Best Economic Systems Board Games of 2024: Top 7 Picks

Explore top board games featuring economic systems, perfect for new players. Fun, strategy, and commerce blend in these engaging picks.
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Acquire coverPower Grid coverPuerto Rico cover

Hey board game buffs! Ready to put your entrepreneurial hat on and dive into the world of economic systems through gaming? We scoured the tabletop universe and picked out the 7 best board games that’ll get you wheeling, dealing, and strategizing like a true mogul. What did we focus on? Gameplay that brilliantly simulates economic systems, of course! From building empires to managing resources, these picks promise hours of engaging fun. Whether you’re into trading, auctioning, or city-building, we’ve got something that’ll tickle your fancy. Buckle up; it’s going to be an exciting ride through the economy, one board game at a time!

On this list:

7 Acquire

Acquire cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 3-6
  • Play Time: 90 mins

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Starting off our list, Acquire hits the sweet spot between complexity and fun. This classic has us buying stocks and merging companies, making every game night a blast of strategic thinking. We’ve had some intense moments, trying to predict the market and outmaneuver each other. It’s like being a big-shot investor without the real-world risk!

6 Power Grid

Power Grid cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2-6
  • Play Time: 120 mins

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Power Grid is where our inner energy tycoons come to play. Balancing resources to power cities while bidding on power plants? Yes, please! It’s all about strategy and planning ahead, making it a hit among us who love a good challenge. Plus, laughing at someone’s city going dark because they overextended? Priceless.

5 Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 90-150 mins

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Puerto Rico has us competing to grow our own economic empires during the colonial era. It’s all about crop management and building production chains. We’ve had sessions where someone’s strategic genius left us all in awe (and a bit of envy). It’s a game that rewards smart planning and flexibility, making it a group favorite.

4 Catan

Catan cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 3-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 mins

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Catan is the gateway board game for many into the world of economic systems. Trading resources to build roads, settlements, and cities offers a seamless blend of strategy and interaction. We’ve spent countless nights negotiating, and the phrase ‘Got any wood for sheep?’ has become a running joke in our group.

3 Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 30-60 mins

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Okay, so Ticket to Ride might seem like a curveball, but hear us out. Collecting cards to claim railway routes across the map? That’s an economic system at its core, wrapped in a package of easy-to-learn gameplay. It’s our go-to for introducing new folks to the genre, and the competition to build the longest continuous path is always fierce.

2 Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 60-120 mins

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Lords of Waterdeep might disguise itself as a fantasy city-building game, but don’t let the D&D theme fool you. This is economic systems genius in disguise. Assigning agents, completing quests, and expanding control? It’s all in a day’s work. Plus, the satisfaction of pulling off a well-planned strategy is unmatched.

1 Brass: Birmingham

Brass: Birmingham cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 mins

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And the crown goes to Brass: Birmingham! It’s not just a game; it’s an adventure through the industrial revolution. We’re building industries, developing networks, and trading like there’s no tomorrow. It’s deep, engaging, and rewards clever thinking and planning. Why is it the best? Because every decision feels impactful, and it perfectly captures the theme of economic systems. Plus, the sense of accomplishment when you look at your industrial empire? Unbeatable.

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.