There is a board game for every occasion. Many games are for groups, but that also means that are plenty of options for the solo gamer. There are so many different genres out there, it is hard to rank a definitive list, but we did our best.
The best 1 player board game is one that is typically you versus the game. Many board game mechanics do not work with only one player, but there are also many mechanics that are perfect just for one player. We took many different things into account to create this guide. This is our list of the 20 best 1 player board games.
20 BEST 2 PLAYER BOARD GAMES
20 BEST 3 PLAYER BOARD GAMES
20 BEST 4 PLAYER BOARD GAMES
20 BEST 5 PLAYER BOARD GAMES
20 BEST 6 PLAYER BOARD GAMES
20 BEST 7 PLAYER BOARD GAMES
20 BEST 8 PLAYER BOARD GAMES
20 BEST 9 PLAYER BOARD GAMES
#20 | Ambush!
To kick off our list of the best 1 player board games we have a war game. Ambush is a solitaire game of combat, adventure, and being a hero in World War II France. You are in control of an American army with a variety of missions against an ever-changing, hidden German foe in front of you.
This is a great 1 player board game because it is you versus the game and the game is a great foe. There are many tactical options and each one is satisfying as the next. Games will run a long but invigorating 2 hours. A great way to kick off the list of the best 1 player board games.
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#19 | Welcome To
Welcome To is a roll-n-write board game for 1 – 100 people. There is a little player interaction so generally, the number of people in the game does not matter. What you are left with is a pretty amazing solitaire game. In Welcome To, you are running a small town in 1950s Americana suburbia.
You get a scoresheet with three rows of houses and different things to mark off like pools, parks and fences. Cards are flipped with house numbers and actions and it is up to you how to best improve things.
This is a great 1 player board game because it is a well-done race against the game to see how high of a score you can get. Each game starts the same and then is up to you to make it work. Games run under 30 minutes.
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#18 | Massive Darkness
Massive Darkness is a great RPG campaign game. As you will see throughout this list of the best 1 player board games, this type of game lends itself incredibly well to solo gameplay. This is because you are still entering unknown territory, like in a game with people, but here it is the game that is spitting these obstacles at you. Darkness is no different.
Pick your hero, choose a class, decide on which skills to beef up with XP, and get loot by searching the dungeon or killing monsters that can use the equipment against you! This is different than other dungeon crawlers because it uses the revolutionary Zombicide system and builds on it for RPG.
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#17 | Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon
This solo adventure game brings together the very interesting Arthurian legends and Celtic mythology. There is not one path in Tainted Grail. Depending on the actions you take in this 1 player board game, the storyline can branch dramatically.
In a land slowly sinking into the Wyrdness and torn apart by conﬂict, survival is not easy. This adventure RPG genre is perfect for the list of best 1 player board games and Tainted Grail is a fantastic example of it. For 1 – 4 players, games last about 1 – 2 hours.
#16 | Viticulture
The first engine builder on the list of the best 1 player board games goes to one about wine. In Viticulture, players find themselves in rustic, pre-modern Tuscany who have inherited some run-down wine vineyards. With just a few plots of land and a few workers, you need to get resources to build up your land and become the best winemaker in history.
The original 2013 version does not include a solo gameplay version but this was added into the wonderfully updated 2015 essential edition. This is a great 1 player game because there are plenty of paths you can try and take to get a high score before time runs out. A fun challenge for anyone.
#15 | That’s Pretty Clever (aka Ganz Schön Clever)
The roll-n-write genre has been blowing up and one of the top ones on the list is the acclaimed German game That’s Pretty Clever. These types of games can almost always be solo games because there is typically little to no player interaction, but some are better than others. That’s Pretty Clever falls into the better than others category and an easy choice for best 1 player board games.
Their claim is not cocky, the game is in fact very clever. Each turn you roll dice and take scores that correspond to a score sheet. The scoring areas use numbers in very nontraditional ways and they all seem to weave together in a perfect mechanism. A very fun game and great for any 1 player game.
FOR MORE: That’s Pretty Clever Page | Games Like That’s Pretty Clever | Buy That’s Pretty Clever on Amazon
#14 | Onirim
You are a Dreamwalker, lost in a mysterious labyrinth, and you must discover the oneiric doors before your dreamtime runs out – or you will remain trapped forever! Yes, that is the tagline for this creepy entry to the list of the best 1 player board games.
This is a thematic maze exploration game where you wonder around hoping to find what you need. You are on a mission to collect door cards before the deck runs out. These can be obtained either by playing cards of the same color three turns in a row, or by discarding one of your powerful Key cards. Just do not do it wrong or you will not make it out alive. You can also play this one with two players in a cooperative fashion and games last a quick 15 minutes.
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#13 | Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
The third roll-n-write to make the list of the best 1 player board games goes to the most thematic one yet. Each turn you roll dice to gain commodities and potential workers in order to grow your glorious civilization. You then take those and do all sorts of fun stuff from new works to monuments that are worth points.
You are on a race against the clock to build everything up before time runs out. This is a great 1 player game because it combines elements of roll-n-writes and engine-builders, two great genres for solo gaming, and the combos is perfect. You can play this one with up to 4 players and games will run about 35 – 40 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Roll Through The Ages on Amazon
#12 | Agricola
This one is for all the farmer or farmer enthusiasts out there. Agricola is a worker placement game about building up your stables to cultivate different breeds of animals. You have a limited amount of folks to do work and many different resources or building spots to put them in. You need fences to make spots to hold animals and you need animals for points. A great choice for best 1 player board games,
Agricola is pretty great with multiple people but it just happens to have amazing gameplay that fits into all sorts of packages. You lose much of the tension not fighting over spaces in the 1 player game variant, but Agricola is so good that it is enough to make this list of the best 1 player board games. The game is for 1 – 5 players and will last about 30 – 150 minutes.
FOR MORE: Agricola Page | Games Like Agricola | Buy Agricola on Amazon
#11 | Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
One of the most well-known characters in the world is Sherlock Holmes so thank goodness a good board game came out of it. In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, you are presented with a mystery to solve. You then have to decipher clues, retrace steps and find evidence in old victorian London to get the job done. Why were two lions murdered in Hyde Park?
Who is responsible for the missing paintings from the National Gallery? Who murdered Oswald Mason and why? These are just a few of the cases that will challenge your ingenuity and deductive abilities. There is no dice and no luck in this one, it all comes down to your detective skills. This game can be played with up to 8 but makes for a great solo task for those who are up for a challenge.
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#10 | Mage Knight
In this epic adventure, you take on the role of one of the powerful mage knights under the control of the Atlantean Empire. You must build an army and fill your deck with powerful spells and actions in order to conquer dangerous dungeons. Eventually, you will need to take down powerful cities in epic end game showdowns.
This game is a great 1 player game because it so seamlessly merges elements of dungeon crawlers, deck-building and classic board gaming, three things working together for a great solo gaming experience. This one can be played with up to 4 with games lasting anywhere from 1 – 4 hours.
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#09 | The 7th Continent
Smack in the middle of our list of best 1 player board games is a “choose-your-own-adventure” exploration board game. In a land fraught with danger and wonders, you have to use every ounce of wit and cunning to survive, crafting tools, weapons, and shelter to ensure your survival.
The 7th Continent game is an exploration RPG with plenty to discover. What’s great about this one is that it could take thousands of hours to explore everything but there is a great system in place that will let you start and stop whenever you like. This game can be played with up to 4 players and will take lots of time.
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#08 | Tiny Epic Galaxies
We have finally hit a space exploration game on the list of the best 1 player board games. In Tiny Epic Galaxies, you control a galactic empire, aiming to expand your influence by taking over highly contested planets and increasing your cosmic armada. Everything you do is based on a dice rolling mechanic and the number of dice you roll correlates to the size of your empire.
The dice do all sorts of things from allowing you to move your spaceship to increase your energy to expanding your political influence. It is up to you to create your own epic galaxy. This is a great solo game because it is you versus the game and the game has so much cool and unique stuff to offer. This can be played with up to 5 players and games will run about 30 – 45 minutes.
#07 | Friday
Friday is a game about Robinson Crusoe that is exclusively built for a 1 player board game experience. It is a deck-building game in which you optimize your deck of fight cards in order to defeat the dangers of the island and pirate inhabitants. You come across obstacles that you must defeat using your fight cards.
If you don’t you lose life and the conflict gets added to your deck, making things difficult for you. The end showdown will have you facing off two pirate ships in order to gain vicotry. This is a great 1 player game because it is fun and there is nothing else like it. Whenever you have a game that is built specifically for 1 player, you know the mechanics are going to lend themselves to a fun experience. Games run about 25 minutes each.
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#06 | Scythe
Scythe is an engine-building game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. The game has won countless awards and is the top on many board gamers lists. It also happens to have an incredibly solo mode. Each player represents a character from one of five factions of Eastern Europe who are attempting to earn their fortune and claim their faction’s stake in the land.
Each player begins the game with different resources (power, coins, combat acumen, and popularity), a different starting location, and a hidden goal. From there you have incredible control over your actions and your fate. The game has a continuous type of play, so there are no turns, just in your face action from start to finish. The game throws many things at you so there is no need for other players to enjoy this one, though up to 5 can play.
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#05 | Arkham Horror
Arkham Horror is a thematic adventure game suited for solo or cooperative play. To start, you choose from 16 Investigators and take to the streets of Arkham. Also at the start, one of the great evil ancient ones is chosen and it will be their mission to break into this world. You need to stop this at any cost.
Throughout the game, you need to acquire skills, allies, items, weapons, and spells to have a fighting chance. Decisions are made with the roll of the dice and the careful management of the cards you have in your hand. This is a great 1 player game because the adventure writing is really good in theme and creativity and the actions you have to take will keep you busy for hours. This can be played with up to 8 and will run about 2 – 4 hours.
#04 | Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
The second Robinson Crusoe game on the list of the best 1 player board games goes to one about epic adventure. You are shipwrecked on a deserted island and become confronted by an extraordinary adventure. You need to build shelter, find food, fight wild beasts, and brace yourself for intense weather conditions.
Things need to get up and running but you also need to get into interesting adventures, like discovering the secret of the island. Like many of the other games on this list, this is a great 1 player board game because it is your versus the game with many roads to victory. This can be played with up to 4 people and games last about 1 – 2 hours each.
#03 | Coffee Roaster
Coffee Roaster is another game on this list of the best 1 player board games that is exclusively built for the solo experience. The game is a terrific pool building game. You choose a variety of coffee beans you want to roast, and add those corresponding variety tokens into a bag.
Each turn, you draw a number of bean tokens randomly from the bag to advance their roast level. from here you taste and score points accordingly. Each variety has its own target roast level, but you need to get it right. This is a great 1 player game because it is all about juggling many different things and trying to put yourself in a strategic position. A little bit of skill and a little bit of press your luck, Coffee Roasters is a great choice.
#02 | Terraforming Mars
Terraforming Mars is one of the greatest board games ever released and it just happens to have an incredible 1 player variant that is like its own brand new game. In Terraforming Mars you are a corporation working to make the planet inhabitable by adding water, oxygen and raising the temperature.
While this is happening, you take on epic engine building in order to build up your corporation to score as many points as possible. First there is the level of “can you do it” and then it becomes “how well can you do it.” The 1 player version of this game will keep you entertained for hours.
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#01 | Gloomhaven
The top spot on the list of the best 1 player board games goes to a very popular dungeon crawler. The reason this is a 1 player board game comes down to the fact that this is the most epic you versus the game option out there. Your character, upgrades and options along the way are the best you are going to get. Gloomhaven runs deep.
Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own skills and motives. You are on a never-ending quest to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process, they will enhance your abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make. If you could play only one 1 player board game, take a look at Gloomhaven.