Finding good board games to play as a couple or for two players can often be challenging. Sometimes there are board games that don’t offer a 2 player option or their 2 player variant isn’t fun. To help you find some great two-player board games, we put together our list of the Top 20 Best 2 Player Board Games below!
1. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is a cooperative deck-building game. It can be played from 1 to 4 players, but I usually find that we play it as a 2-player game and it in my opinion is one of the best 2-player board games.
In this board game, you’ll take on the role of various characters from the Harry Potter universe. You’ll choose from Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and with the expansions Luna, and Ginny.
These characters all have a base starting deck with some basic spells, items, and an ally and over time you’ll build a more powerful deck. You’ll use this deck to take on the death eaters, Voldemort, and many other villains from the Harry Potter series.
You’ll have to work together as players to defeat these villains and each year gets progressively more challenging. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle has an incredibly high replay value as each game will play out differently.
Plus with the addition of many expansions that you can add to the base game, the replay value is expanded even further. This can be a great board game for couples, a fun two-player board game, and also scales well up to 4 players.
If you like Harry Potter, deck building, and working cooperatively I would highly recommend it as it’s one of the best two-player board games.
Pick up a copy of the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle board game on Amazon here.
2. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Defence Against The Dark Arts
Another one of the best 2 player board games is the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Defence Against The Dark Arts game. It is similar to the original Hogwarts Battle game, but this time it is a competitive deck building game.
You’ll play as Hogwarts students facing off against each other in a wizard duel. The goal of the game is to stun the other opponent a total of 3 times. This battle can go back and forth between players and often will come down to the final duel.
This game also functions a bit differently than the original Hogwarts Battle as you keep your deck throughout each round. Since you keep your deck it can expand your potential strategies greatly.
I’ve often found this game having big swings between players, where one player will win the first two games, but the other comes back to win 3 games in a row after that. Because you keep your deck, it gives you the option to build your deck for a long-term strategy vs only a short-term strategy.
Gameplay sessions don’t take that long as most games will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Sometimes even quicker depending on if a player reaches the 3 wins early on without having to play to the final round.
The game is also simple to learn, especially if you are familiar with deck building games. If you like competitive games that are easy to learn, quick to play and have a high replay value, I’d recommend this game as it is one of the best two-player board games in my collection.
Pick up a copy of Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Defence Against The Dark Arts board game on Amazon here.
Evolution is a unique and colorful survival game and is also one of the best 2 player board games. In this game, you’ll create a variety of species of creatures and can equip them with traits that can give them survival advantages.
The goal of the game is to end the game with the most points and you’ll do this by gathering food, having a high species population, and traits on your creatures. The game can be played with two players up to four players, but is an incredibly fun two-player board game.
One thing that really stands out in the game is the colorful artwork and trait cards. In addition to that, the game has an incredibly high replay value. On your turn, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from. You can increase your species’ population size, increase body size, add unique traits, and even add new species.
With so many options you can take on your turn your strategy can vary greatly each time you plan. On top of that, you’ll need to anticipate what the other player may do or change your strategy at the moment depending on what the other player does and who goes first each turn.
This means that you may need to change your plant-eating species to carnivores or vice versa and adjust traits every turn in order to collect the most food. The game is simple to learn and quick to play, but the strategy can also get pretty deep the more you learn the game.
I’d certainly recommend Evolution as one of the best 2 player board games worth playing.
Pick up a copy of the Evolution board game on Amazon here.
4. Ticket To Ride
Ticket to Ride is a great family-friendly game for up to 5 players that is also one of the best two-player board games. The general premise of Ticket to Ride is that there is a group of old college friends that have a wager to see who can visit the most cities in 7 days via train across North America. The winner of the bet will win a million dollars.
Players will collect sets of colored train car cards and use those matching cards to build railways. In addition to that, there are destination cards that introduce a press your luck mechanic to the game.
How this works is the destination cards will feature two cities and if you successfully build a railway between them you earn those points, but if you fail you lose them. This can help dictate your strategy for the game and gives you a chance to score big points but possibly lose them as well.
The game can also be competitive as you and the other players may be fighting over the same railway to complete your goals. This adds a fun element to the game where you might build railways to sabotage other players in addition to trying to score points for yourself.
Ticket to Ride is fun for the whole family and can be enjoyed even by younger children. The rules are simple but advanced gamers will still enjoy the variety of strategies you can use to win.
Gameplay sessions take around 45 minutes to an hour and each session will be a different experience. Ticket to Ride is definitely one of the best 2 player board games worth playing and should be a part of your collection!
Pick up a copy of the Ticket To Ride board game on Amazon here.
Another one of my favorite 2 player board games is Pandemic. In Pandemic you’ll work cooperatively with other players to stop an ongoing outbreak of viruses across the world.
The game features a variety of heroes to choose from each with their own unique job class and abilities. These classes could let you prevent a virus from spreading in a given area, move other players around the board, remove all viruses of a given color on a space, and much more.
The variety of characters you can choose from gives the game a very high replay value. Another reason for the great replay value is that how the viruses spread each game is going to be completely different.
There are also several epidemic cards that are randomly placed in the draw deck that accelerates the spread of the viruses you are fighting. As this shows up randomly it adds an extra challenge to the game and keeps the game fresh.
Pandemic is a fun two-player board game where you can work together to save the world. It’s a great board game for couples and is one of the best 2 player board games. I’d highly recommend adding it to your nerd library.
Pick up a copy of Pandemic the board game on Amazon here.
6. Ghostbusters The Board Game
Ghostbusters The Board Game for 1 to 4 players, but my favorite way to play it is as a 2-player board game. This board game plays like a Ghostbusters-themed dungeon crawler where players control the Ghostbusters through a variety of scenarios.
The artwork and character designs are based on the IDW comics and include scenarios featuring villains from that series. Each Ghostbuster has their own unique abilities and can level up to earn more as you capture ghosts.
You have a victory and failure condition in each scenario, but your strategy to achieve victory can change each game. On top of that if you get the deluxe version of the game you can choose between several different Ghostbuster combinations which can completely change your strategy as well.
There are many scenarios that you get in the base game, as well as a deluxe version that has additional characters and scenarios. Also, once you learn the game it’s entirely possible to create your own scenarios to increase the replay value even further.
There are also light RPG elements to the game as your characters will gain experience as they defeat ghosts and will unlock additional actions and abilities. This is one of my favorite board games and is definitely one of the best two-player board games as well.
Pick up a copy of Ghostbusters The Board Game on Amazon here.
Zombicide is another one of the best two-player board games and it is a zombie-themed dungeon crawler. In this game, you’ll play as a group of survivors during a zombie apocalypse trying to get to safety.
You’ll need to work together to get through several scenarios while taking on hoards of zombies. You play as several characters each with their own unique skills and abilities. Each player controls several characters and you can switch who you play in each scenario or as characters die.
The game has some RPG elements as your characters will level up as you kill zombies and learn new skills. This is one zombie game that I really feel does an awesome job recreating the feeling of being overwhelmed by zombies.
As you make noise you’ll attract zombies to your characters, and if you aren’t careful your team can get quickly overwhelmed and eaten. This is a pretty long game as well as each scenario can take anywhere from an hour up to four hours.
It will take you several game sessions to get through all of the scenarios, so the replay value is really high. On top of that, there is a large Zombicide community where players create their own missions and many more free Zombicide scenarios produced by the company are available as well.
There is also a Zombicide Black Plague which is a fantasy-based zombie dungeon crawler if you want another version of the game. Either way, Zombicide is one of the best 2 player board games and is worth checking out!
Pick up a copy of the Zombicide board game on Amazon here.
8. Boss Monster
Boss Monster is another one of the best 2 player board games and puts you in the role of the monster instead of the hero. Think of Boss Monster like a side-scrolling video game, but your goal is to build the dungeon so heroes die going through it.
Boss Monster is very quick to play and it is simple to learn as well. Most games will take about 30 minutes to play for two players.
The game features funny artwork with a lot of gamer, pop culture, and nerd references, which is a lot of fun. If you are a fan of retro video games you’ll certainly enjoy the various heroes, bosses, and spell cards.
The replay value of Boss Monster is also very high. For example, in each game you play, you’ll randomly choose a boss monster to play as. Each monster has a unique type and ability which can alter your strategy for the game.
There are also a wide variety of ways to build your dungeon that can attract different types of heroes and cards that work well in combination with each other. For example, there are trap rooms, monster rooms, and advanced versions of those rooms as well.
You’ll need to mix and match rooms to best fit previous rooms you’ve played to optimize your strategy. You’ll have to attract heroes at the right time without putting yourself in harm’s way.
Boss Moster is simple to learn, quick to play, and is certainly one of the best 2 player board games worth having.
Pick up a copy of the Boss Monster Board game here.
9. D&D Dungeon Mayhem
D&D Dungeon Mayhem is a Dungeons and Dragons themed battle royal game with the goal of being the last player standing. If you like the combat aspect of RPGs but want a very simplified version of that, you’ll like D&D Dungeon Mayhem.
In this simple to learn board game, you’ll play as various different character classes from the Dungeons and Dragons universe. You’ll play as a Paladin, Wizard, Barbarian, or Rogue in the base D&D Dungeon Mayhem game.
I’d also recommend the expansions of the game like the Monster Madness expansion which allows you to play as classic monsters from the D&D universe. Each character or monster you play as has its own set of abilities and play style.
The gameplay is incredibly simple where you will draw a card and play a card. From there you will play cards to defend yourself, attack, heal, draw more cards, and much more.
Your hand can start off quite simple, but after a few of the right plays you can set up a turn to do massive damage. Most games only take about 15 minutes to play so it is a quick game each session which keeps you coming back for more.
The game also has a high replay value trying to play as each character. Plus we ended up trying shuffling all of the character types and monsters cards together and dealing out your starting number of cards and the game played great that way too.
If you like RPG combat but don’t want to spend hours playing a traditional tabletop RPG, I’d recommend D&D Dungeon Mayhem as one of the best 2 player board games.
Pick up a copy of D&D Dungeon Mayhem on Amazon here.
10. Monopoly Deal
Monopoly is one of the first board games I played growing up, but over time it has gotten less exciting for me. The concept of collecting properties and building an empire in Monopoly is great, but the many-hour gameplay time is not as exciting.
Monopoly Deal takes the fun of the traditional Monopoly of collecting properties and building an empire but streamlines the experience. Most Monopoly Deal games will take you around 20 to 30 minutes at most and even shorter if you are playing with two players.
The gameplay is very simple and your goal is to collect three monopolies to win the game. There are also fun cards like stealing properties, stealing monopolies, blocking the opponent’s use of those cards and more.
Monopoly Deal is fun for the whole family as well and the game has a high replay value as well. Since games are short and there are many ways to go about getting three monopolies each game is a unique experience.
If you like Monopoly, or have in the past and want a faster version that in my opinion is a lot more fun, definitely check out Monopoly Deal. It’s one of the best 2 player board games and scales great with more players as well.
Pick up a copy of Monopoly Deal on Amazon here.
Dominion is a deck building game for 2 to 4 players but is extremely fun as a two-player board game. The basis of Dominion is that you are playing to create the best kingdom and to have the most victory points at the end of the game.
You’ll start the game with 3 Estate cards worth 1 victory point, and 7 copper cards that you will use to purchase new cards. The gameplay starts quite simple and is broken into 3 phases. Playing an action card, counting your treasure, and a buy phase.
At the end of each turn, you’ll draw back up to 5 cards and then will play the 3 phases. As your deck progresses you’ll be able to play cards that grant you additional actions, more treasure, and even multiple buys in a single turn. This creates a high replay value as your gameplay strategy for victory will be different every time.
On top of that, when you play each game you’ll only choose 10 of the many types of cards available for the market. This means that every game can also be a unique combination of cards you’ll have available to buy. Again this adds to the replay value and you’ll need to adjust strategies each time you play based on the 10 cards that you play with.
Most games take about 30 minutes and the gameplay is very simple to learn as well. It’s very easy to get sucked into playing round after round because it is such a fun board game.
It’s a great board game for couples and I think it’s also one of the best 2 player board games.
Pick up a copy of the Dominion board game on Amazon here.
12. Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising
Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising is another one of the top two player board games. This game is more of a dice building style where you start off with a few dice based on the character you choose to play as.
Eventually, you can recruit other characters from the Harry Potter Universe and gain more dice to use on your turn. Each die has multiple symbols on it and you’ll need to match symbols to either recruit characters, damage death eaters, or activate abilities from your team of characters.
The goal of the game is to defeat the death eaters and Voldemort before they corrupt too many locations, kill off too many heroes, or eliminate a player. This can be incredibly challenging and don’t be surprised if you lose a lot playing this game. However, it is incredibly satisfying when you do win as it can be difficult to pull off.
In each game, you will randomly distribute the characters and death eaters around the board. Your strategy will need to adapt and in each game, your strategy will have to change depending on the heroes you recruit and the death eaters on the board.
Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising has an incredibly high replay value and is one of the best 2 player board games. If you don’t like Harry Potter, there are also a wide variety of Rising games with other themes like Star Wars, Batman, Sponge Bob, and more!
Pick up a copy of the Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising board game on Amazon here.
13. Hero Realms Deckbuilding Game
Hero Realms is a fun fantasy-themed deck-building game that is another one of the top two player board games I recommend. The basis of this game centers around amassing wealth and power and defeating your enemies by building a powerful deck.
The game was also created by former Magic The Gathering champions, so the artwork and feel of the game are also similar. There are several different factions of cards to choose from and each has its own strengths. For example, the Wild or green cards, are more focused on summoning powerful champions to protect yourself and deal damage to your opponent.
Each player will start with a basic deck of 10 cards and over the course of the game, they will use gold to purchase better cards from the market. You’ll have to choose between buying cards that get you more gold, deal damage to an opponent, summon champions, and much more.
Each gameplay session is a totally different experience which keeps the replay value high. Also with so many factions and cards to choose from, your strategy to gain victory can be different each game as well.
The playtime is also rather short as well, at around 20 minutes, so playing several games in a row is not a problem. Unlike a collectible card game, where you need to purchase many booster packs, you can buy the base game of Hero Realms and get incredible replay value.
If you do really like the game there are plenty of expansions that can be purchased for a reasonable price as well. Hero Realms is one of my favorite deck-building games and earns its place on the list of the best two-player board games.
Pick up a copy of the Hero Realms Deckbuilding Game on Amazon here.
Duffers is a Golf inspired deck building game where you play as golfers taking on a course in hopes of getting the lowest score. You’ll start with a base deck of clubs and a couple duffs, or bad shots, and take on a course you build for the game.
While there isn’t anything wrong with a fantasy or sci-fi-themed deck-building game, some are my favorites, it’s nice to play a deck building game set in the real world. Duffers does a great job of making you feel like you are playing a game of golf while playing a board game.
You’ll acquire new cards from the clubhouse like better clubs, and golf equipment, and even get help from the club golf pros. Each game is a new experience as you’ll be able to customize your hole layout prior to starting the game. You can start with a game of six holes and increase from there.
There are also a variety of basic holes and advanced holes that offer more of a challenge. You can mix and match to your liking to determine the game length and your challenge level.
You can play up to four players in Duffers but I think it plays best with two players. When you get over two players the game can last much much longer, so be prepared for that. A two-player game usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour, but the more players you add the more time gets almost exponential.
If you enjoy golf or want a refreshing take on the game in board game form I’d recommend picking up Duffers! It’s one of the best 2 player board games and it’s worth adding to your nerd library.
Pick up a copy of the Duffers board game on Amazon here.
15. Clank! A Deckbuilding Adventure
Clank! A Deckbuilding Adventure is another one of the best two-player board games. It combines deckbuilding with a press your luck treasure gathering adventure. You play as a thief that is trying to raid a dungeon under a kingdom that is protected by a fire-breathing dragon.
You’ll start with a base deck of cards that will give you some movement, skill to buy new cards, and some clank that makes noise. Each time you make clank or noise you’ll need to put a life cube into the pile that can be added to the dragon bag. When the dragon attacks, cubes will be randomly drawn from the dragon bag and if your color is drawn you’ll take that damage.
The treasure is worth more points the deeper you go into the dungeon. Unfortunately the longer stay in the dungeon typically the more noise you’ll make and the damage you will take. So you’ll need to balance the treasure you get with staying alive.
If you die in the “depths” or lower level of the castle, you get zero points at the end of the game. If you make it to the above ground outside of the depths and die, the villagers will rescue you and you will get the points you currently have.
Also if you make it all the way out of the castle you’ll get an additional bonus of 20 points so you want to make it out alive if possible to maximize your points. The replay value of Clank is extremely high and it deserves its spot on the list of the best 2 player board games.
Pick up a copy of Clank! A Deckbuilding Adventure board game on Amazon here.
Everdell is a unique worker placement board game. The game can be played by 1 to 4 players, but my favorite is the two-player version. In Everdell, you play as a community of woodland creatures trying to gather resources and build a city to survive the upcoming winter.
You gather resources by placing your workers in various locations on the board. You can then use these resources to play cards from your hand or from the community meadow to build your city.
Once a card is played in your city it can activate various abilities or allow you to gather additional resources. The goal of the game is to have the most points at the end and you can do this in a variety of ways. Each card you play in your city has a value to it, and there are various event cards you can get by completing certain objectives in each game.
The game has an incredible replay value and in each game, you can use a completely different strategy to win. The artwork for the game is also one of my favorite parts.
The game can be pretty simple to learn but can get quite challenging to master. You can often find yourself planning several turns in a row depending on the cards you may have.
If you are looking for a fun worker placement game Everdell is it. I’d recommend picking it up as it is certainly one of the best 2 player board games.
Pick up a copy of the Everdell board game on Amazon here.
17. Star Realms
Another one of the top board games for two players is Star Realms. This is a sci-fi-based deck builder that is similar to the Hero Realms game mentioned above.
Similar to Hero Realms, the game is simple to learn and quick to play. Most games will take you around 20 minutes to play. Also unlike many collectible card games, this is a stand-alone game with an incredibly high replay value.
You’ll start with a base deck of cards with a few cards to gather gold and also a few basic ships. As you play you need to get more powerful ships and build an armada and star bases to protect your fleet. The object of the game is to be the last player standing.
Another reason this game has such a high replay value is that each strategy to win the game can be vastly different. The cards that are available to purchase in each game will vary and each faction has unique strengths.
Similar to Hero Realms, you can also get additional bonuses by playing cards from the same faction together. Getting several of the red faction, for example, can do massive damage quickly to an opponent.
The base game is also very inexpensive and you can often find it for around $15 to $20. The base game will get you a lot of play sessions without getting old, but you can also get a variety of expansions to enhance the game further.
If you like quick deck-building games that are super addicting to play get Star Realms as it’s certainly one of the best two-player board games.
Pick up a copy of the Star Realms Deck Building game on Amazon here.
18. Ghostbusters Blackout
Ghostbusters Blackout is a cooperative dice rolling game for 1 to 4 players. The game takes place after a blackout has shut down the containment unit and ghosts have escaped across New York City.
You’ll play as the Ghostbusters as they try and re-capture the ghosts across the city before they cause too much chaos. Each player will control from 1 to 4 Ghostbusters. In a two-player game we usually each controlled 2 Ghostbusters.
You can also choose between several different Ghostbusters from both the movies and the IDW comics. Each Ghostbuster has their own unique abilities and color of dice they will use for the game.
You’ll need to travel to different boroughs across New York City using your Ecto-1 die, place capture streams on ghosts, use ghost traps, and PKE meters to capture ghosts. Some ghosts require a variety of different colored dice to be captured so players will need to work together to determine the best strategy to win.
There is also a variety of Ghostbusters equipment you can purchase to improve your abilities further. The game is pretty easy to learn, and most games will take around 30-45 minutes to play.
If you like cooperative games where you get to roll a lot of dice and work together to develop a variety of strategies to win you’ll like this game. It has a high replay value and is one of the top 2 player board games I’d recommend.
Pick up a copy of the Ghostbusters Blackout board game on Amazon here.
Tavernmasters is a unique concept where you are trying to build the most successful tavern to win a contest for the tavern of the year. The goal is to have enough gold to save your town from an Orc warlord threatening to destroy your city.
It is a fantasy setting so you’ll need to stock your bar with fantasy-based drinks, a medieval-themed staff, food, and entertainment to attract new patrons. The game isn’t quite a deck-building game, but it does share some similar mechanics as well as a high replay value like other deck builders.
You start off with a small amount of gold and you’ll need to use that gold to buy new drinks, food, and other items for your bar. Some of these cards will attract certain patrons based on what they want, but if you have something they like they will stick around for multiple rounds.
The first player to earn 20 gold will win the game. So you’ll need to strategically hire staff, and get the right items in your tavern to maximize your profits and win the game quickly.
There are many strategies to attract and keep new patrons so your strategy can be different each game depending on the cards that come up. This gives the game a really high replay value. Plus, the game is very easy to learn and quick to play at around 20-30 minutes a game.
Definitely pick up a copy of Tavernmasters if you can as it is one of the best 2 player board games I have in my collection.
20. The Few And Cursed
The final on our list of the best two player board games is The Few And Cursed. This game is a board game meets deck building game, meets RPG.
The setting is also quite unique as it is based on a post-apocolyptic comic series. You play as various curse-chasing bounty hunters that are surviving in the now desert of the Pacific Ocean. Water is a precious resource and has become the currency for trade. The setting resembles a dark fantasy wild west.
Players will choose from several characters each with their own unique base deck of cards, and abilities. Characters can also become cursed which improves their strength but carries additional burdens as well.
You can play the game both competitively or cooperatively depending on your mood. This is great if you want to play a 2 player game working together or head to head competition.
The game is quite strategy-heavy and most play sessions can take several hours to play. It isn’t easy to learn, but once you understand the game it is a lot of fun and has an incredibly high replay value. I don’t think a lot of people know about this game but it is one of my favorite two-player board games and I recommend it!
Pick up a copy of The Few And Cursed board game on Amazon here.
Board games have certainly gained in popularity in recent years, and the list of two-player board games is immense. Hopefully, you enjoyed our list of the top 20 best 2-player board games and found out about some you may not have heard of before.
If there are any great two-player board games we missed, definitely let us know in the comments below so we can check them out! We are always looking for great new 2 player board games worth checking out!
Also, if you liked this post on the Top 20 Best 2 Player Board Games you’ll probably also like our post on the Top 10 Best Deck Building Games.