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Top 5 Board Games

Updated on August 25, 2011

Board games are a great way to spend time with friends and family. They're a great social activity that require skill, strategy, and luck. If you aren't big on board games, or are simply looking to try new board games, then you will find something on this list relevant to your interests. Now, I'm going to choose to leave Monopoly and Life out of this list. Those two are the most popular board games of all time and chances are you have most likely heard of them, and probably played them as well. If you haven't, those are classic board games that you need to play, so add them along with this list.

1. Risk

Risk is probably the most interesting board game ever, and will keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Seriously, the game requires so much strategy that if you're not on your turn, you're thinking about what to do when your turn comes the entire time. The game also involves much backstabbing. One turn you're allies, and the next you're attacking each other. The flow of the game can change so fast that you won't even know what happened. It's really an exciting game, as long as you have a few hours to really sit and enjoy it.

How does the game work? I'll go over that very briefly. At the beginning, everyone has a few territories on a map. Throughout the course of the game, you build and expand your empire by taking over others territories until you have eventually conquered the world! Sounds awesome doesn't it? The strategy all comes in based on where you choose to place your troops, and when and where you choose to attack, at what time. The actual attacking is luck based, and sometimes luck is a big determining factor of any major plan you may have for the game. Where skill comes in is if plan your moves whilst preparing for the worst possible outcomes.

2. Taboo

Another very exciting game, though not technically a "board" game. Basically, you split up into teams of 2. You get a card that has a word on it, and you have to try to make your partner guess that word. Ah but there's a catch, you can't say any part of the word or any of the words listed under the word to guide your partner. You also cannot do any actions. To add to the fun, there's also a timer! This game can get pretty heated up and frustrating. Sometimes you just can't describe a word or your partner is on a completely different train of thought! The more words your partner guesses in a minute, the more points you get. This game does not get boring fast, there are hundreds of cards with words on them. You can play with anywhere between 4 and 8 people, though the game usually works best with 4 or 6.

3. Mad Gab

Another word-based game that's very exciting and really tests your speaking ability. Like Taboo, you are split into groups of 2. You draw a card with a phrase on it, and your partner has to say the phrase that is on your card. What's the catch? The phrase is in broken phonetics. For example, one card has a puzzle that says "Up Racked Hick Gulch Oak." That's totally gibberish what does that even mean!? Well, what you do is read it very fast, and emphasize different parts of it. You read it out loud to your partner for him or her to decipher. It all depends on how well you pronounce the words and how good your partner puts the sounds together. For this puzzle in particular, it's saying "A Practical Joke." Don't get it? Read the puzzle again out loud various times and you'll see. The game comes with two kinds of puzzles, both easy and difficult. Overall it's a great game, probably not most peoples cup of tea but if you like word games and puzzles it should be really fun.

4. Cranium

This is a great party game as it involves multiple skills rather than just one. Whether you're good at math, trivia, or creative activities, it's all there! What's better is that you have teams so people who excel at certain activities can do what they're best at. How the game works is you pick a card from a category or a card is given to you (depending where on the board you are at the time) and you basically have to do accomplish the task at hand. For example, in one task you are given a pad where you have to draw something blind folded for your partner(s) to guess. Another could be a song you have to hum for your partner to guess, or a trivia quest your partner must answer correctly. Honestly the concept of this great is game, and it has so much variety that you can never really get bored. It would've been higher on the list but one thing I find in cranium is that a lot of times things are completely random that you or your partner would never guess. It may be outdated or just something that your particular group was never exposed to. It's bound to happen in any sort of trivia game really. The best way to play cranium is in a large group so there's more opportunity of someone knowing the answer.

5. Scattergories

Another great party game that isn't only fun but also requires a certain level of thinking. How it works is each player competes against one another. Each round, they are given a letter, and 12 categories. That task is to choose a word that starts with the letter given, and fits into the categories given. For example. Imagine the letter given is F, and the first 3 categories listed are:

  1. TV SHOW
  2. FOOD
  3. CAR

For these categories, you would write something that starts with the letter F. Let's say you write Friends, Felafel, and Fender in their respective categories. At the end of the round, everyone reads their answers and if you don't have any matching answers, you get a point. If someone else picked the same thing as you, neither of you get points. The challenge is to think of something that you think no one else would write. It's much more of a quiet and passive game than the others listed, but still just as fun.


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    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I like board games, but I end up winning a lot so sometimes I get board. How come you didn't include newer games like Scene It or the all-time classic Scrabble.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I am a big fan of games... we have so many we have no place to store them anymore. One of my favorites is aggravation. I remember it from when I was a child. My husband doesn't like playing with me because I always win. Howver, it is a great game to play if you have younger kids. Both my 6 year old and 9 year old are capable of playing this game and they love it!