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What Are the Best Two-Player Board Games?

Illustration for article titled What Are the Best Two-Player Board Games?
Photo: John Benitez (Unsplash), Graphic: Giovanni Colantonio

For many people who have been stuck at home for the past year, social interaction has been in short supply. Zoom and Discord voice chat allow some stopgaps for friends looking to connect, but physical interactions have been limited to roommates or family. That got me thinking about how difficult it’s been to find new things to do with people you’re forced to see every day. How are roommates staying sane under the same roof? How are couples keeping themselves entertained without traditional date nights? It’s a tricky song and dance that requires creative solutions built to keep duos from getting sick of one another.


So today, here’s a question for our readers: What are the best two-player board games? With people locked together for another few months at the very least, it’s as good a time as any to help find some fun ways to pass the time. We’re looking for any options, from cooperative games that help forge bonds or something competitive ones that’ll ruin friendships. Your pick can be something as niche as an indie card game or as classic as Scrabble. The only thing we’re looking for is games that especially work well with two people.

For example, my own personal go-to towards the start of the pandemic was mancala. The old standby provided countless hours of entertainment as my roommate and I refined our strategies in a never-ending quest to one-up one another. During the summer, I picked up Wingspan, which was especially a highlight. This bird-watching game is extremely chill and perfect for lazy Sundays with a good music playlist in the background. That’s just a taste of how wide a range you can go with here.

Drop your best picks in the comments, once you read through our short and sweet rules for Co-op responses.

1) Your nomination should contain the name of a specific board game, why you think it’s the best, a link where it can be purchased, and an image.

2) You can nominate multiple products, but please put each one in a separate comment.

3) Vote by starring someone else’s nomination.