Top 10 Best Board Games for Couples

board games for couples

It can be very difficult to find good two player games for couples to play. A lot of games have a 3 player minimum (like Catan) or, even though they technically can be played with two players they are far better with 3 or more. Listed here are my (and my partners) top 10 favorite board games to play when it is just us. I hope this list helps you find the perfect game to play with your partner.

1 Gloomhaven

gloomhaven review

Time: 45-60 min per session

Cost: Very High

What can I say about Gloomhaven that I haven’t already? It is by far one of the best board games ever made period and the fact that it’s also a great game to play as a couple is the ultimate bonus. Some players prefer to play this with the full 4 players, but from personal experience I can say that playing through the main campaign with my partner was a blast and I would not have wanted to play it any other way. It’s cooperative nature means that you will either win together or lose together, a theme that you will see is fairly common in this board game list. Gloomhaven is my number one pick for a couple’s board game.

Read the Full Review of Gloomhaven

2 Pandemic

Pandemic Review

Time: 45 min

Cost: High

Pandemic is another cooperative board game where you and your partner assume different roles to try and save the world from a series of diseases. Pandemic is certainly not for the faint of heart as even on the easiest difficulty winning is not guaranteed. This is a great game to play with your partner as the two player experience is just as good as the 3 and 4 player one. If you and your partner like a challenge, definitely check out Pandemic as your next couple’s game.

Read the Full Review of Pandemic

3 Ticket to Ride

ticket to ride review

Time: 45 min

Cost: High

Ticket to ride is the first competitive game to make this list. You and your partner are trying to complete as many destination tickets as you can to gain the most points and win. My personal favorite map of the ticket to ride series is the Europe map as the stations come in handy, especially when playing with more than just your partner. When playing Ticket to Ride with two players you can only use a single route once, even if there are multiple tracks on that route. With this rule variant the two player version of ticket to ride can feel just as cramped (and just as fun) and the three to four player games.

Read the Full Review of Ticket to Ride

4 Takenoko

takenoko review

Time: 30 – 45 min

Cost: High

Takenoko is an adorable game set in medieval Japan in the garden of the emperor. Players are trying to be the first to complete 7 objective cards and have the most points at the end of the game. This is a great game to play as a couple as the game is just as fun with two players as it is with 4. The advantage of a two player game is that the games themselves can go a little faster. I have heard some people saying that the art style is too ‘girly’, but I personally love the bright and colorful art and those who dismiss the game based off that are truly missing out on a fantastic gaming experience.

Full Review coming soon.

5 Kingdomino

kingdomino review

Time: 15 min

Cost: Medium

Kingdomino is a fun domino placing game where the aim is to make as many large groups of colors as possible for maximum points at the end. In the two player version of this game each player goes twice in the one round using both of their king tokens. Each game of Kingdomino typically lasts around 15 minutes so it’s a great game to play to the ‘best of three’ or whomever has the most points at the end of the three games. It’s also a fairly chill game compared to others on this list and is easy to learn and play.

Read the Full Review of Kingdomino

6 Castle Panic

castle panic review

Time: 60 min

Cost: High

Castle Panic is another cooperative game to make this list. You and your partner are trying to work together to defend the castle from the invading goblins and ogres. The art style is fun and colorful and the game mechanics really force you to work together to overcome the hordes of monsters coming at you. This is a great game to pull out and play with your partner (or even by yourself!)

Read the Full Review of Castle Panic

7 Fog of Love

fog of love review

Time: 60 min

Cost: High

Fog of love is a rom-com in a board game. You and your partner have quirks that make you the ‘quirky’ protagonist of your rom com and secret goals to keep the ‘will they wont they’ tension alive. Fog of love is one of the more complicated board games to play on this list but is defiantly a great game to play with your partner. Being designed for two players certainly gives it the edge over some others on this list.

Full Review coming soon.

8 Stuffed Fables

stuffed fables review

Time: 45 – 60 min per session

Cost: High

This game also suffers from the ‘cuteness’ like Takenoko, but take it from me, it’s a fantastic game! My partner and I started playing this and could not put it away. In stuffed fables you play through a campaign as a little girl’s stuffed animals protecting her from the evil that is under her bed. You can play as one character each or (and what I strongly suggest) play as two characters each for a total for 4 stuffies. My partner and I gave each stuffie a unique voice and personality and that really added to the overall experience of playing the game. Definitely check this game out if you and your partner are really into role playing games.

Full Review coming soon.

9 Lord of Waterdeep

lords of waterdeep review

Time: 60 min

Cost: High

Lords of Waterdeep is a great resource management game where you play as a lord of Waterdeep who is trying to complete as many quests of a certain type as they can. The two player game of this is great and the board is certainly less claustrophobic than a 4-5 player game. This was one of the first big board games my partner and I played together and I can certainly attest to its fun game play and fun game mechanics.

Full review coming soon.

10 Love Letter

love letter review

Time: 30 min

Cost: Low

I personally adore Love Letter. While you can play it with two players it is admittedly better with at least three. In saying that it’s still a great little game to play with your partner at home or on trips where you want a little game to pass the time. It also comes in a cute velvet bag so it’s easy to put in your pocket and take with you.

Read the Full Review of Love Letter

Pandemic Review

Pandemic Review

Basic Information

Pandemic Review

Number of Players: 2-4

Age: 8+

Time: 45 min

Price: High

Introduction to Pandemic

Pandemic is a cooperative board game that pits the players against the board. You and your friends are tasked with trying to eradicate the diseases that are plaguing the earth, and through team work, and a healthy dose of luck you may just be able to save the human race! Don’t be fooled though, this game can be extremely difficult to beat even on the lower difficulties. It’s great for those to love a challenge and aren’t afraid of repeated failure.

How to Play Pandemic

The goal of Pandemic is to cure all four diseases that plague the earth. Each player choses from roster of roles that each have their own unique ability. All players start at the research station in Atlanta with a handful of cards that is dealt out to them. This starting hand will contain location cards which are used to cure diseases and move around the board, and possibly some even cards that they player can use during the game.  At the beginning of the game players draw a number of cards from the location deck and each of those cities start with 1-3 disease cubes.

pandemic Review cooperative board game

On their turn each player takes 4 actions. They can move to an adjacent city, cure diseases, treat cities, share cards, and build research facilities. Each action can be done multiple times as long as the player has the necessary cards and actions left to continue. For instance, they can move up to four times and not do any other action. At a research facility they can pay 5 of the same colour cards to cure a disease for one action. A character can treat a city they are in by removing one of the disease cubes. If that disease has been cured, they can remove all cubes from that city with a single treat action. If there are no more cubes of that colour on the board, the disease is eradicated and cube of that colour can no longer be placed. When players are in the same city they can give or take one card per action. Just remember that you can only have a maximum hand of 7 cards. You can build a research station in the city your player token is standing in by discarding that same city card. It’s good to have a few of these spread out enough to cure diseases faster.

Once a player has used up all four actions they draw city cards and spread uncured disease. If they draw an epidemic card, the reshuffle all the cards that have been drawn and place them on top of the draw pile. Any outbreaks that happen during this phase raise the epidemic levels and players will have to draw more cards when it crosses each draw threshold. If there are too many outbreaks, the players will lose the game.

Notes on Pandemic

Pandemic Legacy Review

Pandemic is a game for those of us who like to be punished. You can even increase the difficultly and really make your partner question her decisions when dating a masochist like you. I wouldn’t say this is a great game for a casual player, but anyone who enjoys a good puzzle (or is just tired of competitive board games because ‘you always win’) this is the game for you! While I know it’s not necessarily for everyone, it is one of my favorite board games in my collection.

There are a heap of different expansions and versions of Pandemic as well. In addition to the base game, I have Pandemic Cthulhu and the Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Blue Box. I definitely recommended more serious players try out a legacy style game like Pandemic Legacy. It’s a unique experience where each game effects the one played after. Other legacy style games include Gloomhaven and Stuffed Fables, both of which I also highly recommend players check out.

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Gloomhaven Review

gloomhaven review

Basic Information

gloomhaven review

Number of Players: 1-4

Age: 14+

Time: 30 minutes per player (varies between scenarios)

Price: Very High

Introduction to Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven is the board game of this decade with its amazing gameplay and huge campaign. It’s a semi-legacy style game where each scenario impacts the overall game in small ways. You and your team need to work together the defeat monsters and loot treasure in this epic fantasy style board game. Its clearly inspired from the likes of the pathfinder board game and table top RPGs like Dungeons and dragons, but has its own unique style and story. For the avid board game enthusiast, this will be the crowing jewel of any board game collection.

How to Play Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven is quite a bit more complicated than the average board game, for a deeper look at the rules I suggest checking out this YouTube video by the creator and to also check out forums for niche rules that occasionally come up.

As a basic overview, each game is typically one scenario. A scenario is set up by combining the tile pieces together and placing door tokens over the joins. You then place your characters on the board in an pre-set area. The monsters that are in the first room are also placed along with any loot, treasure tiles, traps and so on, but do not place them for any up-opened room. Players then choose their turn using two cards from their hand. They are choosing a top action of one card and a bottom from another. You then announce how early you are going (without saying the actual number!) along with what you plan to do and your team mates will do the same. You want to try and work together, linking up actions and initiative order to try and do the most damage while also staying alive. Those cards you played are then out into the discard section (unless they were a lost card which are placed in a separate pile). When you run out of cards, you can choose to take a long rest, where you lose a turn but get to choose which card to become lost and gain 2 HP, or you can take a short rest, where you lose a card from your discard at random but do not lose a turn. Play continues until the winning conditions are met for each scenario.

Notes on Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven is my favorite game of all time. Its stellar gameplay, great story, and insane replay value (with over 90 scenarios) make it an easy win for me. The high cost point is quite a barrier for some people when looking to purchase the game, but when you compare it to the cost of a movie or even some video games in cost per hour of entertainment, it is great value for money. While not everyone will enjoy the sometimes brutal game play, it is by far one of the best experiences I have had playing a board game.

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Castle Panic Review

castle panic review

Basic Info

castle panic review

No of Players: 1-6

Age: 10+

Time: 1 hour-1 ½ hours

Pricing: $35-40 USD


Castle Panic is a castle defence game where you and your team defend your castle against monsters. This is a great co-op game with fairly simple rules and mechanics, great for older kids and adults. 

How to Play Castle Panic

The main objective is to slay all 49 monster tokens before the last castle wall falls. The setup is fairly basic, you have a board with castle walls and outer walls placed in the center which you must defend. The monsters attack in waves from random directions and it is up to you and your team to kill them before they reach your tower. Just remember to be wary of rolling boulders because even though they can kill a lot of monsters, they can also do a heap of damage to your castle! You can even add an extra achievement of being the player with the most victory points is declared the Master Slayer.

Notes on Castle Panic

This is a really fun game to play as a family. The rules and set up are fairly basic and is friendly to new players. Its mechanics rely on a combination of chance and strategy and your ability to adapt to the threats is a big part of how to win. This is the perfect game for any Christmas gift for boys 8-12 and any person who enjoys a simple tower-defence game.

Best Board Games for Kids