The 6 Best Classic Board Games

Be ready to have hours of fun playing the best classic board games with family and friends. From Clue to Risk, there’s a game to suit all kinds of ages and interests. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the most popular board games in a variety of categories; and if you’re anything like me, they’ll have you feeling nostalgic in the best way.

When it comes to classic board games, there’re plenty of categories to choose from. I’ve included a strategic war game, a murder mystery-themed game, a collaborative guessing game, a strategic word game, a race-to-the-finish game, and the game of real estate tycoons and master negotiators — Monopoly.

While all the board games below fall into different categories of play and focus, most of them are recommended for players who are at least 8 years old. Additionally, all the games require at least two players while half of them can accommodate up to six players. A couple can be played through in less than an hour, but most of them take between one and three hours.

Check out the best classic board games below; there's bound to be one to fit your game night. All are highly rated and if you need a refresher on how they work, I've provided a quick overview."

1. The Best Classic Negotiation Board Game

The number one goal of the classic real estate-themed game is to be the last player who still has money, but you often have to spend money to advance in the game; and being able to negotiate is key if you want to win. On each turn, players roll the dice to move across the board; and if you land on an unowned property, you have the chance to buy it. There's also a bigger chance element in the prospect of collecting income, paying taxes, going to jail, or whatever else the two sets of cards might have in store for you.

  • For ages 8 and up
  • 2 to 6 players
  • Playing time: 1 to 3 hours

What fans are saying: “We have been playing non stop for the last few weeks. My 8-year-old is addicted. The 6-year-old, not so much right now. But it's been a great way for my 8-year-old to practice math, negotiating, buy and selling etc... Great classic game.”

2. The Best Classic Strategy Board Game

The Game of Strategic Conquest,” Risk might be the most popular and most classic war game around. The ultimate goal of Risk is nothing less than to conquer the world, and the game ends when a player has done exactly that. Players advance in the game and replenish their reinforcements by conquering and maintaining territories. Players can even attack other players for hours of strategic fun.

  • For ages 10 and up
  • 2 to 6 players
  • Playing time: at least 2 hours

What fans are saying: “I love this game. Many hours of fun for those who like strategy games.”

3. The Best Classic Mystery Board Game

Perhaps the most popular murder mystery game of all time, Clue, the beloved mystery classic, takes players from room to room in a sprawling mansion with the goal of discovering who murdered whom, where they did it, and with what weapon. One room, one character, and one murder weapon card are randomly drawn (so no one knows what the cards are) before the game begins. The cards are then placed in a “confidential” file at the start of the game. The game's objective is to determine what that file holds so you'll be flexing your bluffing and deduction muscles; but it’s still simple enough for younger players.

  • For ages 8 and up
  • 3 to 6 players
  • Playing time: approximately 45 minutes

What fans are saying: “Great family game. I don't know how I never played this as a kid, but I play it now! Fun for adults and my 9-year old gets the strategy. The 7-year old mostly gets it but needs just a little help picking up on the clues others give away, often unintentionally (and learning not to give clues away himself!). Nice way to spend time together.”

4. The Best Classic Word Board Game

Not unlike an analog Words With Friends, Scrabble is a classic word game with a more strategic component. In Scrabble, players draw seven letter tiles at the start of the game and earn points as they spell out words on the board during their turns. After the first word, players can only spell out words that play off of letters already on the board; and certain spaces offer bonus points as well, so players have to be mindful of which spaces they’re leaving available to their opponents.

  • For ages 8 and up (though Board Game Geek suggests ages 10 and up)
  • 2 to 4 players
  • Playing time: about 1.5 hours

What fans are saying: “Great game. Fun to play and good for learning new words.”

5. The Best Classic Collaborative Board Game

The classic guessing game Pictionary. is sort of like charades with drawing. Players create teams of two, and at each turn, one player draws a card which displays a list of secret words. Depending on which color space the dice lands on, the teammate who drew the card then has 60 seconds to draw clues so their partner can guess the secret word.

  • For ages 8 and up
  • Two teams of 2 players (or you can just play two players guessing each other's drawings)
  • Playing time: approximately 30 minutes

What fans are saying: “This is a great game to bring old and young together, bought it for 2016 Christmas along with a large dry erase board and dry erase pens, teamed one adult with one child and had a blast.”

6. The Best Classic Race-To-The-Finish Board Game

Parcheesi is super simple yet fun. In this this classic board game, each player gets four tokens, one dice cup, and one set of dice. The object of the game is to move counterclockwise across the board until all four tokens are in the “home” space. Landing on blockade spaces will send players’ tokens back to their starting point; and players can even “capture” other players’ tokens if they land on the same space as them, thus sending their opponents’ token back to their starting point. The game ends when one player gets all four of their tokens safely into the “home” space.

  • For ages 8 and up
  • 2 to 4 players
  • Playing time: approximately 30 minutes

What fans are saying: “Great game, much like the old game of Sorry, where each player's four pawns race around the board trying to get to Home base before their opponent does. [...] This is our new favorite game, and by the way, the pieces are well constructed and sturdy, not cheap or chintzy as a previous reviewer noted. Good game, takes about 30-40 minutes to play with two people.”

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