Hasbro, the company that owns the rights and patents to the Monopoly game, develops new themed versions and licenses the game design to other companies. Thus, because the game is popular, new versions are always coming out. Some of the versions make only a few changes to the original rules and design while some make major changes.
There are over 300 different versions of the Monopoly game in the open market. There are thousands of other themed versions custom made for individuals and groups. Nonetheless, some versions are more common, popular, and have sold more units than others.
There’s no denying the popularity of Monopoly. Since its release into the market in 1935, the game has been played by over a billion people worldwide and the Hasbro company has sold over 250 million boards. Now there are personal custom versions and online versions that are too many to count. Read on to find out more about the most popular versions of the Monopoly game.
What Was the First Version of the Monopoly Game?
In the late 1890’s and early 1900’s there were several board games themed around renting property. One such game was ‘The Landlord’s Game’ invented and patented by Elizabeth Maggie of Virginia. Players could rent properties, pay utilities, all while avoiding jail.
Later in the 1930’s, Charles Darrow played such a game with friends. He then worked on creating his own version. He made a circular board, color-coded the properties, and created rules where players could buy the properties, not just rent.
Soon after, Darrow couldn’t keep up with the demand for the game. So, Darrow sold his version of the Monopoly game to Parker Brothers, a toy and game manufacturer, and retired a millionaire. Thus, Charles Darrow of Germantown (now Mount Airy), PA is credited as the designer of the first Monopoly game version.
10 of the Most Popular Monopoly Board Games
With thousands of versions of Monopoly in existence, it’s difficult deciding which versions are the best. Some versions have gained widespread fame and popularity while others faded into obscurity.
To rank the various versions, this article will list them according to popularity. The list is based on sales numbers and review scores on Amazon.
1. Monopoly Classic
Charles Darrow’s original version underwent a few design and rule changes and thus was born the Monopoly Classic version. Many people still prefer this classic version over the newer versions.
The Classic version uses the traditional property names, even though names are localized depending on where you are. Classic is ideal for players over the age of eight. It is best played by between two and six players.
2. Monopoly Junior
The Classic edition may be too complicated for players younger than eight years but that doesn’t mean your little ones can’t enjoy the game too. Monopoly Junior has been a world favorite for homes with kids.
The recommended age for players is between five years and twelve years old though four and even some three-year-old can enjoy the game too.
The board game version has chunky tokens that are easy to handle. The property prices are low, making the math easier. The properties include places like the Zoo and the Ice Cream Parlor, places young kids can relate to and enjoy owning.
3. Monopoly Speed Die
Monopoly games can last a long time. A 4-player game can last between 60 minutes and 90 minutes or even longer. That’s why Monopoly Speed Die is such a hit for players seeking quicker gameplay.
A change in some of the rules encourages players to race for property investments and trade their way to victory quicker.
Monopoly Speed Die can be played with between two and eight players and is ideal for players above eight years old.
4. Monopoly Millionaire
Houses and hotels just aren’t enough for today’s Instagram lifestyle. In comes the Monopoly Millionaire version. You can build residences, resorts, and win fortunes. The general rule is that the first one to hit a million bucks wins the game.
It’s fancy, the board has a chic design, and the stakes are higher. All these make for a more exciting game with a modern flair. Between two and eight players is the ideal number for Monopoly Millionaire. Like the classic, it’s great for anyone above eight years old.
5. Monopoly Friends
This version is inspired by the TV show, Friends. You course through the Monopoly board using exclusive tokens such as a Friend’s themed handbag, acoustic guitar, or chef’s hat.
Some additional themes you can look forward to include Ross’s teeth, All the Candy, and Holiday Armadillo.
While older players beyond their 30’s can relate more to the show’s themes, anyone over eight years old can enjoy the game. Play is ideal when between two to eight players.
6. Monopoly Game of Thrones
Another successful version based on a TV show is the Game of Thrones version. Players will enjoy traversing through the legendary continent of Westeros. You can trade property in the Seven Kingdoms.
The themed tokens derive inspiration from the honorary sigils of the Great Houses. Instead of dollar bills and coins, you use 42 Gold Dragons and 53 Silver Stags for money. Instead of houses and hotels, you have 32 holdfasts and 12 castles. There’s even a card holder which plays the Game of Thrones theme song.
7. Monopoly Deal
You want a card game instead of the regular board game? Monopoly Deal is card based, making it easier to carry around in your purse or pockets and play in limited space.
For example, you can play a quick game in the car, train, or plane. Another advantage is the game doesn’t last as long as other Monopoly versions. Each two-player to four-player game typically lasts between ten and 30 minutes.
8. Pokémon Monopoly
There are several official Monopoly Pokémon versions. For example, there is the Kanto Edition and the John to Edition.
Use the six tokens themed on the Pokémon characters Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, and Eevee. Travel through the eight gyms and instead of houses and hotels, build Sculpted Poke Marts and Pokémon Centers.
The age recommendation for Pokémon Monopoly is eight years old though younger fans of the Pokémon video and mobile game can understand and enjoy the Monopoly game.
9. Monopoly Star Wars the Mandalorian
If you’re a fan of Sci-Fi and the epic space opera, Star Wars, then you’re in for a treat with Star Wars Mandalorian Monopoly.
You’re the Mandalorian, traveling the Universe and protecting Baby Yoda. You could also take on the character Cara Dune, IG-11, or Kuiil.
The Baby Yoda token enables the player to enjoy a more immersive experience and use The Child’s peculiar powers. The player with the most imperial credits wins though the game ends anytime an imperial villain captures The Baby.
10. The Big Bang Theory Monopoly
Another TV show with a huge fan base gets their own version of Monopoly. You can get your geek on while travelling through Sheldon’s and Leonard’s apartment.
Theme tokens are Leonard’s glasses, Raj’s puppy, Howard’s space helpmeet, and Sheldon’s favorite sofa, Penny’s wine glass, Bernadette’s microscope, and Amy’s Tiara.
Instead of houses and hotels you have Colliders and Super Colliders. Locations include Mrs. Wolowitz’s house. The ideal number of players is four to six players. Adults may enjoy the theme more, though fans come in many different age groups.