It’s difficult to think of a more novel social video game concept than what Jackbox Games provides. With humble beginnings as Jellyvision, developing the quirky and off-color You Don’t Know Jack trivia series, Jackbox Games has now released seven annual compilations, with five original games each. Whether you’re sitting on a couch with friends or streaming to an audience on Twitch, the premise of using your phone to participate in wacky games like Quiplash, Fibbage, and Trivia Murder Party has remained a fun and sustainable concept.
We’ve ranked all eight of these Jackbox Packs in order of our least favorite to most favorite. The order of this list depends on how impactful each pack’s games were in providing an original experience and how many of those impactful games are in each pack.
The Jackbox Party Pack 5
Our least favorite Jackbox pack is still a pretty darn good one. The highlight here is Mad Verse City, which lets you create rhymes and compete against your fellow robot rappers to drop sick disses. The classic You Don’t Know Jack makes a return, and it throws even more curveballs. But at this point, You Don’t Know Jack began to pale compared to more popular games like Quiplash and Trivia Murder Party. Other games include Split the Room, the hilarious Patently Stupid, and an experimental action game called Zeeple Dome, the last being an odd fit for Jackbox.
The Jackbox Party Pack 2
The second Jackbox Party Pack might as well be called Quiplash: The Video Game. Quiplash XL serves as a one-liner contest, and it’s the game that everyone comes back to. But it’s the first part of a one-two punch, with the other being Fibbage 2. Unfortunately, the rest of the package isn’t as memorable, with sound effect game Earwax, auction game Bidiots, and co-op puzzle narrative game Bomb Corp. not making nearly as an impression.
The Jackbox Party Pack
The original Jackbox Party Pack built an excellent foundation for future titles, although it is admittedly tough to go back to. The marquee title is You Don’t Know Jack 2015, a chaotic and unpredictable trivia game. But the titles that grew a life of their own were quirky drawing game Drawful and an expanded version of “bluffing game” Fibbage called Fibbage XL. More recent Jackbox releases have better and expanded versions of these games, however. Other games include Word Spud and Lie Swatter.
The Jackbox Party Pack 7
By the time we reach The Jackbox Party Pack 7, things have gotten quite complicated. Quiplash 3 is a welcome entry, even though not much has changed save for a visual facelift. Games such as co-op game The Devils and the Details, text charades Blather ‘Round, drawing showdown Champ’d Up, and public speaking simulator Talking Points are all solid entries, but a bit more complex than the usual mainstay Jackbox titles.
The Jackbox Party Pack 6
Trivia Murder Party was the secret weapon of the third Jackbox collection, and now it’s the main attraction of The Jackbox Party Pack 6. It’s joined by Push the Button, a game similar to Werewolf or Mafia, but with a Jackbox tinge to it — it’s a solid game onto itself that preludes the explosion of popularity for Among Us. Dictionarium has fun wordplay, and Role Models is perfect for close friend groups, although Joke Boat feels more like a lighter version of Mad Verse City.
The Jackbox Party Pack 8
The looks and tunes of Jackbox are at near perfection by the time The Jackbox Party Pack 8 rolled up, but this collection proves that some old ideas can have some fresh blood. Drawful: Animate is a neat twist on classic Drawful, allowing players to have two entire frames of animation. But a game called Job Job is the standout, letting people rearrange other people’s written responses to create their own hysterical sentences. Meanwhile, The Wheel of Enormous Proportions, The Poll Mine, and Weapons Drawn are all incredibly creative, though your mileage will vary depending on your tolerance for wacky rulesets.
The Jackbox Party Pack 4
The fourth Jackbox Party Pack is where the series started to become stylish. Just look at Fibbage 3, which was brighter and more vibrant than any other Jackbox game before it. This pack even included Fibbage 3: Enough About You, which made the players the subjects of the game; it’s perfect for longtime friends or as an icebreaker for everyone else. That isn’t even to mention the other four titles, all of which are worthy entries: dating competition Monster Seeking Monster, Bracketeering, Survive the Internet, and Civic Doodle. Admittedly, the last of those games had some technical problems that prevented it from achieving the same greatness.
The Jackbox Party Pack 3
The Jackbox Party Pack 3 is where you can find the biggest hits of the series. Quiplash 2, Trivia Murder Party, and especially Tee K.O. is perhaps the best trifecta that any Jackbox Party Pack could contain. And these are all radically different games, too; once you open up this pack, there’s no need to go to another one. That isn’t to write off Guesspionage and the deception-focused Fakin’ It, both of which are overlooked. We hope that Tee K.O. will return in a future party pack, but for now, we’ll enjoy the real t-shirts we bought as a result of the hijinx from this game. We’re sure that you bought one too.