Last Updated on May 18, 2023 by April
This list of the best two-player games is coming to you for cozy get-togethers with your favorite gaming buddy!
Board games are a fantastic way to spend quality time with friends and family, but what happens when you’re limited to just two players? Fear not, as there are plenty of amazing two-player board games out there that are just as engaging and fun as their multiplayer counterparts. From strategy games to cooperative adventures, there’s something for everyone.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best two-player board games available today, so grab a friend and get ready to dive into some exciting gameplay.
Best Two-Player Games: Board Games
Here are the best two-player games for your next game night!
The King is Dead
The King is Dead: Second Edition is a refreshing update to the original game, featuring updated graphic design, gorgeous new artwork, and a brand-new asymmetric game mode for advanced play. The game is set in a kingdom divided after the death of the king, with three factions – the Scottish, the Welsh, and the English – vying for control while foreign invaders prepare to take advantage of the chaos.
Players must marshal their limited resources to influence the power struggle and ensure that the faction that rises to dominate the realm favors them above all other claimants to the throne. The game is accessible yet strikingly deep, providing a challenging and engaging experience for players of all skill levels.
Undaunted – North Africa
Undaunted: North Africa is the thrilling sequel to Undaunted: Normandy, a two-player deck-building game of tactical combat set in the North African Theater of World War II. In this game, players take on the roles of the raiders of Britain’s Long Range Desert Group or the formidable Italian forces opposing them.
The game features a series of varied missions that will test your strategic skills and tactical prowess. As casualties mount, wounded soldiers leave the players’ decks, forcing them to adapt to changing circumstances on the battlefield. Use your cards to strengthen your forces, deploy vehicles to advance rapidly across the battlefield, and seize the initiative to determine the outcome of the North African Theater.
Codenames: Duet – The Two-Player Word Deduction Game
The tagline for this game is “win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues.”
Codenames: Duet is a two-player, cooperative adaptation of one of the highest-ranked board games on Amazon, Codenames.
Instead of teams competing against one another, two players work together to uncover the secret identities of their agents (only knowing them by their codenames, of course) using one-word clues. The object of the game is to reveal fifteen agents without revealing assassins or innocent bystanders within a time limit.
Recommended for ages ten and up, this is one of the best two-player games you can find!
Boardgame without a board? Why not?
Hive comes with 22 hexagonal tiles that create their own board as more pieces are added. In a chess-like fashion, players move their insect-laden game pieces in an attempt to capture the opposing Queen Bee.
This award-winning game is designed to help build strategy skills for players age nine and up.
Gloomhaven is a great game for anyone who loved “Choose Your Own Adventure” books growing up! An innovative card system provides hours of fun via “legacy mechanics”, it continues and evolves over many game sessions, turning family game night into an ongoing affair.
One to four players ages 12 and up embark on an adventure and cooperate to fight monsters in dungeons and ruins in this Euro-inspired tactical combat game.
7 Wonders – Duel
Have you ever daydreamed about building your own civilization? What would you do to ensure your capital city remains protected from enemies and your society flourishes for generations to come?
This game will fulfill all those fantasies of grandeur. Designed specifically for two players, 7 Wonders – Duel is a similar style of play as the award-winning original, 7 Wonders. It offers 30 minutes of gameplay for 10-15-year-olds with an affinity for the ancient world.
In a cool twist for those not excited by militaristic invasions and head to head battles, you can advance your society by achieving scientific advancements or building cities. This is a perfect (and fun) extension of education for students of world history!
Archaeology: The New Expedition
As a kid, I always wanted to be Indiana Jones. Then I grew older and started looking into colleges during my teenage years, considering archaeology as a major so I could be like Indiana Jones.
If you’re like me, this game was made for you!
Venture into the Egyptian desert and lead your own dig, excavating artifacts that you’ll hope to sell (unless, of course, a thief tries to rob your treasures!). Though the manufacturer recommends this card game for players ages 13-15 years, by the Amazon reviews, it seems that adults have fun with this game, too.
Scythe Board Game is for serious game aficionados, containing character miniatures, coins, cards, and several small pieces, all of which contribute to an immersive experience. Since it can occupy from one to five players for 90-120 minutes, it’s perfect for family game night.
Its unique setup uses a streamlined action-selection mechanism (meaning no rounds or phases), which keeps gameplay moving and reduces downtime between turns. Yay for no phones at the game table!
Set in an alternate history in the 1920s, players will be transported to a dark world of farming, industry, and war in a Hunger Games-esque uprising story.
Imhotep: The Duel
This two-player follow-up to 2016’s Imhotep: Builder of Egypt is an ideal opportunity for a little quality one-on-one time with your favorite game buddy. Players assume the identities of Nefertiti and Akhenaten, one of ancient Egypt’s most famous royal couples in this highly interactive gameplay.
The object of the game is to unload boats and compete to build Egyptian monuments. The box comes with 60 Cargo Tokens, 8 Site Boards, 8 Meeples, 6 Boats, 1 Harbor Board, and an 8-page full-color illustrated manual.
Terraforming Mars Board Game
Terraforming Mars transports one to five players ages 12 and up to a time in the 2400s, when colonization on the Red Planet has begun. The World Government on Earth is sponsoring corporations to make the climate livable for humankind. Players assume the roles of corporations and collaborate to terraform the planet, but compete for victory points.
This is one of the best two-player games for science-fiction buffs who love to imagine what the future might hold if Earth becomes uninhabitable. Five expansion packs are available for ongoing fun: Prelude, Hellas & Elysium, Turmoil, Colonies, and Venus Next.
PARKS is a beautiful game containing illustrations representing 45 US National Parks, and the best two-player game for outdoorsy folks.
Wood tokens represent the wildlife that roams our National Parks today. Players take on the role of hikers, exploring a multitude of trails across four seasons, during which they will take actions and collect memories of the places they visit. All tokens collected can be traded to visit a National Park at the end of each hike.
If you can’t get out to enjoy the outdoors, PARKS is the next best thing! Hike the trail solo or with up to four friends for 60 minutes of gameplay.
Shobu brings game playing back to basics with abstract strategy.
Specially designed for two players, each will use beautiful river stones as playing pieces. Each player moves their stones strategically in an attempt to push their opponent’s stones off the wooden board. The strategic nature of Shobu is similar to chess but with a twist.
This mind-expanding board game is great for ages ten and above and will occupy about 30-40 minutes of playtime (or much, much more!).
Best Two-Player Games: Card Games
Radlands is an exciting and competitive card game that will keep you on the edge of your seat. As the leader of a group of post-apocalyptic survivors, you must protect your three camps from a rival tribe. If all of your camps are destroyed, you lose the game.
The main resource in the game is water, which you will spend to play people and events and to use the abilities of cards you already have on the table. People protect your camps and provide useful abilities, while events are powerful effects that take time to pay off.
What sets Radlands apart from other card games is the way it encourages players to identify fiercely powerful card synergies. Both players draw cards from the same deck, so it’s up to you to figure out how to make the most of the cards you’re dealt. All cards can either be played to the table or discarded for quick “junk” effects, adding an extra layer of strategy to gameplay.
Overall, Radlands is a thrilling and engaging card game that will keep you coming back for more. With its unique mechanics and emphasis on card synergy, it’s sure to provide hours of fun for players of all skill levels. If you’re a fan of competitive card games, Radlands is definitely worth checking out.
Mushrooms may seem like a strange theme for a card game, but in 2014, Morels was recognized as the Card Game of the Year.
Take on the role of fungus forager in a storybook-like forest, strategically working your way through cards featuring colorful artwork. As players collect an assortment of mushrooms, they can choose to cook them for sustenance or sell them to collect information that will help them advance on their journey.
This fun “foraging and feasting for two” card game will occupy two players ages ten and up for about 30 minutes at a time.
Sushi Go! The Pick and Pass Card Game
Sushi Go! Is a delicious, fast-paced card game taking place in a conveyor belt-style sushi restaurant, where the goal, of course, is to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they whiz by. Players score points for making the most maki rolls or for collecting a full set of sashimi.
This is the best two-player game for sushi lovers and will occupy two to five players for about 15 minutes at a time. Perfect for sushi night, of course!
Please pass the sake.
Arkham Horror Card Game
This card game designed for lovers of mystery and monster stories blurs the line between traditional card gaming and role-playing experiences.
Two players will become characters in the New England town of Arkham. They’ll use their own strengths and weaknesses (as indicated by the cards) to get to the bottom of the world’s most spine-chilling mysteries. Along the way, they’ll overcome the darkest and most terrifying monsters of all: their own personal demons.
It’s a horror story that can fit in your pocket.
Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
A must-have for LOTR fans, this Living Card Game (an alternative to the traditional trading card model, in which players can buy expansion packs for added gaming) transports players to Middle-earth where they’ll work cooperatively to gather allies and artifacts to defeat the Dark Lord Sauron, who is once again doing his evil thing in Mordor.
Lord of the Rings: The Card Game will occupy one to two players for 30 to 90 minutes, which is way shorter than a LOTR film!
Star Realms: Deckbuilding Game
If you’re looking for a portable card game that can fit in your jacket pocket, Star Realms: Deckbuilding Game is an excellent choice. This set supports two players, with the option of adding sets that can support multiplayer games of up to six players.
For those not familiar, a deck-building game is one in which the construction of a deck is a main element of gameplay and each player has their own deck. This easy-to-learn game immerses players into the world of spaceship combat, enhanced by beautifully illustrated cards.
And there you have it – 15 of the best two-player games to play with your opponent of choice.
Love Playing Board Games? Consider Getting a Board Game Table!
If you’re a board game enthusiast, you know that playing on a makeshift table can be a less-than-ideal experience. That’s where a board game table comes in. A custom board game table is specifically designed to enhance your gaming experience, providing a dedicated space for you and your fellow players to enjoy your favorite games.
Here are some reasons to invest in a quality board game table:
- Size: Most board game tables are larger than a standard dining table, providing ample space for game boards, cards, and pieces. This means you won’t have to worry about running out of room or accidentally knocking over pieces during gameplay.
- Built-in features: Many board game tables include cup holders, drawers for storing game pieces, and even built-in game boards. These features can make gameplay more comfortable and convenient, allowing you to focus on the game rather than worrying about spills or lost pieces.
- They look awesome: With a wide range of designs and finishes available, you can find a board game table that complements your existing décor and adds a touch of elegance to your home.
Our Recommendation: WM Homestead’s Custom Board Game Tables
If you want to take your hobby space to the next level, a custom-made hobby table from this company is worth considering. These tables are designed and built to order, so you can be sure they will address your specific spatial requirements.
Made from solid maple, red oak, cherry, white oak, or walnut, these tables are built to last. The removable tapered legs make delivery and moving easy, and the playing surface sits at a comfortable dining height of 30″. You can also choose to have your table made at coffee table height, bar height, or a custom height at no extra charge.
The standard 1.5″ recessed playing surface is upholstered with speed cloth in your choice of color, providing a soft and quiet gaming surface that’s easy to clean. The table also has channels on all four sides that can hold optional accessories, including a flat shelf, cup holder, and wine glass holder. These accessories can be easily moved to maximize comfort at any player count.
You can opt for a dining top cover if you don’t have a designated room for your hobby table. These covers are custom-made for your table and come in three or four leaf sections that sit on top of the armrests. Each section has a barrier to prevent any scuffs while taking it off and on.
Overall, this hobby table is a great investment for anyone who takes their gaming seriously. With its solid construction, customizable features, and optional accessories, it will surely provide hours of enjoyment for years to come.