Tycoon Games to Sharpen Your Business Skills

tycoon games

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Have you dreamed of conquering the business world? Are you looking for ways to sharpen your entrepreneurial skills while having fun with relaxing games? Art mimics life in many of today’s top tycoon games, and aspiring entrepreneurs can live their fantasies of running thriving organizations in a virtual environment.

Whether your avatar is running a company, building rollercoasters, or even heading the mob, many of the same skills needed to win at business simulation games are also required to succeed in 21st-century business. Want to check out a few business strategy games? Read on to learn about 17 tycoon games that will sharpen your business skills.

What are Tycoon Games?

What are tycoon games? Also known as economic simulation games, tycoon games are those that focus on economic process management. Modeled after some of the best business board games of yesteryear, players must employ real-world economic strategies to master the game and achieve its objectives. Many of the business simulations found in tycoon games mirror real-world scenarios, while others are fictitious situations for added drama and entertainment.

Types of Tycoon Games

Tycoon games, often recognized for their strategy and management elements, have made a significant mark in the gaming industry. These games offer players a chance to step into the shoes of an entrepreneur, strategizing, making decisions, and overseeing various aspects of a business or venture. For those who use these games as a form of informal training or just to understand business mechanics better, there’s a plethora of types to choose from:

  • Railroad Tycoons: Dive into the world of trains, tracks, and stations. Manage logistics, expansion, and customer satisfaction. Examples include “Railroad Tycoon” and “Sid Meier’s Railroads!”.
  • Theme Park Tycoons: Design, build, and manage your theme park. From roller coasters to food stalls, every decision affects profitability. “RollerCoaster Tycoon” is a favorite in this genre.
  • Real Estate Tycoons: Buy, sell, and develop properties. Understand market trends, manage tenants, and grow your real estate empire. Games like “SimCity” touch on these elements.
  • Retail Tycoons: Run a mall, shop, or supermarket. Stock products, manage employees, and ensure customers are happy. “Mall Tycoon” and “Shoppe Keep” are examples.
  • Farming Tycoons: Cultivate land, raise livestock, and navigate the challenges of agriculture. Games like “Farm Frenzy” and “Stardew Valley” cater to this niche.
  • Zoo and Aquarium Tycoons: Care for animals, maintain habitats, and ensure visitors are entertained and educated. “Zoo Tycoon” is a popular choice here.

Best Tycoon Games on Amazon

FeatureGame Dev StoryRollercoaster Tycoon 2Planet Coaster
DescriptionTasked with building and operating a game development company. Must create games, manage quality and sales.Simulate building and operating a theme park. Handle finances, maintenance, food, and customer service.Design and manage a theme park. Create unique rides and attractions to attract customers and earn revenue.
PlatformNintendo Switch, iOS, Android, Playstation 4, Windows, Windows PhoneiOS, Nintendo Switch, Windows, MacPC, Playstation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperKairosoftFrontier DevelopmentsFrontier Developments
Release Date199720042016

What are the best tycoon games? A simple search yields so many business games, how can a user know which to choose? The following 17 business games are sure to appeal to budding entrepreneurs of all skill levels.

1. Game Dev Story

An oldie but a goodie, Game Dev Story has been entertaining budding entrepreneurs for decades. The game, which tasks players with building and operating their own game development company, is one of the best tycoon games and continues to dazzle gamers and professionals alike. To succeed, players must create games, conquer the qualities that impact a game’s popularity and sell the most creations.

Platform: Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, Playstation 4, Windows, Windows Phone

Developer: Kairosoft

Release Date: 1997

Read More: best business board games

2. Rollercoaster Tycoon 2


Another popular game in the Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise is Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, where players also simulate building and operating the best theme park, handling everything from finances and maintenance to food and customer service. The goal of the game is to consistently draw the most customers. Of course, with success comes the expansion of the roller coaster’s operation. Do you have the rollercoaster tycoon touch?

Platform: iOS, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac

Developer: Frontier Developments

Release Date: 2004

Read More: business simulation games


3. Planet Coaster

Another great game for simulating theme park construction management is Planet Coaster. In this tycoon game, players are tasked with creating a mind-blowing theme park complete with exciting and unique rides and attractions. The wilder and more fear-inducing the roller coaster design in Planet Coaster, the more customers the park will attract… and the more revenue it will earn.

Platform: PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One

Developer: Frontier Developments

Release Date: 2016


4. Jurassic World Evolution

Assemble the ultimate animal collection and build your own Jurassic Park in this unique tycoon game. In Jurassic World Evolution, players bioengineer their own dinosaur species, create incredible enclosures for them and expand their theme parks with entertainment and attractions. Gamers might not be facing real-world scenarios in this fantasy simulation where dinosaurs are brought to life, but they still need real-world business savvy to strategically operate their simulated zoological theme parks.

Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Developer: Frontier Developments

Release Date: 2018


5. Animal Crossing

Entertaining gamers for generations, Animal Crossing has appeared across multiple platforms over the years. In this social simulation game, players must succeed while living in a village community, saving enough money to pay off the mortgage of a house. In doing so, they must collect a variety of materials and sell them, meeting goals and overcoming obstacles along the way of the relaxing game.

Platform: Nintendo 64, iQue Player, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: 2001


6. Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic

Rollercoaster Tycoon is the classic series of theme park tycoon games that gamers have enjoyed for years, and Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic is one of the best tycoon games. Players compete on a solo basis to build and operate the best theme park and engineer the most amazing roller coaster.

Platform: PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Kindle

Developer: Origin8

Release Date: 2016


7. Port Royale 4

One of the newest and most popular tycoon games on the market, Port Royale 4 is the latest entry in a long series of successful business simulations. Players are charged with managing a trading company found in the Caribbean during the height of colonial expansion. They start the game with a single ship, then must sail from port to port trading goods and avoiding treacherous pirates.

Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Windows, PlayStation 5

Developer: Gaming Minds Studios

Release Date: 2020


8. Empire of Sin

Tired of business simulations that have you run a legitimate company? Step into the shady underworld of organized crime with Empire of Sin, where players must successfully run a mob organization. Starting with a few humble speakeasies, players try to build their mob business until it becomes a citywide criminal empire. Of course, they might have to fight off a few gangsters in the process.

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, macOS

Developer: Romero Games Ltd.

Release Date: 2020


What is the best free tycoon game?

There are plenty of great tycoon games to play and sharpen your business skills, but most of them aren’t free. The best free tycoon game is Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe, or OpenTTD, called one of the single best tycoon games of all time. Players of the open-source simulator game become railroad tycoons or even full transport tycoons, earning money by transporting passengers and freight over the road, rail, air, and water.

What is the best tycoon game in Play Store?

The best tycoon game in Google’s Play Store is Game Dev Story. One of the most popular tycoon games for mobile devices, the game is also available on a variety of other platforms. In-Game Dev Tycoon, players do just as the name suggests, they design video games to grow their companies into gaming industry giants.

What is the best tycoon game in the world?

The all-time best tycoon game in the world has got to be Rollercoaster Tycoon. The wildly-successful game combines creativity and problem solving as players vie to build the most dramatic yet effective roller coasters and draw the largest crowds to their theme parks. The game doesn’t end with building the coasters and amusement park, however. Players then must manage the operation, including staffing it, maintaining it and managing money.

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Image: Depositphotos

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Samantha Lile Samantha Lile is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 3 years. She is also a freelance writer and journalist who contributes to a variety of web publications from her home office in the heart of the Ozarks.