One may think that with the advent of smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles, board games would become less popular. After all, online and offline gaming has become a staple part of everyday life in the 21st century.
Yet, board games are still a popular form of entertainment.
According to Statisa.com, revenue from board games is expected to increase to $US250 million by 2026 within the US. Worldwide, the sales of board games is forecast to reach $4.67 billion within the next four years from 2022.
PrintNinja did research on how much people spend on board games. 22% of those that responded say that they buy over $US1,000 worth of board games every year.
So, board games aren’t going to go away anytime soon. But which games are the top-selling ones?
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The Best-Selling Board Games
The ideal way to figure out the best-selling board games is by units sold. How many people have bought a particular game since its introduction?
Of course, this figure can vary and it could be that some board games aren’t available anymore.
However, using the above method of the number of a particular game sold we will give you the 10 best-selling board games. If you don’t have any of these in your collection, then you should grab yourself a copy.
The Game of Life
In its obituary to the creator of The Game of Life, Bill Markham, the LA Times states that this board game has sold over 30 million copies. Invented in 1960, it is still popular today with several new versions released along the way.
The latest version is from 2021 and introduced investment cards and new peg colors. It’s a game that is quick to learn how to play.
It introduces your children to different life decisions that they will have to eventually make as they grow up. A family favorite for the past 60 years.
Number of players: 4
Age: 8+ (There is a junior version available for kids 5 years old)
Playtime: About an hour
This has a sweet history. Created in 1948, it was made to entertain children hospitalized due to the polio outbreak in the 1940s. Originally, selling for $US1, there have been over 50 million copies sold.
It’s a simple game to play. You move your pieces along a race track as you set out on a mission to rescue King Kandy who has gone missing.
The colors and candy images will be a visual treat for your kids. This was popular well before Candy Crush became a hit!
Number of players: 2-4
Playtime: 15 – 20 minutes.
“You sunk my battleship!” How many of you have made that statement playing this popular naval strategy game? According to the dedicated fanbase forum, Battleship has sold over 100 million units since its invention in 1967.
Also, this same site also states that Hasbro makes over 155 million pieces each year. It’s a game that requires strategy and cunning as you try to identify where your opponent has placed their naval vessels.
Red and white pegs indicate whether you have made a hit (red) or miss (white). A fast-paced game that will have you and your kids wanting to play another round.
Number of players: 2-4
Playtime: As long as it takes to destroy a player’s entire fleet.
Check Amazon for the best price.
Everyone knows this game, so there is no real need to explain it. There is some debate about when Chess was first invented.
Wikipedia says that it was inspired by a variety in India called chaturanga (played around 1,500 years ago). Chessklub.com suggest that it originated around 200 BC as a war strategy simulator used by Hán Xin.
However Chess was created, it has become one of the most standard games amongst household board games. Though it’s hard to find exact figures on how many units of Chess have been sold, TheRichest states that over 3 million units are sold annually within America (but that seems to be something that is hard to verify).
If you want to develop strategic thinking and planning, then Chess is one of the best games to play.
Number of players: 2
Age: 7+ (though 4-year-olds may be ready to learn the game if they have the patience to play it).
Playtime: As long as it takes to checkmate your opponent.
Pop over to Amazon for the best deals (there are numerous styles and versions of Chess to choose from)
With a patent approved in 1944, it wouldn’t be until 5 years later that Cluedo (known as Clue in the US) was launched. That postponement was due to shortages in Britain due to World War II.
The exact number of units sold is hard to determine, with Across the Board cafe mentioning 200 million copies have sold. For those who love murder mysteries (which inspired the creation of Cluedo), then it’s a board game to add to your collection.
Number of players: 2 – 6 (depending on the version you have. Some versions need at least three players).
Playtime: 10 – 60 minutes.
For the wordsmiths out there, Scrabble has always been a popular game. It’s a great way to help your kids develop their vocabulary and spelling.
According to Wikipedia, Scrabble is available in 121 countries and has sold at least 150 million copies. 33% of homes within both America and the UK have a copy. That makes ⅔ of households within these countries still missing out on the fun.
It’s an entertaining way to retain your linguistic ability.
Number of players: 2 – 4
Age: 8+ (you can get Scrabble junior for younger ages)
Playtime: Around an hour.
You can find a range of Scrabble versions on Amazon
Since its introduction in 1981, Trivial Pursuit has sold over 100 million copies.
The gameplay is based on the trivial knowledge of each player. The questions are divided into six categories and are answered as you move your piece around the board. The winner is the person who gathers their six plastic wedges first and answers a final question correctly.
Number of players: 2
Playtime: As long as needed to be declared the winner.
Grab a copy from Amazon. There is a family version available that has more kid-friendly questions
How many of you have reveled at being the one who owns most of the property on the Monopoly board? It’s a creative way to learn some real-life business acumen.
The popularity of this game has dwindled and, according to CNN, over 275 million copies have been sold.
With that number of sales, it is crowned as one of the best-selling games of all time. Since its creation in 1930, Monopoly has inspired a number of versions such as a Star Wars Monopoly and an Avengers-style. Of course, you can still grab a copy of the original Monopoly if you love tradition.
Number of players: 2 – 8
Playtime: 60 – 90 minutes.
Check out the latest prices and versions on Amazon.
This is another game on the list with hard-to-find sales stats. According to The Richest, Backgammon has sold over 88 million copies.
There are claims online that Backgammon is one of the oldest board games dating back 5,000 years. But that is based on having it confused with the Royal game of Ur. Wikipedia says that Backgammon originated from the Anglo-Saxon game, Irish.
The game is played using dice and moving your pieces throughout the backgammon board. The winner is the first person to have all their pieces removed from the board.
Number of players: 2
Playtime: 5 – 60 minutes.
You can find a range of backgammon options on Amazon.
This is a classic game that most children probably have played. “King me!” is the ultimate cry in Checkers.
An unverifiable figure has the amount of Checkers sold at 50 billion units. That would make this the best-selling board game of all time.
It’s such a simple game to play which may be why it is so popular. Jump over your opponents’ pieces to capture them while protecting your own pieces.
Number of players: 2
Playtime: 10 – 30 minutes
Amazon has a variety of styles for you to choose from.
Add These To Your Board Game Collection
So, there you have it. The ten best-selling board games by copies sold.
All of them are considered classics, but maybe you don’t have them all in your game cupboard. Which games do you remember playing as a child?
Have your kids experience the same memories as you play these games with them. Are there some on the list that you don’t have?
Buy those ones and increase your collection. That allows for variety when it comes to game night at your home.