10 Most Expensive Board Games, Ranked

Even though video games are all the rage now, board games and table-top role-playing games are having a huge resurgence in popularity.

Whether it's a classic game like chess or Monopoly or a new intricately-crafted Kickstarter-funded release with stellar artwork, board gaming is more than just a hobby for some. Most major cities even have gaming cafes and meet-up groups dedicated just for board gaming, now.

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However, while most of us are content with playing with a battered chess set handed down from family or improvise with household materials if the little tokens in a game go missing, there are those who invest in jeweled gaming sets, or can easily spend thousands of dollars on expansion packs for certain games.

Here are some really expensive board games, starting from thousand dollars and up, that you can blow your fortune on.

(If you have one, that is.)

10 Kingdom Death: Monster - $2500

For those who love their Lovecraftian horror and gritty nightmares, this Kickstarter-funded game offers a unique and boutique board game experience.

While the base set costs around $400, which by itself is pretty expensive for a board game, it has over two dozen expansions and counting to keep players occupied.

An updated version of the game Monster 1.5, raised over $12 million on Kickstarter alone. Filled with intricate miniatures, the game, however, has been criticized for the overt representation of the female figurines.

9 Advanced Squad Leader - $3200

This one is for those who are into war-gaming and enjoy simulating real-life combat situations. A tactical-level board game that was originally published in 1985, Advanced Squad Leader simulates World War II units on a playing board.

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While a starter set can cost only $25, it has over $3000 worth of supplements and expansions that diehard fans can purchase to make the gameplay longer, varied, and more engaging.

8 Kiseido Imports Go Set - $12,950

Go is an abstract strategy board game that is believed to be one of the oldest board games to be continuously played up to the present day.

It was invented in China over 2500 years ago and spread to Korea and Japan later. Its rules are pretty simple and it's way more complex than chess.

For the luxury connoisseur, Kiseido offers finely-crafted Go sets. The beautiful golden yellow board is made of Masame wood and the mulberry bowls that hold the stones cost $1000. The stones themselves are made of slate and Yuki-grade shell.

7 Outrage! Deluxe - $15,000

This game actually holds the Guinness World Record for being the most expensive board game ever made. The original edition was released in 1992 and the aim of the game is to have the players steal the British Crown Jewels. It has both long and short gameplay versions

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Set in a mahogany cabinet, the playing cards are marked with gold leaf. The Crown Jewels themselves are made with actual rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds and set in 18-carat solid gold. Several of the playing pieces are marked with enamel or sterling silver.

6 Swarovski Scrabble - $20,000

Scrabble has always been a popular vocabulary-building game for kids and can be even played on a mobile phone.

But players with an eye for luxury can also check out the Swarovski Scrabble. It was created to mark the 60-year anniversary of the hugely popular word-making game.

The game was created with over 30,000 Swarovski crystals and weighs over 150 kg. The board itself is made of glass and the crystals which are all hand-selected have been carefully placed to match with the trademark colors of the Scrabble board.

It was brought by one Derryn Hinch, a board game expert, and the proceeds went to the St Jude's Medical Research Hospital in Memphis.

5 Smart Scrabble - $30,000

If a crystal-studded Scrabble wasn't enough, there's also a futuristic LED-lit version of Scrabble.

For those who love their tech and LED lights, there's a special version of Scrabble that cost around $30,000 to make and debuted at the Prague Mind Sports Festival.

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The setup itself comprises 9 RFID circuit boards and 225 RFID antennae which can accurately and instantly read tiles placed upon the Scrabble squares and transmit the information to viewers online.

4 Royal Diamond Chess Set - $500,000

Chess is one of the most popular two-player strategy board games out there that youngsters are actively encouraged to play. As such, the game has inspired several opulent versions, which have been exclusively made for the rich and famous.

The set is crafted from 14-karat white gold.  Over 9900 black and white diamonds were used to make the individual pieces.  It was designed by Bernard Maquin for the Charles Hollander collection.

It took the combined effort of 30 talented and patient artisans over a period of 4,500 hours to make this exquisite piece of art.

In fact, there's another bejeweled game from the Charles Hollander collection and also designed by Maquin that is coming up later in the post.

3 Art of War Chess Set - $1 Million

This is probably one of the most luxurious and fanciest chess sets that money can ever buy.

Designed by Victor F. Scharstein, this "Art of War" chess set is heavily inspired by Chinese culture. The gorgeous ebony chessboard itself comes with gold handles and the figurines are inlaid with rhodium, gold, and other precious gems.

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The rooks are shaped like silver and gold pagodas, while several of the other pieces are dressed in scholarly robes.

It's one glittering beauty, isn't it?

2 Sidney Mobell Monopoly Set - $2 million

Monopoly has always been a very popular family board game with countless editions and even card-only versions available in the market. In fact, you're sure to find an old and battered Monopoly set in almost every household.

However, for the super-rich, there is a special Monopoly set that is crafted with 18-karat solid gold and inlaid with hundreds of precious stones. The dice are made of gold and the numbers are inlaid with diamond studs. The Monopoly money is made of gold paper.

Created by San Francisco-based jewelry designer Sidney Mobell in 1988, this set offers a very literal experience of the game that involves dabbling in real estate and taking risks to become a millionaire.

Because at $2 million, it can only be bought by a millionaire.

1 The Charles Hollander Backgammon Set - $5 million

While there are several different jeweled chess sets available, some games have more finite options. For those who love Backgammon, there's a special Charles Hollander Backgammon set that costs a neat $5 million.

The main reason for the hefty price tag? It is made with 61,082 black, white and yellow diamonds.

Designed by the artist Bernard Maquin, it took over 10,000 hours of labor to craft this exquisite set. The design is influenced by Eastern motifs and geometric patterns, particularly the tones of ancient Damascene ornaments. In addition to this, it also contains 6.77 kg gold and 150-gram silver.

Now that's some jeweled work of art!

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