Best 2 Player Board Games – Ranked Review [2020]

2 player board games are great, especially for couples and date nights. But, they’re few and far between, so it can be hard to find a good one. Therefore we bring you the best 2 player board games in this ranked review.

  • Strategy
  • Varied
  • Great theme

7 Wonders Duel is the 2 player version of the classic board game 7 Wonders. And it’s one of the rare instances in which the 2 player version of a board game is actually even better than the original version.

We love 7 Wonders Duel and you can read a lot of articles about it on this website. The main point for this article is that 7 Wonders Duel is by far our favorite strategic board game for 2 players.

It offers 3 different win conditions that players need to balance at all time, so it’s very intricate. This also means that you can replay if very often without it becoming boring. And it accomplishes this without becoming overly complicated or long, so you can still squeeze in games before work for example.

Overall, we think 7 Wonders Duel is the best 2 player games in terms of its balance between its strategic depth and its simplicity.

  • Players: 2
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Catan for precisely 2 players

Rivals for Catan is the 2 player card game version of Catan. We explain how it works in our ranking of all the Catan versions.

Catan of course is one of the most popular board games of all time, if not the most popular. But, a historic short falling of it has been that it’s not the best for 2 players.

But that problem has been solved! Rivals for Catan is specifically designed for 2 players, and in fact cannot be played with any more than two people. So if you like Catan but you also want to play it with your boyfriend or girlfriend, Rivals for Catan is perfect for you.

  • Players: 2
  • Duration: 45 - 60 minutes
  • Really fun association game

Codenames Duet is the 2 player version of the popular board game Codenames. (I mean, Codenames doesn’t have a board, but it’s still generally regarded as a board game. Read how that happened.)

We explain Codenames Duet elaborately in our ranking of all the Codenames versions. There you can read how the game works with 2 players and about the cool new integrated campaign mode.

But the main point for this article is that if you like Codenames, Codenames Duet is a great 2 player board game for you.

  • Players: 2
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Light
  • Quick

Patchwork is an essential 2 player board game for in everyone’s closet. It’s so simple and takes so little time to play, that you can squeeze in a game before work, before bed, before whatever you want really.

So although this isn’t necessarily the absolute best board game for 2 players, it might be the best pound for pound. It’s just really fun for how quick and easy it is, so if you have it you’ll find moments to play and enjoy it.

  • Players: 2
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Great expansion to an already great game
  • Small enough for 2 players

Ticket to Ride needs no further introduction – it’s a hall of fame board game classic. And depending on which map you get, Ticket to Ride is also a great board game for 2 players.

Our top pick for 2 players is Nordic Countries, because it’s small enough to still be competitive with just 2 players. Some of the other maps are too large and therefore more appropriate for more than 2 players.

You can also read about which other Ticket to Ride versions we like.

  • Players: 2 - 3
  • Duration: 30 - 60 minutes
  • Beautiful
  • Tactics

Azul isn’t exclusively for 2 players, but it’s best with 2 players. It’s also just one of the hippest new board games around. Use your tactical skills to arrange the beautiful art tiles into the work of art that will win you the game!

We wrote an article about the best Azul version that you can check out as well.

  • Players: 2 - 4
  • Duration: 30 - 40 minutes
  • Great expansion to an already great game
  • Small enough for 2 players

Concordia is a classic trading game that many people enjoy. And depending on the map it’s also a great board game for 2 players.

For 2 players you want to play with one of the smaller maps. Corsica is our top pick, which you can get in the Gallia & Corsica package. Corsica is great for 2 players because it’s small enough that the two players are actually forced to engage with each other – in some of the larger maps the two players can just both take their own corner without competing.

You can also read about what other Concordia maps we like.

  • Players: 2 - 5
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Longer gameplay
  • Epic theme

Twilight Struggle is a cold war game in which one player is the USA and the other player is the USSR.

What’s great about Twilight Struggle is that it’s a war game, but because it’s about a ‘cold’ conflict, it’s not at all like other war games such as Risk or Diplomacy. It’s not about military conflict at all really. Instead it’s about spies, scientists, intellectuals, artists and traitors.

If you’re looking for an in depth, strategic and deceptive war game for 2 players, Twilight Struggle is for you.

  • Players: 2
  • Duration: 120 minutes
  • Near infinite play material

Arkham Horror is a card game with many different quests and expansions. And many players enjoy it the most when they play it with 2 players.

Arkham Horros is a living card game, which means that the creators committed to continuously bringing out new expansions, so that you can keep playing it along with the rest of the community of players.

Again, this is a great game to play with couples, because you can just keep going and going. Whenever you finished all your scenario’s, there’s a new expansion that you can pick up that has new cards for your decks and new campaigns to go through.

Arkham Horror is the durability play as far as 2 player board games go.

  • Players: 1 - 6
  • Duration: 120 - 180 minutes

Rounding Up

We hope our ranking helps you pick the best 2 player board game for you.

If you still have further questions, please send them to us through our contact form. We’re happy to help. We also periodically review and update our posts, so any questions you ask may end up in future versions of our ranking. This way, we can help future readers decide which 2 player board game to get even better 🙂