It can be hard to find board games that can be played with just two people and are equally as fun (if not more!) than with a big group, but fear not fellow gamers! We have diligently tested the games below for optimal fun levels, they are all perfect for two players. Bonus: all of the games listed below are budget friendly and make for a great gift!
My hubby and I are obsessed with board games. So much so that this year we are even keeping a running score of who wins all the games we play for the entire year. I won’t even be humble right now, because I want this documented just in case it changes… As of the writing of this post – I’m winning. I’m not sure this is the best for our marriage, considering we are both very competitive, but it sure is giving us a good time! Some of our best at-home dates are when we have a board game tournament.
Roommates, siblings, and family members… this may either be the best thing or the worst thing to happen to your relationship. Win at your own risk!
Let the games begin!
By far our #1 favorite game. Disclaimer: If you’re like me and don’t typically choose historical games, don’t skip this one! There’s no history trivia or history lesson here, just morally questionable fun. We have actually found this game to be more fun when we play just the two of us rather than with more people.
Quick How To: Guillotine consists of 2-5 “Guillotine Operators” who are all competing to BEHEAD the most valuable Nobles. Each “day,” twelve Nobles are lined up, and each Noble is worth anywhere from -3 to 8 points. Each guillotine operator also has a deck of action cards that they get to play on their turn to alter the line in their favor. The game forces you to get creative with your strategies.
One of our best couple friends just recently introduced us to this game, and I’m not sure a week has passed that we haven’t played it since… This game is super fun both as a couple and with friends.
Quick How To: This is a super fun play-alike to Sorry, Trouble and Parchís. 2-4 Players try to get their 4 marbles all the way around the board and into their home bases, all while ruthlessly avoiding getting sent back to the start by other players – hence the name. The difference aggravation holds to its play-alikes is the ring around the middle of the board, called the “Star Track.” If you roll an exact number and land on the star track you get to take a shortcut around the board, and get a leg up on other players going the long way around.
3. Phase 10
Brought to you by the makers of UNO, Phase 10 is the slightly more strategic play-alike. We love this game 1-on-1, and it has been the go-to game on several couples trips.
Quick How To: The game consists of 10 rounds, called phases. Each phase has a specific combination of cards that every player must collect in order to pass each phase. Example phases: 1 set of 4 + 1 run of 3. If you do not manage to get all the cards to complete the phase before your opponents do, you must repeat the phase until you get it. So you better get it!
4. Chinese Checkers
Classic for a reason. High strategy and ultra competitive. 1-6 players. We found an app on one of our tablets that not only lets you play for free, but also lets you play against their robot players, making it more challenging.
Quick How To: The goal of the game is for each player to get all of their marbles to the point of the star that is directly across the board from them. You move each marble by jumping over another, be it your own or another player’s. Highly strategic since you want to get your marbles as far as possible every turn and you do that by finding the path that will allow you to jump over the highest number of marbles in a consecutive row. The perfect game for two.
Super fast-moving (hence the name) two player game. A play-alike to Egyptian War but without the slapping!
Quick How To: Each player tries to offload the cards they are dealt by putting a card down on the center pile, which is either one higher or lower in value than the card already on the center pile. Whoever offloads their cards first wins!
My husband’s family lives off of this game. I’m pretty sure I needed to at least be able to learn this game before they fully accepted me into their family. A fantastic card game for two players or 2 teams of 2. It’s basically dueling speed solitaire.
Quick How To: Same rules as solitaire, except with two decks of cards and the dueling speed element added. Each player (or team) is dealt a stack of cards that they have to offload completely in order to win. To do so, they play cards on their own side in descending order, alternating red and black cards (like Solitaire), or they play cards in the middle of the table in ascending order (Aces to Kings) by suit (like Solitaire), all while flipping another stack of cards 3 at a time to find helpful numbers (again, just like Solitaire). However, since there are multiple decks in play, you will be competing with your opponents to play in the Middle of the board, so you better be fast! First person to get rid of their stack of cards yells “Nertz!” and takes the victory.
The play-alike fraternal twin to Phase 10. Rummikub is the non-type-A board game version that has no phases, just a few key rules. You can get quite creative with shuffling other player’s pieces to make your own run or sets. Very fun and mentally engaging; 2-4 players. this one can get a little slow with only two players, but it’s still worthwhile.
Quick How To: Each player starts off with 14 tiles and has to make as many runs or sets as they can in order to be the first to offload all of their tiles. However, if your turn comes and you can’t find the tiles you need (either on your own board or other players’) to make your run or set, you can grab an extra tile from the grab pile and hope you don’t get stuck with yet another piece you can’t use.
Another beloved classic for when you want to rack your brain for long-lost vocabulary skills.
Quick How To: Each player starts off with 7 tiles. Each round, you will get as many new tiles as the ones you offload. The point of the game is to make words by combining your tiles with those that have already been played on the board, connecting them horizontally (left to right) or vertically (top to bottom). Each respective letter tile is worth the points indicated on the bottom right corner. Harder-to-use letters, such as consonants like “X” and “Z”, are worth more. Add up the letter values of the word you create each turn to calculate your score. The board also has certain tiles that can double (or triple) the score of the tile put on them or double (or triple) the total word score. Player with the most points wins.
Those are our faves! Time to find yours and add to your collection! I so hope this blog post brings you the most fun game nights with you and your best friend(s).
Comment below with your favorite games for two!