23rd Apr2019

The Six Supreme Board Games of All Time

by James Smith

Did you know that board games have been around since time immemorial? Played by people from all across the world, evidence of their existence has been found everywhere from Ancient Egyptian burial sites through to the Buddhist games list, a document dating back to the 6th century BCE.

Although the exact incarnation of these games has varied between cultures, one thing we can take away from this is that board games hold a truly universal appeal. Predating video games, apps, and almost every other form of entertainment out there, they know how to create the most immersive and engaging of experiences for players.
While much around them has fallen by the wayside, being deemed obsolete and outdated, board games have not. As popular today as they have ever been, it seems only fitting that we create this list of the six best board games of all time.

Monopoly

For anyone who enjoys some classic evening entertainment, Monopoly is a failsafe choice. We’ve never yet met anyone who doesn’t enjoy it, and considering its great age, that’s really saying something. Created in 1933, it takes its name from an economic term – one which relates to the domination of a market by a single company or entity. Originally designed and marketed by Parker Brothers, the aim of the game is a simple one: to be the individual who comes out on top aka the person who holds a monopoly. While it might go on for an almost interminably long time (1600 hours is the record), it’s nonetheless fabulously good fun, especially for those who like to exercise their brain power to come out on top.

scrabble

Scrabble

The go-to game for intellectuals, Scrabble is inarguably a board game great. The ideal pick for groups of two to four players, it’s a test not only of vocabulary but of being able to spot an opportunity and adequately capitalise on it. As much about where you place your words on the board as the words themselves, it’s a wonderful way for the literate to spend an enjoyable evening, and we can’t help but feel that it goes perfectly with a glass of red and a good debate between friends. The overarching goal is simple: to outdo and outscore your competitors by adding as many long and complex words as possible to the intricate communal crossword you create.

Cluedo

Fancy taking part in a fictional whodunnit? Then Cluedo is the game for you. This classic offering turns ordinary players into aspiring detectives, so it’s no surprise it’s been a big hit since the fifties. There’s something special about that famous board, with its grand rooms, twisting passages, and secret places, and we get a particular thrill from moving the tiny little weapons and characters around. Was it Miss Scarlet in the billiard room with the lead pipe? Or how about Mrs Peacock with the candlestick in the conservatory? It’s down to you to decide, so put on your thinking cap, gather your evidence, and get to the killer before anyone else does. If you can envisage a better way to spend an evening, we really do applaud you.

Win, Place & Show

Originally published in 1966, Win, Place & Show was arguably the first modern horse-racing board game to emerge. It gives players the chance to bet on the in-game horses, who each have unique characteristics to set them apart. Once you’ve placed your money, you then get the chance to bid for control of the jockeys, and that’s where the real fun starts. Although each roll of the dice plays a big part in affecting the outcome, there’s still lots of room for strategy to sway the end result, and anyone who enjoys a flutter in real life is at a definite advantage. Should you find yourself having too much fun to stop, you can always take the play off-board and place a bet at an actual bookie’s. Oddschecker is a great place to start, sharing the best free bets and sign-up offers out there for new customers.

jenga

Jenga

If you don’t fancy anything too intellectually taxing, Jenga offers a bit of a twist on the traditional board game concept, in that there’s no actual board involved. Requiring a steady hand and a head for basic strategy, it’s suitable for both young and old alike, working as well as a pre-night out entertainment as it does for an evening in. The idea behind it is simple: you stack the wooden blocks and then take it in turns to remove them one by one. Unless you’re playing it as a pairs game, there’s no real winner, but there most definitely is a loser: the player who sends the whole structure toppling down. It’s a team effort to decide what their forfeit should be, and we advise you to make sure that it’s something suitably amusing for all who are present.

Trivial Pursuit

Got your thinking cap on? Then Trivial Pursuit is the perfect way to spend an evening. This board game requires some serious brain power to triumph, so if you want to be the first to fill your ‘cheese’, you’d best brush up on your general knowledge. The way it works is simple. The board itself is a wheel, with each of the coloured sections representing one of six categories. In order to triumph, you need to correctly answer a question belonging to each of these, so you’d better hope that your geography is as strong as your sports. Even if you don’t walk away victorious, you’ll still end the night a little smarter than you started it.
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Tell us, if it were down to you to judge, which of these brilliant board games is the very best of the bunch?
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