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Best Two Player Board Games

Updated on May 6, 2013

My List of Fun Board Games for Two People

My husband and I love board games, but we rarely get to play them with anyone else, so we've developed a pretty extensive collection of great two player board games. At this point our collection of board games and card games fills an entire bookshelf! I'd like to share with you our picks for the absolute best board games for two people, most of which are indie games you may or may not have heard of - depending on how much of a board game geek you are. I've also included a short list of classic two player games that you should try.

Board games (and card games too!) are a great way to spend time together and are fun for a first date or your 500th date. No matter what kinds of games you enjoy or how long you have to play, there is a two player game you're sure to love.

Image credit: utini Background credit: GRSites

Good Two Player Board Games

Dominion
Dominion

In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can "buy" as they can afford them. Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end. You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner. But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn

 
Ingenious
Ingenious

Ingenious is the new abstract placement game from internationally-renowned game designer Reiner Knizia. Players place colored tiles on the hexagonal board, scoring points, blocking opponents' tile placement, and trying to protect themselves from being blocked by their opponents. Marvelously elegant and compulsively replayable, Ingenious is an excellent introduction to German-style abstract board games. It's ingeniously simple, and simply ingenious! Ingenious is suitable for up to four players, as well as for solo play.

 
Small World
Small World

Small World is a zany, light-hearted civilization game in which 2-5 players vie for conquest and control of a board that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Picking the right combination of fantasy races and unique special powers, players must rush to expand their empires - often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory. Designed by Philippe Keyaerts, as the fantasy follow-up to his award-winning Vinci, Small World is inhabited by a cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth. Small World marks the return of the Days of Wonder line of heavily-themed, big-box sized games featuring evocative illustrations, high-quality European components and a compelling, fun theme. Game Contents: Two double-sided game boards (One for each of four possible player configurations), 14 Fantasy Races with matching banners & tokens, 20 Special Power badges, A variety of Troll Lairs, Mountains. Fortresses, Encampments, Holes-in-the-ground, 2 Heroes, A Dragon, Along with Victory Coins, 6 Player Summary Sheets, A Reinforcement Die, Rules Booklet and A Days of Wonder Online Access Number.

 
Carcassonne: 10 Year Special Edition
Carcassonne: 10 Year Special Edition

Carcassonne is a clever tile-laying game. The southern French city of Carcassonne is famous for its unique roman and medieval fortifications. The players develop the area around Carcassonne and deploy their followers on the roads, in the cities, in the cloisters, and in the fields. The skill of the players to develop the area will determine who is victorious. The game is for ages 8 and up and 2 to 5 players.

 

Rivals for Catan: the Two Player Settlers of Catan Card Game

Rivals for Catan
Rivals for Catan

Build your domain to best your Rivals. The Rivals for Catan puts you in charge of one of the two factions developing newly-settled Catan. Use your under card mix to create your own principality. Explore and settle new lands, acquiring resources through card play and the luck of the dice. Use gold, response combinations, and trade to develop your domaine. Expand your settlements and cities recruit heroes, and defend your lands through politics, invention, and intrigue. Your cunning and a dash of luck decides who will be Prince of Catan.

The Rivals for Catan contains:. 180 Cards. Production Die. Event Die. Commerce Token. Knight Token. Rules and Card Index.

 

Card Games for Two Players

Fluxx 4.0 (Discontinued by manufacturer)
Fluxx 4.0 (Discontinued by manufacturer)

Fluxx: the card game from Looney Labs with ever-changing rules. This newest version features colorized artwork based on the originals, a new rulesheet, and more cards than the earlier versions. For 2-6 players, ages 8 to adult. Game takes 3-30 minutes to play.

 
Chrononauts
Chrononauts

What would YOU do with a Time Machine? Would you stop the sinking of the Titanic? Prevent the assassination of JFK? Kill Hitler before WWII? These are just a few of the possibilities in Chrononauts, the award-winning card game of time travel. To win, you must change history at key points called Linchpins, so that history transforms into the Alternate Reality your character calls home. You can also win by collecting a specific set of Artifacts, such as a live dinosaur, the Mona Lisa, and an unpublished Shakespearean play. But be careful - if you create too many paradoxes, you could destroy the entire universe. Publisher: Looney Laboratories, Inc. Number of Players: 1-6 Designer: Andrew Looney. Playing time: 20 to 45 minutes. Ages: 11 & up

 
Yetisburg
Yetisburg

Four Score and Seven Yetis Ago... On the bloody fields of Pennsylvania in 1863, two great armies collided to decide the fate of a nation. The South rose, and the North responded with fervent mettle. At the forefront of the battle stood the mighty Yetis, white-furred giants imported from the wilds of Canada to shred the opposing front lines. The great generals strode through the battle lines, engineering the destruction of the opposing forces while powerful mastodons hurled bombs into the fray. Yetisburg is a fast-paced, two-player card game where the South is pitted against the North in brutal battle.

 
Gloom
Gloom

The world of Gloom is a sad and benighted place. The sky is gray, the tea is cold, and a new tragedy lies around every corner. Debt, disease, heartache, and packs of rabid flesh-eating mice -- just when it seems like things can't get any worse, they do. But some say that one's reward in the afterlife is based on the misery endured in life. If so, there may yet be hope -- if not in this world, then in the peace that lies beyond. In the Gloom card game, you assume control of the fate of an eccentric family of misfits and misanthropes. The goal of the game is sad, but simple: you want your characters to suffer the greatest tragedies possible before passing on to the well-deserved respite of death. You'll play horrible mishaps like Pursued by Poodles or Mocked by Midgets on your own characters to lower their Self-Worth scores, while trying to cheer your opponents' characters with marriages and other happy occasions that pile on positive points. The player with the lowest total Family Value wins. Printed on transparent plastic cards, Gloom features an innovative design by noted RPG author Keith Baker. Multiple modifier cards can be played on top of the same character card; since the cards are transparent, elements from previously played modifier cards either show through or are obscured by those played above them. You'll immediately and easily know the worth of every character, no matter how many modifiers they have. You've got to see (through) this game to believe it! For 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up.

 
Scrabble Slam Deluxe Card Game
Scrabble Slam Deluxe Card Game

Scrabble Slam is a high-speed four-letter word game with a deluxe card organizer and traveling case. Anything can happen as you flick your letter cards to make new words. Race against each other to change the existing word and get rid of all your cards! GAME could become FAME and FAME could become FATE you never know where it'll go with Scrabble Slam! With Scrabble Slam Deluxe a four-letter word is laid out on the table (barn, left, tour, etc) and the remaining cards are dealt out to each player. Each player then takes it in turn to lay down a single card anywhere on the four-letter word. For instance, player 1 may spell barn and player two lays down a y to make it yarn. As the game progresses it becomes more challenging to make words, so play your cards with caution! The person with the fewest cards at the end of the game wins!For 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up.

 

Classic Card Games for Two Players

Card Games for Two (Family Matters)
Card Games for Two (Family Matters)

A feast of card games with something suitable for all the family--from children's favorites such as Old Maid through classic games of Whist and Rummy to the fiendishly competitive Bezique or Spite and Malice. Here are more than 100 games (including variations), fully described and graded for difficulty. Bicycle Playing Cards

 

Sentinels of The Multiverse, an excellent two (or more) player card game - This superhero themed game has tons of replayability and really solidly designed game

A Touch Of Evil, a supernatural game

A Touch Of Evil Supernatural Game
A Touch Of Evil Supernatural Game

Set in a generic old New England town in a bygone era, this game offers basic and advanced play as well as a competitive or cooperative gameplay. You each play a Hero, represented by a cool minifigure, and you investigate the town, collect useful items like weapons and books of lore, building up to a showdown with the Villain - a vampire, a werewolf, or other monstrous creatures.

 

The Best Two Player Board Game

Alrught, I've shared my choices for the best board games for two players, but now I want to know - what's the very best two player board game? Let's take a vote and see what the most popular choice is.

What's your favorite two player board game?

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    • Socialpro54 LM profile image

      Socialpro54 LM 4 years ago

      a nice collection of board games, well done. Maybe you can look at my lens, King of Tokyo Board Game i appriciate it

    • profile image

      MissMalaprop 4 years ago

      We've been getting more into board games too! We have a bunch that we've tried that don't work so well with just 2 people, some really need at least 3 or more people. We do love Dominion though, a card deck-building game. It's as fun with 2 people as it is with 6!

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 4 years ago

      I always loved battleship as a two player board game.

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      I love the descriptions you have alongside the games. :0)

    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 4 years ago from Vancouver

      I'd never heard of some of these and I love games. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hive is a good game for two people who like Chess.

    • OneHappyFeet profile image

      OneHappyFeet 4 years ago

      chess or checkers for me

    • TheSpaniard LM profile image

      TheSpaniard LM 4 years ago

      my wife and I love to play cribbage and a board game called Sequence together. They are quite fun!

    • Lorenzo24 profile image

      Lorenzo24 4 years ago

      I like your choices. I've been meaning to check out Small World because I've read some good reviews about it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      The Awful Green Things From Outer Space- Steve Jackson!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      yea good old board games :P

      Great lens

    • RestlessKnights profile image

      RestlessKnights 5 years ago

      Interesting stuff. In my humble opinion though, no board game matches the royal game of chess.

    • profile image

      drsalm 5 years ago

      Great lens, I've found something really useful for my nephew and niece.

    • profile image

      RGoutal 5 years ago

      Gotta have Quiddler - card game for making words - we play it all the time! Kinda the default game.

    • profile image

      atthehotel 5 years ago

      Smallworld is excellent. There's an iPad app for it, as well. I found it through Whil Wheaton's show, TableTop.

    • Zebedee32 profile image

      Zebedee32 5 years ago

      I used to love playing othello. nice intro as well!

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 5 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      My husband and I have the same problem. I'll have to try some of these. It's so disappointing to buy a game and not like it for 2 people so I appreciate the recommendations.

    • Think like crash profile image

      Think like crash 5 years ago

      I've only recently gotten into board and card games, and I'm hooked! I'm eager to own a decent collection of games, and lists like the one you've put up here are simply perfect for a guy like myself. Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      wonderfull chices

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      wonderfull chices

    • profile image

      InnovativeToys 5 years ago

      I need to explore some of these games. Having more than 2 players is not always easy. Thanks!

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      Nice ideas thank you.

    • krakensquid profile image

      krakensquid 5 years ago

      Useful list, thanks!

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      @Theofilos Theodor: I definitely agree on Carcassonne, its addictive!

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      Great lens! I linked it in my Origins Game Fair article here http://www.squidoo.com/origins-game-fair

    • Theofilos Theodor profile image

      Theofilos Theodor 5 years ago

      very nice lens.you can also try carcassonne and lost cities.

    • profile image

      Jerrad28 6 years ago

      I've never heard of a few of these, we may have to try them out :)

    • profile image

      RGoutal 6 years ago

      We got ticket to ride for Christmas and haven't tried it yet (it's Mothers Day). But Ruth and I play a game about 3-4 times a week. For the last year or two it's been Carcassone. First it was the standard game and in 2011 it has been the "Hunters and Gatherers" version. Before Carcassone, it was Quiddler for several years. We get kinda stuck on the ones we like.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Thanks for showcasing these two player board games. I have seen the scrabble one but I'm not familiar with the others. Great ideas for my college kids. Thanks! :)

    • Luminosity LM profile image

      Luminosity LM 6 years ago

      I have played lots of these games.

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 6 years ago

      Nice selection of two player board games. Squid Angel blessed.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Sounds like lots of fun! Merry Christmas to you and yours -:)

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Many of them are new to me, but I do play Gloom with my husband...and this game is just too fun:)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great list of games. I haven't played any of them, but I do love the old traditional board games, just haven't played any for years unfortunately. It's time for board games and card games to come back.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Great selection of 2-player board and card games. Never heard of the Scrabble Slam Deluxe Card Game, but it looks like fun (I love regular 'word' Scrabble)! Am lensrolling to my Board Games, Card Games, Jigsaw Puzzle lens.

    • Bus Stop Toy Shop profile image

      Bus Stop Toy Shop 6 years ago

      Great selection - my favourite amongst them is probably Ticket to Ride, although I really like a game of Othello too.