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What to play?! Best games by # of players...

Jason Miceli
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Dead Man's Doubloons
Hey all,

I wanted to create a list of the top 3 games for each quantity of players from 1 to 11+. Figured this would come in handy for anyone trying to determine what the best options are based on how many players showed up for game night. Note that the list below does not depict the only number of players you can play a game with, and I'm also not suggesting that a listed game wouldn't play great with another quantity of players - I'm just attempting to identify the top 3 games per quantity.

Take a look, and then let me know what your top 3 for each quantity are - enjoy!

1 player / solo:
d10-1 Elder Sign - I'm not one for single player games (unless it's PC or console based), but if there's one game I would play solo it's this one.
d10-2 ? - couldn't think of any others...
d10-3 ? - couldn't think of any others...

2 players:
d10-1 Claustrophobia - Fantastic 2 player game!
d10-2 X-Wing - Another fantastic 2 player game.
d10-3 Elder Sign - Fun coop game for a couple players.

3 players:
d10-1 Dominion - This game scales well to several players, but I think it really shines in 3 and 4 player games.
d10-2 Race for the Galaxy / San Juan - I'm putting both of these here since they are similar play experiences. If you're looking for a deeper game, play RftG, otherwise San Juan offers a bit lighter gameplay.
d10-3 RuneWars - Great game with lots of depth, if you're looking for a deeper investment.

4 players:
d10-1 Ticket To Ride - I truly can't say enough positive about this game! Would play in a heartbeat with 2 to 5 players.
d10-2 Puerto Rico - This is another game that I just can't say enough about. Plays great with 3 to 5 players.
d10-3 Settlers of Catan - Catan is always a crowd pleaser. 3 and 4 player games are great, but I also love 5 and 6 player games with the expansions.

5 players:
d10-1 Battlestar Galactica - Battlestar remains my play group's cornerstone favorite game. We have generally agreed we would not play it except in 5 and 7 player games, for game balance/logistical reasons (if you own the game, you know what I'm talking about).
d10-2 Ticket To Ride
d10-3 Puerto Rico

6 players:
d10-1 Shadow Hunters - This game works with 5 to 8 players, but I feel it plays best on the upper end of that spectrum. This is an amazingly easy and quick game to play, while offering some of the great depth and excitement of Battlestar.
d10-2 7 Wonders - Enter one of the greatest games for a larger numbers of players. While you can play it with as few as 3 players, I think it's well suited for 6 to 7 players.
d10-3 Settlers of Catan - As mentioned above, if you have certain expansions you can enjoy this great game with up to 6 players.

7 players:
d10-1 Battlestar Galactica - As mentioned above, 5 and 7 player Battlestar rules the table in my play groups.
d10-2 Shadow Hunters
d10-3 7 Wonders

8 players:
d10-1 Shadow Hunters
d10-2 The Resistance - This game supports 5 to 10 players, but plays best with 7 to 8 I feel. That said, there aren't many great options when you get up this high, so you'll see this game reach the top 3 for each of the player quantities below...
d10-3 Tsuro - A quick and simple game that scales well to 8 players. Again, it's one of the only games we've found (that we really enjoy) that scales this high, so here it is!

9 players:
d10-1 The Resistance
d10-2 Anyone know of any other good ones?
d10-3 Anyone know of any other good ones?

10 players:
d10-1 The Resistance
d10-2 Anyone know of any other good ones?
d10-3 Anyone know of any other good ones?

Of course my own game which I'm in the process of getting published, Mars vs. Earth, scales very well from 3 to 10 players and even includes an optional 2 player variant! Check it out if you'd like - all materials are presently downloadable from the website here:

My next blog post will cover separating games out by the amount of time you have available or wish to spend on one game... stay tuned!

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