Best Tycoon Games 2021

Do you love playing Tycoon games? Run your own business and have fun for ages. Here are the best Tycoon games to play right now.

Who said managing a business had to be all stuffy and serious? From amusement parks and zoos to casinos and sometimes entire cities, the best business tycoon games provide us with the tools and resources to turn empty plots of land into money-making machines.

In this list, we’ll be recommending the best tycoon games to play in 2021 to scratch that business management itch many of us experience.

While most of these games are exclusive to PC, we’ve also included the best tycoon games for Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile devices.

If you feel like we overlooked your favorite game, sound off in the comments and let us know.

And lastly, make sure to check back as we continue to update this list with new games in the future.

Related:Best Simulation Games On PC 2021Best Base Building Games On PCBest Sandbox Games On PC 2021

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The latest installment in the Tropico series sees you reprising your role as the leader of a tropical island state throughout four distinctive eras. The game is very flexible in terms of how you can approach different challenges, giving you the freedom to try and maintain peace or become a power-hungry dictator.

Tropico 6 is the first entry to include governable islands that can be connected using bridges and new forms of transportation such as aerial cable cars. As far as tycoon games go, Tropico has always excelled at breaking down its complex systems into easy-to-grasp concepts, and Tropico 6 is no different.

Another tycoon game that operates on a relatively large scale is Cities Skylines, a city-builder simulation game inspired by classics like SimCity. As Mayor, you’re tasked with constructing your own metropolis from the ground up and managing various aspects of your citizens’ lives.

Education, water quality, power, police presence, and healthcare are just some of the many fields you’ll watch over, making adjustments as you see fit. To achieve this, Cities Skylines offers a robust toolkit that is easy to learn but tough to master.

If you’re not that keen on having to build things yourself and would much rather let machines do all the heavy lifting, Satisfactory is another title worth checking out. It’s a resource management game in the same vein as Factorio and Dwarf Fortress but with a bigger emphasis on combat and exploration.

It sees you inhabiting an alien planet filled with natural resources that are ripe for the taking. One of Satisfactory’s defining features is automation, allowing you to create self-sustaining assembly lines to gather and refine materials as well as craft items and transport them between locations for you.

Automated machines are all fine and dandy, but what about running your own prison? Prison Architect uses its correctional facility setting as a springboard for a host of intertwining gameplay systems that let you unleash your inner tycoon.

You’re in charge of your prison’s layout, staff hires, and your inmates’ day-to-day activities. It’s not always easy since guards and prisoners have needs and traits that affect their behavior. Thankfully, the game never takes itself too seriously and often leans into the hilarity of its premise.

If the prison complex isn’t really your jam, then why not try your hand at curing the ill while still turning a profit? Two Point Hospital keeps things light by removing all of the boring parts of running a hospital with a streamlined approach to managing staff, researching new technologies, and attracting patients.

The majority of the game is spent training staff, decorating rooms, and treating patients suffering from comedic ailments such as ‘Lightheadedness,’ in which a person’s head turns into a lightbulb, requiring a trained physician to change it back using a special machine.

While hospitals may rake in tons of cash, they’re not as flashy and cool of a business to run as, say, a casino. In SimCasino, you can create the gambling hotspot of your dreams with a wide selection of customization options and straightforward tools.

Whether you want to build a massive luxury casino-hotel with a lot of overhead or a more laidback establishment with basic amenities, SimCasino allows you to be as hands-on or hands-off with the business as you want while providing plenty of challenges and random events to keep you engaged.

If becoming a casino tycoon doesn’t get your blood pumping, maybe the excitement of managing your very own theme parks will. Planet Coaster is a spiritual successor to Roller Coaster Tycoon that allows you to create one-of-a-kind roller coasters and theme parks to be shared with players around the world.

It features an extensive number of attractions that can help bring in customers and many themed decorations that allow you to give your parks distinct identities ranging from fantasy to science fiction, Hollywood sets, pirates, and everything else in between. 

Parkitect is another amusement park tycoon game like Planet Coaster but is targeting a more casual audience. In many ways, it maintains the spirit of the classic Roller Coaster Tycoon games by keeping things fairly limited when it comes to customization.

With that said, the game is still quite flexible, allowing you to alter terrain, place bodies of water, and create custom paths. It also includes a vast selection of decorative objects across several themes that can be expanded with mods via Steam Workshop.

Who has time to design roller coasters when there are animals out there just waiting to be put on display for your own profit? Planet Zoo is made by the same developer as Planet Coaster and follows a similar structure as its theme park cohort.

You’re tasked with caring for a wide range of species with special diets, habitats, and social needs that have to be addressed daily. You can play as a single character and follow them through a life-long zookeeping career or become a franchiser who oversees an entire location.

For any animal lover who places aquatic species above all others, Megaquarium is an excellent alternative to Planet Zoo that sees you managing your own aquarium. You’ll start out with just a couple fish tanks before quickly diving into more exotic species of fish, sharks, crustaceans, jellyfish, and even turtles.

As you expand your selection and attract more guests, you’ll want to maximize profits by placing food, drink, seating, and restroom stations all throughout. Much like Parkitect, Megaquarium is designed with the casual player in mind, making it less daunting than some of the other tycoon games on this list.

Our biggest gripe with most animals is that they’re not dinosaurs, and therefore, not as exciting to care for. Parkasaurus is a tycoon game that lets you build eye-catching dinosaur exhibits, scientific research facilities, and a plethora of amenities to keep guests happy.

The base game includes over 24 species to discover and care for by constructing unique habitats to meet their needs. Or you can just set them loose in the park and watch the AI lose its mind as your dinos scoop up a nice midday snack.

If you’ve ever watched a Jurassic Park movie and thought how fun (and terrifying) it would be to run your own dinosaur theme park, then Jurassic World Evolution might be the tycoon game for you. In it, you take charge of operating the legendary park on the Muertes archipelago and all of its formerly extinct inhabitants.

The game revolves around focusing on one of three areas: Science, Entertainment, or Security, with each impacting your park’s reputation. While it’s a lot more business-first, fun-later than Parkasaurus, we’re happy to report you can still set dinosaurs loose and watch as guests get devoured by a T-rex.

We’ve covered rollercoasters, land animals, sea animals, and even dinosaurs, but what about a video game about becoming a video game tycoon? Game Dev Tycoon lets you embark on your very own game dev adventures as you set out to dominate the video game industry.

You’ll start off in a small garage in the 1980s, designing simple games for a niche audience before moving on to an official office and creating your first game engine. Eventually, you’ll find yourself expanding into other genres and using your experience to develop bigger, more complex titles to keep up with demand.

City Game Studios is another tycoon game that revolves around running your own development studio but differs from Game Dev in a few notable ways. In it, you can have multiple studios operating at the same time, with thousands of employees working on different projects.

Additionally, it does a much better job at showing you why a specific game flopped and introduces the ability to port existing titles to other consoles, spy on the competition, design your company logo, and even include microtransactions in your games to try and maximize profits.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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