Last updated: September 26, 2020

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Board games are not just for groups, they can also be enjoyed by just two players. When looking for board games for two players, you will probably think of the most well-known two player games, such as chess or Chinese checkers. However, there are so many other board games that two people can play.  In fact, there is a huge variety of board games on the market created specifically for two players to enjoy.

Board games are one of the best ways to spend quality time with friends and family. Whether you’re looking to have fun with your child, spend an entertaining night with your partner or enjoy a Sunday afternoon with a friend, there are board games for every situation. In this guide, we will show you everything you need to know when looking for a board game that two players can play.

Key Facts

  • To have fun with a good board game you don’t need to have a large group. There are many games specifically created to be enjoyed by two players.
  • Although many games are competitive, there are some games that allow you to work as a team with your companion. We recommend this type if you are looking to strengthen ties between players.
  • Playing a board game for two is a great way to spend quality time with your child. When playing with your young one, it’s best to choose games that are fun for both of you.

The Best Board Games for 2 Players on the U.S. Market

In the following section, we will show you the best board games for two players that are currently available on the U.S. market. The products listed below are specially designed to share a fun time between two people, with maximum enjoyment. We have chosen games that will suit both children and adults and board games that are perfect to play with siblings, friends or for you to play with your partner.

Jenga

Now a classic, this game from Hasbro is fantastic in its simplicity. Pull out a block without crashing the stack to win at Jenga.  Includes 54 Jenga hardwood blocks, stacking sleeve and instructions.  Simple, solid, and timeless, it takes skill, strategy, and luck! Challenge yourself or play with friends.  Win by being the last player to remove a block without causing the stack to crash.

Want a game experience that combines friends, skill, suspense, laughter, and maybe a little luck? You gotta get the Classic Jenga game! It’s the perfect game for everyone, with edge-of-your-seat, gravity-defying action. Do you dive right in and pull your block, or take your time and study the stack? Any way you choose, show your Jenga style!

MONOPOLY – Classic Edition

Possibly the best known board game in the world, Monopoly Classic by Hasbro is for two to six players and includes a gameboard, 8 Tokens, 28 Title Deed Cards, 16 Chance Cards, 16 Community Chest Cards, 32 Houses, 12 Hotels, 2 Dice, Money Pack and Game Guide.

The thrill of bankrupting an opponent, but it pays to play nice, because fortunes could change with the roll of the dice. Experience the ups and downs by collecting property colors sets to build houses, and maybe even upgrading to a hotel! The more properties each player owns, the more rent can be charged. Chance cards could be worth money, or one might just say Go To Jail!

Trouble Pop-O-Matic

Trouble game by Hasbro is easy to is peg-popping fun. Pop-O-Matic die roller rolls the die.  Each player move their pegs around the board. Send other players’ pegs home when you land on the same space. Double Trouble and Warp spaces change up the game.  At 12.99 and providing hours and hours of fun, this game is a real bargain.

This is the perfect game for children as it is fast, exciting and always full of tension to create plenty of drama. Hasbro Gaming is arguably the biggest manufacturer of board games and their Connect 4 creation is still a revolutionary and original game that children and adults alike can enjoy.

Hasbro Connect 4 Classic

Challenge a friend to disc-dropping fun with the classic game of Connect 4. Drop your red or yellow discs in the grid and be the first to get 4 in a row to win. If your opponent is getting too close to 4 in a row, block them with your own disc. Whoever wins can pull out the slider bar to release all the discs and start the fun all over again. A game specifically designed for two players.

This is a great game that teaches children to strategize but does not take too long to play, for little ones’ attention spans. Choose the yellow discs or the red discs and drop them into the grid. Line ‘em up and go for the win! When you get 4 discs in a row, you win. It’s simple, fast, and fun. Master the grid.

Othello Classic Game (2 Player)

A minute to learn…a lifetime to master! One of the best-known strategy games of all-time—a true classic. This classic, internationally-acclaimed two-player light strategy game challenges you to out-think your opponent. Trap and capture your opponent’s pieces by placing your disks on the board.

Every time you “sandwich” one or more of your opponent’s pieces you flip those disks to your color. But look out—your opponent will try do the same to you! The lead can change with a flip of a disk in this classic, fast-paced strategy game that’s often not decided until the very last move. This classic, internationally-acclaimed two-player light strategy game challenges you to out-think your opponent.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Board Games for 2 Players

Board games are more popular than ever today, and the variety of two-player games has surpassed the classic two player board games, such as chess or checkers. Within the two-player board game market there are countless products to choose from that will keep you entertained for hours, or even an entire rainy weekend. In the following section we answer some of the most common questions people have about board games for two players.

We love board games because they allow everyone to have fun and learn, without a screen. (Source: auremar: 44435803/ 123rf.com)

Why do I need a board game for two?

Board games are fantastic because they allow kids to have fun and learn without the need for a screen such as a phone, iPad or television. Board games tend to be considered only during family gatherings when there is a big group to play. But on the contrary, board games for two are an excellent opportunity to enjoy your day even if there are only two players available to play. With a board game for two players, you and your little one can have fun without requiring a large group.

Not only is a board game for two players a lot of fun, but a game shared by two can bring the players closer together. This is especially useful when there is rivalry in the relationship, which is sometimes the case between young siblings. Board games for two players that require teamwork can also help to strengthen the bond between two players.

Are all board games suitable to be played by just two people?

It is true that most modern board games are created with larger groups in mind, however some multiplayer games are still suitable for two people to play together. If you want a product that is specifically designed to be enjoyed by only two players, we recommend seeking those specifically created for this purpose.

Board games for two players come in many different formats and suit many different tastes and situations. What’s more, many well-known board games for groups also produce versions specially designed for two people with amended rules. By choosing one of these products, you’ll be able to play a game that you already know and like, but that has been modified with rules specifically for two players.

Board games for two that require teamwork can strengthen relationships between the two players. (Source: Daniela Staerk: 39453425/ 123rf.com)

What should I keep in mind when playing board games for two with my child?

Playing a board game with your child or other young relative can be extremely beneficial for the relationship between the two of you. Not only are board games a great educational tool for young children but they are also great for older children and an excellent way to share quality time between a parent and child. Sharing a game between two family members can help strengthen their relationship by solving problems together and overcoming challenges as a team.

When playing board games with children, many parents tend to let their children win every round, especially when it comes to very young children, however this can give them a false sense of security. Children must learn to lose and to accept defeat with good humor and grace. On the contrary, the excitement of victory improves the child’s self-esteem and they will want to play the game again in the future if they do not fully expect to win every time. For this reason, we recommend alternating between letting the child win and defeating them.

What is the difference between cooperative and competitive board games for two?

In this article we talk a lot about cooperative and competitive board games. This distinction is very important when choosing the perfect board game, as it changes the dynamics completely. Almost all classic board games are of the competitive variety while the cooperative gameplay is relatively recent and less common, but equally fun. Why not try a cooperative board game for two next game night?

Game type Game dynamics Results
Competitive The game divides players, who must compete against each other In the end, there is one winner and one loser
Cooperative Players work together to beat the game The results are absolute: All players win or all players lose

Shopping Criteria

It doesn’t matter if your child is young or into their teenage years: every child should play a good board game for two with one of their parents. Board games allow a different manner of playing that brings the players closer together and strengthens the bonds between them. If you’re looking for the perfect game for your child or for yourself, here are a few basic criteria to consider.

Duration of the Games

One of the most important factors when choosing a board game is the game duration. This is even more  relevant when it comes to buying a game for two people. When playing with a large group, time flies by quickly as everyone is laughing and having fun, meanwhile a game between two people may be slightly more serious, but equally enjoyable.

Several hours of playing with a single opponent can become tedious, especially if the game in question requires a lot of concentration. With this in mind, we recommend that you choose games that don’t take too long to play, but rather are quick games that can be played more frequently. All the games we include in our ranking allow relatively short games full of suspense and laughter.

Board games are a great educational tool for young children. (Source: Vadim Guzhva: 115674923/ 123rf.com)

Relationship between players

The right board game will depend a lot upon who plays it. Many parents look for board games when they have two children of similar ages to play together and pass the time enjoying and learning. As there can often be a lot of rivalry between siblings, we recommend cooperative games, especially if they are very young children. With cooperative games, fights will be avoided and teamwork will bring them closer together.

For playing board games with friends, we recommend games that ensure a lot of laughter. There are certain games that can be hilarious, especially when played with more people who serve as “audiences.” If you’re going to be the one playing the game with your child, look for a game that will entertain both of you, so you won’t find it tedious if your child wants to play games often.

Child’s Age

If you are looking for a product for children under the age of 10, we recommend opting for cooperative games as these games allow children to practice teamwork. It is recommended to choose a dynamic game and one where the game does not take too long so that your child remains interested long enough to complete the game.

If you are looking for a game for teenagers to play with their friends, we recommend choosing competitive and strategy games. When your child is at this age, they need an intellectually stimulating game to capture and retain their attention. We recommend the same if the players are adults. An example of this is Monopoly, which is also very addictive.

Complexity of the game

Board games for two are just as diverse as group board games. You can find board games for 2 that are complex and strategic, but also easy to learn and dynamic. The advantage of those games that are more elaborate is that they will keep the kids entertained longer and create a higher level of drama during the game. A more complex game can become your child’s favorite game and still be of interest as they become a teenager.

Additionally, a good board game for two doesn’t have to be too complex to be fun. Connect 4, for example, will be sure to provide you with an excellent time despite the simplicity and short duration of the game. If the game is very simple, we recommend moderating the frequency with which your child plays it so that they don’t become bored.

Originality

In the technology age, it is more difficult to catch the attention of children without a flashing screen. However board games provide a fantastic alternative to a screen, although they should be constantly updated and reinvented to be interesting. Although games like chess or checkers are classics and have not changed for decades, they may not thrill your child. With this in mind, it’s worth looking for original products to capture the interest of the kids.

Out of the ordinary board games will arouse your child’s curiosity with new game mechanics and eye-catching aesthetics. The products we included in our ranking section meet this criterion so that your child stays interested with the originality of each game.

Summary

Board games are great entertainment for any occasion and you don’t need a huge group in order to have fun, as there is a large variety of board games available for two players on the U.S. market. A two-player board game is a basic requirement in anyone’s home collection of games as they allow different game dynamics and contribute to strengthening bonds between two players.

The difference between cooperative board games and competitive board games is especially relevant when it comes to a game for two players as this changes the dynamic completely. To decide between a cooperative or competitive board game, you must determine who will be playing the game before you buy it. The dynamics between siblings, among friends, or between parents and children are very different and usually can benefit from different types of games.

If you liked our guide on board games for two, please recommend this article on social media or leave us a comment. Thanks!

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