What is the oldest board game in the world (list)

Homo Sapiens have been searching for enthusiasm since the beginning of the cognitive revolution. Almost 5000 years ago, Homo Sapiens invented a new strategy to spend their spare time by launching the first board game in this world known as Senet.

We have always wondered about prehistoric people and their ways of living. In case you are the kind of person who loves to dive into the deeper section of a prehistoric mind, understanding their recreational sources might provide some insights.

For people like you, here are the origination history of the top six oldest board games.

what is the oldest board game


Number one (1) : Senet

Senet is by far the oldest board game recorded. The most bewildering fact is that this is still a popular game that people are playing in modern days.

  • The origination period of this game is ancient Egypt. The first board of senet was found in 3100 BCE at the first dynasty burials of Egypt.
  • The game needs to be played between two players, and it requires a gameboard with a grid of 30 squares.
  • The old conventional rules of playing senet are conjecture; thus, senet historians Timothy Kendall and R.C. Bell invented new rules of playing senet, and people across the whole world are following their directions to play senet in the present days.
  • This game will have two different kinds of pawns that two players need to play with.

Number two (2) : Checkers

You probably have not heard about senet, but you indeed are familiar with the name checker. One of the most common misconceptions about Checkers is that people conglomerate Checker with chess. But, Checker and Chess are two different games.

  • In British, Checker is also known as draughts (wikipedia).
  • Checker or draughts' origination place is in Ancient Mesopotamia, and it was first founded in 3000BCE, making it the second oldest board game in board game history.
  • The game needs to be played between two players, and it requires an 8x8 checkerboard.
  • If you are playing at a professional level, then the board's type may change a little. In that case, you may see a 10x10 checkerboard as well.
  • This one is also a strategic game where you need to move your piece diagonally if there is free space in front of you.

Number three (3) : Backgammon

  • Backgammon will remain in third place on the list of oldest board games.
  • This game was first found in an archeological discovery in ancient Mesopotamia more than 5000 years back. But, it is being believed that the origination period of this game is 3000BCE.
  • This game also needs to be played between two players. Each of the players will have 15 pieces to compete against one another.
  • The board will have twenty-four triangles between what you need to move your pieces following the game's rules.
  • The game's main objective is to move all the fifteen pieces out of the board, which is known as bear off. The player who will manage to do so will win the game.
  • Even in this present era, this game is quite popular across the whole world.
  • The game also has some different names that include Nard, Gul Bara, and Tapa.

Number four (4) : Mehen

  • Mehen will remain in fourth place on the list of the oldest board games of the world.
  • The harsh truth about this game is that this game or any versions of this board game can no longer be found. Mahen is the relic of the main game that remains.
  • This game's origination period dates back to 2700BCE, and it was first found in ancient Egypt.
  • The game can be played between two to six players.
  • The rules for playing this game are still unknown, and this game was named after Mahen, who was the snake God of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
  • The game needed to be played on a spiral shape snake board with two different kinds of pieces.

Number five (5) : Royal Game of UR

  • The Royal Game of UR will remain in fifth place on this oldest board game list.
  • The Origination place of this game is ancient Mesopotamia or modern-day Iraq. It is estimated that this game was first found between 2600BCE to 2400 BCE.
  • This board game has not gone extinct and is still played across the world.
  • This particular board game requires two players to play against one another.
  • The Royal Game of UR is also a strategic game board that has 20 squares. The main objective of the game is to pass through the squares.
  • This board game's rules were never known until through the inscription of a cuniform found that discerns the rules.
  • After speculating the cuniform, the modern version of the Royal Game of UR was released, and people are still playing this game with the same rule.

Number six (6) : Go board game

  • Go board game will remain in sixth place on this oldest board game list.
  • The Go board game's origination place is ancient China, and it is believed that this game was invented between 2000 to 2100 BCE.
  • This game has different names in different places across the whole world. Some of the most popular names of this game are Weiqi, Igo, Paduk, Baduk, etc.
  • This game needs to be played between two players, and it is still alive for all the board game lovers out there.
  • Although this game's origination place is in China, the game used to be mostly practiced in the East Asian countries.
  • GO board game is also a strategic game that consumes a lot of your time.
  • A total number of 361 stones are required to play the Go game.

Final words

Board games are nothing new; from the prehistoric period to this present world, board games were always there. Every year the collection of modern board games are increasing rapidly. If this pandemic situation like COVID-19 continues for more than six months, board games' popularity will take a significant turn for sure. Board games can enhance your mental and communication power to a great extent. If you are not a board game lover, it should be time to start one.

Last Updated on June 10, 2021 by Efti

Leave a Comment