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Best board games to play with 3 players

Board games are often playable with different amounts of players, but most of the time people prefer a certain amount as the ‘optimal’ amount of players. Luckily the loyal fans of BoardGameGeek voted for the best amount of players for each game and the list below sums up the 8 highest rated games for 3 players. Enjoy!

You might also like: The best board games for 1 player.

Best board games to play with 3 players

7. Through the Ages: A story of Civilization

Through the ages a story of civilization board game

Image courtesy of: marticabre @BoardGameGeek.

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization is a strategic civilization building game which revolves heavily around economics. This is the 2006 version of the game which has gotten a remake since then which is actually a lot higher on this list (#2). The core mechanics involve hand management, card drafting and auction/bidding. Even though, this game has been replaced by its younger brother it still remains one of the most popular board games in the world.

Score: 7.9
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 240 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 4.17 / 5
Developer: Eagle Games

6. Viticulture

Viticulture board game

Image courtesy of: zgabor @BoardGameGeek.

Viticulture is an economic / farming type of game. The game heavily relies on hand management and worker placement. It is set in Italy in pre-modern Tuscany. As the owner of a vineyard you just inherited a vineyard and are responsible for the survival of this property through the season. 

Score: 7.9
Players: 1-6
Playtime: 45-90 minutes
Age: 13+
Difficulty: 2.94 / 5
Developer: Enigma

5. Mansion of Madness

Mansions of Madness board game

Image courtesy of: Juaninka @BoardGameGeek.

Mansions of Madness is a Horror adventure and exploration game set in a haunted mansion. The game also has a modular board and can be played co-operative as well as alone! The game revolves around area movement, dice rolling and hand management to survive. The first version of this game entered the market in 2011 with the second edition released in 2016.

Score: 7.9
Players: 1-5
Playtime: 120-180 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 2.64 / 5
Developer: Enigma

4. Great Western Trail

Great Western Trail board game

Image courtesy of: ceephour @BoardGameGeek.

Great Western Trail is a strategy game set in the American West. You are a rancher and move with your cattle from Texas to the city of Kansas. In Kansas City you are able to sell your cattle for a profit. During the game you are busy deck / pool building, managing your hand and moving your meeples around.

Score: 8.0
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 75-150 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.69 / 5
Developer: 999 Games

3. Terraforming Mars

Terraforming mars review

Image courtesy of: Tournqiuet @BoardGameGeek.

Terraforming Mars is a manufacturing and territory building strategy game. You can read our full Terraforming Mars review here.

Score: 8.2
Players: 1-5
Playtime: 120 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.26 / 5
Developer: Stronghold Games

2. Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization 

Through the ages- A New Story of Civilization board game

Image courtesy of: Muse23PT @BoardGameGeek.

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization is the new edition of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (which is on position 7 on this list), with many changes, small and large, to the game’s cards over its three ages and extensive changes to how military works.

The core mechanics remained the same in this civilization building game and people who loved the first game will certainly love this new edition! There is also an application of this game so you can play it on your table or phone!

Score: 8.3
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 180-240 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 4.36 / 5
Developer: Czech Games Edition

1. Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven board game

Image courtesy of: zgabor @BoardGameGeek.

At the very top of the best board games for 3 players stands Gloomhaven. It is a Euro-inspired tactical combat game in a persistent world of shifting motives. This game is ideally played over may game sessions, as when you finish one session you can decide how the story continues. Which makes Gloomhaven a truly fantastic game and deserving of the #1 position on this list.

Score: 8.6
Players: 1-4
Playtime: 30-120 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.78 / 5
Developer: Cephalofair Games

And this concludes our list of best board games for 3 players. Remember that if a game is not in this list it might still be a very good game, these games are just the best of the best in this category according to BoardGameGeek.