Best-Selling Board Games

The Best-Selling Board Games of All Time

For centuries, board games have been giving us some of the most fun and memorable moments of our lives. Nowadays, playing a board game provides quality time as we can put the screens aside for a change.

Like with everything else, everyone has different preferences when it comes to board games. However, some games have incredibly stood the test of time and, to this day, remain popular amongst millions and millions of people, despite their different preferences. Here, we’ll be discussing some of those games which are, deservingly, some of the best selling and most popular board games of all time.

Monopoly

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Monopoly
Monopoly

Pros

✓ Introduction to investing.
✓ Straightforward rules.
✓ Fun for the entire family.

Cons

✕ Everyone is tempted to make their own rules.
✕ A game can last a long time.

Characteristics

● Brand: Monopoly
● Number of players: 2 to 6
● Age: 8 years and over
● Duration of a game: 90 to 120 minutes
● Game type: Trade, construction, strategy

Monopoly has been around for over 85 years. The game consists of throwing the dice and moving according to the numbers shown. Each player can buy the property on which their token lands by paying its purchase price. If the player does not want to buy the property, then it is sold at auction by the bank, where the highest bidder gets the property. When a player owns all the properties of the same color, they can start building houses on them.

A property may not contain more than 4 houses, instead of buying a 5th house, the player will exchange the 4 houses already there for a hotel. A player who lands on another’s property must pay rent. The rent is doubled if the owner owns the entire color group.

The Chance and Community Chest cards indicate players to do certain actions. A player who has no money left must sell their properties or mortgage them. When they have nothing left, they are declared bankrupt and are eliminated from the game. The last player standing after everyone else has gone bankrupt is the winner.

Our opinion: The game is fun as it allows players to think of strategies to make the most money they can. It involves elements of both luck and decision making.

Uno

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Uno
Uno

Pros

✓ Fast-paced.
✓ Children can easily learn the rules.
✓ Many fun variations.

Cons

✕ Involves a lot of luck.

Characteristics

● Brand: Mattel
● Number of players: 2 to 10
● Age: 7 years and over
● Duration of a game: 15 to 30 minutes
● Game type: Cards, chance, memory

Uno is a card game where the cards are divided into 4 colors. Each color has cards numbered from 0 to 9 (two cards of each number, except for the 0). The game has a lot of action cards that make it more interesting and fun. The Draw Two card forces the next player to draw two cards and skip their turn, the Reverse card reverses the direction of play, the Skip card forces the next player’s turn to be skipped. And those are not all!

Each player receives 7 cards at the start of the game. The remaining cards are used as the draw pile. The top card of the draw pile is turned face up and placed in the center of the table to start the discard pile. Every turn, players place a card on the discard pile. The card they place must match the color or number of the top card of the discard pile. If they do not have any cards that they can play, they draw one card which they can play if possible.

The game continues in this fashion, often spiced up by action cards. The first to get rid of all of their cards wins the round. The points remaining in opponents’ hands are added up and awarded to the winner. When a player reaches 500 points, they win the entire game.
There are several great variations of Uno, like Uno Flip!

Our opinion: The game depends, in part, on chance, but the players can still use the action cards to purposefully gain an advantage. The more players there are, the more interesting the game becomes.

Go

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Go
Go

Pros

✓ Can be played anywhere.
✓ Educational.
✓ Suitable for children.

Cons

✕ Can be played with only 2 players.
✕ The way points are scored can divide players.

Characteristics

● Brand: WXY-DE
● Number of players: 2
● Age: 10 years and over
● Duration of a game: 60 minutes
● Game type: Intelligence, strategy, patience

The game of Go has been part of Chinese culture for thousands of years. Today, it is played all over the world. Known as an exercise for patience and intellect, it is played on the goban, a 19×19 grid of lines. The game is played with stones of two contrasting colors: black and white.

Players take turns placing their stones on the goban. A player captures the opponent’s stones by surrounding them from every direction. The game is over when both players have no more viable moves. A player’s score is counted based on the number of empty intersections surrounded by their stones. The player with the most points wins the game.

Before placing a stone, each player assesses the risk of that move. Once placed, a stone cannot be moved. The board can be made of wood, bamboo, or fabric.

Our opinion: Go is not only entertaining, it is an activity that requires good decision making and calculation; one badly placed stone can cost a player the entire game.

Chess

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Chess
Chess

Pros

✓ Strict rules that introduce players to discipline.
✓ Educational.
✓ Suitable for children and adults.

Cons

✕ A game can last a long time.

Characteristics

● Brand: Legler
● Number of players: 2
● Age: 7 years and over
● Duration of a game: 90+ minutes
● Game type: Strategy, intelligence

Chess is incredibly popular. There are several international tournaments that take place all over the world every year. However, this does not prevent people of all ages from learning it. The game is played on a board of 64 squares. The squares alternate in color, one half of them is dark colored, the other half is light colored. Each player has 16 pieces, divided into 6 types. The pieces are arranged on the chessboard in a specific order.

Every type of chess piece has different rules as to how it can move. The king can move in any direction, but only one square at a time. The queen also moves in all directions, but as many squares as she wishes, as long as there are no other pieces standing in her way. The rook is allowed to move vertically or horizontally as many squares as it wishes, however, like most pieces, it can’t jump over another piece. The bishop’s move is only diagonal with as many squares as it wants, but again, it cannot jump over another piece.

The knight moves in an “L” shape, and is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. Every player also has 9 pawns. The pawns can only move one square forward, and are not allowed to move backward. There are also some special moves that you should look into if you want to master the art of chess!

The game is over when the king is checkmated. Experienced players often use a clock to limit the amount of time each player takes to think.

Our opinion: This is a game that requires players to put a lot of thought into every move. A player’s strategy can change during the game. A single move can save the king or put him in check. Therefore, the duration of the game can widely vary.

Checkers

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Checkers
Checkers

Pros

✓ The rules are easy to understand.
✓ Short games.
✓ Entertaining for the whole family.

Cons

✕ The number of squares on the board can vary from one country to another.

✕ It’s easy to cheat.

Characteristics

● Brand: Dujardin
● Number of players: 2
● Age: 6 years and over
● Duration of a game: 20 minutes
● Game type: Strategy

Checkers has been around for centuries and is often found in many homes. The game takes place on a 10×10 square board. Each player places their 20 checkers on the first 4 rows. Only the dark squares are used in checkers.

A checkers piece can move only one square diagonally forward. A player can capture an opponent’s piece by jumping over it. A piece that reaches the farthest square of the opponent’s side is crowned and is then able to move in a straight line in any of the four directions, as many squares as desired. A crowned piece is often distinguished by placing another checker piece (one of the captured pieces) on top of it.

Capturing an opponent’s piece is mandatory, meaning that if it’s possible for a player to capture a piece, they have to make that capture. And if one capture enables the same piece to make another capture, the player has to make that capture as well, this goes on until no more captures are possible for that piece.

A player wins a game of checkers when their opponent can no longer make any moves (because all of their pieces have been captured or are blocked). A game can also end in a draw if neither player can force a win.

Our opinion: Checkers is an interesting, fun, and challenging game as long as both players have good knowledge of the rules. It’s important to make sure that both players agree on the same rules as they can slightly differ from one country to another.

Backgammon

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Backgammon
Backgammon

Pros

✓ Short games.
✓ Easy to play.
✓ An age-old game that appeals to all generations.

Cons

✕ The use of the doubling cube complicates the game.

Characteristics

● Brand: Ridley’s
● Number of players: 2
● Age: 15 years and over
● Duration of a game: 5 to 30 minutes
● Game type: Chance, strategy

Backgammon is a very old game that still appeals to people of all ages and is widely played all over the world. It is played on a board made up of 2 sides: one side is called the inner or home board, the other is called the outer board. There are 24 triangles on the board, on which the players move their checkers.

The objective of the game is to get all the checkers off the board. This is done by moving the checkers across the board until they reach the home board before the player is able to remove them. Each player rolls two dice. They then move one or two checkers, depending on the result of their dice roll and strategy. If the destination triangle is occupied by one of the opponent’s checkers, that checker is hit and is then placed on the middle bar that divides the two sides of the board. The player whose checker is on the middle bar can’t move any other checkers until they get that one back in the game.

A player can not remove their checkers from the board until they have managed to get them all in their home board. Then, by rolling the dice, they can start getting their checkers off the board one by one. The first player to get all of their checkers out of the board wins the game. During the game, a player may suggest raising the stakes by using the doubling cube. This is a die with the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64. The opponent can accept or reject this proposal.

Our opinion: The general principles are simple and allow players to have a good time. Players can agree upon some other rules to make the game more competitive.

Scrabble

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Scrabble
Scrabble

Pros

✓ Educational.
✓ The existence of an official Scrabble dictionary prevents arguments.
✓ Allows players to spend quality time with their family.

Cons

✕ More fun if the players are of the same level.
✕ Not accessible to little children.

Characteristics

● Brand: Mattel
● Number of players: 2 to 4
● Age: 10 years and over
● Duration of a game: 60 minutes
● Game type: Letters, intelligence

Even though there are various apps and online versions of Scrabble, the original board game still stands strong as a widely used means of entertainment for the entire family. Each player tries to find the longest word that would give them the most points. Each letter has a number that indicates its value, except the 2 blanks. The colored squares are premium squares that multiply the points for a letter or a whole word.

Each player receives 7 letters at the start of the game. The official Scrabble dictionary contains all the words accepted in the game, many of which are not used in everyday life. Players attach the letters they have to the ones that are on the board to make longer words that give them more points.

A player who manages to use all 7 letters in one turn receives a bonus of 50 points. The game is over when all of the letters have been used or when everyone passes their turn. After the game has ended, the value of the letters a player still has are deducted from their points. The player with the most points wins the game.

Our opinion: For the game to be as interesting as possible, the players must find the balance between forming long words and placing them on the premium squares. The game can be quite educational, especially if the players pay attention to all the words being played and not just their own.

Cluedo

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Cluedo
Cluedo

Pros

✓ Entertaining, thanks to the suspense.
✓ Teaches deductive reasoning.
✓ Teaches patience and not to throw accusations around.

Cons

✕ Incorrect accusations may frustrate some.
✕ Could be scary for small children.

Characteristics

● Brand: Hasbro
● Number of players: 2 to 6
● Age: 8 years and over
● Duration of a game: 45 minutes
● Game type: Mystery, investigation
This is an intriguing and fun game that allows players of all ages to feel like detectives. The objective is to identify the murderer, the weapon they used, and the location of the crime. These 3 elements are randomly determined through the Suspect cards, Weapon cards, and Location cards. These 3 cards are placed in the solution envelope.

The game takes place on a board that represents a mansion. Each player chooses a character. The players move on the squares, according to the result of the dice roll. A sheet of paper is given to each player, to write down the clues they found. The players can make suggestions which can help them determine the details of the crime.

When a player is sure they have found the solution, they make an accusation. They then check the cards inside the envelope to see if they were correct. If they are correct about all the details, they show their opponents and are declared the winner of the game. If they are wrong, they put the 3 cards back in the envelope without revealing them to anyone else. The player who made an incorrect accusation can no longer move and has effectively lost the game, but they still reveal their cards to other players when suggestions are made. The game continues for the others, until a player makes a correct accusation.

Our opinion: Cluedo offers a unique mix of thrill, mystery, and secrecy. It’s a great game that allows players to reach conclusions through logical reasoning.

Comparison Table

Monopoly Uno Go Chess Checkers Backgammon Scrabble Cluedo
Number of players 2 to 6 2 to 10 2 2 2 2 2 to 4 2 to 6
Age 8 years and over 7 years and over 10 years and over 7 years and over 6 years and over 15 years and over 10 years and over 8 years and over
Duration of a game 90 to 120 mins 15 to 30 mins 60 mins 90+ mins 20 mins 5 to 30 mins 60 mins 45 mins
Type of game Trade, construction, strategy Cards, chance, memory Intelligence, strategy, patience Strategy, intelligence Strategy Chance, strategy Letters, intelligence Mystery, investigation