30 BEST TWO PLAYER BOARD GAMES


two player board game

Even if you’re just two people, there are plenty of board games that you can play together to pass the time. While many board games require three or more players, these board games are perfect for just two players! Whether you’re a couple or a couple of best friends, these are the best two player board games you should play.

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COOPERATIVE TWO PLAYER BOARD GAMES

Not feeling very competitive? There are tons of cooperative board games for just two players, meaning you and the other player will be on the same “team” throughout the game and working towards the same goals. The games listed below are all coop games that play super smoothly with just two players!

1. PANDEMIC

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Pandemic Board Game (Base Game) | Cooperative...
  • STRATEGY GAME: Players must work together playing to their characters' strengths...
  • COOPERATIVE BOARD GAME: Only through teamwork will you keep the world safe from...
  • WORK TOGETHER AND SAVE HUMANITY: Four diseases threaten the world, and your...

An iconic board game that has become all too real in recent years, Pandemic is an awesome coop game. While you can play with up to four players, the game works very well with just 2 players. In this board game, you and the other player will work together to cure four deadly diseases that are threatening the globe. You and your partner can choose between seven game roles, each with different abilities: Dispatcher, scientist, medic researcher, contingency planner, quarantine specialist, and operations expert.

This game is quite strategic and requires a lot of teamwork to be successful, but it is honestly one of my favorite board games of all time!

2. CODENAMES DUET

Codenames: Duet - The Two Player Word Deduction...
  • 400 all new words compatible with original codenames
  • New cooperative gameplay
  • Campaign mode to record your progress

A two-player version of a timeless classic, Codenames Duet is another coop board game. If you have played the standard Codenames game, then you are in luck! Codenames Duet is pretty much the same, except it is designed for just two players. 

The main difference between Codenames Duet and standard Codenames is that in the Duet version, all players are on the same team and working to uncover agents and avoid killing bystanders from the same board. The “keycards” in Codenames Duet are double sides, and you should place it directly between each player as the agents you and your teammate are trying to uncover will be different from one another.

3. FORBIDDEN ISLAND

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Forbidden Island – The Cooperative Strategy...
  • 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Games Winner
  • Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four...
  • 2 to 4 players

Forbidden Island is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated coop games. This strategic board game is very unique and fun to play with just two players. The premise of Forbidden Island is that you and your teammate venture to a quickly sinking island in search of 4 lost treasures. You must work together to collect all of the treasures and escape on a helicopter before the island sinks beneath the sea.

You’ll be forced to think differently and approach each turn with a creative approach to this game. If you and a friend are looking for a new and fun coop board game to play, I highly suggest checking out Forbidden Island!

4. HORRIFIED

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Ravensburger Horrified: Universal Monsters...
  • COOPERATIVE GAMEPLAY: Immerse yourself in a world of strategy and teamwork as...
  • UNIQUE MONSTER CHALLENGES: Each monster encounter requires different strategies...
  • FAMILY GAME NIGHT FAVOURITE: With a 60-minute play time and capacity for 1-5...

Calling all horror movie buffs! Horrified takes you and your teammate into the horror realm, where you will have to fight and evade the various monsters that are attacking your village. There are different tasks you and your teammate will need to do to defeat each monster in Horrified. Each turn is divided into the Hero Phase and the Monster Phase. There are a lot of moving parts to this two-player game, but it is relatively easy to learn and is a really awesome choice if you want something strategic, engaging, and frankly a bit terrifying!

5. SHERLOCK HOLMES CONSULTING DETECTIVE

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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective - The Thames...
  • VICTORIAN MYSTERIES: Immerse yourself in the gaslit streets of Victorian London...
  • COOPERATIVE DEDUCTION: Join forces with friends or play solo in a shared...
  • UNIQUE GAME STRUCTURE: Experience an utterly unique game structure that draws...

Are you a big Sherlock Holmes fan? Or perhaps just a big fan of mystery games like Clue? In that case, you might love playing Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. In this game, you will be walking down the streets of Victorian London with Sherlock in order to solve mysteries. This board game includes ten different cases, where you can either play solo or up to 8 people, making it a great two-player board game. This is a relatively challenging game that will really test your deductive skills as you follow clues and make connections – just like Sherlock Holmes!

6. ARKHAM HORROR

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Arkham Horror 3rd Edition , Mystery /Strategy Game...
  • COOPERATIVE HORROR: Join forces with 1-6 players in a chilling cooperative board...
  • BRANCHING NARRATIVES: Experience dynamic storytelling with Archive cards,...
  • DIVERSE INVESTIGATORS: Select from 12 distinct investigators, each with their...

One of the best cooperative board games for two players is none other than the famous Arkham Horror. As you might be able to guess from the game’s name, in Arkham, there’s something evil lurking, and you’ll need to stop it! To play, choose from 16 Investigators, and you’ll work together to prevent one of the Ancient Ones from breaking in. In this game, you’ll fight a variety of different monsters while closing the gates to other dimensions that keep opening up! And if too many gates open, the Ancient One will awake, leading to a final battle in this New England town.

7. HARRY POTTER HOGWARTS BATTLE

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USAOPOLY Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Cooperative...
  • Play as your favorite character to defend the wizarding world from evil forces:...
  • Gain influence to master powerful spells, recruit allies, and uncover magical...
  • Enhance your abilities with over 140 cards

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is the board game to get if you are a big Potterhead. This is one of the best deck-building games out there. If you’re not familiar with deck-building games, in this type of game, the cards are the main element of the game. Unlike most other deck-building games, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is cooperative. So, no need to worry about being competitive.

In this super fun deck-building board game, 2 to 4 players work together as Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Neville to build a deck of spells, potions, items, and other characters to defeat villains that threaten Hogwarts!

8. MARVEL LEGENDARY

Upper Deck Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
  • Easy to learn, with fast-paced gameplay
  • Features incredible original artwork of Marvel heroes and villains
  • Game consists of nearly 600 cards, Full color Game board & Color Rule Book

Of course, no list of the best two player cooperative board games is complete without mention of Marvel Legendary. This is the best board game to play if you’re a superhero fan, as you hero players will work together to defeat the villain four times before the time is up! While Marvel Lengedary is a cooperative board game, players do gain victory points throughout play, and the player with the most points wins the title of most legendary hero! But you’ll still work together to stop the mastermind.

To play, you’ll recruit hero cards to add to your deck by building recruitment powers and fighting ability throughout the course of the game.

9. SPIRIT ISLAND

Greater Than Games | Spirit Island: Base Game |...
  • DEFEND THE LAND: Colonizers are trying to take and blight the island wherever...
  • COOPERATIVE GAMEPLAY: You and your friends are working together to fight against...
  • HIGHLY THEMATIC: Not only do the invaders have an engine all their own, each...

While anywhere between 1 and 4 players can play, Spirit Island is best played with 2 players. In this cooperative board game for two players, you defend your island from colonizers. Each player plays a different spirit of the island, with each spirit boasting a power. There are a few different bad guys to choose from, such as a Swedish Mining Colony, and each plays differently. So, you can play a game that challenges you differently each time!

Spirit Island is a relatively complex game that involves playing power cards, gaining energy, spreading presence, and so much more. Try your best to destroy all the settlements and cities on the board to protect your island!

EASY TWO PLAYER GAMES

Looking for a relatively easy game to play with one other person? We’ve got you covered with these easy two player games that anyone can play.

9. THE FOX IN THE FOREST

Renegade Game Studios The Fox in The Forest Card...
  • Familiar trick-taking mechanics with unique character powers
  • Beautifully illustrated cards
  • Compact size is perfect for travel

Are you a big fan of trick-taking games? Who isn’t? The Fox in the Forest is the ideal trick-taking game for just two players. You play this game just like a normal trick-taking card game like Bridge or Spades. That means, in each round, you must aim to win a trick by laying down a higher value card or the trump suit. However, this game does come with a bit of a twist! Even if you lose a trick, there are some special cards in the deck, such as the Fox or the Witch, that can help you change the trump suit! Score points according to how many tricks you win, and the first player to get to 21 points wins the game.

10. JAIPUR

Jaipur Board Game - Strategy Trading Game for Ages...
  • SUBTLE TRADING GAME: In Jaipur, players take on the roles of two of the city’s...
  • STRATEGY GAME: Collect and exchange goods at the market then sell them for...
  • COMPETITIVE TWO PLAYER GAME: Out-trade your opponent to obtain the Maharajah's...

One of the top two-player board games is Jaipur. The two players play the two most powerful traders in the city, but to win the game, you’ve got to win two seals of excellence in order to be invited to the Maharaja’s court – a huge honor! So, try to beat the other player by buying, exchanging, and selling, and become the best trader in the entire city! But while you’re doing all that, keep an eye on your camels. The camels may not have value, but they are imperative for trading.

To play, you take turns taking or selling cards, using a combination of luck and skill to eventually win the game.

11. CASCADIA

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AEG & Flatout Games | Cascadia - Award-Winning...
  • AWARD WINNER: Spiel des Jahres Game of the Year 2022. American Tabletop Award...
  • FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN: exciting strategy board game with family mode for new...
  • EASY TO TEACH AND LEARN: elegantly simple gameplay, teach in 2 minutes, plays in...

Cascadia is an incredibly simple board game that you can learn in just 2 minutes. If you’re a big fan of puzzles, this is the board game for you! To play this game, you take turns building your area and attracting wildlife. On each turn, you choose a habitat tile which is paired with a random wildlife token. You’re going to want to place these tiles in a way that you can match the terrain and keep the wildlife happy. For example, hawks don’t want to be placed with other hawks, while bears will want to be in pairs. This strategy board game will really make you think about how to puzzle the pieces together as you expand.

12. CARCASSONE

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Carcassonne Board Game (BASE GAME) | Board Game...
  • INTRODUCTION TO STRATEGY: Experience the timeless allure of "Carcassonne," a...
  • SIMPLE YET ENGAGING: With intuitive rules—place tiles, deploy meeples, score...
  • BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS: Immerse yourself in the game's enchanting world through...

Carcassone is a board game that you can play with up to 5 players but is playable by just 2. While this game may look complicated at first glance, the rules are incredibly intuitive, and you should be able to pick it up in a matter of minutes. In this tile-placement game, players draw and place tiles that make up a French landscape. Place the tiles in a way that makes sense by connecting cities to cities and roads to roads. Then, once you place a tile, you can place one of your meeples on it to eventually score points for a completed area!

13. NOVA LUNA

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Nova Luna (Edition Spielwiese) *Nominiert Spiel...
  • Board Game, Family Game
  • English (Publication Language)

An award-winning short game, Nova Luna is all about new beginnings and the future. In this tile-laying game, you place a new tile from the moon wheel in front of you, with each tile giving you a new task you must complete. As you complete your tasks, place a marker on each one. The first player to successfully place all their markers wins the game! While playing, you’ll really need to implement strategy in order to solve the tasks one by one.

14. TICKET TO RIDE

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Ticket to Ride Board Game - A Cross-Country Train...
  • FAST-PACED STRATEGY: Race to build your train routes across iconic American...
  • COMPETITIVE FUN: Challenge friends and family in a 2-5 player game, where every...
  • COLLECT TRAIN CARDS: Strategically gather train cards to claim routes and earn...

An absolute classic board game, Ticket to Ride is a two-player board game we can’t do without in this list of the best two player board games. This game is all about strategy and power. An elegantly simple board game, in Ticket to Ride, players compete to create railway routes across North America. As you collect and play train cards in order to connect the cities across the continent, you will be able to gain more points. There are bonus points to be won as well, so don’t discard those, as they may help you win the long game!

15. PATCHWORK

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Patchwork | Strategy / Puzzle Game | Family Board...
  • QUILTING CHALLENGE: Engage in a delightful quilting challenge as you and a...
  • TWO-PLAYER EXCELLENCE: Designed specifically for two players, Patchwork delivers...
  • STRATEGIC PUZZLER: With each turn, players face the mystery of the next patch...

Patchwork is a board game specifically made with two players in mind. Are you up for a quilting puzzle challenge? In this incredibly visual board game, you and one other player will compete to create the most stunning quilt on your game boards. Players take turns purchasing one of the three patches of the spool or passes. Buy patches throughout the game and add them to your game board. While you can place the patches wherever you want on your gameboard, don’t overlap them! This super easy-to-learn board game is perfect for both kids and adults to play.

16. KINGDOMINO

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Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family...
  • Strategy Tabletop Board Game: Kingdomino Is One Of The Best-Selling City Or...
  • Family Or Adult Strategy Game: This 2 To 4 Players Fantasy Game Can Be Enjoyed...
  • How To Play: Kingdomino Is A Card Drafting And Tile Placement Game Using A...

In Kingdomino, your objective is to expand your kingdom. To do so, you’ll need to explore the lands and secure the best areas before the other lords get them first! As you might be able to deduce from the name of the game, the game uses tiles that look similar to dominoes.

To play, players take turns choosing a domino to add to their kingdom, but just like dominoes, you’ve got to make sure one of the sides connects to a matching terrain, whether it be wheat fields, mountains, or lakes. The game comes to an end when a player completes or fails a 5×5 grid, after which you tally points according to how many connecting tiles you have as well as the crown symbols collected throughout the duration of the game.

COMPLEX TWO PLAYER BOARD GAMES

If you are a board game connoisseur, you might want to challenge yourself and play a more challenging and complex game. If you and your partner are up for it, here are some of the more complex two player board games you’ve got to try out!

17. TERRAFORMING MARS

Terraforming Mars Board Game-Award Winning...
  • Compete for different milestones and awards worth many VPS
  • In Terraforming Mars, players control a corporation and compete to transform...
  • Will lead the way into humanitys new era?

Probably one of the most iconic two player board games (but playable for 1 to 4 players) you can play is Terraforming Mars. But if you’re not a big fan of board games, beware. This board game is incredibly complicated, but the effort is well worth it in the end! In Terraforming Mars, you’re in the 2400s and playing as a corporation working together to terraform Mars, the planet. While the corporations do work together, you still compete to gain victory points for your contributions, for advancing human infrastructure, and for other praiseworthy things.

While it’s hard to boil down this massive board game into just a couple of paragraphs, once you get playing Terraforming Mars, you’ll be playing this board game for hours on end.

18. 7 WONDERS DUEL

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Repos Production 7 Wonders Duel
  • STRATEGY GAME: Experience an intense two-player struggle for supremacy in the...
  • TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CIVILIZATION: Decide to invest in science, military or...
  • VICTORY CAN BE ACHIEVE IN THREE WAYS: Invade your opponent’s capital, achieve...

Did you know that you can play the iconic game 7 Wonders with just two players? To make this game playable for two players, you’ll need to play 7 Wonders Duel. Just like the standard game, you’ll play this game over the course of three ages, each of which develops different wonders of the world. Since this game is a duel, you will be competing against the other player, so get your game face on! Use bonuses and strategies to develop a civilization and complete wonders.

19. SCYTHE

Stonemaier Games: Scythe (Base Game) | an...
  • EXPLORE: It is a time of unrest in 1920s Europa. The ashes from the first great...
  • ALTERNATE HISTORY: Scythe is an engine-building game set in an alternate-history...
  • VARIABILITY: With five different factions and five different player boards,...

An engine-building game set in an alternate-history 1920s Europe, Scythe is a game in which players represent a character from one of the five factions trying to conquer territory, get resources, gain villagers, activate mechs, and so much more. What makes this game so complicated is that the board game is created to allow players to have complete control over what they want to do. So, there’s a near-unlimited number of possibilities and situations you may encounter over the course of the game. In other words, Scythe is one of the best games out there for replayability.

In this board game, there are no rounds or phases, so gameplay is fast, making for a much more entertaining game with very little downtime between turns – especially as a two player game.

20. DISNEY VILLAINOUS

Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game...
  • IMMERSIVE GAMEPLAY: Dive into the sinister objectives of 6 iconic Disney...
  • PERFECT FOR DISNEY LOVERS: With its engaging gameplay and classic characters,...
  • EASY TO LEARN: Detailed guides for each villain provide clear instructions and...

If you’re a big Disney fan, you’re going to love this next board game on our list! Disney Villainous, as you might be able to guess from the name, is a board game that involves our childhood villains! In this game, you play a Disney villain, with each character with a corresponding reference card, villain guide, fate deck, villain deck, villain mover, and an assigned player board.

On each turn, players move their character on their player board and take one or more actions on that space. Make sure you always have four cards in your hand. Throughout the game, the fate deck works against you, but with some strategy on hand, who knows what you’ll be able to do!

21. NEMESIS

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Nemesis Board Game | Sci-Fi Horror | Miniatures |...
  • SURVIVAL BOARD GAME: The crew wakes up from hibernation to find a critical...
  • STRATEGY GAME: Choose your character wisely because each one comes with a unique...
  • DETAILED MINIATURES: Game includes 26 high quality miniature figures and over...

A board game with a super fun and scary premise is Nemesis. In Nemesis, you’ll be in the center of a sci-fi survival horror! In this semi-cooperative game, you and your crew must survive on a ship that’s filled with hostile aliens. But try to win the game quickly by completing one of the two objectives you will have from the beginning of the game. And try to get back to Earth before the alien invaders become too strong to beat! Plus, you’ll need to battle a bunch of other obstacles, including the agendas of the other players!

22. TARGI

Thames & Kosmos | Targi | Two Player Game |...
  • Worker placement game for 2 players
  • 7. 6 Board Game Geek Rating | Top 100 Ranking
  • Solo Variant

In Targi, you are a leader of a Tuareg tribe, so you’ll need to trade goods, grow your family, and obtain benefits. The board is a 5×5 grid filled with 16 squares with action simples and 9 blank squares in the middle. Place the meeples one by one on the edge of the board, but meeples cannot occupy the same space as an opponent or on a square facing an opponent. Then, once placed, players can execute the actions on the squares the meeples are on.

Score points to win by playing tribal cards, which can give you advantages and victory points to help you win the game!

Targi can be a relatively complicated game, so really take your time to read the rules beforehand.

CLASSIC TWO PLAYER BOARD GAMES

Now that we have gone through some of the more niche and complicated board games for two players let’s take a look at some of the classics. These board games have been around for ages and have been played and cherished by generations of board game lovers. 

23. CHESS

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ASNEY Upgraded Magnetic Chess Set, 15" Tournament...
  • Strong Magnetic: 15” big magnetic chess board set is made of premium quality...
  • Foldable: Chess table with clear pattern on the surface, folding the wooden...
  • Extra Queens & Storage Slots: Each Staunton chess piece is handcrafted from...

The “original” two player board game, chess, has been played for over a thousand years! While relatively simple to learn, chess requires decades of dedication to master. Those who excel at this board game are often associated with having a high IQ, and it is played in extremely high-stakes tournaments virtually everywhere in the world.

Chess is the foundation of many other board games, and learning some basic chess strategies is a great way to improve your memory, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, all of which are important skills in other board games.

24. CHECKERS

Pressman Checkers -- Classic Game With Folding...
  • Checkers is a two-player strategy game played on a checkered board with 64...
  • Makes a great addition to your game collection - an easy to learn, timeless...
  • Features folding game board for easy storage and years of play, plus...

Checkers is a straightforward game that also happens to be one of the oldest continuously played board games. In this dueling board game, your goal is to eliminate all of your opponent’s pieces by jumping over them in the gameboard. This is likely one of the first games you learned to play as a child, as it is super simple to grasp without many intricacies or complex rules.

25. SCRABBLE

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Hasbro Gaming Scrabble Board Game,Word Game for...
  • CLASSIC CROSSWORD GAME: Get family and friends together for a fun game night...
  • WOODEN TILES AND RACKS: This edition of the Scrabble game features 100 wooden...
  • RACK UP THE POINTS: Scrabble letters are worth points, and premium squares on...

You can play Scrabble with up to 4 players, but it works seamlessly with just two players. If you are a fan of word games, like crossword puzzles or Wordle you will love Scrabble. In this classic board game, you and your teammate will compete to create the highest-scoring words by adding letters to the board. Each letter has a different point value. Additionally, you can score more points by placing your words on the various point multipliers on the game board.   

Scrabble is an excellent game for all audiences and is a great learning game to play with kids.

26. RISK

Risk Board Game, Strategy Games for 2-5 Players,...
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
  • Includes gameboard, armies with 4 Infantry, 12 Cavalry, and 8 Artillery each,...
  • PLAY USING ALEXA SKILL: Players have the option of playing this Risk game using...

Risk is one of the original strategy board games and is one of my personal favorites. The Risk gameboard is a world map, and you and your teammate will compete to dominate the world with your armies. There are countless strategies to risk, and despite its relatively simple gameplay, I feel like I have learned something new about the game with each play. All this said, if you are a sore loser, Risk may not be the best game to play… The game can take hours to finish, and losing can be brutal. So, prepare to be extremely upset and exhausted after a playthrough of Risk.

Check out our thorough guide to playing Risk for more info.

27. BATTLESHIP

Hasbro Gaming Battleship With Planes Strategy...
  • A twist on the classic battleship game: This battleship game features airplanes...
  • Sink Ships and crash Planes: with this edition, fans of the battleship game can...
  • Portable Game: the battleship game includes 2 portable battle cases so players...

Probably one of the most classic board games for two players is Battleship. Battleship is an incredibly simple two player board game that doesn’t require much setup or explanation. In fact, you’ve likely played this game when growing up, as it’s a must-have in pretty much any classroom setting.

To play this game, two players sit across from one another with a board each. The two players set up their battleships on the board either horizontally or vertically. Then, each player takes turns calling out a coordinate where you believe one of the opponent’s ships to be. Continue taking turns calling out coordinates as you miss and hit the ships. The first player to sink all of the other player’s ships wins!

28. JENGA

Hasbro Gaming Jenga Wooden Blocks Stacking...
  • GREAT PARTY GAME: Liven up a party by bringing out the Jenga game; This classic...
  • GREAT PARTY GAME: Liven up a party by bringing out the Jenga game! This classic...
  • THE ORIGINAL WOOD BLOCK GAME: The Jenga game is the original wood block game...

Jenga is a great game to play with one other person if you don’t want to play a game that requires too much brainpower. However, even though this is a very simple board game, you’re likely to have a lot of fun trying your best not to let the tower fall! If you’re over-age, you can even turn Jenga into a fun drinking game in order to play this classic game with a twist.

To play, simply build the tower by placing three blocks side by side and placing another three blocks on top of the other, turning it 90 degrees. Keep alternating as you build the tower. Once built, players take turns removing a block from the tower and adding it to the top. The player who causes the tower to tumble loses!

29. BACKGAMMON

Get The Games Out Top Backgammon Set - Travel...
  • PRODUCT DIMENSIONS: Size Small 11 Inch Case; Open: 15 x 11 x 1 inches; Closed:...
  • CLASSIC BOARD GAME: This classic backgammon board game set is the perfect set...
  • TAKE YOUR BACKGAMMON GAME ANYWHERE: Everything is tucked away in the designated...

Backgammon is one of the oldest two-player board games in the world. Involving checkers and dice, this board game is a classic for a reason. This is one of those board games that involve the perfect combination of both strategy and luck. While the dice can help determine who wins the game, ultimately, it will still be the stronger player who will win over a series of games. The goal of the game? Remove all 15 of your pieces from play on the board.

30. GO

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Go Set with 2 Pull-Out Drawers
  • GO GAME BOARD SET: Play the game of Go to help improve concentration, balance,...
  • 2 PLAYER TABLETOP GAME: This sleek style wooden Go board game looks great as a...
  • CONVENIENT SIZE GOBAN: The board measures almost 12 inches making it a...

Another classic two-player board game worth mentioning is Go. Go is known by many other names, including baduk (in Korea) and weiqi (in China). While this board game may look complicated at first glance, it’s relatively simple to understand the rules. But, of course, mastering Go is a whole other ball game!

Go involves one Go board and two sets of stones in black and white. The two plyers take turns placing their colored stones on intersections with the goal of building more territory than the opposing player. What’s interesting about Go is that you can play as peacefully or as aggressively as you want!

Check out our comprehensive guide to Go to learn everything there is to know about this game!

Mia Kim
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