During the height of the lockdown, board game sales spiked as people tried to find new ways to enjoy their time at home. Sometimes that meant conventional boxed games to play with others in the same household.
But numerous traditional board games have also been adapted into digital form, allowing players to use their computers, tablets, or smartphones instead of actual boards, and to compete online not just with those nearby but with other players from around the world. (In the old days, chess opponents used to mail each other their moves; now it can be done with a click of the mouse.)
Board games have been around for millennia, developing in many corners of the globe. Backgammon and checkers (also known as draughts), for instance, trace their origins back literally thousands of years. Timeless classics like these have remained popular, while much newer games like Catan and Risk have also become massive hits. (Take a look at 22 of the most popular board games in the U.S. and the history behind them.)
To determine the best board games to play online, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the board games available through the Apple App Store and Google Play, and selected 19 of those ranked as best, either through thousands of positive reviews from users or tops scores by gaming experts or a combination of the two.
Some of the games on the resulting list exist only in online form, but many of them are familiar board games adapted to modern technology. (Video game fans should check out the 20 bestselling video games ever released.)