According to the research firm Nielsen, games are the most popular mobile apps, even more popular than weather and social networking. Some are newly developed, but many are based on classic board games people played for entertainment before the digital age began. Here are some of the most popular mobile board games.


Since it was first produced by Parker Brothers in 1935, Monopoly has been the best-selling board game in the United States. Several versions are available as mobile apps. Unlike the physical board game, which usually takes hours to play, you can opt for quicker game play if your time is limited. You can pass the phone around and play with up to four players. The game has been updated with new place names and a currency value more in tune with today’s markets. The experience is enhanced by 3-D graphics and optional sound.


Chess originated on the Indian Subcontinent sometime before 600 AD, and for centuries it has been one of the most popular board games in the world. It is instantly recognized by its millions of aficionados, and you can easily play it even with someone who does not speak your language. The best mobile chess apps combine powerful game engines with software that provides tutorials, undo move options, game clocks and other extras. Chess for Androids is among the best of these, with clear graphics and an option that suggests moves for beginners. Another good program is Chess Free, with 10 difficulty levels from beginner to advanced. Chess Genius also provides hints if necessary, and boasts 30 levels of complexity. If you want some human competition, try the Chess Club App, which allows you to hook up and play with friends, family and other players around the world.


Scrabble has been a best-selling board game since it first came out in the 1950s, and it continues to be popular as a mobile app. Distributed by Electronic Arts (EA), it is available for play on a wide range of mobile devices. You can even play it on Facebook. You can play alone or pass and play with a friend. It is easy to pause, save your game and pick it up later. There are also various difficulty levels if you want to make the vocabulary play more challenging.


Backgammon is one of the world’s oldest two-player board games. Excavations indicate that the game was played in ancient Persia around 3000 BC. For millennia it has been a favorite board game in many countries all around the world. Backgammon Free is an extremely popular mobile app that has five difficulty levels, two boards, hints, statistics, and the option to play either alone or against an opponent.

Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit is another classic board game distributed for mobile devices by Electronic Arts. You have the option of four types of game play. In classic mode you play alone or against the app opponent. Pursuit mode is also single player, but includes a time factor. Pass and play allows you to play with multiple human opponents on the same device. Wi-Fi Multiplayer mode allows you to play with remote opponents via a Wi-Fi network. Created in Canada in the 1980s, Trivial Pursuit quickly became a board game favorite of millions around the world. Challenging questions, high-quality visuals, animations and sound effects have made Trivial Pursuit a popular choice for mobile game fans.

For some refreshing mental stimulation, try these mobile app versions of popular board games.

Filbert Parker is a freelance writer who contributes articles on a variety of topics including board games, mtg theros, video games, movie trivia, geek conventions, science factoids and other topics as well.

Image credit goes to Mike_fleming.