Our List Of The Best Classic Board Games

I love board games, I think there is something genuinely special about getting people together to sit around a table and play together. It’s something you just don’t get from video games, which I also love. As much as I love my video games, the best classic board games can be timeless, whereas video games typically don’t age very well.

That’s why I think this list might be one of my favorites, because this list would probably be about the same even if I wrote it ten years ago. These games have withstood the test of time and remain some of the best games you can find out there. To help you narrow down your options of which of the best classic board games to pick from, we’ve put together our list of games that you’ve probably heard of but perhaps have not tried. There’s a reason these games have been around and so popular for so long. Everyone should play these games at least once in their lifetime.

Classic Board GamesAgePlayersBest WithPlaytimeRating
(1-5) Stars
No Stress Chess

7+22 players~4.5 Stars4.5
Balderdash Game

12+2~65~6 plyrs60 min5 Stars5
Clue The Classic Edition

8+3~64+ plyrs45 min5 Stars5
The Game of Life

10+2~64+ plyrs45 min4.5 Stars4.5
Risk Game

10+2~54 plyrs120 min4.5 Stars4.5
Sorry Classic Edition Board Game

6+1~42+ plyrs20 min4.5 Stars4.5
Monopoly - The Classic Edition

8+2~84+ plyrs45 min4.5 Stars4.5
Scrabble Diamond Anniversary Edition

8+2~44 plyrs90 min4.5 Stars4.5
Candy Land - The Kingdom of Sweets Board Game

3+2~42+ plyrs30 min4.5 Stars4.5
Parcheesi Royal Edition

8+2~44 plyrs30 min4.5 Stars4.5
Hi Ho Cherry-O

3+2~42+ plyrs15 min4.5 Stars4.5
Classic Yahtzee

8+2+4 plyrs35 min4.5 Stars4.5
UNO Attack!

7+2~104+ plyrs30 min4.5 Stars4.5
Pictionary - The Game Of Quick Draw

12+3+4+ plyrs30 min4.5 Stars4.5

For two players- Chess


This one might be a bit of a given. Chess is the quintessential head-to-head battle of the minds. I can’t honestly say that I play that much Chess, but every time I go back and play, I’m astounded by the complexity and amount of thought that must be put into every individual move. If you’ve never played before, it won’t take very long to memorize all the different movements that are available to each piece.

 

But, learning how things move is only about 4% of what makes up the learning curve in the game of Chess. People commonly hear about the concept of having to think several moves ahead with every turn that a player takes, and that is absolutely true. Chess requires a level of foresight that takes time to acquire, and that may also be its biggest turnoff for people. The learning curve is a bit steep and intimidating, but Chess is not for the weak-minded. If you want to commit yourself to getting good at Chess, you should probably accept that you will be bad at Chess for a while before that actually happens.

 

Party- Balderdash


Balderdash is a great party game because the gameplay is generally rather fast, and players can be good at it without actually knowing any of the answers. In fact, if you know most of the answers in Balderdash, you should probably pick up an application with NASA. This game favors people that are better at sounding like they know what they’re talking about more than it favors players that actually know what they’re talking about.

 

In Balderdash, all players except for the judge are given a word/phrase/acronym/etc., and are required to provide a definition of that word/phrase/acronym/ etc. The judge is responsible for reading everyone’s answers and deciding which one they think is correct. If the judge guesses the correct answer, they get to roll the dice to advance on the board. If a player has their answer chosen, they get a roll of the dice.

 

This game can be tame and stimulating, or at times raucous and silly. It’s great for hosting a group of friends that you know has an interest in wordplay. English majors tend to be great at this game, which, as a writer, is fine by me.

 

Family- Clue


Clue is looked on as a piece of pop culture now. It has been turned into a movie and has been referenced in the media an uncountable number of times. It caught on with so many people so quickly that it makes you wonder how it’s even possible that you don’t hear anyone actually talking about the game itself anymore.

Clue is a great time for those that like a heavy dose of mystery with their tabletop gaming. That strong thread of “who dunnit” that runs throughout the game makes for a terrific climax at the end of every play session. Laughter and finger-pointing are a staple of Clue, and it has just the right amount of goofiness to it that people are reminded to not take the game too seriously. After all, has anyone ever really been murdered with a candlestick? I’m sure the answer to that is yes, but that’s besides the point. Play Clue, it’s really fun.

 

Kids- Life


The game of Life actually has a surprising amount of life lessons contained within its gameplay. The most important thing I learned when playing Life was that things are not going to go according to plan. But also that things will probably work for the best, even if it doesn’t look anything like you had expected.

 

The game contains a wheel to spin at the beginning of every turn, which every kid will love. And the game is constantly changing because of the different circumstances that Life will thrust onto you like having another child or having your house foreclosed on. Life is entertaining enough for adults, and is interesting for kids because they get to feel like adults for a little while by making adult decisions. Life was a regular during my childhood, and I think every kid should play it at one point or another.

 

Strategy- Risk


The way I like to think about Risk is that it is a global chess match between several different parties. Of course, the game can also be played with just two people, which can create some very interesting stare-downs (literally and metaphorically). This was another game that I played with my brothers all the time growing up, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I saw that this game was built from the ground up for groups of siblings to sit around a board and get mad at each other.

 

Few games can bring on such an immediate and powerful urge to flip over a game board, especially for something as inconsequential as losing the Ukraine. By the middle of your first game you will understand both why this game can be so fun and why this game can be so difficult. You have to constantly be thinking about the distribution of your troops and where the next threat is coming from. Risk is the very definition of a classic board game, and should be experience by everyone that calls themselves a gamer at least once. Just remember, someone you are playing with will stab you in the back and it will make you want to scream. The joy comes later when you’re able to get them back, hopefully.

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