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When it comes to get-togethers, there’s nothing better than gathering around the table and enjoying a few classic board games. Board games provide the perfect balance of fun and competition, bringing everyone together for a good time. And classic board games bring a sense of nostalgia and remind us of simpler times.

Whether your group is made up of die-hard gamers or newbies to the board game world, our top recommendation is Monopoly. This classic money-making game is a timeless favorite that brings hours of entertainment and is always a great way to kick off the night!

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We’ve created this list to help you find the perfect game for your group so that you can enjoy a night of laughs, camaraderie, and friendly competition. If you want to know more about how we curated this list, read the process behind our selections here.

1. Best Overall: Monopoly

Available on
  • Player count: 2-8 players
  • Duration: 60 to 180 minutes
  • Ages: 8+

This best-selling game tops our list because it’s been enjoyed by generations of families and continues to stand the test of time. Monopoly is a great way to bring people together and enjoy friendly competition as you all strive to become the ultimate property tycoon. As you wheel and deal your way to success, get ready for a fun night!

Why we love it

The best thing about this timeless classic is that it’s easy to learn and can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age or experience. With its vintage-style packaging and iconic game pieces, Monopoly is a great way to introduce board games to your friends and family – it’s straightforward, yet still requires some strategic thinking.

We love that this game is a great way to teach kids about money management and encourage them to think about their decisions. You’ll also love that Monopoly can be expanded to make it more exciting and challenging!

Monopoly has excellent replay value and can be enjoyed by your crew for years to come. This game is perfect for those who want long-lasting entertainment and a classic board game experience, as each game can last anywhere from one to three hours.

However, we do have to warn you that Monopoly can take a while to complete, and the turns can be quite long, so it may not suit those who prefer shorter games. The game can also get heated as players compete for victory, so ensure you have a referee if things get too competitive!

Monopoly is the perfect classic board game for a great night with friends and family. If you’re looking for a timeless classic that will bring hours of fun, Monopoly is the game for you! It provides a valuable teaching opportunity and a great way to connect with your loved ones.

How to play

In this game, your objective is to become the wealthiest player by buying, trading, and developing properties. Each time a player passes ‘Go’, they receive a 200-dollar salary, which they can use to purchase properties and build houses or hotels. The players who go bankrupt are out of the game, and the last person standing is declared the winner.

To set up Monopoly, each player receives a 1500-dollar starting salary and selects a game piece. Place the board on a table and put the Chance and Community Chest cards facedown on their allotted spaces on the board. Then, select a Banker who will manage the money and properties.

The Banker’s role is to handle transactions and keep track of everyone’s money. This player should keep their funds separate from the Bank’s money.

Roll the dice to determine who goes first, and then it’s time to start playing!

Playing the game: As you move around the board, you’ll land on spaces that will affect your game. If you land on an unowned property, you can buy it from the Bank. But if someone else owns the property, they can charge you rent. And you don’t have to remind them if they forget!

When you pass ‘Go’, collect your 200-dollar salary and move on. If you land on a Chance or Community Chest space, pick up the card and follow the instructions.

Remember to pay taxes if you land on an Income Tax space, and remember to pay rent if you land on a property that another player owns. You can charge rent if someone lands on one of your properties. If you land on a Go to Jail space, you must move your piece to the Jail corner and miss a turn.

If a player runs out of money, they are bankrupt and must immediately turn over all their assets to the Bank. The last player with money is the winner!

2. Best Strategy: Jenga

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  • Player count: 1-8 players
  • Duration: 20 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 6+

Jenga takes the spot in our list for the best classic board game strategy for its ability to challenge the mind. This game is all about strategy and luck — it requires careful thought and a steady hand, so it’s perfect for those who enjoy a bit of challenge and chaos on their usual game nights.

Why we love it

Jenga’s simple yet challenging gameplay makes it stand out from other classic board games. You don’t need to read a booklet of instructions before playing, but it’s still challenging enough to keep everyone engaged. The suspense of watching your tower wobble and sway as you try to move a piece is enough to get your heart racing!

It’s ideal for people of all ages, as the rules are easy to understand, and it doesn’t take long to learn the basics. This game is also a great way to teach problem-solving and facilitate hand-eye coordination, precision, patience, and manual dexterity among children.

In addition, this game offers hours of fun and replay value because of its durable pieces that can withstand being played repeatedly. So, whether you’re playing with a small or a big group of friends, Jenga is sure to be a hit!

The only thing we didn’t like about this game is that storage is a bit tricky. The box that comes with the game is quite fragile, and getting all the pieces back in can be a task. But if you keep the pieces in a separate container, it’s easy to store and transport, so we recommend investing in another storage container.

Nevertheless, Jenga is a great game for family game nights, sleepovers, or any occasion you want to have fun! The suspense and excitement of playing Jenga will surely make your next game night one to remember.

How to play

To play Jenga, you’ll need 54 wooden building blocks. To start the game, build a tower with all the pieces and place it on a flat surface. Once you’ve built the tower, you’ll take turns removing a block from any tower level and placing it on the topmost level.

The player who put a piece while you were building the tower will go first and then play passes to the left. On your turn, take a block and carefully place it on the tower’s topmost level. You can only use one hand, and you must take a block from any tower level.

If you make the tower collapse, you automatically lose the game! The winner is the last player to successfully place a block on the tower without making it fall.

You can also play this game alone as practice or if you don’t have any opponents. The goal is the same — to build a tall tower and not let it collapse. If you want to make the game more challenging, you can try playing with different rules or play it on a soft surface to make it harder.

👉 If you’re old enough, check out our guide on how to turn Jenga into a drinking game!

3. Best Creative: Scrabble

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 90 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 10+

For any game night needing a creative spark, look no further than Scrabble! This classic board game is perfect for those who like to think outside and strategically combine letters to form words.

Why we love it

This game encourages creativity and imagination while teaching the basics of spelling and grammar — which is why we love it! You don’t have to be a language master to enjoy this game because it’s all about strategy and word knowledge. You need creativity and strategy to determine which word combinations will result in the highest score.

There is also an excellent level of social interaction and communication in this game since you take turns with opponents to form words and may have to explain these obscure words you come up with. It’s a great way to learn the meanings of new words and improve your vocabulary. So, it’s a perfect game for players of all ages, from kids to adults.

The most significant drawback to this game? Luck might be a factor, as the letters you draw can determine your success. We also didn’t like how the racks for the letters are made of plastic, as we found them flimsy. But if you’re looking for an educational and entertaining game that requires some strategy and luck, Scrabble is the one to get!

How to play

Setting up for a game of Scrabble is very straightforward. To start, each player takes seven tiles from the bag and places them on their letter racks. Once everyone has their tiles, the player with the letter closest to the letter ‘A’ goes first.

On each turn, you must form a valid word with your tiles and place it on the board. Your word must connect with an existing word or use a special square on the board, such as a double-letter score. You then score points based on the letters used and the squares they are placed in.

At the end of your turn, draw new tiles until you have seven again. The game is over when all the tiles have been used and one player has no more tiles left. The player with the highest score at the end of the game is declared the winner!

4. Best Icebreaker: Twister

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players or more (teams allowed)
  • Duration: 10 minutes
  • Ages: 6+

Those looking to get their game night off to a wild start should try Twister! This game is perfect for breaking the ice and getting people out of their comfort zone as it requires physical contact and lots of laughter.

Why we love it

We just love how Twister encourages and brings people to interact with each other and have fun! It’s an easy game to understand and play, so even those who don’t usually play board games can join in. Just spin the wheel and hope for the best!

In addition, this game is an excellent way to teach kids coordination and physical activity, because it requires players to contort their bodies in uncomfortable positions to reach the spots on the mat. This game is also great for practicing balance and motor skills in a fun way.

Twister is also ideal for big social gatherings, as it can accommodate teaming up with several players at once. And the game can get quite competitive and silly as everyone tries to stay on the mat for as long as possible without falling off.

The biggest downside to this game is that the spinner included in this game is often unreliable and can easily break. So we do recommend being mindful when using it. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a great way to get everyone interacting, laughing and having fun, Twister is definitely the game for you!

How to play

Getting started with Twister is very easy. First, you’ll need to set up the game mat by laying it flat on the floor with all four colored circles facing up. Then, you’ll need to place the spinner on the side of the mat.

Once that’s done, all you have to do is pick a player to act as the referee and spin the wheel. The referee must call out which body part (right hand, left foot, etc.) should go on each colored circle and players must try to place their hands and feet on the colored circles as quickly as possible.

This continues until one player can’t follow the referee’s instructions, falls off, or their knees or elbows touch the ground. The last player standing is declared the winner!

5. Best Mystery: Clue Classic Edition

Available on
  • Player count: 2-6 players
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Ages: 8+

Suckers for whodunnits and mysteries will love this board game that we all know and love — Clue Classic Edition! Clue has been around since 1949, and its gripping gameplay of murder and intrigue has captivated players ever since. It’s no surprise that this classic game took the title of our best mystery board game.

Why we love it

We absolutely adore Clue Classic Edition because of its suspense-filled, thrilling game mechanics that require you to think and deduce! It’s a fantastic way to teach young players logical thinking, as they must figure out who committed the crime, where it was committed, and with what weapon.

You can find an exceptional level of immersive gameplay as the iconic board game has been reinvented with a fresh new look so that you can enjoy the same classic gameplay with a modern twist. The board game is thick and well-made, utilizing premium materials that make it feel sturdy and robust. And rather than some lightweight plastic material, the game pieces are made from durable, heavy-duty plastic that won’t bend or break easily.

Players of all ages can enjoy this classic board game because it’s simple enough for young players to understand yet complex enough for veterans to have lots of fun. This game is sure to keep everybody enthralled until the very end!

Our only gripe with Clue Classic Edition is that it doesn’t come with the original six notepads and only has one. So, you’ll have to tear pages from the one notepad and pass them around, which can be inconvenient, and you’ll run out of it rather quickly.

But that’s the only issue we have with this otherwise fantastic game, and we highly recommend it for anyone looking to solve a murderous mystery. There’s no better way to spend your game night than with a classic game of Clue!

How to play

In Clue Classic Edition, each player chooses a suspect card and places it in front of them. The remaining suspect and weapon cards are placed face down in the middle of the board. The three location cards are shuffled and placed face down. Choose one randomly and place it in the envelope. The envelope is then placed in the middle of the board.

The game begins with Miss Scarlet, and she rolls the dice to see how many spaces she can move. She then moves her suspect token to where she landed and looks at the card. If there is a suspect or weapon card, she can either take it or leave it there.

If she doesn’t want to take the card, she can move her token to another location and look at that card. If there is no suspect or weapon card at that location, she can either take a chance and roll the dice again or end her turn.

When it’s your turn, you follow the same rules. You can make suggestions and get clues from other players, and if you think you know who, what, and where, you can make an accusation. Go to the center of the board and name the suspect, location, and weapon. Look at the envelope; if you are correct, you win the game!

Were you wrong? Well, you are eliminated from the game and return the envelope to the center of the board. The other players continue playing until someone makes the correct accusation and wins!

6. Best Competitive: Risk

Available on
  • Player count: 2-6 players
  • Duration: 120 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 10+

Risk gets our best competitive board game title as it is the ultimate game of strategy and conquest. In this battle of global domination, you’ll have to make tough decisions and take calculated risks as you try to conquer the world.

Why we love it

Our favorite thing about Risk is the countless hours of engaging fun it can provide, thanks to its unlimited replayability. With its four different ways to play, such as Secret Mission, Classic, Risk for 2 Players, and Capital, each game provides a unique challenge and requires different strategies.

Risk is a great way to learn strategy and negotiating as you form alliances and break them in the same breath. It’s easy to understand and straightforward, so anyone can pick up the rules quickly and enjoy this classic board game.

The most significant drawback in this classic edition of the game is that Items feel cheaply made and are made of crushable plastic. So handling them with care is a must.

Regardless, Risk is a classic board game that can provide hours of entertainment to people of all ages and skill levels. So, if you’re looking for a competitive game that can challenge your strategic skills, then Risk is great!

How to play

The game is played on a board representing the world, divided into territories. Each player starts with a set number of armies, and your goal is to conquer as many territories as possible.

On your turn, you need to capture territories as much as you can. You do this by getting and placing new armies, attacking, if you choose to, by rolling the dice, and fortifying your position.

You can also make alliances with other players, but remember that these alliances can be fragile and easy to break. Once you have conquered and held territories, you can start trading for cards, giving you bonuses like extra armies.

The game ends when you or another player has successfully conquered the entire world by capturing all 42 territories on the board and eliminating all other players.

7. Best Immersive: Game of Life

Available on
  • Player count: 2-6 players
  • Duration: 60 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 8+

Want to experience everything life has to offer? The Game of Life is an immersive board game that lets you do just that! You will make decisions on various life events such as college, career choices, and even mortgage payments.

Why we love it

There’s just something about a board game teaching you about life that we can’t get enough of! We love how this game makes you think about the consequences and rewards of your decisions. You can use it to teach young players about the value of money, how to prioritize their goals, and plan ahead.

The game is simple enough to learn in a few minutes, and the artwork is quite attractive. It’s a great way to spend quality time with family as you explore all of life’s possibilities and learn important life lessons along the way.

What we didn’t like about this edition is that it has advertisements for Travelocity, which can be quite distracting. The game can also be overwhelming at first, especially for those new to board games, so we suggest adults guide their children through the game their first few times playing.

Still, The Game of Life is a great way to explore and experience life, with all its ups and downs. So if you’re looking for something to keep your family or friends engaged and entertained, The Game of Life is definitely worth checking out.

How to play

Each player starts the game with a car and a set amount of money. Players will take turns spinning the wheel; depending on where the wheel lands, they will have to make different choices.

Some spaces on the board will allow players to get married, have children, or go to college. In the older versions of the game, other spaces will force players to make tough decisions, such as taking out a loan or declaring bankruptcy.

In this newer version, both scenarios usually result in positive outcomes, and the players will have to weigh the pros and cons of each decision and whichever will get them closer to the finish line with the most money. The game ends when all players have reached the end of the board, and whoever has the most money is the winner!

8. Best for Kids: Chutes and Ladders

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Ages: 3+

Chutes and Ladders is a classic board game perfect for the little ones in your family! This light-hearted game is simple to understand and requires no complex rules, making it ideal for kids of all ages.

Why we love it

This game is always a hit with the kids (and with us too!) because it’s simple yet so engaging. You can explain the rules in a few minutes, and kids can start playing right away.

The game encourages cooperation, turn-taking, and counting and even teaches kids numbers and rudimentary addition. This oldie-but-goodie is a great way to help your little ones practice math, develop strategic thinking skills, and learn how to take turns with others.

We also love the multicultural markers that represent children of all backgrounds. This game is a nice way to teach kids about diversity and inclusion while having fun at the same time!

However, the downside of this game is that the spinner is cheaply made, and you need to hold it down firmly when spinning or else it won’t work properly. We recommend investing in a die to make it easier for the kids.

But other than that, Chutes and Ladders is an excellent way to keep the kids entertained while learning important lessons about consequences and rewards.

How to play

Setting up Chutes and Ladders can be done in a few minutes. Place the game board on the table and have each player choose a marker. Players take turns rolling the spinner to see who gets the highest number. The player with the highest number goes first, and the play progresses clockwise.

Players roll the spinner to determine how many spaces they can move. If they land on a ladder, they climb up to the top and get ahead in the game. But if they land on a chute, they must slide down to the bottom and lose their turn.

You lose your turn if you land on any of the squares that have no picture, a square with no picture and just an arrow, a square that a ladder or chute just passes through, a picture square at the top of a ladder, or a picture square at the bottom of a chute. The player who reaches the #100 square first is the winner!

9. Best Brain-teaser: Trivial Pursuit Classic Edition

Available on
  • Player count: 2-6 players
  • Duration: 45 to 90 minutes
  • Ages: 16+

If you’ve ever been called a trivia nerd before, this next board game on our list is right up your alley! Trivial Pursuit Classic Edition is a great way to test your general trivia knowledge and see who the real brainiacs are in your family or friend group.

Why we love it

What we love the most about Trivial Pursuit is its fair balance of luck and knowledge. Sure, you need to know the answers to win, but you also need a little luck when it comes to landing on the right spaces on the board. Whether you’re a trivia buff or just an average Joe, you’ll be able to enjoy playing this game with friends.

We also love how setting up and playing this game is so easy. It’s accessible to people of all ages as this edition has been updated to include modern questions such as movies, celebrities, and sports.

You can also find expansion packs to the game that focus on different topics, such as music, sports, and more. This makes it easy to customize the game to your interests so that you can have as much fun as possible!

However, this game can drag on for a long time, and younger kids may get bored. Regardless, Trivial Pursuit Classic Edition is perfect for a fun and challenging game night with friends.

How to play

To begin, each player chooses one playing piece and places it on the board’s starting space. Players then take turns rolling the dice and moving their playing pieces around the board. When your piece lands on a category space, you must answer a question belonging to that category.

If you answer the question correctly, you get to keep the corresponding colored wedge of that category and move your piece forward. If you get the question wrong, your turn ends, and then the play passes to the next player.

To win the game, be the first player to collect all six colored wedges and answer a final question correctly. When playing this game, try not to use your phone and look up the answers to the questions! The fun is testing your knowledge and see how much you know.

👉 We love Trivia! That’s why we’ve collected 100+ Trivia Questions for you to prove your knowledge!

How we picked and tested

PsyCat Games is built by people who know how to have fun! We’ve been researching parties and games since 2018 and have published 400+ articles on our website. That’s why we’re confident that we know what we’re talking about!

We want you to have the best time possible and not waste your money on a subpar product. That’s why we spend over three months testing over 20 different games with groups of kids, teens, and adults. We’ve ranked the games by the fun factor, player experience, and replayability!

Our ranking is subjective, but we’ve tried our best to be as impartial as possible. However, if you stumble upon a classic board game that you think deserves a spot on our list, please reach out to us! We would love to hear from you.

PsyCat Games is supported by readers clicking on our affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we might earn a commission if you buy something through our links.

FAQ about Classic Board Games

Monopoly is one of the most popular classic board games of all time. It’s a timeless game suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. Monopoly is a great way to test your luck, strategy, and negotiation skills.

2. What is the number 1 board game in the world?

**One of the most popular board games in the world is Monopoly. **It’s a classic game that requires players to buy, sell and trade various properties to become the wealthiest player. It’s a fun game that allows players to practice their strategic skills, and you can play it for hours with friends and family.

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