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 card game

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.

Buy it on Amazon | Buy it on We the Meeple

 

2. Dominion (and Dominion Intrigue)

dominion card game

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.

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3. Forbidden Island

forbidden island tile game

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.

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4. Seasons

seasons board game

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.

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5. Boss Monster

boss monster card game

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.

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6. Jaipur

jaipur card game

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.

Buy it on Amazon

 

 

7. The Castles of Burgundy

castles of burgundy board game

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!

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9 Comments »

  1. G;ad to see Jaipur on the list but I disagree totally with Love Letter. Definitely not that much fun as a two player game, for me anyway. Star Realms is hands down my favorite 2p game, but Hive, The Duke (along with the new version, Jarl: The Vikings) and Mr. Jack are also fantastic games designed specifically for two players. Braverats is also a fun 2p microgame (by Seiji Kanai who designed Love Letter) that’s easy to carry around and great for kids, or order the original Japanese game it’s based on – called R – right now in the Board Game Geek store.

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  2. I would agree with you on most of these, the only I have not played being Boss Monster. The one I would disagree with you on is Love Letter. I think as a two player game, Love Letter is pretty lame. Its much better to be able to knock out several people instead of just the same one all the time.

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  3. I thought your selections were well thought through, what did you all think of a game like Dungeon Roll as a smaller quicker 2 player game. Also there is a lesser played game of Blueprints that is very fun for 2 players. My dad and I really enjoyed that particular dice chucking and collecting game.

    I have never play Seasons before, does it play particularly well in the 2 player department?

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    • It does! I mean there are drawbacks — some of the more interactive cards are weaker because there’s only 1 other player, for example. (The game compensates by lowering the cost of the cards.) But conversely, it really becomes a test of your skill and strategy, because there’s far less of a random element. You’re actively playing against a single other player, strategizing and countering their moves instead of playing your cards and rolling your dice with a vague hope that something has an effect on someone.

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