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The Best Two-Player Board Games for Couples

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Looking for a fun way to spend the evening with your favorite person? Two-player board games for couples can be a great way to spend some quality time together.

And while there are tons of great two-player board games out there, these are the best board games particularly well-suited for couples.

couple playing chess for game night

You have lots of options for date night ideas.

Maybe you usually go out to eat for a nice meal at your favorite restaurant, or have a special meal at home. Other nights, you might just want to snuggle up for a good movie.

But another increasingly popular date-night option is sitting down for a couple’s board game.

Whether you want a special activity for Valentine’s Day or just a regular date night, playing a game can be an enjoyable way to spend time together.

Here are some of the very best games that the two of you can spend an evening playing together. Try one of these for a fun couple’s game night!

This list of 25 games includes classic games like chess and checkers to trivia games and newer favorites like a strategy game or a murder mystery.

These fun two-player games will get you thinking and laughing together. So break out the game board, spread out some snacks on the coffee table, and settle in for a night of fun with your favorite person!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure here.

25 Best Two-Player Board Games for Couples

There are a lot of great two-player board games to choose from that couples can enjoy together.

Whether you prefer a more competitive game, a humorous game, or just want to leisurely chat over a deck of cards, you’re sure to find the perfect board game for that special evening or date night.

Classic Two-Player Board Games

First up in this survey of best two-player board games that are perfect for couples are the classic board games.

Many of us grew up playing these games as kids, and they can still be a lot of fun for adults to play today.

1. Monopoly

Who hasn’t played what is probably the most famous board game of all time?

The goal of Monopoly is to buy up properties, charge exorbitant rent, and auction off real estate to the highest bidder–all while trying to avoid jail time and going bankrupt!

This great board game has probably had more variations created than any other board game out there.

And if the classic version of Monopoly isn’t enough to hold your interest, there are many variations available such as Monopoly World Tour, National Parks Edition, and Mega Edition with a bigger game board. (I really like the look of the Vintage Bookshelf Edition!)

Monopoly is a great choice if you have 60 to 90 minutes to spend and enjoy a competitive game. (And be sure to try not to lose all those little game pieces!)

2. The Game of Life

Next up in the list of classic board games that are a good choice for two players is The Game of Life.

Like Monopoly, this game has been around forever but still remains a favorite of many.

With The Game of Life, game play involves the players travelling around the board in a little car and making decisions about which route to take in life (what else?).

 

This easy game would be a great conversation starter for couples as it could open up discussions about current and future decisions about things like career choices and having children.

Like Monopoly, The Game of Life has some different variations from which to choose, including a fun reproduction of the classic 1960 first edition.

Play time for The Game of Life is usually around one hour.

3. Scrabble

If you’re pretty good at spelling and like to test out the depth of your vocabulary, Scrabble is an excellent choice for your next date night.

Known as “the world’s leading word game,” the basic premise of Scrabble is to get the highest score by scoring as many points as possible.

The longer and more uncommon the word that you spell, the higher the point value.

Sometimes you’ll only score for a single word, but other times you can play off of other words for extra bonus points!

If you can’t spell any new words based on your current tiles, you turn in one or more old tiles to exchange and draw a new tile.

The end of the game happens when no one can play any more tiles.

Scrabble actually first came out during The Great Depression of the 1930s, and is still one of the more popular board games today.

 

I have to say that Scrabble is a personal favorite of mine that I enjoy playing over and over. It’s a great two-player game!

The retro 1949 edition of this game also looks really neat!

4. Sorry

Another fun board game for couples is Sorry. While many people think of this as only appealing to younger players, it can also be enjoyed by adults.

You play this light-hearted game by racing your game pieces around the board, trying to be the first to reach home.

But where Sorry can get competitive is in sending your opponent’s pieces back to start!

 

Sorry is another great classic board game that looks really neat in the 1939 classic edition.

This is one of the quicker board games to play and usually only takes about 30 minutes.

Strategy Two-Player Board Games

If you’re looking for something a little more complex and mentally challenging than the standard classic board game, there are a lot of different strategy board games to consider.

These range from simple to complex strategy games, and are perfect for couples looking for new challenges.

When looking for a strategy board game to play with your partner, there are a few things to consider.

First, you’ll want to decide on the level of complexity you’re comfortable with.

There are some strategy games that are really in-depth and can take literally hours to complete. Other strategy games can be finished in under an hour.

You’ll also want to think about what kind of theme you’re interested in.

There are war-themed strategy games, economic strategy games, and even ones where you’re trying to build a kingdom or the best city possible.

Whatever you decide to go with, make sure it’s something both you and your partner will enjoy.

5. Chess

No doubt the most well-known strategy board game is chess.

You may think of this as a game only enjoyed by nerdy Russian men in a smoke-filled room, but this can actually be a mentally stimulating way for you and your partner to spend an evening!

The basic idea of chess is to think ahead so you can capture your opponent’s pieces, each of which has the capability to move in a unique way across the chess board.

Chess can have a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never played it, but once you get the hang of it, it can be addictive.

It’s a great option if the two of you enjoy analytical thinking and strategizing on the next move.

There are a lot of styles of chess boards and pieces available. Personally I prefer the wooden chess board and pieces over the cheaper plastic ones.

A chess game usually lasts around 30 to 45 minutes, although professional tournament games can take up to six hours!

6. Checkers

Checkers is another well-known and older strategy game, but it doesn’t take as much brainpower as chess.

Like chess, the point of checkers is to capture your opponent’s game pieces. But it’s a lot easier to learn than chess and usually takes less time to play.

Since chess and checkers both use the same game board (with different pieces), there are some pretty neat combination chess and checker game board sets available.

With the combination chess and checkers sets, you can choose between the two (or play both if you’re really ambitious!) on your next game night.

7. Ticket to Ride

Another really fun strategy-type board game is Ticket to Ride.

My husband and I have played this game with our kids a number of times, although it could easily be played by only two people.

Ticket to Ride is a fun board game where the goal is to build railroad train routes connecting major U.S. cities. You win by getting the highest number of points based on the length and number of connections made.

This is a visually attractive, almost beautiful, game that can really test your brainpower if you let it!

There are also different versions (such as Ticket to Ride Europe and Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails) as well as expansions available.

Game time for Tickets to Ride usually goes around an hour.

8. 7 Wonders Duel

The next option for couples who enjoy strategic board games is 7 Wonders Duel.

Unlike many games that allow for a range in the number of players, 7 Wonders Duel is specifically designed as a two-player strategy board game that simulates the construction of ancient civilizations.

 

Players go through three eras, taking turns drafting cards and building the most advanced civilizations. The ultimate goal is to earn more victory points than your opponent.

This game is a great way to spend an evening together, and it’s also a good way to test your strategic abilities against each other.

7 Wonders Duel is a fun and challenging game that’s sure to provide hours of entertainment for any couple who enjoys playing board games together.

Game length play time is around 30 minutes to an hour, and expansions are available to the base game.

9. Patchwork

Patchwork is a fun two-person strategy game perfect for those who enjoy puzzles and thinking ahead.

Players take turns placing tiles representing different-shaped patches on their quilt, trying to complete it before their opponent does. The first player to finish their patchwork quilt wins the game!

Patchwork is a truly fun game that has a lot of positive reviews as it is simple and easy to learn.  Some players favorably compare it to the strategy game Tetris.

It can be completed in about 30 minutes.

10. Codenames Duet

Next up on our list of two-player strategy games is Codenames Duet.

This game could be considered more of a cooperative game but still involves some strategy and risk-taking (only against the game, not each other!).

With Codenames Duet, you have to try to deduce undercover agents using clues and associations while avoiding the enemy assassins.

This game doesn’t involve a lot of talking as you’re only allowed to give one-word hints.

There are several levels of difficulty to make the game more challenging each time you play.

Game time for Codenames Duet runs around 30 minutes.

11. Parks

The next game in the strategy category also could be considered more of a cooperative game.

Parks is a visually appealing board game where you “visit” U.S. National Parks, hiking scenic trails, gathering resources and facing challenges along the way.

Although the game is fun and enjoyable, there is a level of competition for park site resources.

Many reviewers mention that this is a high quality, artistically beautiful game that is well-crafted and fairly easy to learn.

It takes about an hour to complete a game of Parks.

12. Battleship

I wasn’t 100% sure about including this next strategy game but ultimately couldn’t resist including Battleship.  It is so much fun to play and for many brings back happy childhood memories.

“You sank my battleship!” was the cry of a vintage TV commercial, and that is in fact the goal.

The strategy of this two-player game is simple: deductively hunt down and sink your opponent’s ships one by one. It may sound a bit ruthless, but it actually is enjoyable!

Battleship is available in several versions, including a cool 1967 retro version.

It takes about 20 minutes to play.

13. Azul

The final entry on the strategy board games category is Azul.

This is a challenging and attractive game where players take turns drawing and placing colored tiles on the display board, striving to create artistically pleasing designs.

This game requires strategy to competitively choose and arrange your tiles, earning different amounts of points based on your unique artistic creations.

Azul is a wonderful game for a couple to play and usually takes around 45 minutes to finish.

Mystery Board Games

If you love good mysteries or are just feeling like Sherlock Holmes, then playing a mystery-themed style of game on your date night will be a great choice.

There are several good mystery board games from which to choose, ranging from the simple to more complex.

14. Hunt a Killer: Death at the Dive Bar

One of the more popular line of mystery board games is the Hunt a Killer series.

There are several games in this series, but the first and most well-known is Death at the Dive Bar.

This game is known as an “immersive murder mystery experience” as it includes puzzles, clues and ciphers designed to help you figure who the killer is.

Death at the Dive Bar includes realistic documents and evidence that players use to help solve the mystery.

It takes about an hour to play and is perfect for two players.

One thing to know about this game is that it’s only designed to be played once, but after you play it, you could gift it to another couple to use for their couple’s game night!

15. Murder Mystery Party Case Files

Another fun mystery board game is Murder Mystery Party Case Files.

This game revolves around solving the mysterious unsolved murder of a Napa Valley winemaker who disappeared 20 years ago.

You’ll have to pull out all your sleuthing skills to figure out the guilty party.

Several reviewers mentioned this was a fun game for a husband and wife date night.

Murder Mystery Party Case Files takes a little longer than some to play (around two hours), and like Death at the Dive Bar, can only be played once.

16. Clue

The last entry in the murder mystery board games category is the classic game of Clue.

Unlike the previous two games that can only be played and solved one time, Clue can be played over and over.

There are so many possible combinations of suspects, murder locations, and weapons. (I still think it was Green in the study with the candlestick!)

Although Clue can be successfully played by only two players, it may be a more satisfying experience (be harder to solve) with three or more players.

Clue is available in both a classic edition (with an updated mansion and a new suspect!) and a retro 1986 edition. Play time is around an hour.

Trivia Games

Do you enjoy watching Jeopardy on TV or testing your knowledge of historical and current events? If so, then playing a trivia game might be just the thing needed for your couple’s game night!

17. …I Should Have Known That

First up on the trivia games list is …I Should Have Known That from Hygge Games.

This is a great game for trivia buffs but it has a twist over most other similar games.

In this game, you lose points for answering incorrectly instead of gaining points for the right answer!

With over 400 zany trivia questions, two people could have a blast on their date night with …I Should Have Known That.

18. Trivial Pursuit Classic Edition

From the people who started the trivia game craze back in the 1980s comes the Trivial Pursuit Game Classic Edition.

With 2400 trivia questions in six categories such as entertainment, history and sports, you and your partner won’t run out of fresh material even over multiple game nights.

You’ll have a great time travelling around the board answering questions in pursuit of the final destination where you have to answer one more question to win the game.

The classic retro look of the Trivial Pursuit Game Classic Edition gameboard only adds to the fun.

There’s also a Trivial Pursuit edition with questions based on the decade from 2010 to 2020, which might be fun for a younger couple.

19. American Trivia Game

The final entry in the trivia category is the American Trivia Game.

As the name suggests, this game covers different topics focused on the United States.

From history and sports to geography and pop culture, you’ll have plenty of material to cover with over 1,000 trivia questions!

The American Trivia Game works great with two people and would be the right game for lovers of Americana.

Card Games

Card games are technically not “board games” since there isn’t a game board.  But card games are still some of the best games and a fun way for a couple to spend an evening!

A lot of card games are designed for groups of people, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any great two-player card-driven games out there.

In fact, there are plenty of card games that are perfect for couples. Here are just a few of the best two-player card games around.

20. Uno

One really fun card game that can be played by two people is Uno.

This classic game has been around for decades and is perfect for couples.

Uno is easy to learn and quick to play. You simply take turns playing cards that match a color or number, with the goal of being the first to play all your cards. And don’t forget to say “Uno!”

21. Taco Versus Burrito

If you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced card game that involves a bit of strategy, Taco Versus Burrito is a great choice!

The goal is to build the most valuable meal, but watch out for action cards that can thwart your food-building efforts!

Taco Versus Burrito is a quick game (about 15 minutes) and an expansion pack is available. This game packs in all the Mexican food fun without the indigestion!

22. Skyjo

Next up in our recommended card games for couples is Skyjo.

While most games have the goal of winning as many points as possible, with Skyjo the winner is the person with the least amount of points at the end of the game!

Each player tries to reveal all of the face-down cards in their grid of cards, keeping the point value as low as possible.

This is a fun and fast-paced game that works well for two players.

You’ll want to keep playing until you get the hang of this tactical card game.

Play time for Skyjo is around 30 minutes.

23. Scattergories

This game may not neatly fit into the “cards” section of couples’ games, but since it does include some cards, this is where I’m putting it.

With Scattergories, you roll the die to to come up with a letter of the alphabet. You then have to use only that letter to come up with a word matching each of the items on a list of categories.  But you have to think fast!

Scattergories is a fun and somewhat mentally challenging game that would be an awesome choice for a couple to play on their game night.

24. Phase 10

Another fun two-player card game that would be excellent for a couple’s game night is Phase 10.

From the makers of Uno comes a twist on the classic Rummy game.

With Phase 10, you try to be the first one to finish 10 phases (combinations of cards), which can be sets, runs or a combination.

Wild cards are thrown in to make the game action more exciting and unpredictable!

Phase 10 would be a fantastic addition to a collection of card and board games for two players!

25. Finally, there is always just a plain deck of playing cards to use for a game on your couple’s date night.

From Slap Jack to Crazy Eights to Gin Rummy, there are so many options for using traditional playing cards.

I really like the look of these premium playing cards (all four colors look good)!

Quick Board Games for Couples

If you’re short on time and looking for a quick new game for couples, each of these two-player board games can be played in 30 minutes or less.

Sorry – 30 minutes

Checkers – 10 to 30 minutes

Patchwork – 30 minutes

Codenames Duet – 30 minutes

Uno – 15 to 30 minutes

Skyjo – 30 minutes

The Benefits of Playing Two-Player Board Games as a Couple

Spending time with your partner is important in any relationship, and finding activities that you both enjoy can sometimes be a challenge.

Two-player board games are the perfect way to have fun together while also spending quality time.

There are several benefits to playing board games as a couple, including improved communication, teamwork, low cost, and bonding.

Improved Communication

Playing board games together can help improve communication by giving you both a chance to share your thoughts and feelings about the game.

You’ll also learn how to better communicate with each other if things get heated (which may be inevitable with highly competitive games!).

Sometimes spending time over a game can open up doors to communication that might not otherwise be accessible under different circumstances.

You can use this time to share your thoughts with your partner, as well as be an attentive listener to anything they want to bring up.

couple talking on couch

Improved Teamwork

For a marriage relationship to work, a sense of teamwork and comradery is an essential quality.

Playing together can help improve your teamwork skills as you learn give and take and graciously conceding when your partner wins the game.

This comradery can actually translate into other areas of your relationship as you work together towards common goals.

Affordable Fun

Many of us are on a limited budget and aren’t able to spend money on costly activities.

Things like travelling, eating at an upscale restaurant, or forking over the big bucks for pricey entertainment events are often financially out of reach.  That’s where board games come in as a truly affordable option.

Many of the board games discussed here cost less than $20.00.  As nearly all of them and can be played over and over, a small expense upfront can yield many evenings of fun and enjoyment!

Sometimes you can even find gently used games for a great price at thrift stores or garage sales! (And vintage board games can make a great birthday or holiday gift for that special someone!)

Bonding Through Fun

Let’s face it, life can be tough. Going through the daily grind of work, bills and parenting challenges can be taxing.

That’s why it’s so important for couples to make time for themselves to just unwind and enjoy being together.

Playing board games is just plain fun! It’s a great way to enjoy bonding with your partner and spending an evening relaxing together in an enjoyable way.

How to Prepare for Couple’s Game Night

Whether you’re trying to spice up your relationship or just have some fun, a couple’s game night can be a great way to do it! Here are a few tips on how to make sure your night is a success:

First, decide what kind of games you want to play.

Do you want something competitive? Something that requires teamwork? Something that’s just for fun and laughs?

I’ve gone over some great options that are out there, so find something that you both will enjoy.

couple playing chess game

Next, decide where to have your game time.

If you’re single or childless, this won’t be a challenge as you’ll likely have a suitable space within your home for gaming, like a kitchen table or coffee table.

But if you have kids, you’ll need to think about how to have some time to play uninterrupted.

Older children are usually able to figure out how to their spend time. They could do something like watch a movie or play games on their own while you and your partner play games in your bedroom.

Younger kids will need supervision by a mature older sibling, or maybe they could spend the evening at grandma’s house.

If your gaming date night is in your bedroom, you could play on the floor. But for comfort, a portable card table works best.

Don’t forget food and drinks.

Having snacks like chips, crackers and cheese, or popcorn is always a great idea for game night. You don’t want anyone getting hangry during the game!

You could also have a cooler with your favorite beverages.

Set up a distraction-free environment.

The idea behind a date night is to spend time together, focusing on each other.

To create a distraction-free environment, you’ll both need to put away your phones.

If you’re at home with kids, you may need to peek on them occasionally to make sure everything’s okay. But other than that, do your best to just enjoy each other and whatever games you decide to play.

If you’re going for a more romantic vibe, you could even light some candles to set the mood.

Are Two-Player Board Games for Couples the Right Choice for You?

Two-player board games are a great way for couples to bond and just have fun connecting with each other.

Games provide opportunities for couples to strategize and work together, while also giving them a chance to have some friendly competition.

There are many different kinds of two player board games available, so there is sure to be one that is perfect for every couple.

If you like to play board games, this collection of board games will help you find a good choice for your next gaming date night.

Even if you’ve never thought of your spouse as a gaming partner, a fun board game can be just the thing to relax and enjoy an evening at home.

I hope this collection of best two-player games gives you some ideas for the perfect game for your next couple’s game night!

More Couple’s Date Night Inspiration

11 Best Cozy Fall Date Night Ideas

15 Free or Cheap Date Night Ideas

33 Stay-at-Home Winter Date Night Ideas

17 Fun and Romantic Free Date Night Ideas

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