Family Playing Online Games
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19 Fun Online Games the Whole Family Can Play

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Family Playing Online Games
Morsa Images/istockphoto

The Home Team Advantage

Are you looking for an oasis of calm, control and cooperation in a topsy-turvy world? As explained on a recent Good Morning America segment, that's exactly what online games like the wildly popular Animal Crossing offer. But that's just the start of the fun you can have as the entire family plays, learns, and laughs together — even if you're not all in the same room, city or state. (If you prefer old school games, check out these 19 Fun Family Games to Keep You Entertained at Home.)

Related: 22 Things You Didn't Know About Your Favorite Board Games

Animal Crossing
Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Let's get this wildly, and rightfully, popular game out of the way first. Like its predecessors, the newest version of Animal Crossing takes place on a deserted island where there are no crises to deal with. Instead you create a home, interact with cute animal villagers, and enjoy the everyday activities of life like fishing and fossil hunting in a fun, relaxing environment.

Price: Free on most platforms, with in-game purchases

Words With Friends 2
Zynga Inc.

Words With Friends 2

Another comfortable favorite that's been around for a while, Words With Friends 2 is a Scrabble-like game that lets you go up against friends, family and strangers the world over. You can chat back and forth as you play, or focus on the game. And if you're tired of the whole online socializing thing, you can go up against fun, fictional characters in the game's solo mode.

Price: Free

Rummikub
Rummikub

Rummikub

If the card game Rummy melded with Mahjongg, the result would be Rummikub: a classic, tile-based game that has you creating different combinations of tiles as you race to use them all up. It's simple enough that most ages can play, but challenging — and against certain opponents, maddening — enough to keep the whole family entertained. Play online straight from your browser, or download the mobile app for free to connect with friends, family and players from all over the world.

Price: Free

Boggle With Friends
Zynga Inc.

Boggle With Friends

There's something hypnotizing about hunting for words in a jumble of letter blocks — you might even say it's downright educational. If you're a fan of the original Boggle tabletop game, you'll love Boggle With Friends, which lets you challenge friends or strangers from anywhere in the world.

Don't feel like downloading an app or playing with others? No problem: Puzzle Baron's WordTwist is an online version of Boggle that allows you to play solo, straight through your browser.

Price: Free

Minecraft
Mojang Synergies AB

Minecraft Realms

If you have young kids you may already be familiar with Minecraft, one of the most influential "sandbox" (world-building) games of all time. There is no specific goal to the game beyond mining raw materials and using them to build whatever suits your creativity, although you can collect achievements and choose between several different modes of gameplay.

This doesn't have to be a solo game; you can play with others through Minecraft Realms, a subscription-based hosting service that lets you invite others to join and co-create in your own private realm. The site also lets you restrict unwanted intruders from joining your online safe space.

Price: $27 + subscription fees for Minecraft Realms

Drawful 2
Jackbox Games

Drawful 2

Welcome to the most subversive, entertaining drawing game around. Drawful 2 is easy and innocent enough for small children to play, but funny enough to keep all ages entertained.

If you've ever played Pictionary, you'll be familiar with the first part of the game, where each player receives an individual clue and draws it out on their phone or tablet. But that's just the start, because next you have to guess what the other people were trying to draw. The description that gets the most votes wins.

Price: $10 (currently on sale for $5)

Fibbage
Jackbox Games

Fibbage

With Fibbage, you can spend your free time telling tall tales to your friends and family — and being rewarded for it. All players see a famous quote or factoid with an important word or phrase taken out, then fill in the blank on their own devices. Next, you all take turns guessing which answer was correct. Yes, you get points for having the correct answer — but you also get points for fooling other players with your lies.

Price: $10 (currently on sale for $5)

Wii Sports Club
Nintendo

Wii Sports Club

The Nintendo Wii may feel a little retro nowadays, but if you have a Wii U console kicking around — or feel like picking one up used — you can join in the fun of playing the Wii Sports Club, using the motion-detecting controllers to collaboratively — or competitively — play tennis, bowling, golf or baseball with anyone else who has the same equipment and a broadband connection.

Price: $100-$150 for a pre-owned model

Ticket to Ride
Days of Wonder Inc.

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is both a classic board game — and now, a mobile app — that you can play with up to four other people; or, bring in AI (artificial intelligence) opponents. Your goal is to claim the longest continuous railway possible across the map, while also connecting the distant cities you were assigned by the draw of a card.

Like most classics, Ticket to Ride is simple enough to learn in — which means it's great for all ages — but still interesting enough to keep you endlessly entertained.

Price: $7 + in-app purchases

Humble Asmodee's Digital Play With Friends Bundle
Humble

Humble Asmodee's Digital Play With Friends Bundle

Humble Asmodee offers a digital "play with friends" bundle, but they should really call it the "epic adventure bundle." If your kids are old enough to enjoy battling their way through fantasy realms, historic wars and fearful mysteries, these are the games for them — and the whole family.

Price: Varies, currently $1 and up

Don't Starve Together
Klei Entertainment

Don't Starve Together

Are you and your online friends (or family) ready to steer the misadventures of Wilson, an intrepid gentleman scientist, who was trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world? In Don't Starve Together, you'll explore the world, gather items, and craft your own survival strategy as the world tries to kill you off.

The animation and overall themes here might be a little too dark for children, but the game has a certain tongue-in-cheek whimsy, too. Anyone old enough to understand this clever game and its touches of sly humor may be enthralled as you all collaborate — or not — to survive.

Price: $15

Stardew Valley
ConcernedApe LLC

Stardew Valley

Who's ready for a change? In Stardew Valley, you get exactly that, as you retire from your office job and move to the farm you inherited from your grandparents. This game is a little grittier than Animal Crossing: As you carry out the everyday tasks of farm life, you'll also bond with the residents in town by doing favors or giving gifts, and maybe even asking a few out for a date.

There's also some combat involved when you explore nearby caves. But this whimsical game is still rated for everyone from age 10 and up, and the multiplayer mode can accommodate several friends online.

Price: $8

Tabletopia
Tabletopia

Classic (and New) Board Games on Tabletopia

If you love board games it's hard to beat Tabletopia, an online "sandbox" environment where you can play familiar board games with friends or strangers anywhere in the world, or explore new favorites you may never have heard of. There are familiar card and dice games too, like Texas Hold 'Em and Farkle, plus more exotic offerings like Raiders of the North Sea.

If there's an industrious young person in your life, you can even put them to work using Tabletopia's built-in editor to create an all-new (virtual) board game to play.

Price: Varies; often free

Related: Can You Guess These Famous Board Games by Their Pieces?

Psych!
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Psych!

If you enjoy Fibbage or the offline game Balderdash, you'll probably love Psych!. In this outrageous lying game, you and your friends make up fake answers to real trivia questions, then try to psych the other players into choosing your fake answer. It's quick, easy, and fast to play if you only have a little time.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Houseparty Games
Life on Air Inc.

Houseparty Games

Houseparty is primarily a hangout/video chat app — but it wouldn't be much of a party without games, would it? Several fun, multiplayer games are built right into the app, including Heads Up! (basically Charades); Chips and Guac (much like Apples to Apples); Quick Draw (much like Pictionary); and the self-explanatory Trivia.

Price: Free

Yahtzee with Buddies
SCOPELY

Yahtzee with Buddies

Here's another fun, family-friendly, and sometimes maddening game you won't find on other platforms: Yahtzee With Buddies. Compete against friends to make the best dice combinations, or challenge strangers and maybe even make a new friend.

Price: Free

Scattergories
MAGMIC Inc.

Scattergories

You'll have to think on your feet with Scattergories, an online version of the vocabulary-building (or is that vocabulary-busting) game with a twist of trivia. Play with friends or strangers as you scramble to make a long list of words that start with a random letter — but they only count if they're part of the category you're given, too.

Price: Free

Mario Kart Tour
Nintendo

Mario Kart Tour

If you feel like you're going nowhere, fast, you're not alone. Prove it to yourself by playing Mario Kart Tour on your smartphone, racing up to seven other people with fun, whimsical characters as you hustle to see who can get there first.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

PlayingCards.io
PlayingCards.io

PlayingCards.io

PlayingCards.io is your home base for playing card games online. Your digital deck or table full of cards will be synced with anybody you invite to join your room, but heads up: The one thing this platform doesn't offer is its own chat capability. You can substitute that in by using Zoom or even a good old-fashioned phone call to chat as you play.

Price: Free