Top 10 Must-Have Board Games for the 2023 Holiday Season

We could all use more time away from screens and board games are a great way to do that and bond with friends and family. Classics like Monopoly and Scrabble are a go-to, but there are plenty of newcomers in the board game world that are worth checking out. Unique sets from word puzzles to whodunnits to calming playthroughs are now available. Here are 13 of our favorite board games that make great gifts this holiday season. From games with giant monsters to haunted mansions, there’s something for everyone.

– Freelancers (Plaid Hat Games) – A story-filled board game with unique dice, magic spells, and murderous monsters, perfect for beginners. ($36 at Amazon)
– Fiction (BOARD GAME TABLES.COM) – A deceptive twist on Wordle where the Lie-braran has to lie about one letter in the secret word, challenging players to deduce the answer. ($24 at Amazon)
– King of Tokyo (Engadget) – Play as giant Kaiju monsters destroying Tokyo while battling other monsters, with easy gameplay. ($26 at Amazon)
– Wavelength (CMYKW) – A fun party game where two teams compete to be in sync with each other’s clues on a large plastic wheel. ($31 at Amazon)
– Betrayal at the House on the Hill (3rd Edition) (Avalon Hill) – Explore a haunted mansion and uncover its secrets, then work together until someone reveals themselves as a traitor. ($53 at Amazon)
– Clank! Catacombs (Engadget) – Treasure hunters explore a skeletal dragon’s catacombs, uncovering portals, shrines, ghosts, and treasure. ($55 at Amazon)
– Ark Nova (Capstone Games) – Compete to plan and design the most successful zoo with over 125 unique animal cards. ($59 at Amazon)
– Expeditions (Engadget) – Compete to explore a massive meteorite, awakening an ancient entity, in a sequel to Scythe. ($85 at Stonemaier Games)
– Marvel Dice Throne (Engadget) – Marvel fans play as one of eight famous characters in a battle using cards and dice. ($27 at Amazon)
– Azul (Next Move) – Create beautiful tiled mosaics in a game named after the Moorish decorative tiles of the Alhambra palace in Spain. ($20 at Amazon)
– Votes for Women (Engadget) – Covering the American women’s suffrage movement and the passing of the 19th Amendment, it is both historical and challenging. ($75 at Fort Circle Games)
– Wingspan (Stonemaier Games) – A game focused on nature, perfect for those not into nerdy themes and a great gateway board game.