Two-dimensional crystals have emerged as a class of materials that may impact future electronic technologies. Experimentally identifying and characterizing new functional two-dimensional materials is challenging, but also potentially rewarding. Here, we fabricate field-effect transistors based on few-layer black phosphorus crystals with thickness down to a few nanometres. Reliable transistor performance is achieved at room temperature in samples thinner than 7.5 nm, with drain current modulation on the order of 105 and well-developed current saturation in the I-V characteristics. The charge-carrier mobility is found to be thickness-dependent, with the highest values up to ∼1,000 cm2 V−1 s−1 obtained for a thickness of ∼10 nm. Our results demonstrate the potential of black phosphorus thin crystals as a new two-dimensional material for applications in nanoelectronic devices.