Britain's top 10 favourite games revealed

Family, Trends, Activity

Posted by Ellen Drowne on 25th March 2024

Graphic featuring dice, top hat and marbles, which says The nation's top 10 favourite board games

When it comes to bonding with friends and family, few things can beat playing an old-fashioned game – not least when on a staycation. Despite often being the biggest source of debate, frustration and long-term family feuds, they’re a surefire way to lure reluctant youngsters away from their screens in favour of gathering around the table to create fun, lasting memories.

With that in mind, we’ve polled the nation to discover the UK’s favourite games. There’s no surprise that the likes of Monopoly, Cluedo and Uno have made the top 10. These classic games have been dividing family and friends for decades. However, the new kids on the block may have something to say about it with the likes of Cards Against Humanity scraping into the top 20 list, and ideal-travel-sized games such as Dobble and Bananagrams making an appearance in the top 30.

More interactive, light-hearted family skill-based games such as Operation, Buckaroo, Mouse Trap and Hungry Hippos also made it into the top 20 – which despite being some of the best of the bunch, often get shunned for missing a piece or two – or three – usually having being played so much by youngsters in the family.

Due to the unpredictability of British weather, board games have become a trademark of staycations. In fact, two-thirds (60%) of the 2,000 people surveyed said that board games have been a regular lifesaver when a holiday is hit with bad weather. But on those days when the UK is blessed with sunnier spells, it’s little surprise that we like to head outside, with football (33%), frisbee (28%), hiking (27%), tennis (26%) and Swingball (23%) revealed as the most popular outdoor activities.

Whatever your favourite holiday pastime, these are the top 10 games that Brits are most likely to reach for come rain or shine.

Family cottages

Graphic of a board game depicting the nation's top 10 favourite games

The top 10 board games

Scottie dog playing figure and Monopoly money

1. Monopoly (51%)

An all-time classic, we’re hardly surprised that Monopoly has scooped the top spot. Despite its ability to make or break a relationship, it’s that tension and drama that keeps people coming back for more. Nothing beats the feeling of watching the money pour in when players land on your property, or the rage of continually getting sent to jail and watching as all the good properties get snapped up. There’s also the appeal of the iconic game pieces, including the Scottie dog, top hat, thimble, and boot that make this a fan favourite.

A man, woman and three children playing Scrabble sat on the floor

2. Scrabble (36%)

There aren’t many games that will put you through your paces like Scrabble. It’s the game that’ll have you conjuring up seven-letter words to score top points and questioning whether you really know the English language at all.

As educational as it is fun, it provides younger players the opportunity to brush up on their literacy skills, while grandparents can show off their elaborate vocabulary. Just keep an eye out for made-up words and spelling mistakes!

Close up of a Snakes and Ladders board

3. Snakes and Ladders (27%)

A game of sheer luck, the great thing about Snakes and Ladders is that anyone of any age can play it, which is likely why it’s remained a firm family favourite. But what a lot of people don’t know is that its origins involve much more than just child’s play. The game was once used as a tool to reinforce religious teachings and cultural values, with ladders and snakes representing virtues and vices. The sentiment of good versus evil and hope versus despair remains a key part of the game and is what makes it even more fun.

A boy puts a red checker into a Connect 4 board

4. Connect 4 (26%)

Simple but by no means boring, Connect 4 is a game of strategy. Its simple setup and easy-to-follow rules mean that it’s straightforward enough that both more adept and less experienced gamers can play.  

When you drop your token, there’s no going back, and one wrong move can ruin even the best winning strategies. It’s the kind of tension that will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s also a fantastic spectator game, as others watch and spot moves, perfect for arm-chair commentators to also get in on the action. 

Close up of Trivial Pursuit board and figures

5. Trivial Pursuit (24%)

If you consider yourself an egghead – or an expert in random facts – chances are you’ve dabbled in Trivial Pursuit. Featuring over 2,400 questions spanning categories such as sports and leisure, entertainment, history, art and literature, geography and history, there’s something to stretch everyone’s grey matter.

For younger players, it may seem borderline impossible to get anything right, granting parents and grandparents the spotlight to show off their wealth of obscure knowledge – especially if playing in teams. But as the saying goes, it’s the taking part that counts, and even if you don’t manage to ‘collect a wedge’, you’ll at least learn something new, which is the ultimate prize in our eyes.

Close up of Cluedo board and figures

6. Cluedo (24%)

Cluedo is a classic for a reason. This much-loved mystery game will unleash your competitive streak as you begin to solve the ‘whodunnit’ using detective-esque tactics you learn along the way.

It’s the balance of strategy, deduction and luck that makes this game all the more exciting. Add the fact you can play with up to six people, along with the feeling of accomplishment you get from solving a relatively complex puzzle, and you can see why people are so easily hooked.

A hand places a card down on the table during a game of Solitaire

7. Solitaire (23%)

Solitaire requires constant concentration, which is why for many it has become a popular pastime. By having to focus on one thing, the game provides a form of escapism, diverting the mind’s attention away from any stressors.

The concept of playing against yourself has also boosted its appeal, earning it a spot in the top 10. In this game, you’re essentially making order out of chaos, which is both equally satisfying and addictive.

A man's face surrounded by question marks in the air

8. Guess Who? (21%)

There’s something hugely comforting about playing a game you know inside out, meaning you can let the rules fall into the background and just enjoy the experience. Such as Guess Who?

Bringing with it an element of satisfaction as you knock down those pictures in their plastic frames, Guess Who? is incredibly easy to learn and a brilliant game to prompt little ones to start thinking logically. It’s also quick to play, making it a top choice to fill any lulls in your family game night.

An older couple playing a game of chess with friends

9. Chess (20%)

Played for over 1,500 years, it’s one of the oldest and most widely played games in the world and has earned a cultural and intellectual significance that few other activities can match.

It’s relatively easy to learn –  although much harder to master – and you can play it with just about anyone, providing fun for all the family. According to CNN, the orders of chess sets increased by 87% following the release of the TV drama, The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix.

A pair of hands holding Uno cards

10. Uno (19%)

If there’s one game that can bring the family together, it’s Uno. A classic card game that parents will remember playing when they were kids, the rules of the game are simple, meaning everyone can pitch in and you can play without too much fuss.

People often tend to make up their own rules for this one, so you can expect it to get a little rowdy, but that’s all part of the fun.

Enjoy a game-filled getaway

Feeling inspired to host your own games party? Perhaps you’re considering extending it over a weekend as part of a board game bonanza? Or maybe you just need some inspo for what to pack for your upcoming staycation. Whatever the case, our wide range of self-catering properties can provide the perfect setting to enjoy quality time with loved ones – games or no games.  And you never know, your favourite game might already be waiting for you with many properties providing an assortment of entertainment for all the family, whether indoors or outdoors.

Family-friendly holiday cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.