The Best Selling Board Games in America

The Best Selling Board Games in America

The pandemic caused board game sales to boom. According to Euromonitor, the global games and puzzles market increased almost $1 billion in value in 2020, compared to 2019. In the U.S. alone, retail sales of games and puzzles jumped from $2.2 billion to $2.92 billion over the same time span, and continued the momentum with $3.34 billion in sales in 2021, according to Statista. (Here are 22 of the most popular board games in the U.S. and the history behind them.)

Even before the pandemic, some board games had an enduring appeal. To determine the best selling board games of all time, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from GOBankingRates to find the modern board games that sold the most units since they were released. Ancient games like checkers, chess, go, and backgammon that predate sales data – and have no clear single inventor – were not considered.

The newest game to make the best-sellers list is Catan (formerly known as Settlers of Catan), a strategy game introduced in 1995, wherein players collect and trade resources, using them to build settlements. Originally from Germany, Catan has quickly become one of the most popular board games in the United States.

The oldest game on the list – Monopoly (1935) – is also the best-selling board game of all time, with over 275 million units bought since its inception. Other tried and true games include Scrabble, invented in 1948, Clue and Candyland, both from 1949, and Rummikub, which dates from 1950. (Did you know that Candyland and Monopoly were invented by women? Here are 50 things you never knew were invented by women.)

Source: PlayMonster / amazon.com

12. Stratego
> Units sold: Over 20 million
> Created by: Jacques Johan Mogendorff
> Debut year: 1961

Source: Janine Lamontagne / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

11. The Game of Life
> Units sold: Over 30 million
> Created by: Bill Markham and Reuben Klamer
> Debut year: 1960

Source: spilt-milk / Flickr

10. Catan
> Units sold: Over 32 million
> Created by: Klaus Teuber
> Debut year: 1995

Source: Mattel / amazon.com

9. Pictionary
> Units sold: Over 38 million
> Created by: Rob Angel
> Debut year: 1985

Source: typester / Flickr

8. Othello
> Units sold: Over 40 million
> Created by: Goro Hasegawa
> Debut year: 1973

Source: daveynin / flickr

7. Operation
> Units sold: Over 45 million
> Created by: John Spinello
> Debut year: 1965

Source: bruchez / Flickr

6. Rummikub
> Units sold: Over 50 million
> Created by: Ephraim Hertzano
> Debut year: 1950

Source: Courtesy of Amazon

5. Candyland
> Units sold: Over 50 million
> Created by: Eleanor Abbott
> Debut year: 1949

Source: kirinqueen / Flickr

4. Trivial Pursuit
> Units sold: Over 100 million
> Created by: Chris Haney
> Debut year: 1981

Source: brenbot / Flickr

3. Clue
> Units sold: About 150 million
> Created by: Anthony Pratt
> Debut year: 1949

Source: Juanmonino / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

2. Scrabble
> Units sold: Over 150 million
> Created by: Alfred Mosher Butts
> Debut year: 1948

Source: martince2 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

1. Monopoly
> Units sold: Over 275 million
> Created by: Elizabeth Magie and Charles Darrow
> Debut year: 1935

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