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The Best Tycoon Games - Fun, Free & Online

Updated on January 5, 2016

The Best Tycoon Games - Fun, Free & Online

Tycoon games are one of my all time favourite genres and I've made this page to share what I consider to be the very best Tycoon games that are fun, free and online!

The genre of tycoon games (and business simulation games in general) has always kept me interested. It's one of those genres that has lots of game options with a huge variety of themes. From theme parks to hotels to zoos and other businesses, I've played them all. This love for the genre lead me to create this list of best tycoon games (and I've even included a free and online tycoon game).

More so than any other genre though I know that it's a genre of love and hates and there is definitely a good chance you won't agree with my favourites. If you fall into that group then I look forward to your comments, I want you to share your personal best tycoon games and tell me why.

One Of The Best Tycoon Games Under The Online & Free Category.
One Of The Best Tycoon Games Under The Online & Free Category.

My Fantastic Park

As far as the best tycoon games with a free price tag go I would have to give that title to My Fantastic Park, a free browser based tycoon game that lets you develop your own theme park.

I'm not usually a fan of games in this genre as I think you end up sitting around and not doing much of anything so I've generally avoided playing games in the genre.

My Fantastic Park did change my opinion on this though because the game is actually fun with good paced elements and enough active gameplay that I did enjoy my time with it. Premium purchases are also quite reasonable so if you like spending a little cash to get an edge you'll find every dollar is well spent.

The games inspiration is very close to SimCoaster more than anything with a focus on upgrading rides across a huge number of categories and themes to make something worthy of your park.

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4 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of RCT Series
One Of The Very Best Tycoon Game Franchises.
One Of The Very Best Tycoon Game Franchises.

Rollercoaster Tycoon Series

I couldn't have published this page without the Rollercoaster Tycoon series taking the top spot, It's clearly my favourite option and definitely a fan favourite in the genre. I'm very traditional when it comes to this franchise and definitely prefer the very first game in the series.

The second and third games we're also very good but something about the original just keeps bringing me back to it (available from GOG.com if you are looking to get your hands on a copy). If you haven't played an RCT game yet you really need to stop reading right now and go out to get a copy of one of the games, it's the ultimate amusement park tycoon game without a doubt.

The games throw you a huge variety of different scenarios to tackle. At your disposal you've got rides, stalls, staff and control over all other aspects of an amusement park that you need. The variety and different strategies that RCT offer is really where most of the depth and replay value from the game comes from. With over a dozen installs of the original game in my past I'm proof that the game definitely offers an insanely fun experience. While RCT is definitely the best game with this theme there are a few other games like RCT that are worth your time as well once you've completed the whole Rollercoaster Tycoon series.

If you're looking for the best tycoon game that lets you control an amusement park like SimCoaster and Theme Park did then the RCT series is an obvious decision.

Rollercoaster Tycoon Deluxe (GOG)

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The Best Tycoon Game For Mobile
The Best Tycoon Game For Mobile

Game Dev Story

I love video games so a tycoon game about developing them is of course right up my alley. It's on both iOS and Android so all gamers can get a hold of the game and play it on the go. The developer has released some of my other favourite games (Beastie Bay and Dungeon Village) which I strongly recommend that you check out as far as management and tycoon style games go.

Kairosoft (the developer) also has a great track record of including fun pop culture references into their games which is an element I always love in my games.

So what exactly does this gameplay involve? You get to jump into my dream job of a video game developer and it falls on you to make the hit game titles that you've always wanted. By hiring your staff and the speed of progress you've got all the control you need to make a complete flop or a star hit. After each release you'll get a review score up to 10 with a nice witty review comment to go along with it.

There is also a longer term development aspect to the whole game as you get the opportunity to upgrade your company to create bigger games with larger budgets and staff. I don't think that you can argue that gamers haven't at least once thought about producing their own game and Game Dev Story lets you live out that dream, making it one of the best tycoon games for gamers.

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A Great Series Of Tycoon Games That Mix Business Simulation.
A Great Series Of Tycoon Games That Mix Business Simulation.

Capitalism Series

I might be a gamer but I'm also a huge fan of business so this tycoon/business simulation sits perfectly for me. Both the original and the sequel which was released in 1995 and 2001 respectively. Both the games are fairly similar with only slight changes between the two games. Starting with the 2001 released Capitalism 2 is probably the best bet if you're new to the series though as the graphics and UI won't be as much of a shock to the system.

Ultimately regardless of the game you'l be creating your own business or taking control of an already made one depending on the scenario. Starting from your capital funds you'll have to take into account all the usual business elements (overhead, demand, etc.) You aren't limited to a single sort of business which is why I really like Capitalism. With opportunity to chase agricultural businesses, inventory based adventures and even research enterprises there is plenty of depth in this area to explore.

It won't be one of the best tycoon games for everyone but the ability to run a farm, a research facility or a department store does give it some wide appeal if you'll give it a try (both games are available cheaply on Good Old Games).

Capitalism 2 (GOG)

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Another One Of The Game Series That I Classify Under 'Best Tycoon Game'.
Another One Of The Game Series That I Classify Under 'Best Tycoon Game'.

Hotel Giant Series

I always wanted a tycoon game that let me design a hotel or similar business and there aren't too many out there. The best I've been able to find in this category was the Hotel Giant series (most notably the second game, Hotel Giant 2).

The games tycoon elements are definitely borrowed from the big games in the genre like Railroad Tycoon and RCT. The hotel comes pre made and it's up to players to design the rooms that make up the internal elements, in a similar fashion to the classic Theme Hospital if you're looking for a direct comparison to another game.

You do also have control of some of the hotel features and promotional materials to ensure you can be the most profitable hotel you can be. I do find it hard to recommend the first game as there are some elements that didn't really work in the game. For hotel tycoon fans like me it's playing but for most people you'll want to give it a miss and stick to the second instalment.

Hotel Giant 2 (Kinguin)

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Images on this page are either provided by the respective developers or are my own images from the game. They are used solely for review and identification purposes.

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What Are Your Best Tycoon Games? I Know Every Gamer Has Their Own Opinion!

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, ilikegames,

      And I do. I am an old dinosaur of PS2. LOL. I voted up and all the choices on this hub. You nailed every aspect of hubbing--grammar, graphics, and everything in its place.

      Please do me a favor and check a couple of my hubs and then become one of my followers.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth/ from northwest Alabama

    • brutishspoon profile image

      Amy 3 years ago from Darlington, England

      Open TTD is one of the top free one for me. I loved the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe. However I do agree with you putting RCT at the top of your list, I still love that game.

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 3 years ago from Michigan, United States

      I'm a HUGE Rollercoaster Tycoon fan! I just recently downloaded the original game from GOG.com and have been playing it since. Yes, the graphics are poor, but the game allows for such creativity that appearances don't matter.

      Thanks for introducing me to some similar games!

    • ilikegames profile image
      Author

      Sarah Forester 3 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for the comments! Number 2 was definitely my favourite as well.

    • Nimesh De Silva profile image

      Nimesh De Silva 3 years ago

      Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon were my personal favorites. Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 was the best.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I am an absolute fanatic of Railway Tycoon. There's just something about giant American heartlands that you can fill up with your own railway empire and get the resources and win! I haven't tried Rollercoaster Tycoon, but it looks good in your hub. I have played Capitalism and enjoyed it, though it was a little complex for me. Real Estate Tycoon was one I found very exciting - hard to win though! Voted useful and well done on a great hub.