Popular 80’s Board Games

The 1980s saw a massive surge in the popularity of board games as both a pastime and a source of entertainment. It’s an excellent opportunity to bond as a family and enjoy a warm night in the summer or on a vacation weekend. When you play a board game with friends or family, you get to spend valuable time together while taking a break from your busy schedule. While playing with loved ones, you may experience a wide range of emotions. We’ve compiled a list of the most played board games of the 1980s so you can relive happy memories and discover some hidden gems.

Trivial Pursuit

This Canadian board game aims to see how well its players know general knowledge and cultural references. The participants’ mission is to correctly answer questions spanning multiple categories, including geography, pop culture, history, science, nature, sports, and literature. Putting everyone’s brainpower to the test, this is a great game to play with the people you care about. Several different iterations of this game have been released over the years. They typically focus on pop culture references such as movies, TV shows, cartoons, and sports.

Trivial pursuit board game


Risk is a game for two to six players focusing on diplomacy, conflict, and conquest. The traditional board features a map of the world divided into forty-two territories clustered into six continents. Simply put, the goal of Risk is for players to gain more territory than their opponents. A player’s success or failure against the adversary is determined by the outcome of a dice roll.

A game of Risk being played


The board game Monopoly centers on competitive economics and may accommodate up to 8 players. The players progress around the board by rolling two dice, acquiring and trading properties, and building structures like homes and hotels. Players aim to bankrupt their rivals by draining their money via rent. Tax squares, the Community Chest, and Chance cards all have the potential to make or break a player financially. You get paid a small amount every time you pass “Go,” and if you get sent to jail, you won’t be released until you meet one of three requirements. There are variations for play in homes, hundreds of editions, numerous spin-offs, and several media products. With local licenses in over 103 countries and printing in over 37 languages, Monopoly has become an integral component of global pop culture.

Monopoly board on a white background


There are 29 localized versions of this game, which can be purchased in over 121 countries. In addition, there are over 4,000 active Scrabble clubs worldwide. Two to four players use their own set of letter tiles to compete against one another. The tiles they have been given must be used to create words. There are so many rules to remember in Scrabble that it is never taken seriously. Nevertheless, despite all of this, it continues to be one of the best-selling games today.

An English-language Scrabble game in progress


The ’80s saw this game as a top seller. This is a straightforward but challenging game. Players begin by shaking a tray containing 16 cube-shaped dice, each labeled with a different letter. Then, the players have three minutes to find words that can be built with the cubes displayed on the tray before the sand timer runs out. The letters should connect in all three directions (vertical, horizontal, and diagonal).

A grid of Boggle cubes and a timer

Snakes and Ladders

This old-fashioned board game uses numbers, squares, ladders, and snakes. The number on the dice decides how far you progress on the board. When a player falls on a number with a ladder, they must climb it and move to the following number at the end of the ladder. However, landing on a number with a snake implies they must go down the board and return to the number where the tail tip of the snake is. The first person to reach the final number wins.

Snakes and ladders classic board game

Connect 4

You and a friend can play this improved version of tic-tac-toe. Each player takes turns releasing a disc of a different color into the vertically hanging seven-column, six-row grid. Those who succeed first in linking together four disks of the same color are declared the winners. The direction can be straight up, straight down, or diagonal. When playing optimally, the first player almost always wins. However, this is not a deal breaker, as the game becomes increasingly challenging as your opponent loses discs.

Connect 4 board game and box

Hungry Hippos

The goal of this game for two to four players is straightforward: amass as many marbles as possible by using your hippos. Pushing a button will cause your hippo’s mouth to open, allowing you to scoop up the marbles. Whoever has the most “marbles” is the winner. Essentially, there is no need to employ any form of strategy when playing this. To win, you just need to be quick with the button and cross your fingers that the marbles land in your hippo’s mouth.

Hungry hippos being played by four kids


This is a guessing game in which two players try to determine the location of each other’s ship based on the grid markers. They take turns firing at each other’s ships. The player who sinks all of their opponent’s ships first wins. The game is a blast to play and will help you fine-tune your battleship deployment plan. There have been numerous iterations of this game over time. A movie and a video game based on it were also produced.

Players in a Battleship tournament


This game puts the players’ hand-eye coordination to the test. Players take turns selecting a Doctor card that depicts the payment for removing a specific ailment from the patient using a pair of tweezers affixed to the board. If the tweezers come into contact with the hole’s metal edge, a buzzer will sound, and the patient’s nose will light up. Hasbro licensed this game from Milton Bradley for $40 million.

1965 edition of Operation, with the tweezers originally referred to as "Electro Probe"


Once introduced in 1986, this game was an instant hit. The rules are straightforward: one person draws a picture, and everyone other tries to guess what that picture represents in a word game. The catch is that the images must be completely devoid of text. The players have one minute to complete their drawings and provide their best guesses. You may have a great time playing the guessing game Pictionary with your pals for hours.

A game of Pictionary party

The 80s were a great time for playing board games. Playing a board game in a group can bring people together and offer them something to talk about and laugh about. Playing a board game with friends is a terrific way to relieve tension and have fun. People often end up laughing when they get together to play a board game. A positive attitude toward learning and the encouragement of original thought come with playing board games. To that end, having a good time and lots of laughs can relieve stress.