Top 10 Two Player Board Games – 2012 Update

This is an updated list of my top ten 2 player board games. I do not list games I have not played. I am sure there are many 2 player games I haven’t played, but some that I have heard are good are in the Honorable Mentions section. Others I hope you’ll suggest.

Here are my Top Ten 2 Player Board Games:

10. Battleship Galaxies – Not the Battleship you grew up with. This space-themed skirmish game rewards good tactics.

9. Claustrophobia – Tense game in which you must survive as the humans or hunt and kill your prey as the demons.

8. War of the Ring – Another nail biter that is a complex simulation of The Lord of the Rings. Long but worth the time.

7. Lost Cities – This is a classic and still is fun to play. The math for scoring bogs things down a bit, but not too much.

6. Innovation – Unique civ builder that can be chaotic, but fun. Might take a play or two to really grasp.

5. Battle Line – Similar to Lost Cities with more depth and variety of strategies without the math-heavy scoring.

4. Summoner Wars – Great mechanics, lots of cards if you want to build armies, easy to teach and play plus a lot of fun.

3. Twilight Struggle – An excellent strategy game that is tense and fun. It would be higher if it didn’t take so long to play and was easier for new players to win.

2. Dungeon Command – Fantasy-themed, skirmish game that is beautiful fun and well-balanced. Great mix of strategy and luck.

1. Jaipur – Still holding down the top spot since it is easy to teach, quick and fun.

Honorable mentions (I have either heard good things about these games, but have not played them or they just missed my list): 1989: Dawn of Freedom, Battlelore, Dominion, Dungeon Twister, Earth Reborn, Jambo, Magestorm, Memoir ’44, Pizza Box Football, Race for the Galaxy

Leave a comment if there are two player games I am missing out on and should try. Or if you think my list needs some editing, let me know.

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12 Responses to “Top 10 Two Player Board Games – 2012 Update”

  1. Benny Sperling on September 25th, 2012 8:20 am

    Check out Roma. It’s my wife’s and my favorite 2 player game.

  2. jason@play-board-games.com on September 25th, 2012 8:28 am

    @Benny – Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll have to check that out.

  3. Doug Duggerson on September 25th, 2012 11:08 am

    Morels was one of the highlights of Origins and Gen Con. Similar to Jaipur but slightly more complex. By Two Lanterns Games.

  4. Tim on September 25th, 2012 11:16 am

    Interesting that you place Innovation on your 2-player list, I haven’t tried it with two yet, I usually play with 4 players.

    You might also check out Ghost Pirates.
    http://brooklynindiegames.com/games/ghost-pirates

  5. jason@play-board-games.com on September 25th, 2012 11:26 am

    @Tim – Thanks for the suggestion. You should try Innovation with two it scales very well.

    @Doug – Thanks for the feedback. I will have to look into trying Morels out.

  6. Freddie on September 25th, 2012 12:05 pm

    Agricola All Creatures Big and Small is a fast playing game of trying to build a farm with the most animals. It is a very good couples game.

    I also second the suggestion of Morels.

  7. Frediccini on September 28th, 2012 8:36 am

    I suggest trying both Day & Night and Android: Netrunner. In both of these games, depending on which side you play, you get a VERY different experience.

  8. Frediccini on September 28th, 2012 8:43 am

    Oh, and Stronghold too.

  9. jason@play-board-games.com on September 28th, 2012 9:17 am

    Thanks for the feedback. Now I have more games to hunt down. :)

  10. Andrés on October 9th, 2012 3:06 am

    Thanks for the list!

    I bought Earth Reborn to play with my fiance, and due to its sheer complexity we never got around to playing a single game.

    I also bought Race for the Galaxy. We actually managed to play a few rounds, but gave up trying to wrap our heads around all the rules and didn’t even finish that first game…

    To give you some context, she’s an electrical engineer and I’m a software developer, so it’s not like we’re stupid or something :P I guess we just like gaming experiences that are a bit lighter and don’t feel like work!

  11. jason@play-board-games.com on October 9th, 2012 7:48 am

    I understand that. And wanting less complex games doesn’t mean you are stupid. Some of the less complex games on this list are Lost Cities, Battle Line and Jaipur.

  12. Michael on December 23rd, 2012 5:19 am

    My wife loves pandemic and corcassone, when she has rarely shown much interest in playing board games.

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