See how well you can manage a prison, a hospital, or a theme park in these simulators.
Whether you dream of managing your very own zoo, theme park, or any other fun establishment, tycoon games are perfect for fulfilling these wishes. At first, you might struggle financially, but when your business finally takes off, success brings much satisfaction. With such iconic series as Zoo Tycoon, RollerCoaster Tycoon, and Railroad Tycoon, the genre has been popular among players for years. Do modern representatives hold up to the iconic titles from the past? Let's find out!
Best tycoon games on PC & Steam worth playing in 2022
In this article, we’ve collected plenty of noteworthy tycoon games. We tried to refrain from including the cult classics of the genre as much as possible. However, we allowed one tiny exception. Without further ado, let's begin!
The first title on our list of the best business simulation games is Planet Zoo. Admittedly, the modern take on zoo simulators from Planet Coaster and Zoo Tycoon’s creators couldn’t go wrong.
It's certainly one of the most sophisticated zoo simulators out there, with its authentically depicted animals, advanced management systems, and powerful tools to build the zoo of your dreams. The game offers a few different modes, so if you’re not in the mood for a campaign, you can just let your imagination run wild in Sandbox mode. The possibilities are truly endless.
Two Point Campus (Included with PC Game Pass)
If you've ever been dissatisfied with your school and felt you could do better, Two Point Campus might be your dream come true. As you can probably guess from its name, the game will let you build the university with all your wildest dreams being taken into consideration.
Obviously, the academy is more than just the buildings. You also have to hire competent staff and ensure that the courses you offer are interesting. Furthermore, each student has unique expectations of your institute. If you manage to meet their needs, your reputation will be unmatched.
We have great news if you want to try out Two Point Campus. It’s available on PC Game Pass, a Microsoft subscription service that gives users access to an ever-growing library of games. The best part is that the first month costs only $1 for new members. That's a pretty good deal, if you ask us.
Game Dev Tycoon
Many players have undoubtedly fantasized about creating video games at some point in their lives. You still might feel unprepared or lack motivation. In that case, why not try your hand at running your studio in a safer environment?
In Game Dev Tycoon, you start your developer career in your parents' garage. Your task is to make your company prosperous. Of course, your way to the top won't be all roses, as your starting budget is rather tight. Besides, customer requirements are evolving, and you must follow trends and research new technologies to cater to them. Overall, it's one of the most enjoyable economic simulation games on the market.
In Megaquarium, as its name suggests, you'll manage your own aquarium. You start off modestly, but you'll be able to afford more exotic creatures and extravagant displays as you progress.
The game offers a vast selection of marine species, each with unique needs. Of course, there's no good establishment without well-trained staff. Take care of your employees unless you want to be left in the lurch. All in all, the title will bring you hours of fun, and it's definitely worth trying out.
When we think about the best business simulation games, many of them involve creating and managing amusement parks. Parkitect is one example of a title built around this specific theme.
Like other classic representatives of the genre, the gameplay includes building coasters, decorating a park, and balancing finances. The game offers 26 scenarios that have completely different settings and goals. If that's not enough, you can always download more from the Steam Workshop or make your own.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 (Included with PC Game Pass)
It’s quite understandable if you’re bored with building traditional zoos. But what if we add dinosaurs to the mix? Jurassic World Evolution 2 is the second installment of the successful business management game based on the Jurassic Park series. Similarly to the prequel, it lets you create a park brimming with prehistoric animals.
As a facility manager, you must oversee the acquisition of new species, the upkeep of the infrastructure, and the safety of your visitors. It's worth mentioning that you can customize the dinosaurs as you desire, making interesting hybrids. The game provides four modes, including Chaos Theory, which allows you to recreate parks from the movie franchise.
Let’s Build a Zoo (Included with PC Game Pass)
Let's Build a Zoo is yet another take on the economic simulation games that focus on building a zoological garden. Besides the standard gameplay elements, such as creating and decorating your park, hiring staff, and managing finances, it also includes DNA splicing.
What does it mean? You can create absolutely abhorrent combinations of different animals, with over 500 species to choose from. So, if you've ever wondered what a capybara-owl hybrid would look like, you can turn into a mad scientist and see it with your own eyes.
If you're tired of tycoon games with theme parks and zoos, this one might pique your interest. In Prison Architect, you take charge of developing your very own penitentiary.
Your job won't be easy, as inmates are extremely unpredictable. Not every prisoner will be sitting nice and quietly in their cell. Some will cause fights and riots or make escape attempts. They can also form gangs or smuggle goods. You must be prepared for all circumstances to create a well-functioning facility.
Planet Coaster is a more traditional representative of the genre. It's unquestionably one of the games that bring fond memories of RollerCoaster Tycoon. You can let your imagination run wild when designing park, creating the most insane rides ever seen with over a thousand components.
Moreover, the title offers a myriad of possibilities when it comes to decorating and landscaping. So, if these are the most important aspects for you, you certainly won't be disappointed. The park guests are also very lively, each with their own expectations and needs. Seeing how much they enjoy their visit is truly rewarding.
The next game on our list is RimWorld, where players control a small group of shipwreck survivors and try to develop a thriving colony on a faraway planet. It's important to notice that they are just random passengers and not qualified settlers. Each, however, has its own set of predetermined behaviors and skills that make them a perfect fit for certain assignments. For example, scientists excel at research but are hopeless at social tasks.
Another notable feature is the dynamic AI, which makes your playthrough unpredictable. Fortunately, you can choose from three options that vary in intensity. So, you can go for a more relaxing experience if you want.
Two Point Hospital
As the name implies, Two Point Hospital allows you to manage your clinic. Besides treating your patients, you have to provide them with food and entertainment. If they enjoy their stay, they will recommend you to their friends, which helps your facility prosper.
And as far as developing a hospital is concerned, money is all you need. You couldn't buy cutting-edge equipment or hire the best doctors without it. The gameplay is really addictive, and you will surely spend hundreds of hours building a perfect clinic.
The last pick on our list is OpenTTD, an open-source remake of Transport Tycoon Deluxe. The title allows players to have a shot at managing their own transport company.
Although it's much older than any other game in the lineup, we decided to include it for two reasons. Firstly, anyone can download it at no additional charge. Secondly, the gameplay is still entertaining, especially if you enjoy it with a bunch of friends.
Additionally, we'd like to mention city-building games such as Frostpunk, Tropico 6, and Anno 1800. Each involves managing finances, making it a good fit in this lineup. However, we created a list of the best city builders a while ago, so we didn't see much point in repeating ourselves.
And that's all. Which of these suggestions is your favorite? Do you like games in this genre? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.