Carcassonne is another modern classic both because of its simplicity and how the game can change based on how cutthroat the players want to be. On each player's turn they add a tile to the table slowing building out the area of Carcassonne. There are five different ways to score using your meeples. Meeples being, of course, the cute iconic game pieces that was first used in Carcassonne.
The tile you place has to match all of the features already on the table which can reduce the number of choices available to you. You rarely won’t be able to play a tile in your hand. What's more likely is the only place to play the tile will help your opponent. You also want to make sure that placing a tile doesn’t it make it impossible to complete features on the board or use your tile to make it impossible for an opponent to complete on their features!
The second part of your turn is putting one of your meeples on the tile you just placed - not on any of those already in play. Meeples can be a monk in an abbey, a trader on the road, a knight in the castle or a farmer in the field. Each of them score differently but the important point is they can’t be removed from the board until the task they were assigned is completed. This can be a problem if you don’t have any meeples on your turn then you aren’t going to be able to add to your scoring possibilities.
Carcassonne can be completely family friendly as players just try to use their tiles points and not interact very much and still have tons of fun. However, you can try to steal points from other players. While it is difficult to muscle in on someone's points, it is doable and that is where the game can really shine for a group of people going all out to win.
The simplicity of Carcassonne and how much fun it can be is why it is on many people's list of essential games to own. There are many expansions, modules, and reworkings of the classic which are fun as well. But to get your toes wet we recommend the original classic to see if it is the game for you.