Top 7 Best Economic Board Games of 2024 Reviewed

Discover top economic board games, from thrilling market battles in Acquire to strategic empire building in Settlers of Catan. Perfect for new players.
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Power Grid coverAcquire coverLords of Vegas cover

Hey folks! Ready to become virtual tycoons and business moguls? We’ve scoured the globe (and our games closet) for the best economic themed board games out there. We didn’t just pick any old game off the shelf, though. Oh no! We looked for games that tick all the boxes: fun, strategic depth, and, most importantly, the kind of economic intrigue that could turn a friendly game night into a fiercely competitive battle of wits. From trading beans to building power grids, these games have it all. So, prepare your portfolios and let’s dive into the world of economic board games without further ado!

On this list:

7 Power Grid

Power Grid cover

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

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Starting off our list, Power Grid throws you into the world of utility companies. We spent hours trying to outbid each other for power plants, and the constant cash crunch made it feel like a real business. The market for resources changes as the game progresses, keeping you on your toes.

6 Acquire

Acquire cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2-6
  • Play Time: 90 minutes

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Acquire had us wheeling and dealing as we bought and merged hotel chains. The rush we got when our investments paid off was unmatched. It’s a classic economic simulation that’s easy to learn but offers deep strategies. You’re always thinking about your next move.

5 Lords of Vegas

Lords of Vegas cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 60-90 minutes

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Turning the tables to a bit of a gambler’s paradise, Lords of Vegas had us feeling like real estate moguls on the Vegas strip. It’s all about risk and reward, buying up lots, and turning them into casinos. The negotiations and dice rolls add a layer of luck and strategy.

4 Bohnanza

Bohnanza cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2-7
  • Play Time: 45 minutes

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Bohnanza is deceptively simple but oh so strategic. We were trading beans and trying to grow the most profitable crops. It’s all about making the best deals with your friends. The game teaches economic principles in a fun and engaging way.

3 Brass: Birmingham

Brass: Birmingham cover

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

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Taking things up a notch, Brass: Birmingham had us in the midst of the industrial revolution. We built networks, developed industries, and traded resources. The economic decisions feel impactful and complex. It’s a step up in difficulty but incredibly rewarding.

2 Catan

Catan cover

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

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Catan is the gateway game that got a lot of us into board gaming. It’s about resource gathering and trading to build your settlements. While not purely economic, the trading aspect adds a lovely economic twist that makes every game session unique.

1 Monopoly

Monopoly cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-8
  • Play Time: 180 minutes

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And here we have it, Monopoly, the undisputed champion of economic board games. Why is it the best? Because it’s a classic that has stood the test of time. Buying properties, negotiating deals, and managing your money – it’s all here. Plus, playing Monopoly with friends always ends in laughter and, sometimes, a little bit of drama. It’s simple, yet no two games are ever the same.

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.