Games that Are Worth Purchasing Solely for Playing Two-Player, but Are Capable of Supporting More Players
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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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26. Board Game: Reef Encounter [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:317]
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27. Board Game: Java [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:481]
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28. Board Game: Mexica [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:506]
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29. Board Game: Hacienda [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:473]
 
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30. Board Game: Australia [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1368]
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31. Board Game: Goldland [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1159]
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32. Board Game: The Downfall of Pompeii [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:329]
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33. Board Game: Keythedral [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:438]
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34. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:486]
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35. Board Game: Louis XIV [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:345]
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36. Board Game: Candamir: The First Settlers [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2035]
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37. Board Game: Elasund: The First City [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:800]
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38. Board Game: Domaine [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:436]
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39. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:164]
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40. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:81]
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
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Did not expect this to play as well for 2 as it did. A game with so much inherent negotiation, but, well, 2 might end up being the best player count here after all.
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41. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:182]
Barak E
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San Pablo
CA
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42. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:150]
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
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As long as you have Roads and Boats, well, just as true here.
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43. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:536]
Brian Darnell
United States
Davis
California
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Plays great with two, especially since the downtime is minimized. (All battles are between the two players)
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44. Board Game: Atlantic Star [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:769]
Larry Pienciak
United States
Carlstadt
New Jersey
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This plays well as a 2 player game.
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45. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:258]
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46. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:156]
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47. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:475]
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48. Board Game: Dos Rios [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1485]
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49. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:541]
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50. Board Game: Mykerinos [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:538]
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