Best 2 Player Board Games (2023) - cutlassboardgame.com

Best 2 Player Board Games (2023)

All You Can Board
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It’s time to talk 2-Player board games! In the past, we had done two videos, one highlighting best 2 player only games and one highlighting the games that play best at 2 players. We’ve combined both into an updated 2023 list of each of our current Top 10 2 Player Board Games! Take to the comments and let us know which you agree, which you don’t and which picks surprised you the most (or the least!)
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0:00 Overview
2:44 Dylann #10
5:11 Carlo #10
7:38 Quick Note re: Player Count
8:44 Dylann #9
11:49 Carlo #9
13:53 Dylann #8
17:20 Carlo #8
19:44 Dylann #7
21:41 Carlo #7
24:05 Dylann #6
26:08 Carlo #6
29:38 Dylann #5
31:59 Carlo #5
35:08 Dylann #4
37:43 Carlo #4
40:29 Dylann #3
43:06 Carlo #3
46:24 Dylann #2
50:20 Carlo #2
53:38 Dylann #1
57:01 Carlo #1

89 Comments

  1. The perfect video for me to watch/listen to while constructing a personalized version of the 2-player game, Paris: La Cité de la Lumière, for my fiancée for our Anniversary!

    Santorini has been on my radar for a while but hearing you guys talk about it makes me want to get it even more. Res Arcana also looks intriguing. I appreciate you both putting this list/video together!

  2. Carcassonne is also my top 2-player game (and overall, but only as 2-player). The memory of the remaining tiles mixes up with the interesting choices. At the moment TZAAR (w/tournament setup 1 by 1 until the board is filled up before match start) is no.2. I struggle to decide if Through the Desert or Blokus Duo (no bonuses, two matches alternate start, lowest total surplus squares win) is my number 3… ughh! I also recommend you to try DVONN (tournament setup 1 by 1) and Tintas (Seal of excellence by Tom Vasel). My City, eternal side/mode have probably entered my top 10 lately. Carcassonne The Castle, Knizia's amazing spin on Carcassonne is also up there. I like to play it without the bonus tiles on the wall for less random.

    Santorini and Great Plains are both amazing 2-player, I agree. I have 1000 wins in Lost Cities at BGA… but it is not in my top 10.

  3. You know there’s a special edition of Castles of Burgundy coming out right? If you do then never mind if you don’t well there is, I was just a little confused when you said collectors edition. Did you mean anniversary edition? Kind of the same thing I guess. Also try Quarto if you haven’t already. That’s a game I just leave out on my coffee table for anybody to be able to play a game under five minutes with a one minute rules teach. Tic-tac-toe on steroids.

  4. Give Android netrunner a chance, one of my favorite 2 player games of all time. There is even a really well made fan project called Null signal (Nisei) that is a worthwhile continuation of the game

  5. I play almost all my games at 2 players so figuring out a top 3 is hard. I don't know whether my favourite games are best at 2 because I haven't had a chance to play them with more players. Some games I love at 2 are Agricola, Clans of Caledonia, Targi, Santorini, Viticulture

  6. Caper Europe, That Time You Killed Me and Curious Cargo

  7. I’ve heard so many good things about innovation but I just can’t get past the poor art! Just can’t get past the teaching phase With my group but will have to push a little harder next time

  8. Watergate is great. Caverna Cave vs Cave, too.

  9. If you ever get a chance to play Omen: A Reign of War, you should. It's an amazing 2 player only game.

  10. Such a great list. Many of the games mentioned are games we adore and others will be on our to try list! Some of our heavier 2p favorites are Terraforming Mars, Arkham Horror lcg, and Spirit Island.

  11. 2p games are a bit tough for me because there are a ton of good ones (many on your lists) that are solid games I’m always happy to play, but don’t necessarily love. And games that I really enjoy at 2 but they work just as well at other player counts (namely solo or 3p). Though there’s also 7WD, Caesar! and Carcassonne which are for sure my top 3.

    Should give a shoutout to a couple co-ops: Spirit Island and Robinson Crusoe.

    And a few not mentioned on y’alls list: Air, Land, & Sea, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, Hanamikoji, Hadrian’s Wall, Underwater Cities, Glasgow, Sniper Elite, Naga Raja, Unmatched, and Undaunted.

    I suspect Watergate and Fields of Arle will be hits once I get em to the table.

  12. Carcassonne is a great game and who cares what the haters say. 🙌🏼💖

  13. Kites, Taverns of Tiefenthal, Azul, Flamecraft, and Radlands are our go to 2 player games lately.

  14. Carlo was a big reason I finally checked out Race for the Galaxy on BGA and I am very glad I did! It took 5 plays or so to get the hang of it but once I did it’s so much fun. Such interesting decisions in such a short time!

  15. Castles of Burgundy at two players great game. I have no tried Carcassonne at two players yet. In relation to Race for the Galaxy, I remember that Alex from BoardgameCo once told that it was his favorite game of all time. He also told he burnt it out for playing it hundreds of times at the app, he said that he was so automatized that nobody could match him so finally he decided to sell the game. I always remember that horror story about board games.

  16. Carlo coming through clutch with Carcassonne at #1!
    Don't let haters get to you man. I still have it as one of my top 5 of all time.
    #CarcassoneFTW

  17. I just found LOTR confrontation at the thrift store! I'm so excited that you like it this much. I haven't played it yet but it look interesting and was crazy cheap so I figured I'd take a chance on it. Thanks for another great video!

  18. Dylann, I'm positive the super fancy Castles of Burgundy is still available as a late pledge for another month or two. We finally gave in. 😀

  19. Two-player only, our tops would be…. Jaipur, Stellar (thanks for that one!) and Botanik. Botanik works really well in brewpubs.

    Others…. yes, Castles of Burgundy! Azul (we're not as mean, but yeah you really have to pay attention)… Brass:Birmingham…

    And Keyflower! You think not getting mines in CoB is hard, wait until you have absolutely no way to generate wood. 😬

  20. Great lists! My fave are #1 Res Arcana, #2 RFTG, #3 Castles of Burgundy

  21. Really good list, I still want to play some of these games.
    Favourites in my house is Res Arcana, my daughter loves it and has just got the expansions for her birthday. Lords of the rings confrontation is my son's favourite 2player game atm.

  22. I can't decide on an order for these, (it's more of a three-way tie for first) but my top 3 two player games are Unmatched, Dice Throne, and Radlands. I'll play any of them any time, anywhere, with anyone who wants to play.

  23. I really like that you are using chapters to structure the video and make it easy to skip between numbers, but putting the name of the game there instead of # number would be so much more useful, not only for scrolling through but also to have the name of the game in text form

  24. Loved both of your lists. Some I really want to try. I’m enjoying Meadow at 2 players at the moment. Can’t imagine my group of 4 playing because of AP potential but two of us are having a blast with it

  25. I envy Carlo's copy of Lost Cities with its 6th Expedition – Dylann's copy, like mine, is lacking/not all there 🙂

  26. When you two put those boxes on the floor or chair next to you, how hard is it not to peek at the other person's?

  27. Another Carcassonne fan here!!!
    Maybe the game where I spent more time with. Have to say that maybe I win too much games on 2 players mode so sometimes can be a little be boring but still a huge game.
    In addition, not sure if you know it but Paleo is a wonderful 2 players coop option that is also a thematic modular game that can provide you tones of timeplay.

  28. Why Dylann copy of Castle of Burgundy is in french (based on the cover bottom text)?

  29. Own 8 of the games listed. You guys should give Caper Europe a try if you haven't. I could see it becoming my top 2p game.

  30. Yeaaaaaaaaahhh Keyforge, it’s my number 1. So glad it gets some recognition by a reviewer. Great lists guys.

  31. For me this would be…
    1) Dice Throne
    2) Santorini
    3) Radlands
    4) War Chest
    5) Jekyll vs Hyde
    6) Unmatched
    7) Summoner Wars
    8) 7 Wonders Duel
    9) Magic the Gathering
    10) Glyph Chess

  32. My top 4

    4- Splendor Duel
    3- War of the Ring
    2- Five Tribes
    1- 7 Wonders Duel

  33. If you like 2 player games I suggest Soul of Ankiril, a strategic card game that is coming on Kickstarter on 28th of February

  34. I was very excited to get hold of Santorini because everyone seems to say great things about it but we both found it boring, it feels like the game doesn't start until the end. I was gutted I didn't enjoy it and I wish I did

  35. Battle Line is the bee's knees. Awesome game

  36. Guys I have a question about Santorini. I was looking on Amazon (UK) and it doesn’t look like it has the sea part that goes underneath the island. Should it have this or is there versions without it

  37. Carcassonne rules. I got the hunters and gatherers and winter edition too. That's the only game I can play anytime.

  38. Great choices! What you say about Carcassonne is how I feel about Risk. Risk is not a luck fest either. It is constant social deduction and decision making. People slam it as ameritrash because of the luck in each battle. I’ve known people to go on massive win streaks in Risk. That’s not luck at all. Play the missions people! Ps. Burgundy is my favourite game ❤️

  39. Of the games you've listed, Innovation is awful. All those instructions on all those cards is a lot to read, a lot to keep up with, and very tedious. Gave it away. Otherwise, very fine lists from both of you. I especially congratulate the unexpected selection of Carcassonne, which I believe to be so classic that it's now underrated. Other two player games that my wife and I enjoy are Kahuna, Port Royal, Splendor, Kingdomino, Jaipur, Splendor. As you can probably tell we go for those games with quick setup, tight instructions, but nevertheless clever gameplay.

  40. 1. Caylus (old version)
    2. 7 Wonders duel + pantheon + agora
    3.Raja the dice game
    4. Shards of infinity
    5. Res Arcana
    6. Royal Visit
    7. Codex Naturalis
    8. Splendor Duel
    9. Botanik
    10. Teraaforming Mars + prélude

  41. 53:40
    I recently designed a 3D-printable insert and dice tower for the original printing of The Castles of Burgundy.
    Increase fun and reduce setup and teardown time 😀

    models can be found on printables (for free of course)

  42. I'm really surprised no one is suggesting Jaipur! It is a tight two-player only game with a strategy that I have yet to get on top of… 😩
    I love your channel. Keep on gaming!

  43. Why does dylan show game opened up on the table and carlo didn’t? It’s a video and i think this adds interest. Without visual this is just a podcast on a wierd medium

  44. 1. Unmatched
    2. Unmatched
    3. Dice Throne

  45. I think you should have included games that are better at more than 2, but beat another game that you enjoy at 2!

  46. 7 wonders duel didn’t really click with me. Gathering the science cards are completely luck based. Picking the cards in the pyramid is pretty luck driven too. I’ve only played the base game a couple times and it just didn’t seem exciting. Sure there’s multiple avenues to win but it seemed more to chance than any strategy to me.

  47. 7 wonders duel is the only game i have ever flipped over…and i feel like half them games would go to same category 😀

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