For many, the term “RPG” calls to mind images of lengthy and lore-heavy video games in which you get to step into the roles of a number of different characters. Those who love RPG games might be pleased to learn that RPG elements aren’t limited to just video games – you can find them in board games, too.
Board games are ideal for bringing together a group of friends and family. Truthfully, though, you don’t always have more than a couple people available for a given game.
If you’re searching for a way to incorporate your love of RPG gameplay outside of a video game, take a look at this list of the best RPG board games for 2 players. The games on this list won’t require a band of players to play – you’ll only need two people and some time.
Best RPG Board Games for 2 Players
From all possible RPG board games out there, Gloomhaven is probably one of the most well-known and well-loved. That’s for a very good reason, too.
It has a wide range of classes to suit a ton of different play styles – 17 different classes, to be exact. In some ways, it’s like a choose your own adventure story, because the game changes based on the actions of the players.
On top of the incredibly detailed gameplay, the world is represented through gorgeous pieces and miniatures. It won’t take much imagination to immerse yourself in the world of Gloomhaven, especially when it’s so well-portrayed with its pieces.
- Offers seventeen different classes to play as.
- Supports one to four players.
- The game is different every time you play it.
- Includes tons of stunning pieces, such as miniatures and cards.
- Incredibly detailed story that allows players to make choices.
- Can be expensive.
- Because of all the pieces, it can take a long time to set up.
- The box is pretty heavy.
If you were ever a fan of the Redwall book series, then you’ll adore Mice & Mystics. Players take on the roles of heroes who were turned into mice.
Because of their newfound ultra-small size, the heroes must navigate through a castle that’s massive and filled with all sorts of dangers. Players will need to fight against spiders, cockroaches, and a monstrous cat.
Like all good RPGs, you’ll also get a choice in characters. Each of the tiny battle-hardened mice you could choose from has their own advantages and disadvantages.
- Cooperative gameplay mechanics encourage players to work together.
- Four different characters to play as.
- All characters are represented with exquisite miniatures.
- One to four people can play at once.
- Games can be completed in one to one and a half hours.
- The mechanics heavily rely on dice rolling, which randomizes the gameplay rather than depending on the character stats you’ve leveled up.
- Some players reported that the game is a little too complex for children.
In Mage Knight, players get to explore the legendary Atlantean Empire as one of four powerful mage knights. Over the course of the game, players will learn new and strong spells, travel throughout the empire, and recruit other units to their cause.
Players can work together or compete. The choice is entirely theirs, and because of it, the game can be shaped to each person’s unique preference.
It’s true that Mage Knight takes some time to learn, but we can assure you it’s a blast once you’ve got the hang of it.
- Players can compete or cooperate.
- Includes tons of beautiful pieces, such as painted miniatures.
- Supports one to four players.
- Incorporates a wide variety of mechanics, such as deck-building, dice rolling, and tile exploration.
- Some players felt that it was a little difficult to learn.
Have you ever tried to play a tabletop RPG like Dungeons and Dragons, only to struggle to find a DM? Oftentimes, locating someone who wants to sit back and run a game is a complete hassle. Players are abundant, but good DMs can be in short supply depending on where you’re located.
That’s what make Mansions of Madness so unique. Everyone gets to be a player, because the complex scenarios are run by a companion app. Simply download the app, set up the board, and kick back with your friends and family while you play through an intense horror-based story.
You technically don’t even need anyone else to play. With the companion app running the game, you can play solo if you’re unable to find another player.
- Fun Lovecraftian horror theme.
- Supports one to five players.
- Comes with a companion app that runs scenarios for you.
- Has tons of creepy and fun scenarios to play through.
- The box contains a large number of stunning and detailed components.
- Some owners felt that the scenarios are very hard to win.
- All the pieces means the setup can take some time.
When it comes to RPGs, Dungeons and Dragons is probably one of the most famous. It’s snuck its way into pop culture everywhere, so that most people have heard the name even if they don’t know what it is.
The Castle Ravenloft board game makes it possible to venture into the universe of D&D without having to set up an extensive campaign or complicated characters. In it, characters roleplay as guests to the mysterious Ravenloft castle.
Things aren’t as they seem, however, and players need to fight through evil monsters and obstacles within the castle.
- Can be played solo or with up to five players.
- Games can be completed within an hour.
- Features the rich and intricate lore of the D&D universe.
- The game comes with a large number of pieces, including miniatures and interlocking dungeon tiles.
- Because it has so many parts, setup can take a lot of time.
- Some felt that a few of the miniatures were a little fragile.
Middle Earth is another fantasy universe that millions of people around the world have heard of. And if they’ve heard of it, there’s a good chance they loved the movies or the books.
Either way, Journeys in Middle Earth lets those who enjoyed the movies, books, or other games to dive into the universe again. Just like in the movies and books, players get to form their own fellowship ranging anywhere from one to five members.
You can choose one of six legendary heroes, three of which include a few we already know and love: Aragorn, Gimli, and Bilbo. With your fellowship formed, you’ll venture into Middle Earth, writing your own tale as you fight monsters and explore its familiar fantasy lands.
- Gorgeous pieces, including miniatures, cards, and tiles.
- Players can choose from one of six heroes, each with their own benefits.
- Perfect for long evenings of gaming.
- Comes with a free companion app to help you play through each campaign.
- You cannot play the game without the app.
- Some players noted that it can be difficult to win.
Features to Consider
Role-playing games are most often associated with fantasy, but they don’t have to be. For that reason, stop and think if there’s a particular theme that you like more than others.
Consider whether or not you like horror, fantasy, or even sci-fi. If there’s a particular genre you’re in the mood for, you can guarantee there’s a board game out there for it with RPG elements.
Games with role-playing elements tend to be a bit on the long side. That’s because they’re detailed, almost always include the ability to customize and play a range of characters, and you can make choices.
However, despite generally being long, there is still some variation in their length. In other words, if you’re not looking for a game that you can spend the better part of an evening playing, there are options out there for you that are quicker.
You can almost always find the duration in the description for any game. On the back of the box, they typically list the number of players, age limitations, and the approximate amount of time it will take you to play it.
If you’re planning to play with friends, odds are that not everyone sitting at your table will be an expert in the game. Because of this, the learning curve of any board game is worth factoring in.
The steeper the learning curve, the more time you’ll need to spend getting to know the rules. Lower learning curves mean the game is easier and that beginners can jump in without such a struggle.
This is something that isn’t always made clear in the game’s description. For information on how hard it is to get the hang of, you can usually take a look at customer reviews.
The best thing about the games on this list is that they can all be played with a mere one or two players. On top of that, they all incorporate detailed RPG characteristics, like the ability to choose and customize your characters during play.
Our personal favorite from the list, though, is Mansions of Madness.We love the unique horror theme that sets it apart from other RPG board games. Furthermore, we love how it has a companion app that functions as a game master for you.
It’s one board game that we’d love to bring out with our friends for an evening of play.