I keep finding myself telling people that Monopoly is the best game ever, but when someone asked me why, I had no quick answers to give them. Of course, I know why Monopoly is awesome…it just takes a bit of thought to come up with a list. Now that I have had time to gather my thoughts and think about one of my most favorite games, I have a list of 15 reasons why I feel that way.
I have always believed that Monopoly is the best game ever, and I am glad that I have sat down and created this list, so that I can share it with others in the future. If you would like to know about the reasons why Monopoly has been so popular (ever since the 1930s) and why it might be the best game you’ll ever play, read on.
Why Monopoly is (still) so popular – 15 great reasons:
1. New versions make the game current and interesting.
There are so many options when it comes to Monopoly that you will be quite simply spoiled for choice when shopping around for a modern version. You will find so many themes to choose from, including the likes of Game of Thrones, Disney Classic, Star Trek, and Star Wars, and so on. The fact that you can buy a Monopoly in a theme that interests you is reason enough to consider it a great game.
2. It teaches financial basics.
If you have kids, playing Monopoly can do you (and your children) a big favor as it teaches the financial basics to players. It gives a general idea of how property acquisition works, how investments work, and how property development works. Of course, it is not in fine detail, but it is enough to get the mind thinking.
3. Promotes family time together.
What could be better than a game that draws the whole family together and gets them laughing and having fun? There are few activities that the entire family can get involved in. In my home, Friday night is Monopoly night. All the kids and parents and aunts and uncles meet up for an evening of pizza, Monopoly, and laughter. And this is the time of quality time that any and every family can benefit from.
4. The gameplay is random, making it fun.
Some people will tell you that Monopoly is a game of strategy; and while I believe that there are strategies that can increase your chances of winning, you aren’t entirely in control of the gameplay and what happens next. When a player rolls the dice, their fate is decided. There’s no way that a player can decide for him/herself what property or square to land on. And it is that random type of gameplay that makes the game more fun. Not knowing what might happen next even though you have a basic strategy in mind is somewhat exciting.
5. It takes “forever” to finish.
Nothing is worse than gathering around with family and friends to play a game that finishes in just a few minutes. If you want to spend true quality time, a lengthy game is the better option. The average Monopoly game takes about 60 to 90 minutes to complete. It’s also great for parents who want to keep the kids entertained for a while. This frees up time to focus on a few important tasks at hand.
6. The game is designed to be unfair.
It’s nice that Monopoly is actually designed to be unfair. How, you ask? Well, it’s nice to play a game that is realistic about the world. The world is a harsh and unfair place, and Monopoly is designed to shine a spotlight on that. How is it unfair? Well, the player who starts first and has a strike of good luck is most likely to win. The player who starts 5th or 6th will probably find themselves paying rent immediately, which can waylay their progress and ensure a loss. Unfair, yes, but that’s just the game.
7. It’s flexible (think house rules).
As time has passed, the game of Monopoly has become more flexible.
Over the years, players of Monopoly have enjoyed adding house rules to the game to make it more “playable”. This is one of the signs of the game being flexible. These house rules were always unofficial and only at a player level. Then in 2014, Hasbro made a bold move by adding the most popular player house rules to the game in a special edition of the board game. The public was asked to make house rule suggestions, of which Hasbro chose 5 and included in their House Rules edition.
8. Both young and old can play.
When it comes to bridging generational gaps, Monopoly doesn’t disappoint. Few board games are able to bring young and old players together quite as Monopoly can. The rules are simple, the gameplay is engaging, and if you take the time to explain the game and teach the rules clearly, both grandma and her grandchildren can enjoy the very same game, at the same time.
9. It gives players power (even if only briefly and not in real life).
Nothing can make a person feel more powerful than owning property, lording over tenants, and collecting high rent. Unfortunately, this kind of power isn’t typically enjoyed in real life by the average person. Playing the game of Monopoly provides an escape from reality and the opportunity for a player to enjoy power, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.
10. It’s a boredom buster.
Facing a rainy day indoors with the kids? Got nothing to do all weekend and want to avoid the busy restaurants and malls? Monopoly is a great way to keep boredom at bay. The gameplay is entertaining, and it takes long enough to play to keep you engaged and entertained.
11. You get to bankrupt your friends without real strings attached.
One of the most satisfying elements of Monopoly is that you can play as nicely or as aggressively as you like. I have certainly enjoyed showing my friends the harsher side of my personality, because there’s nothing real to it. Bankrupt friends ruthlessly today and still enjoy a happy, unaffected friendship tomorrow. What could be better?
12. It helped POWs in World War 2.
Monopoly is a game that was used by the British Secret Service to help British airmen captured and kept in prisoner of war camps escape. The Monopoly game sets that were allowed into Nazi camps as a form of entertainment for prisoners included maps, compasses, real money, and other means of escape. This is probably one of the reasons why Monopoly is “the best” to me.
13. It’s educational.
There are many board games that teach people about patience, perseverance, counting, and vocabulary, and so on, but not many are able to teach the basic fundamentals of finances and investments quite like Monopoly can. If you want your kids to get a firm grasp on money management and how investing in property works from an early age, expose them to Monopoly.
14. It gets you off your phone and actually interacting.
Many people find themselves actively looking for activities and tasks that take them away from their screens and living more mindfully. Monopoly is a game that demands full attention and goes on for hours – the perfect escape from social media and other things readily available on your digital devices.
15. It forms strong friendships.
Bonds formed overplaying fun and engaging games are typically friendships that last. One of the reasons for this is because board games bring people together and keep them engaging with one another for more than a few minutes over issues that are not connected to real-life concerns. I have found that many of the people I used to while away the hours during my childhood over board games are people that I am still close and connected to.
In the end, it’s a matter of taste…
I find that in order for a board game of any type to become a “best game ever” for someone is a very personal thing. Often it comes down to your childhood and the exposure that you have had to the game and other games. Monopoly became popular in the 1930s, so it is obvious that it has stood the test of time. If you are looking for the best game around, I’ll suggest you choose Monopoly. You won’t go wrong.