25+ Best Games to Play When Bored
Boredom can catch you in a variety of situations, whether you're waiting for your number to be called at the DMV or you're home on a rainy day staring off into space.
Luckily for you, we've compiled a list of more than 25 boredom-busting games, from tried-and-true classic card games like UNO and Monopoly to crazy-addictive puzzles like Sudoku.
These games require minimal materials, such as a deck of cards or some dice, and are enough to keep you entertained for hours — or days!
And if you prefer the virtual kind of games, we've got you covered with suggestions for plenty of those as well, including action-packed video games like Fortnite and old-school games you're probably playing on your phone right now, like 2048.
Read on for our list of the best games to play when you're bored, broken down into four sections: classic, mobile, outdoor, and online! You'll surely find "the one of the best" for you!
- Games provide an enjoyable and mentally engaging experience, preventing boredom.
- Classic games entail traditional and timeless gameplay that have easy, doable, simple rules.
- Mobile games are video games for smartphones and tablets with touch controls and online features.
- Online games are multiplayer video games played over the internet with real-time interactions.
- Outdoor games are physical activities and sports played outside, encouraging exercise and social interaction.
Classic games are those that have been around. Have you ever played Scrabble or Monopoly? Or have you ever watched your friends or family play Poker and wished you could cross the line and join in?
These are all classic games. But there are many others that are fun and interesting:
The objective of Cribbage is to be the first player to score 121 points through skillful card play and combination scoring, both during the hand and when cards are shown. This classic game stands out due to its unique blend of strategy, the aspect of scoring , and the use of a cribbage board for point tracking, offering a distinct experience compared to other card games.
Cribbage is particularly fun to play when bored because it requires strategic thinking, constant engagement, and offers a satisfying balance of skill and luck, making each game unpredictable and exciting. Play a game of Cribbage here.
In Hearts, the player's goal is to score as few points as possible, with points being earned primarily by accumulating hearts and the Queen of Spades in tricks. The game involves strategy, as players must carefully choose when to avoid taking certain cards and when to 'shoot the moon.'
Hearts is fun to play when bored due to its blend of strategy and unpredictability, providing a mental challenge and the opportunity to outwit opponents. Each round offers a fresh start and a chance to employ new tactics, keeping the game engaging and entertaining for extended periods. Try playing Hearts for free here.
In Spades, the goal is for players or teams to accurately predict how many tricks they will win in each round, known as bidding, and then to win at least that number of tricks using strategic card play.
Spades is particularly enjoyable to play when bored because it combines strategic depth with the social aspect of partnership play. The game keeps players engaged with its balance of skill, strategy, and a bit of luck, offering a mental challenge as well as opportunities for interaction and friendly competition, making it an excellent choice for both casual and serious players. Try winning a game of Spades.
Sudoku is known globally game to play for its addictive nature. It obviously has appeared in just about all the local publications at one time or another, and has now appeared in multiple papers and books to keep you going.
It is most commonly known as a number puzzle. Sudoku is played on a square, 9x9 grid. The goal is to rapidly fill out that grid with the appropriate numbers from 1 to 9 without having to repeat a number on any one line, row, or 3×3 square.
At the beginning, a player is offered some numbers on the grid to be able to start and then have a good time guessing the rest of the numbers.
The real beauty of the Sudoku is it is difficult enough for anyone, but simple enough for everyone to try. The toughest part about the Sudoku? Deciding to finally put the book down.
Crossword puzzles are a popular language-based game that challenges your knowledge, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills.
They are made up of white squares that form a grid, accompanied by a set of clues divided into two groups – “across” and “down.”
Together, these clues indicate which answers (words or phrases) need to be solved and inserted into the corresponding white squares.
Because the answers fit into each other, getting one word that crosses others often helps in solving the questions at intersections. Play this game to develop your vocabulary skills!
Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan is a very mastered game of strategy and manipulation. The players control the settlers at the dawn of civilization and make them build their "kingdoms" during their migration.
The objective is to gain as many victory points as possible, which are earned by, ultimately, being the dominant presence on the island of Catan.
Victory points accrue from building settlements and cities, gaining additional resources and development cards that can translate to building the largest army or the longest road.
An ever-changing board and scarce resources make the perfect game for having a good chance of negotiating and managing resources, as well as being able to flex on your initial strategy when the board shifts significantly.
Charades is a fun and lively party game in which each player acts as a hidden phrase (bending a sign). Playing games like this helps to develop imagination and creative thinking!
In each turn, players demonstrate their clues without using any speech or sounds while others try to guess the hidden word or expression.
One person is only allowed to act at a time and pantomimes clues to the others by using only his or her gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. Just guess the object!
The most important part when playing this guessing game is to be funny. Give a good clue, and make your friends laugh.
Scrabble is a word game that has been delighting wordsmiths and language lovers for nearly 100 years.
Players receive a handful of letter tiles, each bearing a letter and a corresponding point value, take turns and must create a word on the board by placing tiles strategically.
Every letter has a different value that corresponds to the number of points players earn for including it in a word. Points can be increased by using two or more letters in the same turn or by landing on bonus squares.
Scrabble is not just a classic game about flexing your vocabulary muscle, although expanding your word knowledge is a long-term benefit of the game.
No matter how ruthless your opponent is, remaining engaged with the game should provide enough short-term stimulus to keep your brain sharp—or at least awake.
The classic board game of Monopoly has been a family favorite for over eighty years. It remains exciting and fresh, and it provides tremendous opportunities to amass a fortune.
As you progress around the board, each of which represents an iconic street, you will establish your castles in your attempt to dominate real estate holdings, build and collect rent for as many properties as you can, and carefully negotiate with other players in order to do those things the cheapest.
Meanwhile, your opponents will be endeavoring to do the exact same thing to you. The aim of the game is to force opponents into bankruptcy.
There’s nothing quite like the excitement of playing poker. One of America’s beloved card games, it’s a tradition to get your friends together, mix up the cards, and throw some chips on the table. But don’t let the stars in your eyes blind you to common sense.
It is not a silly game but a game of skill, strategy, and, like all card plays, luck. The goal of the game is to bluff one’s opponents, or to at least make them think they have the best hand.
The main distinguishing feature of this wonderful game is its pronounced competitive aspect and the ability to realize intellectual superiority over an opponent, which makes it similar to chess.
Poker players who have outgrown the level of home play can try their hand at online poker rooms, where virtual opponents from all over the world will fight against them, as well as in live events, visiting special clubs.
Uno is a lively, fast-paced card game for two to 10 players ages seven and older. The object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of his or her cards.
The game includes action cards that can help players or hinder their opponents. Action cards include skips, reverses, and wild cards, but the wildest of all is the “Take One Card,” which can be ended only by another “Take One Card.”
Players must match the color or number of the card showing on the top of the pile when it is their turn. However, there is usually a twist of fate awaiting players as they take their turns.
Action cards can reverse the direction of play, force another player to miss a turn, or even trade hands altogether.
Uno is a great family and friends game that encourages everyone to shout out those great words of joy, “UNO.” Challenge yourself to see if you can win the next time you play this addictive game. It's a great game to pass the time!
In the game of Tic-Tac-Toe—a classic, simple game that guarantees hours of entertainment and good fun— strategy is key.
Tic-Tac-Toe is played on a 3x3 grid of squares. One player is “X” and the other is “O.”
Players alternate marking an “X” or “O” just once per turn on any unmarked space on the board. The object is to get three in a row, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
It’s easy to set up in any kind of setting, from the home to a restaurant. This exciting game can be played at any age, and all that is needed is a pen and paper. So get ready for a game of wit and have fun!
Rock Paper Scissors
For generations, Rock Paper Scissors has been a game played by many hands. It is a thrilling and fun-filled game that relies on intuition and maddeningly fast decisions.
Opponents in Rock Paper Scissors try to select which of three hand symbols the other is going to choose and make the correct counter selection.
In other words, if you think your opponent is going to choose ‘rock,’ you would choose ‘paper,’ hypothetically having the ability to incapacitate your opponent’s choice.
Each choice comes in a fixed pattern: rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock. Although Rock Paper Scissors has provided many hours of entertainment around the world, its creation still remains a mystery, lost in time.
Mobile Free Games
Want to play a more thrilling game than Solitaire? Mobile games are addictive, handy, and easy to play when you're on the go with your phone or tablet.
They mostly don't require a lot of dedication or time as they always provide small portions of entertainment.
Perfect for standing in lines waiting on the subway or stuck somewhere without Wi-Fi, mobile games are a good time killer and fun way. Here are some of the cool games:
Candy Crush Saga
Get a taste of the right life in Candy Crush Saga, a matching puzzle game you can take with you on your mobile phone.
With vibrant graphics, a soothing melodic soundtrack, and casual puzzle gameplay, it appeals to gamers of all ages.
The goal is simple enough: swap pieces of candy, so you can line up three or more of the same color. Match combinations to keep clearing levels and score higher each time.
With over 500 levels, the challenge is just beginning; the first levels are as simple as pie, so learn the colors and have fun matching them. As you move on, the obstacles grow, and you begin to rely on special candy and power-ups to count.
Subway Surfers is quite an exciting, endless running game that takes you on a high-speed adventure across the subway tracks. With colorful, vivid visuals and a catchy soundtrack, it’s hard not to get immersed in this game.
As the fast little taggers Jake, Tricky, and Fresh, you’ll dash across train tops, jump over obstacles, and collect coins in a mad dash, really more likely caused by an angry subway inspector and his dog.
The object of the game is to collect as many coins as possible. The more coins you get, the more you can unlock new characters and hoverboards.
Mention the name “Flappy Bird,” and memories of endless hours of play and countless deaths due to the frustration of becoming addicted to this simple game will come flooding back. It's one of the most exciting games ever!
The mobile game became a worldwide sensation out of nowhere. Simple yet frustratingly difficult, the game forces players to help a bird try to navigate through a series of green pipes, just as in the game it was based on, Super Mario Bros.
Players tap the screen to make the bird flap its wings and jump in order to move it up dimensions. New players, be warned: the game is one false move away from forcing you to start from scratch.
Flappy Bird could be perfect for the type of person who wants to spend 15-20 minutes in an intense burst of gaming with their phone and then move on to their next business meeting.
Similar to Subway Surf, Temple Run is another interesting and favorite game that pushes players to the limits of their nerves and develops hand-eye coordination.
In this mobile treasure hunt, the players are racing against time to save their characters — running through ancient temples to escape the tricky obstacles and wicked demons and collecting power-ups and coins on the way to win an extra life for the characters.
This fun game becomes more challenging as time passes, and the speed of the game gets faster with every passing second. Make sure you have enough hand flexibility!
Though playing a game looks simple, it tests the speed of the players’ minds, which needs quick action to make safe moves like climbing up, jumping, and sliding down, avoiding obstacles.
Prepare to be hooked by the creative gameplay and simple strategy of this number puzzle! It’s so easy to play – swipe to slide the tiles all around the board until the neighbor numbers merge together.
As you try to build a bigger number in 2048, great game excitement is to be had. Beware! It’s seemingly effortless play in 2048, but it’s a whole new challenge to bust and become a big hit! Especially when the screen fills up with numbers very quickly.
And, even one wrong move and you lose. So, will you be able to solve the tough and mind-twisting puzzle? There aren’t that many games to puzzle out, like 2048. Have fun, and see how long it will take for you to get that 2048!
Two Dots is a puzzle game for mobile devices that will keep you engaged for hours. The goal of the game is to connect dots of the same color vertically or horizontally on a game board. This clears those dots, giving you points to achieve the level goal.
Sounds easy, but as you play, the game introduces different obstacles that will provide challenging puzzles to solve.
Using cute graphics along with relaxing soundtracks, Two Dots’ endless content provides hours of relaxation and challenging puzzles that anyone can enjoy.
Super Mario is not only an incredibly addictive game, but it is also known as a very popular classic arcade game, where players are able to jump through various levels as a miniature firefighter plumber. It has also been recognized as one of the best-selling games of all time.
With vibrant blocks, dangerous mushroom monsters, shields always in every level, and every ten flag pole, all in this intense game as players journey their way through the worlds, saving the Princess Peach from the evil villain Bowser.
You can spend hours trying to beat your previous score and establishing a reputation for yourself to just make it to the next level.
Online Games to Play
Online games are basically video games played over the internet. It could be a single-player or multiplayer continuation of video games with another person or other people.
You can play online different genres of games, such as battle royale like Fortnite or MMORPGs like Dota. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Enter the world of Among Us, an intense multiplayer who-done-it game that has been crushing the gaming scene. And it's one of the best online games!
Set in a space setting, people playing Among Us are dropped onto a spaceship with some little tasks to do. However, some people on the ship have other ideas about those tasks. They are impostors who want to get rid of the other people on the ship by slicing them up into tiny pieces.
This online game gets crazy with players throwing accusations and gathering their case for who the killers are and voting to get them pushed out of the airlock and into space. Meanwhile, the impostors have to lie, cheat, and scheme to stay on the ship.
Fortnite is an insane, popular online multiplayer game storming across the gaming world. It throws players in a vibrant virtual world with full-blown wars in fast, action-packed gameplay.
With its revolutionary mix of shooting, building, and strategic teamwork, this web game is unlike anything experienced before.
Players can play alone and engage in solo missions or partner up with friends around the world to survive and be the last one standing.
Such an ever-changing storyline of the game, along with its frequent updates and implementation of various new and innovative features, simply hooks players and keeps them excited to taste another adrenaline-pumping adventure in this immersive digital universe.
Minecraft is an engaging sandbox game that offers an opportunity to use creativity in a limitless virtual world. It provides players with many different activities, such as exploration, resource collecting, and building courses of player-initiated design.
Minecraft’s virtual realm is shaped entirely by the player. It is a very social game and is also used in a lot of classes to help teach international language and group collaboration skills.
From building a castle as massive as its dimension to using diamonds to mine hills and passing through the forest to traverse and cave under, many great feats can be achieved through hard work and determination.
Through its different growth stages, Minecraft can aid in exercising the imagination and coordination of a player in much of the same ways as Legos have been used for the past decades.
For years now, Counter-Strike has been electrifying us with a first-person shooter experience like no other. Two teams of counter-terrorists and terrorists fight each other out on different maps over a variety of game modes.
It’s more than just aiming down your virtual gun’s sights and shooting people on an opposing team. It’s planning your moves, practicing your aim, keeping up good team morale, and making some brilliant strategies to always win.
Esports have benefited so much from the very, very intense matches and clutch plays from top-notch players.
League of Legends
One of the most popular games in the world, League of Legends, is a mixture of strategy and reflexes. Two teams of champions, each with unique abilities, battle on 3-lane fields to destroy the enemy nexus and achieve victory for their team.
The game has different maps and game types, but the objective is to be the last nexus standing, all the while utilizing the different abilities your champion has and growing stronger with each level.
Dota 2 is a one-of-a-kind electrifying MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game that throws its players into a world of strategy, teamwork, and intense battles.
A colossal amount of heroes all compete for the spot, each fully equipped with their own unique talents and fighting styles. The true objective of the game relies on destroying the enemies' ancient and protecting your own.
This popular game is completely fast-paced and dependent on how well you can maintain the ability of your own playing and working closely with your teammates socializing.
And if you don't want to play board games or are fed up with those mobile and online games, get creative and go outdoors. There are so many fun games to play when bored:
Hide And Seek
Hide and Seek is an age-old fun game that has been enjoyed by many generations. When playing Hide and Seek, one person is “it” and is expected to seek out the players that are hidden.
The “it” person is expected to count to a set number, usually 30 or 50, while the other players find hiding spots.
Once the counting is complete, the “it” person looks for the other players. The first person that is found becomes the next “it” person.
One of the things that makes Hide and Seek a great game is the secrecy of the hiding places.
Capture the Flag
Energetic and strategic, Capture the Flag is a fun outdoor game that combines the love of adventure as well as natural strategy. Played eventually by two teams, players must race to steal the opposing team's flag while defending their own.
A competition of instinctual tactics was the best to describe the power of wits in this game. A challenge that is sought after by many women and men when they dominate Capture the Flag.
Combining everyone’s favorite childhood games of soccer and baseball, kickball is just as hilarious as it is competitive. Players kick an inflated rubber ball, then scramble to run the bases.
We like to think of it as an excuse to make all the great memories from recess, just amped up and a little less awkward.
With its straightforward, easy-to-understand rules, it’s a great option whether you’re looking for a way to get some steps in, work off a hangover, or challenge your friends to something that isn’t another round of trivia.
Frisbee: the classic outdoor game that combines exercise and excitement! Toss, catch, and see it glide in a perfectly curved path through the air.
Play on the shore or in the field — Frisbee allows you to take full advantage of both the great outdoors and each other’s company.
Offering a rapidly gained proficiency paired with a difficult mastery, this game is ideal for casual, carefree competition as well as intense, competitive play.
Ping Pong, better known as table tennis, is a sport capable of rousing anyone’s competitive spirit with its brisk volleys, strategic shots, and lightning-fast reactions.
Ping Pong is doubtlessly as thrilling as any other sport, and the best part is it is easy to learn, and you do not need to be a professional player to enjoy this fun game.
However, for already experienced athletes, it could be a good way of keeping fit, developing eye-hand coordination, as well as providing a way of entertaining friends and family. Grab that ping pong ball!
Soccer, or football everywhere else in the world, is the world’s most popular sport. It is easy to play and requires little in the way of equipment. Matches involving some of the world’s top teams draw tens of thousands to huge stadiums.
What is it that makes playing soccer or attending a match such a special experience? It combines skill, strategy, teamwork, and athleticism in a way that yields moments of jaw-dropping brilliance.
Soccer unites people around the world in their mutual love for the sport. It holds an enduring appeal that transcends borders. Fueled by passion, pride, and dreams, the people of the world come together for one reason: the love of the game.
Don’t let boredom keep you down! There are so many wonderful things you can do with the right board games, mobile games, outdoor games, or online games!
A long, boring commute? No problem! There are plenty of mobile games that will stop boredom in its tracks.
Sunny day outside? Why not take your board games outside with you? We have a wide selection of board games perfect for the backyard or patio.
Or maybe you’re in one of those moods where “fun to you” means “fun to me.” No one’s around, and you have to find a way to entertain yourself. Luckily for you, we have lots of solo board games and - you guessed it! - online games!
It doesn’t matter if you prefer the funniest online games or the bloodiest shooting games - you’ll be able to find something that will keep you entertained on a boring day!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Games to Play When Bored on PC?
When you’re bored on the computer, you can play a variety of games, such as Minecraft, Fortnite, The Sims, or Overwatch.
What Is a Quick, Fun Game?
If you’re looking for something quick and fun, something like Subway Surfers or Temple Run on your mobile device might do the trick. These types of games are just bursting with fun and can be played in quick, short spurts when you’re bored to get you having fun again as soon as possible.
What You Can Play When You're Bored?
If you’re in the mood for some good fun, you could play board games like Monopoly or Scrabble, solve some puzzles like Sudoku or Crosswords, or immerse yourself in massively multiplayer online games like Minecraft or Dota.
What Are Fun Games to Play Inside With Friends?
Some fun games to play indoors with friends include charades, card games like Poker or Uno, video games like the Jackbox Party Pack series or Overcooked, or even hosting a game night with trivia quizzes and party games.