Board games bring people together and help to foster a lot of happy memories (and a few arguments!). The designers and creators of the world’s most popular board games deserve a lot of accolades for inventing products that can bring so many people joy. When a board game is best-selling, the creators definitely reap the rewards!
While some board games were first created in the 20th century, others can be traced back to the days of the pharaohs and beyond. Even after all this time, they’re still as popular as ever. Keep reading to find out what 10 board games are the world’s best sellers!
10 10th Best-Selling Board Game Ever: The Game Of Life
According to Money Inc., the 10th best-selling board game of all time is The Game of Life, published in 2002 by Hasbro. Unlike other board games, The Game of Life mirrors real life by asking players to decide between getting a job and going to college and then completing a series of goals using cards.
In its first year, the game sold 45,000 copies. It seems that people like experiences that mirror reality since by 2015, it had sold 50 million copies. Not a bad figure for Rob Daviau, who created the game!
9 Children’s Favorite: Candy Land
We tend to think of games as being a children’s form of entertainment, even though many board games are actually targeted at an older crowd. But one famous and successful board game that is a favorite amongst the kids in Candy Land, which was designed in 1948.
This is a simple game that just requires a basic knowledge of counting, making it ideal for children who simply follow the directions on the cards. By 2009, 60 years after it was first released, the game had sold 40 million copies.
8 The Ultimate Guessing Game: Battleship
If you’ve ever played Battleship, you’ll know that it’s the ultimate guessing game. The aim of the game is to guess where your opponent’s battleships are located and try to destroy them. Interestingly, Battleship was already a popular game by the time it was published. It was played with pencil and paper during the war era of the 1930s, prior to becoming a board game in the late 1960s.
Today, there are all kinds of versions of battleship available, from video games to apps. Sales have now reached more than 100 million units.
7 It Pays To Be Knowledgeable: Trivial Pursuit
If there’s one game where it pays to be knowledgeable, it’s Trivial Pursuit. Taking inspiration from Scrabble, this game was created by two Canadian journalists, who deviated from Scrabble by adding categories to the questions. Trivial Pursuit quickly rose to prominence, selling over 20 million units in 1984 alone.
Today, you can find several editions of Trivial Pursuit, from Disney Trivial Pursuit to the Baby Boomer Edition of Trivial Pursuit. Hasbro purchased the rights for the game in 2008 for a cool $80 million. Sales were estimated at $2 billion by 2010.
6 150 Million Units Sold: Clue
Invented in 1949 by Anthony Pratt, Clue is the perfect game for anyone who likes to solve a mystery. The objective of the game is to act like Nancy Drew and find the weapons that were used to kill the victim, Dr. Black, by moving to different rooms on the board. The person who finds the weapons first is the winner.
According to Mental Floss, there have been around 150 million units of Clue sold. There are also a number of spin-off editions available to die-hard fans of the game.
5 For Wordsmiths: Scrabble
Scrabble is the dream game for wordsmiths, but you definitely don’t have to be a wordsmith to enjoy it. It’s been around since 1938 and has been entertaining audiences ever since. Players form words by placing their letters in different directions and those who score the highest points win. Scrabble had sold more than 150 million copies by 2017, and the number has since risen.
In the beginning, game manufacturers weren’t interested in Scrabble, thinking it wouldn’t sell very well. That should be a very inspiring story for anybody who’s ever been rejected.
4 The Real O.G.: Monopoly
Any board game fan knows that king of all the modern board games is Monopoly—the game that you can’t play without at least one dispute between players. First introduced to the market in 1934, Monopoly is all about purchasing as much real estate on the board as you can and then trying to bankrupt your opponents.
275 million copies of Monopoly were sold by 2011, and around one billion people have played the game since it was first released. In 1998, Monopoly was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.
3 An Ancient Game: Backgammon
There are certainly many modern board games to choose from, but there’s also no denying the popularity of games that date back thousands of years. Archeologists in Iran discovered that Backgammon was being played all the way back in 3000 BC, and is still popular today.
The game was played by the Ancient Greeks, the Ancient Egyptians, and the Ancient Romans and was once even banned by the Catholic Church. By 2005, the modern version had sold more than 88 million units. There is even an international backgammon tournament!
2 Played On A Chessboard: Checkers Or Draughts
Another board game that can be traced back to well before the modern period is Checkers, which is sometimes referred to as Draughts. The aim of the game is to capture all of your opponent’s pieces with your own. If you like the feel of Chess but find it too complicated, Checkers is a good alternative because you don’t have to remember so many different movements of the individual players.
According to Money Inc., the overall number of sales for Checkers amounts to about 50 billion. It is played all over the world and has been for thousands of years.
1 Best-Selling Board Game Ever: Chess
With 3 million copies sold yearly in the United States alone, the best-selling board game ever is Chess. Dating back to 1200 A.D., Chess is all about trying to capture your opponent’s king. Even if you have all your other players still on the board, you instantly lose when your king is captured.
In Chess, every player moves a different way, with the king only able to move a single square in any direction. The most powerful player in Chess is the queen, whose job it is to protect the king.