Best Classic Board Games of 2024: Top 5 Reviewed

Exploring the best classic board games, we find Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, and Chess leading the pack for endless fun.
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Ticket to Ride coverCarcassonne coverSettlers of Catan cover

Hey, fellow board game enthusiasts! If you’ve ever found yourself lost in the sea of choices at your local game store, fear not! We’ve got your back. Today, we’re focusing on the crème de la crème of the board game world: classic board games. But not just any; we’re talking about games that have stood the test of time, captivating generations with their irresistible blend of strategy, luck, and pure fun. We zeroed in on a mix of strategy, accessibility for newbies, and, of course, the fun factor. So, grab your popcorn (or your gaming snack of choice) as we present the ultimate list that bridges the past with the present in the most entertaining way possible. Let’s get those game nights going with a bang!

On this list:

5 Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 30-60 minutes

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Let’s kick things off with Ticket to Ride. This is a no-brainer when we talk classic board games themes. Why? Because it’s all about building your very own railway empire. It’s simple enough for newbies but has enough strategy to keep veterans on their toes. We had moments where friendships were tested over a single track! It’s a great way to introduce the thrill of classic strategy games without overwhelming anyone.

4 Carcassonne

Carcassonne cover

  • Age Range: 7+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 30-45 minutes

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Next up, Carcassonne. This game turns us into landowners fighting over the French countryside, one tile at a time. It’s like a puzzle, but instead of a pretty picture, you get a medieval landscape. The reason it hits the classic board games vibe is its mix of simplicity and depth. Plus, trying to sneak your last knight into a city never gets old. And the farmers! Don’t get me started on the strategic depth of those pesky farmers.

3 Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 3-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 minutes

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Oh, Settlers of Catan. This is where things start to heat up. It’s the gateway drug to the world of board gaming for many. Why? Because it brilliantly combines strategy, negotiation, and that sweet, sweet feeling of cutting off your best friend’s road to secure your win. Classic board games are all about interaction, and Catan’s got that in spades. Every game ends with stories to tell, usually about who traded sheep for what.

2 Clue

Clue cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-6
  • Play Time: 45-60 minutes

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We can’t talk classic without Clue (or Cluedo, depending where you’re from). This game’s like a dinner party gone wrong, in the best way. You’re solving a murder mystery, and everyone’s a suspect. It’s the original ‘whodunnit’ game. There’s something timeless about moving from room to room, making accusations, and unveiling the dramatic reveal. Plus, it’s a blast trying to bluff your way through when you’re the culprit.

1 Chess

Chess cover

  • Age Range: 6+
  • Players: 2
  • Play Time: Varies

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Chess takes the crown. Why is it the best? Because it’s the ultimate classic. It’s been around for centuries and hasn’t lost its charm or complexity. There’s a reason it’s a classic board game staple. Every piece has its role, every move counts, and it’s you versus your opponent in a battle of wits. We love it because it’s pure strategy. There are no dice, no cards, just you and your ability to out-think your friend across the table. Plus, learning it is like a rite of passage in the board game world.

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.