I love self contained games which is why we love Appletters (well, that and it is super fun). Anything in the shape of an apple has to be cool.
All the tiles are placed face down on the table. Each player takes nine tiles and stands them up so the other players cannot see them. The player then makes a work and places it on the table. The next player makes a word using either the first or last letter of the word on the table. The words can be horizontal or vertical, and they can read top to bottom or left to right. If you can't make a word, you pick 3 (aff) tiles and pass. When you use up all your tiles, you yell out “how do you like them apples!” and win! Now, there are so many ways to modify this to make it easier and harder depending on the ages of your players (which I love!!). They include several ways to play this game with the instructions.
I love this game. It's educational. It's fun. It's easy to play different versions of it. It is self contained. I could go on and on, but this is definitely a game you want to check out!