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When we’re looking for cooperative board games for two players, we want games that give both people an equal say in how they approach the game. We also want them to be challenging, at least a little thematic, and, obviously, they need to be fun!
Most of the board games listed below can be played with more than two players, but they are, in my opinion (with some help from members of my gaming group), best at the two-player count and they are my favorite cooperative board games to play when it’s just me and one other person. I guess you could also look at it as a list of great board games for gaming couples.
Note: I decided not to include games that I think provide better experiences at other player counts. If you want to check out those games, you’ll find them on our Top 40 Cooperative Board Games list.
So let’s get to it then… Here are my Top 10 Cooperative Board Games for Two Players!
Unlock! is my favorite escape room co-op system for two. I like it best at two because there isn’t so much going on that you need more than two people working on the puzzles. It’s awesome that these games play so well at two because they allow you to get an escape room experience without having to get a big group together.
Some Unlock! games have been better than others, but I haven’t had a bad time with one yet. Heroic Adventures is my favorite Unlock! set so far.
Read our Unlock! review
9. Fog of Love
Want to role-play through a relationship? If you said yes, then Fog of Love is definitely a game to look into. This two-player co-op is unlike anything else I’ve played. There are hilarious moments, moments where you really need to read your teammate, and it has consistently created memorable experiences for me and everyone I’ve played it with.
Read our Fog of Love review
8. Mage Knight
I can see why so many people look at Mage Knight as a solo game first, but to me the two-player cooperative mode is just as good. It’s one of the most complex co-op board games around, but once you get the rules down there’s a great chance that you will get REALLY into it because there are so many interesting decisions to make, including how you should move around the map and how you should build your decks.
Read our Mage Knight review
In my opinion, if you’re looking for a two-player detective game, Chronicles of Crime is the best one right now. I do think Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is the better game overall, but I prefer playing that one with three or four players since those cases are pretty complex and there is more for everyone to do. Two players is definitely my preferred player count for Chronicles of Crime because you can just pass the phone back and forth to scan cards and to search the crime scenes.
Read our Chronicles of Crime review
It might surprise some people that I have One Deck Dungeon so high on the list, but I love it and everyone I’ve played it with has had a great time playing it. It is a fantastic dungeon crawler that plays equally well as a solo or two-player game. There’s a lot of dice rolling in this one, but that doesn’t keep the theme from coming through.
One Deck Dungeon is a very good co-op game to get if you want a quick and challenging two-player fantasy game with a heavy amount of tactical gameplay and cooperation.
Read our full One Deck Dungeon review
In my opinion, you really aren’t going to find a better cooperative word game than Codenames Duet right now. This is my group’s favorite version of Codenames because it’s a very challenging two-player game that adds in new ways to strategize.
You’re going to want to check out Codenames Duet if you like word games, deduction games, or if you just want to find an excellent two-player filler game. This is one I think I’ll still be playing semi-regularly 10+ years from now.
Read our full Codenames Duet review
V-Commandos is still my favorite cooperative war game and I think it’s best at two players. In this one you go on stealth-based missions in an attempt to complete different objectives. There are a lot of great missions in the box and the replay value is super high because the enemies move in different ways every game and the soldiers’ loadouts will give you multiple ways to approach each mission. It’s a great game.
Read our V-Commandos review
A lot of people prefer Arkham Horror: The Card Game over The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, but I like this theme about 10,000 times more. With either game, you get a real feeling of adventure as you play through each scenario and you have complete control over the makeup of your decks. I do like the two-player version of The Lord of the Rings more than the solo, but solo is awesome, too.
You do have to invest a bit to get the most out of these games, so I recommend buying a base game and, if you like it, then get some expansions/cards that you’re interested in.
Spirit Island isn’t ranked very high on my group’s Top 40 Co-op Games list, but it’s very high up on my personal list. In this game you need to figure out how to use your spirit’s powers to push colonizers off of your land. It’s a complex game since each spirit is unique and you have a pretty crazy puzzle to work through, which is why I prefer it as a two-player game. It also has a really cool theme that you won’t find in any other board game.
Read our Spirit Island review
1. Aeon’s End
Deck building is one of my favorite board game mechanisms and Aeon’s End is easily my group’s favorite cooperative deck building game. It’s number one on this list because I’ve played a dozen or so two-player games of it and all of those games were great experiences. The deck building is very satisfying and its spell-casting mechanism is just awesome.
If you’re interested in this game, I’d start out with either the original Aeon’s End or Aeon’s End: War Eternal. If you end up loving the system, you can then add in an expansion or two and/or you can get Aeon’s End: Legacy (legacy version) or Aeon’s End: The New Age (adds in a new campaign system).
Read our Aeon’s End review
What are your favorite cooperative board games for two players?