9 Best Memory Board Games for Adults [2024 Update]

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Are you in search of the best memory board games that can satiate your thirst for playful mind-boggling action?

Board games are known to produce lots of benefits. One is increasing cognitive function such as mental agility, intellectual clarity, and even memory retention.

If you decided to play memory board games (not just the pure luck or pure strategy ones), wouldn’t playing board games become a lot more valuable?

In this post, we share with you a list of the best memory board games for adults that you can use to enhance your intellectual skills.

We carefully picked and reviewed these games to fit most adults’ preferences in terms of level of difficulty, entertainment, and even appearance.

Before we proceed, if you don't have time to read the entire review, here's a quick look at the best memory board games for adults:

Let’s check them out!

1. Trivial Pursuit

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When it comes to memory games, Trivial Pursuit should definitely be on the list, since it is a game of knowledge and memory. Most expert games would agree that it significantly improves cognitive function and memory retention.

There are more than 2,000 trivia questions in this game, and they are divided into six categories: sports and leisure, science and nature, art and literature, history, entertainment, and geography. While most of the questions involve general knowledge, some require outstanding intelligence in order to be answered.

The game comes in several editions, but we highly recommend the Master Edition for adults. This version seems to have more intriguing and challenging questions, and also comes with a timer to make the game more exciting.

An example of a question would be: “How many syllables does the second line of a haiku have in English?” The answer is 7—did you know that?


  • Fun and exciting enough for gamers; easy and simple enough for beginners.
  • Good for exercising the brain and improving cognitive abilities like memory retention.
  • Initiates smart conversations among players and allows you to acquire new knowledge.


  • It may not be suitable for those who prefer strategic games or luck-based games.

2. Ticket to Ride

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Ticket to Ride is more of a strategic game than a memory game.

However, it still deserves to be on this list since it can cultivate the mind and sharpen critical thinking skills. In fact, it is a recommended board game for the elderly because it keeps the brain active and operational.

The goal of the game is simple: to connect the railway routes that unite all the cities of North America. You win the game by matching train cards and accomplishing missions and objectives. The player with the most number of points and longest completed routes is the winner.

This game can last up to 30 to 60 minutes or even more, depending on each player’s ability. If one or all the players are wise enough to come up with exceptional strategies, then the game can last for more than two hours. Geographical knowledge isn’t enough—you also need a sound strategy to win.


  • The elements, artwork, and design of the game are all exceptional.
  • Hastens memory retention through memorizing all the cities of North America.
  • Perfect for adults who like playing travel-themed, strategic board games.


  • Some consumers complain that the gamebook is a bit difficult to understand for beginners.

3. Scrabble

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There have been many claims that the classic game of Scrabble is good for the brain—not just for memory retention, but also for other cognitive abilities like critical thinking, focus and concentration, and task recognition. Most of these claims are based on scientific studies and psychological experiments.

Scrabble is widely known to improve your vocabulary, but it also enhances your brain activity. In one study, it was found to considerably reduce the risk of age-related mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

For adults and the elderly, it is highly recommended to avoid the early onset of memory loss, forgetfulness, and aging.

Currently produced by game-manufacturing giant Hasbro, Scrabble is believed to be one of the best board games ever made. Its simplicity and ease of play makes it suitable for all age groups.

Whether you are a kid, a teen, an adult, or an elderly person looking for a fun and educational game, Scrabble is a great option.


  • A suitable game for anyone, regardless of age and gender.
  • Has been around for many years, and is a proven classic.
  • Many evidence-based studies confirm its ability to help with cognitive illnesses.


  • You need a paper and pen (or your mobile phone) to record your scores.
  • Might be a bit difficult at first for those with standard vocabulary skills.

4. Chess

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Similar to Scrabble, the game of Chess is one of the most beneficial board games ever made. Not only is it fun and entertaining, this game also plays a significant role in improving your mental abilities and physical health.

Chess also acts as a great stress reliever, especially for those who suffer from anxiety and panic disorders.

The goal of the game is simple: Win the match by cornering the opponent’s king and putting it in an inescapable position on the board. Of course, there are other rules to remember, such as the movement of each piece. But the ultimate objective is to be the last player standing.

We highly recommend Chess not just for adults, but also for kids and the elderly. Recently, it has been used as a form of therapy for several kinds of mental illness, such as memory loss, trauma, and dementia.

If you are looking for a memory board game, why not try this classic?


  • Several studies back up the claim that it is beneficial for cognitive function.
  • Has been around for many years and is a proven classic
  • The game is available in different variations, such as Rhombic Chess and Masonic Chess.


  • Might be a little complicated for those who prefer lighter, easier board games.
  • Be careful with your seller, as some chess boards are not as sturdy as the original ones.

5. Clue

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Clue is technically a mystery board game, which means that you need to bring out the detective in you so you can win.

You also have to remember every single detail as the game ensues (e.g., which cards belong to whom, which weapons have been revealed, etc.) in order to win.

There are three things you need to figure out to win the game: who the culprit is, where the crime was committed, and what weapon was used. Each player takes the role of a character in the game. Whoever successfully discovers the answer to the three questions wins.

If you are looking for a game that can harness not just your memory retention skills, but also your logic and deductive reasoning skills, then Hasbro’s Clue is the answer. Indeed, an outstanding sense of focus and mental clarity is needed to win this game—it is not purely based on luck.


  • Improves logical and deductive reasoning abilities.
  • Enhances the mind’s ability to retain information in a short period.
  • Great way to train adults and young adults for implementation of strategic skills.


  • Not recommended for those who like light, easy games.
  • Not recommended for those who like short games.

6. Betrayal at House on the Hill

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Betrayal at House on the Hill is a horror board game that allows you to be the master of your fate. There are no pre-determined, boring endings—you either win or lose based on how you perform during the game and how you designed everything before the start of the game.

What you need to succeed in this game are exceptional strategic and critical thinking skills. You also need to be creative and resourceful because you will be building your own haunted house.

The trick comes when you play with the others to escape the devious monsters and creepy rooms you created. You literally need to figure out a way to get out of your own hell.

Here’s why it’s a memory board game: You need to pay close attention to the actions and words of your teammates because, one of them is a traitor.

Who is deceiving you? Who told you to enter that room? What did the other player say when you have decided on a move? You have to take note of all possibilities in order to avoid or defeat the traitor.

We highly recommend this game for adults who like mysterious, deception-based games that are somewhat heavy, yet also exciting. It doesn’t just test your decision-making and problem-solving skills, it also stretches your brain’s ability to remember and keep track of things.


  • The game has high replay value since there is no definite, unchanging ending.
  • The board game’s artwork and design is rather exceptional.
  • Quite useful for those who want to practice their cognitive abilities and memory retention.


  • Not recommended for those who like playing short and easy games.

7. Catan

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Catan is a civilization-building game that includes growing crops, trading goods, constructing buildings, and settling homes—a game made specifically for those who are good in business and leadership. Technically it is more of a strategy game than a memory one.

Nevertheless, an outstanding memory is still necessary to win this game. After all, you need to remember your plan and note your opponent’s moves to proceed.

If you are an adult looking for a game that can stimulate your mind, we recommend checking out Catan and all its expansion sets. It will improve your mental functions, including mental retention, focus, and concentration.


  • Has a high replay value because there are several possible endings.
  • Most suggested for those who have a knack for entrepreneurship and business.
  • Trusted and recommended by a lot of satisfied gamers, both experts and beginners.


  • May not be suitable for very young players (but there is Catan, Jr. for kids).
  • Be careful with your seller, as some deliver in poor quality and condition.

8. Monopoly

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The classic game of Monopoly takes a lot of patience and understanding. But this difficulty is what makes the game wonderful and enjoyable.

Would you rather have a very easy game that you can finish in 10 minutes, or a more challenging game that lasts a long time and tests your mental abilities? Monopoly is a classic that has been around for decades but remains as popular as ever.

Monopoly is also a great memory game. Aside from the fact that you have to memorize many rules and guidelines, you also have to be able to recall your opponents’ strategies and actions.

We recommend the classic Monopoly board game to adults who are looking for an evening of thought-provoking entertainment. You will not only use your critical thinking skills, but also have to rely on memory retention and deep concentration.


  • A great game to teach business and entrepreneurship.
  • Significantly improves focus, concentration, and memory retention.
  • A classic game that is loved by most gamers, whether beginner or experts.


  • The original version is not recommended for very young children (there is Monopoly for kids, though).
  • Not recommended for those who like games with shorter playtime.

9. Pandemic

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We believe that Pandemic is more than just a cooperative strategy game. You need to have great memory retention skills to survive. You need to be attentive and watchful so that you can decide your next move.

This is a cooperative game, so there is no need to worry about the other players being your opponents. There is only one opponent, and that is the pandemic.

You have to be on your guard and do whatever it takes to prevent the spread of the disease, and to save humanity by finding the cure. To do this, the key is to plan and strategize with the whole team.

It is important that all players memorize the moves of their teammates. Since this is a cooperative game, one wrong move from a single player can cause everyone’s demise. For the benefit of all, everyone must be able to keep track of their individual and combined actions.

We recommend Pandemic for those looking for a game that is easy to learn and understand yet thrilling enough to be considered worthwhile.


  • A great game for those who have dreamt of becoming medical heroes or scientists.
  • A good way to improve mental abilities like decision-making, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
  • Has high replay value because of several possible outcomes.


  • Instructions can get a little tricky for those who are new to playing board games.
  • Not recommended for adults in small groups (e.g., two to three players).

Final Thoughts on Memory Games for Adults

These memory board games are not just meant to help you develop your mental abilities—they are also designed to help you become emotionally healthy. Especially for adults who might find it hard to deal with the daily stresses of life, these games can lessen their worries and anxieties.

We hope that, through this list, we were able to help you find the best memory board games for you and your friends. As an adult, it is sometimes difficult to find the time to enjoy life, but we hope that you will try at least one or two of these in your spare time.

And if you're looking for more board games, be sure to check out these blog posts:

memory board games for adults| best memory board games | critical thinking board games for adults
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