The definitive 2020 ranked list of the best murder mystery board games. Games in this category often involve an unsolved murder or murders. A requirement of these games is usually for players to take on the many stages of the process from investigating these crimes to determining the criminal details and/or perpetrator. These are the top 10 murder mystery board games.
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#10 | Clue
Clue does gain iconic points to make it on the list of the best murder mystery board games. It has a cult classic movie about it for Pete’s sake. Coming out in 1949, this really was the originator and precursor to many of the games here. It is very simple but still effective and holds up.
Each player represents one of the iconic guests of a party gone wrong and you need to roll dice to move your pawn around the board and gather clues by entering different rooms. Every time you see a new room is another chance to get closer to the truth using the process of elimination. Will you give a clue-like overdramatic reveal and guess correctly? For 3 – 6 players, games run about 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: How To Play Clue | Games Like Clue | Buy Clue
#10 | One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is unlike any other game on the list of the best murder mystery board games because it a very fast and simple game that is all about taking on a role, getting some quick info and finally either defeating or be defeated by the werewolf. This is very unique type of game and is great fir a bigger group that is a different mix of people.
This is a fast game in which everyone gets a role: One of the dastardly Werewolves, the tricky Troublemaker, the helpful Seer, or one of a dozen different characters, each with a special ability. In the course of a single morning, your village will decide who is a werewolf…because all it takes is lynching one werewolf to win. For 3 – 10 players, game are a quick 10 minutes.
#09 | Mr. Jack
Mr. Jack makes the list of the best murder mystery board games because it is a fantastic title that takes you into the intriguing world of Jack the Ripper. This has movement and variable power aspects so every character is different and you need to spread out over the board to complete your objectives.
In this period tale, Mr. Jack is one of eight characters. The player representing him must flee from the district as soon as possible. The player representing good is an independent investigator who tries to guess the identity of Jack, but only gets one shot at making an accusation. There is movement and using each characters special power, you need to find the right witnesses. For 2 players, games run about 30 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Mr. Jack
#07 | Letters from Whitechapel
Letters from Whitechapel makes the list of the best murder mystery board games because it is a fantastic game about the Jack the Ripper. Yes, we already covered that one and yes there are two different fantastic Jack the Ripper board games. That should tell you that you should buy at least one.
One player plays Jack the Ripper with the goal to take five victims before being caught. The other players are police detectives who must cooperate to catch him. The board is the Whitechapel area in the late 19th century and is marked with 199 numbered circles linked together by dotted lines. During play, Jack the Ripper, the Policemen, and the Wretched are moved along the dotted lines that represent Whitechapel’s streets. For 2 – 6 players, games run about 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Letters from Whitechapel
#06 | Mysterium
Mysterium is another title on the list of the best murder mystery board games that is unlike any other game here. It is unlike most games in fact. It is kind of like Clue if it blew up into a 4D universe and brought in some interesting bells and whistles. It is a cooperative game that feels very competitive.
One player takes the role of ghost while everyone else represents a medium. To solve the crime, the ghost must first recall (with the aid of the mediums) all of the suspects present on the night of the murder. A number of suspect, location and murder weapon cards are placed on the table, and the ghost randomly assigns one of each of these in secret to a medium. For 2 – 7 players, games run about 40 minutes.
FOR MORE: How To Play Mysterium | Games Like Mysterium | Buy Mysterium
#05 | Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong makes the list of the best murder mystery board games because it does such a great job with its storytelling and crime-solving mechanisms. This is a very satisfying narrative with many twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until justice is served.
In the game, players take on the roles of investigators attempting to solve a murder case – but there’s a twist. The killer is one of the investigators! Your role and team are randomly assigned at the start of play and include the unique roles of Forensic Scientist, Witness, Investigator, Murderer, and Accomplice. While the Investigators attempt to deduce the truth, the murderer’s team must deceive and mislead. For 4 – 12 players, games run a quick 20 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
#04 | Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game
Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game makes the the best murder mystery board games because it is a great crime solving game with many different options. There are really no secrets here, great storytelling and great gameplay options.
You will need to solve different cases and find out what connects them, you are going to use every resource you can, you are going to browse the game’s dedicated database simulating your agency’s resources, you will enter a city maze of old mysteries and crime, and you will cooperate with other agents or solve the mystery on your own. For 1 – 5 players, games run roughly 2 – 3 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy Detective A Modern Crime Board Game
#03 | Chronicles of Crime
Like many other games on the list of the best murder mystery board games, Chronicles of Crime is a wonderful crime-solving game. Where this game is unique is that is blends a guided app with gameplay to create a new interactive experience. Sure you will not be able to play in ten years, but it is great for right now.
The gameplay here is blended with an app that lets you reuse the board game components you get for multiple scenarios. Using the Scan&Play technology, each component (locations, characters, items, etc.) has a unique QR code, which, depending on the scenario selected, will activate and trigger different clues and stories. For 1 – 4 players, games last 60 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Chronicles of Crime
#02 | Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
Thats right, you just saw four games that are very similar on this list of the best murder mystery board games. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is another crime solving game where you are presented with a narrative and you need to gather clues and follow the path to solve it. Sherlock Holmes is one of the oldest games here, starting in the 80s but it still holds up.
You are presented with a mystery to solve, and it is then up to you to trace the threads of evidence through the byways and mansions of 19th century London. You will interview suspects, search the newspapers for clues, and put together the facts to reach a solution. For 1 – 8 players, games run about 1 – 2 hours.
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#01 | Mansions of Madness
Mansions of Madness is not just the top title on the list of the best murder mystery board games, it is one of the best board games in history with one of the most devoted and excited fan base. You are still following along a narrative to find clues and solve murder, but there is much more depth and things to do.
You will be guided through the veiled streets of Innsmouth and the haunted corridors of Arkham’s cursed mansions as you search for answers and respite. Eight brave investigators stand ready to confront four scenarios of fear and mystery, collecting weapons, tools, and information, solving complex puzzles, and fighting monsters, insanity, and death. For 1 – 5 players, games run about 2 – 3 hours.