Guest Post: The World’s Most Popular Classic Board Games from Jonny Devine

The birth of the computer chip and video games may have put a dampener on the sales of the classic ‘play-with-the-whole-family’ board game, but as that retro-esque feel comes back into prominence the appeal for the old-school board game that was so popular in the 20th century gains continued re-emergence.

Here’s a list that should get your memories rolling with the most popular classic board games of all-time.

Monopoly (Harshlight/Flickr) (CC Attribution License)


Starting with the don of all board games, Monopoly truly redefined the board game genre and, despite the aforementioned emergence of computer games, continues to sell well in most countries. And it’s not surprising why it remains so popular; the game is not only competitive but full of scope for fun. If playing for money isn’t enough, bagging more properties than your fellow players is. Money is the aim of the game… just avoid jail-time and you’ll be fine!

There have been masses of variations of the game, including town-specific Monopoly’s, meaning the game continues to be relevant even in the 21st century.


Chess may carry a slight stigma these days, but in an era before television and YouTube it was the little board game with pawns, kings and queens which was a real hit with families across the world. The game dates back as far as the 6th century and requires technical strategy in abundance.

Sales of chess boards have been ridiculous over the decades, and while it may not be the coolest game around it is one of the few games which almost everyone knows how to play.


Selling 150 million sets of your game has to be pretty satisfying, but with Scrabble it’s unsurprising that those sales figures have been achieved; after all, it’s been a family-favourite for decades. Originally made public in 1948, the word-game which focuses on a solid knowledge of the English language is sold in 121 countries and remains one of the most popular classic board games around.

Snakes and ladders, board game. ‪Norsk (bokmål...

Snakes and ladders, board game. ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Stigespill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trivial Pursuit

Imagine being the guy who backed out of investing in Trivial Pursuit just before it went on sale. Ouch, right? The money this board game has made since 1982 is frankly ridiculous and it’s all thanks to the developers, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, who decided to create Trivial Pursuit after realising there were pieces missing in a game of Scrabble they were playing. Oh, the irony!

Since then, the game has sold in-excess of 88 million and has become a cultural phenomenon.

Snakes and Ladders

How many of you played Snakes and Ladders as a child? We’re guessing most of you; after all, this addictive and often infuriating board game is not only universally-loved, but critically acclaimed, too. Basically, you need to avoid the snakes and climbs the ladders, but with the unpredictability that is the roll of a dice, you’re just asking for trouble with all those pesky snakes scattered across the board.

While it may not be as popular as it was in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Snakes and Ladders is just one of the best-selling board games ever.


Many Android and iPhone users will be playing ‘Draw Something’ at the moment, and while that it is a brilliant app, it owes its entire premise to the original Pictionary. Pictionary isn’t just a game; it’s a night in with friends; its laughs and arguments; it’s fun for everyone.

Made available in 1985 by Seattle Games Inc, the designer Robert Angel must be very happy with how his picture-guessing game has turned out. It is truly a legend of board games.

This article was written by Jonny Devine, a board game fanatic who currently works for Ladbrokes Bingo.

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