The Best-Selling Board Games of All Time, Ranked
By: FUN Monster
Board games have been a favorite pastime for thousands of years, with some of today’s most popular board games having been introduced all the way back in 3,000 B.C.E.! Even with video games, streaming services, and other forms of electronic entertainment, many people still turn to board games for a budget-friendly way to spend time with family and friends. The pandemic helped to increase the popularity of board games, as many people needed something to do while they were stuck inside; the board game market grew by 20% in 2020, and revenue from board games sales is expected to hit the $12 billion mark in 2023.
Here, the FUN.com team presents the ultimate board game of the top-selling games of all time. The records for the best-selling games of all time have been collected over the years and include estimates of the number of each board game that has sold since it was first introduced. We assume that the numbers of units sold have only increased over time as board games continue to be a popular form of entertainment for families, couples, and friends around the world. Which of these famous board games is your favorite to play during a competitive game night with family and friends?
What is the Best-Selling Board Game of All Time?
The best-selling board game of all time is chess. It has been one of the best board games to play around the world since it was first introduced in 1200 C.E. The total number of chess sets sold since the game’s introduction is unknown, but more than three million sets are still sold yearly in the United States alone. Chess is a two-person game in which each side has 16 pieces: eight pawns, two bishops, two knights, two rooks, one queen, and one king. Each of the different types of pieces serves a different purpose and has a unique way it moves about the board. How do you win chess? The object of the game is to capture the opponent's king, which is also known as checkmating.
Chess isn’t the only board game that has been popular for thousands of years. The second top-selling board game is also the oldest board game; checkers was first introduced in 3,000 B.C.E., and an estimated 50 billion game sets have been sold since then. Backgammon is another one of the oldest board games still in play today, having also been introduced around 3,000 B.C.E. More than 88 million of the modern version of backgammon have been sold.
Below is a list of board games that have sold the most copies since they were first introduced.
The 10 Top-Selling Board Games
- Chess: The total number of units sold is unknown, but more than 3 million units are sold yearly in the U.S. alone.
- Checkers: 50 billion units sold since introduction
- Monopoly: More than 275 million units sold
- Scrabble: More than 150 million units sold
- Clue: More than 150 million units sold
- Battleship: More than 100 million units sold
- Trivial Pursuit: More than 100 million units sold
- Backgammon: More than 88 million units of the modern version sold
- Candy Land: More than 50 million units sold
- Rummikub: More than 50 million units sold
What is the Most Popular Board Game?
The most popular board game is Monopoly, which holds the Guinness World Record for being played by the most people: 500 million people worldwide. This record was set in 1999, so we imagine that many millions of people in the world have been introduced to the popular game of Monopoly since then. Monopoly ranked third on our list of the top board games of all time, with more than 275 million copies sold since its introduction in 1935. Monopoly is one of the best board games for a group, as it can be played with anywhere from two to eight players. The point of the game is to buy properties as you work your way around the board and attempt to bankrupt your opponents by charging rent when they land on one of your spaces. Monopoly is not only a top board game, but it may also be the board game with the most different versions on the market. There are said to be more than 1,500 different Monopoly games, with an option for almost any fandom, TV show, movie, or video game you can think of. There truly is a Monopoly game for everyone!
When it comes to game night, you can’t beat a classic like Monopoly, although you can also take it up a notch with one of the many themed Monopoly editions that we have available. Those with wanderlust can travel the world in just one night with our Monopoly Travel World Tour board game.
The Space Jam Edition Monopoly board game is a slam dunk for those nostalgic for the 1990s. And of course, we couldn’t forget about the many Star Wars fans out there, who can now get their game on with a Mandalorian or Boba Fett edition of Monopoly. Which of these themed Monopoly editions will you play next?
Not a fan of Monopoly? Check out our collection of board games.
The 20 Best-Selling Board Games of All Time
If two board games had the same estimated number of units sold, preference was given to the game that was introduced first.
Number of Players
3 million+ sold yearly in the U.S., but the total number of units sold since its introduction is unknown
An estimated 50 billion+ units have been sold since its introduction thousands of years ago.
88 million+ (the modern version)
The Game of Life
1 million+ copies sold in 2001; total number of units sold since is unknown