Popular Board Games

Popular Board Games

Ask any anthropologist–board games have been around pretty much as long as human civilization. Whether we’re talking about the simple game “Go” (played as early as 300 BC) or the more complex modern games like “Settlers of Catan”, board games are popular because they’re fun, they allow for playful competition, and your whole family or group of friends can play together.

Here are the five most popular board games listed by total number of games sold.

5. Risk

Though not as popular now as it was thirty or forty years ago, the game Risk is the classic world domination board game. Though multiple versions of Risk exist, the classic game can take hours or even multiple gaming sessions to complete, and maybe it is this complexity that is hurting the game’s popularity.

4. Scrabble

Though many people think of Scrabble as a “word game”, it is really a game of mathematics and strategy. That’s why mathematic brains almost always beat “word people” at a round of Scrabble.

Played with two to four players, and having inspired an almost religious following among board game fans, Scrabble is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to new versions of the game and a couple of documentaries centering on Scrabble players.

3. Checkers

Sometimes called “poor man’s chess”, checkers doesn’t get the kind of respect it deserves. The simple game of checkers is nearly as complex as chess, and there are endless variations of checkers to be found online and in gaming books. There are tournaments in checkers, both in America and around the world.

What seems like a simple game of “capture” is full of strategy, and long nights have been punctuated by murmurs of “King me” for hundreds of years.

Popular Board Games

2. Chess

It is difficult to track the sales numbers for games of chess–unlike Monopoly or many other board games, chess boards are manufactured by thousands of different companies. But this game’s popularity can’t be denied. Tournament chess, school chess teams, and the presence of chess in our popular culture establish this as one of the most popular board games in the world.

1. Monopoly

The best-selling board game of all time is still the “go to” board game for many people. Since the game appeared in 1935, more than 80,000,000 units have been sold. Parker Brothers prints more than 181 trillion dollars in Monopoly money every year, more than the total of real money that exists in the world.

Monopoly is unique for two reasons. First of all, it’s a real estate game. Secondly, there are many different versions of Monopoly to choose from. This year saw the release of “U Build Monopoly”, a version in which the game’s board is a little different every time you play.

Board games will always be popular because they bring people together. If you’re looking for a way to kill a few hours, or want to take your friends on in some serious competition, pick up one of these classic board games.

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