Sometimes it’s not possible to get a big game night group together. Sometimes it might be just you and your significant other, or you and your best friend, or whoever else you can bribe to join you with the promise of food and/or drink. And that’s OK!
Go open your game closet (or scan yours shelves, or your pile, or wherever else you keep your games) and take a good hard look. See any of these titles? You might have exactly what you need for a great 2-person game night. So grab the snacks and get started with these best board games for 2 players.
1. Love Letter
Love Letter is a fast-playing card game for 2-4 players. The premise is simple: Be the lucky suitor to get a letter to the princess by maneuvering different characters and outsmarting your competitors, ousting them from the running. Each round the goal is for you to get closest to the princess. Love Letter is compact enough that you can easily bring it anywhere, making it great for killing time when you’re out and about and stuck waiting.
2. Dominion (and Dominion Intrigue)
Dominion is a Medieval-themed deck building game for up to 6 players (with the expansion; with a base set, it supports up to 4). The goal is simply to collect the most victory points at the end of the game. You do that by strategically assembling your deck, buying cards and trading in for currency.
There are a lot of expansions for Dominion, but only the base set and the Intrigue expansion are playable on their own. I personally like the cards in the Intrigue deck better, but there’s so many combinations in both (or by combining them) that it’s really up to you. This is one that you’ll want to stay at home for, because it can take up a lot of space.
Forbidden Island is a cooperative game for 2-4 players with a spooky, haunted atmosphere. This one is perfect for couples because it’s not a competitive game, but a cooperative one. In the game, you work together to collect the scattered pieces of treasure and then escape the island together.
In the same vein as Forbidden Island is Forbidden Desert (2-5 players), in which you must work together to gather the pieces of a legendary flying machine in an ancient desert city, and use it to escape.
In Seasons, you and your companion (and up to 2 other players) are wizards vying for the title of champion n the tournament of 12 seasons. Part card game, part dice game, your goal is to build a deck that will guide your strategy throughout the seasons, augmented by rolls of the die.
5. Boss Monster
Boss Monster evokes the feel of the 1980s and 1990s side-scrolling dungeon games, but with a twist. Meant for 2-4 players, Boss Monster makes you into the bad buy. Your mission is to build a spectacular dungeon to lure heroes in and vanquish them before they can defeat you.
Unlike the other games on this list, Jaipur is meant exclusively for two players. It’s a fast-paced card game where the two leading traders in the city of Jaipur outwit each other to secure an invite to the Maharajah’s court. The game is entirely strategic: you can buy, sell, or exchange goods, but you need to balance the risk and reward to get the best deal. One the one hand, the chips you earn for selling decrease in value as the game goes on, but you also get higher rewards for selling in bigger numbers.
Castles of Burgundy is a resource-acquisition game for 2-4 players, in the same vein as the ever-popular Settlers of Catan. You’ll build settlements and trade for goods, being careful of how you use your resources in each of the five rounds to earn the most victory points.
What are your favorite two-player games, and why? Tell us about them in the comments!
Melissa is an independent writer and editor, as well as a board game lover. When she's not creating or perfecting web content, she's usually playing games with her friends or experimenting in the kitchen.