20 Best 3-Player Board Games to Play in 2021

It’s not always possible to get four or five people together for game night, and some games get a little awkward with less than four players. Here are our favorite games that you only have to have two other people to play with. 

So gather around your dining room game table. Beginners and advanced players will appreciate this list of the best three-player board games that could be great additions to your board game shelf.

1. Dominion

dominion board game

This game is about acquiring land and competing with other players to build the most prominent kingdom. 

In Dominion, all players begin with a tiny deck of cards but can purchase cards from the middle of the table. Using deck-building and strategy, players compete to have the most powerful hand. This game allows players to feel like monarchs as they establish their kingdom.

Features:

  • Deck-Building Game
  • Strategy
  • 30 Minutes

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2. Citadels

Citadels board game

Citadels involves roleplaying characters to gain currency and construct buildings.  The goal is to acquire as many points as possible before one of the players builds their eighth structure.  Whoever has the most points after that eighth structure is built wins.

We recommend this game for players who like to customize and create combinations because there are endless combinations to create using your characters and buildings. This game is longer, so playing with more than three players is not recommended.

Features:

  • City building Game
  • Fantasy
  • 60 Minutes

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3. Race for the Galaxy

race for galaxy board game

In this card game, players can create entire intergalactic galaxies. Players can use cards to create worlds and gain resources. While this game can confuse new players, it is certainly not hard to pick up over time. 

Also, there are variant play styles where you can take two turns instead of one. We recommend this game for players who are more experienced and are interested in a space theme.

Features:

  • Strategy Game
  • Science Fiction
  • 45 Minutes

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4. Pandemic

pandemic board game

Pandemic is a modern classic in board games and something that every player should play at least one time. This collaborative game allows players to protect the world against disease by using players’ combined efforts. 

The goal is to collect cures and resources. This game was very influential to collaborative games and created the structure for cooperative games in the future. If you're not very competitive or looking for a good time, Pandemic may be the game for you.

Features:

  • Cooperative Gameplay
  • Strategy
  • 45 Minutes

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5. Suburbia

suburbia board game

In this classic game, players use hexagonal tiles to create a suburban metropolis. The goal: set up different sectors of town and increase your population more than your opponents. 

Become self-sufficient and increase income as you attract more civilians. With the collector’s edition, you can play Suburbia with brand new art and more pieces than ever before. This is a game that you’ll find gets more enjoyable every time you play through it.

Features:

  • City building Game
  • Strategy
  • 60 Minutes

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6. Splendor

splendor board game

Splendor revolves around trading jewels and eventually becoming the most successful jewel merchant. As you progress in the game, you receive prestige points to become more well-known by buying and selling large and heavy jewel-themed poker chips.

This turn-based game is sure to keep you and your friends or family busy.

Features:

  • Family Game
  • Economics
  • 30 Minutes

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7. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

robinson crusoe board game

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is a collaborative board game in which players try to survive as island castaways. Try to collect resources, build shelter and survive the elements. The cards decide the fate of the players. However, there’s sure to be a surprise at every turn.

This game is a cult favorite and can give you one of the best board game experiences.

Features:

  • Thematic Game
  • Cooperative
  • 90 Minutes

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8. Ticket to Ride

ticket to ride board game

Ticket to Ride is all about creating railways across the US. The goal is to have the longest railroad out of all the players. This game is portable and easy to learn for players of any age. 

This game is enjoyable and entertaining without being too difficult to understand. This is a game we recommend for as few or as many players as you like.

Features:

  • Family Game
  • Route Building
  • 45 Minutes

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9. Guildhall

guildhall board game

In the dark ages, you’re trying to make progress for the future of humanity by recruiting professionals from five different fields. 

Collecting these professionals into your “guildhall” and collecting points is the way to victory. 

Features:

  • Family Game
  • Fantasy
  • 45 Minutes

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10. Legendary

legendary board game

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is the player's gateway into the Marvel universe. Essentially the game plays out much like a favorite comic or MCU movie where you use hero and villain cards to defeat an evil mastermind with an equally evil scheme. 

Features:

  • Deck-Building Game
  • Comic Book Themed
  • 45 Minutes

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11. Le Havre

le havre board game

Le Havre is all about building and maintaining a wharf. Game play involves creating buildings and growing your resources, and growing your strategy. 

This game is perfect for three plays because there are only seven turns each round. When you start adding players, the number of moves you can make each round dwindles. 

Features:

  • City Building Game
  • Economic
  • 60 Minutes

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12. Alhambra

alhambra board game

Alhambra is another city-building game with middle-eastern influences. Build up currency to buy buildings and make your city the most elaborate/ Start with a single fountain and add buildings and walls throughout the game as you earn victory points. 

Features:

  • City Building Game
  • Family
  • 60 Minutes

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13. Love Letter

love letter board game

Love Letter is all about delivering a special note to that special someone. The only trick is that the other players have the same goal. 

Use your cards to defend yourself and ambush other players so that your love letter reaches the beautiful princess first. 

Features:

  • Card Game
  • Family
  • 20 Minutes

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14. Citrus

citrus board game

Time to prepare your green thumb and plant some trees. The goal of Citrus is to have as much space around a plantation as possible. Luckily you’ve got the money and workers to do so. This fruity game is pretty and fun for all ages and works better with 2-3 players.

Features:

  • Family Game
  • Strategy
  • 60 Minutes

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15. Through the Desert

through the desert board game

Through the Desert is a fun strategy game in which you place camels on the board to control the desert. You might find yourself wanting to pop one of the delightfully pastel-colored camel pieces in your mouth, but you’ll soon realize that strategy is most important in securing your victory.

Features:

  • Strategy Game
  • Route Building
  • 45 Minutes

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16. Thunderstone

thunderstone board game

For fans of fantasy-style games, Thunderstone is a Dominion-like, deck-building board game. This game is all about beating monsters in dungeons for points. Go about this by building up heroes and weapons. 

This game perfects what Dominion has created and takes it to new heights. 

Features:

  • Deck Building Game
  • Fantasy
  • 60 Minutes

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17. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures

star wars x wing minatures board game

Detailed and exciting, the X-Wing Miniatures Game is incredibly appealing to OG Star Wars fans. The game plays using beautiful and accurate miniature models of ships from the Star Wars franchise. 

Throughout the gameplay, you will experience “encounters” with the other players. Use cards to acquire characters and upgrades to beat your opponent and save the galaxy. 

Features:

  • Miniatures Game
  • War Game
  • 45 Minutes

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18. Terraforming Mars

terraforming mars board game

Humankind has picked up and moved to Mars. Large corporations are working as fast as possible to further humanity’s progress on this distant planet. 

Players represent a corporation and try to terraform the most land and contribute to improvement. Use cards to acquire bonuses and claim the most land.

Features:

  • Strategy Game
  • Economic
  • 120 Minutes

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19. Wingspan

wingspan board game

Enough conquering and building, it’s time to attract birds to your wildlife sanctuary. Yes, you read that right. You play Wingspan by using cards, habitats, and multicolor eggs. 

Wingspan is not only fun, but it’s also beautiful. Win this masterpiece by collecting the most points at the end of the game.

Features:

  • Family Game
  • Strategy
  • 60 Minutes

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20. Scythe

scythe board game

Scythe’s setting is a post-world war alternate reality in the 1920s, where each player represents a region of Eastern Europe. This engine-building game is played by trying to create prosperous regions around a mysterious factory. Each area is unique, and every player has a secret motivation to achieve throughout the game. 

Every aspect of this game is gorgeous, and even if you’re confused about the gameplay at least, you’ll have something beautiful to look at to draw you in.

Features:

  • City Building Game
  • Fantasy
  • 90 Minutes

Buy Here