This might be the homebody in me talking, but I happen to think date night at home is better than date night out in nearly every way. The drinks are cheaper. The clothes are comfier. And, if you have the right game, it can be a really fun night for you and your love to get competitive and cuddly all at once.
This one is my personal favorite for date night these days. In Carcassonne, each of you will take turns drawing and laying tiles like a puzzle, trying to complete cities, roads and other features in an area modeled after the South of France. You earn different amounts of points for each of the features you claim and complete.
Ticket to Ride
In Ticket to Ride, you and your partner are simultaneously trying to connect specific cities on the board with train routes you place piece-by-piece. Things can get dicey when, since you don't know what routes your opponent is trying to finish, you block each other's progress.
A bug-themed strategy game that sounds very much like a light game of chess, your objective in Hive is to surround your opponent's queen bee, while keeping yours from being surrounded.
Here's one for folks who prefer to work together than compete: In Pandemic, both of you are specialists trying to cure the world of four different plagues by traveling through cities on the board and treating disease.
A bit macabre, but Guillotine is a card game where you and your date will each be executioners vying for public opinion by executing the least popular nobles. You take turns changing the order of the line (a row of cards) and executing whoever is at the front.
If you want a quick game that's easy to teach, Jaipur is your thing. You and your gaming partner will quickly get the hang of this tactical card game. You are each traders in India, where you strategize how to buy, hoard and sell resources — cards that represent spice, silk, leather, etc. — to make the most amount of chips by the end of the round.
Fun Games for More Players
Want some more? → The Best Board Games You've Probably Never Played Before
Any other favorite games for couples? What do you play on game date night?