Gone are the days when game night meant choosing between Clue and Monopoly. These days, there are so many multi-player board games out there that shopping for a new one can actually feel kind of overwhelming. But whether you’re looking for simple board games that even novice gamers will enjoy, or a highly collaborative board game to bust out at your next party, the best board games for six players can turn even the dullest night into a blast.
Before you decide on the next tabletop game to add to your collection, you'll want to spend some time thinking about exactly what you're looking for in terms of game play. Are you primarily interested in an easy one to play with your kiddos? Or are you looking for a fast-paced game to liven up a nights with friends? Are you a seasoned gamer who's looking for a complex board game to keep you and your buddies engaged for hours?
Whether you're hoping to geek-out with your friends, convert the non-gamers in your life, or find a board game to diffuse familial tensions at your next big family gathering, one thing's for sure: There's a whole wide world of fun, beautifully-designed, sometimes wonderfully absurd board games to choose from nowadays.
Check out the best board games for six players below. All of them are highly-rated on Amazon, and many of them are award-winning too.
1. Best Collaborative Board Game
In Codenames: Pictures, two rival teams of spies must try to make contact with their own agents operating undercover at secret locations. The first team to make contact with their own agent wins the game — but if a team makes contact with “the assassin” they instantly lose. It’s kind of similar to Pictionary in the sense that players use one word and one number to help their teammates guess where their agents are hidden, but with a James Bond feel and no drawing.
If you’re looking for a relatively straightforward board game to bust out when you have parties or big family gatherings, Codenames: Pictures is a great pick. It's quick (one game takes 15 minutes) and fans seem to love it as much or more than the original Codenames board game. Plus, Codenames: Pictures boasts multiple awards, including a 2016 Golden Geek Award.
What fans are saying: “As a team social deduction game, this one is a blast! ... The Codenames: Pictures is my favorite of all the Codenames games. It is quick to teach to friends and difficult to master so the replay-ability is endless since you'll have different people playing all the time and a multitude of card combinations. If you are looking for a fun, light, and complex game for party nights then this is the one for you.”
2. Best Family Board Game
Tsuro: The Game Of The Path is a simple, family-friendly board game with one goal: be the last player left on the board. Players are given tiles to place on their "path," and the objective of each round is not to be led astray by other players' paths, or led off the board entirely. But here's the kicker, the board changes every time you play, so no two games are ever the same.
The best thing about Tsuro is that it only takes about 20 minutes to finish a game, and it’s great for most ages and skill levels. It’s also gorgeous to look at, and there’s an instructional video detailing game play on the game’s website. Also good to know: Tsuro is a prequel to Tsuro of the Seas, which also accommodates up to eight players, has an instructional video on the game’s site, and only takes 40 minutes to play. (But most reviewers seem to like O.G. Tsuro much better.)
What fans are saying: “I've played this game with my 5-year-old and my 10-year-old and they both love it. It's not a hard game to pick up, so if you're looking for a game that the whole family can play, I highly suggest this one.”
3. Best Geek Board Game
If you're looking for a geek board game that will appeal to a wide variety of ages and skill levels, The Resistance: Avalon is a solid option. Avalon is similar to the card game “Mafia” in that players have hidden roles and the goal of the game is to deceive your teammates — except Avalon pits the forces of good and evil against each other in a battle to control the future of civilization, and there's even wizards and knights.
Some reviewers say the instructions are very specific and require a thorough read-through, but once you get the hang of the game, it’s simple enough for even younger kids to play, and only takes about 30 minutes to complete a round. But if you're concerned about the difficulty level, you can always check out this instructional video before you buy.
The most fun thing about The Resistance: Avalon is simply that deception is the goal, which can make for an interesting evening among friends! While The Resistance is not required to play, the games are compatible and can be combined.
What fans are saying: "It isn't often that you find a simple game that can be played over and over again and still feel as new and exciting as the first time you sat down to play it. The Resistance: Avalon is less of a card game and board game and more of a social experience. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the game Werewolf or Mafia, right? This game is quite similar but without player elimination and with more opportunities to deceive and be deceived.”
4. Best Complex Board Game
Twilight Imperium is pricey, and it’s definitely not the board game to whip out if you're short on time, but if you’re a seasoned gamer who knows other seasoned gamers, Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition might be the best game around. The science fiction-themed, space opera artwork is pretty awesome. Plus, Twilight Imperium was a 2017 Golden Geek Best Thematic Board Game Nominee and a 2017 Golden Geek Best Strategy Board Game Nominee.
In Twilight Imperium, each player takes command of one of seventeen unique civilizations to compete for interstellar supremacy through warfare, trade, uncertain allegiances, and political dominance. From the wormhole-hopping Ghosts of Creuss to the Emirates of Hacan, every faction offers a completely different play experience — but only one may sit upon the throne of Mecatol Rex as the new masters of the galaxy. Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition can take anywhere from four to eight hours to complete, and it's recommended for players 14 and up.
What fans are saying: “An amazing game! Complex and fun. Not for the faint of heart. To learn this game will take you hours but it is worth absolutely every minute. My gaming friends and I go through withdrawals if we don't play it often.”
5. The Best “Gateway” Board Game
If you're trying to convince your friends that board games aren't actually a snoozefest, then you need a "gateway" game. Basically, "gateway" board games are fun, simple, and quick — everything you need to get someone hooked for life. With that criteria in mind, it's safe to say that the award-winning King of Tokyo is one of the best gateway board games on the market. Anyone who is at least 8 years of age will likely pick up on the rules in a snap, and players can finish an entire game in about 30 minutes.
Game play is pretty straightforward: Players simply choose a mutant monster, gigantic robot, or other monstrous creature before rampaging the city and fighting for the title of King of Tokyo. Players can combine their dice to gather energy, heal their monster, or just slap the other monsters down.
What fans are saying: “Great game. Quick to learn. Playable for non-gamers. For hardcore gamers, it will get boring fast if you play several rounds in a row, but is an amazingly balanced good game in small doses. My game group uses it as a warm up or a night cap. Or if we have a non-gamer over! A must-own for the collection. Once players are familiar, games can take as little as ten glorious minutes of smashing!”
6. Best Fast-Paced Board Game
One of the best things about One Night Ultimate Werewolf is simply that it moves at lightning speed. It’s also a great pick for novices because there’s an app that can walk players through every step of the way. Plus, any game that encourages bluffing is usually a blast!
One Night Werewolf accommodates up to 10 players (ages 8 and up), and everyone gets a role: One of the dastardly Werewolves, the tricky Troublemaker, the helpful Seer, or one of a dozen different characters, each with a special ability. In the course of one 10 minute game, your "village" will decide who the werewolf is, and that's how the game ends. Also worth noting: One Night Werewolf has been nominated for multiple Golden Geek Awards.
What fans are saying: “Played this game on Thanksgiving with a group of about 8 people, ages 13-50 ( mostly college age in the middle). Pretty easy to figure out. Games are short intervals. And best of all, the game comes with an app that walks you through the game and tells you exactly what to do. No one really needs to know the instructions. No one has to be the leader or reader.”
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