in these activities with their friends to keep them active and engaged outdoors.
Quick and Easy Games
Looking for fast and simple games for a spontaneous gathering? These quick and easy games can be set up in no time!
- Minute to Win It Games: These games are all about completing tasks within a one-minute timeline. Use plastic cups, knees and elbows, or other household objects to create exciting challenges.
- Speed Stacker: Stack plastic cups as high as possible within the time limit.
- Suck and Blow: Use a straw to transfer M&M’s or small candies between bowls or plates without using hands.
- Musical Chairs: A classic, entertaining game that needs no introduction. Simply arrange chairs in a circle, and when the music stops, find a seat or get eliminated!
- Wacky Duck: This silly game involves players waddling like ducks while attempting to pop balloons tied around their ankles using only their knees or body.
- Blind Makeup Artist: The participant does a friend’s makeup while blindfolded. Expect hilarious results and unforgettable memories.
Incorporate these fun and wacky games into your next teen gathering, and everyone is sure to have a blast!
Which of These Fun Games for Teens is Your Favorite?
Planning a party for teenagers can be challenging, but with the right mix of fun games and accessories, you can make it an event to remember!
Incorporate accessories into the fun by including wearable items such as party hats, sunglasses, or glow sticks. These items can be utilized in various games or simply add a fun element to the party.
Feel free to add elements like a scoreboard to keep track of points, custom buttons for team identification, or themed decorations that reflect the interests of the group. Tailor the accessories to make your party unique and memorable.
Remember, the key is to choose games that suit the interests and personalities of the teens attending your party. Keep the atmosphere friendly and light-hearted, and your party will be a hit!
Amanda is a mom of 4 living a mostly crunchy lifestyle outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 dogs, and a cat. As a former special education teacher who also has her personal training certification — Amanda really enjoys teaching others how to do things!
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, hiking, and long walks through Target.