27 Most Fun Games to Play With Friends Near & Far in 2024

Last Updated on Jan 10th 2024
fun games to play with friends
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Distance means nothing for close friendships, true love and family, especially when you have fun games to play with friends no matter if they’re in your home or miles away.

It’s not just the competitive nature of games that makes them so worthwhile, not to mention entertaining to enjoy with loved ones. Playing board games (or even video games) can have some mental benefits, too.

According to a 2017 study, board games can help you cope with stress and feel calmer. Of course, there’s always the added mood boost if you win, and the mental acuity boost from using reasoning, strategy and sometimes mathematical skills. 

Sharing an experience and spending quality time with the ones you care about is essential to maintaining close relationships. Enjoy a drink and some snacks out in the grass, on a patio or even in your living room as you enjoy any of the many fun games to play with friends. It doesn’t have to be complicated for both parties to reap the benefits.

Looking for fun Friendsgiving ideas or birthday party ideas? There are tons of fun games to play with friends that provide all the entertainment you need. Read on for some suggestions for fun games to play with friends both in person and virtually. 

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Fun Games to Play With Friends Online

1. Host a Virtual Game Night

For groups of any size, no matter where you live, virtual game nights are perfect for fun games to play with friends. Whether you like a game-show style or a murder mystery, the options are nearly endless.

The virtual nature means everything is right at your fingertips and requires very little planning for an amazing evening of bonding. 

friends playing virtual game and celebrating win
via Canva

2. Murder Mystery Games

Add some mystery next time you’re looking for fun games to play with friends with a murder mystery game. You can play in person or remotely across a number of different themes like Rocky Horror Halloween Murder or Poison on the Polar Express for some holiday flare.

Check out this Master of Mystery game review for some guidance on which game to choose. 

RELATED: 17 Best Murder Mystery Games & Tips for a Thrilling Party in 2023

3. Play Quiplash

This fully virtual game can be played on a phone or tablet, no game controller needed, making it an easy and fun game to play with friends on the phone. You can play Quiplash with up to 8 friends, but your group will be pitted against an audience of up to 10,000 worldwide.

This virtual game is like a fill-in-the-blank version of Apples to Apples. It’s something easy to do when you’re bored that will get your mind turning with silly and creative word combinations.  

4. Would You Rather?

This easy and funny game to play with friends is a popular way to fill the room with laughs. Groups can play in person or via Zoom or Facetime and ask one another “would you rather” followed by two challenging scenarios. For example, “Would you rather not shower for a year or not brush your teeth for a year?”

A popular party game and game to play with friends at night. There’s no real winner or loser, it’s just a funny way to pass the time.  

5. Words With Friends

Words with Friends is an easy and fun game to play with friends and a good way to stay connected long-distance. There’s no timeline, so you can take your time making your “move” whenever you get a free moment.

If you’re not familiar, it’s like Scrabble, but on your phone, so you can play anytime, anywhere. It’s probably one of the simplest games to play with your friends online.

smartphone with Words With Friends game on the screen
via Words With Friends

6. Sports Video Games

Depending on your sport of choice, NBA 2K20 or the latest edition of Madden makes for a fun game to play with friends on PC or Xbox. Popular particularly amongst men, it’s ideal for any sports enthusiast as you get to play as your favorite NBA or NFL player.

Friends can play one-on-one or involve groups of other friends and be in communication throughout the game, making it a fun way to stay virtually connected and competitive. 

7. Twenty Questions

Another oldie but goodie, 20 Questions is a fun game to play with friends especially new friends or a new romantic interest if you’re looking to get to know them better.

Twenty might seem like a lot of questions to ask, but there are sure to be things you and your friends don’t know about each other regardless of how long you’ve known each other.

You can play this game with friends indoors or virtually, via text, call or Facetime. Video is recommended, as a lot can get lost in translation over text. 

RELATED: 27 Best Party Games for Adults to Let Loose in 2023 

Fun Games to Play With Friends in Real Life

8. Take a Cooking Class

Who says all games have to have a winner and a loser? Interactive activities can count as fun games to play with friends, and this one ends with a delicious meal.

Learning something new gives the same mental benefits as engaging in a board game, and with cooking classes in Boston to cooking classes in Atlanta or all the way over to cooking classes in Chicago  there are tons of options for cooking classes near you wherever you live. 

9.  What Do You Meme?

What Do You Meme? Is a well-known card game that’s popular amongst millennials and Gen Z. It’s a cheap and fun game to play with friends because you can do it while socializing, sharing a meal or just having a drink together.

Groups or individuals can play and share thoughts using their favorite memes. A picture really is worth a thousand words and these iconic memes invoke many feelings.

group of friends playing What Do You Meme card game
via What Do You Meme?

10. Uno Attack

One of the most famous board games of all time gets an update in Uno Attack. Complete with a card launcher that shoots playing cards and plays sound effects and lights.

The rules are very similar to the original game, but with the added suspense that you never know when the machine will attack. This is an easy and fun game to play with friends and family. 

11. We’re Not Really Strangers

Another hugely popular card game amongst Gen Z and Millenials, We’re Not Really Strangers actually has a pretty big following on social media as well. Wondering what’s the best game to play with friends in real life?

This card game will strengthen the bonds between friends or lovers if everyone agrees to answer openly and honestly. It’s also a nice gift for best friends to see how well you really know each other.

This question-and-answer set is a fun game to play with friends to really get to know each other past the small talk. Each card poses an insightful question that you can choose how honestly you wish to answer.  

12. Post-it Note Game

This old-school activity is an entertaining and fun game to play with friends in real life. Chances are high you’ve played this game, maybe growing up in school or as an adult for a team-building activity or ice breaker game.

Each person gets a Post-it (or a notecard and some tape) and someone else writes the name of a famous person on the card. All the players must go around the room and mingle and ask questions of others to figure out what name is on their card.

You can leave it wide open, or choose a theme like famous female actors or professional athletes. 

RELATED: 27 Best Ice Breaker Games That Any Team Will Enjoy in 2023

13. Mahjong

This classic Chinese game involves assembling 144 ornate, domino-like tiles. The game itself may involve a bit of a learning curve, but can be played for years to come once you master it.

It’s a great game to play with friends on a regular basis to foster close bonds and get better at Mahjong itself. 

mahjong game to play with friends
via Canva

14. Cards Against Humanity

The original Cards Against Humanity has been around for several years and never fails to get some good laughs. This fun game to play with friends indoors can entertain you for hours and can get a little cheeky, so be prepared. Enjoy over drinks and snacks with your friends and family alike. 

Fun Games to Play With Friends Outdoors 

15. Ladder Toss Game

This outdoor activity is an entertaining and fun game to play with friends outside and is suitable for players of all ages. You’ve probably seen the Ladder Toss game around — it’s popular at BBQs and outdoor events.

Set up the lightweight, transportable ladders and try to get the balls on strings to hook around the rungs. Each game can be played fairly quickly, making it a great adult birthday party idea that can accommodate a bunch of different players.  

16. Kubb

This Scandinavian yard game is a fan favorite said to date back to Viking times, and it’s best suited for a large, flat yard. This fun game to play with friends outside involves setting up a few wooden blocks, called knights, across from each other, about 20 feet or so. Two teams of two people face off as they attempt to topple the knights with 6 wooden dowels.

There are safety rules and regulations like dowels must be thrown underhanded, and it’s best to play with adults as the pieces can ricochet. This game gets more fun the more you play it and is perfect for a nice summer evening. 

17. Scavenger Hunt

While the concept of a treasure hunt may be for kids, this is a fun game you can play with friends even if you’re an adult.

There are a number of online scavenger hunt games you can follow along for inspiration, but setting up a cool scavenger hunt around your neighborhood or city can be wildly entertaining or even romantic if done for a special someone. 

friends looking at map in park for scavenger hunt game
via Canva

18. Kan Jam

While the name may sound reminiscent of “kick the can”, there actually aren’t any cans involved in this fun game to play with friends outdoors. Kan Jam comes with two plastic sheets that fit together to form a large cylinder that’s open on top and has a slot in the front.

Each team gets a couple of frisbees and sets the cylinders about 30 feet apart. Players stand on opposite sides from their partner as one person will throw the frisbee over, the other player wants to knock it down into the hole on the top.

Points are awarded for going in the top, while a frisbee directly through the slot wins the game.  

19. Cookie Pocket

This fun game to play with friends is best played with coats or sweatshirts on at an outdoor party or tailgate. There’s pretty much only winner with this one, since it involved sneaking cookies into your friends pockets without them noticing.

If they don’t catch you in the act, they have to eat the cookie when they find it which could end up being several at one time. But honestly, there are worse things… 

20. Beer Pong

For anyone 21+, chances are good you’ve played beer pong! The idea for this fun game to play with friends outdoors isn’t to get intoxicated, so feel free to fill the cups with water to take this college game into the present day.

It’s just an entertaining game to watch and to play as players bounce ping pong balls into an array of plastic cups using impressive hand-eye coordination. 

21. Tug of War

This old-school game is the perfect way to celebrate good weather and enjoy fun games to play with friends. Nothing is more gratifying than winning a close match-up of strength on both sides. The only tricky part might be finding a rope large enough to make the game worthwhile. 

tug of war games to play with friends
via Canva
RELATED: 33 Most Fun Team Building Games to Liven Up the Workplace in 2023

Fun Games to Play With Friends Indoors

22. Rabble 

This entertaining card game is ideal for parties because it can be played with massive groups. The game actually says “20+” so you can test the limits here.

Sort of like truth or dare, this fun game to play with friends features cards with various challenges like “act out a T-rex” and some word guessing.

Wondering what are fun games to play as a group? Rabble is perfect because players can drift in and out of playing without missing a beat. An easy and fun thing to do with friends when you don’t want to watch a movie or go out. 

23. Telephone

There are few games more iconic or more memorable than telephone. While traditionally used to teach a lesson in grade school, Telephone is just as entertaining as adults.

Wondering what games can you play with friends indoors? Start with something straightforward and old-school. Chances are you will still be surprised how information changes as it’s passed along.  

24. Monopoly

This classic board game is the perfect example of fun games to play with friends indoors. The nature of the game means it can take a while, making it a great activity for a day with bad weather or an evening at home. Most people already have a Monopoly game in their home or at least a neighbor they can borrow one from! 

25. Charades or Heads Up

It doesn’t get any simpler, cheaper or easier to enjoy fun games to play with friends than charades. This classic game involves acting out a word or phrase for your teammates to try to guess based only off your body language. You can set timers and go in groups, or simply act things out in a casual fashion for the whole group.

For a fun spin on this, play it around the holidays and act out someone from your family or close friend group, depending on who you play with. This is an easy and entertaining Christmas activity that can get the whole family involved. 

group of friends playing heads up charades game with smartphone
via Canva
RELATED: 37 Most Fun Christmas Games for Your Holiday Party in 2023

26.  Hand & Foot

This is a simple card game that’s suitable for a wide range of ages and it’s perfect when you want to settle down for a couple hours and enjoy an easy but fun game to play with friends.

The instructions are pretty simple and all you need is a few sets of playing cards and a nice big game table. Instructions are easy to look up online.  

27. 8 Ball Pool

This fun game to play with friends indoors is only feasible if you own a pool table or can go to a billiards room, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. Involves strategy and a little bit of geometry, this game of skill can be played over and over again for many years. 

As you can see, there’s no shortage of engaging and fun games to play with friends both in real life and virtually, indoor or outdoor. The next time you want to plan a special occasion or just a good time together, schedule some time to enjoy a game night.

Wondering what is an entertaining game to play with your friends? Or what is the best game to play with friends in real life? This guide should answer your questions and give you plenty of great recommendations to keep your friendship bonds tight and your brains firing to solve complex problems or riddles.

Games can range from purely physical to entirely mental and all about strategy. Whatever you and your friends are into, there’s something cool to connect over.

For even more fun things to do with friends, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!