Games that Are Worth Purchasing Solely for Playing Two-Player, but Are Capable of Supporting More Players
B. Udral
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I'm in the common situation of liking board games, not having the time and energy to join a game group, and playing mostly with my wife. There are a large number of great games made for two players, but usually they are smaller in scope than games that can accommodate more players.

This list is of games that are playable by 2 or more, but are worth purchasing solely to play as a two player game. If it does not "officially" support 2, but has a two player variant that makes it a worthwhile purchase, that is just fine. I don't want any games that only support two on the list, as those are obviously worth purchasing just for two players.

To be clear, for purposes of this list, it does not matter how the game plays with more than two players. It does not matter how many players it is "best" with. What matters is whether the game is worth purchasing only to be played with two players.

Other geeklists that are similar are here, but none are as comprehensive as this aims to be:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/2816
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/984
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14971

A particularly good list is here, with much more in depth commentary:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14040

A geeklist with 2-player variants is here, which includes some of the variants discussed below:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15749

Feel free to comment or add more games. I've added games that I think are worth purchasing just for two, and games that I haven't played, but appear from forum comments and other geeklists to be worthwhile.

May 2009: Edits made. I rearranged to put some of my favorite two player games on top. (dragging is annoying for large geeklists!)



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101. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:501]
Kris Verbeeck
Belgium
Mol
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I like it most with two or three players
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102. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Kris Verbeeck
Belgium
Mol
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103. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:194] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
Costa Rica
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Well the best 2 player game - IMO, is Heroscape. Perfect for 2 people. If you wnat a 1/2 hour game, no problem. You have an hour to kill no problem, just double the pts. in the game. It is alsoa great game for more people if you have a good board.
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104. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:43]
Gabriel Lim
New Zealand
Tauranga
Bay of Plenty
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This plays very well with 2 players or more too! My girlfriend loves playing it with me so I would highly recommend it.
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105. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:24]
Sebastian Blanco
United States
Lansing
Michigan
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Didn't see this on the list yet, but it's an obvious add. It plays quite different when you get to choose two roles a turn, but it's fun no matter how many players you have around.
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106. Board Game: Wacky Wacky West [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:1705]
Kevin Rolph
United Kingdom
Malvern Wells
UK
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Drunter & Druber is a radically different game when played with two. Multi-player it's quite light and chaotic, but with two - without intervening players - it becomes much more chess like.
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107. Board Game: Amyitis [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:528]
Jon Bryon
England
New Addington
Croydon
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My wife and I have enjoyed playing this 2-player.
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108. Board Game: Camelot Legends [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2354]
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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Quick and good game for 2 - 4 players. I've played with 2, 3 and 4 and they were good times
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109. Board Game: BattleTech [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:668]
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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This good ol'one is fine for 2 players or team-fighting
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110. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:54]
B. Udral
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I said in an Age of Steam comment that I wouldn't play this 2P due to the huge board. I lied. It's one of my favorite games. It is ridiculous to play the huge map with 2P, but it is still fun. Europe map is better for 2p though.

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111. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:212]
 
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A recent purchase that plays great for two.
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112. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:81]
B. Udral
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Another recent purchase, still lots of fun with 2. This is one game though, where you play it with 2, and it just feels like more players are needed. Not that it isn't fun with 2, but you can see how much better more fun more players would bring.
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113. Board Game: Terra Nova [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1468]
B. Udral
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More fun than Through the Desert. If Knizia made this, it would be top 20.
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114. Board Game: Oregon [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:704]
B. Udral
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Pretty good light game with 2P. Nothing extraordinary, but it offers some unique mechanics.
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115. Board Game: Bison: Thunder on the Prairie [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1643]
B. Udral
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I love this game. I think it's my favorite Kramer to play with 2P. A real brain burner though.
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116. Board Game: Marvel Heroes [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1319]
Rauli Kettunen
Finland
Oulu
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Didn't see this listed yet. 2-player, especially once you have the rules down, can be played in an hour. Game comes with 4 teams of superheroes. Most of my games have been 2-player, with some solo 3-team tryouts.
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117. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Faye Min
United States
Los Angeles
CA
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My fiance's and my favorite quick game for 2. Play 2-player more than any other way and it certainly isn't lacking in any way at all.
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118. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:50]
Faye Min
United States
Los Angeles
CA
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A good, lighter game in the follower placement category. One of the ones the fiance and I play a lot together.
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119. Board Game: Before the Wind [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1090]
Blake Morris
United States
Henrico
Virginia
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This size viola da gamba is like a cello with frets. I started playing at age 48.
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This is very enjoyable for two but is fine for up to five. It has an interesting "extortion" mechanic and a good bit of tension.
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120. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:15]
Faye Min
United States
Los Angeles
CA
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Our ultimate favorite. If you're looking for a meaty economic game that works great for two, this is it. Long game, short game, it's still satisfying.

The mechanics are very simple and it's not very confrontational (except for blocking your opponents out of a building) so I would imagine this to be very wife friendly.
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121. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:91]
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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I like GtR so much more than RftG.
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122. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:263]
Faye Min
United States
Los Angeles
CA
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We actually prefer this with 2 than with 4 - you get more time/more digs which balances out the luck element a little more, IMO.
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123. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:138]
Faye Min
United States
Los Angeles
CA
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Great, great, game. Lots of tension, and you always want to go back and try things differently.
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124. Board Game: Wasabi! [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:881]
Richard Dowdy
United States
Texas
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Fun for two players. It plays up to four, and though I haven't tried 3 or 4 yet, I would expect it scales similarly to Carcassonne, with 2p balancing building your own position with blocking our opponent, and larger numbers getting more unpredictable as more tiles get placed between each of your turns, hindering long term planning in a way some people will thrive on and others find too chaotic.
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125. Board Game: Quicksand [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:2437]
Juan Urista
United States
Radford
Virginia
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Can support up to 5 players but probably plays best with 2 players as it becomes a great bluffing game with several strategies to throw off your opponent. Here you try not to let your opponent know which explorer you are controlling and have a much smaller chance of moving your opponents pawn, and thus have several strategies to outwit your opponent. Of course it becomes much harder to guess which explorer your opponent is controlling so it makes for some interesting play.
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