20 Best Two-Player Board Games For A Rousing Game Night With Friends

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best two player board games

Some nights, you just want to stay in. Going out is fun, of course, but a stay-at-home date night? This can be just what you need after a long week. Curl up in your pajamas, pour a glass of something tasty, and... play a board game? 

That's right! Game nights can be epic fun for you and your partner or best friend. A fun game to stoke your competitive spirit or connect with your bestie for some laughs is never a bad choice.

RELATED: 25 Best Board Games For Adults Who Have A Competitive Streak

But there are so many on the market, so how do you know which ones don't suck? Here are 20 of the best two player board games out there.

1. Khet 2.0

Like chess, but awesome. This Egyptian-themed strategy game uses lasers (LASERS!) to capture your opponent’s pieces. Simple to learn, Khet 2.0 is a great choice for game night!

(Walmart, $34.99)

2. Ticket To Ride

Ticket To Ride has become a modern classic with a loyal following of gamers around the world. Not just for kids, adults love Ticket To Ride too. It’s a great starter game and is a perfect intro into game night for people just getting started.


3. Carcassone

A tile-based castle building game based in medieval France, Carcassone is a great choice for folks who enjoy digital games like The Sims and Civilization. Build up an area then fill it with period characters like knights and monks.

(Z Man Games, $34.99)

4. Mr. Jack

Set in Victorian England, this award winning who-done-it is a fast-paced mystery adventure for two players. One player is Jack the Ripper loose on the streets of London while the other is a clever investigator, hunting him down.


5. Exploding Kittens

Kickstarter sensation Exploding Kittens is a fast-paced card game in the spirit of War, and Cards Against Humanity. Great for laughs and explosions! And no kittens are hurt in the game whatsoever.

(Exploding Kittens, $29.99)

6. Pandemic

In this popular cooperative game, players work together to stop the spread of deadly diseases before the pandemic spreads. Do you have what it takes before the pandemic causes massive destruction?


7. 7 Wonders Duel

Players go head to head to build cities and create ancient wonders in this two-player version of the popular game 7 Wonders. Hopefully you and your partner have the same idea for how you want your civilization to look.

(Board Game Geek, $23.99)

8. Jenga

A classic game of strategy and risk, Jenga consists of wooden pieces stacked in a tower. Players remove pieces each turn, trying to keep the tower standing. Whoever sends the tower toppling loses.

(Walmart, $10.26)

9. Rummikub

Inspired by the card game Rummy, but played with tiles instead of cards, players attempt to make runs of three or more. A great alternative to card games if you’re looking for a change of pace.


10. Scrabble

The Old Reliable of board games, Scrabble has been a great choice for two players to battle it out, one word at a time, duking it out for intellectual superiority and wordsmith bragging rights.

(Walmart, $14)

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11. Forbidden Island

A beautiful cooperative game where players work together to escape a sinking island. A popular game for casual gamers and more hardcore hobbiests, Forbidden Island has something for everyone.


12. Android: Mainframe

A fast-paced game of futuristic crime and cyber domination for two to four players. You are a runner in this game of “crime and cyber domination.” The goal is to out-hack opponent runners in your attempt to hack a bank. In the end, the player with the biggest score wins.


13. Lost Cities

The Indiana Jones of card games, players mount expeditions to ancient ruins and lost cities, and each card drawn from the deck leads them further and further into adventure. The player with the most profitable expedition wins!


14. Monopoly

Everyone loves this classic game of capitalism, wealth, and poverty. Build houses and hotels, shop on Park Avenue, or find yourself in jail — Monopoly is a great way to spend an evening.


15. Race For The Galaxy

According to Board Game Geek, “players build galactic civilizations by playing game cards in front of them that represent worlds or technical and social developments.” Players score points throughout the game and whoever has the most victory points at the end is the winner.

(Board Game Geek, $19)

16. Hive

This super-addictive game has no board and can be played on any flat surface. For two players only, Hive consists of 22 black and white tiles depicting different insects. The first player to completely encircle the rival queen is the winner.


17. Hunters And Gatherers

Hunters and Gatherers is a game in the Carcassone family, but unlike the original, it’s set in the Stone Age. Players build landscapes filled with huts, rivers, meadows, fishermen, and the namesake hunters and gatherers, all worth points. The player with the most points wins.


18. Through The Ages: A New Story Of Civilization

A popular civilization building game, Through The Ages spans three ages from ancient times all the way to the modern world. Through accumulation and resource management, the player with the most tech at the end of the modern age is the winner.


19. Scythe

An alternate reality strategy game set in post WW1 Europe, players build armies, enlist soldiers and operate mechs to conquer new territories and gain resources.


20. Unstable Unicorns

As the publisher says best: Unstable Unicorns is a strategic card game about everyone’s two favorite things: destruction and unicorns. It’s perfect for 2-8 players ages 14+ who are a little unstable and have mild violent tendencies.


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Kristi Pahr is a freelance writer and mother who spends most of her time caring for people other than herself. She is frequently exhausted and compensates with an intense caffeine addiction. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, Well + Good, Men's Health, Prevention, and many others.

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