World’s Most Popular Board Games
Our guide to the most Popular Board Games will help you choose the best board games to buy.
All these games are big sellers, and with good reason: they are outstandingly fun. We’ve indicated who they’re suitable for above each picture.
Teen to Adult
Kids or Family
Teen to Adult
Teen to Adult
Teen to Adult
Top 10 Most Popular Board Games
The balance of power is shifting. While traditional board games, like Monopoly and Scrabble, make it to this list, you’ll see in our top ten best board games below that many of the most popular board games are deep, strategic games which reduce the luck element and reward careful planning and resource management.
Board gaming may seem more like work than play sometimes, especially when you’re struggling to grasp the rules of a huge new strategy board games release, but the trade-off is a much richer gaming experience.
We’ve tried to strike a balance here, giving board game buyers a choice of games for kids, teens, families and adults, with a mixture of traditional and modern popular board games.
“Serious” board gamers roll their eyes at this old chestnut and point out its flaws, but people love to play Monopoly games for a reason. This classic is still a great game to play, and there are versions for every city, sports team and TV or movie franchise, so you can find a perfect gift for the collector in your life.
This instant classic among party games for women has been a storming hit since its 2009 release, and it continues to be among the most popular board games for grown-up girls around. Funny and perfect for bachelorettes or girls’ nights in, you’ll laugh like drains.
Surely the most popular “real” board game of recent years, Settlers has sold more than 12m units worldwide.
It’s a great ‘gateway’ game between the more staid, luck-based games like Monopoly, and more serious titles like Puerto Rico. Loads of expansions make it playable for up to six players. For the ultimate board game gift, check out this amazing Settlers of Catan Treasure Chest edition.
4: Game of Life
As family games go, this evergreen classic should be on everybody’s list, especially now there are multiple Game of Life editions, including The Simpsons, Star Wars, Family Guy and Indiana Jones! It maintains its appeal despite games moving on a lot since its invention, for the simple yet effective life lessons hidden cunningly in the accessible gameplay.
5: Puerto Rico
A much more serious game now. Among serious gamers, the Puerto Rico board game is a smash. And it will be a revelation if you have grown up with straightforward games based mainly on luck. Strategic thinking is essential. Superb.
This card game is funny, great to look at, and better with groups of five, six or seven. The Bohnanza game revolves around planting and harvesting beans, and is easily portable. Strongly recommended.
Another ever-popular war strategy games classic that has enjoyed multiple variations in recent years, including sci-fi, movie, comic book and TV tie-ins. Risk board game sessions are invariably long, rugged, fueled on family feuds, snack food and laughter. Armchair generals will love it. May be a bit off-putting for people who don’t take games seriously.
While the classic Scrabble game has not changed much over the years, there are now multiple editions of Scrabble, plus tools for people who take their scoring VERY seriously! Check out this Scrabble word generator. Cool.
Don’t expect sessions to be laugh-a-minute. You will probably smell brain cells burning.
If your family is crazy about the original Star Wars trilogy, then brush up on your George Lucas knowledge with this collectible edition of Trivial Pursuit.
There are many Trivial Pursuit board games editions, most suited to collectors or fans of famous entertainment names. Accordingly you can buy The Beatles TP, Nightmare Before Christmas TP, Disney TP or Family Guy TP, to name a few, and the questions are themed, rather than just the artwork differing.
It’s simplistic, but not so simple that adults would rather poke their eyes out than play a couple of games with the young’uns, and plays well across mixed age groups, making it a good choice of games for family Christmas gatherings or other get-togethers.
Don’t see your favorite board games here? Send us board game reviews! You can also rate any of the two player games by clicking the comments links at the end of each review.
See also: Best Board Games Award Winners.