The 15 Best 2 Player Board Games in 2020

This compilation of our 15 Best 2 Player Board Games is the ultimate list for 2020 because there is a game here for everyone – best two player board games for couples, for adults, for kids, and for families. Given the recent time at home we’ve all been experiencing, this list is essential if you are looking for the all around best 2 player games to play next. I have a large range of games including card games, games with grids, games like chess, euro games, fantasy games, classic games, and games with mushrooms that scale from easy to medium to complex in difficulty. Happy (board and card and more) gaming!

1 – Fox in the Forest

I heard great things about the Fox in the Forest and the all the board game reviews said the same. I finally had the opportunity to play at the local gaming cafe near my house in Los Angeles, Gamehaus, and thought it really held up. What make this trick taking card game different?

Well, it’s a game for 2 players only, and as opposed to spades or hearts which uses a traditional deck of cards, the cards are beautifully decorated with 3 suits (Bells, Keys, and Moons aka Fairies and Princes) and many of the cards allow you to act with special abilities,

Fox in the Forest like exchange cards, change the ‘trump’ suit or even go twice in a row if you lose a trick. One of my FAVORITE things about the Fox in the Forest is that it stays interesting over several rounds because there are many ways to win and many factors to consider when planning your strategy! Check Price – Fox in the Forest.

  • Ages 10+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Joshua Buergel
  • Publisher – Renegade Game Studios

2 – Imhotep: The Duel

I wrote a single game review about this game, Imhotep: The Duel because I liked it so much when I played. I would even go as far to say it’s one of the best two player board games of all time because of it’s versatility and repeatability. I classify it as a fun, medium to light weight game that involves strategy, with nice design, story, and tactile movement as you placing your meeples on a grid and select tiles in every round based on where you placed your meeples in order to build up 4 monuments –

Imhotep: The DuelThe Tomb, Pyramid, Obelisk, and Temple. Good for both beginners or those deep into the board gaming niche. Check Price – Imhotep: The Duel.

  • Ages 10+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Phil Walker-Harding
  • Publisher – KOSMOS

3 – Patchwork Board Game

I remember picking up Patchwork before I had really heard or learned of the game because of the name. Few games involve sewing or quilts so I was immediately intrigued. The concept of Patchwork is nice and fairly simple, with players filling their “quilt” boards with patches or pieces in a tetris like manner while tracking the cost of their work in ‘time’ on the circular time board where you advance. Patchwork a really fun, medium to light weight game, and easy to learn and pick up. Plus, in a world with so many games about the RenaisPatchworksance, or farmers, or space, a game that has patching a quilt as the main centerpiece is nice reminder that games can really thrive with a variety of ideas and themes. Highly recommend. 2 player only. Check Price – Patchwork.

  • Ages 8+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
  • Publisher – Lookout Games

 

4 – Jaipur

Jaipur is a really great and one of the best 2 player games for adults which is why it was recommended for the 2010 Spiel Des Jahres award. Fun and fast to play, you are a power trader in Jaipur, and competing to be the very best in the capital. As a merchant, you collect and sell your goods of leather, cloth, diamonds, gold, spices, and leather for money tokens (points) and appropriately can also use camels to your advantage. A fun and light and colorful card game – may the best merchant win! Check Price – Jaipur.Jaipur Board Game

  • Ages 12+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Sebastien Pauchon
  • Publisher – Asmodee

5 – Chess

The absolute classic game, and one of the best classic games period, Chess is played by millions of people, and dates back to the 6th Century. A universal game played all around the world, the strategy involved in chess is expansive, with champions who devote their entire lives to the game and compete year round to make it to the National Chess Championship, and of course, the penultimate

ChessWorld Chess Championship. Check Price – Chess.

  • Ages 6+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 60+ minutes
  • Designer – Uncredited
  • Publisher – Public Domain/Multiple

6 – Backgammon

Backgammon is another 2 player classic game and reminds me of the Sherlock Holmes era. While it seems like a simple enough game, it’s also quite complex and often studied by computer scientists asBackgammon there are so many combination and permutations to consider when playing. Either way, you can regard this as a fun and strategic game or highly complex game that is easy to learn can be played often. Check Price – Backgammon.

  • Ages 8+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 30+ minutes
  • Publisher Public Domain/Multiple

 

7 – Dutch Blitz or Ligretto

This game comes from Europe, where it is known as Ligretto. A Dutch BlitzGerman immigrant from Pennysylvania, Werner Ernst George Muller, created and popularized the game in the US amongst the Amish and Dutch, hence the the name. Ditch Blitz is basically a combination of Spit and Solitaire. Players flip through their own cards, and have a pile of their own that is descending in number, and a community pile that is ascending. The first player to get rid of their blitz pile is awarded by not losing points. Check Price – Dutch Blitz.

  • Ages 8+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 20+ minutes
  • Designer – Werner Ernst George Muller
  • Publisher – Dutch Blitz Games Company

8 – Set – Card Game

The colorful deck of cards in Dutch Blitz reminded me of this epic game, Set. It’s a game you have to play at least once in your life, and as luck would have it, it plays perfectly with 2 players.  There are 81 cards and four categories, color, number, shape, and shading. A “set” of 3 cards has to have features that are all the same or all different. Just trust me on this one. This is one of the my favorite 2 player games for couples, friends, and families. Check Price – Set.

Set Card Game

  • Ages 6+, 2-20 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Marsha J. Falco
  • Publisher – Set Enterprises

 

9 – Keyforge

Released in 2019, this is the only ‘fantasy’ type game on the list, and I realize there are a large range of categories on this best 2 players game list including strategy, easy, light, card games and more, however this is an absolute great 2 player game if you are looking for a complex card game (where every single deck is unique) that involves action, artifacts, creatures, and battle fields. Check Price – Keyforge.

Keyforge

 

  • Ages 14+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 40+ minutes
  • Designer – Richard Garfield
  • Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games

 

10 – Splendor

Splendor is one of my absolute favorite strategy games, and the only one I would mention from our best strategy board games as a great game for 2 players, as well as for 3 and 4 players. This game can scale up, but plays quite well with 2 players, and not to sound cheesy, but once you start you might not be able to stop. Use your tokens (or gems) to acquire cards that also act as gems and accelerate your eventual victory in prestige points. Check Price – Splendor.

Splendor

  • Ages 10+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 45+ minutes
  • Designer – Marc Andre
  • Publisher – Space Cowboys

 

11 – CodeNames Duet

This is a cooperative game, as opposed to the original dazzling hit, Code Names, which is listed as one of the best family board games, having sold MILLIONS of copies. In this version, instead of each TEAM having their own Key Card, each player has their own Key Card, with 9 words that they want their partner to guess, with CodeNames: Duet Game 3 of the words overlapping for both players.  To win, figure out all 15 cards and avoid the assassin cards! Check Price – CodeNames Duet.

  • Ages 11+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Vlaada Chvatil & Scott Eaton
  • Publisher – Czech Games Edition

 

12 – 7 Wonders – Duel

Like Imhotep Duel and CodeNames Duet, 7 Wonders – Duel followed the original game 7 Wonders.  I use the word classic quite a bit in this article, but 7 Wonders is one of the games that every board gamer plays, at least in the beginning of their gaming journey. 7 Wonders – Duet is just as good as 7 Wonders and players similarly acquire cards to build, gain coins, or construct the 7 Wonders of the World.  Check Price – 7 Wonders Duel.

  • Ages 10+, 2 Players7 Wonders Duel
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Miguel Coimbra
  • Publisher – Repos Production

13 – Morels

Do you want to learn new types and varieties of mushroom? There’s so much you didn’t know about chanterelles that you will after you play Morels. Yet another board game where I learned relevant information! This solid 2 player card game is card game allows you to sell your mushrooms for walking stocks, so you can forage further, or to cook your delicious mushrooms for points! Who doesn’t want that? Check Price – Morels.

Morels Board Game

 

  • Ages 10+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Brent Povis
  • Publisher – Two Lanterns Games

14 – Targi

Targi gameThis is a solid 2 player game with yet another board where meeples are placed except this grid is composed of cards where players can take actions and have a fun mechanic in terms of where your meeples intersect.. The game is played over multiple rounds where you gain victory points by turning in certain resources or through playing tribal cards. Check Price – Targi.

  • Ages 12+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 60 minutes
  • Designer – Andreas Steiger
  • Publisher – KOSMOS

15 – Onitama

This game is sort of chess-y in an abstract strategy way as there is a Master pawn and pawns moving across

Onitama

a board (much smaller) to either capture the opponent’s Master Pawn or win by the way the of the stream by placing your own Master Pawn into the shrine which is where the other player’s Master Pawn first started. Use the movement cards to place your pieces. Check Price – Onitama.

  • Ages 8+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 20 minutes
  • Designer – Shimpei Sato
  • Publisher – conception

BONUS 2 PLAYER BOARD GAME – The Mind

I like this game for 2 players and close friends because it’s instinctive and allows you to get super connected and be intuitive with one other person. While more players can play the game, it’s special with 2 players because you can focus on getting into ‘The Mind’ of another person, and focus on your on Mind of course. Technically, you could probably make or print this game at home as it’s just the

The Mind Board Game

numbers 1-100 in a deck, but then of course you wouldn’t have the pretty box that it comes in. If you decide you like the Mind, as a DOUBLE BONUS you might want to check out…and then we held hands. Check Price – The Mind.

 

  • Ages 8+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 20 minutes
  • Designer – Shimpei Sato
  • Publisher – conception

 

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