You’ve read it. You’ve watched it. Fantasy is all around us. And we’re happy about that.
Whether your favorite fantasy realm is dominated by wizards, dragons, ghosts, or aliens, there isn’t an otherworldly being that hasn’t starred in a movie or book. But watching and interacting just aren’t the same. Bringing these fantasy creatures to life through gaming is its own unmatched experience.
You want an adventure! A quest! With dungeons! But let’s be honest, getting large groups together to play games can be a fantasy of its own. Don’t let mismatched schedules ruin your game nights.
Let us help you choose the best fantasy board games for 2-players with plenty of diversity and an option everyone is sure to love!
Table of Contents
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Fantasy Board Games for 2 Players
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion
Playing time: 30-120mins
Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is a prequel campaign to the original Gloomhaven. Although it’s a complex game, this edition has a more casual feel to it with simplified rules, no more complex pieces, and a learn as you go approach.
Take on the role of one of 4 new characters in this tactical cooperative game. You will maneuver your way through the 25 scenarios, overcoming obstacles and surprises around every corner. Each character has their own strengths and abilities which will grow stronger as the game progresses. Work with your fellow players to get to the bottom of the mystery of all the disappearances in the city. Who is responsible for these malicious attacks?
With 25 exciting scenarios to work through, this is great for 2-players as getting more people together regularly can be a bit of a challenge, and again, there are 25 scenarios to play through. You can’t go wrong with choosing this award-winning fantasy board game.
War of the Ring (Second Edition)
Playing time: 150-180mins
If you’re looking for a new way to immerse yourself into The Lord of The Rings, War of the Ring offers an unmatched experience. Sides will face off as one player controls the Free Peoples of Middle Earth and the other player will control Sauron’s Shadow Armies.
The Fellowship must defend the remaining free realms of Middle Earth while on their quest to reach Mt. Doom to destroy the ring. Sauron’s armies will scour the lands in search of the precious ring at any cost. This journey won’t be a walk through the Shire for either party. Opposing sides are battling darkness versus light as Sauron’s armies of Orcs, Ringwraiths, and Trolls hunt for and try to corrupt the Ringbearer before the precious ring can be destroyed.
War is overtaking Middle Earth and both sides will need to strategize if they want to come out on top. Will the Fellowship be able to destroy the ring in time, or will the Shadow’s evil forces conquer the lands and send Middle Earth into darkness? The answer lies in your hands.
War of the Ring is so much more than just another war game. In every game, you will get to write and live out a story. Every action has consequences that will leave you and your opponent suspensefully awaiting the next move.
Besides, who doesn’t love The Lord of the Rings?
Playing time: 90-120mins
If you know where to look, there are places where a flicker of magic can still be found. Spirit Island is such a fantastical land where spirits live peacefully and harmoniously. But what happens when colonizers attempt to invade these lands? Sprits. Fight. Back.
In this sci-fi cooperative game, you’ll take on the role of the spirits and work together to drive out the money-hungry trespassers. As they explore new lands, build up settlements, and attack the islanders, the spirits will be right there utilizing elemental powers and expending energy to fight off the colonizers. As the game progresses, spirits will wander to new parts of the island gaining more vigorous powers, while the invaders will further push their agenda.
Spirits will need to work together to stop the swarm of invaders from taking over Spirit Island. By frightening the colonizers and destroying all their settlements you can drive them out and claim this land that is rightfully yours! But should your spirit be destroyed or blight overcome the island, the invaders will claim their victory.
Spirit Island is a great addition to your fantasy game collection that strays from the typical monsters, wizards, and dungeons theme. The cooperative element makes this a great game for bonding and spending quality time with a friend or relative.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game (Revised)
Playing time: 60-120mins
The Ancient Ones are trying to enter this realm as the line between worlds becomes fluid. As investigators, you will work to crack clues and solve the mysteries to help save humanity. Card game meets RPG in Arkham Horror: The Card Game as you’ll get engulfed in the action of Lovecraftian magic.
Each game presents different scenarios, maps, and monsters and you will search various locations of the city looking for clues and fighting monsters who are trying to take over this world. Your actions will have long-lasting consequences and as the game progresses, characters will level up and strengthen their unique skills and abilities. Beware! — this challenge isn’t for the faint-hearted. You’ll be faced with horrors that will have you questioning your sanity and fearing for your life.
This thriller is best played as a 2-player game, so it’s a great suggestion for game night with your fantasy-loving, mystery-craving friend or partner. Its spooky nature will have you questioning every creak you hear and movement you see out of the corner of your eyes.
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Aeon’s End (Second Edition)
Playing time: 60mins
You’re waiting for the attack — you know it’s coming. Otherworldly creatures are preparing to destroy your home and now it’s time to fight the nameless entities and defend Gravehold. Gather your squad, brush up on your spells, and prepare for battle in Aeon’s End!
You and your teammate(s) will fight one of the four nemeses — each of which has its own rules, card deck, and of course, special abilities. And they’ll call upon their minions to help them do their dirty work. You’ll need a powerful band of heroes to defeat the monster and save Gravehold.
Throughout the game, you’ll find relics, cast powerful spells, and build up your special abilities, all in an attempt to beat the nemesis before it can exhaust you. But you’ll need to protect the city’s health as well as your own — it’s just as important. Fight collectively to reduce the enemy’s health to 0 and win the game.
Aeon’s End is a deck-building game where the cards are never shuffled. You’ll find yourself anxiously waiting for those “good” cards to come back, and this can help you strategize. You’ll need a great deal of teamwork to pull this off, so this is a great game to play on date night or with that friend you’ve been trying to connect with for months.
Battlelore (Second Edition)
Playing time: 45-90mins
In Battlelore, you’ll be transported to the fantasy world of Terrinoth where a battle is raging between the Daqan Lords and Uthuk Y’llan. Tailor your combat style and command your armies using strategy and tactical skill. Every game will utilize new scenarios, maps, and soldiers so gameplay will be vastly different every time.
Begin by setting up the board and assembling your army with powerful warriors and magical creatures. Command cards will instruct the leaders to move and attack and the battle can officially begin. Players will complete objectives and earn victory points as they fight to eliminate their enemies. The game comes complete with realistic miniatures, so you can literally watch the battle.
With over 150 cards and different maps and scenarios used with each new game, every time you play will be exciting and diversified. Battlelore is an exciting back and forth war game with a fantasy twist. Prepare for battle.
Catacombs (Third Edition)
Playing time: 60-90mins
Beneath the town of Stormtryne, trouble is brewing in the catacombs below the city.
A group of heroes has begun is confronting a corps of otherworldly monsters. Good will combat evil to save the town.
To begin each round, the overseer who leads the monsters will reveal a new room and tell which monsters are lurking within. Heroes will perform an action such as attacking a monster with a variety of weapons or using a spell as they showcase their abilities to cause damage to their opponents. To cause damage, you’ll need to skillfully flick the disc and hit your opponents.
When all the monsters in the room have been killed, the heroes have successfully won that round and the next one will begin. Heroes need to make it through all 8 catacombs if they want to win and every room will vary in difficulty.
Winning in Catacombs will require cleverness and strategy, but also a little dexterity. The game is easy to set up, it’s fast-paced, and there are plenty of expansion packs available with new rooms, monsters, and heroes to add to keep play forever evolving.
Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition
Playing time: 150mins
If you’re looking to dive into a heavy, complex adventure game, look no further than Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition. A perfect blend of RPG and deck building, this game will have players take on the role of Mage Knights in the Atlantean Empire. Choose to play in competitive mode or work together as a cooperative to beat the board.
After choosing a character, players can build their starting deck. Cards will be used to follow through with almost all actions such as moving, attacking, blocking, and healing. Advanced action cards with stronger effects and powerful spells will be added to your deck as the game progresses.
Use your influence to gain powerful allies and strengthen your forces. Each of these mercenaries will bring their own benefits and abilities to your army. Play your cards until a player runs out, then a new round starts. Depending on which scenario you choose, the game will consist of 3-6 rounds.
Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition is great for serious gamers. It’s complicated, but luckily you can start with a walkthrough game that will help you learn the rules as you go. With tons of replay value, you’re in for a fantastical adventure every time!
Playing time: 60-90mins
Thunderstone Quest is a strategic deck-building game, that will have you crawling through dark, dingy dungeons and fighting monsters to earn rewards. In this version of Thunderstone, you’ll find new challenges and players will even have their own side quests to fulfill.
Both players will start with the same number of cards and throughout the game, you’ll build and upgrade your deck with more powerful cards. These cards can be used to purchase items or even attack monsters which will give you experience points, treasure, or tokens.
First, head to the village to beef up your deck, buy potions and weapons, or heal wounds. Then, when you’re ready to fight the monsters, head to the dungeon and risk it all. Keep in mind that the final monster will be the hardest to beat. To win this game, you will need to kill all the monsters and find four keys. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins.
This game is best played with 2 players and the Quest edition really is an upgrade from the original Thunderstone. The replay value with this game is really extensive because there are so many cards that can be mixed and matched for a truly unique game every time.
Playing time: 20-30mins
Perhaps you’ve played Star Realms and really enjoyed the game — but you actually prefer games with a fantasy theme to games with a sci-fi theme. Meet Hero Realms — it’s like Star Realms with a fantasy theme twist.
Hero Realms is another deck-building game where players start with a pretty standard set of cards containing some gold and basic weapons to at least begin their combat. You will collect stronger cards with more powerful actions throughout the game.
Using a variety of weapons, players will battle each other in an attempt to reduce each other’s health points. As play continues, use gold to buy weapons and strengthen your combat skills or revive your health. The player who first gets their opponent’s health to zero wins the game!
This game is easy to set up and has a quicker playtime than other games on this list, so it’s a better option if you’re looking for a little bit lighter game. There are also expansions available that allow this game to be played cooperatively or campaign-style. It’s a versatile game that can easily be adjusted if you love it so much that you want to expand your fantasy game nights beyond 2-players.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best fantasy board games for 2 players! If you’re a fantasy geek like me, these are some of the best one-on-one games you can find. Whether you’re a Dungeons & Dragons player or a Lord of the Rings fan, there’s something for everyone with these fantasy games.
Have you tried any of the games on this list? Did we miss any of your favorites? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.
Kendra has always been a hardcore fantasy nerd. Growing up in the worlds of Tolkien, Sanderson, Jordan, and Abercrombie, DnD & board games just came naturally. She and her husband, Bryan, started GameCows.com in 2018 as a fun passion project that just took over their lives. An avid board gamer since childhood and chronic DnD chronicler for more than two decades, she loves to play, write, travel, and learn dead languages. She is also a professional content writer at SlashGear.com