Unlike board games that are great for 6 players, 3 player board games are in a relative abundance. This is because most board games are developed for 2-5 players. Having a large amount of suitable board games to choose from is always great. Unfortunately, the games that do accommodate to three players are often times not best played with three players. Often times making the experience from playing the board game less pleasant than when you have four. That is why I will be going over what I believe are the Best 3 player Board Games.
Best 3 Player Board Games:
Pandemic is a top tier cooperative board game in which players must cure four diseases before time runs out. The cooperativeness of this game helps to prevent any sort of two on one situations that leaves one player helpless. The game is designed for 2-4 players, but best suited for two players or three players. The reason for that is because the game becomes more difficult with the more players you have. Making the game nearly impossible to win with four players on the hardest difficulty. For some the game can also become relatively easy with just two players. So it seems that three players seems to be the best number of players for this game to make a perfect balance of difficulty and fun. Other than this game being one of the best 3 player board games available it is also one of the best board games overall. If you already own Pandemic be sure to check out our board game suggestions for games like Pandemic.
2.) Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is railroad building game in which players try to build the most well rounded network of railroads between cities. This game was inner of the 2004 Board Game of the Year award along with countless other awards. This game is super fun and typically best suited for four players although the change from four to three is nothing majorly different. The rules remain the same and the style of the game does not make any super unfair advantage that would result in the game becoming two on one. Furthermore, this game is great with just about any amount of players between 2-5, and is even one of our suggested board games for couples.
3.) Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Caverna: The Cave Farmers is a worker placement board game that mainly focuses on farming. The game takes roughly thirty minutes to play per player and can handle up to seven players. The best amount of players for the game to be most enjoyable is 3 or 4. This would make the game time roughly 90 to 120 minutes which is not too bad for a board game of this complexity. Similar to Ticket to Ride their is no worry about having a two on one situation and you still get to keep the competition in the game.
4.) Axis and Allies: Pacific
Axis and Allies: Pacific is the perfect game for war strategy lovers who are looking for a 3 player board game to play. The game although would technically be a two on one is still just one team versus another. Furthermore, the amount of actions that the Allies must take per turn are insane and leave the Japanese player waiting for a while. So with two players you can split these actions, speed up the game, and make it more enjoyable for everyone.
5.) Age of Steam
Age of Steam is another railroad building game like Ticket to Ride. It is made for 1-6 players, but is best with 3 or 4 players. The game is built on the similar concept that you must construct railroads to win. Their are other things you must worry about such as if you will have enough money to finance the most extensive tracks and best locomotives.
6.) Tigris and Euphrates
Tigris and Euphrates is a civilization building game from the 90s in which players are given four leaders in the following categories: trading, farming, religion, and government. Players use these four leaders to collect points in each category and the winner of the game is the one with the highest score in their weakest category. This forces players to play strategically well rounded and not focus to much on one category. The game is great with both 3 or 4 players, but can also be played with 2 players.
7.) Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a great 3 player game that is similar to Settlers of Catan. Players take turns choosing roles such as builder. Once a role is chosen all players are allowed to take actions associated with the role and the player who chose the role receives a bonus. The nice part about playing with three is it creates a perfect balance between speed/flow and complexity.
8.) Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization is a civilization building game in which players try to make the greatest civilization. Players do this by building a strong military, researching technologies, building wonders, and selecting the best leaders. This game is great with three players but can be played with 2-4.