Chess, checkers, Monopoly and so on are all very old. Board games have been discovered even in the ruins of old villages and towns.

Early mainframe games were inspired by classic board games,  Some games are based on pure strategy, but many contain an element of chance; and some are purely chance, with no element of skill.

Early board games represented a battle between two armies, and most modern board games are still based on defeating opposing players in terms of counters, winning position, or accrual of points.

There are many varieties of board games. Rules can range from the very simple, like Tic-tac-toe, to those describing a game universe in great detail, like Dungeons & Dragons – although most of the latter are role-playing games where the board is secondary to the game, serving to help visualize the game scenario.