12 classic board games you can play online with friends and family

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Nostalgic board games like Battleship, Monopoly, and Clue now have app versions, making it easy to connect with friends. Lora_Aks/Shutterstock; LightField Studios/Shutterstock; Marmalade Game Studio
  • Nothing compares to gathering around a table with friends and family to play a board game with tangible cards and pieces.
  • Even when you’re away from people you love, several board games are accessible on apps and websites.
  • Friends can take part in virtual versions of Monopoly, Clue, and The Game of Life – and even multiplayer games with ancient roots, like mahjong and mancala, can be played online.
  • Here are all the best nostalgic board games to play together online or on your phone.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.


Challenge friends to Battleship without physically setting up a board.

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Battleship is traditionally played with tons of tiny pieces.

The popular Hasbro game Battleship can be enjoyed at any time thanks to its digital versions, which have multiplayer functions.

It’s available for $US3.99 on the App Store and $US2.49 on the Google Play Store.


The Game of Life is an enjoyable escapist game to play with friends.

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The Game of Life for iPhone.

While the original version involves an elaborate board setup, the digital version of The Game of Life makes the beloved game a bit more accessible and easy to play with friends who aren’t necessarily in the same room.

It’s available for $US2.99 on the App Store and $US1.49 on the Google Play Store.


There are countless ways to play checkers with family and friends online.

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Checkers is fun for people of all ages.

The game of checkers is a staple for board game lovers, and it’s easy to play it with friends and family long-distance, too.

The game is available via free apps on the App Store and Google Play Store, as well as aGoogle Chrome extension that allows friends to compete against each other online.


Challenge friends to Monopoly on your phone.

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One game of Monopoly can go on for hours or days.

The official Monopoly app brings the board game to any mobile device. Once the game is downloaded, users can create their own game and invite family and friends who also have the app.

It can be purchased for $US3.99 on the App Store and Google Play Store.


Solve a mystery with a virtual version of the board game Clue.

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Characters from the board game Clue.

The Clue app is reminiscent of the Hasbro board game. Players can pick from iconic characters like Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard as they solve a variety of entertaining, mysterious scenarios.

The game, which has multiplayer capability, is available on the App Store and Google Play Store for $US3.99.


Keep your chess skills sharp even when you’re not able to play in person.

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Chess is great for people who want a challenging game that requires strategy.

Chess Prime 3D on the App Store is free and has a multiplayer function, allowing people to challenge friends and family to a round of the classic game.

Chess with Friends is also available for free on the Google Play Store, and it allows users to play multiple games at once while connecting with their own friends.


Words With Friends is perfect for Scrabble enthusiasts.

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Family and friends can go back and forth on Words With Friends for hours or days.

Each Words With Friends game has two players, but users can have multiple games in progress at once, making the free app a fun way to stay connected with family and friends while engaging in a little healthy competition.

The classic version of Words With Friends is free and available to be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store.


Avid mahjong players can play against real opponents online.

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Mahjong, often called maahj, has roots in China and became popular in America in the early 1900s.

The website Real Mah Jongg allows players of the centuries-old tile game to compete against a computer or real opponents. Unlike some mahjong-inspired apps, this version adheres to National Mah Jongg League rules and requires players to reference the hands on their 2019 or 2020 cards.

Players can access a 14-day free trial before paying a monthly fee of $US5.99 to join games.


The game mancala can be enjoyed virtually.

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Mancala involves a wooden board and marbles.

The ancient marble game involves patience and strategy and has a surprising calming quality.

Play online in single- or multiplayer versions, or download multiplayer apps from the App Store or Google Play Store that bring the traditional pastime to your phone.


Play the beloved dice game Yahtzee with friends, even when you’re not together.

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Yahtzee can make for hours of entertainment.

You no longer need a cup or a dice set to challenge friends to Yahtzee. Through Yahtzee With Buddies, people can invite contacts to join and play together.

The app can be downloaded for free on the App Store and via the Google Play Store.


There are several versions of Connect 4 that make it easy to play with friends.

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The original Connect 4 game was created by Hasbro, but there are many versions of it.

The brightly coloured game may conjure nostalgia, but it can be a fun activity to play with friends virtually, thanks to tons of free apps inspired by the original version.

Multiplayer versions are available for download on the Google Play Store and the App Store for free.


It’s even possible to partake in a virtual game of dominoes with family and friends.

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People playing a traditional game of dominoes.

The logic game played with the numbered tiles can be enjoyed online if an in-person round isn’t an option.

The website Playdrift lets people compete in single- and multiplayer games of dominoes, and there are a plethora of multiplayer domino apps available on the App Store and Google Play Store.