Board games are one of the best ways to spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, it sometimes seems that with larger groups, around 6 players, some complications start to arise. Some games don’t allow for the right number of players or it just doesn’t play well with a big group. With newer or younger players, if the game doesn’t keep everyone engaged, a fun group game can devolve into herding cats.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation and have come up with a list of our top 20 6-player games that you can try out. There’s quite a variety here, so I’m sure you’ll find something that everyone in your gaming group can agree on.
- Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)
- King of Tokyo
- Cosmic Encounter
- Betrayal at House on the Hill
- A Game of Thrones: The Board Games (Second Edition)
- Flash Point: Fire Rescue
- Power Grid: Deluxe
- Caverna: The Cave Farmers
- Shadows Over Camelot
- One Night Ultimate Werewolf
- 7 Wonders
- Arkham Horror
- Between Two Cities
- Camel Up
- Colt Express
Fantasy Flight Games | 2014 | Playing time: 240-480 min. | Players: 3-6 | Our rating: 5 stars
We might as well start off with the biggest game on our list. Twilight Imperium is massive in every way; massive in scope, massive in options, massive in production, and massive in fun.
I know I’m sounding repetitive but the game is that impressive.
The game is over when a player reaches 10 victory points. Okay, that may not sound as impressive, but how you get there is where the magic happens.
Players will each play a completely unique race with special abilities. The reason Twilight Imperium is such a great game is that it’s more than just a war game. You can play it that way but like in a real war, if everyone simply fires all the nukes, nobody wins and the galaxy will be left burning. This adds diplomacy to the equation, which is a huge part of the game as players create their own galactic story.
The only downside to all this incredible gameplay is that it takes a long time to play (you’re not doing anything else on the day you decide to play) and it does take a bit to learn. If you can get all the players around the table, you’ll have a game your gaming group will be talking about for a long time to come.
IELLO | 2011 | Playing time: 30 min. | Players: 2-6 | Our rating: 4.5 stars
Become a giant monster, destroy cities, and punch other monsters in the face. What could be better?
I always used to stay up late and watch monster movie marathons and had several VHS recordings of Godzilla and King Kong from when they aired on TV. I was (and still am) a huge nerd. In King of Tokyo, I get relive those awesome moments by controlling a giant Kaiju monster.
King of Tokyo is a press-your-luck dice game where players choose a giant monster inspired by pop culture Kaijus. The choice is purely aesthetic so don’t fret too much. Players roll to see if they can punch other monsters in the face, gain victory points, heal, or gain energy to buy special upgrades. If players control Tokyo they’ll be able to hit every other player all at once and gain bonus points, but they’ll also be the target of all other players.
Fantasy Flight Games | 2008 | Playing time: 60-120 min. | Players: 3-8 | Our rating: 4.8 stars
In Cosmic Encounters, players each pick a race (there are 50 to choose from in the base game) and make and break alliances to expand and colonize as many planets as possible. Cosmic Encounters is an outlier where the game is actually best played with at least 6 players. With more players, there are many more options and negotiations that can take place. The social interaction and negotiating at the table is possibly the most memorable part of the game, which is why many players prefer a minimum of 6 players.
Cosmic Encounters doesn’t start out with the ability to play with 6 players. You’ll have to get at least 1 of the first three expansions. Each one will add pieces for 1 extra player bringing the total to 8 players with all three expansions.
Expansions to use with 6 players:
Avalon Hill Games | 2004 | Playing time: 60 min. | Players: 3-6 | Our rating: 5 stars
Step into your own personal house of horrors. Honestly, who’s dumb enough to walk into a house with an old man, a fortune teller, 2 small children, and 2 college students? People who want to have a good time, that’s who.
Everything about Betrayal reminds me of old horror movies. The game is filled with every horror film trope, can be super corny, isn’t exactly perfect or polished, but is ever so much fun. I’ve never had a bad game of Betrayal and even when I lose horribly in a scenario, everyone at the table has a blast.
For more on Betrayal, check out our in-depth review here.
Czech Games Edition | 2015 | Playing time: 15 min. | Players: 2-8 | Our rating: 4 stars
Codenames is a social word game with a simple premise and challenging gameplay. Two teams will try to identify their agents in the field. One player on each team will have to guide their team into picking the correct agents from a board. They’ll need to be clever and specific, because they may accidentally kill a civilian or reveal other agents (or an assassin).
Codenames is a great party game because it doesn’t ever eliminate players. There won’t be a situation where a player is eliminated and has to wait for the game to be over before they can rejoin. It can get very hectic and forces players to interact, which always leads to hilarity.
CMON Ltd. | 2012 | Playing time: 60 min. | Players: 1-6 | Our rating: 4.8 stars
Zombies in recent years have been completely overdone. There’s a zombie version of everything. Once, I even received zombie jerky for a Christmas present. It was regular beef jerky dyed green. I didn’t eat it.
Yet somehow, Zombicide, in a world of zombie outbreaks, manages to feel completely fresh. The game is a blast to play. The zombies swarm, players level-up, gain abilities, and you can even hop in a car to mow them down. Each expansion has a ton of replay value packed into each box and it’s developed by CMON (Cool Mini or Not) who are known for packing games full of awesome miniatures.
Zombicide is one of those games that scales beautifully and with plenty of options. It works just as well with a few players or a full board. The game, especially the Prison Outbreak scenarios, are excellent with a higher number of players.
Season 2: Prison Outbreak (2013)
Toxic City Mall (2013)
Black Plague (2015)
Angry Neighbors (2015)
Season 3: Rue Morgue (2015)
Black Plague – Wulfsburg (2016)
Green Horde (2018)
No Rest for the Wicked (2018)
Green Horde – Friends and Foes (2018)
Libellud | 2015 | Playing time: 45 min. | Players: 2-7 | Our rating: 4.5 stars
There’s been a murder, and the only witness is the ghost of the victim. It is up to you to find the true killer, but communing with the dead isn’t as simple as asking the ghost questions. Decipher the clues and track down the murderer… before it’s too late.
Mysterium is a beautifully-produced game with amazing components and artwork, which is 100% necessary because the player who takes the role of the ghost will not be able to speak at all throughout the game. The ghost player will be communicating through images on cards attempting to guide players to the right murderer, location, and weapon. It’s a very thematic mashup of Clue and Dixit, which works very well with 6 players because of the cooperative nature of the game. Players will win or lose together depending on whether they correctly identify all aspects of the murder, or not.
Fantasy Flight Games | 2011 | Playing time: 120-240 min. | Players: 2-6 | Our rating: 4.5 stars
Can’t get enough of Westeros? Then it’s time to sit down in a comfy seat, throw on Season 1 in the background, and play Game of Thrones: The Board Game. By the time Season 1 ends you might have finished your first game. Just kidding. But seriously, though, the game is long, with an average playing time of about 3 hours.
If your table is hyped for the final season and wants to spend an afternoon or evening getting pumped for the show, this game would be an excellent choice. The GoT board game allows players to create their own story in Westeros and allows for some amazing gaming moments. The best part of the game isn’t necessarily the epic battles you might expect, but the ever-shifting alliances that the game promotes. An alliance may be beneficial to two players, but the moment it isn’t, players may find themselves stranded without aid. With six players the game does run quite long but it allows for many more amazing in-game moments and pivotal alliances throughout.
Indie Boards & Cards | 2011 | Playing time: 45 min. | Players: 2-6 | Our rating: 4.6 stars
Kendra and I are both former firefighters so Flash Point is always a trip down memory lane for us. Flash Point is, of course, completely inaccurate on how to fight fires but it is a fun experience and an excellent cooperative game. The gameplay scales well, even with six players, and the role cards give the game a good division of labor so that every player still feels useful.
We always prioritize saving the kitty and the puppy POI’s and consider the entire game a loss if we can’t save them.
Rio Grande Games | 2014 | Playing time: 120 min. | Players: 2-6 | Our rating: 4.5 stars
Power Grid is a quintessential Euro Game, heavy on point-generation and strategy. The Deluxe version is perfect for players just stepping into the world of Power Grid. If you already own the original, try adding some of the expansions to change up your game.
The Deluxe version, although nice, isn’t necessary if you already own a version of Power Grid. If you don’t own Power Grid in any form, the Deluxe version is your best bet for a good starting point. It’s been updated well and comes with a massive double-sided board that scales very well with the number of players. Only have a few players? Then the board gets walled off and play continues as normal. With max players, the entirety of the board opens up. Power Grid is a modern day classic and an all-around fantastic game.
Original Power Grid (2004)
Factory Manager (2009)
The First Sparks (2011)
Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America (2014)
The Stock Companies (2015)
Fabled Expansion (2017)
Lookout Games | 2013 | Playing time: 30-210 min. | Players: 1-7 | Our rating: 4.6 stars
If you like Agricola, you’ll love Caverna. Both created and designed by Uwe Rosenburg, Caverna is very often called the successor of Agricola. Players will control a community of dwarfs, expand their fields, go on expeditions, and mine into the mountains to develop their farms and caverns.
Caverna gives players many options and play styles to pursue and there’s no real wrong way to play it. It’s highly-strategic and Lookout Games jams a ton of amazing components into one box, keeping gamers busy and smiling for many gaming sessions.
Days of Wonder | 2005 | Playing time: 60-90 min. | Players: 3-7 | Our rating: 4 stars
Knights of the Round Table, ASSEMBLE! The kingdom is being besieged on all sides by the forces of evil and it’s up to Arthur’s loyal knights to go on quests to save the realm and destroy the evil that threatens it. Beware, not all are who they seem. One among the order may have been tempted by dark forces and a traitor may be lurking in your midst.
Shadows Over Camelot has a lot going on and it can be overwhelming at first. But after a game or two, it becomes clear and tons of fun, especially with more players. There are even variants that allow for 2 traitors if you have the expansions. The game gives players a lot of decisions to make on their turn. They can fight off the Saxons and Picts, duel the black knights, face dragons, seek out Excalibur, or search for the Holy Grail.
Merlin’s Company (2008)
Shadows Over Camelot: The Card Game (2012)
Bézier Games | 2014 | Playing time: 10 min. | Players: 3-10 | Our rating: 3.8 stars
Werewolf is a social deduction game in which players must to find the werewolves hidden among the townspeople. I personally love Werewolf, but this may be one of the more controversial games on the list because players either love it or absolutely hate it. Many of the complaints about Werewolf are that it lasts too long (the older version) and when a player is knocked out of the game they have nothing to do until it’s over, which is especially irritating if a player is knocked out in the first round. This is all fixed in the One Night Ultimate because it’s only one round. If you lose, the game’s already over, and you can immediately start a brand new game.
The game works well for six players and scales up dramatically. The more players, the more fun you’re going to have. It also works well as a social deduction teaching tool. As an Eighth Grade English teacher, I was able to play a game with about 35 students.
GameWorks | 2007 | Playing time: 30-60 min. | Players: 2-6 | Our rating: 4 stars
Crew your own ship and seek out buried treasure, and if someone else beats you to it, you can always steal it back. Who doesn’t like ship-to-ship combat and searching for treasure?
Jamaica is an excellent choice for six players. It’s lightweight, easy to learn, and most importantly, it will keep the whole table engaged. When picking turns and choosing actions, all players will be choosing at the same time, thereby eliminating the time gap when a player waits until their turn to start thinking about their move. Its beautifully-designed cartoon-look feels very natural with the game and matches the lighthearted game play.
Repos Production | 2010 | Playing time: 30 min. | Players: 2-7 | Our rating: 4 stars
7 Wonders is a card-driven game that still feels like a massive city-builder. There are no stacking tiles or tokens of sprawling cities. Instead, cities are represented by cards played from your hand. There’s no one ultimate path to victory either. Players can focus on military victories, science victories, or play cards that give bonus points at the end of the game.
7 Wonders made the list because it’s a very simple game to learn and players have several options on how they can play. These advantages eliminate a lot of the downsides (and complaints) when playing with a larger group.
Fantasy Flight Games | 2018 | Playing time: 120-180 min. | Players: 1-6 | Our rating: 5 stars
Arkham Horror was my first really big box game that I ever played. I first played it with 8 players and it took hours, but it was still one of the most fun times I’ve had playing a game. Arkham Horror can accommodate a very large number of players, but it scales in difficulty with the number of players so that it’s never a walk in the park. You’d think with 6 players fighting monsters and closing gates it would be easier, but it offers just as much of a challenge, no matter the group size.
Arkham Horror (2005)
Dunwich Horror Expansion (2006)
The King in Yellow Expansion (2007)
The Black Goat of the Woods Expansion (2008)
Kingsport Horror Expansion (2008)
Innsmouth Horror Expansion (2009)
The Lurker at the Threshold Expansion (2010)
The Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion (Revised Edition) (2011)
Miskatonic Horror Expansion (2011)
Arkham Horror (Third Edition) (2018)
Stonemaier Games | 2015 | Playing time: 20 min. | Players: 1-7 | Our rating: 3.5 stars
Between Two Cities is a tile-drafting game where players are almost working together to build two cities. What the heck does that mean?
In the game, players will be building two cities, but they’ll be building cities with the players sitting to their left and their right. When scoring, players will score the city that scored the least points out of their 2 cities. This forces players to equally build up both cities. How you place buildings in the city and what building types determine their point value.
The reason Between Two Cities works so well is that it is a fun game that forces players to interact, but is also extremely quick to play. It’s probably the quickest game on this list and there’s almost no downtime between turns, keeping all players invested in the game at all times. It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s fun.
KOSMOS | 1996 | Playing time: 120 min. | Players: 5-6 | Our rating: 4.6 stars
Catan is normally a 3-4 player game, but the 5-6 player extension provides enough tiles, cards and wooden cities for 5-6 players to have a raucous good time. If you’re super weird, you’ll buy it just for the green-colored cities (Kendra’s favorite color).
Catan with six players still feels and plays like normal Catan. There’s only a few minor rule changes. Any player can trade in between turns and the current player can trade and build as long as they have the cards to do so. It’s more of the same Catan we all love, just with more friends around the table.
Catan also has some great expansions that offer the 5-6 player extension as well. Check out our Best Catan Expansions article for more info!
Z-Man Games | 2014 | Playing time: 20-30 min. | Players: 2-8 | Our rating: 4 stars
Camel Up (not Camel Cup) is the ultimate camel racing simulator. Players actually won’t be controlling specific camels, though. Instead, they will place bets and attempt to have the most money at the end of the race. There are no jockeys, rather other camels will be riding the camels…?? (Kendra giggles endlessly throughout this game.)
Camel Up is one of the silliest games I’ve ever seen. The stacking camels are adorable and leaves room for some last-minute comebacks for slower, drastically altering the outcome of the game. The dice pyramid is also very silly (and isn’t at all necessary) but it helps sum up the whole game. It’s just a fun silly time.
Ludonaute | 2014 | Playing time: 30-40 min. | Players: 2-6 | Our rating: 3.8 stars
Hop on-board for your own high-stakes game of train robbery. In Colt Express up to 6 players will fight and shoot it out on 3-D train pieces, rob passengers, and try to avoid the sheriff.
At first glance, Colt Express looks like it doubles down on the 3-D train board, which I will admit is super cool, but how does it play? The game is a lighthearted and silly experience, covering just about every Old West train robbery trope that you can think of. The game play and strategy, although not super heavy, is very fun and works well within the scope of the game. For every player in the game, another train car is added, and with the max of 6 players, you’re going to have a hilariously goofy time.
Six players make for a slightly larger group than the norm, and that extra player or two can really change what you can play. The issue with this many players is how to effectively get everyone into the game, keep them interested and engaged, and what happens when a player is knocked out early. It’s a very balanced dance that needs careful consideration. We chose a lot of these games based on how easy it is to teach, how much group interaction is involved, and tried to give a mix of options from quick to all day.
We hope you enjoyed this list. If you have any other recommendations, if you think I’m totally wrong, or if you just want to talk about board games, we’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.