No matter how old we all are, we somehow seem to have had the same board games from childhood. The phase childhood board games can mean many different things to different people, and it should, we are all from very different times.
There are differences here and there but there are a few titles that remain the same. Some of these rose to success because they were great, some had great marketing teams and some were just revolutionary that had the luxury of time. For this list, when we thought about childhood we thought a lot about nostalgia and family. This is what we came up with as our list of 10 board games from childhood.
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#10 | Battleship
“You sunk my Battleship” where five of the best words you could here when you were a kid. Battleship was one of those games from our childhood that simulated deep attacks amongst our opponent and we loved it. Not being able to see your opponent’s board, you needed to call out numbers from a grid to try and hit them.
Everyone had their own strategy and crazy rationale behind it. Jim did mini Xs and Kelly did long diagonals, but that was all trash because your method using “L” shapes is clearly best. This 1931 game deserves its place in history, it struck a lot of cords with players of all levels and interest.
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#09 | Candyland
Most of the games on this list of board games from childhood skew more general family. While Candyland does skew a little younger, there is not a person out there who cannot appreciate the depth and character of Candyland. Lollypop Woods, Licorice Lagoon, I mean get these guys a Pulitzer.
You just took cards to move along a track, but it didn’t matter because there were like two cards that just took you to the end. None of that mattered, everyone just wanted to be a part of that thrill ride. It is weird that this is the game that ended up in so many homes, but credit to the marketing teams and Saturday morning cartoons.
FOR MORE: Buy Candyland
#08 | Guess Who
If you had someone with glasses, you knew you were in trouble in the board games from childhood all-star Guess Who. This one on one game was intense, you would see your opponent slowly flick down their character panels and you know time is running out.
You need to ask yes or no questions to figure out who their character is before they do the same to you. The key is to have the most bland character there is, usually a straight white male, with hair and without glasses. Like Dave I’m guessing. This title from 1979 was just always around, and it was fantastic.
FOR MORE: Buy Guess Who
#07 | The Game of Life
The Game of Life always seemed broken, the penalty for not going to college was so huge, why not go. It was probably more of a PSA from the game makers than anything, and probably responsible for making sure a generation of kids went to college. A title that was probably on the list of board games from childhood for all of us.
Besides that, there was nothing too it, you were just along for the ride, being pushed by a terrible plastic spinner that if you gave it your all might move five ticks in one direction. You kind of just picked stuff up along the way and dealt with it, no real way to think ahead or change anything. Just like real life.
FOR MORE: Buy Life
#06 | Twister
Something about the color and the time and maybe music, all made Twister feel like the best idea ever. This mat with circles plus a spinner dexterity game came out in 1966 and was an instant hit. It made us move our bodies in ways we never imagined and it was always a good time.
Do not get twisted up and fall or get Gary’s butt in your face, because that would be hilarious. We have all had to deal with this in some kind of awkward party situation, hopefully it just wasn’t one that involved your grandma.
FOR MORE: Buy Twister
#05 | Trivial Pursuit
Apologies to people who like playing Trivial Pusuit, but no one likes playing Trivial Pursuit. Yet, someone how it always made its way out. Maybe we thought it was our once year refresh to make sure we were still retaining everything we learned in school.
Regardless, about an hour and a half into the game you start to look around and ask whose idea was it to play this game anyway. This heavy hitter on the list of board games from childhood came out in 1981 and has pretty much cornered the triva market ever since. It became a thing that people were supposed to have in their house.
FOR MORE: Buy Trivial Pursuit
#04 | Clue
Not many board games have entered the cultural zeitgeist as Clue has. It has its own movie for Pete’s sake, and a good one, not like Battleship. A game that is so famous that you know the full names of the characters in it. If I start talking about Colonel Mustard or Professor Plum, you know exactly who I am talking about.
We didn’t understand it at first. How could we know what was in the envelope if it was sealed and who put it there, we would think. We just liked rolling the die, moving into rooms and playing with the pieces. Then they day came when we discovered it all, we solved a murder and then life was glorious. As easy game to come to mind when thinking board games from childhood.
FOR MORE: How To Play Clue | Games Like Clue | Buy Clue
#03 | Scrabble
Scrabble is one of those love/hate board games from childhood but no matter if it defeated you or not, it had an important role in your life. Like Sesame Street, Scrabble secretly taught you things while you were having fun. It was usually frustrating but you always had that one relative that was super pumped to play it and you had to oblige.
There are two types of players in Scrabble, those who excel and those who try to figure out what dirty words they can make or where they can add their “s”.
FOR MORE: Buy Scrabble
#02 | Risk
The game of world domination has been around since 1959 and it has been a top board game of childhood (and all ages) ever since. Even today, Risk is beloved for its simple and core winner take dice roll mechanic. This is a game that has aged well with time, but that doesn’t matter at all.
All that matters is that glorious holiday evening when you were nine when you held Australia while your family destroyed each other and you rolled out and took down everyone. It was one of the best days of your life.
FOR MORE: Risk Guide | How To Play Risk | Risk Review | Games Like Risk | Buy Risk
#01 | Monopoly
Of coarse the top title of the list of board games from childhood is Monopoly. This 1933 title has sold more games than most and it is known by everyone. People nowadays all agree that better games have come along, but in its day, this roll dice to move along a track to buy properties hoping to get a set board game was revolutionary.
Monopoly is so well known that even fake made up rules (free parking) are more well known than the core rules of other games. We all have memories of playing this for four hours, getting fed up and not finishing. Nothing screams childhood board gaming like Monopoly.