15 Best Board Games for Couples to Play on Game Night
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Looking for new ways to spice up the relationship between you and your partner?
The good old dinner date is still a classic, a walk in the park is still a good way to bond, and even chilling at home with Netflix has its place.
But there’s always something more you and your partner can do to de-stress and spend some fun time together. Particularly for married people, life can get a bit serious at times, and sometimes you just need a moment or two to relax and unwind.
In this article, we share with you the 15 best board games for couples to play on game night. We’ve carefully selected these games based on the level of fun and relaxation they bring, and how much more happiness they can create in any couple’s relationship.
Don’t have time to read the entire review?
If you’re a busy person who doesn’t have time to read this entire review, we’ve simplified everything. Here is a table to show you a quick list of the best board games for couples.
Best Choice For…
|Dominion||BEST OVERALL; Best Kingdom Building Game; Good for couples who like building and developing kingdoms and thrones|
|Carcassonne Board Game||Best City Building Game; Good for couples who like building and developing cities|
|Pandemic Legacy Blue Board Game||Best Team-up Game; Allows couples to practice their cooperative skills|
|Hive: A Game Crawling with Possibilities||Best Strategic Game; Good for couples who love strategic games|
|Jaipur||Best Selling Game; Good for business-minded couples|
|Azul||Best Wall Building Game; Good for couples who have aesthetic sense and are into designs|
|Splendor||Best Merchant Game; Good for couples who like games that involve selling and purchasing items|
|Patchwork Board Game||Best Weaving Game; Good for couples who like strategic and patience-testing game|
|Bears vs. Babies||Best Heart-shocking Game; Good for couples who like bears, weapons, and suspense|
|The Castles of Burgundy||Best Estate Developing Game; Good for couples who are into real estate business|
|Guillotine||Best Beheading Game; Good for couples who hate aristocrats and politicians|
|Codenames: Duet||Best Words Game; Good for wordsmith couples|
|Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition||Best History Game; Good for couples who are fond of history, particularly the Cold War|
|The Fox in the Forest||Best Fantasy Game; Good for the couple who like a bit of fantasy in their game|
|Plague, Inc.||Best Chaos Game; Good for couples who need some de-stressing|
Why Play Board Games?
With the stress of jobs, commitments, responsibilities, and busy schedules, you probably tend to forget to slow down and enjoy some quality time with your partner. While everything in your life is competing for your attention, setting aside time away from demands and technology can be especially rewarding.
Romantic games for couples can help bring you back into the physical world to be present in the moment with your partner. Let’s look at some of the top reasons that you and your partner should play board games.
Don’t lose the playfulness.
Playfulness is one of the things that couples should never lose or take for granted. Being playful spices up the relationship to a whole new level. When you are able to lose yourselves in play, you’re allowing yourselves to escape your everyday, linear, problem-solving, adult mindset. You are able to activate a part of your brain that doesn’t get much stimulation in your adult life—the one that isn’t concerned about deadlines, bills, or your physical appearance. Rather, your brain is able to make new connections that help you see things in new ways.
Being playful with your partner can help you boost your creativity, improve your mood, make you laugh together, and help you engage with each other in unique ways. Laughing with your partner brings you closer together, especially when it happens spontaneously and unexpectedly. It also prevents you from taking yourselves too seriously. In fact, some couples have found success by finding a reason to laugh in the middle of an argument. They find that laughter can melt away anger and help them come up with more creative ways to handle problems.
By playing games together, you and your partner can be playful in a way that you otherwise might miss. Having the ability to embrace good-natured humor gives you the humility to see the uselessness of trying to be perfect and the gift of enjoying laughter with the person you love.
Explore and learn new things together.
Through board games, couples can learn new things and explore fresh ideas together. People often enjoy the stimulation of learning new things or gaining new experiences. Not only does this help prevent life from becoming mundane, but it also forces you to be challenged to think in new ways. Learning to do something with a loved one is even better because you get to share the experience.
You won’t grow with your partner if you just do the same things you have always done. Growth requires you to explore and learn new things together, whether it’s trying to solve a new problem or adapt to a new way of thinking. Putting yourselves into new situations can force a beneficial change. This spirit of constantly challenging yourselves will help keep you modest and open to new ideas that could be better than the ones you currently have.
Build a stronger relationship.
Playing board games strengthens the bond between you and your partner. It can be a hobby that the two of you can schedule to make sure you spend enough “love” time with each other. Plus, you may be surprised at how much you don’t yet know about your partner that you can learn when you add in a little competition.
People don’t play board games alone. The foundation of these games are cooperation. Cooperative board games for couples help build a stronger relationship through teamwork and a joint sense of creativity. Exploring this hobby allows you to spend quality time with your partner that is necessary to strengthen your relationship.
Additionally, laughing with your partner while you’re playing games triggers the release of endorphins, which are your body’s natural “feel good” hormones. This helps improve both your conscious and unconscious cognitive functions, leaving you and your partner feeling happy, compassionate, and ultimately fulfilled by each other’s company.
Make your date nights more fun and exciting.
If you are tired of the same old routine, you can use board games to make your date nights different more thrilling. It is easy to start slacking off when it comes to planning dates nights, and many people need help with ideas that extend beyond dinner and a movie.
Date nights are the best time to rediscover your partner and enjoy them away from the distractions of the outside world. Finding the best board games for two players allows you to have fun together, laugh, think outside of the box, and work with each other to be creative and come up with fresh ideas. While doing this might not be the answer to all of the problems that your relationship may face, the connection that you will build by having fun together playing board games can help you deal with those problems in more creative ways.
So set the intention of playing board games with your partner. Plan a night, add it to your list of priorities, and do it. If you are ready to give this a try, here are some perfect board games for two adult players that you can enjoy together.
The 15 Best Board Games for Couples to Play on Game Night
1. Dominion BEST OVERALL; Best Kingdom Building Game
This is the best kingdom building game and is great for couples who enjoy building and developing kingdoms and thrones. Dominion is one of the most popular deck-building games worldwide and is an ideal introduction to the mechanics of deck building for new players, as well as seasoned vets. Playing this game with your partner will encourage you to be collaborative in strategizing, and to be creative, which is ideal for relationship bonding.
While the general concept of the game remains the same, each individual game will look a little different, as there is an endless supply of deck combinations. The great thing about this game is that if you enjoy the core game, there are a lot of expansion sets available to help keep it fresh and stimulating for years to come. But that being said, unlike some other deck-building games, Dominion allows players to build decks without having to spend countless hours and excessive amounts of money on card booster packs. You get every card that you need in just one box.
The endless strategies and card combinations that can be played make each game unique and exciting. After a few rounds of this game, you will clearly see if this style of game is something you and your partner will enjoy.
2. Carcassonne Board Game Best City Building Game
This is the best option for a city building game, making it great for couples who enjoy building and developing cities. The game is based on an actual city in the south of France that is known for its heavily fortified walls. During the game, each player acts as a developer from the countryside and aims to make their own unique impact on the terrain.
At the beginning of each person’s turn, they place a new tile on the board, connecting it to an existing tile. These tiles represent components of cities, roads, fields, or monasteries. Each player also has a collection of “meeples” (or followers) that they can use to claim areas. When meeples are placed on the board, they can turn into thieves, knights, monks, and farmers to help players develop the land around their cities. Players gain points by using their meeples, and whoever has the most points once the final tile is played wins the game.
There are few components to this game, as it comes with just over 70 land tiles. However, the game is pretty complicated. The accompanying rulebook is detailed, using pictures to clarify potential issues that may arise during the game. The final items that come with this game are a scoreboard and the meeple pieces, which are among the most recognizable game pieces in the modern board game era.
3. Pandemic Legacy Blue Board Game Best Team-up Game; Allows couples to practice their cooperative skills
This is the best team-up game, meaning it allows couples to practice their cooperative skills. In this game, two to four players have to collaborate to save the world from four different diseases. Throughout the game, you and your partner(s) travel around the world treating diseases and searching for the cures before the plagues overpower humanity.
This game offers campaign-style gameplay, meaning that the decisions you make in former games you have played have an impact on all of your games moving forward. Throughout the game, you will be destroying cards, using stickers, discovering new things, and finding secret packages.
Pandemic: Legacy comes with a legacy deck that will guide players through the game’s 12-month cycle. Each month brings new goals, tasks, challenges, and even new rules. The game changes based on the choices that your team makes, but you only have two opportunities to win a round during a month before you are able to move onto the next, so it is important to play with caution. The method of winning the game varies from month to month, so you have to be flexible in order to save humanity in this game.
- This game lasts for exactly one year, which limits its replay-ability.
- Some find the beginning of this game to be boring before it picks up.
- Board isn’t treated, so it is hard to remove stickers.
4. Hive: A Game Crawling With Possibilities Best Strategic Game
This is the best option if you and your partner are looking for a strategic game, or if you love to use strategy in your gameplay. This “board” game actually has no board. It comes with pieces that are added to a playing area that creates a board. As pieces are continuously added, the game becomes a battle to see who can be the first player to capture the opponent’s queen bee.
This two-player, abstract, strategy game revolves around placing and manipulating tiles that represent various insects. Similar to the pieces in chess, the different insect tiles each have their own set of specific rules that control when and where they can move. The game is won when a player surrounds their opponent’s queen bee tile on all six of sides with other insect tiles.
There is very little setup required to play this game after you understand the rules. The insect tiles themselves make up the entire game, meaning there are no other cards or playing pieces to deal with. The game begins as soon as the tiles are distributed to each player.
The game pieces are thick, sturdy, and of excellent quality, allowing Hive to last you a lifetime. Everything you need to play this game fits inside the included carrying case, making this an ideal game if you and your partner like to travel. Unlike some other games that are great for couples, this is not a cooperative game, but rather a competitive game with a clear winner at the end. If you enjoy chess but dislike the amount of time it takes to complete a game, you will love Hive, as it has the same concept but a shorter gameplay period.
5. Jaipur Best Game involving sales and profit
This is the best-selling game, and perfect for couples who are business-minded.
In this fast-paced game, you and your component are merchants who compete to show the maharajah who can earn a greater profit, with the goal of becoming the maharajah’s official merchant.
You start the game with three camel cards and two merchandise cards face up on a table between you and your opponent, and five cards in each of your possession. When it is your turn, you can choose to either take cards or sell them.
The goal of this board game is to gain tokens that represent money in order to generate the highest income. At the end of each round, players add up the points on their tokens, and the player with the highest score wins that round. There are three rounds in each game, and it takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete a game.
One of the things people enjoy about this game is that, even if you are behind, you feel as if you are making progress during each turn you take. It is always possible to pull ahead, even right up to the end of the game, so players can always feel like they are being productive.
The quality of the cards and the artwork on the box and cards is excellent. The game box and its components fit neatly into a small box, making this an easy game to store away when not in use.
6. Azul Best Wall Building Game
Azul is a tile drafting game where players aim to create the most aesthetically pleasing pattern of ceramic tiles on the walls of the royal palace. The game is inspired by the historical use of azulejos, which are tin-glazed ceramic tiles that were used in Portugal during the 1500s. The setting of the game is historical, but the gameplay is abstract and puzzle-like in nature and can be finished in about half an hour.
This is the best wall-building game, making it perfect for couples who are into designing things, and who have an aesthetic sense.
Players take turns adding colored tiles that are obtained from suppliers to their player board. The play is relatively simple, as you’re simply drafting tiles, aiming to get the tiles that you need before your opponent takes them for themselves. Points are scored based upon how players have placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Additional points can be accumulated when specific patterns are made or sets are completed. However, points can be deducted if a player wastes their supplies. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Players love how beautiful this game is. The shiny tiles are reasonable in size and end up looking like a work of art. While the game is slightly difficult to understand at first, the more you play, the more skilled you will become. This short game still requires players to engage in decision-making, allowing you to do some complex thinking from the beginning. You’re encouraged to interact with your partner often while playing, making this a perfect activity for couples. If you enjoy abstract games or puzzles, this option may be right up your alley. Not only is it pretty to see, but it also offers a great game with some depth to explore.
7. Splendor Best Merchant Game
This merchant game is great for couples who enjoy games that involve buying and selling items.
Splendor is set during the European Renaissance era when global trade routes were opened up to allow for the trade of expensive merchandise. You can experience the riches of this era when playing this fast and intuitive game where you are competing to gain control of gem mines, trade routes, and storage space to learn the business of gem trading and attract attention from your noble patrons.
While the gameplay is simple, this game provides you with a lot of historic detail and elegant components. By optimizing your trading strategies, you can become the most influential and wealthy merchant at the jewelry market and collect the most prestige points. This is a great game to play with your partner, but it can also be enjoyed by children. It offers a simple yet unique economy, which makes this game easy to learn while still offering a challenging puzzle with each round.
8. Patchwork Board Game Best Weaving Board Game
This is the best weaving game, and is ideal for couples who like strategic and patience-testing games. In this game, two players battle to create the most aesthetically pleasing patchwork quilt on their own 9-inch by 9-inch game board. Creating a quilt in this game requires effort, time, and strategy, as the available patches do not always fit together!
This game is unique in the sense that it has a sewing and quilting theme, yet is still engaging and competitive. It requires strategy, design skills, and a healthy amount of competition. Patchwork is a great two-player game that doesn’t take up an entire day, yet will still satisfy you with complete gaming experience.
9. Bears vs. Babies Good for couples who like bears, weapons, and suspense
This is the best game for shock value. It is an ideal choice for couples who like bears, weapons, and suspense. It was created by the same people who made the bestselling, record-breaking Kickstarter game Exploding Kittens, so if you liked that game, you are sure to enjoy this one.
This entertaining game is relatively easy to play once you get started. To help you learn how to play, the creators encourage players to do a practice round before officially beginning. Once the players are comfortable, it is time to get serious and create monsters that will eat heinous, horrible babies.
The game includes a mat and shuffled cards that picture babies and tools that give players a variety of actions. The rest of the cards are pieces to help players make creative monsters.
The tricky part to creating a monster is that the stitches on the cards have to line up, so it could take a few turns before you are able to assemble a monster. Each card has a point value on it that tells you how powerful it is, so the more points your cards have, the more powerful your monster can be. The object of the game is to overpower the evil army of babies.
This game is quick and fun to play, between trying to create a monster and creating a strategy to overpower your opponent. Users appreciate the well-done art on the cards and the humor that can be found in the monsters. In the end, the player who eats the most babies wins.
10. The Castles of Burgundy Best Estate Developing Game
This is the best estate developing game, and is great for couples who have an interest in the real estate business. This is a relatively new game that has gained a lot of popularity since its release in 2011. This dice action game requires players to develop the best estate in medieval France by becoming more prosperous than their opponents. The game is divided up into five phases that each includes five rounds.
Throughout the game, players buy and sell goods and services, and use action tiles to build, ship, mine, manage livestock, and gain knowledge across two game boards. At the end of the game, the player with the most victory points (which are obtained through trading, farming, city building, or doing scientific research) is declared the winner.
This is a great option for gamers who love strategy games that are colorfully and intricately created using high-quality construction. Players work with both the main game board and their own personal boards to obtain the necessary possessions, wealth, and knowledge that they need to earn their victory points. Players are fully engaged from beginning to end, as they have to think of creative ways to do business with their opponents and come out on top.
Because the game spans five rounds, players have to develop strategies and keep the final objectives of the game clear in their minds throughout the entire process, which can be challenging. Players are not only competing against each other, but also putting themselves to the test as they try out new strategies to collect assets faster than their opponents.
This is made for players who prefer games that require using strategy over those that rely on luck. The Castles of Burgundy offers a historical perspective using a medieval French theme. Games can be played with two to four players and can last between 30 and 90 minutes.
11. Guillotine The best Beheading Game
This is the best beheading game and is good for couples who hate aristocrats and politicians.
The game involves three rounds of play wherein 12 nobles are lined up to be executed by the guillotine. Each noble comes with a value, with the higher valued cards indicating a higher level of loathing for the noble. The players must use action cards to manipulate the order of the nobles, moving some to the front of the line or taking other action to obtain the highest value noble in their scoring pile. Once all the nobles are gone, another round begins. After three rounds, the player who has the most points wins.
Each time you play this game, you will have a unique experience. The gameplay is easy to pick up on and teach to others. While this game can be played tamely, it can also become cutthroat. With the use of action cards and attacks on your opponent, it can get quite exciting. The quick play allows you to play multiple games in a short period of time, so even if one person loses a game by a long shot, they can make a comeback in the next round.
12. Codenames: Duet Best word game
This is the best word game, making it the perfect choice for wordsmith couples.
The object of this collaborative game is for you and your partner to reveal the 15 agents out of the 25 cards on the grid. Players are offered one-word clues in addition to a number that corresponds with the number of cards in the grid the clue applies to and must be careful not to reveal an assassin or an innocent bystander. Players can make as many guesses as they want but have to stop when they make an incorrect guess. Players are given nine-time markers to use together for the entire game, and lose one-time marker at the end of each turn. The game is over when players either run out of time markers or correctly guess all 15 cards.
This game is similar to a giant brain teaser, in the sense that players have a limited amount of time to find the 15 agent cards. It can be tricky to try to figure out which cards your partner is trying to clue you in on while trying to avoid assassins. If you can figure out how to work the numbers, you may be able to figure out how the cards are broken down, but this requires skill and practice.
13. Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition Good Board Game for couples who are fond of history, particularly the Cold War
This is the best board game option when it comes to those who love history games.
It is good for couples who enjoy reading about and studying history, especially the Cold War. While it’s true that the USA and the USSR never fired a shot at one another during this war, there were many proxy wars where funding and weapons were supplied to one side or the other. This game imitates this conflict on a global scale.
The Cold War history ties in well to the gameplay because past events lead to changes in the situation on the board. Trying to demonstrate military strength without creating a nuclear war leads to limits in game play that require creative strategy.
During the game, players move units and make attempts to gain allies and control of the land to become a superpower. This is a two-player, card-driven strategy game where every decision you make feels critical to your success in the long run. Players never feel like they have complete control over the game, and there is always a risk of causing a catastrophe.
With multiple goals and many layers to this game, players are never at a loss for things to do or keep track of, which is what keeps this game so engaging and interesting. It is a great game to play either one-on-one or in teams.
- It offers great scheming, mechanics, and strategy.
- The game does an excellent job of replicating the tension of the Cold War.
- Very engaging.
- New players don’t stand a chance winning against experienced players.
- May not interest people who were born after the Cold War.
- Takes three to four hours to play, so many couples don’t play this game too often.
This is the best fantasy game and is good for couples who enjoy having a bit of fantasy in their gameplay. The Fox in the Forest is a trick-taking card game intended for two players, which are typically hard games to find. The story behind this game involves a queen who claimed that whoever defeated the monsters would be rewarded with half of the kingdom. Using the help of the woodcutter, a fox, a swan, and a monarch, players collect treasures and build trust with the witch.
This game is played over multiple hands, with 13 tricks in each hand. Players usually score between 0 and 6 points per hand, and gameplay continues until one player reaches 21 points. This is a fast game that can be finished in about 30 minutes. The cards are made out of high-quality material and have beautiful artwork on them.
The Fox in the Forest is a well-designed and well-developed trick-taking game that has been successfully distilled down to a two-player game. The scoring system is unique and clever in the sense that players want to take either 0-3 tricks or 7-9 tricks, because this amount gives you the entire 6 points. If you take those numbers of tricks, your opponent will fall out of that ideal range.
15. Plague, Inc. Best Chaos Game; Good for couples who need some de-stressing
This is the best chaos game, making it great for couples who need some de-stressing.
Plague Inc. is a recent addition to the popular pandemic simulation genre of games. Players are tasked with designing the most lethal plague possible that will kill every human on earth before their engineered disease is discovered and cured. Your created disease starts off basic, but can be reconstructed throughout the game to spread more rapidly or become more lethal. Players can use event cards to try to beat their opponent by bombing their diseased cities or holding the Olympics on a healthy continent to bring large numbers of infected people onto a healthy continent.
This is a quick game to learn and play, with about a 60-minute game time. There is little downtime during the game, which keeps it exciting and engaging. The game is fast and easy to set up, and it offers intuitive game mechanics that are linked to its realistic theme that helps players get engaged with the game right away. Each turn consists of five phases, but they typically don’t last for more than one minute all together.
This is a great game to play just with your partner, or you could bring it to a couples’ game night to play with four people.
All the products we listed above are the top picks of couples on Amazon and other online stores. We hope that we were able to help you choose the one that can best fit you and your partner’s tastes when it comes to the idea of fun.
But our overall winner for today is Dominion for its ability to develop critical thinking, strategy, and cooperative skills.