In the days before Netflix and video games, families and friends gathered in family rooms — or any room for that matter — to cool off with a board game. These games were appropriate for the whole family because, as much as they were fun, they were also educative, and allowed family members or groups of friends to bond.
Today, when we can take some time off screens of all sizes and bring out some of these classics, nostalgia hits everyone who was born at a time when board games were the major source of relaxation.
People of younger generations who, at one point or another, came in contact with these games remember those who brought them their way and wish for the days gone past.
If you are looking to revive those sweet memories by getting these classic board games for yourself, a friend, or even family, this article is for you.
We will first look at some of these classic board games and then where to get them and others from.
Some Classic Board Games
We will only look at a few popular options.
The word game, Scrabble, was designed by Alfred Mosher Butts and published in 1938. Two to four players participate in the game and score points by placing letter-bearing piles onto the game board to form words. The words must be ones found in a standard dictionary or lexicon.
Each letter tile has points assigned to it. The most commonly-used letters have lower points, while rarely used letters have larger point totals.
In a game of two players, the winner is the player who first exhausts their tiles. In a game of more than two players, the loser is the player with the most leftover letter totals.
Scrabble is a great game that enhances some skills such as vocabulary development, good spellings, the imaginative association between letters, and arithmetic skills for tabulating totals and keeping score. It is a really awesome family game, too.
This great game really needs to introduction to anybody from any generation. The board game Monopoly was published in 1935, and it is a family multi-player classic that is based on fast-dealing property trading.
The board game consists of a board, two stacks of cards, set pieces, and a bank of cash famously referred to as Monopoly money.
With, at least, two players, the game can start with a throw of dice, and can last for two hours. Players take turns to roll the dice and move around the board, trading and developing properties.
Intending to drive opponents into bankruptcy, players move to collect rent. Players can land in jail and stay there until they meet one of several conditions.
In the game, money can be either gained or lost through tax squares and Chance and Community Chest cards.
Monopoly is a game of both luck and strategy. The winner is the last player standing after everyone else has gone bankrupt.
The board game has lessons in personal finance, interpersonal negotiations, and risk management.
Battleship is a nautical-themed strategy-type guessing board game that is sometimes referred to as Battleships or Sea Battle.
Although, originally a paper and pen game played by Russian officers during World War I, Milton Bradley, in 1967, introduced the version played with plastic boards and pegs.
There are only two players in the game. On the playing board’s ruled grids, each player’s fleet of ships is marked but the locations of the fleets are concealed from the other player. Intending to destroy the opponent’s fleet, they take turns calling the ‘shots’ at each other’s ships.
This is a strategy-heavy board game, so, even if it is game night, everyone needs to come with their thinking caps on.
Jenga was created by the co-founder of Oxford Games Ltd, Leslie Scott, as a family game in the early 1970s. It is a building game, and you can even see that from its name, ‘Jenga’. This name has Swahili origins. It is derived from the word ‘kujenga’, which, in English means ‘to build’.
Two or more players take turns to remove a block at a time from a tower erected with 54 signature rectangular wooden blocks. The block removed is then placed on top of the tower.
As each player takes their turn, it will inadvertently lead to a more unstable structure. The first person to cause a collapse loses, while the last person to remove and place a block successfully is the winner.
Apart from helping players improve fine motor skills, spatial thinking, and mastery of geometry, this classic board game serves as a basic lesson in building. Jenga is useful in teaching future construction workers, architects, and engineers, among other professions.
This classic board game was produced by the Milton Bradley Company in 1966, and it is indeed a great game. In this game, humans serve as the main pieces used on the game board.
The board is a large plastic mat that features six rows of circles in bold colors that guide the players in the placement of their hands and feet, which are the only body parts that should touch the mat.
Twister simply tests the two to four players on physical flexibility and creativity in movement, strength, and endurance in maintaining a position, and the social skills to do it with grace. If you are a yoga enthusiast, you will find this as educative as it is fun.
There are a plethora of other classic board games — most of which were very popular in the 1960s — they include, but not restricted to, Clue, Catan, Alex and Allies, Risk, Qwirkle, Ludo, and the extremely fun Snakes and Ladder.
Now that you know some of the classic board games that dominated almost every game night in the past, let us now move on to the focus of this article.
Where Can You Buy Classic Board Games?
A simple answer to the question-focus of this article presents you with two major options: online and mortar and brick stores. Let us now look at the specifics.
1. Online Retail Stores
This is undoubtedly the largest online store. And that is primarily because it is a trusted and reliable one-stop online solution provider. This makes Amazon one of the best places to find classic board games online.
With Amazon, you can seldom run out of options as both new and old board games from across the ages can be found there.
You will also get to choose a deal that works for you as numerous sellers are offering relatively similar products on the site.
Amazon, in addition to selling board games, also sells replacement items for your board game parts. For example, if you somehow misplace some of your Scrabble tiles, on Amazon, you can easily get a replacement without necessarily having to purchase the entire board game set again.
And it is about time you started playing the classic game of Clue again because you can finally get that “Confidential” envelope you misplaced from Amazon.
Whether it is Monopoly, Twister, Catan, or Ludo, you can head over to Amazon to purchase your classic board game. You will enjoy good customer service there, get to read the thoughts of other customers regarding the product you want to purchase, and arrange to get it to you.
One more thing. Be sure to check whether your order qualifies for free shipping and claim it.
Just like Amazon — although not as large — eBay is another trustworthy and reliable online one-stop retail store.
Typing “board game” into the search field on the site will get you over 15,000 complete board game sets, excluding the numerous game parts that can make the number of hits up to 100,000.
We should let you know that, on eBay, board games are likely to cost more than they do locally, but you can easily get your high-priced and rare classic board games there.
The selection of classic board games is entirely dependent on what is being offered by the sellers registered on the platform. You will find vintage games, used games, new, and unopened games.
To get an idea of what the ballpark price for any board game is, you can search the recently concluded auctions for a clue.
The remaining stores on this list are online stores that specialize only in games.
iii. Miniature Market
Despite being in the market for about sixteen years and having an incredible online presence selling over 50,000 items, Miniature Market, as a game store keeps expanding to provide you with more options.
Their offline store in West St. Louis County (which happens to be their only brick and mortar location), caters to everyone, especially those who like face to face purchases.
Your search for classic board games will be fruitful there as the online store succeeds in delivering a selection of board games that cover a range of genres and feature titles that are rare and sometimes unavailable on some other online game stores.
On Miniature Market, you can get offers of low prices on premium titles. Plus, they offer a very large stock of items for clearance sales. Aside from that, just in case you want to sell off one or more of your old games, or game pieces, Miniature Market will be glad to offer you a good deal for in-store credits.
They can ship to whatever part of the world you are in, as long as you pay. If you are shipping to a part of the United States, you can get your purchased game shipped to you for free as long as your order is over $99.
iv. Gamers Alliance
Since 1986, when Game Alliance joined the market, it has maintained an impressive master catalog of the world’s best selection of out-of-print games. These are vintage games no longer in production.
A quick glimpse of their sample catalog will reveal games with titles from such gaming giants as Avalon Hill, 3M Games, and Parker Brothers. For a small annual membership fee, you will get access to view their full catalog of Gamers Alliance, and also get their quarterly newsletter which contains premium reviews and game reports.
If you have a specific classic board game in mind, and it belongs to the rare, one-of-a-kind category, then a visit to the Gamers Alliance website should turn out tremendously well for you.
Even if you do not have a particular board game in mind, titles from back in time can catch and hold your attention. These titles include World of Warcraft Adventure Game (2008), Steve Jackson’s Illuminati (the 1980s), Space Pilot (1951), Charlie Chan Detective Mystery Game (1937).
v. BoardGameGeek.com Marketplace
BoardGameGeek.com Marketplace stands out on our list because they deal solely with board games. When you are there, no distraction from other game types exists as the large worldwide community of gamers is made up of board game lovers.
On the site, there are over 100,000 board games, tabletop games, and card games available on offer. The Geek Market, as the section in charge of purchases is called, is one of the places for your classic board games acquisition.
On the site, you will find photos of the game conditions, the selling conditions, and reasonable prices the games are being offered for. Whatever price you see there does not include the shipping fees. Those fees will have to be handled by you.
vi. Noble Knight Games
With over 250,000 products in stock, Noble Knight Games has been serving the needs of gamers since 1997. A favorite specialty of theirs is rare games that are no longer being produced.
A large portion of their inventory comes from gamers like yourself. They are always willing to relieve you of the burden your unwanted games place on you. They purchase these games from you with cash or in-store credits.
While their only brick and mortar store is located in Janesville, Wisconsin, you can make special requests for any board game you want but cannot locate on their catalog via e-mail or the automated Want List. You will get a prompt e-mail once the gift is available.
International shipping is available at minimum custom duties charged to you. Being in the United States and making a domestic purchase of over $149 will qualify you free shipping.
vii. Cool Stuff Inc
If you are looking for a wide selection of games on sale, Cool stuff Inc is a good place to search. The store prides itself as being customer-centric, so, the very low prices, huge discount sales, and reward systems, where customers spend and earn should be no surprise.
Navigating the store with its impressive library of titles is pretty easy. Another thing is that they accept trade-ins. This means that those old games of yours taking up storage space have some value, after all.
Besides, they have an incredible card grading policy that guarantees that the condition of every card will meet your desires. If your expectations are not met, they promise to take back the cards and grant you a refund.
You will enjoy free shipping to any address of your choice in the United States if your order is $100 or more.
2. Low Price Retail Locations
And just when you are not feeling the whole online purchase arrangement, you can head out to a local store to get your game in person. Factors such as location and demand may affect the game selection available to you.
3. Thrift Or Secondhand Stores
Whether it is a local option or a chain store, thrift stores have a good supply of games at low prices. A careful scan will reveal some classic board games in their midst.
So, keep your eyes open for these games the next time you step into one of these stores.
4. Big Box Stores
Walmart, Barnes & Noble, and Target, are some of the large retail establishments that offer a good-enough selection of classic games. And these games come at good prices, too.
5. Specialty Stores
The mortar and brick buildings of most online game stores like Miniature Market and Noble King, are a good place to go to if you have specific classic game titles or genres in mind. Especially as the big box stores will only carry generic games.
If there are no specialty stores close to your location, your best bet may be to go to their online stores.
6. Comic Books And Card Shops
A visit to a local comic books store or card shop should get you access to some classic board games.
Comic books stores are likely to feature many specialty superhero versions of classic board games. On the other hand, card shops are likely to have role-playing games in stock.
7. Yard Sales/Garage Sales/Estate Sales
All year round, people discover forgotten treasures in their attics and basements and proceed to sell them off. Some of these treasures include classic game sets and pieces that now sit waiting for new owners at garage sales, yard sales, or estate sales.
This means the classic board games you seek might be closer to you than you think.