Top 10 Games for Each Player Count
You invite a few friends over, but some of them say yes, some say maybe, one asked if they can bring there other friend. Ever been through this? I know I have.
So often I will have such a varying play group that having a collection that runs the gamut from Solo to 10+ is vital. So this is my Top 10 Games by Player Count!
Note: This is based on 1) My personal experience with these games and 2) whether I think they are appropriate for this player count. Some games might rate higher in my books but just dont fit into the criteria of this list. (Eg. Five Tribes is one of my all time favourite games and yet... nowhere to be seen)
So with all that being said lets kick off the list with...
1 Player - Friday
What makes a good solo game? It has to have enough complexity and depth to justify you playing it over say just playing a video game. However I rarely find myself wanting to play a 1-2 hour board game without my friends around, so that is why some much more enjoyable games, such as Mage Knight, have been overlooked for a game with a much shorter timeframe and is why my top solo game is Friday.
Honourable Mentions: Mage Knight, Space Hulk: Death Angel - The Card Game, Elder Sign
2 Players - Netrunner
2 Player games tend to be pretty straight forward, One on One, Dog eat Dog, Clashing heads! Whatever the case this is usually the go to for any 2 player based game. There is a plethora to choose from and some games in this category have withstood the test of time 'Cough' Magic 'Cough'. But if I had to choose just one, it would definitely be netrunner, if not for its theme alone.
Honourable Mentions: Magic the Gathering, Dice Masters, 7 Wonders: Duel, Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures
3 Players - Legendary
This was an interesting player count to pin down. Essentially any 4 player game usually caters 3 players just a well, however what I was looking for in this category was what games specifically fit better with just a trio. Sure there are some amazing older games that might be more deserving of this spot, but for me nothing beats 3 friends sitting down for a game of Legendary! I find at 3 everyone gets a good shot and forging good combos without stepping on each others toes.
Honourable Mentions: Le Havre, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, Lords of Waterdeep
4 Players - Pandemic
This is the hard part. This is where I have to try and pinpoint tiny details to try and seperate the Wheat from the Chaff. There are so many amazing 4 player games its almost impossible to just pick one.... alas, I must. Based purely off the enjoyment I have had with this game and due to it being one of the most accessible to others (while still retaining its depth and cruel difficulty), My number 1 4 player game has got to be Pandemic. I have had more fun losing this game than I have winning others, and if that isn't a testimate to the joy that can be had with this game then I don't know how else to sell it to you!
Honourable Mentions: Five Tribes: The Djinns of Naqala, Splendor, Xenoshyft Onslaught, Love Letter
5 Players - Sheriff of Nottingham
Now alot of games that fit into the 4 player category can extend up to 5 & 6 players, such as King of Tokyo or Zombicide. However for the 5 player slot, I couldn't go past the one game that is made for 5 players, I wouldn't even concider bringing it out unless we hit the 5 player mark. There is something satisfying about lieing to 4 of your close friends that just isn't quite there at smaller numbers. For those reasons and more my top pick for this category is of course Sheriff of Nottingham.
Honourable Mentions: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, Forbidden Desert, Roll for the Galaxy
6 Players - Zombicide: Black Plague
I was hesistant to invest into the Zombicide series, sure it looked well made and the mechanics seemed pretty spot on but... another zombie game? I mean hasn't that been beaten to death? (See what I did there) Then they go and drop this little gem into our laps and well... it takes the cake! Sure maybe I have a little bias due to my past with Warhammer and Warmachine, but this game has everything going for it, great quality miniatures, excellent artwork, modular board and don't get me started on the amazing new dashboards! Game, Set and Match.
Honourable Mentions: Coup, King of New York, Betrayal at House on the Hill
7 Players - Mysterium
Wait a minute... This is the 7 player slot and you aren't giving it to the game that has 7 in its name?!? Yes I'm afraid as much as I love 7 Wonders, Mysterium has overshadowed it to the n'th degree. I mean it takes the best parts of Dixit and Cluedo and puts them into this delightful package. I especially enjoy being the ghost as you get to see how each person thinks and adapt to that accordingly. The 7 player count has a few amazing games that will never leave my collection, but Mysterium is in a class all of its own.
Honourable Mentions: 7 Wonders, Bang!, Shadows Over Camelot
8 Players - Spyfall
This might of been the hardest decision to make on the list. I found myself struggling to decide between 3 amazing games, However I did settle on Spyfall. This game truely surprised me, I honestly saw it as a not so competent attempt at taking the social deduction crown from games such as One Night Ultimate Werewolf and The Resistance. Spyfall finds itself in the interesting place of being simple to play, yet hard to master. That being said it only wins out over games like Tsuro due to 8 being the perfect number for it.
Honourable Mentions: Tsuro, The Resistance, The Resistance: Avalon
9 Players - One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Once you jump from 8 to 9 players, skill and complexity starts to become an unreasonable expectation, hence why the strongest contenders in this category are chaotic, judgement based games such as Cards Against Humanity and Superfight. I do however have to give this one to the ever popular One Night adaptation of Ultimate Werewolf. Using just the base game, you are able to utilise the most popular roles while still keeping the game somewhat managable. This often leads to alot of yelling and wild accusations...and isn't that the very essence of Werewolf?
Honourable Mentions: Cards Against Humanity, Superfight, Million Dollars But...
10+ Players - Codenames
And finally we reach the last entry in this top ten. I have gone ahead and opened this one up to any games higher that 10 player count as most that reach 10 go up even higher. That being said, how could this ever not be Codenames? I find this game to be perfect at 10 people, 2 giving clues and 4 on each team guessing. I have never found a game so widely loved, I have not met anyone yet that did not instantly fall in love with this little gem.
Honourable Mentions: Two Rooms and a Boom, Saboteur, Zombie Dice, Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe Edition
So there you have it, my top 10 games by player count. What do you think? Do you agree with my list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and let me know your own list! Thanks guys, keep on gaming!
Brent is the founder of OzBoardGamer, he has a passion for the hobby and especially loves games for 2 to 5 players