Under The Boardwalk:
Board Game Best-Sellers
Even as we spend more time online and more of our entertainment is technology-based, board games remain popular diversions, especially for families. New board games come out every year, but there are a few staples that never go out of fashion. Different sources provide different rankings, but based on a cross-section of several charts (and excluding impossible-to-chart, age-old games like chess, checkers and backgammon) these are the top-selling board games of all time.
The fact that Parker Brothers first began selling this game of wealth and property accumulation at the height of the Great Depression says a lot about the enduring power of dreams of financial success. Monopoly even became popular in pirated versions in socialist countries where the licensed game was banned.
The game's playing pieces have become iconic -- so much so that it was big news when fans voted to discontinue the iron (now a collectible) in favor of a cat. Monopoly has also kept its popularity by issuing many different editions of the game.
There have been versions based on landmarks in different cities of the world, Monopoly Junior for young players, and a variety of licensed editions featuring Disney characters, The Simpsons, Star Wars heroes, and many more.
Players around the globe have enjoyed playing this addictive word game since it was first introduced back in the late '40s and exploded in popularity in the 1950s. There have been several video game versions, two TV game shows, and more recently it has become an online sensation through Facebook.
But the traditional Scrabble board game remains a big, big seller year after year, as well as its many related products: Scrabble Junior, the Scrabble Slam card game, and several themed editions.
There's even a Scrabble Cooking Edition, which may leave competitors checking words in their cookbooks instead of their dictionaries. And yes, you can use the word "scrabble" when you play Scrabble, even if following the rule that outlaws names and titles. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists it first as a verb: "to scratch, claw, or grope about clumsily or frantically."
And Your Runners-Up...
Generations of players have tried to solve the murder in the classic mystery game Clue, which ranks as the 3rd best-selling board game. Coming in at number 4 is Risk, the game of strategic military might. Everything from marriage to your career is at the mercy of the spinner in the boldly named game of Life, which makes the top 5. Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Battleship, Candy Land, and Chutes and Ladders are among the games close to cracking the top 5, depending on which reference you check. Trivia games based on hit TV shows and films have also recently proven popular in board game form.