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Crstna • 7 years ago

Hey guys, the Beanbag Billiard Plus 33-In-One tossing game is now live on Kickstarter! Please share this crowdfunding campaign link and donate if you can! https://www.kickstarter.com...

smmoulder • 7 years ago

Wow! What a terrible, clueless list. Today's kids (and their parents) can do much better. And it's important because getting kids engaged with some analog entertainment to go with the digital is a big win. Here is a much better list: http://www.pastemagazine.co...

Talismania! • 7 years ago

What century is this? These are certainly "classics", but surely it would have been better to do a top 10 with some of the modern classics like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Dominion, and maybe Sorry/Ludo filling out the list . . .

guillaumetexas • 7 years ago

Boardgamegeek.com Really, this is the place to start. Sigh.

ahdok • 7 years ago

I think the audience that this particular article is aimed at might find BGG a little obtuse to navigate, it's really a site for people who are really into the hobby. If you're looking for good games though, going to BGG's all-time ranking, and investigating anything in the top 20 or so will probably do you fine...)

http://www.shutupandsitdown... might be a good place to start...

Crstna • 7 years ago

Check out http://beanbagbilliards.com which will be coming to Kickstarter soon! It's a super fun 33-In-One tossing game and the perfect companion to the Coolest Cooler and Exploding Kittens game!

ahdok • 7 years ago

I'm pretty sure that the game Monopoly is based off was deliberately designed to be as frustrating and annoying as possible, for idealogical reasons. Monopoly is a game that consists entirely of the three hallmarks of bad boardgame design.

1) Roll-to-move. Nothing says tedium like your turn being the rolling of dice and then moving a thing around some spaces. There's no skill or thought involved at all.

2) The Chance Space: Boardgames that rely on you drawing a card from a deck of random cards, and having that determine your success or failure are basically just RNG simulators, there's no opportunity for the player to make meaningful decisions. If the cards have the equivalent of "miss a go" that's even worse.

3) Player elimination. Don't get me wrong, you can have good games with player elimination (look at Skull, or Welcome to the Dungeon) - but it needs managed very carefully. Player elimination is a mechanic specifically used to make your decisions and strategy feel tense and climactic - it puts you on the precipice where you risk it all and you win big or go home.

When you're staring into an inevitable elimination as your resources slowly trickle away, and you know there's nothing you can do to stop it, that doesn't define an interesting game, that's a form of slow torture. When you're then left to sit around for several hours while the other players complete the game, that's unforgivable. Player elimination should only be used as a game mechanic if the game ends quickly, so people aren't left out.


Never ever recommend Monopoly as a good game. It's tired, and tedious and should be consigned to obscurity. Even if for some insane reason you actively want all of the mechanics I mention above, you're better off playing Talisman.

Beresford Quimby • 7 years ago

Agreed. And further to this, most people don't play Monopoly with the only rule that even slightly mitigates the onslaught of decision-free luck: the auction. Or, to spin it another way, Monopoly is a basic auction game hamstrung by a pile of unnecessary random nonsense.

David Oliver • 7 years ago

This is a very lazy article! Instead of doing research, you have just mentioned classic board games without any insight what's been happening in the board game market over the past generation.

There are people that have dedicated careers and lives to progressing the medium, tying to challenge the view that 'board games' are just Monopoly and Chess. To see such an obtuse, poorly researched and closed minded article is extremely disappointing; even insulting.

Mr Chilton, if you are reading this, I implore you to listen to all the extremely passionate people below me and pick up a copy of Ticket to Ride, Catan or Dominion. As a culture editor you must be open to new experiences - board gaming is an experience that so many of us are deeply invested in. It's an experience that we would like to share. I hope that then you will be able to see why we disagree so strongly with your article.

sirtaindoume • 7 years ago

There are so many better board games than all of these. I mean, Monopoly for goodness sake.
Caylus, Puerto Rico, Agricola, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Dominion, Tigris and Euprates. I could go on all day. Maybe not all for the young ones but board games have moved on so far from those in this article.

ahdok • 7 years ago

The thing I love about this comment is that all of these apart from "Dominion" have been classics for a decade ago. They're all great, and they've all been around and established for long enough that anyone doing a moment of research about boardgames will find them...

sirtaindoume • 7 years ago

Plus soooooo many other great games too!

Beresford Quimby • 7 years ago

But if you DO want new games for the young ones, what about My First Carcassonne, Catan Junior, Midnight Party, Pickomino, Can't Stop...the list, as for adults, goes on and on...

Russell • 7 years ago

Don't listen to this man. Monopoly is a terrible game to play with people. Very quickly someone will be forced out of the game - and they are then forced to sit around waiting until the remaining people battle it out - possible for hours.
Catan (mentioned below) is much much better and even gives players things to do when its not their 'turn'. It takes a little while to learn - but Agricola is very rewarding too - and keeps everyone involved to the end.

Justin Horton • 7 years ago

"Chess can raise your IQ, It helps prevent Alzheimer's (according to a
study published in The New England Journal of Medicine it helps players
utilise vital brain tissue)"

The 2003 study cited here, by Verghese et al, *actually doesn't mention chess*. Research demonstrating that chess "helps prevent Alzheimer's" is notably thinner on the ground than are claims for its existence.

seanoll • 7 years ago

Nice article that brings out the DT Pub Boresto argue that the writer knows nothing and that the only great board games are the ones they like. Seriously, have you people thought how ridiculous you appear?

Beresford Quimby • 7 years ago

Not as ridiculous as someone with no knowledge whatsoever of the topic, who chimes in with a flimsy, substance-free attempt at trolling.

Dan Roe • 7 years ago

Not as ridiculous as an article on "The Best Board Games" that features exactly zero board games created in the last 70 years, love.

Steve Friedly • 7 years ago

Anyone else see the irony of this article appearing on the internet? Or that the news organization publishing this is named The Telegraph?

mattwilsondxb • 7 years ago

I really struggle with the legitimacy of a paper when they publish articles like this. It proves that no research went into the article whatsoever. These are Classic boardgames, agreed, but they are far, far from the best. Modern board-gaming is growing but when mainstream media publish articles like this we're being pushed backwards.

Where are the articles about the immense library of modern boardgames? The recent revival of game nights? The articles about the benefits of playing games for learning, social interaction, engaging your brain and imagination? and that's just a few of the benefits for the adults..

ahdok • 7 years ago

I mean, even if we were to be discussing the best traditional and very old boardgames, nobody in their right mind would put monopoly on the list. You'd include Go instead.

Dan Roe • 7 years ago

It's worse than that, actually. He doesn't appear to have done that much research even on the games he's actually covered.

Hint: Pawns aren't chess pieces.

seanoll • 7 years ago

So, you don't think they are the best ans I feel sure that a lot of people would not agree with you. Really, you are a very silly person who believes he is right who criticises a paper on its website. Pathetic.

ArnJR • 7 years ago

I think the comments say it all. The author really needs to check out the vast array of superior boardgames that are available instead of the tired old chiches - Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo...
I'd recommend Dominion, 7 Wonders, Settlers of Catan, Kingdom Builder, Ticket to Ride, Smallworld, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Mr Jack, Power Grid....need I go on?

magi83 • 7 years ago

The mark of a great board game is 'easy to learn, difficult to master'. On the basis that chess occupies the extremes of both paradigms, I'd say it still qualifies as the world's greatest board game.

ahdok • 7 years ago

Go? It's easier to learn and more difficult to master.

magi83 • 7 years ago

Carcassonne is another modern 'classic'. It's basically an advanced version of dominoes.

granchestermeadows • 7 years ago

My children loved dominoes, especially 5 and 3s and cribbage. It certainly helped their maths.

BroomersP • 7 years ago

No Snakes and Ladders?

Plane Guy • 7 years ago

more like bottom 5 board games amirite? hey Martin, why don't you come join us in the year 1998 and play some new games

Paul Dillon • 7 years ago

Diplomacy is worth a mention; I don't play board games now, but I thought it was on a higher level, or maybe more interesting, than things like Risk, or any of the games mentioned already.

Stuntman06 • 7 years ago

Just wondering if there is anyone out there who would consider any of the games mentioned in the article as being in the top 5 of your list. If so, what other games would you consider to be in your top 5 list of best board games?

I'm asking this because the games that I have been regularly playing in the past few years have been first published after 2000. I would not have any of the games mentioned in this article in my top 5 board games. I suspect that this article may be intended for a different audience than me.

Prompt Critical • 7 years ago

If this person knew anything about the subject, he would know that Go is the monarch of board games, the only one that is actually worth playing for a person of intellect.

ahdok • 7 years ago

This isn't a news article, unless it's 1920.

seanoll • 7 years ago

It is not supposed to be a news article - more a feature article. Just think how quickly the DT would go bust if it only published articles approved by dolts such as you.

ahdok • 7 years ago

A features article on boardgaming by people who clearly know absolutely nothing about the boardgames scene, and you defend it against dolts?

zrillan • 7 years ago

Monopoly is one of the worst games in existence.
It goes on for far too long and is very samey. I also I feel that it's too luck-based. You can only marginally influence where you're going and there is very little incentive not to buy as many properties as possible.

It also commits the ultimate sin in board gaming by having player elimination in a game that takes more than 15 minutes. If it takes two hours, but one player is already bankrupt after an hour and another player after 1 1/2 hours, half the people have nothing to do for a long time which might be okay for some situations, but when you're having a board game evening with a set group or a family, they're just going to sit there and do nothing or leave to do something else.

The skill in Monopoly mostly comes from making good deals, but this is muddied by the rest of the game. Not to mention that Monopoly is almost guaranteed to snowball. If you're in the lead on turn 3, you're almost certainly going to win, but between turn 3 and the end are hours of mindnumbing nonsense.
In my opinion, Settlers of Catan manages trading far better and you can instantly see what spots are profitable to build on. It also doesn't have player elimination and the multitude of ways to gain victory points almost guarantees a close and tense finish.

And Settlers isn't even one of my favorite games. But if you wanna do trading, don't do Monopoly. It's a bad game.

Nicholas Higgins • 7 years ago

I would be grateful if journalists who are writing articles on boardgames would do a little research. The market has undergone a massive transformation over the last 20 years. There are so many new games out there which are way more interesting both theme- and playability-wise, for both children and adults (see previous comments for some examples).

Harry Wallop has just penned a separate article on card/boardgames and he couldn't be further from the truth: (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/....

As somebody who has recently set-up a British 'eurostyle' board game publishing company alongside others (a testament to the industry renaissance, perhaps), I would welcome a more modern take on a very old industry............

googleplus • 7 years ago

Chess is too boring and you really need to play someone of equal ability to find it rewarding. Draughts is by far superior (as a fun game) as kids can pick it up easily and can be played at a very high level as they develop.
Risk is an excellent game for boys and has a lot of mileage.
Monopoloy is a bore fest that if played to completion ends in a nasty atmosphere also with two or three players out of the game before it is finished.

magi83 • 7 years ago

Risk has the same issue and, when played at Christmas, spouses who want a quick exit tend to focus all their energies on eliminating their other half! The winner is usually the stealthy sod who keeps their head down.

What I love about Risk is that the rules perfectly capture the concept found in its name. Luck often plays a huge factor but is critical in decision making. While it is certainly strategic it is also a betting game - every turn you are looking at potential moves, their pay off and their odds of success.

googleplus • 7 years ago

Scrabble only stays fun if played by normal people. If someone has learned the strategy and the quirky words that offload Q's & Z's then it can get boring quickly.

Stuntman06 • 7 years ago

My first experience with Scrabble is with a player who understood the advanced strategies. Pretty much, a defensive strategy is what he used and it made the game not so fun for me. I didn't pull it out again for years when I played with more casual players who don't go all defensive. Also, playing with more than 2 players make for a better experience as playing defensively only hoses the next player and there is no guarantee that that next player will also play defensively as well.

Cosimo Montagu • 7 years ago

Wow - everyheard of anything called research? Some fantastic games out there now, boardgames are currently having a massive revival. Bet you've not played any of them!

Guest • 7 years ago
Beresford Quimby • 7 years ago

"Most board games should be called bored games."?

Out of interest, have you played any of the modern wave of boardgames released in the last 15-20 years and which are referenced by many commenters here? If so, which ones, might I ask?

MelanieB2 • 7 years ago

Settlers of Catan replaced Monopoly as the go-to entry level game in the 90s.
Games like the Resistance, Mafia/Warewolf, Sherriff of Nottingham, and Love Letter are better and more interactive bluffing/deductive reasoning games than Clue.
Bananagrams or even games like Qwirkle replaced Scrabble.

lorriman • 7 years ago

There has been a lot of development in game design the last 100 years since monopoly. There are some truly wonderful games that are much more fun.
For a social and family, negotiation-style, fairly easy, very deep modern game, try the classic Settlers of Catan (now known as just 'Catan'). Even it's getting old, but I think it's the best game to cover both newbies, families and the experienced gamer with endless replay value. One of the great all time games.
For a marvel of a party game get Resistence:Avalon. Cheap too. Just make sure you, as the gamesmaster, gets people talking alot and not just deducting. Best at 6+.

MelanieB2 • 7 years ago

Lol, that writer needs to go back under the rock he's been living under. There's been a board game renaissance in the past 10-20 years that makes all of those board games (save chess and backgammon) about as relevant as the horse and buggy.

Dice Hard • 7 years ago

Or how about Arctic Scavengers, Twilight Imperium, Dead of Winter, Pandemic, Archipelago, Descent, Lords of Vegas or the dozens of other high quality games that have been released in the last decade?

Daniela • 7 years ago

Well they are traditional - boringly traditional. And because of that I doubt that any video game playing kids will be content with playing most of the above once or twice (if that) as it won't capture their imagination and will not keep them interested in board games.

There’s so many other choices out there for board games that should be shown to video game players and yeah they maybe aren’t 60-80 years old but are so much BETTER than the above. Everyone knows Monopoly and Draughts so there’s absolutely no need for another article claiming they are the best games ever – but how many people know about Quarto/Carcassonne/Sushi Go/Splendor, etc. (there’s variety too, look!) and how good they are at keeping kids engaged and maybe even separating them from the computer for a bit.

If you wanted to write a proper article you would have followed every game above with and here’s what you should play after to keep them engaged with board games. Stop reinforcing what everyone is saying (and the Telegraph keeps repeating anyway) and inform people of what’s out there.