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Classic Board Games Everyone Should Own

Classic board games to break out on game night

Who doesn’t love a classic board game? A night in with friends or family becomes a trip down memory lane when you’re getting competitive over games that have been popular for decades. Their longevity speaks to the level of entertainment they provide. Take, for instance, chess. Though not the oldest board game—that honor goes to the ancient Egyptian game Senet, created in 3,500 B.C. and originally played on rectangular slabs made of wood, limestone, or faience—the classic two-player game is old.

Chess was first played around the sixth century A.D. and is to this day the top-selling board game of all time. Sales have soared since the release of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. In fact, Goliath Games revealed to the New York e-sms Times that sales of chess sets were up more than 1,000 percent shortly after the series released in 2020. Following chess, checkers, backgammon, Monopoly, and Scrabble are among the top five most popular board games.

Whether you like to play the best card games or prefer to think ten steps ahead in one of your favorite strategy board games, one of these classic board games will suit your taste. So press pause on the online board games tonight and settle in with an oldie but goodie. And get ready for the most fun game night yet.

Monopoly

According to the Hasbro website, Monopoly is the world’s favorite family gaming brand. Brand, because while the original Monopoly game is still going strong, there are now more versions than anyone can count, including ones based on Star Wars, Empire, Disney princesses, and even Minions. You can find electronic and on-the-go versions, plus an app for every device.

Guess Who?

This two-player game started over 40 years ago, it has now been updated with character art that fits the 21st century: The original version had only five female characters (out of 24) and no non-white characters at all. This version has 11 female characters and 14 characters of color. Kids love flipping the characters and asking inventive questions to try to guess each other’s mystery character. It’s a classic for a reason.

Rummikub

Rummikub (pronounced “rummy-cube”) is definitely one of the most fun board games for families. Players take turns placing numbered tiles in sequential runs and groups of the same. Jokers add spice and interest, and the first player to use all their tiles wins. The game is simple enough for kids to get but engaging enough for adults. If you don’t already have Rummikub in your game chest, it’s worth adding.

Scrabble

Scrabble has been one of the go-to classic board games for wordsmiths and puzzle lovers for decades. From 1984 to 1990, a Scrabble-based game show ran on television. And although the classic board hasn’t changed much throughout the years, Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, which contains over 100,000 usable Scrabble words, is now in its sixth edition and includes new words like bitcoin, emoji, and facepalm.

Sorry!

For years, the look and rules of Sorry! remained pretty much the same. But in 2013, some rules were updated and other changes were made. Before, players started with four pawns, but now they get only three pawns. And two new cards, Fire and Ice, were added. Special editions of this family board game include those that feature Disney villains and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Trouble

Get ready to hit that famous Pop-o-Matic and watch the dice roll. The classic Trouble game has remained pretty much the same since it launched in the 1960s, but recent special editions feature Trolls, Star Wars, and Olaf from Frozen. A smaller grab-and-go version means Trouble can follow you wherever you go.

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