The 20 Best 5 Player Board Games of 2021 to Elevate your Gaming Night
Discover Family Board Games or your New Favorite Board Game for 5 or More Players
Strategy board games have seen a huge surge in popularity lately and the sheer number of games on the market now is incredible. If you’re into playing these strategic tabletop games, you’ve likely got a group or some friends that you regularly play with. If you’re like me, though, and have a group of 5 who like to play together, it can seem difficult sometimes to find games that support 5 players comfortably.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a game that looks really great and I think my gaming group would really enjoy, only to find out that it’s only 4 players. So I’m bringing you a list today of the 20 best 5 player board games.
Every game you find on this list will play well with 5 players, so your gaming group can rest easy knowing that any of these games is a winner. Whether you’re looking for great deck builders, engine builders, resource management games, dungeon crawlers, worker placement games, and more, you’ll find several games you’re sure to love.
I’m also including a few bonus games towards the end that play really well with 5 players, but require an expansion pack or add-on purchase to expand them to a 5 player board game. Let’s get gaming!
Best 5 Player
Best Co-op 5 Player Game: Zombicide: Black Plague
Best 5 Player Family Board Game: Ticket to Ride
Table of Contents
- Dice Game where players build their own chart of rewards
- Fantastic artwork by Chris Walton set in a hopeful and humorous world
- Easily taught with rich depth of play
- All players engaged on every turn and every roll of the dice!
Buy this game if: You want a space-themed engine builder where you earn gold, income, and victory points via dice rolling, both on your turn and potentially on opponent’s turns, and then use those resources to upgrade your fleet for bigger and better rewards.
Playtime: 60 minutes
Gameplay: Take control of your spaceship fleet and race against other players to be the first to score 40 victory points in this engine builder 5 player board game from AEG. Roll dice, Earn resources, upgrade your ships, plan out your strategy, and try to be the first person to reach the required point total to win the game!
Each player starts out with 12 ships in their command station, each in their own assigned sector 1-12. These ships will earn you resources on your turn, based on a roll of the dice.
You can then spend gold you’ve earned to buy upgraded ships. These ships go into a specific sector, which then deploys the ship that was in that section before. Deployed ships can then potentially earn you rewards based on the dice roll on other players turns.
Space Base is a game with so many different viable strategies or paths to victory. Will you stack up low numbers for a lot of smaller gains or go for the bigger numbers, which provide bigger rewards but roll less often? Pick up Space Base today and put your dice rolling skills to the test!
|✅ Space Base is a very enjoyable 5 player board game that plays in about an hour||🅧 Dice rolling does introduce luck into the game, which not everyone enjoys|
|✅ So many different viable strategies for winning, sure to suit anyone’s playstyle||🅧 It can feel sometimes like you’re out of the game early if your numbers aren’t rolling|
|✅ Lots of ship cards to increase replayability and variety in games|
|✅ Pick up Shy Pluto for a fun expansion pack with a story to it, or add in the Command Station expansion to increase player count up to 7!|
- It is a time of unrest in 1920s Europa. The ashes from the first great war still darken the snow. The capitalistic city-state known simply as “The Factory”, which fueled the war with heavily armored mechs, has closed its doors, drawing the attention of several nearby countries
- Lead your faction to victory, building mechs, working the land, and exploring the mysterious factory, all while protecting your territory from the mechs of other encroaching factions
- Explore the alternate-history of 1920 plus Europe through Jakub Różalski's stunning artwork
- For 1-5 players
- Plays in 90-120 minutes
Buy this game if: You want an area control game with war tactics and resource collection, all rolled into a breathtaking game set in a war-torn alternate 1920’s Europe.
Company: Stonemaier Games
Players: 1-5 (up to 7 with expansion)
Playtime: 90-115 minutes
Gameplay: Take control of your faction and lead them to glory through area control, combat, trading, and working the land. Will your path to victory be one of conquering opponents with your mechs? Or will you remain peaceful, producing and trading goods to build up your colony?
Each player is given one of 5 unique faction mats and an action mat to start. Your faction mat will give you specific abilities or bonuses that you must use to the fullest to achieve victory. Each action mat is different, and outlines the 4 primary actions, and the secondary action attached to each of the primary actions, you can use, as well as any costs and rewards associated with these actions. You will choose one action to take each turn, one that is different from your previous action.
Actions allow you to move your hero, your mechs, and your workers around the board, to produce resources and/or recruit workers on land you control, to trade for other goods, or to increase your faction’s strengths. You’ll also be able to take the secondary action that is attached to the primary action you choose, which will help to strengthen your faction as well.
Throughout the game you may have encounters that require you to make tough choices that will help or harm your faction, as well as combat with the other factions. Each player can earn stars by meeting certain requirements in the game, and the game ends when the first faction reaches 6 stars. Points are then awarded to each player based on a number of factors, and the highest scoring person wins!
Scythe is a very enjoyable game that combines elements of area control, worker placement, resource collection, and war combat. It’s one of the best board games for 5 or more players, supporting up to 7 comfortably with the Invaders from Afar expansion. You’ll likely want the Board Extension to fit all the pieces, however. It fits with the back of the regular board to make the playing area much larger.
I also highly recommend Broken Token’s Box Organizer for Scythe. Everything fits perfectly in the box, the components are high quality, and it cuts down significantly on setup and cleanup time for the game.
There are so many paths to victory and so many ways to play that no two games will be the same. The artwork and pieces in this game are incredible and really provide an immersive gaming experience. Buy this game today; it’s sure to be a new favorite in your gaming group.
|✅ Gorgeous artwork and detailed miniatures provide an enjoyable gaming experience||🅧 Combat is often unavoidable, especially with higher player counts, so if you don’t enjoy combat in games then avoid this one|
|✅ No matter your playstyle, this game offers you several paths to victory||🅧 Game turns can begin to stretch long as you approach end game|
|✅ Deep strategy and decision-making but still with a relatively simple turn action structure||🅧 This game takes a good amount of time to set up and put away|
|✅ Expansions and Add-ons to take this game up to 7 players and to add even more content|
Buy this game if: You want a worker placement board game set in a dystopian society that incorporates resource management and dice rolling.
Company: Stonemaier Games
Playtime: 60 minutes
Gameplay: Lead your group of workers as they collect resources and accomplish objectives for you, all while taking care to make sure their morale stays high but their knowledge stays low. Put your strategy skills to the test as you collect resources, uncover artifacts, help to build markets, and grab up valuable spots of land.
Euphoria is a worker placement game, but your workers are dice. You roll your 2 worker dice at the beginning, representing the knowledge of each worker. Throughout the game you’ll be placing workers on spaces across the board from 4 different factions, gaining resources and/or performing actions. You’ll be able to recruit up to 2 more workers over the course of the game, but you’re constantly working to balance your workforce so they don’t become too smart and escape.
The goal in this game is to be the first person to accumulate 10 stars, earned by grabbing up land spots, helping to build markets, and completing your private objective card.
You’ll also have recruits who can help you on your quest as well. Can you keep your workforce morale up but keep them in the dark to your true motives? Plan carefully and manage your resources and movements wisely to become the best dystopian leader.
Stonemaier games brings a phenomenal worker placement game to you with Euphoria, one of the best board games for 5-6 players. If you’ve played other worker placement games before and felt like with more players the turns drag on, pick this one up to enjoy a deep strategic game with a shorter gametime and quicker turns.
|✅ Simple turn structures keep game pace moving but still give plenty of good gameplay||🅧 Some people feel like the number of choices available to you in worker placement games like this can be overwhelming|
|✅ Deep strategic elements in Euphoria without the game taking forever||🅧 The dice rolling element can be very frustrating if they don’t roll in your favor, and they also add in a luck component|
|✅ Rich, engaging thematic elements really bring this game together|
- Introducing century, a series of exciting and wonderfully addictive stand alone, mixable games
- Each title is set in different centuries, from the 15th 17th, and depicts the trading systems and routes of these eras
- Century: Spice Road is the first title in the Century series of games, and is designed by Emerson Matsu chi (Specter Ops designer)
- Discover the beauties of the spice trading road and its colorful markets with the amazing artwork by international renowned artist Fernanda Suárez
- For ages 8 and up
Buy this game if: a simple to learn and play hand management 5 player board game that still features plenty of strategy all built around the theme of being a spice trader.
Company: Plan B Games
Playtime: 30-45 Minutes
Gameplay: Century Spice Road puts you in charge of a caravan of spice traders working to be the best you can be. You must strategize to make the best trades that will allow you to claim victory point cards; whomever has the highest point total at the end is the winner!
This game is very easy to set up and start playing, but still features plenty of strategy. Each player starts out with two cards in their hand and a few spices in their caravan. Using these cards and others that you may acquire along the way you will collect, trade, and upgrade your spice cubes.
Your ultimate goal is to claim victory point cards that cost various cube combinations and are worth various number of points based on the complexity of getting the cubes.
The game ends after one player claims their fifth point card and points are totaled to determine the winner. You may choose to focus on getting small point value cards fast to end the game quickly, or you may decide to build up for bigger point cards instead. Either way be sure to keep an eye on what your opponents are doing or they may claim a point card before you can get to it.
Plan B games takes a simple premise for a 5 player board game and does it really well here with Century Spice Road. You can be up and playing this game in a matter of minutes and games are easily finished in under an hour. With so many strategies you can use and so many different cards, you can play this game again and again with no worry of it getting old.
If you want a slightly different art style than Century Spice Road offers, you can pick up Century Golem Edition instead. It’s the same gameplay but themed in the world of Caravania, featuring gems instead of spices.
And if you end up liking Century Spice Road, this is the first in a 3-part game series. There’s also Century Eastern Wonders and Century A New World. Each game offers it’s own unique playstyle, but they also offer the chance to combine them to play new gamestyles as well. Just note that Eastern Wonders and New World are both only 4 players, as are the combined game modes.
|✅ Easy to set up and get playing, yet still offers plenty of strategy||🅧 Some people complain that the spice cubes are pretty basic and nothing fancy|
|✅ Games are finished in under an hour for a fun, lightweight gaming experience|
|✅ Many different strategies for winning this game can suit any playstyle|
- Compete for different milestones and awards worth many VPS
- Over 200 different projects to complete
- 1 to 5 players ages 12 and up
Buy this game if: You want a 5 player board game centered around terraforming and settling Mars that is full of deep strategy and great gameplay.
Playtime: 120 minutes
Gameplay: You’re in charge of a major corporation and your objective is to terraform Mars. This will be no easy undertaking, however, as you’ll need to work to adjust the planet’s temperature, atmosphere, water levels, and to be able to grow and sustain plant life there before it will support human life.
You’ll have many actions available to you on your turn, such as constructing buildings to increase your resource production, to helping in the creation of lakes and forests. Be sure to manage your resources wisely if you want to have success. You’ll also be able to research to gain access to more potential buildings and upgrades which will help produce more resources each turn.
Terraforming Mars is a brilliantly done strategy board game for 5 players. It can be complex to get started with, but the gameplay is fantastic and supports larger groups really well without getting too bogged down with long turns. If your gaming group likes games that you can dive in deep to strategy and decision-making, pick this one up today and be ready for it to be a new favorite for game night.
This is also a versatile game for your shelves, as it plays brilliantly in multiple group sizes; it’s a top shelf game for 3 players as well!
If you are someone who likes a high level of organization to your board games, I highly recommend the Terraforming Mars Broken Token organizer for this game. It sorts and stores everything in this game so well and makes set up and put away so much smoother and faster. And the player boards that come with it are so much nicer for tracking all of your resources and production. It’s a game changer for Terraforming Mars.
|✅ So much strategy and depth goes into each game of Terraforming Mars||🅧 This is a heavy, more complex game, especially the first couple of times|
|✅ Many different strategies can be successful, as long as you manage your resources and production carefully||🅧 Set up takes awhile on this game if you don’t have the box organizer for it|
|✅ Several expansions to add even more depth and content to the game||🅧 Games can take 2 hours or longer, which may be too long for some|
- Monstrous Minis From the Survivors, to the evil Necromancer, to the mobs of rotting zombies, each is represented by an incredible, highly detailed miniature figure
- Player Boards These helpful, plastic boards allow players to keep track of weapons and armor, as well as special skills, wounds, and experience all in one simple to manage spot
- Scary Scenarios The included scenarios will send players to medieval city streets, through ancient vaults, and force them to come face to face with some scary abominations
- English (Publication Language)
Buy this game if: You want a fully cooperative zombie-themed dungeon crawler where you and your allies fight off hordes of zombies as you work to complete objectives.
Company: CMON Games
Playtime: 60-180 minutes
Gameplay: Get some friends together and work as a team to defeat hordes upon hordes of zombies in this thrilling dungeon crawl adventure. Search buildings for loot, upgrade your gear, fight enemies with melee attacks, ranged volleys, and magic. Will your group get out alive or will you be overrun by waves of zombie killers?
Set up for each scenario will take you a little while, but once you get started the fun begins. Each hero has 3 actions to take on their turn (you’ll be able to unlock a 4th action over the course of the game). Move around the board, search in buildings for weapons and other gear, complete objectives, and fight against zombies.
Zombicide uses an experience system where your character can level up when it reaches a new tier. These new tiers unlock additional abilities and special actions, so they can be very helpful. However, when one member of your party reaches a new tier, the zombies will now spawn based on that threat level. You’ll have to weigh the pros of new abilities against the cons of more and stronger zombies spawning each turn.
If you enjoy dungeon crawl board games, this is a must buy for you. The action system and attack mechanics are easy to understand and to pick up so you can focus on your strategy and gameplay. I do recommend having the rulebook handy, as remembering what all the abilities are can be difficult if you don’t play regularly, but there are handy reference pages for your convenience.
Zombicide is easily one of the best 5-6 player board games (we usually just have one player control two heroes, since most scenarios are designed for 6 heroes).
For more great dungeon crawl ideas, check out our post on The 25 Best Dungeon Crawl Board Games!
|✅ Enjoyable fully cooperative dungeon crawler with a fun story and a zombie theme||🅧 Some scenarios can lasts up to 3 hours, which is longer than some people want to play one game|
|✅ Detailed miniatures for heroes and zombies bring a high level of immersion to gameplay||🅧 If you don’t like cooperative board games, this one isn’t for you|
|✅ Pick up Zombicide: Wulfsburg for new heroes and lots of additional content, as well as several NPC packs and add-ons|
- STRATEGY GAME: Build your tracks across the United States in this fast-paced and strategic board game. Connect iconic North American cities across a map of the 20th-century USA and build your train routes to earn points
- FUN ADVENTURE GAME: Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure game in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities through North America! LOOKING FOR NEW ADVENTURES? Try Ticket to Ride expansions (Note: Expansions require Ticket to Ride Board Game to play)
- MULTIPLE WAYS OF SCORING POINTS: Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who can fulfill their Destination Tickets and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway
- FAST AND EASY TO LEARN: With elegantly simple gameplay, the game can be learned in under 15 minutes and enjoyed time and time again, whether it's your first time building a rail empire or an old favorite
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND AVERAGE PLAYTIME: This family and adult board game can be played with 2 to 5 players. The average playtime is 30-60 minutes. PLAY WITH ALEXA: Using a compatible Echo device, say “Alexa, launch Ticket to Ride” and play against Alexa
Buy this game if: You want a fun and enjoyable lightweight strategy game where you collect cards and use them to build train routes across the United States, earning points for linking up specific towns along the way.
Company: Days of Wonder
Players: 2-5 Players
Playtime: 30-60 minutes
Gameplay: In Ticket to Ride you’re building train routes across the United States, earning points for the routes that you complete as well as for connecting cities together based on your destination tickets. Whomever has the highest point total at the end of the game is the winner, so plan your routes carefully!
The game sets up in minutes, so you can quickly get playing. On your turn you can take train cards, build a route, or draw destination cards. Train cards come in 8 different colors, as well as the locomotives, which are wilds. To build a train route you must turn in a set number of colored cards, with the number and color of them determined by the routes on the game board.
Destination cards are going to be the big way of earning points in the game. Each player is given a few to choose from at the beginning of the game, and you’ll be able to draw more during the game if you want.
These cards task you with connecting two cities on the board. Some of them are lower points for closer cities, while the big point cards will require you to connect cities cross-country. If you plan carefully and can accumulate the most points, you’ll win the game!
Ticket to Ride is a classic mainstay in the board game community; if you’ve played much for board games then it’s likely that you’ve at least heard of this game. And for good reason, as this easy to learn and quick to play game is very enjoyable and features a surprising amount of strategy.
Days of Wonder have since released many more games in the Ticket to Ride franchise, featuring many different areas across the globe. Each game brings with it it’s own unique gameplay mechanics and rules, so you can collect them all and enjoy different gaming experiences with each one. Not all of the Ticket to Ride games support 5 players, however.
Pick this one up today; it’s sure to find a spot in your regular gaming rotation. It’s a great staple to have for your gaming group and is also a great family board game for 5 players. (This is also a really good 3 player board game!)
|✅ Simple gameplay mechanics make an easy to pick up and play game that is great fun||🅧 Some people complain about the luck component in regards to drawing train cards|
|✅ Great strategy game that is completed in under an hour||🅧 Especially with 5 players the game board can get crowded and routes are limited|
|✅ Many other editions in various parts of the world to more gameplay|
- Fun strategy game with a simple game principle and very little luck involved
- Govern one of 14 factions trying to transform the landscape on the game board in your favor in order to build your structures
- Large number of possible games keeps it entertaining every time
- 30 minute game for 2 to 5 players (ages 13+)
Buy this game if: You want an incredibly deep and rich heavyweight 5 player board game with area control and worker placement elements worked into it that will put your strategic planning skills to the test.
Company: Z-man Games
Playtime: 60-150 minutes
Gameplay: You’re in charge of one of 14 possible factions, competing against other groups to control and develop the largest area. Utilize your faction’s special abilities and plan wisely to outwit your opponents if you want any chance at victory.
Terra Mystica is all about taking control of the largest area on the board, and then developing that area for yourself. However, this game throws a unique twist since you can only settle on hexes that match your faction’s land type. In order to help with this, you can spend spades that you’ll earn throughout the rounds to convert hexes over to your land type.
Settling on tiles nearby other players will give you greater bonuses, but it will also give your opponent a bit of a bonus as well. You’ll constantly have to weigh the positives and negatives of building nearby others or setting off on your own.
You’ll be able to take several other actions on your turns, including constructing and/or upgrading buildings, upgrading your faction board to give you better rewards and abilities, trading resources for other options, and more. The game is played over 3 rounds, and then players count up points to see who the winner is.
Full disclosure: Terra Mystica is a very heavyweight game and requires a high level of strategy and planning. It is extremely complex to learn and to get started with. That being said the game is great fun and is so rewarding to play once you get the hang of it.
If you enjoy deep strategy games with basically no luck elements and don’t mind seriously digging into a game, then pick up Terra Mystica today and you’ll find a challenging and satisfying gaming experience waiting for you. I highly recommend you add this to your 5 player board game collection.
|✅ Terra Mystica is a heavyweight, deeply strategic game that rewards players who plan and use their factions’ abilities to their advantage||🅧 This is one of the most complex games I’ve ever learned so steer clear of this one unless you are looking for a heavy game|
|✅ 14 different factions to choose from for lots of different strategies and gameplay experiences||🅧 This game really does require you to lean on your faction abilities and use them to your advantage to have success|
|✅ Pick up Terra Mystica: Fire and Ice to expand your gameplay even further||🅧 Games can easily take more than 2 hours, so be ready for a long gaming session|
- Play as a bird enthusiast, seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your aviary
- Each bird extends a chain of powerful combinations in each of 3 unique habitats, as you build your engine to gain food, lay eggs, and draw from 170 uniquely and beautifully illustrated bird cards
- Widely lauded, award winning title-including winning the most prestigious award in its category, the Kenner Spiel des Jahres (Conniseur's Game of the Year)
- For 1-5 players
- Plays in 40-70 minutes
Buy this game if: You want an engine builder game with card playing and hand management aspects all wrapped into a gorgeous medium weight game centered around building up your own wildlife preserve.
Company: Stonemaier Games
Playtime: 40-70 minutes
Gameplay: Can you help bring the best and most birds to your wildlife preserves? Take on the role of a bird enthusiast working to create the most successful bird sanctuary in this top quality engine builder 5 player board game.
In Wingspan you’ll have habitats that you’ll build up, each focusing on a different element in the game. You’ll have to gain food tokens, lay and hatch eggs, and grow your unique bird collection. Birds will help to give you power that can be activated in your habitats to help grow your wildlife preserve. All of this is driven through bird cards over 4 rounds, with the player who has the most points at the end of the rounds declared the winner.
Wingspan provides a wonderfully different take on the engine builder, focusing the theme around birds. The components and artwork of this game are gorgeous and provide an immersive gaming experience. Buy this game to enjoy a great medium weight game that is done in around an hour; it’ll be a new favorite for your gaming group or a great family board game for 5 players.
|✅ Detailed components and pretty artwork really set this game off as a quality title||🅧 Some complaints about the rulebook not being really clear|
|✅ A fun medium weight game that can be played in around an hour|
|✅ Many different viable strategies for winning in this game to suit anyone’s playstyle|
- A fully cooperative Lovecraftian board game for one to five players
- Required companion app available on iOS, Android, windows, and Mac
- Features four campaigns of varying length and difficulty
- Over 500 detailed components, including 32 plastic figures
- Includes a conversion kit to integrate first edition game components
Buy this game if: You want an exciting co-op board game filled with mystery and terror as you explore the halls of a mansion in Arkham.
Company: Fantasy Flight Games
Playtime: 120-180 Minutes
Gameplay: Mansions of Madness is a cooperative dungeon crawler is one of the best 4-5 player board games. You and your fellow adventurers explore the abandoned hallways of a mansion, never knowing what you might find in the next room or around the corner. Plenty of influence from H.P. Lovecraft help fuel this exciting mystery.
This game is controlled largely through the use of a companion app, which is a unique and fun twist to the normal dungeon crawler. Working as a team to solve the mystery, you and your fellow investigators will perform actions during the investigator phase. Each player has two actions on their turn and can move, explore, search, attack, and more.
Once each investigator takes their turn, there is a Mythos phase where the app generates effects that must be resolved, from monsters moving and/or attacking to challenging events that you must deal with. Players must be careful around monsters; they may be wounded or eliminated if they are not careful, or can suffer horror from the enemies and eventually go insane.
Fantasy Flight is well-known for their quality dungeon crawl board games, and this one is no exception. Mansions of Madness is a brilliantly designed game, from the detailed artwork to the in-depth events the game throws at you. You’ll constantly be on your toes and having to react to many different factors. Pick up this game today and put your gaming group’s cooperative skills to the test as you try to master the mysteries that await you in Arkham.
If you enjoy dungeon crawlers, check out more of our 25 Best Dungeon Crawl Board Games.
|✅ A brilliantly fun cooperative 5 player board game, driven by a companion app (way up there on our best co-op board games list!)||🅧 If your group doesn’t enjoy cooperative games or dungeon crawlers, steer clear of this one|
|✅ Get a truly immersive experience with the gorgeously detailed artwork, all done in true Lovecraftian style||🅧 Not everyone enjoys playing one game for 2-3 hours|
|✅ Plenty of expansions and extra content to expand your gameplay||🅧 Base game only comes with 4 scenarios|
Buy this game if: You want a tableau building game set in space where you roll dice and assign them to carry out actions as you work to build up your space empire.
Company: Rio Grande Games
Playtime: 45 minutes
Gameplay: Take charge of your space empire and build it up to be the best it can be in Roll for the Galaxy. This game is an exciting 5 player board game where you roll dice and then assign them to be able to carry out different actions in an effort to score the most victory points.
Plan your strategy and make the most of the bonuses through your planets and your technological advances if you hope to create the most successful empire.
Roll for the Galaxy features many different colored dice, each representing a different type of colonist, and each color has several different actions on its faces. On your turn you will roll all of the dice that are in your cup and then assign them to the 5 different phases: explore, develop, settle, produce, and ship.
Certain dice will have wild faces on them, allowing you to assign them to any phase of your choice. You also choose one of the 5 phases that you want to guarantee will happen that round.
Players then reveal the phases they chose and all phases that were chosen by at least one person take place in numerical order (it’s likely that not all phases will take place each round). Players carry out their actions in order where they can explore for new planets, develop technologies, settle new planets, ship goods to planets, or consume goods on planets for points or for money. Dice assigned to phases that don’t take place are returned to your cup to be used the next round
Developments and Planets will have bonuses or special actions that you can use once you build or settle them, allowing for you to custom tailor your strategy based on what you have available to you.
There are several paths to victory, from developing and settling high value options in your tableau to shipping and consuming goods for victory points. At the end of the game the player with the most points wins the game!
Roll for the Galaxy is an extremely entertaining and fun 5 player board game. It is a staple in our regular gaming group. So many different planet and development options make for a unique gameplay experience each and every time, and it also means that you can’t just find one strategy that works for you and use it for all the games you play. You must work with what you have available to you, and often must balance your goals against what the other players are doing as well.
Buy Roll for the Galaxy today for an exciting dice rolling and tableau building strategy game that offers deeper gameplay in a very manageable time frame. You can’t go wrong picking this one up for a quality 5 player board game. It also works quite well as a 3 player game!
|✅ Deep strategy and so many different paths to victory await you in Roll for the Galaxy||🅧 Elements of luck can sway the game, from the dice rolling aspects to the randomness of tiles you draw from the bag|
|✅ Games can easily be finished in under an hour for a enjoyable experience that doesn’t take too long||🅧 Improper management of your dice workers can make you feel like you’re out of the game early on|
|✅ Lots of starting corporation tiles, planet tiles, and development tiles for tons of replayability and variety|
- For 3 to 5 players. 90 to 120 minute playing time
- Unique battle system : Eric m. Lang has developed a completely innovative battle system that forces players to bluff their intentions and outthink the competition
- Fantasy art : artwork by the legendary Adrian Smith Will transport players to a fantastical version of feudal Japan that retains all of the beauty of traditional legends
- Breathtaking MINIS : the miniatures in rising Sun are some of the most intricate and highly detailed that have ever been produced
- Eric m. Lang has developed an innovative battle system that forces players to bluff their intentions and outhink the competition
Buy this game if: An epic area control game with war and deep strategy that plays out in feudal Japan, complete with gorgeous artwork and intricately detailed miniatures.
Company: CMON Games
Playtime: 90-120 minutes
Gameplay: As the head of one of the major clans in Japan, you must strategize, scheme, and battle your way to victory. Will you form alliances with other clans to further your goals, worship the kami to help lead you to glory, or lay waste to your rivals on the battlefield? The choice is yours and yours alone in Rising Sun.
The game plays out over 3 rounds in Japan’s 7 provinces. To start each round the leaders of all of the clans come together to meet and discuss if they want to form any alliances. Alliances can be beneficial for you but also help out whomever you ally with.
Players will then take turns choosing one action for the players to take. The person who chooses that action, and any allies they have for that round, will have the ability to take a related bonus action as well. After each round the kami will come and give rewards to the clans who were most devout to them.
Clans must move across the board, recruit warriors and potentially monsters to fight for them, adopt mandates, and do battle if they want to be the most powerful clan in Japan. It’s up to you to decide if you will stand alone or if you will team up with other clans, all in an effort to become more powerful and have influence over more provinces than any other group.
Rising Sun is a breathtakingly gorgeous strategy game in an incredible setting. Everything from the miniatures to the mandates to the board itself are all done spectacularly to immerse you in the gameplay and to really get you into the setting of Japan.
Gameplay is surprisingly simple once you get going but provides an almost endless amount of strategy and choices. It’s all up to you to decide the best path to glory for your clan. This is a must have for any strategy gamer’s collection, especially those who enjoy alliances, scheming, and/or war
|✅ Rising Sun drops you into feudal Japan and everything about this game adds to the immersion||🅧 Avoid this game if you aren’t a fan of scheming and likely backstabbing your friends at some point during the game|
|✅ Gameplay during the rounds is straightforward and simple, yet it still provides many choices and a deeply strategic game||🅧 Be prepared for a longer game, as each play-through can easily take 2 hours|
|✅ Gorgeous miniatures and high quality components make for a very satisfying experience|
- STRATEGY GAME - PLAN YOUR WAY TO VICTORY: Develop the landscape of a medieval fortress city one tile at a time. Whether blocking a city's growth or connecting with your opponent’s road to share the points, Carcassonne provides plenty of ways to use your cunning and outsmart your opponents.
- ONE STEP AT A TIME TILE-PLACEMENT GAME: Players fill in the countryside around the medieval fortified city, choosing from tiles that depict cities, roads, monasteries, and fields; each new tile creates an ever-expanding board on which players can then add their followers.
- JACK OF ALL TRADES: Followers can take many different roles (knights, monks, farmers, or thieves) determined by the type of tile on which they're placed. Each role scores points differently, so you'll need careful planning to make the best use of your followers.
- HOW TO ACHIEVE VICTORY: Players score points by having followers on tiles as features are completed. The player who makes the most strategic placements of tiles and followers will score the most points and win the game.
- HIGH REPLAYABILITY: With its simple yet rich game mechanics and eighty-four tiles that can be configured into numerous combinations, Carcassonne appeals to beginners and veteran gamers alike. LOOKING FOR NEW ADVENTURES? Try our many expansions (Note: Expansions require Carcassonne Base Game to play). Average Playtime: 45 minutes.
Buy this game if: You want a lightweight, fun tile-laying game to play with friends, one that takes less than an hour and still provides plenty of strategy.
Company: Z-man Games
Playtime: 30-45 minutes
Gameplay: Draw your tile, connect it to the board, place your meeple, and score points for cities, roads, and other landmarks as they are completed over the course of the game. You’ll constantly have to adjust your strategy or come up with new plans as the board changes every time someone places a tile.
Manage your meeples and build up your landmarks as you work to prevent the other players from doing the same, all in an effort to be the highest scorer at the end.
The game starts with a single starting tile placed in the middle of the board. Players then take turns where they draw a tile and have to connect it to the pieces that have already been played. You are free to play your tile wherever you like, as long as any sides of your piece that touch other pieces connect together, continuing the field, road, and city segments that might currently be on there.
Once they have placed their tile, players can place a meeple on one part of their tile if they would like, as long as no other player already occupies that landmark. As the game plays out roads, cities, monasteries, and more will be completed as more tiles are placed on the board. As soon as one of these is completed, the player who controls it will score that feature and get their meeple back.
Roads are worth 1 point for each tile they span over. Cities are worth 2 points per tile they occupy, plus potential bonuses for shields in the city.
Players continue taking turns until all tiles have been placed, and then the game ends. Meeples that are on the board at the end of the game are scored, although unfinished cities are only worth half as much as they are if they were completed in the game. Fields are scored at the end based on the number of completed cities they border.
Carcassonne brings you a quick, lightweight game that is incredibly fun and makes an excellent 5 player board game. It is easy to set up and get playing, can be learned in a matter of minutes, features fast turns to keep all players engaged in the game, and still offers plenty of strategy and decision-making to keep it entertaining for all.
I highly recommend you pick this one up and add it to your collection. It’s a great lightweight game to enjoy with friends, stands out as one of the best 5 player family board games, and also works well for a lighter change of pace between heavier games for a full day of gaming.
|✅ Sets up in minutes and plays in under an hour||🅧 The randomness of the tile drawing can be frustrating and introduces a luck component into the game|
|✅ Easy gameplay mechanics but still plenty of choice and strategy|
|✅ So many expansions to expand your experience. I highly recommend Inns and Cathedrals or Traders and Builders|
- A simple rule set that allows for surprising depth
- An action selection system that ensures a different experience every game
- Six included expansions promise extraordinary replay ability
Buy this game if: You want a medium weight area control game where you’re a member of the Spanish nobility fighting for control of the many regions against your opponents.
Company: Z-man Games
Playtime: 60-120 minutes
Gameplay: As a Grande, a member of the Spanish nobility, you must recruit caballeros and plan your actions carefully to ensure you have a majority control in the many regions across Spain. Can you enact your strategies across several rounds and strengthen your position as the king’s power wanes?
A game of El Grande is played over 9 rounds, with whomever has the most points at the end declared the winner. Each round starts with players choosing power cards and determining play order. A player then chooses one of 5 actions cards to carry out which will determine how many caballeros that Grande can recruit that round, as well as potential scoring opportunities.
Your ultimate goal is to move your caballeros into regions and gain a majority in those regions, which lets your score points. No one can move troops in or out of the region with the king, but some actions may allow you to move the king, opening up new opportunities for you to take actions and/or score points.
Scoring takes place every 3 rounds and the game ends after the 9th round. Can you scheme, strategize, and successfully maneuver your troops to gain control and become the most powerful Grande?
El Grande is another great game from Z-man Games. Set in medieval Spain and working to wrest control of the regions across the country, you’ll have to plan your moves carefully and outwit your opponents if you want to snatch up power as the king’s position weakens.
Add this to your collection for a nice medium-weight game that will put your mind and your strategy against that of the other members of your gaming group.
|✅ Exciting area control 5 player board game set in medieval Spain||🅧 Pieces and components are mainly just colored wooden cubes, so nothing fancy|
|✅ Lots of choices on your turn allow for plenty of strategy and many paths to victory to suit any playstyle||🅧 Games can take 2 hours, which may be too long for some|
|✅ Many expansions to add even more fun and variety. Pick up the El Grande Big Box to have them all in one box!||🅧 Be prepared for a slight more complex game to learn at first|
Buy this game if: You want a zombie apocalypse survival strategy board game where you work to complete objectives, some of them benefiting the entire party and others in direct opposition of your fellow players.
Company: Plaid Hat Games
Playtime: 60-120 minutes
Gameplay: So you’ve survived the zombie apocalypse, for now. Now you must survive the winter in a small-isolated colony filled with other survivors. You’ll work together to make it through, but in order to achieve victory you must complete your own personal objectives as well. Are you willing to potentially sell out the rest of the survivors for you to make it through and to achieve victory?
Take control of one of many characters fighting for survival through the harsh elements of winter. Each round a player reveals and deals with a crisis, then can take actions to further their survivor’s goals, including moving, attacking, searching, and more. After each player takes a turn, there is a colony phase where the needs of the colony must be met and zombies are added to the board.
To achieve victory, a player must complete their personal objective and one of the end game conditions must be met. Some of these personal objectives are relatively simple and may line up with the colony’s objectives for the most part, but other objectives can be in opposition to the main objectives, even going as far as having to sabotage the colony!
Dead of Winter is an intriguing game of balancing your own objectives with those of the whole group, working together while also scheming in the background. So many different characters and a bunch of unique crises and events make for tons of replayability. Grab this game today for a game to test your wits against those of the rest of your group and enjoy many hours of spectacular gameplay.
|✅ Strategy-filled gameplay tasks you with balancing your own goals against those of the colony as a whole, making for a fun and unique experience||🅧 If you’re looking for a shorter game, this one can easily take 2 hours to play|
|✅ So many different characters to choose from, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and personal characteristics||🅧 Game components are fairly basic and nothing fancy: cardboard standee characters and cardboard markers|
|✅ A survival board game with a zombie apocalypse theme brings a fresh new look to board games||🅧 Not everyone is a fan of scheming and betraying your fellow players|
- MYSTERY BOARD GAME: A horrible crime was committed on the grounds of Warwick Manor thirty years ago. Now the mansion is haunted by the ghost of the murdered servant and it’s up to a group of psychic investigators to get to the bottom of the mystery.
- COOPERATIVE BOARD GAME: One player takes on the role of the victim (who is now a ghost) and the rest play as psychics. Over the course of the game, players work together to solve a mystery by psychically communicating with the victim. The ghost tries to lead psychics to the correct culprit.
- INTERPRET VISIONS TO SOLVE MYSTERIES: Each player investigates a case assigned to them to determine who the actual murderer is. Psychics receive numerous visions from the ghost with clues. Can they determine the weapon, location and killer, or will a violent criminal pull off the perfect murder?
- HIGH VARIABILITY: Dozens of different suspects, weapons and locations ensure no two games are the same! LOOKING FOR A NEW CHALLENGE? Expansion sets are available (Expansions require base game to play).
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND AVERAGE PLAYTIME: This family and adult board game can be played with 2 to 7 players. The average playtime is 45 minutes.
Buy this game if: You want to play as a medium working to solve a murder as you are given visual clues from the ghost of the victim.
Playtime: 42 minutes
Gameplay: There’s been a murder and you’re part of the team of mediums working to solve the mystery. To do so you must interpret and solve clues that are left for you from the ghost of the victim. You must work quickly and be very observant if you hope to solve the murder and let the ghost rest in peace.
One player in the group will take on the role of the ghost, working to communicate with the mediums, while the rest of the group work to solve the clues left for them pointing them to the killer.
The ghost tries to lead each medium to a specific person, place, and object, using only visual clue cards that they place in front of the player. They can place any number of cards in front of a player each round, but can’t use any words or other forms of communication.
Players have 7 rounds to progress their way through 3 sections: first they must find their matching person, then their matching location, and finally finding the object that was used in the murder.
After the rounds are over, the suspects, locations, and weapon cards are placed in the middle of the table and the ghost has one final set of clues they can give to try and lead the mediums to the killer. Players choose their most likely suspect by a majority vote and if they are correct they win the game! If they are wrong then the killer will go free and the ghost will never be able to rest easy.
Mysterium is such a fun and unique 5 player board game; there’s really nothing else like it. A game of mystery and deduction but adding in the nonverbal direction from the ghost player to set this game in a league of its own. Round up your gaming group and pick up Mysterium for a game that will put your observation, deduction, and abstract thinking skills to the test in the most delightful way.
|✅ Solve a murder mystery with the help of visual clues from the ghost||🅧 If you don’t like social deduction and abstract thinking, you won’t like this game|
|✅ Lots of beautiful, abstract cards to provide fun and new gameplay each and every time||🅧 Despite the enjoyable gameplay, it’s frustrating that winning or losing comes down to a vote based on a few cards at the very end of the game|
|✅ Mysterium provides an incredibly fun game that can be played in well under an hour|
Buy this game if: You want a lightweight, quick to play family board game for 5 players where you collect resources and build up your city all through simple card drafting and passing mechanics.
Company: Repos Production
Playtime: 30 minutes
Gameplay: Play as one of the 7 greatest cities in the world and build yours to be better than the rest. Collect, produce, and trade resources, strengthen your military, focus on science, grow your culture, or support the local guilds on your path to glory.
The core of 7 Wonders gameplay is very simple: choose a card to play in your city and pass the rest to your neighbor. Then repeat this process multiple times and over 3 ages before tallying up a final point total to determine the winner. Between ages your military will square off against your neighbors cities, with points being awarded to the victors and penalties given to the losers.
Gameplay is quick and easy, but there is a lot of room for strategy and decision-making, as well as so many different paths to victory. 7 Wonders incorporates set collection elements as well, with some earlier age buildings allowing you to build related structures from later ages for free, while others will combine together into sets to be worth larger numbers of points. You’ll also be able to build up the wonder in your city, granting your civilization unique abilities, bonuses, or rewards.
7 Wonders is a mainstay in our gaming group for it’s fun and engaging playstyle packed into a quick and lightweight game. It’s a great game to pick up if you’re fairly new to strategy games, and holds up as one of the best board games for 5 or more players. Buy it today to fuel your new found strategy board game obsession or for a great change of pace from the heavyweights you usually play. It’s very approachable for kids and family members who aren’t familiar with strategy games as well!
|✅ Fun and engaging gameplay in a 30 minute lightweight title||🅧 There is definitely a luck component with dealing and passing cards each round|
|✅ No matter your playstyle you can find a strategy to suit your needs and lead you to victory||🅧 Some people don’t like the fact that you only interact with the person sitting on either side of you and not everyone in the group|
|✅ Set up is easy and fast|
Buy this game if: You’ve ever wanted to play a card game centered around sushi! Or if you want a quick and easy card drafting set collection game that can be played in 15 minutes.
Players: 2-5 players
Playtime: 15 minutes
Gameplay: Draft your cards and collect the best sushi to score points as you eat at a sushi restaurant. Points will be scored based on the cards you draft each round, based on meeting specific criteria. The game sets up in minutes and gets you into playing fast, so you can focus on your strategy and your sushi and not on a complex set of rules or mechanics.
Sushi Go! plays out over 3 rounds. Each round you are dealt a hand of starting cards. From this hand you will draft one to play and pass the rest to your neighbor. This process repeats until all cards are played, and then the round is scored.
Nigiri cards are worth a set number of points for playing them. However, if you can play a wasabi card first your next nigiri will be worth triple points! Tempura are worth points if you can get a pair, but are worth nothing on their own. Likewise, sashimi are worth big points if you get three of them, but will only score in sets of 3.
Maki rolls score points if you have the most or 2nd most at the end of the round. Dumplings get more valuable the more you have of them, so collect as many as you can! Chopsticks allow you to swap them later in the round to play 2 cards from a hand.
There are also puddings, which are set aside and scored at the end of the game, after all 3 rounds. The person with the most puddings scores points, while the person with the fewest loses points!
Points are totaled after all 3 rounds have been played and the winner is declared.
Sushi go is a fun, fast-paced, lightweight game that is great fun for any gaming group, from beginners in gaming, to seasoned veterans and it plays great as a 5 player family board game. You don’t have to worry about lots of rules or complicated set up. Just shuffle the cards, deal them out, and get started.
It plays in around 15 minutes, so it works well for quicker sessions or for short breaks; it’s also a great game to break up longer periods of more complex strategy games. It’s small footprint and tiny game box make it perfect for traveling or gaming on the go!
|✅ Fast, easy set up and simple gameplay mechanics so you can focus on playing||🅧 With any draft and pass game, you are relying on the luck of the cards to some extent|
|✅ Small footprint and tiny box is great for when storage is at a premium or for gaming on the go|
|✅ It’s a fun and fast game, perfect for lunch breaks or quick get-togethers|
- An exciting Euro-style board game set in Waterdeep, the greatest city and jewel of the Forgotten Realms
- This immersive game casts players as Lords of Waterdeep who hire adventurers to complete quests
- Game play: 1 hour
- Perfect for 2 to 5 players
- Rodney Thompson (Author)
Buy this game if: A Dungeons and Dragons dungeon crawler where you play as one of the secret rulers of Waterdeep, recruiting others to go on quests for you as you seek to increase your power and influence.
Company: Wizards of the Coast
Playtime: 60-120 minutes
Gameplay: Play as one of the 5 lords of Waterdeep, a secretive masked ruler of the city. Through use of scheming, intrigue, and strategy, you must use your influence and your agents to hire heroes to complete tasks for you. Whichever lord has accumulated the most points at the end of the game is the victor, so plan your actions wisely.
The game takes place over 8 rounds and then final points are totaled. Each round a player can assign agents if they have any and then can complete quests to earn points. Agents are recruited from a pool of rogues, clerics, wizards, and fighters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Players can also build buildings that will bring rewards and benefits and can play intrigue cards that allow you to manipulate the other lords in the city. Beware though, as the other players can utilize their own intrigue cards as well! Lean on the strengths of your lord and your agents, work to grow your influence and to combat your opponents gains, and hire adventures to complete quests for you as you work to become the most successful lord of Waterdeep.
Wizards of the Coast brings you a unique twist on the dungeon crawler, an exciting strategy 5 player board game that puts your skills to the test. Rather than taking the role of the adventurer, you instead play as a powerful figure in the city exerting your influence to further your gain.
Purchase this game for a board game that will force you to plan, scheme, and exert your influence instead of hacking and slashing your way to victory.
For more great dungeon crawl adventures, check out our list of the Best Dungeon Crawl Board Games for a host of games to fuel your obsession!
|✅ Take on the role of a lord and influence others to do your bidding as you sit back and amass power||🅧 Fans of the more traditional dungeon crawlers may not enjoy this one as much, since the focus is must less on the adventuring|
|✅ Lots of choices and paths you can take to victory, be it through hiring lots of adventurers to building and growing the city to deceit and intrigue||🅧 Not everyone enjoys playing a game that may last 2 hours|
|✅ A fun twist on the dungeon crawler brought to you from the trustworthy dungeons and dragons name|
- 64 hexagonal tiles for different variations
- For ages 13 and up and from 2-6 players
- Key flower, a joint design between Richard Breese and Sebastian Bleasdale, is the seventh game in the "Key" series from R&D Games set in the medieval "Key" land
- German (Publication Language)
Buy this game if: A strategy-filled game where you build up your village, combining worker placement, auction bidding elements, and a number of actions taken over 4 seasons, all in hopes of accumulating the most victory points.
Company: R&D Games
Playtime: 90-120 minutes
Gameplay: Players spend the early seasons building up, expanding, and upgrading their villages, collecting resources, recruiting workers, and taking other actions to position themselves for winter, when points are scored based on the composition of your workforce and village. Plan wisely, bid for key areas next to your village for expansion, and maximize productivity from your workforce if you want to succeed in Keyflower.
There are many elements of auction bidding wrapped up in Keyflower’s gameplay. Players will bid workers of one color to try and win village tiles, boat tiles, and turn order tiles. Boat tiles and village tiles are added to your village at the end of the season, helping to strengthen your area for future seasons and to potentially score points in winter. Turn order tiles determine the play order for the next season.
Villages also have the ability to produce resources and to potentially produce workers that you can add to your pool to be used for future bidding. Keyflower brings some unique gameplay in that you can potentially use tiles for production from other people’s villages or from the ones that are being bid on as part of your turn.
Keyflower is actually one of many games in the ‘key’ series, but is often the best known one. The combination of auction bidding to expand your village along with worker placement makes for a very enjoyable game.
It does tend to be a heavier game to learn and get into at first, but if you can get a playthrough or two under your belt you’ll be richly rewarded with a very satisfying board game. Make sure to pick this one up today for another great 5 player board game!
|✅ A great medium to heavyweight strategy game that will reward you for thought, planning, and execution||🅧 This game does take awhile to learn and get the hang of, so be prepared for more complexity when learning it|
|✅ Very pleasing artwork adds to the overall feel of the game||🅧 Be prepared for a longer game session of close to 2 hours each time you play|
|✅ Keyflower combines worker placement and bidding elements in a fun and interesting way|
Bonus Board Games for 5 or More Players
When compiling my list of the best 5 player board games, there were a few games that I couldn’t leave out. However, these games don’t support 5 players with the base game alone. These 4 titles are great games that feature rich gameplay and are all mainstays in our gaming group (as well as lots of other groups I’m sure) but require you to purchase an expansion pack or add-on to be able to support 5 players.
Any of these titles will give you immersive gameplay, lots of strategy, and a fun experience, so they’re all definitely worth picking up.
Dominion is a classic in the deck building game genre and is a must for any gaming group. Simple mechanics and a straightforward playstyle get you up and playing quickly, but bring so much strategy and variety to the game. Build your deck with treasure cards and action cards, all in an effort to purchase victory point yards and have the highest score when the game ends.
Pair it with Dominion: Intrigue to make it a 5 player board game or even up to 6, and experience more cards and more strategies to win. Adding Intrigue to the base game basically doubles the combinations of cards for tons of replayability. If you need even more gameplay you can then add one of the 12 other expansions (or all of them) and experience night phases, duration cards, attacks and curses, and so much more.
We’ve also put together our list of the Best Dominion Expansions!
If you enjoy deck builders, check out our list of the 20 Best Deck Building Games!
Another title that shares some deck building characteristics is Mystic Vale. This title from AEG instead presents a card crafting game for a brilliant twist on the normal deck builder genre.
Rather than buying cards to add to an ever-growing deck, you instead buy advancements that are sleeved on top of an existing card, essentially upgrading it to make it more powerful. You’ll never have more than 20 cards in your deck but can customize and tailor your cards to your strategy in a quest to score more victory points than your opponent.
Add Mystic Vale: Conclave to the base game to expand this wonderful game up to 6 players. It plays well at any player count, including as a 5 player board game. To help combat the potential downtime between turns at higher numbers, Conclave introduces an equinox system.
The game area is divided into day and night. Two players at opposite sides of the table both take a turn at the same time, one drafting from the day side and the other from the night. You get the same great gameplay as you would at lower numbers but without the increased downtime and playtime.
Be sure to check out more of the Best Deck Building Games as well!
Settle your villages on the map, produce resources, and then grow your civilization to greatness in Catan! In true engine-building fashion, you produce resources from tiles anytime their number is rolled. On your turn you can then use your resources to upgrade settlements into cities, construct roads, build new settlements, and more.
Block your opponents from producing resources and steal from them with the robber. There’s so much to do and so many strategies to win that it’ll keep you coming back again and again.
While not a full expansion, the 5-6 Player Extension opens up Settlers of Catan to accommodate up to 6 players. I’ve never played it with 6 players but think it is quite fun as a 5 player board game. To guard against the increased downtime between players’ turns with a higher player count and the potential to lose resources through the robber, the extension allows all players to have a build turn after each player’s turn.
Opening up this classic game to your 5 player board game group is definitely worth the added cost for the extension.
Roll and draft dice to help build the most beautiful stained glass window in this extremely fun lightweight strategy game. Players each take a template for a stained glass window and draft dice over 10 rounds to try and complete their construction.
You’ll score points based on 3 public objectives as well as your private objective at the end of the game, so plan wisely. In addition, dice of the same color or same number cannot be placed orthogonally from each other, creating more complexity in your build, especially towards the end game.
Adding in the 5-6 player expansion expands the player count but also introduces some new objectives and tools as well as a private dice pool variant. While not required (you can still play the regular way with added players), the private dice pools add in a unique twist in that you roll half of your dice at the very beginning and then place them in your private pool.
Each round you’ll draft one public dice and one private dice to place into your window. I find the private dice pool allows for some more advanced planning potentially, as you can see half of your dice from the beginning, but often can be even more challenging towards the end of the game.
Sagrada is a fun, lightweight game that plays pretty quickly, so it’s perfect for easy game nights with friends or for a nice change of pace after a heavier title. It also makes a perfect family board game for 5 players when coupled with the 5-6 expansion.
Types of 5 Player Games
No matter what style or genre you’re looking to play, there are plenty of 5 player board games to choose from! However, if you’re looking for something in a specific genre or looking to branch out to new game types, I’ve got you covered. Here are some of the more common types of 5 player board games.
Worker Placement – A very popular game genre, worker placement games work very well as a 5 player board game. Place workers in various spots on the game board and then take the appropriate action. Euphoria is a great one in this genre where you roll dice for your workers and then place them to take actions, or Keyflower has you place workers as part of bidding for tiles. Other great titles that play well with 5 are Agricola, Caverna, and Viticulture.
Dungeon Crawler – This is one of the best genres for accommodating a 5 player board game group. So many of these games will play with bigger play counts, even up to 6 players often, or allow you to play with more players if you buy expansions or multiple base sets. They’re a nice change of pace, too, if you gaming group is used to playing against each other, because many of these board games are co-op. Pick up Mansions of Madness, Lords of Waterdeep, or Zombicide: Black Plague for in-depth gameplay, a wonderful story, and many hours of content.
If this is the genre for you, head over to our in-depth look at the 25 Best Dungeon Crawl Board Games. Most of these will support 5 players comfortably.
Engine Builder – There is something so very satisfying about the concept of engine builders. Start out with something very small, optimize it and grow it into something large and powerful and successful. Do this in space with Space Base or make a civilization with Settlers of Catan. Build up your own wildlife preserves in Wingspan or draft citizens and colony cards while slaying monsters in Valeria: Card Kingdoms.
Deck Builder – Another popular genre, deck builders scale really well and play wonderfully as a 5 player board game. Use your deck to accumulate resources and then buy more cards to add to your deck to make it even better. Dominion is a classic in this genre and features so many expansions for near infinite combinations. Mystic Vale takes the deck building genre and makes it its own with their unique card crafting system.
For even more great choices, check out our detailed review of the 20 Best Deck Building Games.
Area Control – Fans of combat and war will be no strangers to the area control game. It’s everyone for themselves as you scheme and battle to hold more land than your opponents. Many of these games feature a war or a battle component in them as well. El Grande pits you against the other Grandes as you try to grab up area and power as the king’s strength wanes. Rising Sun has you fighting rival clans for control of feudal Japan. Scythe takes its intricate miniatures and drops you into 1920’s alternate reality Europe as you fight it out with mechs to control and improve the land.
How Long to Expect a 5 player Board Game to Take
With such a wide variety of 5 player board games out there, there is no set amount of time you can expect a game to take. It will largely be dependent on the complexity of the game. The nice thing about this, though, is you can find perfect games to suit your needs. Or just buy several different games and you’ll be covered no matter what time frame you have available to you.
Are you wanting to get some new games for your 5 player board game group but looking for ones that don’t take several hours? Or have you played a lot of shorter, lightweight games and are looking to dive into some more serious content? Either way, there are plenty of 5 player board games to meet your needs.
If you want some shorter, lighter games that easily play in under an hour pick up Sushi Go, Mysterium, and 7 Wonders.
For medium length games that are played in around an hour or slightly longer, pick up Wingspan, Century Spice Road, Carcassonne, and Space Base.
And if you want a complex game that will take several hours, get yourself Terraforming Mars, Terra Mystica, Mansions of Madness, and Scythe.
The list of 5 player board games is way too long for us to have included all of them in this list. That being said there were several quality games that are very enjoyable to play but didn’t quite crack our top 20, so I’m bringing you a few honorable mentions.
Valeria Card Kingdoms is a lightweight engine builder that plays in around 45 minutes and makes for a very enjoyable experience with 5 players. Recruit citizens to your side that will earn you resources based on a roll of the dice and then use those resources to recruit more citizens, buy domains, and slay monsters as you work to have the most victory points at the end of the game.
Agricola is a worker placement game themed around building and growing your farm and your family. Grow crops, raise livestock, upgrade your house, have a family, and more as you play several rounds, trying to create the highest scoring farmstead. Just make sure to have enough food to feed your workers!
Between Two Castles puts you in charge of building the best and most beautiful castle. However, you’re not building a castle on your own but instead collaborating with the player on your left and the player on your right. Draft tiles and then work with your partners to build two successful castles, satisfying requirements for bonuses and to score points. At the end of the game you’ll take the total score of both castles to determine if you were the winner!
Final Thoughts on the Best 5 Player Board Games
If you are a fan of board games and have a big group of friends then having board games that work well with more players is a must. Whether you have one core group that get together regularly or have different groups each and every week you’ll want to have a collection of board games for 5 or more players.
Pick one or several of these up and enjoy quality strategy board games without worry that someone will be left out. Grab one of the best 5 player board games today!