The 23 Most Popular Board Games in the World

There are a ton of popular board games on the market today, but there are those staple games that have a worldwide reputation. Of those, there are 23 popular board games that we will discuss in today's post.

From the most searched board games to board games for the whole family, we will cover 23 of the world's most popular board games. Stay tuned to learn the ideas of gameplay and some interesting facts about these most popular board games.

Table of contents


The Most Popular Board Games Searched By Country 

The most popular board games in the world may differ a bit depending on where you live and what is newly available. Not all board games are rated equal, and the popularity of board games vary around the world. To tackle that notion, we will first cover board games that are most popular based on an internet search. Let us look at the four different board games that are searched most often and how they stack up.


Catan was invented by Klaus Teuber in the late 1990s and is now over 25 years old. It was originally named The Settlers of Catan, but it has since been simplified to Catan. In addition to a fan-favorite board game, it has multiple:

  • Accessories
  • Editions
  • Expansion packs
  • Extensions
  • Spin-offs
  • Variations

This award-winning board game is among the world's most popular board games. This strategy-based board game allows gameplay by adults and children, family, and friends. 

Catan has three simple points of gameplay, and they are:

  • Build
  • Settle
  • Trade

The board game's set-up allows for new play every time and a classic board game experience. And if you choose to use an expansion, your gameplay will continue to change again and again!


Ludo is a game of luck based on a roll of the dice. It was created in England in 1896, but the board game originated in India and is based on Pachisi. Another popular board game based on Ludo is Sorry!, which we also discuss later. 

It is a great board game for families and children. The rules are simple, and the gameplay is straightforward. 


Monopoly is a standard among board game communities. It is another widely searched board game, yet it is not without its flaws. Today, Monopoly is not well-loved, as many rank it below a 5 on a 10 point scale.

While it is an often played board game is has a lot of downsides to its gameplay that newer game developers have taken note of, including the following:

  • Game length – Monopoly can take forever for the board game to end. We all know someone who has forfeited or given up on finishing because it can take a long time for someone in the game to build a monopoly.
  • Player elimination – In Monopoly, you are trying to gain the monopoly standing on properties and bankrupt all of your fellow players. It can make a game unfun if you get eliminated early, and your friends are playing for hours longer. 
  • Reliance on luck – You move by a roll of the dice, and so if you are lucky, you can buy the best or all of the properties before your opponents. 


Scrabble is the most searched for board game in the world. It provides endless gameplay because the letter tiles allow for so many possibilities. Created in 1948, Scrabble paved the way for other wordplay and word jumble board games. 

The following is a list of where Scrabble is widely popular:

  • France
  • French-speaking countries
  • French-speaking islands 
  • French-speaking provinces

Scrabble is a fan-favorite board game that is best played with adults, who have larger vocabularies than children. However, it does promise great spelling and vocab challenges for kids who are learning. 

The following table represents the most searched board games by countries around the world:

These four games make up the four most searched for games in the world. As you can see, of the four, Catan shows up least often as the number one searched board game. In comparison, Scrabble is the most searched board game worldwide. 

The Most Popular Party Games

Party board games are always awesome because you can get so many people involved in the fun. These types of board games have a high number of players allowed and can be played in a timely fashion. 


Clue was the first murder mystery board game of its kind. It allows for play by up to six people, with each one being a suspect in the murder of Mr. Boddy.

You have to search for clues to solve the murder and figure out:

  • Who did it?
  • What weapon was used?
  • Where did the murder take place?

With all these possibilities, this board game is not too short and not too long. It allows for competition and thrills as you work to solve a fictitious murder. 


Codenames is another good party game that allows for teams of players to work together to create word associations. It is great as an ice breaker and fun for all ages. 

What sets Codenames apart from other party games:

  • You can only give single word clues
  • Great as a get to know you game
  • Fun to play as a spy and work to find your secret agents in the field
  • The board game's setup is quick and easy

Again, because the Codenames board game relies on single-word clues, you get to know a lot about the people you are playing with, and it creates bonding and laughter among everyone. 


You do not have to be an artist to play Pictionary, but it certainly helps. It is just like charades but withdrawing instead of acting. And anyone can play, children and adults have lots of fun guessing and drawing against the clock. 

It is a fast-paced board game, so here are some fast facts, too:

  • Created in 1985
  • Invites a laugh from everyone in your group
  • Updated versions for new pop-culture references

Additionally, the Pictionary board game has evolved into many different variations, including Pictionary Man and Pictionary the card game.

Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit is the ultimate party game with endless trivia questions. It relies on your general knowledge as well as how much you know about pop culture. 

Here are some cool facts about the board game. You never know; maybe they will help you answer a trivia question one day:

  • Over 90 million copies of Trivial Pursuit have been sold
  • The board game was first imagined between friends playing Scrabble
  • There are over 60 editions
  • This board game has been sold in 17 different languages
  • Trivial Pursuit was first released in 1981

No matter what age group you are playing with, there is bound to be an edition of Trivial Pursuit that suits your family and friends!

You can always find a party board game to play with your friends and family. And you know it will be a good game if you choose from one of these four popular options. 

The Most Popular Games Requiring Strategy 

Some people are only into board games for the strategy involved and the brain games they get to play. And there is no shortage of board games requiring strategy out there. Read on as we discuss some of the most popular strategy games. 


Backgammon is not just about strategy, as there is also some luck involved. But it is a blast to play all the same! It is fairly easy to learn and is considered one of the oldest known board games in the world. 

Backgammon is a relatively simple board game with these unique features:

  • All-in-one board game – All of the playing pieces and dice are kept inside the board, which usually transforms from a box and opens up into the board, where you then lay out all the pieces for set-up.
  • Only four essentials to gameplay – There is moving, doubling, hitting, and bearing off.
  • Other equipment is basic – The game plays with two pairs of dice and a doubling cube as well as 30 checkers total, 15 for each player.

This may not be a board game for all ages and does require some patience and strategy, so it is not for everyone. But gameplay usually does not last too long. This board game requires strategy and tact but is easily portable, coming in its carry-all case, and is well-liked by many. 


Checkers is a board game of strategy, but it is simple enough for people of all ages to play. It has a basic game set-up with a checkerboard and 24 checkers divided between two players. 

Checkers has some added health benefits you may not have considered, given the simplicity in which gameplay unfolds:

  • Uses logic and color recognition to engage both hemispheres of the brain
  • Improves memory by requiring that you keep track of patterns
  • Stimulates thinking simply by interacting with another human

Even though many people brush off checkers as a board game for kids and beginners, it can be an extremely fun and low stakes board game that does not require too much time from start to finish. 


Chess has been around for a long time. It allows you and one other player to go head-to-head in a board game of strategy and logic. It requires you to go back and forth until the goal of checkmate is achieved! 

Chess has allowed for large communities and competitions to be built around the board game. It has supported champions with grand prizes and created comradery at many local parks with staunch competitors in nearby neighbors. 


Othello was originally released in 1883, making it an old game, but not as old as backgammon, checkers, or chess. This board game is also commonly called Reversi, although there have been claims that the games are different. But Reversi, in its original form, is no longer played. 

You can easily recognize Othello by the following features:

  • A green board for gameplay
  • Reversible black and white checkers

Othello does require strategy and logic, but it is not difficult to learn, and it can be easy to see the patterns the more you play.


Another board game of strategy is Risk. It requires you to beat your opponent in conquering all of the board game's territories. It is quite a long battle as taking over the world is not a fast scenario. Build alliances and then betray them as you work to conquer the world. 

There are some fast facts about Risk that add to the fun and add to the reasons behind this board game's popularity:

  • Released in the late 1950s
  • Introduced game concepts of control and influence
  • Highlights war game and military conquering

This was the first war board game of its kind, and it is a smash hit with new editions and versions evolving on the market.


Sequence has been equated to a version of Connect Four for adults. But anyone can play Sequence. It is a fun and fast board game that has you working in teams to play cards that align into rows of five. Once you get two of these sequences, you win!

What sets Sequence apart from the other strategy games?:

  • Uses checkers, board, and cards for gameplay
  • Uses two decks of cards 
  • Has special rules for the Jacks in the decks

Sequence combines cards and a board for gameplay, like many other games. It does not take very long to master and is quite fun for all ages. 

Among the world's most popular strategy board games, you can find one that suits your family or friend group. Some of these world-popular board games require more time and strategy than others, but that is all part of the fun. Of these six popular strategy board games, you can certainly find one that requires a good balance of focus and fun.

The Most Popular Children's Games

Some of the most popular children's board games have simple elements but can also be challenging and fun. Children's board games are often not just for children but can be great for people of all ages. But below, we have some board games that were invented with kids in mind.


Battleship is a board game that everyone loves! It is only two players, and it can last for quite a while. Each player takes turns guessing the location of the other player's battleships. You play until all the battleships on one player's board are sunk. After that, the game is over.

Battleship is fun for all ages, but especially children because:

  • Gameplay is straightforward
  • The rules are simple
  • Color recognition is key
  • The assortment of placements for battleships means possibilities are endless

A board game from the late 1960s, Battleship uses that war game, conquering concept and brings it to life in a new way. All of these factors make Battleship one of the most popular children's games in the world! 

Connect Four

Connect Four is a fast and fun children's board game that today has many different versions. It allows for children to learn strategy in a low stake's way. If you are cunning enough, you may even be able to set yourself up for two Connect Fours and win the game even if your opponent tries to block you!

The beauty of this board game is in how fast it is played. Many times the game only requires about 10 minutes before someone has a Connect Four. That being said, playing best two out of three, or best three out of five, lengthens the game and gives you more chances to outsmart your opponent. 

Again, this is a great game for children because:

  • It is fast-paced
  • Requires color and pattern recognition
  • Needs little to no supervision
  • The instructions are easy to follow

Connect Four is a classic board game, and that is why it ranks as one of the most popular games in the world. 

Cranium Games

Technically, this is another category with the children's board game sector. But the Cranium brand does a great job of creating board games geared toward both kids and adults. There are quite a few Cranium board games on the market geared toward children. They do a great job of being learning games while keeping it fun and competitive.

The following is a list of Cranium board games that are great for children:

  • Balloon Lagoon
  • Cadoo
  • Cariboo and Cariboo Island
  • Conga
  • Hoopla
  • Hullabaloo
  • Scribbles
  • Who on
  • Ziggity
  • Zoosk

In addition to all the wonderful children's board games, Cranium has an assortment of adult party games that allow you to test your knowledge and skill during different challenges. 


Operation is a fun board game based on removing ailments from a patient's body with a pair of tweezers. The game becomes complex in the fact that if you make a wrong move and hit the sides of the patient, a buzzer sounds, and your turn is over. 

Operation is a great game for kids because:

  • It allows children to use their dexterity 
  • It includes simple math skills
  • It has multiple versions for increased fun

Operation is a board game that gets the whole group laughing. It can be fun and challenging all at the same time, which is why it lands on our list of the world's most popular board games. 


Scattergories is a beat-the-clock word game where players using one letter of the alphabet try to fulfill each category with a word matching that letter. To select a letter, a special die is rolled. You then play rounds of the game, and the player with the most points wins.

There are only three rounds in a game, and at the end, you tally the scores. You earn points by  selecting a word that matches the category and starts with the right letter. And your word can't be the same as someone else's. 

Scattergories makes it on the list because it is a great board game for children and adults alike. Kids can work their spelling and vocabulary chops all while having fun!

While children's board games are designed with simplicity and speed in mind, they are great learning tools. Many times great children's board games can make for great adult fun, too! So next time you go shopping, do not limit yourself to just your age group. Any of these five children's board games would love to come home with you.

The Most Popular Games For The Whole Family

Family board games are such a great time! These types of board games offer a balance of fun and ease that parents and children can both enjoy. Family board games are not too difficult to learn how to play, and the gameplay is relatively routine. 


Sorry! is a fun and family-friendly board game. This board game is related to Ludo, and it has many of the same basic ideas for play. This board game does not require too much strategy, so it plays well as a not too long family fun time.

Sorry! requires the following skills to play well:

  • A little bit of strategy
  • Counting
  • Logic
  • Luck (this may not be a skill, but it is still needed)

While Sorry! is geared mainly toward younger children, it can be fun for the whole family. Parents, keep in mind that the gameplay might become a bit monotonous as you go around and around on the game board. 

The Game of Life

The Game of Life is a bit more involved than Sorry!, but it is still a great family board game. It originally came out in 1960 and allows you to test out different paths in life, ultimately aiming to make the most money.

There are so many editions of this board game that allow children to play by themselves, or you can choose themed versions to up the fun. 

In The Game of Life, you walk through the different stages of life a person might pursue:

  • Going to college
  • Buying a house
  • Raising a family
  • Working
  • Retiring 

It can be mostly a game of luck, and the outcomes of gameplay are endless due to so many factors being involved. It is a great family board game that can help children learn through counting and adding. 

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is an amazing train game that involves both strategy and luck, as we have seen in our other popular family board games. This board game can be a long one, especially if you have not played it before and need to review the instructions. 

In addition to great gameplay, Ticket to Ride:

  • Balances greed and fear
  • Has many different versions with intriguing maps so that you can play in different places around the world, not just across the United States
  • Has many game outcomes
  • It is a beautifully designed game

This board game has won many awards, making it one of the most popular games in the world. We have not seen another board game like it out there. Even though it has a lot of moving parts and rules to keep track of, it is a fun family game. 


Yahtzee was originally released in 1956, and it has stood the test of time. It requires some strategy, but your game is in the hands of the dice. It is a great family board game that is fun for all ages. 

This board game also has a ton of fun versions based on pop culture, TV, and movies. Yahtzee takes scoring seriously and uses some of the same combinations you see in poker. It is a great way to get your children to practice addition. 

The most popular family board games are perfect for all ages. The gameplay is fairly straightforward for these family board games, and they can last from anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. Check out these four family-oriented board games next!

In Summary: Plenty Of Board Games To Go 'Round

There are plenty of board games out there, but the ones discussed in this post are the world's most popular board games. If you need a board game suggestion, start with these 23, we have even broken them down into more unique categories to know exactly which board games will suit your style of fun!

From Backgammon to Yahtzee, we discussed 23 of the world's most popular board games. No matter what type of board game you are looking for, you will find the perfect one on our list.

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