The world of video games always goes through fads: Super Mario, Halo, The Sims 4, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Among Us… There’s always some new game taking the world by storm. But one thing has always remained a constant throughout the decades and that’s tycoon games.
The tycoon game originated with 1973’s Lemonade Stand, which saw gamers running a simple lemonade stand. Since then, the genre has remained all about building and managing various empires with the purpose of becoming profitable and successful. From theme parks to restaurants, here are the tycoon games with the highest scores on Metacritic.
In Restaurant Empire, players are tasked with running their own restaurant. They must select the type of cuisine that will be served, the specific dishes the restaurant will specialize in, hire staff, and ensure guests leave happy.
The goal is to make the restaurant profitable and prestigious. While other popular food games, like Cooking Mamma, focus on the production of dishes, Restaurant Empire focuses more on the business aspect of running a dining establishment.
RollerCoaster Tycoon was a wildly successful game. It blended creativity with problem-solving and allowed players to build their own roller coasters from scratch, while also being tasked with managing and operating a theme park.
However, after the success of the first game, a lackluster sequel and a series of disappointing, overpriced expansion packs were released, dampening the franchise’s reputation. Then, in 2004, a new, fully-3D third game was released to universal praise. Since then, it’s been ported to the Mac’s App Store, Nintendo Switch, and more.
Before game developer Chris Sawyer created RollerCoaster Tycoon, he rose to fame with Transport Tycoon. In the game, players must operate a vast transportation empire and are tasked with transporting passengers and cargo via road, air, rail, and sea. It’s the perfect game for anyone who loves planes, trains, and automobiles.
The game, which was originally released in 1994, has seen an explosion in popularity in the mobile market and has been ported to the iOS store, Google Play, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.