12 Classic Board Games to Play as a Family Right Now

Trade-in your screens for a little family-friendly competition around games that have spanned generations.

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July 02, 2020

With school out for summer and more people working from home than ever before, we've got no shortage of time to spend with our families or roommates.

If you haven't already dusted off your stash of board games, now's a great time to break them out, or to stock up on some old favorites.

Most of these board and dice games are decades old, and they've lasted generations for a reason: they're just plain fun. All of these games are fit for a wide range of ages, from Chutes and Ladders for toddlers up to Trivial Pursuit for teens and older.

This summer, put away Instagram and TikTok, and break out a snack platter for a late night in.


If you know Monopoly as the game that takes forever, consider taking a quick look through the official rules before the next time you play. Chances are you've got some family rules that have worked their way through the generations. Hint: The game moves much more quickly (and smoothly) if you never allow anyone to offer personal loans to other players close to bankruptcy.

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This version of Scrabble has a board that locks your tiles in place, so you can turn the board more easily without worrying about messing up the words.

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The game of Sorry! is all about sabotaging your opponents, which can make for a funny evening.

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$37.99 $34
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The Game of Life is one of the most classic board games of all time. It combines luck and choice to follow a player from birth to retirement.

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$16.18 $12
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Chutes and Ladders is a game that literally the whole family can play. Designed with very small children in mind, kids ages four and up can play this game of luck.

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This classic version of Trivial Pursuit has 2,400 questions, so you're not likely to run out. If you haven't played in a while, it's worth noting this game is meant for people 16 and up, so it's ideal for families with teens and college students.

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$20.99 $17
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This is the classic take on the original whodunit board game.

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$49.99 $46
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Who can build train routes across the US the fastest? This five-player board game requires strategizing to protect your railroads from competing builders. (The regular version of the game is also available for $45.)

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Balderdash is a hilarious game of making up definitions for uncommon words. It's ideal for couples, roommates and families with older children.

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This version of Candy Land is styled the way it was made in 1967, but the game actually goes much further back than that. It was first created in 1948.

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Battleship may be a two-player game, but with two or more sets you can easily set up a tournament in your family.

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This version of the classic game Guess Who? features characters from another favorite, Clue.

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Live alone but still want to play? Many of these games have app equivalents. Monopoly is available in both the Apple App Store and on Google Play, and so is Scrabble. Jackbox is another great option that allows players to join for trivia, drawing and other fun games via their cellphones. The app is intended to be used on a TV (such as with Amazon Fire, Apple or Android TV) and for in-person players to sit around that TV together, but it works well on Zoom or Google Hangouts if the people with the TV point a laptop camera at the TV. Jackbox has other suggestions for social distanced playing here.

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