Best Board Games of All Time

Board games have come to be an integral part of everyday family life in the United States.  We laugh over them, we cry over them, we get angry over them, these iconic symbols of America’s favorite pastimes have the potential to evoke a plethora of human emotions.  So many people want to be the proud inventors of one of these relics of society, but only a few actually succeed in creating a legacy.  Here are the top ten board games of all time.

1. Monopoly

There are few households in the United States without at least a dust-covered version of this game in some nook or cranny.  Monopoly is the classic game that teaches kids to love money, as they circle the board buying or selling properties, paying taxes, and going to jail.  The character pieces in this game are simple, everyday objects, made of metal.  This game has even inspired sweepstakes for the restaurant McDonald’s; its impacts are that far-reaching.

2. Scrabble

Scrabble is certainly not a board game for the faint of heart, as it requires brute intelligence and a way with words and letters. In this game, players draw seven tiles at a time, each with one letter of the alphabet on them (there are also two elusive blank tiles, which can be used to represent a letter of choice by the player who lays it down). Players then connect their letters to those of other words that have been played by the other opponents, and scores are determined by how common each letter is in the English language, as well as where the tile is laid down triple word scores are the most sought-after spaces in Scrabble.

3. Parcheesi 

Although Parcheesi has been marketed as “the classic game of India”, every American household that owns this game has been captivated by the utter simplicity of this game.  Today, the game’s playing pieces are colorful animal figurines that might be found in India water buffaloes, tigers, camels, and elephants.  The object of the game is to circle the board and get all four of your players “home” by rolling the dice.  Safety spaces and blockades make this objective more difficult than it seems.

4. Risk

Risk has the perfect balance of luck and skill required in a board game, in my humble opinion.  In Risk, players attempt to take over the world, using armies that fight by rolling the dice.  Strategic placement of the colored cubes that represent armies can almost guarantee a player a win, except for the element of dice rolling in this classic board game.  Because of this element, Risk can be fun for people of nearly all ages with a basic understanding of numbers and war.
5. Candyland
In terms of board games that appeal to children under the age of eight, Candylandmay be at the top of the list.  The mere ambience created by this simple game evokes general feelings of happiness and being carefree.  In this game, players draw cards that have different colored squares on them, and a player moves his piece to the next square of that color, until he reaches the end of the board.  Passing through lollipop lands and gumdrop forests spark kid’s imaginations and pique their interests.6. Life

Life is the classic game in which players live out imaginary lives by circling a board, drawing life tiles and
earning money depending on their professions and levels of education.  Disaster can strike, children are born, and insurance must be paid in this semi-realistic (but luckily stress-free because it is only a board game) representation of real life.  Players move about the board in cars by spinning
a dial of the numbers one through ten.

7. Clue  
Clue is one of the few board games to have inspired a movie, which was released in 1985.  This game caters to those players with interest in mysteries, as players try to discover by moving through different rooms on the board just who killed Mr. Body.  To correctly solve the mystery, a player must deduce which character killed him, as well as in which room the crime was committed and with which weapon. Although the concept may seem somewhat gruesome, this game has earned its place in the majority of American households.
8. Sorry!
 
Sorry encourages politeness from the players as they bump each other off their spaces.  This four-player game requires opponents to draw numbered cards and successfully take all four of their playing pieces around the board and safely into their home spaces.  Because only one playing piece can be on a space at a time, when a player lands on his or her opponent, he must say “sorry!” before sending that player back to the start.

9. Mouse Trap 

Although this game can be frustrating at times, most people have played it at least once in a lifetime.  Mice-shaped playing pieces move about the board on spaces that instruct players to build part of the mouse trap or collect cheese pieces. Once the mousetrap has been completely built, whichever player traps the other players in the mousetrap first wins. The colorful pieces in this game appeal to small children.
10. Chess
Although this game is not loved by all, most people at least have a basic understanding of this board game that simulates war. This may be one of the few board games that has been sold for upwards of $100,000, depending on the material from which the playing pieces are constructed. The object of this two-player game is to kill your opponent’s king, at which point you have won the war. The various playing pieces have different abilities in movement, and players alternate moving one piece at a time.

These are the top ten board games of all time, although there are many noteworthy board games that couldn’t make this exclusive list. Because board games have become such an integral part of American society, there are thousands of different games that have been invented, and a great many others that are sure to come in the future. Because of this, there are games out there for everyone, depending on one’s interests, and even if only for purposes of nostalgia, everyone should indulge in playing at least every once in a while.

Best Board Games for Adults

Americans have created thousands upon thousands of board games through the years. Classics include Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Connect Four, and Mousetrap. However, games like these target children under the age of eight, yet nearly every American plays a board game at least a couple of times a year. This is because board games span a number of different categories and target audiences, and that is why we want to make a list of the top ten board games for adults.1. Scrabble
Scrabble requires a high level of reading comprehension and knowledge of the English language that most children do not possess, and thus targets adult audiences. In this game, players draw seven tiles at a time, each with one letter of the alphabet on them (there are also two elusive blank tiles, which can be used to represent a letter of choice by the player who lays it down). Players then connect their letters to those of other words that have been played by the other opponents, and scores are determined by how common each letter is in the English language, as well as where the tile is laid down triple word scores are the most sought-after spaces in Scrabble.

2. Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit challenges players knowledge of the everyday world and popular culture, and is thus geared toward an older audience. Players roll the die to move to different spaces on a wheel around the board, and there are six main categories that each space may cover. When a player lands on a space, he answers a question from the category that is covered on that space. Once a player has landed on the six spaces that reward a player for a correctly answered question in each category, the player moves to the center of the wheel and answers a question of the choice of his or her opponent, and if he or she does so correctly, he or she wins. This game has been reproduced with several different themes, such as Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings.

3. Balderdash

Although the name of this game does not seem to cater to adults, Balderdash requires a superior knowledge of the English language to be successful. A die is rolled, and the person who rolls the highest becomes the “dasher”, and chooses a word on a card for the other players to define. They may either define the word correctly or make up a faulty but convincing alternative definition. Then all players guess from all the definitions available which is the correct one, and points are awarded accordingly. When a definition is guessed correctly, a player moves his token one space on the board, and the first player to reach the end wins.

4. Chess

If you want a sophisticated board game, chess may be at the top of the list. Chess is probably one of the few board games that has been sold for upwards of $100,000, depending on the material from which the playing pieces are constructed. The object of this two-player game is to kill your opponent’s king, at which point you have won the war. The various playing pieces have different abilities in movement, and players alternate moving one piece at a time. The heritage and sophistication of this classic game give it an appeal that is more mature than most board games.

5. Risk

Risk has the perfect balance of luck and skill required in a board game, in my humble opinion. The sophistication of the concept of this game caters to adult audiences. In Risk, players attempt to take over the world, using armies that fight by rolling the dice. Strategic placement of the colored cubes that represent armies can almost guarantee a player a win, except for the element of dice rolling in this classic board game. Because of this element, Risk can be a relaxing yet strategic game for mature audiences.

6. Life

Like Risk, Life is another board game that can be relaxing and fun for adult audiences. Life is the classic game in which players live out imaginary lives by circling a board, drawing life tiles and earning money depending on their professions and levels of education. Disaster can strike, children are born, and insurance must be paid in this semi-realistic (but luckily stress-free because it is only a board game) representation of real life. Players move about the board in cars by spinning a dial of the numbers one through ten.

 
7. Backgammon

This board game embodies the sophisticated simplicity that appeals to the adult board-game playing population. In this two-player game, opponents move their playing pieces around the board in opposite directions, trying to both eliminate their opponent’s pieces by landing on them, and moving all their pieces to their inner table, in order to move the pieces home. The first player to move all their pieces home wins.

8. Checkers

Similar to but more simple than chess, checkers is a two-player game in which opponents alternate moving their pieces. The first player to eliminate all of the opponent’s pieces wins. Checkers can be played casually with your family or even in tournaments for the avid fan. In many cultures it’s the game to play with neighbors and relatives. Yes, even over chess.

 
9. Pictionary

This game appeals to adult audiences because of its interpretive nature. Players move around the board by correctly guessing what their teammates draw, and the first player to reach the end of the board wins.

10. Monopoly

There are few households in the United States without at least a dust-covered version of this game in some nook or cranny. Monopoly is
the classic game that appeals to those who love money, as they circle the board buying or selling properties, paying taxes, and going to jail. The character pieces in this game are simple, everyday objects, made of metal. The real estate-inspired nature of this game caters to adult audiences.

Although board games were originally intended for children, adults can have just as much, if not more, fun with these iconic American pastimes. Whether they serve for relaxation purposes or for purposes of competition, board games that target adult audiences are among the most popular in the United States.