Tycoon games offer a wide variety of experiences built around becoming the ultimate businessperson. From the popular and long-running Rollercoaster Tycoon series to other great experiences from real life and fantasy, I love this genre.
I’ve put together a list of the best Tycoon games to help you choose your next Tycoon adventure.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 : Triple Thrill Pack is an easy pick to top the list. If you’ve played the original, this is more of the same theme-park fun.
For one low price, you get the basic game and both expansion packs, giving you a total of over 200 rides and attractions to build to trick out your park and separate park guests from the money jangling in their pockets.
Those who love complete control of their park from breaking ground on up will have that option here. Themes are based on locations across the globe, and drawn from various historical time periods.
By the same creators as Rollercoaster Tycoon, with a different spin, we have Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion.
One or two players can play through more than 40 scenarios as they make their fortunes. Starting in 1900, gameplay can take you to the year 2000 and beyond.
Using the range of modes of transportation, from ferries to airplanes, you can build your empire transporting raw materials, goods, and passengers.
Outmaneuver the competition to better meet the evolving demands of society, challenging computer-controlled players or a friend.
With Zoo Tycoon 2, you build a zoo, starting with the enclosures themselves. In your choice of three modes, you can enjoy sandbox play (without goals or restraints), campaign mode, and a challenge mode.
This ultimate pack includes all four expansions, which add:
- African safari theme and additional African animals.
- Marine animal theme, and ability to swim with animals
- Endangered animal theme, and ability to breed endangered species
- Extinct animal theme, the ability to research and then recreate extinct creatures
Fairy Godmother Tycoon is one of my favorites in this genre. They took fairy tale characters we all know and threw in some twists and humor. The quirky humor keeps things fresh and fun as you build a magical potion empire.
As a new player, you have been hired to help the Fairy Godmother rebuild her empire. You will watch the daily forecast to estimate the daily demand for your potions, buy supplies and brew potions, cast spells and cure curses, and market and research as you play your way through 9 fairy tale towns.
A great tutorial will get you on your way, but if you find you need extra funds getting started, there are a few fairy tale characters willing to pay for assistance with their troubles.
The Moviesgives us a taste of the movie business, in true Hollywood style. Story mode takes us from cinema’s early days building a studio, through research and development, and into the present day. You have complete control over the fates of your cast and crew, grooming unknowns into movie stars, as well as full creative control of scripts and movie content.
Over 30 hours of campaign play will keep you entertained as you compete with other studios to anticipate what the public wants, to bring out the biggest blockbusters.
A sandbox mode gives you the opportunity to play in your favorite era without restraints.
For a free flash Tycoon game, check out Carnival Tycoon. No download needed! You’ll be able to build attractions, set up stalls, choose scenery, hire staff and manage funds as you play through more than 20 campaigns. Check it out at the link.
An odd but strangely engaging twist on the genre is Prison Architect. The game is currently in Alpha; buying it now gets you access to play the alpha as well as all updates and the final release. You design and build a prison, hire guards and staff, and manage the daily schedule as you attempt to make your efforts a success.
If you secretly long to bring hit video games to the masses, check out Game Dev Tycoon, by Greenheart Games.
You’ll begin as a garage programmer in the ’80s glory days of gaming, developing your first games. With a few games under your belt, you’ll move into a better office and bring together a team to train to create games with you. In time, as your experience grows and the industry develops, you’ll create more complex games and manage new challenges.
Did I miss your favorite Tycoon game? Feel free to share in the comments.