Favorite board games for two people

8 March 2019

How do you like to spend your evenings?

About 75% of the time on a night we’re at home, I’m on my laptop. This feels like a lame answer, but it is what it is – since I try to limit screens as much as possible when our kiddos are awake, the time after they go to bed is when I tackle both life necessities – answering emails, updating our budget, ordering more wipes, booking an appointment – and luxuriating in my favorite hobbies (reading blogs and writing my own posts, mostly! :)). I reserve the last half hour or hour once I’m in bed for reading.

John usually occupies himself by reading, watching a show, studying, and taking care of his own life necessities. Sometimes we’ll watch something together, or work on a project (travel planning, when we’re lucky!). But one of the best ways we’ve found to switch things up on a random weeknight is to play a game together.

I know so many of us are looking to break the habit of social media scrolling or mindless TV watching (or worse, both at once!) and connect more purposefully, so I thought I’d share a few of our favorites!


Our favorite two-person games:

Sagrada | Pictured above, this is a gorgeous game that can be played by up to 4 people but is the rare find that I think is actually better with 2!
Monopoly Deal | Forget all your dreadful memories of Monopoly – this card game is quick (15 minutes!) and addictive!
Seven Wonders Duel | Seven Wonders is one of our favorite games to play with a group, and this slim-downed version succeeds at bringing the fun to a party of two.
Eight-Minute Empire | I like that this board is petite, so it’s possible to play in our armchairs, on the little table between them, instead of at our kitchen table. Plus, for some reason I beat John about 75% of the time :)
Rock Me Archimedes | We actually don’t own this, but have given it to several family members and love playing it when we’re at one of those recipient’s houses!

Other great two-person games:

Boggle | You know I love me some Boggle, but rolling the dice is SUPER loud, so it’s not the best fit for this season of life where we’re often playing when kiddos are sleeping!
Farkle | I’ve only played this in a larger group, but apparently you can play it with two people, too. Bonus: you just need six dice to play this game!
Mancala | We don’t have our own board yet, but played this all the time growing up! I’m thinking June might be ready in a year or two.
Scattergories | We play this often with 3+, but I suppose you could play it with two people, too.
Set | This game is quick and keeps you on your toes – a different style of play than many of the others listed here.
Double Solitaire

Two-person games suggested by readers!

El Dorado
Sushi Go!
Battle Sheep

I’d love to hear if you have any games to add to our list! And, how do you spend your evenings?

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Kelly Strawberry
March 8, 2019 9:43 am

Brian and I play Scrabble on occasion. I feel like we go through board game phases, and I agree it’s definitely a good way to change up an average week night. I’m going to look into some of your suggestions! :)

March 8, 2019 10:01 am

We used to play games quite a bit before LS! I may pick one or two of these up. We love Uno and Skip-Bo! Usually our evenings tend to be filled with some routine–Tuesdays after 7pm I go to a women’s bible study, Sundays are when Steven goes to his guys bible study. Wednesdays our church has the best supper in town at only $6/person and our joint small group will meet afterwards (Libby Sloane eats with us and then there’s a chance for all of us to let our kids run wild in the gym and free childcare!) Occasionally on Thursdays I’ll have a meeting with Junior League or Steven’s mens group will meet for a happy hour. We try to go to dinner once a week as a family (cheap mexican, typically!) Weekends are fair game for a sitter/grandparents to come so we can go out or we get together with friends/kids for pizza or grilling or something like that. These days I’m not far behind LS’s bedtime, ha! My workload has been heavier lately, too, so I’ve had to play a fair amount of catch up in the evenings working after she goes to bed! Naturally all things will be thrown for a loop come may!

March 8, 2019 10:48 am

Ha! I have been working on this identical blog post, and it is (was?) almost ready to go live! We’ve become known for hosting game nights, as well as playing games with just the two of us, and it’s definitely one of our favorite things. Playing games together is the best (and so much better than TV, in my opinion) — plus we’re both really competitive but simply love spending time together in this way.

March 8, 2019 4:01 pm

Oh, this is wonderful! I have been wanting to pick up a game or two for screen-free nights, but I needed two-player recommendations! Thank you!

March 8, 2019 5:40 pm

Pandemic, Guillotine (quick and portable card game!), Kingdomino, and Sonar are some of our favs. I also really want to try Azul; I’ve heard great things!!

March 8, 2019 7:07 pm

Love this! As an alternative to our new tradition of Sunday movie night as a family (there are only so many movies on Amazon Prime that all ages in our house love!), we were just talking this week about doing board games on occasion. And now I’m intrigued by the idea of Ari and me doing this after the kiddos go to sleep one night as well. Too fun!

March 8, 2019 7:51 pm

Quicktonary, Dutch Blitz and Banagrams!

Laura B
March 8, 2019 8:39 pm

Thank you for sharing these, Emily! Dan, Jason and I are going on a family vacation and Dan and I have committed to no TV and social media after Jason goes to bed. I am planning to bring playing cards, but so grateful for some options to change it up.

March 8, 2019 10:32 pm

We LOVE Monopoly Deal! I’m so glad that you like it too! I’m excited to try your suggestions :)

March 8, 2019 11:08 pm

These are great suggestions!! My husband and I loooooove game night. We have quite the collection now!

March 9, 2019 1:19 am

We like Scrabble, Sushi Go!, the Oregon Trail card game (although it can end too quickly!), SpaceTeam, Quirkle, and Patchwork!

March 11, 2019 5:47 pm

I am sending this to Andy so we can hopefully carve out ‘after-bedtime’ game time together! What fun suggestions.

March 11, 2019 6:45 pm

I’m so glad you wrote this post. We too love a good game. The kids typically play one with us on weekend nights as a family but we wanted some new games for my husband and I to play. I laughed out loud because Boggle is awesome but with small kids it is a no go after bedtime. We recently purchased How to Rob a Bank

March 11, 2019 6:48 pm

Continued… How to Rob a bank has been enjoyable for two and four players. Our kids (6/4/2) have recently started playing Milesborne one of Steve’s favorite games from his childhood and have thourouly enjoyed it.

March 14, 2019 2:44 pm
Reply to  Kelly

Yes!! I was going to comment and mention How to Rob a Bank! We recently heard about this one, and my husband and I have been enjoying it!

March 11, 2019 8:35 pm

I’d definitely recommend Morels! It’s a really lovely game- slow-paced but still fun. My husband & I also just bought Azul, too, and are enjoying it a lot.

March 12, 2019 6:29 am

We love our games, don’t we, Em?! But where is Cribbage??? If it’s not in your repertoire, it should be…best ever! When I taught fourth grade every Thursday we played Cribbage in math…perfect for strategy and math fluency! (I recently saw a Facebook post of some former students and their families playing on vacation!) Oh, and if you’re up for a match or two on the Island this summer, I am ready!

March 14, 2019 11:43 pm

We used to play backgammon as a kid with my mom. There are dice involved but you roll them on the board that has felt so it shouldn’t be too loud. It’s a classic!

I love skip bo like others mentioned but another game that’s great is phase 10! I’ve never played it with two people, usually a few but it should be good. The object of the game is to get through all the phases before everyone else and it is it’s own card set like skip bo is. It can go quite a while as people can get stuck on a certain phase for a while!

Also, for when June is a bit older, one of my fav games to play with kids is There’s a Moose in the House. It says for 8 and up but I’ve totally played it well with five and up!

March 16, 2019 3:55 pm

I have been waiting for this post! I actually love the game Sushi Go but I don’t think it is as fun with only two people. My husband and I love playing a game called Hive which is a fun, quick, chess like game for two people. I can’t wait to check these games out!