Scrabble
The Chameleon Board Game
Bananagrams

Revelrous Board Games for Word Lovers

Vocabulary-building diversions
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Lauren Swanson

Have you been swept up into the Wordle craze? Have you been dying to continue the fun off-screen? Well, there’s a board game for that. There’s one for every kind of word lover, whether you and your crew loves find-the-villain deduction games or you’re into traditional crossword challenges. 

Growing up with an English teacher as a parent and a grandma that practically slept next to the dictionary, word games are practically in my DNA. I’m not saying that I’m an expert, but (*brushes shoulder*) I am. After years of testing and even exploring new-to-market games, we culled the best word-related board games for every group, setting, and mood. Our top pick is (no surprise here) Scrabble—because every house should have a board—followed by a handful of other suggestions worth trying. Hey, don’t mess with perfection, am I right?

What should you consider before picking out the right word game for you?

  1. Level of difficulty: While most of our picks are fun for any age group and skill level, some are more enjoyable for teens, adults, and kids with advanced vocabularies. 
  2. Setup and rules: Some games require more setup time or are more difficult to learn than others. Keep that in mind, especially when choosing a game to play at a party or with children who may get bored easily.
  3. Duration: Speaking of boredom, take the expected playing time of the game into account. Some of our choices, like Big Boggle, can be played in three minutes, while others take half an hour or more.
  4. Number of players: There are options on our list for teams, parties, small groups, and even single players.

Keep the fun going with our recommendations for the best board games for family game nights or learn a new language to really up your word-game game.

Our Top Picks

See All Top Picks See All
Top Pick
Top Pick
Scrabble
Best Overall Game

Scrabble

Manufacturer :

  Hasbro Gaming

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Simple, easy-to-learn rules
  • Various themed and childrens’ editions available
  • Minimal setup required

Cons

  • Requires pen and paper for scorekeeping

Product Snapshot

Since its creation during the Great Depression, Scrabble has been manufactured in 30 languages and sold 150 million boards across the world. Although it has inspired countless tabletop, computer, and smartphone games, the classic is a must in every home, and its simplicity makes it adaptable for many ages and skill levels.

Specs

Players
2 to 4 players
Age
8 years and up
Duration
60 minutes

Where to Buy

Splurge
Worth A Look
The Chameleon Board Game
Best Deduction Game

The Chameleon

Manufacturer :

  Big Potato

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Simple, easy-to-learn rules
  • Good for parties
  • Social deduction element

Cons

  • Included wipeable marker requires some cleanup

Product Snapshot

Part mystery and part word game, Chameleon is perfect for parties, as well as families with older kids. All players—except for one!—get a secret word at the start of the game and must use carefully chosen phrases and codes to figure out who the hidden “Chameleon” is before time is up.

Specs

Players
3-8 players
Age
14 years and up
Duration
15 minutes

Where to Buy

Best Value
Best Value
Bananagrams
Best Travel Game

Bananagrams

Manufacturer :

  Bananagrams

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Can be played for any amount of time
  • Small and portable
  • No setup required

Cons

  • Pieces are easy to lose

Product Snapshot

Bananagrams turns any surface into a Scrabble board: picnic blankets, airplane tray tables, and more. Packable and self-contained, it’s a good game to have on hand to keep kids (and adults) entertained during travel, in waiting rooms, and anywhere else boredom may strike.

Specs

Players
2 to 6 players
Age
7 years and up
Duration
Up to 30 minutes

Where to Buy

Splurge
Splurge
Wavelength
Best-Looking Word Game

Wavelength

Manufacturer :

  CMYK Games

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Deduction element
  • Encourages conversation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Complicated rules can be difficult to learn

Product Snapshot

From design-minded brand CMYK Games, Wavelength is a guessing game for people who are good with words. Teams use clever clues, observational skills, and their knowledge of other players to “read each others’ minds.” Ideal for groups, Wavelength helps players get to know each other in new ways and sparks conversations.

Specs

Players
2 or more players
Age
14 years and up
Duration
30 to 45 minutes

Where to Buy

Also Tested
upwords game
Best Crossword-Style Game (That's Not Scrabble)

Upwords Word Game

Manufacturer :

  Spin Master Games

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Good for younger kids
  • Rotating game board

Cons

  • Similar to Scrabble

Product Snapshot

When you think of crossword-style or word search-esque board games, you probably think of Scrabble. Upwords, however, is like Scrabble 2.0. Unlike Scrabble, you can actually stack (yes, stack) game tiles on top of existing letters on the game board. In doing so, you can turn “dog” into “fog” and then into “log,” racking up points along the way. For adults, it’s challenging and strategic. For kids, it’s a great way to teach them about rhyming words.

Specs

Players
2 to 4 players
Age
8 years and up
Duration
45 to 90 minutes

Where to Buy

Also Tested
dabble word game
Best Word Game for All Ages

Dabble Word Game

Manufacturer :

  Dabble

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Good for young kids
  • Includes English and Spanish tiles

Cons

  • Game pieces are made out of cheap materials

Product Snapshot

Another word game that is great for the whole family is Dabble. In this game, players are given 20 letter tiles and race to use all tiles to spell five words. Children as young as eight years old can play and the game format serves both individuals and teams well. As an added bonus, this game also comes with English and Spanish tiles.

Specs

Players
2 to 4 players
Age
8 years and up
Duration
5 minutes

Where to Buy

Also Tested
herd mentality game
Best Word Game for Zoom Calls

Herd Mentality Board Game

Manufacturer :

  Big Potato

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Short rounds
  • Less packaging than before
  • Good for younger kids

Cons

  • Needs more cards

Product Snapshot

Enter all the cow-related jokes for this game. Similar but completely different to Scattergories, Herd Mentality requires you to not stand out. Just like the name suggests, you have to think of answers that go with the rest of the herd. Not only do you have to be creative in your answers, but you also have to demonstrate your knowledge about the rest of the group. Think of it as a board game version of “The Match Game.”

Specs

Players
4 to 20 players
Age
10 years and up
Duration
20 minutes

Where to Buy

Also Tested
word a round game
Best Word Game for Building Vocabulary

Word A Round Game

Manufacturer :

  Think Fun

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Good for young kids

Cons

  • Not challenging after you've played multiple times

Product Snapshot

Speech pathologists love this game for its ability to build vocabulary and improve concentration. In this game, there are 100 cards (300 words total) that have letters in random order. Your mission is to figure out what the word is before anyone else. The game is easy-to-learn and simple but can lose its challenge for adults if played frequently.

Specs

Players
2 to 6 players
Age
10 years and up
Duration
30 minutes

Where to Buy

Also Tested
balderdash board game
Most Hilarious Word Game

Balderdash Board Game

Manufacturer :

  Mattel Games

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Fun for parties
  • Best to play with adults

Cons

  • Not for younger kids

Product Snapshot

Similar to Chameleon, this game requires players to be skilled actors as well as creative. Each game card lists a question from one of four possible categories of content: people, words, initials, and movies. Once a question is read, each player must write down what they think the definition or answer is. According to the rules, in order to win the game, players must decipher between answers that are phony and answers that are true.

Specs

Players
2 to 6 players
Age
12 years and up
Duration
60 minutes

Where to Buy

Compare

Best Overall Game
Best Deduction Game
Best Travel Game
Best for Family Game Night
Best-Looking Word Game
Best Party Word Board Game
Best Crossword-Style Game (That's Not Scrabble)
Best Word Game for All Ages
Best Word Game for Zoom Calls
Best Word Game for Building Vocabulary
Most Hilarious Word Game
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
  • Simple, easy-to-learn rules
  • Various themed and childrens’ editions available
  • Minimal setup required
  • Simple, easy-to-learn rules
  • Good for parties
  • Social deduction element
  • Can be played for any amount of time
  • Small and portable
  • No setup required
  • Can be played quickly or for as long as desired
  • Engaging and fun for all ages
  • Suitable for groups
  • Beautiful design
  • Deduction element
  • Encourages conversation
  • Great for parties
  • Can purchase expansion packs
  • Good for younger kids
  • Rotating game board
  • Good for young kids
  • Includes English and Spanish tiles
  • Short rounds
  • Less packaging than before
  • Good for younger kids
  • Good for young kids
  • Fun for parties
  • Best to play with adults
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
  • Requires pen and paper for scorekeeping
  • Included wipeable marker requires some cleanup
  • Pieces are easy to lose
  • Challenging for children who are not confident writing by hand
  • Expensive
  • Complicated rules can be difficult to learn
  • Not ideal for young kids
  • Similar to Scrabble
  • Game pieces are made out of cheap materials
  • Needs more cards
  • Not challenging after you've played multiple times
  • Not for younger kids
Players
Players
Players
Players
Players
Players
Players
Players
Players
Players
Players
Players
2 to 4 players
3-8 players
2 to 6 players
2 or more players
2 or more players
2 to 6 players
2 to 4 players
2 to 4 players
4 to 20 players
2 to 6 players
2 to 6 players
Age
Age
Age
Age
Age
Age
Age
Age
Age
Age
Age
Age
8 years and up
14 years and up
7 years and up
8 years and up
14 years and up
13 years and up
8 years and up
8 years and up
10 years and up
10 years and up
12 years and up
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
Duration
60 minutes
15 minutes
Up to 30 minutes
3 minutes
30 to 45 minutes
3 minutes per round
45 to 90 minutes
5 minutes
20 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes