Best Board Games for Couples: The Ultimate Guide for 2017

Best Board Games for Couples

Studies show that:

The couple that plays board games together stays together!

Couples should play board games together to make the relationship stronger and to keep things interesting. You would be amazed by how doing such small things such as having some fun together can have a huge impact on a relationship.

However, picking out the best board games for couples can be quite the challenge. There are thousands of games and each game is not meant for everyone. People have different taste and deciding a board game to get can be harder than deciding where to eat dinner.

So that’s where I come in to help you.

Whether you are looking for a Christmas gift for another couple or just something for you and your mate, I am here to help you with this extensive guide. Furthermore, you are welcome to contact me anytime if you are in need of further assistance.

Top Picks of Best Board Games for Couples

This article is very long and has a lot of great information which is why I would suggest reading it all the way through. But, I know that time is becoming more and more valuable and if you don’t feel like reading all the way through I understand. So, to help I would like to give you a few of my overall top picks of best board games for couples. These games listed bellow will be great for any type of couple regardless of experience in board gaming.

Okay now back to the article.

For those of you who are still reading, I promise you the information provided will be well worth your time. The board games will be divided up into the following three main categories:

To make this easier to travel through I have divided up the board games into the following three main categories:

  1. Board Games for Couples
  2. Card Games for Couples
  3. Dice Games for Couples

Which are then further divided into subcategories as follows:

Best Board Games for Couples

  • Cooperative Board Games for Couples
  • Competitive Board Games for Couples
  • Fun Board Games for Couples
  • 2 Player Board Games for Couples
  • Personalized Board Games for Couples

Best Card Games for Couples

  • Fun 2 Player Card Games for Couples
  • Funny Adult Card Games

Dice Games for Couples

Best Cooperative Board Games for Couples


Cooperative board games are always one of the safest styles of games to go with when playing with a significant other. They provide the fun of board games without the cost of potentially causing conflict in a competitive game.

1.) Pandemic

Time: 45 Minutes

Players: 2-4

What’s it about?/How do you win?

Pandemic is a cooperative board game where players take on various roles and are tasked with containing and exterminating disease. This must be done in a set amount of time or before the disease spreads too far.

Why is it a top pick?

As stated earlier Pandemic is my favorite pick and I will tell you why.

First off, it is super easy to learn which is great if you have an impatient partner or a partner who isn’t into super complex board games. Secondly, the game actually has a fair amount of complexity to it. It just makes it simplified which is great for those who do enjoy a game with some complexity. Finally, the mission/objective of the story is something everyone can get behind. I mean, who doesn’t want to save humanity from horrid diseases?

Also, it doesn’t take more than about an hour to play one whole game. Another plus if you are looking for something quick.

Cons: Although, the game does have a decent amount of replay-ability one can get bored with it. Especially, if they are playing it frequently. So if you intend on playing board games on say a daily with your partner, I would suggest that you rotate this game with others. Furthermore, like many cooperative games, a dominant player could take control of the whole game and possibly ruin the fun for everyone.

Notable Features:

  • Easy to learn
  • Gateway game
  • Under an hour to play
  • Cooperative
  • Good amount of depth
  • Unique player abilities

2.) Forbidden Island

Time: 30 Minutes

Players: 2-4

What’s it about?/How do you win?

Forbidden Island is a cooperative board game where players must collect treasures and escape an island before it sinks to win.

Why is it a top pick?

Forbidden Island is a top pick due to it being like Pandemic but with a few differences which may be better suited for some.

The way that Forbidden Island is similar to Pandemic is that each player gets to take on a special role in the game. With each role having its own unique power that can help the team win. However, this is only possible if the players work together. Thus, making both of these games heavily reliant on cooperative play.

Now for the main differences between Forbidden Island and Pandemic is found in the theme and layout of the boards. Forbidden Island you are trying to keep an island from sinking while also trying to escape with the four treasures. While in Pandemic you are fighting off diseases while also trying to cure them. As for the board layouts, pandemics is always set but Forbidden Islands are ever changing as it is made with tiles.

These differences result in different games, but if you were to strip the two down you would find them fundamentally the same. That is why if you are tired of Pandemic and are looking for more than just a slight change I would not suggest this game.

However, if you are just looking for a great cooperative board game to play with your partner this would be a great choice for many of the same reasons that I would suggest buying Pandemic. Furthermore, there are a few pluses this game does have compared to Pandemic:

  • It is easier to learn.
  • Plays at a faster pace.
  • The board changes each time you play, as it is set up using sturdy square cards.

So if you can’t already tell this game would be even better than Pandemic if your partner wants something a bit simpler or if you would like to also play this game with kids. Although, I would still suggest Pandemic over Forbidden Island in almost all situations.

Cons: The game can be simple and the choices on what to do are relatively obvious. This game also suffers if a dominate player is present just like in Pandemic.

Notable Features:

  • Can play it with the kids
  • Various difficulties to play at
  • Board constantly changes
  • Unique player abilities

3.) Forbidden Desert

Time: 45 Minutes

Players: 2-5

Forbidden Desert is another great cooperative board game for couples. However, it is created by the same company that made Forbidden Island and is practically the same game just different scenario and slightly more difficult. However, it is not at all a bad game and would still be great for any couple. Also, I would still just suggest getting Pandemic if you are choosing between these three.

Cons: This game has the same cons as Forbidden Island.

4.) Lord of the Rings

Time: 60 Minutes

Players: 2-5

This game is great if you and your partner are Lord of the Rings fans or even somewhat like the movies. It is consisted of each player taking on the role of a hobbit in the fellowship while working together to destroy the one ring to win. However, if during the trip across middle earth one player becomes too corrupted by Sauron the game is over. Furthermore, this one is not as great as a cooperative game now as it once was comparing it to modern ones like Pandemic, but it is Lord of the Rings themed game if you are a fan.

Cons: Will not be as fun if you hate Lord of the Rings. The game can also be too abstract for novice players. Also, the events in the game are fixed which hinders the replayability.

5.) Assassinorum: Execution Force

Time: 60 Minutes

Players: 1-5

Assassinorum is a great pick for couples who like miniature aspects in the game and who are looking for a totally different experience from the typical cooperative board games.

The game involves taking control of four Assassins, or two if you decide to make it harder, to slay the Chaos Lord Drask before he brings about the demise of Imperium. There is a decent amount fo dice rolling so luck will play a significant part in the game, but a large amount of skill will still be required. Not to mention a tremendous amount of teamwork too!

Cons: The game is very pricey compared to the others on this list. There is a lot of assembly required before the first time you play, which is to be expected with this type of game. A player can possibly be eliminated from the game. There is also an issue of fitting some of the pieces back into the box after they are made.

6.) Time Stories

Time: 90 Minutes

Players: 2-5

Time Stories is a great game for couples who love solving mysteries, solving puzzles, and or time travel. In the game, you and your partner will be time travelers who are sent back in time to solve a case but have a limited time to do so. You must solve the mysteries as you go and if you do not succeed in time you will be sent back to the start. This will continue to happen until you are able to solve it all.

Cons: The game has little to no replayability. Therefore, you will need to play/purchase new scenarios to be able to keep playing it.

Best Competitive Board Games for Couples


Competitive board games can still be a great option for couples just make sure that neither of you will take losing too hard.

1.) Agricola

Time: 30-150 Minutes (30 minutes per player)

Players: 1-5

Agricola is one of the best worker placement games out there and is a top pick for couples who are looking for a more in-depth board game. Furthermore, it is great for couples who are looking for competitive board games but do not wish to directly compete.

Cons: Setup and cleanup of the game can be quite tasking.

2.) Ticket to Ride

Time: 30-60 Minutes

Players: 2-5

Ticket to Ride is a fantastic gateway game if you are looking to get your partner into playing more board games. It provides strategic fun with less than fifteen minutes of rule preparation.

The basis of the game is connecting cities via railroads which you then can profit off of. The games main tension and excitement come from the possibility of you becoming consumed with greed and allowing your opponent to claim a railroad before you do.

You and your partner will enjoy playing this game if either of you is new or inexperienced to playing board games. This game is also a great game to play with the whole family!

Cons: The game is relatively light and is not suggested for experienced board game couples who are looking for a heavy game.

3.) Carcassonne

Time: 30-45 Minutes

Players: 2-5

Carcassonne is another easy to learn gateway board game like Ticket to Ride with some added depth to it. Making it even more enjoyable for couples who are at different levels of experience in playing board games.

The game itself is a tile-placement game where players try to strategic place one tile and one meeple, if they so choose, each turn. This game leads to something of a puzzle building/area control war game that is great for any group or couple.

Cons: Luck is for the most part minimal in this game, but when it does show up in can a complete game changer if a player is able to capitalize on it.

4.) Quadrapolis

Time: 30-60 Minutes

Players: 2-4

Quadrapolis is another board game that is a gateway game, perfect for those who are new or have a partner that is new to board gaming. The rules are super easy to learn, but the game itself as an immense amount of depth especially on expert mode.

The game involves placing architects to claim different tiles along with whatever resource or inhabitant is on that till. This continues for a few rounds until the game ends. Once the game is over the player with the best well-built city wins.

Cons: The importance of turn order in the game limits the replayability and the simple adding of tiles could be annoying for those who despise any math.

Best Fun Board Games for Couples


The board games below are simple ones that can be competitive or cooperative. The basis of these games is that they are super easy, super fun, and are just great basic games to have.

1.)  Jenga

Time: 20 Minutes

Players: 1-8

Ever wanted to just make a mess an absolute mess with your toys like when you were a child? Well, then Jenga is perfect for you!

This game consists of building a wood block tower with three blocks per level rotating 90 degrees each level. After the construction you and another player get to remove one piece at a time until “BAMMM!!!” the tower collapses due to gravity and lack of support. Then whoever messed with it last loses the game and in my rule book has to clean up the mess.

For couples, this is a great way to decide who should do the chores around the house as you can just make the loser in charge of it all. This is one of the more simple fun games from the list of best board games for couples.

So if you want to end those arguments on who should do what or just have a fun time making an absolute mess then go order Jenga right now!

Cons: This is not a game most people would be dying to play, but is a great fun filler game when you are looking to relax. Many have been able to repurpose this game or other things such as drinking or Dread RPG.

2.) Hive

Time: 20 Minutes

Players: 2

Hive is a board game where players are able to play on any surface as long as it is flat. This game involves trying to place pieces until someone surrounds their opponents queen. Easy to set up, easy to clean up, and easy to learn its the perfect board game for couples.

Makes for a great travel game as it is lightweight and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Furthermore, it is easy to set up, easy to clean up, and easy to learn. Making it the perfect board game for couples.

As basic as this game is it is one of the top tier strategy games on this list.

Cons: Due to the way the game is made the early moves/set up can feel scripted.

3.) Scrabble

Time: 90 Minutes

Players: 2-4

Scrabble is a classic board game that most people, even those who don’t play board games, have probably played. It is great for couples who love to show off how enormous or tiny their vocabulary is. As the whole basis of the game is to make words out of random letters that you draw.

Cons: Can be hard to win against someone who has a very extensive vocabulary. Suggested to play with someone who has a similar or slightly better/worse vocabulary.

Best 2 Player Board Games for Couples


1.) Patchwork

Time: 15-30 Minutes

Players: 2

Patchwork is an economy based tile placement game where players are trying to collect the most buttons that act as points before the game is over. This involves purchases patches which are then added to your personal 9×9 board that can later earn you more buttons.

The game is super simple to learn provides some fun strategy without an overwhelming amount of choices to make each turn, as a player can only choose from three different patches each turn.

Amazing game with tons of strategy and depth all packed into a simple, but elegant tile placement game meant for two.

Cons: Can be a bit tricky to explain at first, but after one playthrough your partner will get it no problem.

2.) Agricola: Animals Big and Small

Time: 30 Minutes

Players: 2

Agricola: Animals Big and Small is the lightened version of Agricola made specifically for two players. The game has the same great features as the regular Agricola does, but is not nearly as heavy or as in depth.

Cons: Too simplified for long term play. Typically requires expansions for permanent value which sadly ups the cost. Otherwise, the game has little to no flaws.

3.) Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation

Time: 30 Minutes

Players: 2

Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation is an asymmetrical game that is similar to Stratego but based on a Lord of the Rings theme.

The game is set on Sauron versus the free people such as Frodo and other main characters. It is lightweight, easy to learn, and is one of the best Lord of the Rings themed games available. So, if you or your partner love Lord of the Rings I would highly suggest this game.

Cons: Intensity in matches are developed over time after repetitive plays with the same opponent.

4.) Claustrophobia

Time: 45 Minutes

Players: 2

Claustrophobia is a lighter dungeon crawler game with an amazing theme and miniatures that seem to entice everyone who plays it. The game/mechanics are easy to understand, making it a great pick for novice players. The objective of the game depends on whether you

The objective of the game depends on whether you a human or demon. If you are human your objective depends on the scenario that is being played. For example, you could be required to close a portal before the demons overcome you. The demons, on the other hand, are always trying to stop the humans from whatever their task is.

Cons: Is not a super complex game or meant for lovers of heavy dungeon crawlers games. Could be a good gateway game to get your partner to be more interested in dungeon crawlers though or a great start if both of you have never played one before.

5.) Akrotiri

Time: 45 Minutes

Players: 2

Akrotiri is one of the best pick up and delivery games on the market today. It includes a combination of tile-placement, pickup and delivery, and hand management to make a fun and exciting two player game great for all couples.

The basis of the game is to follow your secret goal card to victory while also achieving points through exploration of temples. These, however, require resources so players must first establish a supply line while building the map out turn by turn similar to Carcassonne.

Cons: Although optimization can help you win it does not always guarantee it, making the luck factor a bit of a nuisance for the strategically obsessed.

6.) 7 Ronin

Time: 15-30 Minutes

Players: 2

7 Ronin is a lightweight asymmetrical game that involves one player taking on the role of the ninjas who are attacking the village. While the other player controls the 7 Ronin defending it. Each side is equipped with their own special abilities, including hidden movements that force the other player to guess their opponents actions.

Cons: Wordy rule book.


 Personalized Board Games for Couples

Personalized board games can make a great gift to anyone, as they make a wonderful keepsake. Although, personally I suggest getting someone a great experience with a new board game that they would never buy. But, for those of you who do wish to get a personalized one here are some placed that you can get them done at:

Best Card Games for Couples


Now that we have knocked out the best board games for couples lets move onto the card games. This first category is just the best card games overall that did not fall into any of the other categories.

1.) Love Letter

Time: 20 Minutes

Players: 2-4

Have you ever wanted to settle who has the best moves in the relationship? Well, here is your opportunity to do so.

In Love Letter, you and your partner will compete against one another to get their love letter to the princess first. The thing is players can sabotage other players attempts through the use of their cards.

This is a great game for couples to play together because it is simple, fun, and as very little cleanup/setup.

Cons: It is not the best game for those who are looking to play a two-three hour session meant for quick games that can be played two to three times in an hour.

2.) Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

Time: 45 Minutes

Players: 1-5

Is your partner a huge DC fan, while you love Marvel? Well, then you should probably get them this board game ASAP.

Legendary is a deck building game that is cooperative as players must work together to beat the oncoming villains by using one of the fifteen hero decks each.Villains will continue to come and wreck havoc throughout the game and if you don’t take care of them in time they will escape.

This is a great game for Marvel lovers and those who love deck building. However, if you just like the deck building aspect of this there is another Legendary game called Legendary Encounters that is a bit better than this one it is just Alien themed.

Cons: With plenty of cards, cleanup can be a bit hectic, but other than that the game is great.

3.) Exploding Kittens

Time: 15 Minutes

Players: 2-5

Exploding Kittens is a party card game that involves playing a Russian Roulette style of game. The objective is pretty simple not to draw an exploding kitten card which means defeat. There are of course plenty of other challenges as the other cards in the game grant each player with their own arsenal of weapons to take out the opponents.

This game is relatively simple to learn and takes a short amount of time to play. Furthermore, it does not differ in experience with two players as it does with four or five. Also, the images on the cards are interesting, to say the least. Especially, if you get the NSFW edition which I would highly suggest.

Cons: Game is super light and super simple which can be bad if you and your partner are avid board gamers. However, if your partner or you are completely new to board games this would be a fun introduction game.

4.) Hanabi

Time: 25 Minutes

Players: 2-5

Hanabi is a cooperative card game where players must work together to build the best fireworks show ever. This is done by playing out cards from each players’ hand to make the perfect combinations. The thing is you aren’t allowed to look at your hand you must rely on your partner to help choose which cards to play and when.

This game is super easy to learn but hard to master making it a great pick for couples who are both novices and veterans.

Cons: The game gets less exciting as you progress and players must be disciplined not to cheat.

5.) Boss Monster: The Dungeon-Building Card Game

Time: 20 Minutes

Players: 2-4

Boss Monster is the perfect game for the couples who have always wanted to play as the boss in a game that defeats the oncoming heroes.

This game involves players competing to kill off as many heroes as possible without being defeated by one. To do this player must build dungeons that are effective at kill of the heroes. They must also use dungeons with high treasure rating to attract even more heroes to, their demise. Thus, requiring a strong balance between the two.

Cons: Other than the nice 8-bit video game feel and the uniqueness of this card game, there isn’t too much to be excited about. Its mechanics aren’t the best and for the most part, the game is a multiplayer solitaire which can quickly become repetitive.

The best part about this game is by far the art and theme of it all. Great to get if you are looking for something really unique but do not rely on it for a constant playable game.

Fun 2 Player Card Games for Couples


1.) 7 Wonders Duel

Time: 30 Minutes

Players: 2

7 Wonders Duel takes all the greatness of 7 Wonders and makes it into a 2 player only card game that is perfect for any couple.

There are however some minor changes from 7 Wonders. Things such as the drafting system are altered, but overall the game is still the same just meant for two players.

There is a decent amount of depth to the game with three different win scenarios that makes a great in between for players who are experienced and novices. Furthermore, there are expansions that expand the game for an even more enjoyable experience.

This game has won countless rewards and been deemed best 2 player board game in 2015.

Cons: Some don’t like the card drafting in this version as much as they did in the parent version, but overall not much to complain about it compared to other games.

2.) Jaipur

Time: 30 Minutes

Players: 2

Jaipur is a merchant type card game where the two players compete against one another to make the most money.

The game is mostly strategy with a bit of “push your luck.” It is an overall pretty light-weight game that is good for players who are looking for a simple but fun strategy game that flows extremely well.

Cons: The game gets repetitive after a few consecutive plays and the light-weight aspect of it makes it a bad choice for those who like heavier games.

3.) Lost Cities

Time: 30 Minutes

Players: 2

Lost Cities is a strategic card game where players embark on expeditions. What couple wouldn’t want to compete via expeditions? These expeditions gain each player points based on the cards they put into them subtracting out the initial cost of the expedition.

The total points acquired is tallied up after the draw pile is emptied. Thus, identifying the winner of the game.

This is a quick game that takes roughly fifteen minutes to play that is also extremely fun. Furthermore, the game is super easy to learn but hard to master. Making it a great game for any couple regardless of their gaming abilities.

Cons: Not to discourage anyone from buying this game, but for those who hate even the simplest math should avoid this game. Because it does involve a minor amount of risk-reward calculations to be efficient when playing.

4.) The Blood of an Englishman

Time: 20-30 Minutes

Players: 2

The Blood of an Englishman takes the story of Jack and the beanstalk and turns it into an intense two-player strategy card game.

One person will take on the role of the giant and the other will take on the role of Jack. Each accompanied with certain available actions and goals to obtain.

A great simple to play two player card game for couples who are looking for some quick competition. Also, has some great graphics on the cards that make the game even more pleasing.

Cons: The game as unique as it is can end up being like playing chess, making each turn a decision of optimal choice and strategy. So, if you and your partner do not like extreme strategy games that are as rigorous as chess I would not suggest this game.

5.) Rivals for Catan

Time: 45-120 Minutes

Players: 2

If you have ever played Catan and are looking for a two player alternative here’s your chance.

Rivals for Catan is a two player card game version of the game Catan that is great for couples.

Cons: Takes up a large amount of space to play and can end up being longer than regular Catan.

 Best Dice Games for Couples


And of course, we have the best dice based games for couples.

1.) Yahtzee

Here is another game that could incur a bit of noise but also a lot of fun!

Yahtzee is a dice game in which players roll a set of dice trying to get certain combinations which earn them points and the player with the most points win. It’s a pretty simple but fun game to play especially if you get Yahtzee, which is when you roll 5 of the same number, at which time you most scream “YAHTZEEEE!!!!!” as loud as you can and possibly throw in an end-zone dance too.

Overall this as a fun dice game for couples that is simple and easy to learn.

Cons: Can get pretty noises with the whole yelling Yahtzee deal. Also, it does not have the best replayability to it.

2.) Run, Fight, or Die!

Run, Fight, or Die is a game for the couples that love zombies and are wanting t face their own apocalypse.

The unique part of this game is that along with worrying about your group you must also worry about yourself. As you will have your own character board with zombies who are after you.

The game is beautifully made and provides a great combination of strategy and push your luck tactics.

Cons: If your partner hates zombies this could be a horrible idea other than that you are making the right choice with picking this game.

3.) Escape: The Curse of the Temple

Time: 10 Minutes

Players: 1-5

Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a cooperative game where players are tasked with escaping the cursed temple. While escaping the temple players can find things such as magic gems by working together. These gems make it easier to escape the temple so it is important for players to strategize together.

However, there won’t be much time to think during the game as it is played in real-time and if players take too long they will be forever stuck in the temple.

Cons: The real-time aspect of the game can be ill-suited for a relaxing night and can make it hard to take a break in the middle of the game. Typically players can make it through the 10 minute game with no issues.

Conclusion: You can’t go wrong with picking any of the best board games for couples listed above to play with you significant other. Although, some games may be better suited depending on how much the both of y’all enjoy complex games or simple games and so on. Hopefully, this has helped you find the perfect game for you two to play together.

About the author


James is a father, husband, and coffee addict who plays way too many board games and rarely sleeps.

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