Business doesn’t always have to be serious. Business can be fun. Also, business usually has a tight set of rules and revolves around resource allocation. So in a way, business in the real world already is a sort of game. But if you want to play that game, it’s actually much easier to just turn on your PC and play one of the many great business tycoon simulations out there.
There is a special flavor for everyone. Historical business simulation? Done. Present day urban planning? Got it. Science fiction space station businesses? Yeah why not.
This is a very PC eccentric genre, there are few ports on consoles that are above anything but “passable”. Interestingly enough though, it seems mobile touch devices see the most innovative new entries here, leading to a small renaissance of a genre that was in a steady decline into obscurity for years now.
#15 Tropico 6
- Developer: Limbic Entertainment
- Publisher: Kalypso Media
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
- Release: March 29, 2019
Tropico received a new installment in 2019 and if you played past installments then you’ll be rather familiar with Tropico 6. This is a series where players take on the role of a leader, known as El Presidente, who is in control of a Caribbean island. Being the leader you’ll have control over a variety of aspects that range from political situations, laws, and overall management to the island itself. Now as done previously, gamers will be taking control of the island over a course of four eras, but depending on how you handle various situations will determine if your island flourishes or if you’ll end up dealing with a revolt.
#14 Surviving Mars
- Developer: Haemimont Games
- Publisher: Paradox Interactive
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
- Release: March 15, 2018
Within Surviving Mars players will be on the cold red planet where their sole goal is to manage and oversee the colonization of the new world. Of course, there will be some challenges that will come up giving players some tough obstacles to pass through.
This is a city-builder type game as well where players will have to build up their colony and gather resources to maintain their colonization. As a result, the game will have a bit of a strategy element to the gameplay.
#13 RollerCoaster Tycoon Series
- Developer: Chris Sawyer Productions, Frontier Developments, n-Space, On5, Nvizzio Creations
- Publisher: Hasbro Interactive, Infogames, Atari
- Platforms: PC, Xbox, iOS
- Release: 1999 – 2016
- RollerCoaster Tycoon
- RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
- RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
- RollerCoaster Tycoon World
The RollerCoaster Tycoon series plays out much like Zoo Tycoon. Players are in control of a theme park where they must design the layout, hire employees, bring in businesses and maintain the various rides. Essentially, instead of animals like Zoo Tycoon, you’re swapping them out for amusement park rides while still maintaining the behind-the-scenes ventures that goes into managing a business and keeping operations running smoothly.
RollerCoaster Tycoon also was an IP that exchanged hands across a few different development studios where it originated by Christ Sawyer Productions back in 1999 but even with the games being tossed around different development studios, the overall goal and mechanics are intact. For instance, the latest main video game release, RollerCoaster Tycoon World launched in 2016 where again players are building up rides, shops and managing the par while tweaking the visuals for the latest PC platform components.
This franchise is not slowing down as Atari made note of other installments that is currently in the works such as RollerCoaster Tycoon for the Nintendo Switch.
#12 SimCity Series
- Developer: Maxis, Tilted Mill Entertainment, Aspyr Media, etc
- Publisher: Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Maxis, etc
- Platforms: PC, PSX, PS3, DS, GBA, Wii, etc
- Release: 1989 – 2014
The SimCity has been a long running video game franchise that first debuted into the market back in 1989. Several developers and publishers have had their hand on the video game franchise and it’s been available on a wide range of platforms. In a lot of ways, SimCity is one of the pioneering video game franchises to help other popular tycoon video games come out into the market.
Because this franchise has been around since the late 1980s, there are so many video game titles available to play but the latest main installment to really hit the market was SimCity, a 2013 reboot which had its own rocky launch and issues, but we won’t open that can of worms here.
Overall, SimCity allows players to create a city and build upon it while aiding any issues that the civilians bring up. Of course, one of the wrenches that is tossed at players progress is the various natural disasters and hostilities that occur which will require rebuilding up parts of your city locations.
- Developer: OpenTTD Team
- Publisher: OpenTTD Team
- Platforms: PC
- Release: March 14, 2004
OpenTTD is a game well worth trying out as it’s available free and open-source. The video game was developed as a remake of 1995’s Transport Tycoon Deluxe but with this remake comes new content and features. Players will find that the base game is still about transporting passengers and cargo for profit through the means of road, rail, sea or air. As mentioned, there are a few additions to this game with players receiving more map sizes, language support, AI, multiplayer, among other useful features that were previously unavailable through Transport Tycoon Deluxe.
This title has also been going strong for a number of years now due to it being open-source. Ultimately, this means that even though the game released over a decade ago, it’s still being supported and updated. For instance, the latest stable version update was released in April of 2018. However, outside of stable version releases, there is other modifications and online content that players can download for their game to include new sets of vehicles, industries, cargoes and buildings. You’ll even find downloads available to give players new scenarios and custom AIs.
Lastly, because this game also supports online multiplayer, gameplay can be competitive. This title includes games that can feature up to 255 players where they will compete as a transportation company. All-in-all, being that this game is free to download and try, we recommend giving it a go.