I remember an old Richard Lewis joke which asked, “Why are board games so boring?” Many of you may not even know who Richard Lewis is and find his humorous question anything but amusing. Because after all, board games are not boring at all. Here’s a list of the top ten board games ever and we hope you agree with our list. If you’d like to re-rank the list, please do so in the comments section below. Or just add some of your faves. We can’t wait to see them.
Top Ten Board Games
10. Ticket to Ride
Some of the best games are put out by Days of Wonder. Ticket to Ride can be played with 2-5 players and it’s not too lengthy (30-60). This is a railroad game and building railroads, claiming routes, completing trips. The game is fun and can be nasty at times (depending on who your competitors are). Great art work is a plus.
9. Candy Land
This is one of my favorite games. It’s simple. It’s fun. It’s actually timeless. Over the years, the board has changed, the age range has changed but the fun has remained the same. If you’re a traditionalist like I am, you’ll want to get a version of this game you might find at a yard sale or at a thrift shop. The earlier versions have much better artwork.
People have been enjoying collecting rents from friends and family members since 1934, the height of the Great Depression. Whether you buy properties by your favorite color, or you like to go after the luxurious Boardwalk and Park Place, or your prefer the railroads, everyone seems to love Monopoly. The only thing that will turn someone off to the game, is that over exuberant friend or family member who takes going directly to jail a bit too seriously.
Clue is the ultimate detective board game. I couldn’t wait until my son was old enough to learn this game. He loves it and I love playing it with him or for that matter, with anyone. If you’re not familiar with Clue, the object is to find out who committed the crime, where it was committed and with what weapon. This is really a game of elimination. Each turn, you can take guesses as long as you’re in a room. My favorite room is the library. What’s yours?
Risk is another one of those games that has changed over the years. I’ve seen the retro wooden box version of the game and they look amazing. I’ve had an 80s version for years. Just recently I think I upgraded to the 21st century and not only does the board have an updated look, I found the rules had changed quite a bit too. This is a game of world domination. You fight for countries, continents, capital cities, and more. You must have three people to make this exciting, but you can make it work for two if you just don’t have many friends or a large family.
More popular in Europe than it is in the USA. Some board games are good for small groups but Activity is good for 3=16 players. This could be the cause of some really wild times at a family game night. I think of Pictionary, Charades and the old game show The $100,000 Pyramid. Activity is a phrase or word guessing game. A player draws a card and has to explain it, draw it or act it out for others. The more creative you are, the more likely you are to win. Sounds fun. This game is on few top ten board games lists and we couldn’t even find a link on Amazon for you to buy it. If you find a link, please let us know.
4. Dungeons and Dragons
First published in 1974, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) has been popular for two generations of teens and young adults. All ages now play D&D. Basketball player Tim Duncan and comedian Stephen Colbert love the game. D&D is known as the RPG fantasy game that propelled the RPG genre into immense popularity. In the late 1970s/early 1989s D&D was so popular on college campuses that some people would play the game in real life underneath their campuses in tunnels that housed electrical and gas lines and in sewers.
3. Trivial Pursuit
I love Trivial Pursuit because I think I’m rather intelligent. But I could be simply looking at Trivial Pursuit as a fantasy role playing game and the fantasy part is my being intelligent. But really, the questions can range from easy to hard and they differ depending on what edition of the game you are using. There is the original, but there are also children’s versions, sports, TV and more. The most difficult thing about Trivial Pursuit is when you accidentally put one of the pie shaped game pieces in the wrong way and try to get it out. If you’ve played the game, you know what I mean.
There’s nothing better than learning and having fun at the same time. Our previous Top Ten Board Games entry definitely increases your knowledge level and so does Scrabble. Here is where you increase your vocabulary either by watching other players demolish you when they make words on the board or by your reading the dictionary before game night arrives. You start off with seven letters and the goal is to create high scoring words. It’s sort of like Words with Friends but in a board game version. Okay, I know that description is a bit backward for anyone over 30.
1. Settlers of Catan
Here it is, our number one game in our top ten board games to play while eating pizza list. It doesn’t get any better than this. Whether you’re a fan of the original version, Seafarers or Cities and Knights or any of the others, Settlers is THE game every American family should own. The Washington Post called Settlers of Catan the “board game of our time.” It’s won many awards since it was first published in 1995 and is also in Games Magazine’s hall of fame. What’s great about Settlers of Catan is its ability to be modified in many ways. My son and I have created our own Seafarers version by combining two original versions of the game. We’ve created a version where we create castles war against each other.
If you don’t own Settlers of Catan, buy the original version today! You will be thankful to have it. Also check out the other versions of the game. I look forward to the day when I own each of them. I doubt I’ll ever leave me house then.
What are your favorite board games? Which ones should have been included in this list? Let us know.