Shaking up the Old Standards
Monopoly - Monopoly is a classic by most anyone's standards, yet there are ways you can make the game more personalized to your family's interests. You might want to choose a Monopoly game based upon the college you went to, the town you live in, or a favorite sport, television program, movie, or musical group.
Clue - Like Monopoly, just about everyone has played some version of clue, the detective game. Did you realize how well this game wors for building logic and deduction skills? Just don't tell anyone that they're learning something. Also like Monopoly, while Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the knife is amusing, you can find other versions of Clue based upon beloved television shows, movies, and music groups.
Scrabble - This is another game that most people (should) have in their library of classic board games. Scrabble helps to develop one's verbal skills, so it can be great for helping develop the budding readers in the house. There are a few versions of Scrabble - junior, regular, and deluxe editions. Unless you have very young children, consider purchasing the regular or deluxe edition. The junior editions of the game have a short shelf-life and do not grow well with children.
Chess/Checkers - Chess and checkers are a great staple of every game night event. While these games are meant for only two players, there are variations, especially when it comes to playing chess, that allow for three or even four players. In addition to multi-player adaptations, you might be able to find chess or even checkers sets that are based on favorite books or movies. Examples include Harry Potter themed chess and Lord of the Rings themed chess sets.
Trivial Pursuit - What good is game night if you can't come together to laugh over the fact that someone thought that Mount Everest was in the United States (yes, that was me...in my defense, I'm terrible when it comes to geography. My intellectual gifts are in other areas!) In all seriousness, this game is a lot of fun - and in any family or friend group, you get to see everyone's strengths and weaknesses come out. There is a variety of versions including 90s Trivial Pursuit, the 20th Anniversary Edition, and more.