Of course, the friend most readily at hand (and also my favorite gaming partner) is my wife, but it has been difficult in the past to find good two-player games. Recently, though, I've played several games that have great two-player variants. Here's a list for those who are looking:
- Ticket to Ride Europe. Seriously, last weekend I think Abby and I played seven games in a few days' span. The 1912 expansion adds an additional variant, in which each of the destination tickets includes at least one of nine "big cities." It's much harder to stay out of each other's way with this variant, and games are much more tense, but still fun.
- Carcassonne. This is a simple tile-laying game in which the players have eight generic followers who become knights, farmers, thieves, and monks in order to score points. It's simple and quick and very fun. The expansions are also fun.
- Bohnanza. A bean-planting card game? Sounds lame. Well, it isn't. This is another fast-paced game that has good turn-around value (as in, "Okay, just one more game...").
- Canasta. This is an oldie but a goodie. Abby and I typically get this for our newlywed friends because it is an excellent two-player game (and it's much cheaper than the games listed above...).
Another time I'll explain what, to me, makes a good board game. And while these are some of my favorite two-player games, they are not my favorite games altogether--I'll give that list another time as well. In the meantime, what are your favorites?
***EDIT*** I also recommend Jaipur in a later post, which is an excellent two-player game.