21 Classic Board Games to Play as a Family

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

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November 22, 2021

If you haven't already dusted off your stash of board games, now's a great time to break them out or 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. 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 classic game features the standard Scrabble equipment for a big-time word-on-word showdown on the board. Use your letters to score points and challenge your family and friends. Every letter counts!

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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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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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This is the classic take on the original whodunit board game to discover who killed Mr. Boddy, in which room of his mansion the crime occurred and which implement was the murder weapon.

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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 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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With characters designed exactly like the originals, plus multiple, challenging ways to play, Guess Who? brings the excitement of your childhood to the play world of today.

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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 classic version of Trivial Pursuit has 2,400 questions in six categories, 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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Who can build train routes across the US the fastest? This five-player board game requires strategizing to protect your railroads from competing builders.

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When playing Catan, be sure to pick the perfect strategy that suits you best to ultimately have your small island town grow into a flourishing city. Roll the dice, trade and build, and you may be the first player to reach 10 victory points and win the game.

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Enjoy Risk! as it originally looked when it was released in 1959. This is the classic game of global domination whose appeal is as timeless as its gameplay. Use strategy, diplomacy and luck to conquer the world before your opponents.

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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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Play a card from your hand, and place a chip on a corresponding space on the game board — when you have five in a row, it’s a SEQUENCE. Each player or team tries to score the required number of five-card SEQUENCES before their opponents.

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