9 Vintage-Style Board Games Just Like Grandma Used to Play

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Board games were always a staple at Grandma's house, and to this day she's the hardest person to beat in a game of Chinese checkers. Back before television and internet were available, our grandparents' generation passed the time by playing board games, which is probably how they got to be so good at games like Clue, Scrabble, and Backgammon.

If you're in need of a break from screen time, or you're just looking for a fun way to spend time with the family, we've rounded up some classic board games that are still around today.

Board games are one of the products most affected by the shipping crisis right now, so if you have your eye on a new game, don't wait to order it!

If you're feeling inspired to host a family game night, these are a few of our favorite vintage-style board games. It might just become your favorite way to spend quality time with multiple generations of family members.


scrabble board game
Courtesy of Hammacher Schlemmer

First released in 1933, Scrabble has been a family favorite for several generations. This travel-friendly version is easy to play in a car or on a plane, so you can practice all the way to Grandma's house.

Candy Land

candy land board game
Courtesy of Out of Print

The very first Candy Land was released in 1949, so original copies of the game board are hard to come by—but the game is just as fun as ever. This retro-inspired set from Out of Print features all the graphics from the 1978 edition of the game and playing pieces shaped like gingerbread men.


clue board game
Courtesy of Amazon

This classic whodunnit has been around since the late 1940s, so players have been guessing 'Miss Scarlett in the study with the candlestick' for over 60 years. This retro version of the game board features the 1986 graphics with all the same characters, rooms, and weapons you're used to.


scattergories game
Courtesy of Amazon

A product of the 1980s, families have been playing Scattergories for multiple generations. The object of the game is simple: Roll the 26-sided die to determine a letter of the alphabet, then come up with a word or phrase for each prompt on the card. It helps to play with people you know well, because you only get points for unique answers.


operation board game
Courtesy of Amazon

Players have been removing ribs, hearts, and funny bones from the Operation man since 1965, and this is one board game the whole family can enjoy. Use the special tweezers to remove each part from the game board before the buzzer sounds.

Chutes and Ladders

chutes and ladders game
Courtesy of Out of Print

Players have been sliding around the Chutes and Ladders game board since the early 1940s, which means this is one game nearly everyone has played at one point in time. This vintage edition uses graphics from the 1979 game and folds up neatly into a box shaped like a book cover that'll look great on your living room shelves.

Chinese Checkers

chinese checkers game
Courtesy of Amazon

I have fond memories of learning to play Chinese checkers in my grandma's kitchen. It was first released in Germany in the 1890s and has had many different names over the years, but the object of the game is always the same: Be the first to move all your marbles or pegs to the opposite side of the board!


backgammon game
Courtesy of Anthropologie

People have been playing backgammon for thousands of years (it originated in Mesopotamia) so it's safe to assume Grandma and Grandpa have definitely heard of this one. If they're a little rusty on the rules, the object of the game is to get all of your circular pieces to one side of the board before your opponent. This brightly colored backgammon set from Anthropologie puts a modern spin on the classic game.


mancala game
Courtesy of Amazon

I was a pro at Mancala as a kid—it was one of my favorite games to play at my grandparents' house. If you're looking to get a friendly competition going, this travel-friendly version of the game comes with a solid wood board and 80 glass stones.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles