5 classic board games for your console
Bring some family favourites up to date, and play them on the big screen.
07 Dec 2020
You can’t beat a classic board game for a bit of feel-good festive fun. And these days, you can play all the greats on your console. Just imagine – no more missing pieces, no more arguing over rules, no more taking-so-long-to-set-things-up-that-everyone-gets-bored-of waiting. Nope, your console takes care of all that for you, and even throws in some cool graphics, sound effects and other surprises.
So, fancy some classic family gaming on the big screen? Here are our favourite board games with brilliant console versions to enjoy.
The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix was one of the big TV hits of the year. Sales of chess sets have doubled since it aired, with new players of all ages on a mission to unleash their inner Beth Harmon.
Chess is a great game to play on the console too, and our favourite version is Ultra Chess - available on PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch. It actually has its advantages over a classic chess board. You can play against friends and family locally (if they’re in the room with you), or challenge them online if they can’t be with you this year. Ultra Chess looks amazing too, with different chess pieces and environments to choose from.
Plus, there are loads of options to help you improve your game. You can play against the computer’s 10 grandmaster-approved AI levels, solve chess puzzles, get in-depth tutorials and lots more.
Okay, so you probably won’t reach the heady heights of the incomparable Beth. But you should at least get to the stage where you can successfully play your own Queen’s Gambit - it’s a great attacking opening. Your move!
Ah, Monopoly. A brilliant game but a bit of a pain to set up, and the cause of countless arguments over rules (usually something to do with mortgages) and missing cash. So, try playing it with the family on your console instead – it’s much more friendly.
You’ll find official Monopoly versions on PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch. This is a game that looks great on a big screen TV, as your animated pieces making their way around a 3D board, with loads of great graphics and sound effects thrown into the mix. Up to six people can play together, you can choose different rules to suit your style of play, and even select a quicker version of the game. If your main memory of Monopoly is that it always takes hours to finish, you’ll love speeding through the souped-up console version – as long as you don’t land on those over-priced Mayfair hotels!
Who’s up for a spot of global domination? Risk is a classic strategy game with a simple aim – lead your troops to victory and take over the world. The console version (PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch) looks fantastic, and places you in the kind of high-tech war room that a commander of your status deserves. From here, you can play against fellow family members or strangers online - and do battle with tanks, aircraft and infantry all at your disposal. You can also get crucial tactical advice to help you achieve your objectives, if you’re the kind of commander that listens to others.
Scrabble is a great for getting your kids to improve their word knowledge. And when you play the official PlayStation and Xbox console versions, you don’t need to invest in a large Scrabble dictionary to settle those arguments when you plonk down ‘QIN’ on a triple word score. You can play with family in front of the TV, against online opponents, or challenge virtual opponents ranging from ‘easy’ to ‘difficult’. Scrabble looks great on the TV, and the console versions are refreshingly free of gimmicks. When a game’s this good, it shouldn’t be messed about with too much.
C3… miss. D4… miss. A2…miss. If ever a classic board game needed updating and made just a little bit more exciting… it’s Battleships.
And you’ll be pleased to hear that, yes, the console versions actually do make it much more fun. You can choose to play the classic game mode, with an interactive 3D board that lets you find and destroy ships on your opponent’s grid – while they try to do the same to your own fleet. There’s also a new ‘Clash at Sea’ mode, where each ship has different abilities for you to use. You’ll need to manage them wisely if you’re going to come out on top, and it really does take the classic Battleships formula to a whole new level. And when you’ve defeated all your family members and they’ve gone off in a huff, you can do battle with the game’s scarily good AI.