You Told Us: Your Go-to Games for 3-5 Players

6 points

During our Wingspan giveaway, we asked for your go-to game for 3-5 players. More than 2,500 of you responded. Let’s look at the top games, each mentioned 30 times or more.


Wingspan

Wingspan has a player count (1-5) and a playing time (40-70 mins) that many people can comfortably get to the table. Published by Stonemaier Games, it also has fantastic art and lots of custom components. Read more about it in our review here.  

[Wingspan on BGA]  [Wingspan on BGP]  


Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill plays 3-6 players in about an hour. As you play, you build the house that you are exploring. One of your fellow players will betray you, and you must use all of your skills to survive.

[Betrayal at House on the Hill on BGA]  [Betrayal at House on the Hill on BGP]


Century: Spice Road

Century: Spice Road is part of the Century series, each set in different centuries and focusing on the the major trading systems and routes of that era. It plays 2-5 players in 30-45 minutes.

[Century: Spice Road on BGA]  [Century: Spice Road on BGP]


Pandemic

Pandemic is a cooperative game, where everyone wins or loses together. Your team travels around the world working to discover cures for four diseases. Designed by Matt Leacock, it has inspired legacy versions, and historical versions such as Pandemic: Iberia.

[Pandemic on BGA]  [Pandemic on BGP]


Concordia

Concordia is a peaceful strategy game of economic development for 2-5 players. Designed by Mac Gerdts, it relies on how you manage the cards in your hand. Each player starts with the same set of cards, and can add to them throughout the game. But take too many cards, and it may be too hard to get the card you need.

[Concordia on BGA]  [Concordia on BGP]


Viticulture

Viticulture is another game published by Stonemaier Games. Players must develop their vineyards and produce wine. It is a worker placement game for up to 6 players that plays in around 90 minutes.

[Viticulture on BGA]  [Viticulture on BGP]


Carcassonne

Carcassonne was the winner of the 2001 Spiel des Jahres, and can be considered a ‘modern classic’ with such games as Catan and Ticket to Ride. It is a tile-laying game for 2-5 players that plays in about 45 minutes. Players score points by developing the playing area, then placing their followers in the cities, cloisters, and fields, and on the roads.

[Carcassonne on BGA]  [Carcassonne on BGP]


Catan

Catan is a game of building on strategic spots to gain resources, and trading for (or stealing!) the rest of what you need. First published in 1995, it’s still going strong. Recent re-themes include Star Trek and A Game of Thrones.

[Catan on BGA]  [Catan on BGP]


Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. Through your agents, you recruit adventurers to go on quests on your behalf, earning rewards and increasing your influence over the city.

[Lords of Waterdeep on BGA]  [Lords of Waterdeep on BGP]


And here we had a big jump, with an almost 50% increase in responses:


7 Wonders

7 Wonders is a game of card drafting, where players build a hand of cards by selecting a card and then passing the rest to the next player. Cards give players a benefit, such as a discount on building a future card, increasing military strength, or providing victory points. It plays up to 7 players in about half an hour.

[7 Wonders on BGA]  [7 Wonders on BGP]


And another big jump, with an even larger gap than the last:


Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride was first published 15 years ago and won the 2004 Spiel des Jahres. It has since sold over 5 million copies. It’s easy to teach, has both a family-friendly theme and strategy, and plays 2-5 players in about an hour. Players choose train cards to build routes across the map to score points.

[Ticket to Ride on BGA]  [Ticket to Ride on BGP]


Number two on our list is yet another game by Stonemaier Games:


Scythe

Scythe is one of the longer and more complex games on this list, but that hasn’t stopped people from playing it a lot. It’s a competitive 4X game set in an alternate history 1920s where players compete to gain fame and fortune by establishing their empire.

[Scythe on BGA]  [Scythe on BGP]


Drumroll please…


And the number one go-to game for 3-5 players is:


Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars was a Kennerspiel des Jahres Nominee in 2017, and is currently ranked #3 on BGG. Players control corporations that are working to raise the temperature, oxygen level, and ocean coverage until the environment is habitable. When the three global parameters (temperature, oxygen, ocean) have all reached their goal, the terraforming is complete and the player with the most victory points wins.

[Terraforming Mars on BGA]  [Terraforming Mars on BGP]


More games, and a graph

30 or more responses made for a manageable list, but plenty of great games were mentioned.

See more of your go-to games for 3-5 players here.

xldh 22 days ago | 2 points[-]

TM is a worthy number one choice if you have a couple hours to sit down and play it.

JamesReid860 Supporter42 days ago | 2 points[-]

This is pretty solid list. 3-5 is in interesting spread though. I think there would be games that are good at 3 and drag at 5 (some euro style games) or vice versa ... 5 is a good player count and 3 makes it difficult (area control and combat games aren’t good with 3 players IMO).

HooperGirl 38 days ago | 2 points[-]

Others I love that play up to 5P and didn't make the list are Alhambra, Notre Dame, and El Grande.  Alhambra and El Grande are my top two favorite games!!

HooperGirl 38 days ago | 2 points[-]

Thank you for compiling this!  I love those word clouds and it's fun to see it in a bar graph format too.

indigopotter Supporter38 days ago | 1 point[-]

Thanks for reading, and for appreciating the cloud/graph! The word cloud was a bit tricky (I used one of those programs where you had to assign "weights" to the results) but finally got a result I was happy with. 

HooperGirl 37 days ago | 2 points[-]

I haven't tried making a word cloud before but they look cool.

indigopotter Supporter37 days ago | 1 point[-]

It's one of those things where I thought, 'Why won't you just look like what's in my head?' but probably it was because it was my first try. 

HooperGirl 37 days ago | 2 points[-]

Well, I'm impressed!! Great job.

rancidmike Supporter41 days ago | 2 points[-]

Hey I’ve played all but one of these! Only game I can’t bring myself to get behind is Betrayal. I really wish I could, since everybody seems to love it.

ithayla 41 days ago | 2 points[-]

The lack of Twilight Imperium shows a serious deficiency on the part of those who participated in the giveaway for a (checks notes) light-medium eurogame.

Skurvy5 Supporter42 days ago | 2 points[-]

This is a great article! Thanks for sharing. There are some really amazing games on this list. My favorite on this list is Scythe. 

indigopotter Supporter42 days ago | 1 point[-]

I haven't tried Scythe yet (don't tell anyone). 

Skurvy5 Supporter42 days ago | 2 points[-]

It’s a blast! I picked up the campaign expansion recently and am really looking forward to getting it to the table. 

Marshwiggle92 Supporter42 days ago | 2 points[-]

Just do it, you know you want too.....

Skyw3rd 41 days ago | 2 points[-]

The only thing with Viticulture is that I'd say the Tuscany expansion board is basically required.

philryuh Supporter41 days ago | 3 points[-]

I've yet to play with it but @trentellingsen just brightens up when I ask him about Tuscany haha

Skyw3rd 40 days ago | 2 points[-]

It was night and day for me. Base game I really didn't care for. Add the new board and now I'm excited to play it again.

indigopotter Supporter41 days ago | 2 points[-]

I have Viticulture and Tuscany from the Tuscany KS (not the collector's edition, just the two-pack).

menthabrw Supporter42 days ago | 2 points[-]

2500 responses where, when? what did I miss? :D or was it on BGP?

indigopotter Supporter42 days ago | 1 point[-]

Yes, it was on BGP here over the summer. I originally had it linked in the article, but thought it might be distracting for people to click away from the article.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter42 days ago | 2 points[-]

gotcha. Well it is a interesting read anyway.

indigopotter Supporter42 days ago | 1 point[-]

I had a couple of articles written in BGP that didn't get published before the changeover, so I've been working on putting them in BGA. The shipping games article was another example.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter42 days ago | 1 point[-]

My question as well....

indigopotter Supporter42 days ago | 1 point[-]

Answered below, but I don't think it will notify you unless I answer under your comment as well.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter42 days ago | 2 points[-]

Interesting list. Looks pretty solid. One game that I love in that player count is Power Grid And I see that did not make it on the list.

Puerto Rico is another really solid game at that player count. I like that one best at 4 but it is really good at 5 as well.

There are also some headscratchers, Dominion at 3-5? Seriously. I love Dominion but it gets too long for what it is past 3 in my experience.

Also, I haven't played Gloomhaven, but I imagine at 4 or 5 players it would start to drag.

HooperGirl 38 days ago | 2 points[-]

I still enjoy Dominion at 4P.  I love Power Grid and Puerto Rico too.  Great games.

indigopotter Supporter42 days ago | 1 point[-]

Power Grid made the extended list, in the link at the bottom. Puerto Rico is a bit of a surprise, but I think that's mostly a function of time; a few years ago, it almost certainly would have been there.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter42 days ago | 2 points[-]

ahhh.... the cult of the new strikes again. LOL

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