Best 2 Player Board Games (Medium-High Complexity)
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Best 2 Player Board Games (Medium-High Complexity)

👈🏻 Back to Medium-High Complexity

Looking for a 2-player strategy game that is deep and filled with tough and satisfying decisions? Here are our recommendations.

⭐️ Top Picks

Our top recommendations in this category, and games that we personally own to fill this niche.

Agricola

🟢 Ryan’s #1 All-Time 🔴 Daniel’s #2 All-Time

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Release Year: 2007 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-4* Players

  ⏰  60-150 min

  💸 ~$60

🎬  Review

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

*6 Players with 5-6 Player Expansion

Summary: Strategically build out a well-balanced farm by gathering resources, playing occupation and improvement cards, and growing your family; all while keeping enough food on the table.

You Might Like If… you enjoy tight games of resources management where you are constantly adapting to execute your strategy more efficiently, and want a game that has a ton of depth and replay value due to the randomized hands of card abilities that are dealt at the beginning of each game.

Ark Nova

🟢 Ryan’s #8 All-Time 🔴 Daniel’s #18 All-Time

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Release Year: 2021 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  2-4 Players

  ⏰  90-150 min

  💸 ~$70

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Plan and build a modern zoo through card effects and a spatial puzzle, managing your appeal while also supporting conservation initiatives.

You Might Like If… you enjoy games that require you to carefully optimize interconnected actions and adapt to various card effects, and like the idea of a game that gives you a feeling of building something up while also racing to be the first to reach the target amounts of conservation and appeal.

Underwater Cities

🟢 Ryan’s #13 All-Time 🔴 Daniel’s #19 All-Time

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Release Year: 2018 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-4 Players

  ⏰  90-150 min

  💸 ~$60

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Build a futuristic network of cities of the seafloor by tactically selecting actions that will allow you to play matching cards from your hand.

You Might Like If… you enjoy strategy games that keep feeding you new opportunities that you can tactically work into your strategy and want a game that has a feeling of progression as you build out your infrastructure to produce more resources and achieve your long-term goals.

Lorenzo il Magnifico

🟢 Ryan’s #3 All-Time 🔴 Daniel’s #11 All-Time

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Release Year: 2016 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  2-5 Players

  ⏰  75-150 min

  💸 ~$80

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Avoid excommunication and lead your family to power during the Italian Renaissance by building up a powerful engine of production and commerce.

You Might Like If… you enjoy engine-building and worker placement games and want one that feels very tight while still giving you a strong sense of progression and power, especially with the Houses of Renaissance expansion that is now included in the Second Edition of the game (shown above).

Race for the Galaxy

🟢 Ryan’s #16 All-Time 🔴 Daniel’s #30 All-Time

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Release Year: 2007 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  2-4* Players

  ⏰  20-60 min

  💸 ~$30

🎬  Review

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

*6 players with the Expansion and Brinkmanship expansion

Summary: Expand your develop your space empire through strategic card play, tactical hand management, and efficiently piggybacking on the actions of your opponents.

You Might Like If… you want a lot of meaningful strategy packed into a short playing time, enjoy building up a tableau of abilities that result in escalating efficiency, and you want a game that is going to remain compelling even after hundreds of plays.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

🟢 Ryan’s #15 All-Time

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Release Year: 2011 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-4 Players

  ⏰  30-90 min

  💸 ~$60

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Construct decks to guide your fellowship as it embarks on unique adventures in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

You Might Like If… you enjoy the deck construction of collectible card games, enjoy the Lord of the Rings theme, and want a strategic cooperative or solo experience with plenty of opportunity for expansion with new heroes, quests, campaigns, and deck-building options.

👍 Honorable Mentions

Games that missed being top picks, but that we still think are great choices for a lot of people.

Great Western Trail

🟢 Ryan’s #4 All-Time 🔴 Daniel’s #17 All-Time

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Release Year: 2021 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-4 Players

  ⏰  90-150 min

  💸 ~$55

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Wrangle your herd of cows across the Midwest prairie and deliver it to Kansas City as you upgrade your efficiency and increase your potential to reach more distant and lucrative delivery cities.

You Might Like If… you enjoy games with a lot of interconnected mechanisms without the options on an individual turn feeling overwhelming, and want something that feels fresh with its unique game loop where players control the pace of how quickly they try to reach Kansas City each time.

Troyes

🟢 Ryan’s #11 All-Time

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Release Year: 2010 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-4 Players

  ⏰  60-90 min

  💸 ~$55

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Defend the city and rise to power by influencing the merchants, knights, and clergy represented by dice that you can use to activate powerful abilities.

You Might Like If… you enjoy games with clever mechanisms and tight resource management and want something that feels fresh game after game due to the randomized activity cards that drive the combos in the game.

Marvel Champions: The Card Game

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Release Year: 2019 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-4 Players

  ⏰  45-90 min

  💸 ~$60

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Construct Marvel hero decks to battle villains across a variety of unique scenarios and campaigns.

You Might Like If… you enjoy the deck construction of collectible card games, enjoy the Marvel theme, and want a strategic cooperative or solo experience with plenty of opportunity for expansion with new heroes, scenarios, campaigns, and deck-building options.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game

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Release Year: 2016 Complexity: Low-Medium

  👥  1-4 Players

  ⏰  45-120 min

  💸 ~$60

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Construct decks to investigate the horrors of Arkham and broader cosmic doom across various scenario-based campaigns.

You Might Like If… you enjoy the deck construction of collectible card games, enjoy the Lovecraftian theme, and want a strategic cooperative or solo experience with an emphasis on scenarios linked together into a narrative campaign.

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

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Release Year: 2020 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-4 Players

  ⏰  60-120 min

  💸 ~$40

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Cooperatively vanquish monsters with strategic cardplay across a 25-scenario campaign.

You Might Like If… you enjoy dungeon-crawling games, prefer less luck, and have a consistent group for a campaign, and want a game with interesting hand management, character upgrades, and tactical cardplay.

Dune: Imperium

🟢 Ryan’s #6 All-Time 🔴 Daniel’s #34 All-Time

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Release Year: 2020 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-4 Players

  ⏰  60-120 min

  💸 ~$55

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Strategically take actions with your agents to optimize your card effects, build your own custom deck, and position yourself in battles in the Dune universe.

You Might Like If… you enjoy worker placement and deck-building and want a game that combines them in a novel way that leads to constant interesting decisions and player interaction within a thematic sandbox with tons of flavor from the Dune books/movies.

 👀 Worth a Look

Games we haven’t tried yet ourselves, but we believe could be a good choice in this category.

Hadrian’s Wall

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Release Year: 2021 Complexity: Medium-High

  👥  1-6 Players

  ⏰  45-60 min

  💸 ~$60

🎲  View on BGG

  🔗  Buy

Summary: Strategically fill out your sheets and seek combos as you compete as Roman generals in charge of a milecastle along Hadrian’s Wall.

You Might Like If… you enjoy roll/flip-and-write games where you work on your own puzzle and want one that amps up the complexity to have more strategic options and satisfying combos as you decide how to apply your resources to take actions across your sheet each turn.

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