The definitive 2020 ranked list of the best player elimination board games. In simple terms, this is where a player can be removed from the game, and will no longer participating. This is usually involuntarily and what happens to their stuff has rules of its own. It could be about being the last surviving player, it could be about the risk of being able to fail hard and it could be many other things. These are the top 10 best player elimination board games.
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#10 | Love Letter
Love Letter makes the list of the best player elimination board games because it is a game that goes high stakes with big risk, deduction, and luck. As much as you can be in, you can be out. That is the high stakes world of seek to woo the princess.
Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with 1 card in hard and 1 removed from play. On a turn, you draw 1 card, and play 1 card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire! For 2 – 4 players, games run a quick 20 minutes.
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#09 | Secret Hitler
Secret Hitler makes the list of the best player elimination board games because the way characters are discovered and ultimately eliminated is such a climactic and satisfying part of the journey. If you are able to eliminate Hitler, then that is a great day.
This party title is a dramatic game of political intrigue and betrayal set in 1930s Germany. Each player is randomly and secretly assigned to be a liberal or a fascist, and one player is Secret Hitler. The fascists coordinate to sow distrust and install their cold-blooded leader; the liberals must find and stop the Secret Hitler before it’s too late. For 5 – 10 players, games run about 45 minutes.
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#08 | Age of Steam
Age of Steam makes the list of the best player elimination board games because this is a cutthroat game about thriving in an early American economy and the fact that you can get knocked out is fantastic. There are big rewards and there are big consequences.
Steam-belching iron horses roar across the wild plains, this game relives the era when pioneering U.S. railroads built the tracks that transformed America’s economy. The cut-throat action is centered on the industrial powerhouses of the growing nation: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, and beyond. make decisions about how and when to grow your network. For 1 – 6 players, games last about 2 hours.
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#07 | A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
Game of Thrones makes the list of the best player elimination board games because there are many different kingdoms to play and any of them can go down at any moment. Plan and execute while you still have that option in this game masterfully built on the most successful TV show of all time.
You take on the role of one of the great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, as they vie for control of the Iron Throne through the use of diplomacy and warfare. Game of Thrones is an epic board game in which it will take more than military might to win. Through strategic planning, masterful diplomacy, and war, you will achieve greatness. For 3 – 6 players, games last about 2 – 4 hours.
#06 | Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
Legendary Encounters: Alien makes the list of the best player elimination board games because in a game taking on the roles of this iconic cast of characters, it is all about survival and you are never safe. For a deck building game, there is a fair amount of surprise and uncertainty.
You and your fellow players need to survive against hordes of aliens. Taking on the role of a protagonist such as Ripley, Dallas, Bishop and Corporal Hicks, you take turns recruiting cards for your deck from a central selection in order to improve and defeat Xenomorph cards that pop up. Like Aeons End, this one is full co-op, so it is survive or bust. For 1 – 5 players, games run about 30 – 60 minutes.
#05 | Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures makes the list of the best player elimination board games because it is an epic space battle where anything can happen. This is one of the greatest games in the Star Wars universe and does not disappoint. It is only natural that when you are commanding a large army that people are going to get eliminated, and that is half the fun.
Each ship type has its own unique piloting dial, which is used to secretly select a speed and maneuver each turn. After planning maneuvers, each ship’s dial is revealed and executed in a specific order. The balance of rushing headlong toward your enemy showering his forward deflectors in laser fire versus dancing away from him as you attempt to acquire a targeting lock, is everything. You are in total control of a massive fleet. For 2 players, games last 30 – 45 minutes.
#04 | Twilight Imperium
Twilight Imperium makes the list of the best player elimination board games because it is an epic adventure in space where anything can happen. In addition to being a highly rated game, there is so much freedom in how the different factions interact and just being able to be removed from the game adds the right amount of danger.
This is a game of galactic conquest in you take on the role of one of seventeen factions vying for galactic domination through military might, political maneuvering, and economic bargaining. Every faction offers a completely different play experience, from the wormhole-hopping Ghosts of Creuss to the Emirates of Hacan, masters of trade and economics. For 3 – 6 players, games last about 2 – 4 hours.
#03 | Clank!
Clank! makes the list of the best player elimination board games because as a great game about diving for treasure, having this mechanic is necessary and wonderful addressed. You have no idea if you are going to wake the dragon or if your next move will be your last. Pushing your luck and that level of constant fear make for a great game.
You must sneak into an angry dragon’s mountain lair to steal precious artifacts. Delve deeper to find more valuable loot. Acquire cards for your deck and watch your thievish abilities grow. Be quick and be quiet (“clank” refers to the noise you make). Each careless sound draws the attention of the dragon, and each artifact stolen increases its rage. You need to make it out so how much will you push your luck. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 30 – 60 minutes.
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#02 | Eclipse
Eclipse makes the list of the best player elimination board games because it really shows that as hard as you can rise, you can fall even harder. This is one of the most intense games out there with so much going on. You start up from nothing and build something amazing. You could not have that if there was not the risk to fail.
You are in control of a vast interstellar civilization, competing for success with your rivals. You will explore new star systems, research technologies, and build spaceships with which to wage war. There are many potential paths to victory, so you need to plan your strategy according to the strengths and weaknesses of your species, while paying attention to the other civilizations’ endeavors. For 2 – 6 players, games last 1 – 3 hours.
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#01 | Nemesis
Nemesis takes the top spot on the list of the best elimination board games because this is one fantastic game that gets crazy. There is so much to do and so much coming at you that you are always on the edge of your seat. The best part of player elimination is the high risk and reward and this game has that in spades.
You and your crew-mates must survive on a ship infested with hostile organisms. To win, you will need to complete a variety of missions and return back to Earth alive. You will find many obstacles on your way: swarms of Alien organisms, the poor physical condition of the ship, the other players that will have their own agendas and, sometimes, just cruel fate. For 1 – 5 players, games last about 90 – 180 minutes.