Best 3-Player Board Games – Our Top 7 Intermediate Games

Everything is planned: Everybody schedules the date to enjoy the afternoon with 2 or 3 sweet euro games, the snacks and drinks are ready, the games have been agreed upon in anticipation and even the restaurant and menu have been decided…

Only to read in the group chat that one of you just canceled “A thing just showed up”. And that sweet, sweet 4 player number is lost.

We know how you wanted to play the best 4-player board games out there, but that ship has sailed already. Not to mention our top picks for the best 5-player board games.

But don’t worry, we have your back with this compelling list: The Top 7 Best 3 Player Board Games (intermediate level) 3, even if the games allow more players.

Just read ahead and be prepared to save the day, bringing one of these in your tote bag.

Top 7 Best 3-Player Board Games With Intermediate Difficulty

7. Raiders of the North Sea (2015)

Raiders of the North Sea Board Game Cover
DesignerShem Phillips
Playtime70 Minutes
MechanicsWorker Placement, Hand Management

We leave the “west kingdom” looking for “northern seas”, bringing with us the art style and iconography of the West Kingdom trilogy.

In this one, players take the roles of Vikings raiding the coast of northern Europe, first gathering the necessary resources to guarantee safe and successful travel and then attacking one of the fortresses. This feat will impress the tribe chieftain (and gain victory points).

The game will end when only one fortress stands and different things like valkyries and offerings get deployed.

A reimplementation called Raiders of Scythia was launched in 2020 with a few upgraded mechanics and different art, you can check that instead and maybe get a great surprise.

6. Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure (2016)

Clank Board Game Cover
DesignerPaul Dennen
Playtime45 Minutes
MechanicsDeck Building, Push Your Luck

The lightest game on this list is a really fun one in which players are adventurers delving into the chamber of a sleeping dragon.

It begins as a classic deck building in which the cards are used to advance through a dangerous dungeon, buy equipment or defeat enemies to loot the best dragon treasures, or at least those are the plans…

Because turn by turn the dragon will awaken from his dream and will catch the most greedy adventurers who did not get out of the dungeon in time.

We think Clank! is such a great game, that it is among our top picks for the Best Deck-Building Board Games overall.

5. Beyond the Sun (2020)

Beyond The Sun Board Game Cover
DesignerDennis K. Chan
Playtime90 Minutes
MechanicsWorker Placement, Area Influence

Humanity and its conquest of space have been an inspiration to countless books, movies, comics, and board games.

Here we represent factions in this search for greatness, developing technologies, improving the economy, scientific research, and space influence.

This is an immersive worker placement in which you produce after you place your worker activating the zone ability, and the produce goods, advanced technologies, or growing population, claiming achievements when you fulfill its requirements until all achievements have been claimed.

4. Lost Ruins of Arnak (2020)

Lost Ruins of Arnak Board Game Cover
DesignerElwen, Mín
Playtime75 Minutes
MechanicsDeck Building, Worker Placement

Another one of our favorite deck-building board games.

It seems that “worker placement” is the favorite mechanic on this spectrum, but if you also add “deck building” and a race to claim key rewards before your opponents, sprinkle it with easy-to-understand rules and an Indiana Jones-style theme, you get one of the best games of recent years.

In LRoA, players use their cards to explore a small part of the game board while building up resources.

These can be spent to buy better cards that will allow you to access deeper areas of the ruins or to advance on a progress track that will add many benefits and victory points.

3. Everdell (2018)

Everdell Board Game Cover
DesignerJames A. Wilson
Playtime60 Minutes
MechanicsWorker Placement, Set Collection, Hand Management

In this gorgeous game, players are in charge of building one of the suburbs of the great Everdell.

Everybody will be playing their workers to build constructions and attracting villagers to inhabit them while participating in fair contests and exploration trips.

We want to highlight the innovative mechanic in which players prepare and advance to the next season when they feel it right and not when the game told them to or the other players have passed.

It might feel like a complex game, but the astonishing art and well-spirited tone help to overcome the apparent difficulty.

2. Wingspan (2019)

Wingspan Board Game Cover
DesignerElizabeth Hargrave
Playtime55 Minutes
MechanicsEngine Building, Set Collection, Hand Management

This game is a beautiful well-made jewel, one of those that is a pleasure to exhibit (or take out on the table) whenever possible, since the materials and components of the game have been carefully designed to please the senses.

Fortunately, the gameplay keeps the pace and delivers a sense of progress, even if you see your opponents take the lead.

In wingspan, players are building bird habitats on their boards, and with each bird they attract, they’ll unleash combos that advance their colonization.

A curious detail is that with each passing round, the players have fewer action turns, which forces them to optimize their habitat as much as possible.

P.S. Do NOT disarm the bird feeder (dice tower) after playing, you should store it armed.

1. Terraforming Mars (2016)

Terraforming Mars Board Game Cover
DesignerJacob Fryxelius
Playtime120 Minutes
MechanicsHand Management, Drafting, Set Collection, Engine Building

Did someone not see it coming?

The best intermediate-level game can not be other than the great Terraforming Mars.

It’s the most complex game on this list, almost making it to the advanced list, but it’s so well explained and its engine is so fast to understand that we couldn’t help but include it among the medium games.

In TM, players represent Earth companies colonizing and adapting Mars for human life.

They will be able to carry it out by completing hundreds of projects (cards) and improving the production of resources while sabotaging the plans of the opponents.

It is highly competitive and has a nice feeling of progress and reward as the games advance.

The best thing is that it has enough expansions to make each game feel different from the next. It is highly recommended.


Are you looking for a lighter or shorter experience? check this out:

Top 7 light complexity games for 3 players

Gateway Games – Our Top 5 Games for Starters

Or are you delving into the abyss of deep and rewarding complexity?

Top 7 advanced level games for 3 players

Last Updated on 08/10/2022 by ARU