If you have exactly 5 players then it may seem as though for board game options are limited. In fact, there are many great games out there which are perfect for five people. They’ll give you an endless amount of fun, whatever type you love to play.
Trying to choose the best game for you can be difficult but we’ll aim to make your life easier here. We’ve completed in-depth reviews on the top 10 games out there along with a buying guide and FAQs to make your decision easier.
Let’s get started!
- 1 Best 5 Player Board Games
- 1.1 Risk by Hasbro
- 1.2 Betrayal At House On The Hill by Avalon Hill
- 1.3 Ticket To Ride by Days of Wonder
- 1.4 Sheriff of Nottingham by Arcane Wonders
- 1.5 Scythe by Stonemaier Games
- 1.6 Citadels by Z-Man Games
- 1.7 King of Tokyo by IELLO
- 1.8 7 Wonders by Asmodee
- 1.9 Forbidden Desert by Gamewright
- 1.10 Dixit by Asmodee
- 2 Best 5 Player Board Games – Buying Guide
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
Best 5 Player Board Games
Risk by Hasbro
Risk is immensely popular for a reason. The aim is world domination and it’s fairly simple to play. You’ll try and control as much territory as you can with the troops you have available. You’ll have plenty of fun going to war with your friends.
It will all be decided on the roll of a dice as you’ll move around your troops and engage in battles. You’ll be able to form alliances, make surprise attacks or even commit acts of betrayal against your friends.
The game is very well made and the instructions aren’t too complicated. It’s suitable for ages 10+ and between 2-5 players. There are four ways to play the game and you’ll enjoy endless amounts of fun.
Betrayal At House On The Hill by Avalon Hill
If you love twists and turns then Betrayal At House On The Hill may be the game for you. At the halfway point of the game, one of the players will become the traitor and it’s up to the other players to work out the betrayal.
The co-op adventure game works perfectly with five people (suitable for 3-6 players) and you’ll enjoy the storytelling throughout the game. Game time will be around 60 mins and it’s suitable for ages of 12+.
You’ll go from room to room which may contain secrets or monsters, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. A great feature of this game is the replayability with 50 different scenarios and a wide variety of different rooms.
Ticket To Ride by Days of Wonder
Ticket to Ride is one of the best strategy games out there. You need to get from one point to another and will have to plot a course on your secret route. This is all played via train cards and works very well with a group of five players.
It’s fairly fast-paced and you’ll love the artwork which has a classical charm to it. You need to plan your routes better than anyone else and accumulate points along the way. It can also be connected to Alexa to make gameplay easy.
Games will last for around 30-60 minutes and you’ll be able to play it over and over again. It’s suitable for 2-6 players and ages of 8+. It works well with a family or group of friends as you’ll plot your ways across America’s iconic cities.
Sheriff of Nottingham by Arcane Wonders
A beautifully designed game, the Sheriff of Nottingham is also fantastic fun. Four of you will play the role of traders trying to bring goods into the city and the other will play the role of a sheriff. The traders will declare what goods they have but can aim to be deceptive and the sheriff will have to work out if anyone is lying.
It’s a game that will give you plenty of laughs while also engaging in serious competition. The winner at the end will be the richest merchant as you’ll decide whether to bluff your way to victory or use your skill. It will take around 60 minutes to play and works perfectly for between 3-5 players with an age range of 14 and up.
Scythe by Stonemaier Games
Scythe is one of the most famous games out there and for good reason. That is partly due to the beautiful artwork and quality components but most due to the gameplay being immensely engaging with excellent strategy throughout.
The game is set in the 1920s in an alternate history as you go through the action-selection mechanism to try and build your faction in eastern Europa. You’ll aim to conquer territory, build up your army, gain resources and grow your population.
Many thousands of people have played and loved the game and there is immense quality in every aspect of it. Playing time is around 90-120 minutes and can be played between 1-5 players.
Citadels by Z-Man Games
Want to build your own citadel while being the king of strategy? If so, then this game would be perfect. You’ll have to take on the role of different characters to claim gold and construct buildings. You’ll have to outthink your opponents to eventually claim victory.
It’s another beautifully designed game that has a brilliant range of characters that will keep you engaged with the game. The game is fairly simple to learn and you’ll be able to replay it as many times as you wish.
The components are high-quality and you’ll end up going back to this game time and time again. It’ll take anywhere between 30-60 mins. It’s perfect for five players but can also be played anywhere between 2-7.
King of Tokyo by IELLO
If you’re looking for a thrilling game then King of Tokyo could well be it. It works perfectly with 5 people where you will play the role of a monster trying to take over the city. The winner will either be the last person standing in the game or the first to 20 points.
It works well for anything between 2-6 players and only takes around 30 minutes to complete. The graphics are bright and fun, much like the game itself.
The strategy game will be decided on the roll of a dice and you’ll have to decide whether to attack, heal your monster or improve its abilities. It offers a pleasant gaming experience and you’ll be sure to have plenty of enjoyment.
7 Wonders by Asmodee
7 Wonders is perfect for anyone who loves drafting games. The game is played across three different eras and you’ll try and build up your empire. You’ll do this by taking cards from the stack and taking action depending on that. You’ll eventually construct your wonder of the world.
It’s another fairly quick game, lasting around 30 minutes on average. You’ll be able to build up your city and try to develop military supremacy over your rivals. The winner will be the one with the most points, scored by their military conflicts and cards.
3-7 players can play this game and is suitable for the ages of 13+. The gameplay is slick and you won’t have to worry about anyone getting bored of it.
Forbidden Desert by Gamewright
Forbidden Desert is another epic option for groups that love co-op adventures. The aim of the game is to recover a flying machine in an ancient city. There are many challenges throughout the forbidden desert and you’ll all have your own abilities to contribute to the mission.
There are a range of quality components, including the flying machine model. It takes around 45 minutes which many will see as a perfect balance between strategy and speed.
The game is a part of the brilliant Forbidden series and you can also get the game before (Forbidden Island) and the game following which is Forbidden Sky. All three are great but it’s worth noting that Forbidden Island isn’t suitable for 5 players. This one is, and it’s fantastic.
Dixit by Asmodee
Dixit is an ideal game for those who want plenty of laughs through storytelling. It’s a card-based game where you’ll be asked to say a phrase and choose a photo card along with it. You’ll then want at least one person to guess your card but will suffer if everyone chooses it. You have to find that delicate balance between the obvious and the obscure.
3-6 players can play this game and it only takes around 30 minutes to complete. If you have enough fun then you’ll be able to play it over and over again. The thing that’ll strike you immediately is the elegant and stunning artwork but while it looks great, the fun you’ll have while playing it will keep you hooked.
Best 5 Player Board Games – Buying Guide
Number of players
Will you always be playing with exactly 5 players? If so, then all these games are going to be perfect. If not, then it’s worth checking how many people are able to play the game. If it may be a little more or a little less, then the 3-7 players on 7 Wonders would be perfect.
Some people love getting deep into a difficult game whereas others like a bit of light-hearted fun. The likes of Scythe isn’t overly complicated but does demand a lot of thinking power. Other games, such as Dixit, are more light-hearted and will give you plenty of laughs. It’s worth bearing in mind what type of games your group would enjoy more.
We mentioned Scythe being a more in-depth game and that’s reflected in its game time of up to two hours. That kind of epic journey may be brilliant for some users but far too long for others. If you think something a little shorter would be better then you’ll breeze through the King of Tokyo at approximately 30 minutes.
Game type is another important factor. Do you want to work with your friends or battle against them? Forbidden Desert is an excellent cooperative game or there is a King of Tokyo which is a combat game.
There are other types such as puzzles, party games, legacy, area control and deck building games, among others. Plenty of these types work on gaining points/money/assets or building a deck to win the game. Risk is an example of an area control game where you want to build your empire.
Setting and Design
We’ve looked at a broad range of games here from the train-based world of Ticket to Ride, the 1920’s alternate universe premise of Scythe or the Forbidden Desert scenario. These games take place in their own little world and it makes sense to choose a game more suited to your interests. Or you could try something new. Either way, you’ll have plenty of fun with these games.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes the best 5 player board games?
When playing with 5 players you want everyone to stay interested in the game and for it to flow fairly quickly. Some games can technically be played with 5 players but aren’t really suited to it. We’ve made sure to choose 10 games here that work perfectly with 5 people.
What is the best board game for 5 players?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Everyone is different and you may be looking for something light-hearted and funny or an in-depth strategy game. It’s vital that you look at the key points in our buying guide and use them to choose a game that will be perfectly suited to your friends/family.
How long do 5 player board games take?
Some games are notoriously long with the infamous 2-10 player The Campaign for North Africa taking up to 1500 hours. We’ve decided to keep it comparatively short here and chose games that take between 30-120 minutes. We noted the approximate time in each review above.
Are 5 player board games fun?
While there are some bad games out there, the 10 we’ve chosen here are all fantastic fun to play. They are all a little different with some more serious than others but they are all engaging. Whichever one you pick, all 5 players are going to be involved and will be drawn in by the high-quality gameplay.
At what age can kids play board games?
The right age not only depends on content but also on the difficulty of the game. None of the games we looked at here are adult in nature but there are games such as Scythe which has heavier content and therefore is recommended for 14+.
If you wanted something a little lighter then Ticket to Ride is a great family game or 8 and over.