Mafia is an exciting social deduction game that thousands of players enjoy. Whether it’s game night with the boys or a cozy family gathering, you’ll find that this board game can be the perfect companion during any event!
But we have to admit, after a while, the gameplay can get a little repetitive. (And boring.)
Luckily, there are other games like Mafia that you can try out to mix things up with the gang!
Our Top Five Picks of Games Like Mafia
If you enjoyed playing Mafia, there are several other similar games that might strike your interest.
And since we don’t want you to have a hard time deciding which one is right for you, we’ve made a list of our top five picks to narrow down the choices for you.
Here’s a short comparison chart to get you started:
Best for Strategists
|Secret Hitler |
Best Murder Mystery Game
|Deception: Murder in Hong Kong|
Best for Beginners
|One Night Ultimate Werewolf|
Best Sci-fi Alternative
Best for Your Budget
|Bang! (The Dice Game)|
Now all that is out of the way, let’s get to know these games a little better and find out which ones you should bring to your next game night!
Secret Hitler — Best for Strategists
Conspiracy, intrigue, and betrayal — these are the ingredients to make the perfect strategy and deduction game. And it’s exactly what you get from Secret Hitler.
Fascists coordinate with each other to sow distrust and turmoil among the other players. Their goal is to install their cold-blooded leader (The Secret Hitler) into a seat of power.
Liberals, on the other hand, try and stop the fascists from achieving their goals before it’s too late.
At the start of the game, each player will be dealt a card face down containing their team (liberal or fascist).
Once everyone has their card, they can turn it over and see which team they belong to. When done, all of you can turn your cards back down and close your eyes.
Fascists will be asked to open their eyes, so they’re the only ones who are aware of each players’ role in the game.
With his eyes still closed, the Secret Hitler will be asked to put his thumb up, so the fascists know who they need to protect.
After this step is complete, the fascists are asked to close their eyes again so all players can open their eyes together and begin the game.
Secret Hitler has two versions: the Standard Edition and the Wooden Box Edition.
There’s not much difference between the two versions. They both contain the same components:
- 3 foil boards
- 2 wooden placards
- Secret identities for ten players
- Election tracker
- Policy deck tiles
- Rule booklet and strategy guide
Secret Hitler is a great game and a good bargain, too, consider its price tag. However, after a couple of rounds, you’ll see that the element of “chance” and “luck” can take away the “deduction factor” of the game.
There’s also the issue of its theme — some players might not appreciate reliving such a gruesome point in our history. So, lugging this game around at game nights might not always result in a fun experience.
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong — Best Choice & Best Murder Mystery Game
If solving crimes and murders are your thing, then you’ll enjoy playing Deception: Murder in Hong Kong.
Made to be played by 4 to 12 people, this deduction game puts you and your friends in the role of investigators trying to solve a murder in the neon-lit streets of Hong Kong.
As its name suggests, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong involves murders, lies, and mysteries that you and your friends must solve to end the game.
Each of you will be assigned secret roles that are decided depending on the Role Cards that are dealt to you at the start of the game.
Role Card Types:
- Forensic Scientists
- Witness and Accomplice (Optional Roles)
Every box of Deception: Murder in Hong Kong includes the following components:
- 200 Clue cards
- 90 Means cards
- 12 Role cards
- 32 Scene tiles
- 6 Bullets
- 11 Badges
- Rule book
The cards are made of high-quality cardboard, although it wouldn’t hurt to buy a couple of card sleeves to ensure your cards stay in mint condition.
This game is a complete upgrade from Mafia and for two good reasons.
One, it involves more mechanics, more advanced gameplay, and more rules. And two, it adds an element of intrigue and excitement as you try to find the murderer in the game.
The only problem we have with this game is that its design makes it incredibly easy for the murderer to win.
Despite its complexities, beginners can easily pick it up and have fun without needing to worry about falling behind.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf — Best for Beginners
If you’re just getting started with social deduction board games, then One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a great choice.
In this game, you and your friends play the role of villagers who are trying to identify and slay the werewolves that lurk among your group.
The game takes place in a series of two phases: Night and Day.
At the beginning of the Night Phase, players are assigned a secret role and are then asked to close their eyes. One player will have to read the script instructing players of certain roles to open their eyes and secretly perform special abilities.
You can also get the official One Night Ultimate Werewolf companion app to narrate the script for you during the game.
During the Day Phase, players get the opportunity to discuss what happened during the night. After five minutes, they put in their votes on who they think is the werewolf.
Villagers win by successfully capturing and slaying a werewolf. Werewolves win by successfully evading capture.
The role cards are made of thick cardboard, so you won’t have to worry about putting them in card sleeves. But if you want to keep the print pristine for longer, investing in a couple of sleeves would be a good idea.
Every box of One Night Ultimate Werewolf should include the following components:
- 16 character tiles (with twelve unique roles)
- 16 character tokens
- Rulebook with detailed role descriptions
This game is great for people who are just getting into social deduction games. The rules and mechanics are simple and straightforward. Plus, you get a handy companion app that can not only narrate the script for you but can also guide you through the game process.
A single round won’t last more than 5 to 10 minutes, which is great for people who have a short attention span.
They also have loads of fun expansion packs available for purchase, so you won’t have to worry about running out of new ways to play.
The Resistance — Best Sci-Fi Alternative
If you’ve ever wondered if intrigue and betrayal still existed in more advanced dystopian societies, The Resistance can answer all of your questions in just one game.
This Sci-FI social deduction game was designed for 5 to 10 players and can last around 30 minutes per game, and has no player elimination.
Players are divided into two teams: The Resistance and The Spies. This is decided by the Role Cards that are dealt you at the beginning of the game.
The overall objective of the game is to be the first team to reach three (3) points.
The Resistance wins if they successfully complete three missions.
Alternatively, The Spies win if they successfully sabotage three missions.
Because of how it’s designed, you can expect The Spies to win the game almost 70% of the time, especially when you play with more than 7 players.
Depending on if you’re buying the 3rd Edition and not the 2nd Edition of The Resistance, the game comes with the following components:
- 11 Character Cards (10 Characters and 1 Leader)
- 5 Team Cards
- 20 Vote Cards (10 Approve and 10 Reject Cards)
- 10 Mission Cards (5 Success and 5 Failure Cards)
- 6 Score Markers (3 Blue and 3 Red Markers)
- 1 Round Marker (Black disc)
- Score Tableau
If you buy the “The Plot Thickens” expansion, you get an extra 15 Plot Cards to add to your deck. Plus information cards to help you overthrow The Spies.
All cards are made of high-quality and thick cardboard to ensure durability and sturdiness. But you might want to get card sleeves for the character cards, to help preserve them.
This game involves a ton of technical mechanics and rules, so we don’t recommend it for beginners. However, if you think you can take the heat, you’re completely welcome to try it out.
What’s great about The Resistance is that it has tons of expansions and alternate realities to keep the game from going bland.
Two of the best expansion packs to try out are Hidden Agenda and Hostile Takeover.
BANG! (The Dice Game) — Best Budget
If you’re looking for a social deduction game that won’t cost you more than $20, BANG! (The Dice Game) is the game you need.
What’s great about the dice game is that it removes the need to explain the different cards in the game. Now, there are just six (6) possible dice rolls.
You won’t have to ask people to commit to a full hour of playing.
With BANG (The Dice Game), games only last around 15 minutes tops. Long enough for you and your friends to immerse yourselves in the game, but also not too long for you guys to feel bored.
At the beginning of the game, players are assigned a Role Card that secretly places them on a team: Sheriff, Deputies, Outlaws, and Renegades.
To win the game:
The Sheriff and Deputies — needs to kill the Outlaws
The Outlaws — needs to kill the Sheriff
The Renegades — need to be the last player to stay alive in the game
During their turn, players can roll the five dice up to three times.
Their results will determine whether they can shoot neighboring players, increase the range of their shots, heal his (or anyone else’s) life points, or put opponents in range of the Indians.
BANG! (The Dice Game) includes the following components out of the box:
- 5 Bang! dice
- 30 game cards
- Arrow tokens
- Bullet tokens
- Rules in English and Italian
BANG! (The Dice Game) is perfect for beginners and players who are on a budget, but still want a fun, quality game to play during game night.
When bringing this game to others locations and events, you’ll want to be careful with the box, as it isn’t so sturdy. If you can, find a different box to put the contents of the game in and ensure that no pieces get lost.
The Bottom Line
Whichever game you choose, it’s important that you settle for something that you find interesting and fun. Even if it’s the most popular game available, you won’t feel satisfied with it unless it meets a certain curiosity or interest of yours.
If you’re someone who’s into sci-fi games, The Resistance would make a far better match for you than BANG! (The Dice Game).
Alternatively, if you enjoy the concept of monsters, vampires, and werewolves, then One Night Ultimate Werewolf might be a game worth looking into.
The choice is all yours — so make sure you look at all the angles that matter.