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.
Click here to see the best-selling board games in America
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.)
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