RE: Best Board Games?
Yeah most board games you find at Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, etc. are stocked mostly with spinoff theme games (i.e. Toy Story Monopoly, Halo Risk, NFL Uno, etc.). For an 11 year old, Catan, Carcassonne, or Ticket To Ride would work well. If he's into collectable card games (Magic The Gathering, Pokemon, Yugioh) Dominion is likely to be a huge hit too, but that's a card game.
Here are some video reviews:
-Catan : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTV03kCoDIw
-Carcassonne : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgEvEKIJnk0
-Ticket To Ride : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A90q3salKeI
-Dominion : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ENsEhRbVIM
Again, they're much more expensive than your $10-$12 Monopoly set, but if properly taken care of, they're the type of games that will be a big hit when you take it to college.