Updated October 25, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

The 10 Best Adult Party Games

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Although this selection is listed under "Toys," be aware that, with a few exceptions, these adult party games are not for children. But they are perfect for a bachelor or bachelorette party or just a fun night hanging out with friends. They're designed to work well with large groups and be fun for all players, win or lose. Most of them will also provide you with a few laughs along the way. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best adult party game on Amazon.

10. Disturbed Friends

9. The Voting Game

8. Nasty Things ...

7. Adult Loaded Questions

6. Never Have I Ever

5. Drunk, Stoned, or Stupid

4. Draw What?!

3. Geek Out

2. Personally Incorrect

1. Cards Against Humanity

How Games Are A Part Of Human Culture

Most games will be team oriented for this reason, though the competitive level is usually low.

Humans are known for being social creatures, and games aid us in creating relationships, breaking the ice, and otherwise enjoying our leisure time. The types of games can vary from outdoor, indoor, (also known as parlor), drinking, or sport oriented. We will focus on the contemporary adult party game which is usually played indoors by adults in large social gatherings.

The ultimate purpose of a party game is to entertain. Most party games will contain similar elements for a successful experience. For instance, gameplay familiarity is a big factor for an effective party game. The template of a board game will be familiar to most adults because they can recognize a similar board game template from their childhood. Card games as well are ingrained in our youth; such as Go Fish. There are however, some unique games with different formats. Twister, for example, is a classic twist on a game enjoyed by children and adults alike that does not have the template of a board or card game. This also makes the learning curve much faster and gets the players to play the game much quicker.

Social interaction is a large component of a successful adult party game. Most games will be team oriented for this reason, though the competitive level is usually low. Some games use disparity to their advantage, purposefully pitting people against one another. A classic example would be teams of men versus women.

The adult party game usually defers from the rest in a myriad of ways. They usually encourage drinking and profanity. Some games rely on social taboos and are sexually explicit in nature.

Why Some Games Are Only For Adults

Choosing the right game will depend on many factors: number of players, comfort level, and interest. Most party hosts will present a few party game options to best suit the preferences of their guests. However, a well picked party game can have excellent benefits, and in some cases, revive a dying party.

Games can help create bonds and friendships. In the case of raunchier, sex oriented games, they may possibly suggest romantic connections between players. Games that pose hypothetical questions help players learn about each other on an intimate level, however, this feature can be viewed as a consequence as well.

As discussed earlier, perhaps you get to know your fellow players too well, and some undesirable truths are voiced.

Given the social aspect of these games, most are easy to learn, inclusive of a large number of people, and do not eliminate players. This prevents the "losing" player from sitting out uninterested while the "victors" play on. For a grueling example of this, play Monopoly and go bankrupt and wait while the world turns hours later as you don't play. Lastly, these games mentioned are all humorous in nature, either by design or by the players contribution. An absolute must for any party.

What's not to love? Why wouldn't you break out an adult party game at your next social gathering? Well, there is ingrained in our human DNA an element of competition. Perhaps insidiously dormant until tempers flare and alcohol consumption rises, and it can derail an innocuous game. As discussed earlier, perhaps you get to know your fellow players too well, and some undesirable truths are voiced. This is usually when the game is ended and guests are encouraged to leave before any more damage is done.

On another note, a popular game consisting of a deck of cards will be familiar to you after a few plays, and the game becomes stale and predictable until you purchase a booster pack. Some adult party games are, well, adult, and not appropriate for children or teenagers. Some games can be downright offensive. Cards Against Humanity is a prime example of an offensive adult party game.

A Brief History of Party Games

The adult party game takes its origins from the parlor game. They rose to popularity in the mid-19th century, and they were called parlor games due to the fact that most of them took place in the parlor room. The middle and upper class citizens of the United Kingdom and the United States had more free time off work to participate in such leisure activities. They are the precursor the modern board game, and in some occasions, such as Balderdash, they are virtually unchanged from their ancestors. Their popularity waned with the rise of the home radio and television set, however, they are transformed today into the modern adult party game.

Today they exist and thrive with or without advancements in media and technology. The beauty of adult party games is that they are quite simple, require few materials, and rely upon the creativity of the players. A mediocre party game can be enlivened by enthusiastic players, and conversely, a classic game can be dampered by party poopers.

With the advent of new technology, some wonder if the board game, a classic staple of adult party games, will be obsolete. Most will disagree, as board games can be integrated with video games, a prime example being the successful Mario Party series.

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Sheila O'Neill
Last updated on October 25, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

Sheila is a writer and editor living in sunny Southern California. She studied writing and film at State University of New York at Purchase, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree. After graduating, she worked as an assistant video editor at a small film company, then spent a few years doing freelance work, both as a writer and a video editor. During that time, she wrote screenplays and articles, and edited everything from short films to infomercials. An ardent lover of the English language, she can often be found listening to podcasts about etymology and correcting her friends’ grammar.


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