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Add a layer of friendly competition to date night — 16 games for couples to shop

Because hibernation season is the perfect time to (lovingly) battle it out with your beau.
TODAY Illustration; Kara Birnbaum / TODAY

Whether your perfect date night includes putting your love to the test with some friendly competition or forming a deeper connection and understanding with one another, card and board games are an excellent way to do it.

Affordable, often portable and fun to pull out with large groups or 1-on-1, these games make for perfect Valentine's Day gifts for the couple or significant other who is always looking for fun ways to pass the time.

No matter how long you've been coupled up, these games can help you to get to know one another better or can be gifted to other couples who are looking to spice things up.

Best card games for couples

Esther Perel Where Should We Begin - A Game of Stories

"My partner and I thought we knew everything about each other (we've been together over a year), but with every round of this game, I find out that we always have new stories and memories to tell," said one Shop TODAY editor about this game where there's "no winners or losers," just storytellers. "We do a lot of relationship-enriching work on our own, and this is a nice supplement to that."

We're Not Really Strangers: Couples Edition

Whether you've recently started dating or have been for multiple years now, "We're Not Really Strangers" is filled with prompts that will help you form a deeper connection with your partner. The viral game tests how well you know each other and how you each perceive your relationship. Reviewers love this game because it's "great for deep and meaningful conversations."

Table Topics: Couples Question Game

Pull this game out over dinner for discussion that goes beyond "How was work today?'' Spark a conversation (or debate) with questions like "Which of us is the worst backseat driver?" or "What's the best thing you learned from your mother?" For when you don't feel like playing the 'couples' deck, Table Topics has other themed decks for more game nights!

Debatable Party Game

Encourage healthy debates and learn all about your partner's pet peeves with this game that includes prompts like, "Which is it obviously better to be, too hot or too cold?" Figure out what piece of the brownie they prefer with this game that is "great for date night or great to bring along on a coffee date to keep the conversation rolling," according to one reviewer.

Drunk In Love: A Long Distance Drinking Game

If you're tired of hearing the phrase, "distance makes the heart grow fonder," play this drinking game to bridge the physical gap between you and your long-distance significant other. Pop open a bottle of wine and turn to FaceTime to answer and drink to prompts like "Drink if you kissed on the first date" or "Drink if you caught feelings first."

"The cards are the perfect balance of silly, kinda serious, funny and sweet," said one reviewer.

SERVD Card Game

Tote this deck around and whip out a card if you're looking to make a mundane day way more fun. With cards like "The Food Envy Card" that can be used at a restaurant when their dish looks more delicious than yours, force your partner to swap plates with you. Or, pull out the "Last Beer Card" when you really want to leave a function and get home to your pajamas and Netflix.

Memo Game Celebrity Couples

Test your knowledge on other couples — famous couples that is. Just find all the matches made in celebrity gossip heaven (both from the past and present) and win!

Cuffing Season Game

This card game is made for "throuples," "friends with benefits," "situationships" and "couples," according to the packaging. One player draws the 'setup' card, and every other player picks a 'punchline' card from their hand that can finish the end of the sentence.

"They have some very interesting questions that you never would’ve thought of asking [a] significant other," said one reviewer, adding that they "feel like every couple should play this game."

Best board games for couples

Mystery Date Vintage Edition Game

If you frequently played this board game when you were a child or are just now discovering it as an adult, the object of the game is to find the "perfect" date — just be careful not to get stuck with the "dud." This vintage edition from Anthropologie features designs from the original board game, first manufactured in 1965.

Battle of the Sexes Board Game

How much do you or your partner know about the opposite sex? Put them to the test with this board game that is perfect for large groups of couples or 1-on-1 with your significant other. "PERFECT game to play with a date! It's light-hearted, funny and playful," said one reviewer.

Telepaths Couple Vs. Couple Board Game

Do you ever wish you could read your partner's mind? Now you might be able to with Telepaths, a party board game where you try and write similar and identical answers based on a photo or phrase prompt.

Unique games for couples

Telestrations After Dark

Pictionary meets Telephone in this game that combines aspects of both games to create a "really funny," "hilarious" and "amazing" game. Players take turn selecting a prompt, drawing it then passing their sketch pad along for other players to guess what they've drawn.

Falling For You Personalized Blocks Game

Similar to Jenga, this take on the classic game instead has prompts on each block, such as "What do you think we should do more of?" or "Slow dance with your partner." Whether you play in a large group or solo with your significant other, these blocks are a "perfect mix of cute and thoughtful," according to one reviewer. For an additional cost, opt to customize five blocks to feature an inside joke, ask an important question or add your own twist on this game.

Personalized Memory Game

Select photos from your favorite date nights, vacation photos or cherished memories together to personalize and DIY this memory game from Shutterfly. With up to 24 cards, you can choose to play or display this game, making for one that will be loved for years to come.

Personalized Four-Across Game

Spell out your new last name or display your two names together and the year you started dating with this customizable four-across game, where the open slots are hearts rather than circles. "The happy brides and grooms to whom we've sent this game, love it," said one reviewer who gifted this game. "It is personalized with their names and date of marriage," they added.

Customized Ravensburger Photo Puzzle

Leave this 500-piece puzzle on a table, to put together pieces while you graze over it, or finish it all in one night as a date night activity as you work together to put together a puzzle with one of your favorite images on it.