Sunday, July 15, 2007

22 Best Board Games. Ever


Most of us were children prior to the dawn of the computer age. Video games are all good fun, but when we needed to play as kids...and I mean really play, we turned to our good buddy, Milton Bradley.

Board games rule. Simply put. Yes, this is a sports website, and board games aren't in the Olympics or anything. However, at the tender age of 6, board games are sports.

So I've decided to give you the best board games of all time. I came up with 22, which was a feat alone. I've put them in my personal order. Yours might be (probably would be) different.

And don't give me that "Where's chinese checkers?" bs. I only played that at my Grandma's house, and it was more of a chore than it was fun. Several of my choices don't have boards either, but they deserve their spot of recognition.

Special thanks to Ryan for helping me think of some of these kickass games.

22. Ants in the Pants. I wasn't a real fan of this game, but I did remember it, so it's good for spot 22.

21. KerPlunk. Just a solid game of skill. Many of these games are so dumbed down for kids, that there is no skill involved. Try telling that to a KerPlunk player.

20. Mall Madness. Hate all you want, but I grew up with two older sisters. When I wasn't bending Barbie dolls in half to pretend they were guns, I was stuck playing Mall Madness (usually at my cousins' house. At mine, we had the Tyco ripoff, Meet Me at the Mall). "Sale at the Electronics Boutique!" Hell yes sale on electronics. I'm trying to buy that kickass pink boombox for 15 dollars!

19. Perfection. Teaching kids to swear, part 1. Why is it so hard to find the crescent moon with mere seconds left? Skill level is high in this one, which caused many an F-bomb to be dropped by tikes around the country.

18. Battleship. Teaching kids to swear, part 2. You thought you were so smart, positioning your ships around the outside edge. Then, your opponent follows up an A1 with a B1, and your destroyer is cashing its one-way ticket to the living room wall.

17. Trouble. Another solid game. This one is like parcheesi, which is why parcheesi didn't make the list. And I have no clue as to why this box is in French.

16. Hi Ho Cherry-O! Yes. I loved this game. I have the really old version at home. It says its for ages 4 to 8. I've played this game so much after the age of 8.

15. Don't Wake Daddy. Because dads really wear stocking caps. This cool game taught everyone that sneaking out is cool/okay/acceptable.

14. Risk. I'd always go for Kamchatka. When I got older, I found out Kamchatka is also a bottom shelf brand of vodka. This game took too long to play. It was fun for the first 3 hours, though.

13. Don't Break the Ice. This was at my other Grandma's house. This is another in the line of demanding-titled games. Quit telling me what to do, board game! Why do you gotta be so pushy? Good game, though.

12. Strat O Matic Pro Football. This was Madden...before video games. Hell yes I want Neil O'Donnell throwing to Dwight Stone, followed up by a Barry Foster line buck. Swell kid-to-adolescent transition game.

11. Life. Just missed out on the top 10. Aren't we all a blue or pink peg driving endlessly to the retirement home to be determined by the roll of the dice? My brother and I would just drive around the board sometimes. We lost many of the pieces to this game.

10. Candyland. Best way to kickoff the top 10. I'm all trying to get to Queen Frostine, but dumb Plumpy keeps making me go back to start. What's up with that, Plumpy? Let me pass.

9. Chutes and Ladders. You kept your fingers crossed all the way up til spot 86. You hit a few minor chutes that only took you back a handful of spots. But of course, you land on spot 87, and gotta slide all the way back to spot 24. Now you just gotta wait for your brother to hurry up and win from spot 72, which is taking forever and only fueling your inner rage.

8. Sorry! Yes, you are sorry. Of course, my brother gets the "Take another player's spot" card, and decides to mess up my stellar game plan instead of my sister's, who is one piece away from winning. This should be renamed Sibling Rivalry.

7. Hungry Hungry Hippos. I think I found the root of that obesity problem in our country.

6. Guess Who? Hopefully its hot-ass Maria in her green beret. And if its egg-head Bill, I'm gonna get mad, because I got no orange-haired people left. This picture is way too up to date. The chick in the green beret is named Ashley! Where are you, Maria my love?

5. Monopoly. It needed to make the top 5. It is the ultimate board game. Except my sister would always stockpile hotels on the yellow properties, making it oh so difficult to maneuver around the Go To Jail space in the waning moments of the game. I hated mortgaging my paltry light-blue properties on the opposite corner.

4. Operation. Great game, but dude needs to put on some clothes. I'm tired of getting shocked when I'm trying to remove the bone from your crotch, Mr. red-nosed dude.

3. Crossfire. I challenge anyone to a game of Crossfire at any time. Definitely one of my all-time favorites.

2. Clue. This is the screenshot from the version I had on my old Commodore 64 computer. Ain't nothing like teaching the kids about murder as early as possible.

1. Mousetrap. Best. Game. Ever. This helped every visual fixation we had as kids. Marbles, plastic, cranks, wheels...backflipping, crouching dudes. And it always worked flawlessly, except when you are at your cousins' house and they don't want to play it because they're older and are more focused on that brand-new Nintendo. Give me Mousetrap right now, and I'll play it all night.



Yehuda said...

With more than 20,000 additional board games available at BoardGameGeek, you must really not like modern board games to declare these old and weary game the "best games ever".

Or did you mean the best games ever "from my childhood"?


tecmo_bowl_bo_jackson said...

I've put them in my personal order. Yours might be (probably would be) different.

Yes, I checked out the BGG site before posting this. They have way too many games that the common reader wouldn't know. 22 is a solid number. A longer list would've been, well, too long.

And if I didn't really play them/know about them, then they aren't really going to be on my list.

Also, some notable omissions...

Stratego - never played it.
Pictionary - more of an adult dinner party game.
Trivial Pursuit - love it, but my dad always won, hence the omission.

Julie_Gong said...

Candy Land was the effing shit!

Sheena Beaston said...

i cannot believe that you didn't include Battling Tops. that game was heaven.

smarchit said...

Crossfire!!! That was such a great game! I can't believe I had forgotten about that, but thanks so much for ranking it highly and throwing it back into my consciousness! I even spent many a day playing that game solo for hours and turning it into an imaginary hockey game....great fun! But dang, if one of those B.B.'s deflected wrong, you could shoot your eye out kid!

I played Stratego a bit growing up, but that was more of an adult strategy game...probably a good call leaving it off the list. The biggest ommission from the list IMO is Can't Stop. We had a copy of that game at home, at my grandma's, and at two of my aunts'/uncles' homes growing up. So it was nearly impossible to avoid...such a HUGE part of my childhood...SUPPOSEDLY, it taught some math skills by creating different dice combinations, but I think it did a much better job of creating a generation of compulsive gamblers!