The 8 Best Two-Player Board Games That Are Really Fun

Our favorite is the Sequence Strategy Board Game

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The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Spending quality time with a child or loved one is easy with a fun, engaging, and quick-to-learn game designed for two players.

We researched more than a dozen two-player card, dice, and board games, considering factors like intensity, price, and age range. After narrowing down our top picks, we deemed the Sequence Board Game as our best overall two-player game, thanks to its high entertainment value, versatility across multiple ages, and high replay value.

Here, our favorite two-player games on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Jax Sequence

4.5
sequence-board-game

Walmart

What We Like
  • High replay value

  • Equally fun for kids and adults

  • Easy and fun to develop strategies

What We Don't Like
  • Can be less engaging with a large group

What do buyers say? 89% of 34,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

If you think a little healthy competition is good for game night, then you can't go wrong with Sequence, a versatile strategy game you can play with two people or a large group. The versatility and excitement of this game makes it our top pick in this category. "This game offers an alluring combination of luck, variables, stealth, and strategy that had my kids and me hooked," says our at-home product tester.

The concept of the game is relatively straightforward: you put down playing cards from your hand and place a chip on the corresponding space on the game board. The object is to get five chips in a row, but your opponent may very well see your strategy and work to block your progress. Even though the game is relatively simple, people say it's both entertaining and challenging for players of all ages.

Each game felt unique, making for high replay value, says our tester. There are different techniques and strategies to play every time, making every round exciting and memorable. The game also teaches valuable skills to younger players like sequencing, strategizing, and decision-making, according to our tester. The only downside is the game can get less fun and competitive the more players you add.

Price at time of publish: $18

Number of Players: 2-12 | Age range: 7 and up | Duration: 30 minutes

Best for Families: SolidRoots Mind the Gap: A Trivia Game for the Generations

Mind the Gap trivia game for generations

Amazon

What We Like
  • Inclusive to all ages

  • Easy to understand

  • Creative concept

What We Don't Like
  • May be challenging with major age gap

If you constantly flaunt your generational knowledge in front of younger or older family members, then Mind the Gap is your family's ideal board game. Best of all this game can be played with anywhere from 2 to 20 players.

The object of the game is to race your marker around the board while answering challenge cards that make you hum, dance, or act out iconic pop culture moments across generations. Your team only has a certain amount of time to guess the correct cultural reference.

The rules of this game are easy enough for any age to grasp, but it may be better, and more fun, with several players of all ages. It also may be challenging for players facing off who have multiple generations separating them.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of Players: 2-20 | Age range: 10 and up | Duration: 20-60 minutes

Best for Kids: Think Fun Zingo! Family Board Game

ThinkFun Zingo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Educational

  • Simple play concept

  • Can be played among whole family

What We Don't Like
  • Small game pieces

Zingo is a twist on the classic bingo board game, making it more compatible with younger ages. Just like bingo, players are challenged to match cue cards to their boards, but Zingo cards feature a picture and word for pre-readers and early readers.

Young players can race each other to fill up their Zingo board first—all while developing picture and word associations. Two different board levels are included so that young players can also "level up" their game play as they grow and learn.

We also love that this game can be played among a variety of ages, whether a parent and child, siblings, or grandparents are playing against each other. If you're allowing younger children to play between themselves, be sure to keep an eye on them as the game pieces are small and may be a choking hazard.

Price at time of publish: $22

Number of Players: 2-6 players | Age range: 4 and up | Duration: 30 minutes or less

Best Collaborative : Czech Games Codenames: Duet The Two Player Word Deduction Game

4.4
Codenames: Duet

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Collaborative

  • High energy

  • Easy to learn

What We Don't Like
  • Could be a bit advanced for young players

If you usually love working with other people during team based games, the best two player game for you might be something collaborative, rather than competitive. Try Codenames: Duet, which promises to provide hours of fun with its cooperative gameplay. This game is an adaptation of the highly rated, team-based game Codenames board game, adjusted so it can be enjoyed by just two players.

During gameplay, you take turns giving one-word clues to your partner, striving to identify your team of “secret agents” from a grid of 25 cards. If you reveal the assassin or too many innocent bystanders along the way, you lose!

This game does a great job blending the basics of the original Codenames with cooperative play, making it a great two-player game that you'll want to play over and over. Plus, the rules are easy to learn and gameplay is quick!

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of Players: 2 | Age range: 11 and up | Duration: 15 minutes

Codenames Duet
The Spruce / Sage McHugh

Best Strategy: Asmodee 7 Wonders - Duel

3.8
Asmodee 7 Wonders - Duel

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Fun and challenging

  • Various strategies can be used to win

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult to grasp

Love a game that challenges your brain to think outside of the box? This pick is an adaptation of the award-winning original board game, 7 Wonders, but it's designed specifically for two people.

During the game, two players go head-to-head, competing to build a civilization to crush your competition, striving to build architectural “wonders” along the way. You can win by achieving military, scientific, or civilian supremacy, so you can play a different strategy every time you play.

Reviewers call this game one of the best two-player games they've ever owned. Many love the variability and mechanics of 7 Wonders: Dual, writing that the numerous ways to win make it an engaging game with lots of replay value.

Price at time of publish: $22

Number of Players: 2 | Age range: 10 and up | Duration: 30 minutes

7 Wonders: Duel

 The Spruce / Sage McHugh

Best Theme: Z-Man Games Pandemic

3.5
Z-Man Games' Pandemic

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Promotes teamwork

  • Educates about public health

What We Don't Like
  • Instructions can be confusing

Cooperative games are the latest trend in board games, allowing you to work together instead of competing against one another. If you're looking for the best cooperative game to play with two people, you should definitely consider Pandemic—but only if you're up for a challenge.

The object of this cooperative game is to save the world from an outbreak of disease by working together to contain and cure the various strains. This game is especially challenging, as epidemics and outbreaks can spread diseases across the board faster than you can contain them, and there are several ways you might lose. "There is something unique and appealing about the way teams feel like they are fighting against the game, ultimately spurring great camaraderie," says our at-home tester.

Online reviewers write that this game is particularly addicting, as you'll want to keep playing until you can best it. Pandemic has ample replay value, as no two games will ever be alike, making it in essential for your collection of board games.

Price at time of publish: $20

Number of Players: 2 | Age range: 8 and up | Duration: 45-60 minutes

Best for Adults: Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride

4.5
ticket-to-ride

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • High quality board and pieces

  • Quick and exciting gameplay

  • High-level strategy

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a lot of space to play

If you're looking for a board game to play with adults, you can't go wrong with Ticket to Ride. This extremely popular game can accommodate up to five players, but it's equally entertaining when there are just two of you.

Ticket to Ride is recommended for players eight and older, and each game will take between 30 minutes in an hour. To play, each person races to build train routes across a map of North America, connecting various cities and earning points along the way. You can earn bonus points by having the longest continuous path or by completing routes given on your “destination tickets.”

People describe this as a “light” strategy game, because you do need a game plan to win, but it's not too thought-intensive. Overall, many people say this is one of their favorite board games, and it gets especially competitive when you're playing with all adults.

Price at time of publish: $34

Number of Players: 2-5 | Age range: 8 and up | Duration: 30-60 minutes

Best Card Game: Gamewright Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island
Photo from Amazon
What We Like
  • Cooperative

  • Easy to develop strategies

  • Portable

What We Don't Like
  • Can be challenging for young kids

While categorized as a board game, Forbidden Island is actually more of a card game—but that doesn't make it any less fun for two players.

This cooperative game is recommended for players 10 and up, and each round takes about 30 minutes. The award-winning game takes you on an adventure to capture four sacred treasures from ruins on the island, and it requires strategic thinking and cooperation to win. What's cool about Forbidden Island is there are multiple levels of difficulty, so it can be as challenging as you choose.

One of the highlights of this game is that it's easy enough for children to play, yet still challenging for adults. Reviewers call it clever and lots of fun.

Price at time of publish: $20

Number of Players: 2-4 | Age range: 10 and up | Duration: 30 minutes

Final Verdict

Our top pick is Jax Sequence because of the high replay value and suitability for various ages. If you are looking for something cooperative to work together with your partner, opt for Codenames Duet. The high-energy collaborative game involves giving clues to find the right agents in a crowded city.

What to Look for in a Two-Player Board Game

Intensity

Are you looking for some easygoing fun or do you want to embrace your competitive side? Board games come in varying degrees of complexity and invoke various levels of competition; it’s all about how you prefer to play. Of course, some people can make tic-tac-toe cutthroat, so some of it comes down to who’s playing, too.

Some games test your knowledge and strategy skills while others are based solely on luck. Certain games involve teamwork, while others are about outwitting each other. Consider who’ll be playing and what their abilities are. Generally, having a good mix of games on hand is always a good idea.

Often, more strategy based games have a longer duration, which is good to keep in mind when playing with kids. Consider your child's attention span and if you prefer quick and engaging gameplay for longer and more intense games that can last for hours.  

Portability

Consider where you will play your game the most. If you are playing on road trips or bringing on vacations, opt for a card game for something lightweight that is easy to take on-the-go. For staying at home, you can go for a pick with more pieces that requires more space.

Age Range

Each game comes with a suggested age range for players, which can help you hone your choices depending on who’ll be playing. Remember, however, that those are just suggestions, and the compatibility will also be based on players’ individual strengths and maturity levels. Some of the best games are those that are challenging enough for all ages but are still simple enough for the youngest players and offer varying levels of difficulty.

FAQ
  • Can you play Pandemic with two people?

    Yes. Pandemic is a cooperative board game that is designed for small groups of two or more players that fosters teamwork rather than competition. In the game of Pandemic, two or more players work together to contain and cure varying strains of a disease in order to save the world. Bear in mind that some reviewers say that Pandemic is more challenging with just two players. 

  • Does multiplayer mean two player?

    According to Merriam Webster, multiplayer simply means more than one player. So that could mean two players, three players, or more, depending on the game. This means that any game that is designed for more than a single player, such as Solitaire, can be defined as multiplayer, including but not limited to two-player games. 

  • What is a board game?

    A board game is a game that is played using a tabletop board marked with a pattern around which small pieces are moved according to a set of rules that changes according to which game you are playing. There are board games built around a wide range of themes for people of all ages. Examples of popular board games include unbranded games such as checkers, chess, and backgammon, and branded games such as Monopoly, Clue, or Scrabble.

Why Trust the Spruce?

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, also assisted in adding new games to this roundup. Emma has over two years of experience on writing about all things home decor, home improvement, culture, and lifestyle.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Multiplayer. Merriam Webster

  2. Board game. Cambridge Dictionary