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15 of the Best 2-Player Board Games for a Fun-filled Day at Home

Board games are a wonderful way of entertaining yourself and giving your brain a workout. While board games have been part and parcel of every kid’s life in the past, things have changed over the years. Children have now started devoting more time to online video games.

Even though the popularity of these traditional games has waned a bit, they continue to stay in the competition, mainly because of their flexibility. Most board games intended for two players can be modified to fit in a large number of players, offering good value for money because these games are quite expensive.

There are lots of cool 2-player board games, which include everything from cooperative, competitive, role-playing, and fast-paced strategy games suitable for all ages.

Top Board Games for Two People that Would Suit Kids and Adults Alike

Pandemic

Pandemic

Playing time 45 minutes

Difficulty Moderate

Age 10+

It is counted among the most popular board games in recent times. Although it is straightforward to learn, it can be quite tricky to master. Strategy and teamwork are crucial in this superb cooperative game, which can be played by two or more people. The gameplay involves taking control of characters (with special abilities) who help you in stopping four deadly viruses from spreading across the globe. In order to survive, you need to use these characters together with your partner, mainly when the diseases occur in different locations. If you have mastered this version and want to play other cooperative board games with similar gameplay, then you may choose Forbidden Island.

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

Playing time 60 to 120 minutes

Difficulty Easy

Age 6+

Ticket to Ride, an all-time classic, is considered one of the best board games for all ages, whether it is played in pairs or large groups. It is a fun-filled competitive game, offering a mix of rewards and risks as you create railway tracks across North America. Although some lines give you more points, there is limited space and resources on the board to play with. You may race against your rivals to claim the more valuable routes or guess where they are heading in order to cut off their lines. Aside from the basic version, you may choose from other versions that are set in the UK, India, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

7 Wonders: Duel

7 Wonders Duel

Playing time 30 minutes

Difficulty Moderate

Age 10+

Those who have liked the gameplay of Civilization will find this two-player competitive board game interesting. In this historical battle game, your objective is to build the ‘wonders’ and then take control of your opponent’s capital. You can also win by gaining control of things like the military, science, and culture. In each game, you will witness the rise and fall of nations.

Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven

Playing time 60 to 120 minutes

Difficulty Easy-moderate

Age 12+

It is a popular campaign-driven role-playing game in which you need to work your way through the combat-based scenarios. You take the role of a lone adventurer and will be required to perform tasks like clearing dungeons, attacking monsters, and fighting your enemies. There are about 100 different scenarios, which you can replay over and over with your sibling or enjoy with a group of friends.

Codenames: Duet

Codenames Duet

Playing time About 30 minutes

Difficulty Easy

Age 10+

It is a modern two-player cooperative version of the original Codenames board game. The gameplay requires you to provide one-word clues to the other player and vice-versa in order to move the game forward. The play continues until you guess the names of the targets (code names) using as few guesses as you can. Since you will be using word associations and working with your opponent’s thought process, this game is ideal for bonding with others and improving your cognitive abilities.

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Archaeology: The New Expedition

Archaeology

Playing time 20 minutes

Difficulty Easy

Age 10+

This is a popular sequel to the Archaeology: The Card Game in which you assume the role of an archeologist working at the dig sites of a desert in Egypt. In this card game, your task is to uncover treasures and make the maximum profit by selling those to the museum. Although finding hidden treasures may sound strenuous, the game is quite challenging as devastating sandstorms can ruin your expedition, or thieves may steal your prized possession. It can be enjoyed by two players if you are short of people.

Scythe

Scythe

Playing time 90 to 115 minutes

Difficulty Moderate

Age 14+

Set in a post First World War Europe, Scythe is a role-playing board game suitable for 1-5 players. In Scythe, you assume the role of different East European countries, controlling factions that produce resources, develop economic infrastructure, and utilize giant war machines named mechs to win territories. For doing these, you will often have to be scheming and building.

Arkham Horror: Card Game

Arkham Horror

Playing time About 120 minutes

Difficulty Moderate

Age 14+

Whether you are playing this card game in pairs or groups, Arkham Horror will make you feel creepy as it combines monsters, mysteries, and madness. It gives you a role-playing experience since you need to take on the role of a resident of a small town in New England. Throughout the game, you will have to encounter some terrifying monsters and ghosts. The characters have both strengths and weaknesses, making this game more interesting.

Fox In The Forest

The Fox in the Forest Duet

Playing time 30 minutes

Difficulty Moderate

Age 10+

It is a cool, trick-taking, two-player only fantasy card game that allows you to deal with fairytale creatures, including foxes, in a beautiful setting. In order to beat the other player, you will have to gather more tricks than your rival by drawing the highest-ranked card in each round. Winning too many tricks (more than 10), however, makes you ‘greedy’ and takes your tricks to 0.

Bananagrams

Bananagrams

Playing time 10 to 20 minutes

Difficulty Hard

Age 7+

Bananagrams is a tense and intellectual word game and is often regarded as a simplified version of the Scrabble. You will get 24 out of 144 single-lettered tiles to create a crossword using real words. The goal is to use up all spare tiles before your opponent and do a crossword that is meaningful.

Twilight Struggle: The Cold War, 1945–1989

Twilight Struggle

Playing time 180 minutes                               

Difficulty Moderate

Age 13+

If you are searching for a strategy-heavy game that will keep you occupied for several hours, then this historical wargame is what you need. In this 2-player game, you will travel back in time to the Cold World era where you pick your side (either the USA or the USSR) and compete against your opponent on the world map with cards, which represent historical events. You will plan secret military strikes, attempt coups, or try to gain the upper hand in the space race.

Hive

Hive

Playing time 20 minutes

Difficulty Easy

Age 9+

This highly addictive, bug-themed strategic game for two players is not just played on boards but also on flat surfaces like tables. The objective is to seize the other player’s queen bee by using different bugs on the hexagonal tiles surrounding it while protecting your own queen from getting captured. Hive is somewhat similar to chess, but it is easier to learn and quicker to play.

Exploding Kittens Card Game

Exploding Kittens Card Game

Playing time 15 minutes

Difficulty Moderate

Age 7+

It is one of the most widely accepted card games of all time and has been the third-largest Kickstarter campaign ever. This game combines the gameplay of Russian Roulette and Uno and can be played by 2-5 players. In this strategy game, you keep drawing cards from the stack until someone draws the ‘exploding kitten’ card and is out of the game.

Carcassonne

Carcassonne

Playing time 30 to 90 minutes

Difficulty Moderate

Age 8+

This is a fast-paced tile-based Eurogame suitable for 2-5 players. The game is set on a medieval landscape where you need to arrange the tiles to create rivers, develop paths, and make buildings. After successfully building these structures, you can claim them and then earn points.

Caper

Caper

Playing time 30 minutes

Difficulty Moderate

Age:12+

This two-player card game is a perfect choice for those who like playing intriguing strategy games. In this game, you will have to recruit thieves and equip them with the proper gear to steal from several places across Europe. The uniquely colorful, quirky artwork is the USP of this game, giving a fanciful portrait of mystery and mischief.

Top 3 two-player board games for couples: Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Hive

Top 3 two-player co-op board games: Codenames Duet, Gloomhaven, Pandemic

Top 3 two-player competitive board games: Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders: Duel, Twilight Struggle: The Cold War

Top 3 two-player strategy board games: Hive, Twilight Struggle: The Cold War, Caper

Top 3 two-player fantasy adventure board games: Gloomhaven, Fox in the Forest, Caper

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