If you’ve been looking for the best 4 player board games you are in for a treat. Picking four-player board games is a tricky challenge as most tabletop games can accommodate it, making it a lot of games to consider.

In the below review we have considered players’ age, theme, length, complexity, and other factors that make your four-player board gaming experience enjoyable. The result is a list where we are sure to have a great pick for you, from asymmetrical wargames to whimsical press-your-luck experiences as well as some really creative stories and characters like ancient Gods, quack doctors, law-enforcement sheriffs, and a Marquise de Cat. Whether you’re looking for a casual game to take to family get-togethers or something to add to your hardcore-gamer collection, we hope to have something for you.

Below is a table summarizing four-player board games side by side, it provides a quick visual comparison in case you don’t have time to go through the complete review. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Image Player Count / Time / Age / DifficultyTop 10 Four Player Board Games

Best Cooperative – Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Best Cooperative – Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

The godfather of co-operative campaign board games with a thematic overarching narrative. With up to 24 scenarios we’ve got one of the best 4 player craft your own story experiences you can buy.

2 – 4 60 Min 12+ Medium

Best Light Strategy – Lords of Waterdeep

Best Light Strategy – Lords of Waterdeep

As powerful lords, you are trying to gain control over the city of Waterdeep by using trickery, negotiation, and force. Being lightly strategic and hugely accessible, it works great for all 4 player groups.

2 – 5 60-120 Min 10+ Medium

Best Family Fun – The Quacks of Quedlinburg

Best Family Fun – The Quacks of Quedlinburg

Quick gameplay, easy rules, beautiful components, and innovative mechanics have earned this game a prestigious game of the year award. The best 4 player family fun we had in a while, hands down.

2 – 4 45 Min 8+ Easy

Best For All Ages – Ticket to Ride

Best For All Ages – Ticket to Ride

With over 20 awards and nominations, and millions of copies sold, Ticket to Ride is the all-time classic that works amazingly well with 4 players. Build trains, connect cities in an easy, yet an extremely competitive game.

2 – 5 30-60 Min 8+ Easy

Best Zombie Trashing – Zombicide: Green Horde

Best Zombie Trashing – Zombicide: Green Horde

Best four-player zombie trashing? Look no further, this iteration of the famous Zombicide series is the best one out yet. Cooperate with other players to find a way out of challenging situations overrun by zombies.

1 – 6 60 Min 10+ Medium

Best Horror – Arkham Horror (Third Edition)

Best Horror – Arkham Horror (Third Edition)

Players take on roles of investigators to fight evil in the city of Arkham. They gather clues, defeat monsters, and find tools and allies in a game that delivers the top 4 player horror experience you will find.

1 – 6 120-180 Min 12+ Medium

Best Quick 4 Player Game – King of New York

Best Quick 4 Player Game – King of New York

A simple, emotional and ruthless 4 player board game that can be explained in 3 minutes and played in half an hour. Roll dice, fight each other and have endless fun competing to become the king of New York!

2 – 6 40 Min 8+ Easy

Best Sci-Fi – Terraforming Mars

Best Sci-Fi – Terraforming Mars

A unique blend of a 4 player cooperative and competitive play where everyone needs to work together to make Mars habitable. However, completing individual objectives earns points and ultimately the victory.

1 – 5 120 Min 12+ Medium

Best Strategic Play – Blood Rage

Best Strategic Play – Blood Rage

Lead your Viking clan, warriors and your ship to victory by going down in a blaze of glory. The game offers a multitude of strategies that encourages strategic thinking, creativity and boosts replay value.

2 – 4 60-90 Min 12+ Medium

Best Wargame – Root

Best Wargame – Root

The game of beautiful adventure and war where players battle for control of a vast wilderness. Each side features unique miniatures, capabilities, play style, and different victory conditions. In short – the best asymmetric 4 player war game we’ve ever played.

2 – 4 60-90 Min 12+ Hard

Best 4 Player Board Games – Our Top 10 Picks

1. Best Cooperative Narrative – Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Pandemic Legacy is a co-op strategy-based game where you work with 1-3 other players in a team to eradicate diseases before they have a chance to spread causing a (you guessed it) pandemic to break out and destroy the world.

As with most campaign-style games, each player picks a character with specific abilities. You can play characters like the medic, the researcher, or dispatcher. Picking complementing characters make cooperation easier on your quest to find cures, mobilize help, and stop fast-spreading infections.

Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is a legacy-type game. This means that actions taken throughout the game have irreversible effects and are permanent, including making physical changes to the board itself.

Characters end up with scars and lose their abilities, diseases can be changed with stickers and pens, the board can be manipulated, or cards can even get torn up to be lost forever. Each scenario you play is unique and depends on past events and decisions taken.

The ever-changing, irreversible way of Pandemic Legacy fits well with the apocalyptic plague theme. You might win the war and save what’s left of humanity but the world of your game will never be the same again.

The ability to shape your own storyline is priceless on its own, which makes it one of the best strategy board games for 4 players we have ever played.

Bottom Line

Pandemic Legacy is a very involved and detailed game that’s great for hardcore gamers or a group of friends who can commit themselves to play through all 10 scenarios of the campaign. It is both exciting and sad to permanently remove cities from the board and to tear the cards apart. At the same time the game delivers more than just a board gaming session, it delivers the experience that feels so emotional and real that you will find it hard to pause and have a cup of tea.

Campaign-style game
Interesting and exciting theme
Shape your own story
Making irreversible phisical changes to the board and cards
Not for young children
Can only play through campaign once

2. Best Light Strategy – Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep is set in the fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons so you might find the theme very familiar. This is a game of intrigue, strategy, attack, and alliances. With room for 2 to 5 players, you’ll run the shadowy world of Waterdeep, send others to do your bidding, and earn power and influence over the City of Splendors.

Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game at heart, meaning that it is all about resource management. There is a sinister twist to this game, though. Instead of playing a low-level adventurer gathering quests and rewards for shady, secretive characters who use you for their own gain, you get to be the lord.

Play as a powerful, shadowy Lords of Waterdeep, sending agents out to increase your bounty and influence. The Lord you are is a secret to everyone as your identity remains hidden until the end of the game. You use agents to go out and recruit adventurers who complete quests and earn you points.

Points are also earned from putting up buildings in lucrative or influential locations, like Waterdeep Harbor or Aurora’s Realms Shop.

One of my favorite part of the game is Intrigue Cards which allow you to benefit yourself and slow down other players. For instance, it may force your opponents to complete the quest that you give them, which is going to cost them resources, time, and points until they can move on with their plans for the game.

Of course, there are other twists and turns involved and strategy is key. Will you attack or team-up? How long will alliances last? Will you focus on building or questing?

Bottom Line

Lords of Waterdeep strikes a great balance between a light strategic gameplay and accessibility making it a perfect fit for casual or small party game sessions. In its equal parts of luck and strategy, things change quickly with the flip of a card or a bad decision. It’s fairly easy to learn as actions are explained on the cards, yet it does not feel repetitive since interactive decisions made by players continuously tailor the course of the game.

Easy to pick up
Twists and turns keep it fresh each time
Great artwork
Choose between alliances and enemies
Many expansions available
Not for younger kids
Theme feels abstract

3. Best Family Fun – The Quacks of Quedlinburg

The Quacks of Quedlinburg is a points-based game with a quirky, medieval theme. It has won the Game of The Year award from the most prestigious board game authority Kennerspiel Des Jahres.

You play as a quack doctor and compete to brew a miracle potion by adding tokens from your ingredient bag.

The more ingredients you add, the more valuable your brew becomes but this is a press-your-luck style game so be careful!

Just one wrong ingredient might be too much and ruin your whole pot.

You and your fellow charlatans each start with a cauldron mat and a bag of ingredients.

During each round, you can grab as many ingredients as you want from your bag to add to your pot. Adding ingredient tokens moves you further along the board and earns more points but there are also negative ingredients lurking in the bag.

You grab your ingredients blindly so at some point you have to decide, is it worth it to try for one more good ingredient or will this be the addition that ruins the whole recipe?

Once all players stop adding ingredients, the most valuable brew wins the round.

While The Quacks of Quedlinburg is mostly about luck, rewards like rubies do give you a bit of buying power and control so there is some strategy involved.

It’s easy to follow along for beginners because you do not have to memorize many rules. Everything you need to know is artfully described directly on your game board and cards.

Bottom Line

Quacks of Quedlinburg the winner of the prestigious Kennerspiel Des Jahres is a fast-paced game that’s great for four players of almost any age. It is easy to learn and quick to enjoy. The artwork adds a great visual appeal and the gameplay is sure to deliver lots of laughs and surprises.

Very easy to pick up and get into
Fantastic artwork
Fun, quirky, thematic game pieces
No two rounds ever play out the same
Family friendly
Inconsistent component and print quality
Might be too fast-paced for very young children

4. Best 4 Person Family Fun – Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is an extremely popular, award-winning board game where players take on the roles of railroad barons to build railroads, complete on route contracts, and ultimately collect points to win.

As a railroad baron, you are trying to take up as much train track real estate on the map as possible. When you interconnect cities, it reserves that for your exclusive use. Hence, given that many players would potentially want to go through that track, only the player who built it can.

There are only two main types of cards in Ticket to Ride – Train and Destination. Train cards allow you to place your trains on the tracks and build the longest route.

Destination cards, on the other hand, are like contracts that demand a route from one specific city to another. They’re worth a lot of points at the end of the game. Conversely, if you fail to keep your word those points are taken away from your balance so you better hope you can finish the job you have taken on.

In the end, there are multiple ways to take the win. You could have the most points by creating the longest route, completing the most destination cards, or you can win simply by the misfortune of others. Additional expansions introduce even more variety.
Bottom Line
Ticket to Ride is the most awarded 4 player board game in our review that has sold millions of copies worldwide. Building train tracks has never been so much fun which can be shared by both adults and children. It makes a great family or small party game because it’s incredibly easy to learn and delivers a healthy, yet fun levels of competitive play.
Can be learned within minutes
Multiple ways to win
Super family friendly
Works for all ages and skill levels
Takes up a lot of surface space

5. Best Zombie Trashing – Zombicide: Green Horde

If you’re looking for a 4-person board game with a unique combination of dungeon crawling and zombie-fighting, check out Zombicide: Green Horde.

The game has been brought to life by the loyal following via the Kickstarter campaign that has amassed over 5 million dollars, which is 15 times the original pledge amount.

You play as survivors attempting to defeat a growing horde of zombies and escape the board.

Choose your character out of 6 medieval fantasy-types, like Berin the brawny dwarf, Megan the magical mercenary, or many others.

During each turn, you choose actions to take. You might decide to bash open a door, fight a nearby zombie Orc, or search the room for loot.

The effectiveness of every action you choose is determined by your abilities and rolling the dice and every action has a reaction. My favorite consequence is that some actions make a great deal of noise which can attract the horde to your location.

There are multiple campaign options laid out in the colorful, beautifully illustrated rule book. This keeps the game from getting too stagnant when you play it over and over again.
Bottom Line

The attention to detail in Zombicide: Green Horde is next level. Not only do you get the stunning zombie-themed artwork, but also the well-crafted, detailed miniatures with the board being laid out like a dungeon instead of a linear map. If you’re into fantasy role-playing games and dungeon crawlers and would like to add some zombie madness into the mix – you will appreciate the visual aspects and thematic play of Zombicide: Green Horde.

Detailed miniatures
Beautiful and thematic artwork
Variety of quests/campaigns to choose from
Fun party game
Setup can take awhile
Lots of tiny pieces

6. Best Horror Story – Arkham Horror (Third Edition)

Save 1920’s New England from ancient threats, in the latest iteration of the all-time horror classic – Arkham Horror (3rd Edition).

If you’re a fan of the Lovecraftian universe, you’ll love the atmosphere of this game as much as I do. If you’ve never heard of Lovecraft, you’ll probably become a fan after playing this game.

Arkham Horror (3rd Edition) is a co-op game, with you and others working to research, uncover clues, and ultimately stop the Ancient Ones, the creatures who once ruled the world, from taking it back and turning our reality into insanity and darkness.

The game takes 90 minutes on average which is perfect for story immersion yet not too long to drag and lose the spark.

The game involves some setup effort as all scenarios are unique and each scenario needs to be approached and set up slightly differently.

Players start as investigators searching for clues, sharing resources, and joining with allies to begin attacking the powerful monsters. As the game progresses, you move through different phases, getting closer and closer to the final boss battle against the ancient ones and their monsters. Of course, you’ll come up against a lot of evil on the way where you can lose both your physical health and your very sanity.

Win the game by working together to unravel the mysteries and seal the gates to send the Ancient Ones back to where they came from.
Bottom Line

The ability to build and experience unique scenarios is the key feature of Arkham Horror. Each scenario requires a new arrangement of the modular board and tells a different story.

This co-op game is for anyone willing to invest the time in a big, eventful game. It is worth it for the detailed mysteries, thematic stories, and unique twists.

Fun theme with great artwork
Detailed character backstories
Component quality
Immersive 4 player experience
Set up takes time
Not for casual play

7. Best Quick 4 Player Game – King of New York

New York is being destroyed by a giant, wacky, battling monsters and you’re one of them.

It a quick game of hilarious fun where you play against other monsters at your table to be the last one standing and become the King of New York.

Choose a monster to play from fun choices like a Sheriff T-Rex or a giant, heavily armed praying Mantis.

Characters are chosen simply for fun as they all start with the same abilities and have equal chances to earn new skills as the game moves on.

Roll claw dice and draw cards to attack, heal, and use special actions that give you a fighting edge.

Where King of New York gets tense is the exciting element of risk vs. reward. You can earn high points but take high damage at the same time, but whichever way it goes you are sure to get an emotional yet fun outcome. Deciding whether or not to reroll the dice that looks ok, but is not perfect is a luck-pressing decision.

The first monster to get to 20 victory points or the only monster left alive after all the others lose their health points is proclaimed as the new King of New York.
Bottom Line

King of New York is a simple game that both kids and adults would enjoy equally. It is not a detailed, in-depth game and instead focuses on light-hearted whimsy and cool characters.

The cards you draw throughout playing are funny and contain great art. One of my favorites allows you to team up with the Statue of Liberty.

Wonderful, bright, funny artwork
All ages friendly
Works great with families
Quickest 4 player fun there is
The rulebook is unnecessarily confusing

8. Best 4 Player Sci-Fi – Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars is a property collecting, territory building sci-fi themed board game.

You play as one of the future Earth’s giant corporations, racing to earn the most victory points in pursuit of making Mars habitable for humans.

The board game is partially a co-op experience with an overall individual winner in the end.

You have to work with other players to terraform the red planet and make it hospitable.

At the same time, each player also has an individual objective, completing which puts you above others and lands you a personal win.

The premise of Terraforming Mars is unique action cards that can build structures, damage land, grow crops, or mine for resources. Playing each one in the right order and at the right time is vital on your journey to the top.

You’ll earn money as you earn points, use that money to expand your corporation’s reach and influence on Mars, and earn money through the resources you’ve set up. Since your income is always greatly fluctuating, you’ll need to plan carefully.

In the end, the game is over when the oceans, temperature, and oxygen levels on Mars are sustainable for human colonization and the winner is decided by victory points.
Bottom Line

The mix of cooperative and competitive play in Terraforming Mars is amazingly balanced and unique. The board and game pieces are beautiful. You don’t have to be an Astronomist to enjoy this game but space-lovers are going to appreciate its accuracy and theme. Younger kids, however, and those with little patience could find it a little overwhelming.

Accurate map of Mars
Beautiful artwork
Co-op and competitive in one game
200 different scenarios
Inconsistent manufacturing quality
Learning curve

9. Best Theme & Strategy – Blood Rage

In Blood Rage, you and other players take on roles of Vikings when the mythical events of Ragnarok have begun.

Unfortunately, you have not died a glorious death in battle so you’ve got to hurry and change that to make it to Valhalla before everything is destroyed. It is the game where dying is winning.

You choose a Viking clan and strengthen it with spells, items, and even help from Gods and mythical beasts.

Amongst many actions, you can attack other clansmen, pillage villages, and maybe if you’re lucky, die and go to Valhalla where you can sit at Odin’s side.

There are multiple ways to win the game, however, and you won’t know until the very end who actually gets the glory. Secret cards, for instance, are revealed when the world has ended. The cards could give you extra points towards winning if you have the most dead characters or perhaps the most battles won.

Component quality is top-notch, especially the plastic miniatures. They’re perfect if you like painting figures for an additional touch of details and theme.

My favorite part of Blood Rage is the variety of ways a player can win in the end. All of the secret twists and surprises can trigger unexpected victories, making the game exciting and replayable. Blood Rage has easy and straightforward rules but is by no means a simple or dull game.

Bottom Line

Blood Rage is a game where you are not trying to survive, but die instead. Importantly, it has to be a glorious, Viking-style death that would open the gates to the gods and eternal life. It manages to reach great strategic depth, yet stays under 90 minutes a game. If you are looking for an epic miniatures board game that forces you to get blood-soaked in battles of Ragnarök – Blood Rage is set to deliver in spades.

High quality components
Loads of replayability
Unique die-to-win strategy game
Easy to pick up
Somewhat expensive

10. Best 4 Player Wargame – Root

In the wargame Root, adorable woodland creatures, like little birds and cute raccoons, meet up in whimsical little clearings to mercilessly fight for power and control of their lands.

Choose a faction to lead, such as the proud Eyrie or the self-serving Vagabonds, and rule the kingdom.

Each faction has its own skills and ways of asserting control and influence over the woodland kingdom. Some are builders while others steal and attack.

Use your skills and resources to control the clearings by having the most buildings and warriors set up within. Each player has goals and tasks required of them to claim land for their clan. Defend your clearings against encroaching creatures by battling.

Battles in Root are not only determined by dice but by how strong your hold was, to begin with. Victory points go to the battle winners and the losers get removed from the board.

Remove leaders, sympathize with alliances, or take all of their resources as you race to 30 victory points or win in one of Root’s other surprising ways.

Root’s cute and cartoonish artwork may be deceptive at first, but make no mistake, it is a wargame through and through. In fact, it has earned its honorable place among the best war strategy board games in our other review.

Bottom Line

Root’s adorable artwork and sweet theme are a whimsical cover for an asymmetrical wargame with ruthless battles and strategic warfare.

The varying factions and their individual skills and secret ambitions are a catalyst for exciting gameplay and post-game dialogue. Root is addictive in the best ways and guest players always come back for more.

Unique and beautiful artwork
Fun, interesting factions
Highly replayable
Clever asymmetrical goals
Flimsy board
Overly complicated rulebook

Top Four Player Games – Wrap Up

When searching for the best 4 player board games of the year for your group or playing style, consider the obvious things like age appropriateness and price, but also take into consideration the types of people you’re going to be playing with. Are they ok with taking a lot of time to learn the rules and set up if the game is epically worth the trouble? Or, are they more the type to want to get right to the business of winning so they don’t lose focus and wander away from the table?

For family-friendly games, I highly recommend The Quacks of Quedlinburg, a perfect four-player game that stays exciting until the end. If you want something a little more serious and focused, go with Pandemic: Legacy or Terraforming Mars. For a unique story and theme that will interest any of your guests, try Lords of Waterdeep, Root, or (Arkham Horror 3rd Edition). Blood Rage, King of New York, and Zombicide: Green Horde is great for battling and yelling at each other across the board. And for the modern classic, 4 player board game that everyone can pick up in minutes, my vote goes to Ticket to Ride.