Just for Two – The Best 2 Player Board Games

As with most categories in the board game universe, the best 2 player board games come in a few different flavors. Sometimes board games don’t have to be the ruckus affair that you may be used to with your friends and/or family. Sometimes playing a board game can just be a quiet evening between you and another person.  That doesn’t mean you can’t make a bit of a ruckus yourself, but sitting down with another individual and playing a 2 player board game can be a very interesting experience.

As always, were here to help you make the best choice for your needs.  We’ve broken down our list followed by our recommendations for the best 2 player board games into 3 subcategories.

2 player board games for

  • Couples
  • Strategy
  • 1 on 1 battle

Best 2 Player Board Games List

Best 2 Player GamesAgeBest ForPlaytimeRating
Forbidden Desert Board Game

10+Couples45 min4.5
Dust Tactics Revised Core Set

12+1on1/Strategy45 min4.5
Pandemic Board Game

13+Couples45 min4.5
NFL Game Day Football Board Game

9+1 on 130 min5
Lost Cities

10+Strategy25 min4.5
Ninja Versus Ninja Game

8+1on1/Strategy20 min4.5
Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition

13+Strategy3 hrs4.5
Rivals for Catan

10+Couples45 min4.5

12+1 on 12 hrs4.5
Qwirkle Board Game

6+Couples45 min4.5
Marvel Heroclix Avx X-men Starter Set

12+1 on 145 min5
Descent: Journeys in The Dark Second Edition

12+1 on 1 45 min4.5

12+1on1/Couples30 min5
Carcassonne Basic Game

8+Couples45 min5
Blokus Duo Game

5+Couples20 min4.5
These games are great examples of that unique experience. Pull out one of these games and you can have a great night of gaming with someone.  But, there are so many games to choose from, right?  Just to make your life a bit easier when making the choice of which are the best 2 player board games to buy, we’ve put together a few recommendations in the list below.

For couples- Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island is a cooperative game that can be played with up to four players, but is still great with just two.  The idea of the game is rather simple, you and your team are trying to get onto an island and plunder for treasure, but the island is rapidly sinking. You work together to move your characters around the island with the ultimate goal of collecting all four of the treasure tokens. Once the treasure is in your possession, players must find their way back to a helicopter pad to be flown away.


Admittedly, this is a game that will take a bit of nerdiness from both parties to really get into.  But, I absolutely love the cooperative element of this game, and I think it makes Forbidden Island a perfect game for couples.  Gaming with a partner can be a risk just because people can get competitive and confrontational, which isn’t ideal for when you have to sleep in the same bed later that night.

Because the game is decently fast-paced, players are never bored and are always involved in the gameplay. This fast gameplay is broken up by moments of thought from players, which is another thing that makes this game so perfect for couples.

You don’t play games very often that force you to make such interesting team-based decisions.  Everything usually comes down to looking out for yourself, or how you can bring down someone else.  This, on the other hand, allows players to discuss a strategy and really do some interesting problem solving. It’s always better to work with your significant other rather than work against them, and Forbidden Island encourages just such an interaction.

Click for more Forbidden Island Info, Reviews and Pricing!

Strategy- Twilight Struggle

I know what you’re thinking, board games are cool and all, but none of them enable me to live my dream of being a key decision maker during the perilous times of the Cold War. Well, what you’re thinking is wrong. Twilight Struggle is a brilliant game made for just two players that puts the player in the role of the Soviet Union or the United States.

The board is a map of the globe as it was in 1945. By moving around your units and playing your cards correctly, each player is trying to gain influence over other countries. Once you’ve gained the alleigance of enough world powers, then you can start dictating the pace of the game. Twilight Struggle has several different ways for the game to end, and these endings are just as dark as the many other alternative outcomes to the real life Cold War. The most memorable ending, of course, is all out nuclear warfare.

What I believe drives the game along is the event cards. Every time an event card comes into play, there seems to be a dramatic shift in gameplay. You’ll find yourself not only having to respond to the actions of the opposing player, but now you’re also responsible for solving the Cuban Missile Crisis. All of your decisions in the game feel important and interesting.

Click for more Twilight Struggle Info, Reviews and Pricing!

1-on-1 battle- Agricola

The term “battle” in this case might be a bit of an overstatement. Agricola is a game based around the concept of having a family that lives on a farm, and having that family do farm work for you. Now, I know that sounds like the most riveting concept for a game you’ve ever heard, but let me be clear, Agricola is every flavor of fun.

Every game is made up of six stages that make up 14 rounds, and each round has four phases. I won’t get into the details of every round, phase, and stage, but the way they have things set up makes the game very evenly paced. Some games, like Glory to Rome for example, have a slow pace before reaching a breaking point where all of the sudden your turn consists of 13 actions and the game is wrapped up before you know it. Agricola is a bit more of a slow burn throughout the duration of the game.

Players have to gather resources and delegate duties to family members in order to expand their farm. At the end of every round, there is a harvest. If at this point you haven’t gathered enough resources that can be turned into food, your family goes hungry and the player must take a “beggar” card which detracts from your overall victory points.

What really sets this game apart is the amount of variability that comes with every individual play session. There are roughly 300 different occupation cards that just ever-so-slightly tweak your abilities in every game. So, every game has a new combination of skills. This adds a tremendous amount of replay value to the game and is going to have you and your opponent endlessly repeating the phrase “just one more game.”

Click for more Agricola Info, Reviews and Pricing!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments

My kids really like playing Qwirkle. This game is one of the best for two players and I really recommend it too.


I have to recommend Castles of Burgundy. Awesome for two players and scales well up to 4. Mr Jack is a tense 2 player

I’ve never played it as 2 players but I enjoy Quirkle. I have also had my eye on Forbidden Island / desert for quite some time, now I’m going to have to pick that up


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