While it’s always fun to play games with a big group or to settle in for family game night, sometimes you just don’t have the people available. Fear not: There are plenty of amazing games designed for two people to go head to head without any issue. We’ve been testing board games for years now — which means playing as many as possible for as long as possible — and we’ve narrowed down the best two-player games you can buy.
“Board game” is a fairly generic term, so don’t be surprised if there are a lot of card games thrown in for good measure. Two-player games tend to lend themselves to shorter, simpler games, so a giant board isn’t always needed.
What’s the best 2-player game overall?
When it comes to quick and easy 2-player games, you really can’t beat . It feels like a simple game, but there’s more complexity than you might think, and it’s easy for a couple of people to pick up and play for 30 minutes without issue. It’s a great way to start an evening.
The best 2-player games
How we test 2-player games
As you can imagine, board game testing is a grueling and often stressful experience. I’m kidding; testing board games is awesome. It is, however, subjective in a lot of ways. I tend to look at certain criteria as to what makes a board game “good, however.”
- Is the board and piece quality good?
- Are the instructions clear?
- How long does it take different age groups to learn?
- How long does the game take to play?
- How fun is it? (This is incredibly important)
- Can you replay it and it still feel fresh?
Because board gaming is a team sport, my family’s opinions are used to help me average out testing. While I may like a 5-hour game with 1,000 pieces, my 17-year-old son may not. Getting a good spread of opinions helps me find the best overall games in each category.