Over time, my gaming group has grown, shrunk, added tables, changed venues, and more. With the size of our current group, it is pretty common for us to split into multiple smaller groups and play a few different games during our weekly game night.

There’s lots of games that are great at 2 to 4 players. I also enjoy a bunch of, usually lighter, games at 6+. But I have found that I am really (and I mean really) not a fan of 5-player games. They’re often too long or slow, or don’t offer enough interaction to keep me invested in the game between my turns. It’s actually a running gag in my group that I hate 5-player games, and would rather split into 3 and 2, or even sit out than play something at 5. (Luckily, we don’t have a 5-player count all that often these days.) All that said, there are some games that I think work well at exactly 5. So here are my favorite 5-player games!

5. HerStory

I like this one at any count, but won’t complain at 5. Turns are super quick and snappy, so you never have to wait long to go again. I also really like that the card and token market will rotate more with a full 5-player count, so you’ll see more of the cards, and won’t be stuck with the same tokens available to you turn after turn. The game definitely doesn’t overstay it’s welcome; really enjoyable.

4. Whirling Witchcraft

Most of the action in the game is simultaneous as players choose a card to play, and then activate their potions to fill their cauldrons. While players may not always finish at the exact same time, the game flow is very quick and smooth, and it makes for fast and fun play every time. It’s easy to get to the table, and even with a full 5, it’s great to play a few times in a row.

3. Dead of Winter

Usually, I don’t like super long games, and this one definitely only gets longer with more players … but it’s just so good that I don’t mind. The social aspect of the game works really well with more players, because I think it’s much more interesting to speculate who the traitor could be when more people are playing. I also think that the cooperative effort works better with more, as you try to get the necessary supplies you need each round. I just think overall the game is more interesting with more, so as long as I have the time to dedicate to the game, I’d definitely rather play with a full group.

2. Raccoon Tycoon

Market manipulation/commodity speculation is another thing I’m not into often, but I find something really charming about Raccoon Tycoon. And it is definitely one I’d rather play with 5. The bidding is much more interesting as players are more likely to overpay for cards they really want. The market is also more likely to fluctuate more, which can make for some great turns where someone lowers the value of a commodity right before another player wanted to sell. The trajectory of the game certainly benefits from a full 5-player count.

1. Moonrakers

Negotiation games are always better with more, which is a large reason I don’t play many of them. But if I was going to pick one, it would be Moonrakers. The negotiation works really well to keep every player invested on every turn, just trying to get a few points, or some other small reward to keep them moving forward in the game. Honestly, this is a game I would be a bit hesitant to play at any count except 5, which is why it comes in at #1.

Check out my reviews of some of these:
Whirling Witchcraft
Raccoon Tycoon