Nothing is quite as timeless and enduring as a board game. Board games such as Go and Backgammon were pastime favorites of ancient people; both are still being played today. In recent years, board games have seen their fortune declining somewhat due to competition from video games. Yet, established games such as Chess and Monopoly are as popular as ever.
1. Classic Chess
Classic chess is not just one of the oldest board games ever; it is also one of the oldest forms of entertainment. Throughout its six centuries of existence, the game has experienced very little changes to its core game play and rules. Today's chess is exactly as it were when the game was first invented. The game has also managed to retain and foster its popularity. As a matter of fact, there are more chess clubs and chess organizations in the world than those of any other sport or game. Chess is arguably the world's most popular board game.
The main allure of chess is its intricacy. The game is easy to learn, but is incredibly hard to master. To be great at chess requires strong mathematical aptitude, strategic thinking and prodigious patience. Based on the aforementioned, the game is obviously not for everyone. But once you become engrossed in chess, the game is incredibly addicting and is something you would play for life. In recent years, online chess has steadily gaining popularity. Yet, most surveys still show people continue to prefer playing chess on its classic checkerboard. Chess isn't just a popular board game; it's an inimitable experience.
2. Xiangqi (Chinese Chess)
Xiangqi may not be the world's most popular board game, but this Chinese version of chess is undoubtedly the world's most played board game. Since Xiangqi is wildly popular in China and the country accounts for almost a fourth of the world population, it is safe to say that Chinese Chess will remain popular for quite some time.
Classic chess and Chinese chess share many similarities. For example, the main objective in both games is to capture the king. Moreover, game pieces and strategies are nearly identical for both chess and Xiangqi. Since Chinese chess was invented nearly 17 centuries before classic chess, some have speculated that chess must have been derived from Chinese chess.
Monopoly is probably the world's first mainstream board game. Unlike chess and Xiangqi, Monopoly was designed for the masses and not some selected groups. Additionally, the game is dynamic and highly adaptive. Over the years, there have been numerous editions and variants of the game. The game is also uniquely American. Monopoly is a simulation of American capitalism. The game's objective, as one would expect, is to become the richest player on the board by monopolizing all the estates.
The worldwide popularity of Monopoly has been steadily increasing. Ironically, the game is becoming very popular in several anti-capitalist countries. I guess it is everyone's dream to someday be super rich.