My husband and I have found that many of our favorite board games required at least three players to play. This used to be a problem when we would want to have a night in playing games without inviting anyone over to join. We enjoy board games that require some strategy and skill to play, and so we had a hard time finding good games for two players.
This article will cover eight of the best games for two players. Each of these games require some form of skill and strategy which keeps the games interesting for two players. Some require some modifications to be made when you only have two players available for the game while others can be played the same way no matter the number of players.
Sequence involves a deck of cards and a board with those cards on it. The goal of the game is to get two sequences in order to win. A sequence is accomplished when you get five of your chips in a row.
Sequence can be played by 2 to 6 players, unlike many games when you play with only two players, it doesn’t feel like any aspect of the game is missing. When you play with two players the amount of cards you get does change, you will receive seven cards which is more than if you were to play with 3 to 6 players.
Each player then takes turns laying chips on a spot on the board that is represented by the card in their hand. You turn the card in and then grab a new card afterwards. There is some strategy involved in this game because there are two different types of wilds, there is the one-eyed and two-eyed jack. A one-eyed jack allows you to remove the other player’s token from the board, and the two-eyed jack allows you to play your chip anywhere. You will slowly learn the best way to use these wilds to help you win the game.
This is not only a great game for two players wanting to play alone, but you can also play in teams if you find another couple to play with you. This adds another exciting element to the game because you do not know what cards your partner has in his hands.
This is one of the few two player only games. The board represents an alleyway with multiple exists on that Mr. Jack is trying to escape from. One player will take on the role of Mr. Jack and the other will be the detective. The player who is Mr. Jack takes on the identity of one of the character’s on the board and the detective is trying to figure out who Mr. Jack is and keep him from escaping the alleyway.
The player who is Mr. Jack can win if they successfully escape the board or if they manage to go through all rounds without being caught. Each character in the game has a special ability that helps them move around the board. On the board there are multiple gaslights that can be turned on or off. Depending on how far the characters are from the light the characters will either be visible or invisible. After each round Mr. Jack has to reveal if he is visible or invisible and the detective will deduce from that information which character is Mr. Jack.
Mr. Jack is great for two players because it was made exclusively for two players. As you play the game you’ll start to learn the strategy to the game and it will become a staple for your nights in.
If you want to learn how to get better at board games and start winning more check out the article I wrote on how to get better at board games.
If you are looking for a fun, quick game for two players Splendor is a great option. You can choose from the original version or the Marvel version. The game involves a multitude of character cards at different levels that have a certain points value, bonuses, and other special features. Each player is only allowed to do one action per turn, which keeps the game going for awhile and allows the game to turn at any moment.
Each player purchases character cards from the middle of the playing area with a combination of bonuses from the character cards in their possession and tokens they can collect during their turn. To win the game the player must possess a certain amount of points and character cards with the right amount of bonuses.
This game can be played with 2 to 4 players, if you only have two players you do have to remove a few of the tokens, which keeps the difficulty level up. The game goes pretty fast with two players because there isn’t as much competition for the character cards on the board. Overall though, the experience is not diminished because you are playing with only two people.
Ticket to Ride
If you enjoy a higher skill or strategy type game Ticket to Ride is a great choice. It is a longer game that requires each player to plan out their moves strategically. The goal is to connect your train pieces to form certain routes based on the route cards you draw.
This game is great for two players because there is still a lot of strategy that can be used with fewer players. The only modification you have to make is for the routes that have two lines, you can only utilize one of the routes and not both. This keeps the difficulty up and creates a need for more strategic game play.
The goal of the game is to have the most points at the end. Each player gains points for placing trains and successfully connecting the routes that they drew throughout the game. This game can be played with 2 to 5 players.
If you like fast paced games that you can play Bananagrams may be a good fit for you. Similar to scrabble you have tiles with letters on it and you spell words connecting them in a crossword type layout. Unlike scrabble you don’t need a board so it is a great game to travel with.
Bananagrams starts with both players choosing 21 tiles each, once each player is ready a player says split and both players start building their crosswords. Once a player uses all their tiles then they yell out peal and every player has to take an additional tile. This goes on until all the tiles have been used and the first to run out wins.
Bananagrams is a good two player option for anyone who likes a scrabble like game that is much more fast paced. You can also play Bananagrams by yourself if you enjoy creating the crossword yourself.
If you want a good cooperative game that you can accomplish with just two people Pandemic is a great option. In this game you play against the board, and try to eradicate the diseases that are spreading across the world. There are four different characters you get to choose from, and each has their own special power that you can use to help you beat the game.
During each players turn you choose between performing one of three actions. Since it is a cooperative game you can discuss among each other what would be the best move for the game as a whole. As you make your way through the map and cure certain locations you and the other player will need to use some strategy on what moves each player takes so you can beat the board.
No modifications are needed if you only have two players; however, you do have difficulty options you can choose from. If you are new to the game you would want to choose the easiest setup and when you only have two players you may find it hard to beat the more difficult setups.
If you are looking for a two player game that can provide a lot of variety Villainous is a great option. The game comes with multiple characters to choose from that each have unique abilities and a different goal you have to meet. This keeps the game fresh each time, because you and the other player can choose a different character each time.
During your turn, you will move your character onto a new location within your character’s card and do the available actions. Players have the ability to fate each other which can manipulate the other’s players board and keep them from reaching their goal.
Villainous comes with multiple expansion packs as well, so if you get tired of the original characters you can always add more to the game play. The original game comes with 6 different character cards and allows between 2 to 6 players to play at a time. There are no modifications needed if you only have two players.
Rummikub is an older game made for 2 to 4 players. It is a tile based game where players will arrange tiles in the middle of the board game area. The first player to run out wins.
Each player starts out with fourteen tiles, whether you are playing with two or four players. Once you have enough tiles that can add up to 30 you can then take your first turn. All the tiles on the board have to be in a group with at least three tiles, either the same number in different colors or in a same color sequence. You can manipulate the tiles by breaking up the groups and adding in tiles from your hand.
Rummikub is great for two players because none of the elements change when you are playing with fewer players. Each player takes turn laying as many tiles as they can in a single turn. There is some strategy and skill you learn as you play the game every player has the ability to play off all the tiles in the middle of the game area including ones other players have laid down as well.