While I mainly stick to console gaming, there were times when I was younger that I would play games on a PC. One title I played a lot was Rollercoaster Tycoon. And, for good reason!
What kid wouldn’t want to build and design your own custom theme park from the ground up and then be tasked with running it?
What I did not know was that many sequels would end up following the original Rollercoaster Tycoon. It amazes me how all these building simulation games continue to come up with new scenarios, tools, and ideas to top their last hit.
When you add up all the games, ports, and expansion packs in this series, there were 30 different releases of Rollercoaster Tycoon. That could be discouraging for anyone looking to dive into the franchise, so we are going to help you out with the
5 Best RollerCoaster Tycoon Games
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked for PC
This is an expansion pack for Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 that allows you to create water slides, whale shows, and wave pools among other things. This game still allows you to start with some empty land and build your park the way you want.
In addition to the mode where you can create your park the way you want, there is another mode where you start with a prebuilt park and there are certain objectives you have to complete. If it feels easy, then you can unlock more situations and there are three difficulties to choose from.
The mode that starts you off in specific situations offers different kinds of settings that could have hills and lakes or a desert for you to build on to test your management ability. The possibilities of what you can create are endless depending on how much time you are willing to invest in the game.
There are a ton of things you can control which adds to the fun.
Do you want to control the choices available for what guests can put on their burgers? Do you want to plan out the path a light show will take or the moves that dolphins will do to entertain the crowd? This power is in your hands and you can make the decisions you want.
Metacritic Score: 79/100
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 for IOS
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 lets you make all the decisions from how much customers have to pay for food to how fast and how high the rollercoasters go.
The career mode has 18 different parks and you must complete objectives in each park. Three difficulties will make the objectives you have to complete harder as you play the harder difficulties.
To be more specific, more rollercoasters might be your objective on the easy difficulty. On the normal difficulty, you might have to make your park more profitable. The hardest difficulty may require you to extend how long your rollercoaster rides are.
When you are trying to complete these objectives, you will have a certain amount of savings to work with. The sandbox mode will give you an empty amount of land, and all the money you want, and your only goals are to create the ultimate theme park and then manage it.
If you are someone who hates being required to play tutorials, then you’ll be happy to know this game lets you skip the tutorial and learn how to do everything through trial and error. When you pick an item, you see what you chose and you can rotate that item if it will be a tight fit.
Building paths is quite easy since all you have to work with is a touchscreen since this is a mobile game. When it comes to rollercoasters, you can create one or there are a bunch of pre-set roller coasters that you can choose from.
If you want to see what somebody is thinking, just tap on a visitor and you’ll see how they feel, what they have spent money on, as well as what they would like to see changed or added to have a better experience at the park.
If people are leaving with money then maybe you need more souvenir shops. If people are hungry or thirsty, then maybe there aren’t enough places to buy refreshments or they are too expensive.
Even though this is a game that you play on the phone, the graphics are great. Almost everything in the park looks amazing regardless of how much you have zoomed in or out. Trees don’t look as good zoomed in all the way but hey, it’s a tree.
Metacritic Score: 80/100
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Loop Landscapes for PC
This game is the second expansion pack for the original Rollercoaster Tycoon. This expansion pack offers new objectives that you will try to complete with pre-set theme parks. These objectives can finish incomplete roller coasters and even a theme park is built on a volcano.
Volcanoes aren’t the only odd areas where your theme park can be situated. You could have a massive lake or an empty desert where you are building your theme park. The additional options mean there are more possibilities to make your park different from parks created by other people.
This expansion pack does not just include roller coasters. There are new rides and shops that you can add to your theme park. This expansion pack also includes everything the first pack had in case you missed out on the original sim.
Metacritic Score: 80/100
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 for PC
Did you ever want to create a park with a specific theme in mind? Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 will allow you to do that. The world in this game also has daylight to nighttime transitions and theme parks look beautiful when it becomes night and everything lights up.
Certain computers may have missed out on graphics if they weren’t powerful enough but unless you’re using a PC that is 15 years old, this is most likely something you won’t have to worry about.
One new thing Rollercoaster Tycoon adds is a 3D camera when you are placing rides and this camera helps you see which is an advantage over the first two cameras.
There is a roller coaster designer where you can create your rollercoaster without any restrictions. You can also create the scenery around the rollercoaster and use it in a future theme park. You can also add rollercoasters from previous games.
There are VIP customers where you can decide what they will visit in which order. These VIPs will want different things than normal customers but it’s cool that you can set up VIP tours for very important people.
This game lets you create your own fireworks show and you can have fireworks anywhere you want. You can make sure music plays at specific times and this game will let you import music that you have on your computer.
Metacritic Score: 81/100
RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic for IOS
You may have played this game on a PC but now this game is available to be played on iPhones and Ipads. Even though you are using a touch screen instead of a mouse, this game is still easy to control.
This is the original Rollercoaster Tycoon game where you can either create your amusement park from scratch or start with pre-set parks and objectives that you will have to complete.
If you enjoyed the original Rollercoaster Tycoon on PC like I did and you wished you could play it while you were going somewhere then you want to pick up this game because you will have just as much fun as you did when you played this on PC.
Metacritic Score: 90/100
These are the five best Rollercoaster Tycoon games. Since many of these games were released years ago, you shouldn’t have any trouble with graphical limitations if you are using a modern computer. If you want to run your theme park, pick up one of these games.