The 10 Best Board Games (That Aren’t Mario Party)

the mario party series of games have set a precedent for what constitutes the perfect board game for multiple people to enjoy. At its core, board games should be varied to keep the experience fun for everyone, as expected of parties in general, with minigames normally making up the bulk of the game. In some cases, a simulated game board is used as the main hub to add an extra level of competition between mini-games.

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mario party may well be the benchmark for board games, with its application of everyone’s favorite characters in this competitive format, but there are plenty of alternatives that arguably deserve more attention than they get. Whatever the game, board games are at their best when testing friendships in an outrageously fun and entertaining way.

ten Pummel Party kind of expands the chaos of the Mario Party experience


Pummel Party mini-game

Baton Party starts from the principle of mario party and makes it even more chaotic, with a host of weird and wonderful items to change the stakes and make proceedings unpredictable. The game fits the board game model for temporarily ruining friendships, but it also features many different maps that later house various fun mini-games.

The game is as hilarious and outlandish as it is fun, and doesn’t need stunning graphics to make it one of the most enjoyable board games out there.

9 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the perfect way to settle scores with friends


While the online and competitive aspects of Super Smash Bros. have really emerged and grown over the years, the franchise, and Ultimate in particular, are arguably best enjoyed when playing on the same console with friends. With fast pace and frenetic action, the intensity and competition really help shape the atmosphere and intensity of the game.

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Super Smash Bros Ultimate has a wealth of different characters and levels to choose from, providing plenty of room for variety and hours of fun. mario party may well have a steady pace to calm the debates between minigames, but Smash Bros. revels in its chaos.


8 Gang Beasts excels in their insane silliness and hilarity


Gang Beasts wrestling ring

Gang Beasts may not have any form of simulated board game system, but as a fun and chaotic fighting game, each map feels like a mini-game that could easily be part of a larger party experience. . With simplistic yet customizable characters and a hilarious physics system, players can compete with the goal of the game being the last one standing.

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A game of gang beasts can be set up with a predetermined number of wins needed for an added sense of competition, and the game’s silly premise is fun every game it’s impossible to take too seriously.


seven The ultimate chicken horse has endless possibilities


Ultimate Horse Chicken

Ultimate Horse Chicken is a rather modest and subtle game in its initial approach, but it can quickly become an incredibly fun and entertaining multiplayer party platformer. When playing against your friends, the objective is to reach the end of the course without dying, but since each player can set traps, obstacles and other bizarre objects at the start of each round, the difficulty is increased each time.

Although quite simple in its main premise, Ultimate Horse Chicken can go in several different directions, with some players simply wanting to complete the course and others stopping at nothing to sabotage others’ chances.


6 Among Us Social Deduction Games Have Revolutionized


Among us

Despite its release in 2018, Among us took a while to make its way to the masses, but with the world stuck in 2020, it quickly found popularity. Among us is a game of social deduction, where a small number of people selected from a crew of around 10 people are designated as imposters, having to kill the other teammates without being discovered.

Among us eventually found its way to mobile devices and consoles beyond just being a PC game, making it even more accessible. While voice chat is great for meetings and conversations, its introduction on mobile devices has enabled in-person play, which can allow for more entertaining interactions when people try out their straight faces and deceptive body language.


5 Marooners is a fun line of mini-games


chestnut trees

chestnut trees sees players compete over numerous mini-games to determine an overall winner. While the premise itself isn’t particularly groundbreaking, and doesn’t really play into its titular name and island themes, it still makes for a fun and competitive experience.

The games are often short-lived, meaning they never drag on or overstay their welcome, with the quest to earn the most treasure tricking players into winning each mini-game.


4 Keep talking and no one explodes can get as chaotic and intense as the name suggests


Keep talking and no one is exploding game bomb gameplay

Originally published in 2015, Keep talking and nobody blows up has become one of the best games to play with friends, in part because of the carnage it leaves in its wake. With only one person needing the game, one player will watch a procedurally generated bomb on their screen, while the other players have the manual, having to verbally communicate instructions on how to disarm the bomb.

This poses an obvious time limit issue, causing players to think quickly under pressure while maintaining enough composure and clarity to make victory seem achievable. It’s available on mobile, PC, console, and VR, making it easily accessible and a perfect party game.




3 Jackbox Party games are always fun for large groups


Logo with a candle in the form of "8" and game titles included

Since its creation and first release in 2014, Jackbox party packs have become a mainstay of the board game collection. With annual releases, each Jackbox party pack features inventive new ideas for pitting friends and family against each other in a variety of games and contests.

Games can range from social deduction and polls to quizzes and drawing games, with 2021 Jackbox Party Pack 8 having examples of each of them. the Jackbox party games can be played in large groups, with only one person needing to own and host the main game, allowing others to join on various devices.


2 Mario Kart will always be the go-to party racing game


Mario Kart 8 characters engaged in a tight race

the Mario Kart games have actively encouraged competition over the years, and while racing against AI-controlled drivers can be quite fun, nothing beats the thrills and spills of racing against your friends. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is considered one of the best Nintendo games for this reason.

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Its dynamic levels can be clouded by the frustration of your friends attacking you at unfortunate times, but there are plenty of chances for revenge in multi-track tournaments. As with most multiplayer mario or Nintendo games, they really capture the essence of the party genre, with a fun that always creates chaos and entertainment.


1 Overcooked 2 has the mayhem to temporarily ruin the friendships board games demand


While Overcooked 2 shifts the boundaries of what makes a board game, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still an enjoyable experience to play with or against friends. With its premise of preparing multiple food orders at once for impatient customers, Overcooked 2 can really test the mental toughness of players as the pressure mounts.

Co-op mode can have players working together, assigning each player to different stations, but it can still become an absolute mess without communication. The main hub between levels looks like some sort of interactive board game, adding to the board game aesthetic.

NEXT: 10 Board Games Better Than Monopoly

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Joseph K. Bennett