Ticket to Ride vs. Monopoly: Which Board Game to Get?

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If you are planning to play some more board games and do away with all of that TV and those video games, you are lucky because there are thousands of games to choose from. With so many choices, it can make your head spin, so we are here to help narrow it down.

Ticket to Ride and Monopoly are both hugely popular games, but which one is better for you? Let’s find out.

Ticket to Ride vs. Monopoly: A Detailed Comparison

Let’s figure out what both of these games are all about, so you can then make an informed decision in terms of which one to get.

1. Theme

Starting with Ticket to Ride, at its most basic, the theme of this game is trains. To be precise, as advertised, this game is a cross-country train adventure that involves buying and collecting various train routes, among other things. It features a great combination of strategy, action, and a little bit of luck too. If you like trains, you like adventures, and you like good old capitalism, then Ticket to Ride is a game worth checking out.

The theme of Monopoly is actually very similar to that of Ticket to Ride. The theme of Monopoly is real estate, as the game involves the buying, selling, and trading of streets, properties, train stations, and other things that can be found in a city. Monopoly is all about capitalism as well, with the aim of course being to have the most money. Although trains and real estate are two different things no doubt, in essence, both games are somewhat similar.

Ticket to Ride vs. Monopoly

2. Objective of the Game

The objective of Ticket to Ride is fairly simple, as the aim is to have the most and the longest train routes at the end of the game. Moreover, each player gets so-called destination cards, with each destination corresponding to one on the board. Players get many points for connecting two or more of their destinations by owning the connecting train routes.

At the end of the game, the player with the longest continuous route is given a bonus. In essence, the objective here is to have the most train routes (especially those connecting your destinations), and therefore the most points.

The objective of Monopoly is a bit different than that of Ticket to Ride.

Whereas Ticket to Ride sees the first player to reach a certain point win, Monopoly is a last person standing kind of game. The objective in Monopoly is to own as many properties, houses, and hotels as possible so that players have to pay rent whenever they land on a space you own, with the main goal being to bankrupt all other players. The last person who still has money is the winner.

3. Difficulty

In terms of difficulty, Ticket to Ride is seen as being a fairly easy game. It is rated for ages eight and up. Yes, there is a bit of strategy involved, as it is crucial not to reveal your hidden destinations to other players, so they can’t scoop up your required routes before you do, plus you also need to be able to find the ways to connect your destinations using critical routes. That said, there is also a good deal of luck involved because the outcome of the game really depends on the cards that you draw.

When it comes down to it, although Monopoly may seem very easy in its most basic form, and yes, there is a good deal of luck involved too, it is a bit more strategic than Ticket to Ride. Monopoly is very capitalistic in nature, it allows you to trade properties and goods with other players, and you can even neglect to buy properties when you land on them with the aim of saving money.

Monopoly, depending on who is playing, can be a bit cutthroat, as players can use some pretty lowdown tactics to win, but that said, it’s not overly difficult. In terms of a side-by-side comparison, Monopoly is probably a bit harder to play, but let’s keep in mind that both of these games are rated for ages eight and up. We would say that how difficult the games are to play mostly depends on how skilled your opponents are.

Playing Ticket to Ride

4. Number of Players

Ticket to Ride can be played by anywhere from two to five players, whereas Monopoly can be played by two to eight players. In Monopoly, it really comes down to the number of game pieces provided, but you could technically make more of your own.

5. Average Play Time

For those who like relatively quick games, Ticket to Ride is the way to go, as an average game will last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Monopoly on the other hand can take much longer to play. Although a game may be finished in as little as 30 minutes, this is very rare. A game of Monopoly will usually always take at least an hour to play and can last for up to three hours.

6. Variations

Ok, so when it comes to game variations, there is simply no beating Monopoly. Since it was first created, there have been 1,144 versions of Monopoly released, each with a different theme, and although many have been discontinued, hundreds of versions are still available for purchase.

On the other hand, Ticket to Ride has 27 different variations.

Ticket To Ride - Europe

Which of the Two Games Should You Get?

If you are only going to choose one of these games, you do want to consider everything quite carefully.

On one hand, if you want to play a fairly quick and easy game, something adventurous, fairly high-paced, and full of trains, then Ticket to Ride is the better game for you. However, if you would like to play a game that can last for several hours, involves tons of trade, and you want to play a strategic game with the potential to be very cutthroat, then Monopoly is the better game.

In terms of which one is better for you in terms of difficulty, both are more or less the same, although Monopoly can be quite hard if there are skilled players involved.

All of that said, we think that both of these games are great for family game nights and for playing with friends alike. Yet, if you are into very difficult and strategy-heavy games, then neither of these will really challenge you.


The bottom line here is that both Monopoly and Ticket to Ride are fairly easy and straightforward games that can provide many players with tons of fun for hours on end.