Kathy and I had a very hard time narrowing ourselves down to ten favorite games. We tend to play the following games the most often, and these are the ones we most enjoy. There are others we wish we'd play more, but time does not always permit. There are also others we used to play more often but that have made room for more recent interests; we still consider them old favorites, however. So now, the top ten games that Kathy and I play together:
9. 7 Wonders gained some recent new life for us with the addition of the Leaders expansion. We don't always like games that require a third "dummy" hand to facilitate a two-player game, but this one works for us.
8. Chrononauts is a goofy Looney Labs title that we both like. It's a much better light-hearted card game than any of the Fluxx titles, which still have their own appeal.
7. Splendor is a recent addition to our collection that we really like, again as a relatively quick, undemanding game.
6. Battle Line, by contrast, is the game we pull out when we really want to bash brains against each other. We really love this taut card game, and the winner always feels as though he or she has earned it when the game ends. Perhaps my favorite two-player card game of all time.
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Used by permission
5. Compounded, like 7 Wonders, requires a dummy third player, but it is very unobtrusive and actually introduces some interesting tactical decisions. Another really fun one and surprisingly so even as a two-player.
4. Puerto Rico is not intended as a two-player game at all, but I downloaded a variant from boardgamegeek that works very well for us. We've played PR a lot and have never tired of this neo-classic. We recently picked up the New Buildings expansion, so now this old favorite has new life.
3. Love Letter doesn't really pose any deep tactical problems, but it is still a fun game and frequently provides the opportunity to get inside the head of the opponent, which really augments what would otherwise be a fairly simple logic puzzle into an interesting meta-game.
Honorable mentions - games we wish we could play more often, or old favorites that we don't play as much as we used to:
- Le Havre
- Mars Needs Mechanics
- Robber Knights
- Empyrean, Inc.
- Ticket to Ride
- Belle of the Ball - actually, I think this one is a rising star in our collection and will probably find itself in our top ten in the not-too-distant future
- Agricola / Farmers of the Moor
- Pirate Fluxx / Martian Fluxx / Star Fluxx
- Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League
One last list: These are games that I bought with every expectation that Kathy and I would play them on a regular basis, games that I thought would join the ranks of the regular two-player games listed above. Instead, they fell flat with Kathy (or with both of us) and have tended to gather dust (or to see action only as multi-player games).
- Android: Netrunner
- Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
- Council of Verona
- Race for the Galaxy
- Salmon Run
- Cold War: CIA vs KGB