by Ellen Blake
Gifts for Seniors Who Love Games
I come from a game-loving family. It’s a great way to spend time together! And since many games work for a variety of ages, you can bring different generations together for some friendly competition. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the near-constant screen time. Sitting face-to-face and playing board and card games offers good old-fashioned human interaction and bonding.
While I enjoy a good game night with family and friends, I like playing one-on-one too. My husband and I often sit down to play a game after dinner, just the two of us. Playing games together promotes a sense of camaraderie and closeness for us. It’s nice to take a break from our busy everyday lives and allows us to visit while we play and catch up on what happened that day.
So, if you are looking for gifts for seniors who love games, you are in the right place! There is an overwhelming number of games from which to choose these days, so I hope our recommendations are helpful.
The Benefits of Playing Games
I know many of my 50Plus friends love games as much as I do, which is why games make great gifts. Playing games is great for older adults for a lot of reasons so I plan to continue for a long time! Here are some of the benefits:
Playing games can help keep our minds sharp and active. Many games require strategic thinking, problem-solving, and memory recall, which can be beneficial for cognitive function and potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Entertainment and Fun
Games offer enjoyment and entertainment. Whether it’s board games or card games, playing them often brings joy and laughter.
Games can serve as a form of stress relief and relaxation. Engaging in a fun and immersive game can take our minds off worries and daily concerns, providing a break from the routine.
Some people enjoy playing games from their younger years or cultural traditions. I am one of them! These nostalgic experiences evoke positive memories and a sense of comfort for me.
Sense of Achievement
Successfully completing challenges or winning games provides a sense of accomplishment. Win or lose, I enjoy playing, but I admit I like to win!
There are many games you can play online and often they are free! For example, a lot of people like to play Mahjong online.
Cribbage, another popular option and one of our favorites, is a classic card game that’s been around since the 17th century. It offers a unique mix of strategy, skill, and a dash of luck. It’s most commonly a two-player game, but you can also play with three or four (or single-player online). The goal is simple: be the first to reach 121 points by making savvy card combinations like pairs, runs, and flushes. Now, what sets Cribbage apart is the iconic scoring board—a wooden board filled with rows of holes where you’ll “peg” your way to victory. If you’re missing the board, you’re in luck. These days you don’t need a physical board or deck of cards to get into Cribbage. The game is available at easy-to-navigate sites such as Cribbage Online. Whether you want to play against AI or test your skills against real people from around the globe, online cribbage offers an enriching gaming experience for all.
Our Favorite “In-Person” Games for 2023
Lots of us love engaging in a little competitive fun! So, if you are struggling to find the perfect gift for seniors who love games, take a look at our curated list! We took a poll of our readers asking for their favorites and here’s what they told us.
The Wordle Party Game
Play Wordle in real life with friends! Inspired by the popular digital version, Wordle: The Party Game features the same gameplay fans love, but players compete in real life to solve the Wordle, Players take turns writing down a 5-letter Secret Word. The others try to guess it in the fewest tries to win. We love the unlimited play with dry-erase boards! No more waiting for a new Wordle game. Use the Wordle dry-erase boards and markers to play as many rounds as there are players. Replay again and again. There are four ways to Wordle – try the classic play or 3 variations. In fast mode, players race to solve the Wordle first. In timed mode, beat the clock—or receive more points. Or compete in groups with team mode, Break out this fun game for evenings with friends or family!
Sequence Board Game
The stunning set with the giant board (20.25 x 26.25 inches) provides hours of challenging fun for the whole family! Play a card from your hand, and place a chip on a corresponding space on the game board – when you have five in a row, it’s a SEQUENCE! This is one of our favorites for game night!
Apples to Apples
This is a great family game – our family has been playing it for many years. It is light and each hand only takes a few minutes. Filled with surprises and outrageous answers, so the game provides lots of laughs throughout!
The judge plays a Green Apple card with a descriptive word on it. From the five red apple cards in your hand, play the one that makes the best combination with the Green Apple card. If the judge likes your combination the best, you keep the Green Apple card. Collect four Green Apple cards to win!
This is one of our favorite gifts for seniors who love games! Backgammon is a classic that many of us in this age group spent hours playing during our college years. This beautiful quality set is a present that will be treasured and used for years to come.
Mille Bornes Auto Race Card Game
Another oldie but a goodie! My husband and I played Mille Bornes as kids and recently pulled it out as adults. It’s still as much fun as we remember! The first person (or team) to accrue 1000 miles wins the game! Easy to play and perfect for people of all ages! Love this vintage set with French words on the cards!
Balderdash is a hilarious game of phony definitions! It has 100’s of the zaniest, most unbelievable words in the English language. Give a serious or silly clue, as you try to bluff your opponents. Another great family game for hours of entertainment!
Pandemic Board Game
Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths as they plan their strategy of eradicating the diseases before they overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. A truly cooperative game where you win or lose together the whole family will love it.
Work together to save humanity! Four diseases threaten the world, and your elite team of specialists must find a cure for each of them before it’s too late. Everyone must apply their unique character skills to benefit the team—and the world!
Betrayal is for those who love horror movies. This exciting third edition of the Betrayal at the House on the Hill game is rich with horror-based content, gaming elements, and characters not seen in previous versions. Players must work together to survive the nightmare…but beware. The house turns one player against the others in this cooperative strategy game. The game includes 6 finely detailed character figures, each with a removable colored disc, and features 12 diverse characters not seen in previous editions This game is not for weak-kneed adults – best for those who enjoy blood-curdling scenarios and working with others to survive!
Hot Seat After Dark
Consider yourself warned…Once revealed, answers can’t be unheard! Hot Seat after Dark is more of a party game to play with friends, not necessarily with family as it can get awkward! This game is fun and gives you insight into your friends which you may have wanted to know. You’ll play it again and again – it just doesn’t get old! This is one of the gifts for seniors who love games we like to give to our edgier friends!
Hasbro Catch Phrase Game
Grab It, Guess It, Pass It Game! Catch Phrase is an electronic game with 5,000 words and phrases that’s fun and challenging for family and friends to play! Get your teammates to guess the word or phrase that appears on the screen by describing it in any way possible — but do it fast! There are plenty of categories to choose from such as Fun and Games, Entertainment, Everyday Life, Variety, and The World. Don’t get caught holding the unit when the buzzer goes off because the other team will score a point. The first team to reach 7 points wins.
Hedbanz No Limits
Figure out the card on your head by asking questions or having a partner act out the card. Get it right and earn a chip. The first player to earn 6 chips wins! What if you’re stumped by a card? Get a clue, but it will cost you one chip. Dry-erase cards let you come up with your uncensored answers. Warning – Hedbanz No Limits is an adults-only party game!
Reverse Charades – A Hilarious Twist on the Classic Party & Family Game!
Reverse Charade is a hilarious twist on the classic version where one person acts out the clues for the team to guess. The twist is that the entire team uses 60-second rounds to act out as many words as one person can guess. So fun! And great for the whole family! Reverse Charades is one of our favorite gifts for seniors who love games!
KLASK: The Magnetic Award-Winning Party Game of Skill
Half foosball, half air hockey, Klask is fabulously fun for adults and kids of all ages. Fast and frantic, you need to try to score but watch out for the hole! Use your magnetic handle and striker to defend your half, avoid the biscuits (magnets), and send the ball flying into your opponent’s goal to score. Be careful not to land your striker in your own goal! What we especially like about this game is that it is beautifully designed, and you can play it anywhere you have a flat surface. Comes fully assembled!
WordUp! Game | The Ultimate Vocabulary and Strategy Board Game
The ultimate vocabulary and strategy board game! This thrilling and quick-playing word game for two or more players is the perfect addition to any game night! With a unique scoring system based on the letters used in your answer, this game keeps you on the edge of your seat as you race against the clock to come up with the perfect word. Simply flip over a card for the category, roll the die for the number of letters, and have 60 seconds to come up with the best word you can. With categories ranging from animals to movies, there’s something for everyone. Plus, with the added challenge of not being able to duplicate words with other players, you’ll have to think fast and be creative to earn the highest score. Wordup! is not only fun and exciting, but it also improves spelling and vocabulary skills.
Are You Looking for a Gift for Seniors Who Love Games?
Games bring people together like no other activity. It gives you a chance to talk, laugh, and sometimes learn. It’s a great way to spend time together and engage in some friendly competition. We hope this list of games is helpful. If you have suggestions for other games that make great gifts for older adults, please add them in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!