Our latest game that we got and is really addictive is called Ticket to Ride. I had been hearing good things about this game and then saw on Twitter few weeks ago that the iPhone version was free so we both downloaded it and Jenn especially is hooked on it. We were so hooked that for Valentines Day I got us the board game version it has been great Really looking forward to introducing this one to our friends. Last time I checked the app was free so you may wanna check it out.
Some of our other games are Settlers of Catan and Dominion which both are really good. Catan you try to collect resources so you can expend your settlement through roads and towns and try to build the biggest settlement. Dominion is a card based game probably similar to Magic (which you probably have heard of). One of the most interesting things about those two games and even Ticket to Ride is that there are expansions to the game that add different ways to play so if you are getting tired of playing these you get the expansion and add a whole other experience to the game.
The best game we have to get people to play with out too much coaxing would be Wits & Wagers. Basic idea is you read a card with some crazy question like "How far in miles is it form earth to the moon?" Then everybody makes a guess and you make bets on who is closest without going over. A new rule needs to be made though. You can't have iPhone's Siri close by because she just told me it is 249,215 miles.
One of the downsides to these designer board games is that they are not cheap. You aren't going to pick these up for $20. When I went to Barnes & Noble for Ticket to Ride, it was $50 but I was able to pick it up on Amazon for $38. The really nice thing about these games is that they are not cheaply made and everything we have has been great quality so it's a little understandable. I think the price is worth it especially if you get a lot of playing time out of them. The other downside seems to be barrier of entry, it's not easy to bring out Dominion and get people interested in playing it, especially when the see all the cards envolved. My advice would be to start easy. Anybody would enjoy Ticket to Ride and super easy to get started. We started with Settlers of Catan and that wasn't to hard to get used to playing a different type of game then you are probably used too.
So instead of sitting around the house watching TV or going out to some bar, go out and get you a board game, junk food and maybe some alcohol and invite some friends over to try something new.