If you use your lawn for roughhousing and other outdoor activities, perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne) may be the answer to your prayers. A native to Europe, Northern Africa and parts of Asia, this grass is perfect for heavy soils that tend to stay wet after a rain. If you live in a temperate location that gets consistent rainfall, or you're willing to give it regular watering during dry spells, this cool season grass may be just right for you. It's a workhorse that can take some real punishment. It establishes itself quickly, is pest-resistant, and covers evenly to create a dense, dependable mat that discourages weed growth.
Some newer cultivars of perennial rye grass have attractive narrow blades that are a brilliant emerald green and can withstand mildly shady conditions. Like a number of other grasses on this list, cultivation has led to advancements in the original rye grass stock, resulting in more versatile and less demanding strains.