Top 5 Cooperative Board Games for Two Players

top 5 2 player board games

We’ll be keeping this list updated throughout the year. (Last Updated: July 5, 2018)

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 fun!

The board games listed below aren’t necessarily best with two players, but they are, in our collective opinion, the best two-player cooperative board games out there right now. I guess you could also look at it as a list of great board games for couples.

So let’s get to it then… Here are our Top 5 Cooperative Board Games for Two Players!

5. Escape: The Curse of the Temple
escape the curse of the temple review

Year Published: 2012 | Game Length: 10 minutes

If you like real-time games, then Escape: the Curse of the Temple is a must-buy since it is one of the best real-time board games for two players. It’s intense, extremely fun, and it only takes 10 minutes to play! It also happens to be ranked right outside of our top 5 favorite family games.

Escape has been seen as being one of the best board games for couples for a while now. You can play three or four games in quick succession or just get a quick 10-minute game in before you play a bigger game.

Read our full Escape: the Curse of the Temple review

Get your copy of Escape: the Curse of the Temple here!

4. Codenames Duet
Codenames Duet review

Year Published: 2017 | Game Length: 15+ minutes

You really just aren’t going to find a better cooperative word game than Codenames Duet. This is actually our 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 test this one out if you like word games, deduction games, or just want to find an excellent two-player filler. This is one you’ll probably still be playing semi-regularly 10+ years from now.

Read our full Codenames Duet review

Get your copy of Codenames Duet here!

3. Ghost StoriesGhost Stories review

Year Published: 2008 | Game Length: 60 minutes

We think Ghost Stories is one of the best cooperative board games around, and it plays extremely well with two. The game is simple to learn, but man-oh-man is it hard to beat. It forces you to work with your partner to try to save the village by getting help from villagers and attacking ghosts at the right times.

Ghost Stories is the game to get if you love the horror theme, want a very tough challenge, or you just want a co-op game that you are pretty much guaranteed to enjoy. I have personally played Ghost Stories more than any other cooperative board game.

Read our full Ghost Stories review

Get your copy of Ghost Stories here!

2. One Deck DungeonOne Deck Dungeon board game review

Year Published: 2016 | Game Length: 30+ minutes

It might surprise some people that we have this so high on the list, but we really have enjoyed it that much. One Deck Dungeon 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 the co-op tabletop game to get if you want a quick and challenging two-player fantasy game with a heavy amount of cooperation.

Read our full One Deck Dungeon review

Get your copy of One Deck Dungeon here!

1. Pandemicpandemic board game review

Year Published: 2008 | Game Length: 30+ minutes

We’re making Pandemic our top board game for two players over One Deck Dungeon and Ghost Stories because it has a theme that absolutely everyone can get into. Solving the disease puzzle is as fun after 50+ plays as it is when you first get started. There’s just so much replay value here, especially when you add in one or more of the Pandemic expansions. Pandemic plays well at all player counts (1-4), so you can be sure that you will have a good time when it is just two of you or when you have a few more people over.

If you want a lighter game with a Pandemic feel, definitely check out Forbidden Island and/or Forbidden Desert. Both games were created by Pandemic designer Matt Leacock.

Read our full Pandemic review

Get your copy of Pandemic here!

Honorable Mentions

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – One of our favorite board games. And it happens to play very well with two. (read our full review)

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – This is seen by many as being one of the best solo games, but we think it’s also one of the better co-op board games for two players. The theme is strong, the artwork is fantastic, and the base game and its expansions tell great stories. (read our full review)

Elder SignArkham Horror and Eldritch Horror are very good games, but Elder Sign is our favorite Lovecraftian board game for two right now. There is very little downtime between turns and the tension level is perfect throughout the game. (read our full review)

The Ravens of Thri Sahashri – This two-player only game is as unique as they come. If you like the theme, chances are you will love this game. (read our full review)


What are your favorite cooperative board games for two players? Let us know in the comments!

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