What are the best 2 player board games?

Owner

What are some of your favorite 2 player board games and why? Are there 2 player games that you'd consider as essential milestones for any board gamers out there? What are some games that you're thinking of adding to your collection for this player count?

After hearing everyone's thoughts, I'm thinking of writing up an article sharing about the most popular ones out there.

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2 months ago

So two player games have mostly been played between me and my spouse, who tends to enjoy less number crunchy games. We've really enjoyed the following:

#Scrabble - recently got this at Christmas and it is so much fun, surprisingly tactical at two players. We've recently taken to picking a theme and you have to link the word to the theme in order to play it. We get fairly wacky with the justifications but that is half the fun.

#Targi - I was a little surprised with how much Maddy enjoyed this, although she is very sneaky and enjoys foiling my plans.

#13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis - one of my favourites, it has wonderful mechanics, enjoyable historical information and has a really fun balancing act and bluffing dynamic to it.

#The Fox in the Forest Duet is a really nice relaxing two player cooperative two player game, perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons but with enough tension to keep it interesting

Also, cannot heap enough praise on #War of the Ring: Second Edition, it is epic and thematic and strategic and just is so worth committing an afternoon/evening to.

 

Premium User2 months ago

That Scrabble idea sounds really cool! Also really difficult to come up with words to stay on theme haha. I think I'd need a LOT of wacky justifications

2 months ago

We've had some pretty wacky ones, but it's not impossible. The most recent theme was 'knight errant' as we are currently reading Don Quixote together. We had Anvil, Tunic, Quaint, Ride all pop up. But then we also had Exit and Damp which we justified so a bit of both

Premium User2 months ago

That is honestly really awesome. Although I think outside of the context of Don Quixote I would be stumped trying to figure out what a knight errant was LOL

2 months ago

I was just kind of medieval/fantasy theme really, but would highly recommend playing it that way

Premium User2 months ago

I'm not a massive two player gamer.  Mostly because no one in my house games and with my group we are typically 3 or 4.  

However, I have played enough to give some recommendations:

Epic length two player games:

Both games are longer epic reworking of classic stories.  They both benefit from repeated plays and learning the options available to yourself and your opponent.  

Medium length two player games:

Battlelore and Memoir 44 are both excellent two player combat games.  The order system and dice rolling add a strong element of luck to the game but good strategy is usually rewarded.  I personally prefer Battlelore but they are both great games.

I have a confession to make.  I don't really enjoy Twilight Struggle.  But I put it here because it is a classic of the hobby.  I think everyone should give it a try at some point.

Short Two player games:

I really enjoy Patchwork.  It's quick to play, easy to teach, and has a different theme.  Watergate is, to me anyway, a simpler version of Twilight Struggle.  This makes it a lot easier to learn the tricks of the game and a smaller investment in time and learning to get the most out of it.  

Premium User2 months ago

#Watergate to me seems like a game I'd get a kick out of playing just from the mechanics standpoint. Thematically I think it's a big turn off though.

Premium User2 months ago

Yeah. Even I'm a bit young for it as a news event.  The gameplay is fun and it adds enough flavour to it to make it a bit more interesting. 

Supporter2 months ago

Tough question for me as you know I don't really have a need within my collection for 2P games.  I have a few games that I own that can play well at 2P but only one that is dedicated to 2P.

Games I have that I think are good 2P games...

1. #1775: Rebellion (I have played this 4P a lot recently, coop competitive, but it's really fun at 2P too if you enjoy the theme and light war games.

2. #Viticulture: Essential Edition is seen as a great 2P experience.  I haven't ever played it that way, but playing solo leads me to believe it'll play nicely at 2.

3. #Clans of Caledonia is also strong at 2P (even though again I haven't done that) because they have a way to crowd up the map and make land spaces a premium.

4. #Trick Shot, this game says it can technically be played at 4P (again 2 v 2) and I think that'd be okay... but it's really a 2P game.  And even though I don't have a strong need for 2P games I wasn't gonna let an ice hockey themed game pass me by (and it's really great at doing what it's supposed to do!).

Premium User2 months ago

I can attest to #Viticulture: Essential Edition being good at 2, although I think I would personally prefer to play with more just to open the board up a bit more. Granted I'm not the most confrontational board gamer so I'm saying that because I don't like when people take a spot I wanted to go lol.

#Trick Shot looks so cool! SVWAG recently put out a pod reviewing it that now I'm definitely going to have to listen to.

Supporter2 months ago

Nice, I've never heard of that Podcast but I'll at least check out that episode.

2 months ago

So far and mentioned most of the games I would, but the one that I have not gotten yet but have heard is killer is #Shobu! Brutal decisions all around. 

#Curious Cargo is another brand new stricly 2-player game that has been getting solid reviews. 

Premium User2 months ago

ah man I would love to try Shobu some time. I really like simple abstract games, though they often make me feel dumb lol

Owner2 months ago

Onitama made me feel dumb lol

Premium User2 months ago

Lol that one definitely got me.

2 months ago

The crazy part about it too is you can just make it if you have a shop, but ya my brain hurts when I play games like that!

Premium User2 months ago

True, you could even just draw the board on some paper and grab a few rocks or other game pieces lol

2 months ago

Now where is the fun in that??? 

Premium User2 months ago

I actually think like making your own game sounds like ALL the fun haha

2 months ago

Oh I agree with you on making the game, it is the low effort that is no fun! If you make it you gotta go all out!

Premium User2 months ago

Do you mean 2-player exclusive games? Or any games that work well/best at 2 players? I guess I can give my opinions for both categories.

Favorite 2-player exclusive games

  • #Santorini - ok, technically there is a 3 and a 4 player mode, but they're essentially tacked on. This is a 2 player game, and it's great.
  • #Baseball Highlights: 2045 - I love this game. Super quick, very thematic, and really fun strategy. The box says 4 players, but that's if you're playing in a tournament. An actual round of this game is only played with 2 players.
  • #7 Wonders Duel - this game has been lauded enough, so I won't get into it.
  • #Hive / #Hive Pocket - excellent, quick-playing abstract game
  • #Onitama - see above comments
  • #Targi - I have only played online but it is excellent!
  • #Jaipur - fun, quick, 2 player only market game

Favorite games to play at 2 players (that also play at higher counts)

  • #Everdell - this game is arguably even better at 3 players, but I've only tried that like 2 times, and I have like 30 plays at 2 players. It's my wife's and my favorite game to play together!
  • #Paladins of the West Kingdom - I'd argue that this game is just too long at anything higher than 2 players, but it is excellent at 2.
  • #Azul - we sold this a while back as it just wasn't making it to the table, but I would still happily play it. Great game!

2-player games I'd love to try:

Owner2 months ago

Great picks! Besides the ones I own and need to get to, I'd especially like to try Watergate and Undaunted: Normandy. War Chest is another one that I'd love to play.

Premium User2 months ago

War Chest is so great! Plus it has bonus "doesn't make you feel dumb," or at least not for me haha

Premium User2 months ago

If you ever wanted to play#The Castles of Burgundy on Yucata, I'm down! Just ask and I love losing lol

2 months ago

we going to play again? haha

Premium User2 months ago

I'm a glutton for punishment so of course! LOL

Just invited you and to more CoB and started a 3 player game of#Underwater Cities with you, myself, and

Partner2 months ago

I'm in! Thanks for the invite. Been moving houses and not playing much or getting online much, this will be a welcome break. 

Premium User2 months ago

Glad to hear I could help!

Premium User2 months ago

I've never used Yucata but I guess I'd be down for that!