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.

If you’re looking to scratch that business management itch many of us experience, then you’ve come to the right place.

From theme parks and casinos to entire cities, tycoon games give us 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, including the best tycoon games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your favorite tycoon games!

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, though thankfully, the game never takes itself too seriously and isn’t afraid to lean 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.

Instead, you’re free to wander around your hospital and watch as patients get treated for a variety of ridiculous ailments. 

For example, ‘Lightheadedness,’ is an affliction 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.

Regardless of the approach you take, you’ll find the game provides 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 the spiritual successor to Roller Coaster Tycoon where you’re free to create unique theme parks and share them with players around the world.

It features a Career mode that has you completing various scenarios with certain conditions in addition to Sandbox and Challenge modes that drop you on an empty plot of land with all items unlocked.

Planet Coaster boasts an impressive 40+ rides and attractions to help draw customers along with numerous themed decorations to give your park a distinct look and feel.

Another theme park tycoon game worth checking out is Parkitect, which is targeted at a more casual audience compared to robust park builders like Planet Coaster.

This is perfect for nostalgic Roller Coaster Tycoon fans that want a new customizable theme park experience but don’t need as many bells and whistles.

With that said, the game is still quite flexible when it comes to building tools, allowing you to alter terrain, place bodies of water, and create custom paths for your guests to walk around the park.

It also offers a deep library of decorative objects across several themes that can be expanded further with Steam Workshop mods.

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 comes well-recommended and is also made by Frontier Developments, the same studio behind Planet Coaster, so naturally, it follows a similar formula.

In it, you’re tasked with caring for a wide range of species with special dietary, environmental, and social needs that have to be addressed while maintaining your zoo’s staff, amenities, and more.

The game gives you the option to play as a single character and follow them through a life-long zoo-keeping 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.

Of course, if your passions for zoo keeping are limited to reptiles, particularly those from the Jurassic period, you may want to give Parkasaurus a go instead.

Best described as Jurassic Park come to life, the game sees you building eye-catching dinosaur exhibits, scientific research facilities, and a plethora of amenities to keep guests happy.

With the base game, you get over 24 discoverable species that can be displayed in unique habitats designed for their needs and constructed entirely by you.

If safety and regulation aren’t really your jam, you can just as easily set your dinosaurs loose and watch as guests freak out and run around the park.

For a more officially licensed take on dinosaur theme parks, check out Jurassic World Evolution, where you take on the role of a twisted mad scientist experimenting with extinct animal DNA.

Your journey starts with the legendary Muertes archipelago location which is still home to an exhaustive number of aggressive reptiles.

From there, you branch off and focus on one of three key areas: Science, Entertainment, or Security, with each impacting your park’s reputation.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the game for yourself, we suggest maybe holding out for the sequel, Jurassic World Evolution 2, which releases later this year.

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.

You can also 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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