Share on Facebook

Now’s the Time to Bring Back These 15 Classic Board Games

From family game night to trivia with friends, everyone loves a good time. And what better way than to break out a fun board game.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

Grandad's got time to teach me the game of the mastersPredragImages/Getty Images

Classic board games

Who doesn’t love a classic board game? Friends or family members sitting around a table rolling dice, reading cards, or moving pieces across the board to see who wins is an excellent way to spend quality moments together and pass the time. As everyone is sitting at home in quarantine due to the novel coronavirus, dust off those board games and get into the friendly competitive spirit. Feeling nostalgic? This is what the first-ever Monopoly game looked like.




Buy Now

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 that anyone can count including ones based on Finding Dory, Empire, Disney princesses, and Minions. According to Buzzfeed, there are even versions of these classic board games for the horse lover, cat lover, and One Direction and The Walking Dead fans. Plus, you can find electronic and on-the-go versions, and of course, an app for every device. Don’t miss these 15 little-known board game trivia facts… Monopoly made the list!




Buy Now

For wordsmiths and puzzle lovers, Scrabble has been one of the go-to classic board games since the 1950s. From 1984-1990, a Scrabble-based game show ran on television. And although the classic Scrabble board hasn’t changed much throughout the years, Merriam-Webster’s Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, which contains over 100,000 usable words, is now in its fifth edition and has recently added 5,000 new words, including fracking, selfie, and hashtag. Before you play, read these 22 high-scoring Scrabble words you should memorize.




Buy Now

Not much had changed with the look and rules of Sorry! That is until 2013, when some rules were updated and some changes made. Players now only get three pawns (before they started with four), and two new cards, Fire and Ice, were added. Special editions of this family board game include ones featuring Disney characters, The Simpsons, Pokemon, and SpongeBob SquarePants.




Buy Now

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 include from the movie Trolls, Star Wars, Marvel Avengers, Olaf from Frozen, and a Despicable Me edition. A smaller Grab & Go version means Trouble can follow you where ever you go.


Trivial Pursuit


Buy Now

The classic version of this iconic game involves having knowledge of six different categories, including Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure. But as of 2014, there were more than 50 special editions of these classic board games, including everything from Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, 2000s edition, Baby Boomers, and a junior’s edition. The new 2000S Edition includes the categories of Places, Entertainment, Events, The Arts, Science & Tech, and Sports & Hobbies.




Buy Now

Clue is so popular it’s spawned multiple versions, books, and even a cult classic film. To distinguish between all the different versions, the original is always marked “The Classic Mystery Game.” Currently, there is a Star Wars version of Clue that takes place inside of the Empire’s Death Star and players can choose to be Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, R2-D2, or C-3PO. Add these family movies that everyone will enjoy to your queue.


Candy Land



Buy Now

Didn’t everyone own this one growing up? Candy Land requires zero strategy, unlike some others on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fun. Created in the 1940s during the polio epidemic, Eleanor Abbott, a victim of the disease, wanted to create a game for bed-bound children recovering from the disease. Candy Land was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2005. Current special editions for Candy Land include Disney Princesses and Minnie Mouse. If you want to win at simple games, these tic-tac-toe tricks will help you out.




Buy Now

World domination is the goal of this military-themed game. According to, Risk was created by a French film director and first published by Parker Brothers in the United States in 1959. Risk may be the most complicated and strategic of the classic board games listed here, but that hasn’t taken away from its popularity. So popular in fact, that the classic game has inspired special editions such as several Star Wars versions, Europe, Captain America, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Transformers. There’s even an edition where players can conquer the moon!



Settlers of Catan


Buy Now

This classic settlement board game-turned-video game is filled with action and adventure, as each player is on a mission to be the first to settle the uncharted island of Catan. This game originated in Germany and was one of the first German-style board games to be successful outside of Europe. This simulation-esque game intrigues people from all walks of life—it’s fun for the whole family.




Buy Now

This infamous strategy-heavy board game is perfect for a sibling rivalry. Its roots go back as far as World War I, where it was said to be played by Russian officers with a pen and paper. Milton Bradley ran with the concept, and the familiar Battleship game with plastic boards and pegs made its debut. This game of competition and strategy is perfect for the game night where you still want to use some brain cells.

the game of lifevia

The Game of Life


Buy Now

It’s not possible (yet) to choose our life’s path, but the Game of Life gives us the ability to at least pretend. Spin the wheel and your future awaits you. Will you get married? Have twins? Go to college? Receive a pension? Who knows, but that’s the fun of it. And it’s hard to have the same path twice, so this one of the classic board games that’s good for the long haul.




Buy Now

Like charades, but better (especially for the lazy game-nighters). This classic drawing game will always bring a laugh. When someone gives you the excuse, “I’m not good at drawing,” remind them that the worse the drawing is, the bigger the laughs. This game can be for kids and adults, as there are plenty of “junior” cards that the kiddos will be able to comprehend. Pictionary is the most fun when it’s played with a big group, so be sure to pull it out at your next dinner party. And when it’s nice outside, check out these yard games that are sure to be a hit at your BBQ.

connect four board gamesvia

Connect Four


Buy Now

The simple idea of connecting four chips in a row proves to be a classic game time and time again. Do you start in the middle, or do you focus on one of the corners? The choice is yours in figuring out a strategy to out-wit your competitor.

checkers board gamesvia



Buy Now

Who doesn’t remember taking out the old checkerboard and jumping over various squares to get to the other side? Checkers is one of the world’s oldest games and Greek writers Homer and Plato have even mentioned this two-player game in their works. Life is full of change, and checkers will apparently always be there, too.

checkers board gamesvia



Buy Now

How can you mention old table games without mentioning chess? Another one of the oldest games in the world, according to Britannica, chess appeared around the 6th century AD in India and then spread to other parts of the world including Europe and the Middle East. Even the nobility started playing this “royal game” in the 15th century. Want to know how to be an elite chess champion? The secret these chess champions use to win isn’t skill—it’s physical workouts.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Felissa Benjamin Allard
Felissa Allard has worked at The New York Daily News, Health, Life & Style, and more. As a freelancer, she has had pieces published on What To Expect, SELF, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Modern Mom, Working Mother, and more. Her specialities are beauty, fashion, health, wellness, and parenting.