I used to love Monopoly as a kid. Who didn’t? For me, I think I loved it so much because I embraced any and every opportunity to boss people around and do math. I was a nerd, I know.
If I couldn’t be the banker when we played, I wouldn’t have much interest in the game. Monopoly is an iconic and classic game that has been beloved by families and board-game enthusiasts for decades. Monopoly has a great mix of physical game pieces, takeover and budgeting strategy, trading and negotiating skills, and is fitting for kids ages eight and older.
If you and/or your loved ones are looking for a new game with some of those similar features, you’ve come to the right place. The good news is that there are plenty of other options that still require many of the same skills and strategies used for Monopoly. Keep reading for a list of twelve board games similar to Monopoly.
1. The Game of Life
The Game of Life is probably one of the games that is all-around the most similar to Monopoly. Like Monopoly, the goal in the Game of Life is to win money.
As much of it as you can. Instead of buying properties, you win money by making good life choices (marrying the right person, choosing a career, starting a family, etc.). You collect cards as you move pieces around a board, also like Monopoly.
Families will appreciate that this game is also appropriate for players eight and older. You can buy it online and at most large stores (Target, Walmart, etc.) for less than $25.
2. Settlers of Catan
In high school, I played a fair amount of Settlers of Catan with my friends and family members. I was a nerd, remember? We had “Settlers” nights, where we’d gather at a friend’s house with the same group, bring unhealthy snacks and candy, and stay up until 2 AM playing and arguing and laughing our heads off. So, needless to say, I am biased towards this game, even if I had a panic attack or two from rounds I lost.
The purpose of Settlers of Catan is for players to acquire land and build towns that give them access to different resources (wheat, ore, sheep, wood, and brick). The more access to resources, the faster you can build and win points. The first player to 10 points wins the game. So as you can see, there is a lot of overlap with Monopoly, especially related to the takeover strategy aspect.
People especially enjoy Settlers of Catan because the board game is different every time; it depends on how the resources are shuffled and laid out next to each other. It requires a bit more strategy and negotiation, so it may not be suitable for eight-year-olds to play, but it’s a game you could easily team up on with younger players to help them feel included.
There are different variations, and the game is pricier, with the original/basic versions starting in the $50 price range.
3. Lords of Vegas
If Monopoly were set in Las Vegas, you’d have Lords of Vegas. This game lets players build and develop their very own Nevada city empire. The game seems complicated at first, but it’s pretty easy to learn once you catch on.
Like Monopoly, you build casinos (instead of hotels) and expand your real estate portfolio through building and construction. You can trade and negotiate deals with other players, and can even gamble in other players’ casinos if you’re brave enough to risk it.
The game is designed for up to four players, ages twelve and older. It’s on the pricier side, in the $40-$50 price range.
4. Cover Your Assets
If you love the financial aspect of Monopoly, but don’t love the time requirements, consider Cover Your Assets. This one is a card-based game, so there is no board that goes with it. The gist of this top-rated game is to protect your assets (or, pairs of cards) by acquiring more assets.
It’s a pretty fast game, and easy to learn, so it is suitable for players as young as 7 years old. You do have to employ some of the same tactics as you do in Monopoly, such as stealing other players’ cards and hedging bets on future turns.
Risk is like the older Settlers of Catan, in my opinion. On the board game of a world map, you form alliances and set up strategies to take over, well, the whole world. Both games teach real-life skills (forethought, action and consequence, and patience, to name a few) and involve a lot of strategy.
However, Risk is much longer, sometimes requiring up to eight hours to play. I have memories of being at my friend’s house, and her older brothers would spend weekends commandeering the dining table with a game of Risk they’d been playing all day and night. They were really into it, and we weren’t allowed to touch any of the pieces.
Risk does not involve any money, and you do not go around the board. You work off of the territories instead. You can purchase Risk online, and in most large retail stores. It runs a bit expensive, in the $30 range, but there are good used versions of the games available too. Just check the “used” section on Amazon, or on sites like Ebay.
6. Cash Flow
Cash Flow is an excellent game to teach young minds the importance of money management. If I were a high school economics teacher, this would be on my Amazon wishlist! This game was created by Robert T. Kiyosaki, the author of the famous finance book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” I can’t think of a more engaging way to reinforce timeless finance principles than a board game.
The game incorporates real estate decisions (like Monopoly) with cash flow and personal finance principles. It uses a game board, with different pieces, fake money, and cards that challenge players with many kinds of decisions to make.
It is designed for up to six players, ages fourteen and older, but there is a kids’ version (Cashflow for Kids) available to players six and older. It is pricier, available for sale in the $75 price range.
Sorry! It should really be titled, “Sorry, Not Sorry!” but I don’t make the rules. Sorry is similar to Monopoly because it uses a board where players move pieces around, and it employs action-and-consequence life skills very directly. I mean, the subtitle of the game is “the classic game of sweet revenge”, so that’s kind of implied, isn’t it?
This is a great alternative to Monopoly because it is an easier one for younger game enthusiasts, starting at age six. Sorry! It is also budget friendly, found for around $10 on most online stores.
If you enjoy Monopoly because of the chance to own everything and slowly bleed your competitors dry, then Acquire is perfect for you. For players aged twelve and older, you’ll be competing for the greatest financial success by investing in and acquiring businesses. The age minimum is higher because the rules are a little confusing.
This game is ideal for older Monopoly enthusiasts, and involves decisions about dealing stock, merging companies, and cashing in shares at the most optimal points in the game. It’s available to purchase on Amazon for around $120, which is astronomical compared to other games, but you can find many older/vintage versions on Ebay for a much lower price.
9. Monopoly Deal
Monopoly Deal, as its name implies, is a card-based spinoff of the original Monopoly. I played this for the first time last Christmas with my siblings and it was so fun! Sometimes it’s nice to not have to set up an entire board and move pieces.
The cards-only feature is refreshing, and you have to use a lot of negotiating and trading like you do in Monopoly. There’s also plenty of opportunities to form alliances and avenge other players, so that’s fun too if you and your loved ones are of a more competitive nature.
Monopoly Deal is suitable for players aged eight and older, and is in the $10 price range at most stores, both in-person and online.
10. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is another one of my favorite board games that is similar to Monopoly. Not only does Ticket to Ride use a mix of fun pieces and cards to engage players, but it also reminds me of the Beatles song. Anybody else? Just me? OK, moving on!
The goal in Ticket to Ride is to get the most points, which are acquired by building long train tracks across Europe. There are different versions of the game, each of which has a board that features a different part of the world. So, instead of acquiring hotels and houses like you do in Monopoly, you’re acquiring railroads and train stations.
The original board game (Europe/Asia map) is $48 on Target’s website, so it is a bit more expensive than some of the other options I’ve included on the list.
11. Raccoon Tycoon
In the town of Astoria, players compete to own the most profitable railroads. This game, to me, is a combination of Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, and Monopoly. But it takes less time to play.
The players (ages eight and older) use the income from commodities to build and sell towns, which in turn gives them money to bid in railroad auctions. This game has its own money and many cards and pieces, making it an engaging experience for up to five players.
It’s priced in the $40-$50 range, depending on whether retailers are having a sale or not.
12. Pay Day
The name of this one makes it sound very similar to Monopoly, no? The object of Pay Day is to make your money last from one payday to the next (covering your bills and avoiding loans).
This game is definitely one of the most similar to Monopoly, especially as far as the financial strategy portion of it is concerned. There is fake money and other pieces that players use to play the game.
Pay Day is quicker to play than Monopoly, and you can choose how many months you want to play (“live”) through. Each month only takes about 10 minutes to play, so I can see this being a perfect compromise for those “Just one more game, mom!” requests. It is suitable for ages eight and older.
Pay Day is fairly affordable, as it is priced in the $10-$20 range on most online stores.
13. Pirate King
To be honest, I didn’t think much of anything pirate-related until I saw Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean when I was a teenager. And then, all of the sudden, I wanted to be a pirate! If you have a pirate-obsessed kid in your life (or perhaps you yourself are pirate-obsessed), then this game is a can’t-miss!
Pirate King is similar to Monopoly. Just remove the top hat and put on your pirate hat, mate. Set in the Caribbean, the game board moves players through an adventure of targeting territories, battling the commodore, and guarding your booty. That’s pirate for “money” in case you were wondering. No, I am not referring to your backside.
The game is for players aged ten and older, and is available to purchase for about $30.
14. Power Grid
Instead of building buildings and managing hotels as you do in Monopoly, Power Grid focuses on making sure the rooms have light and electricity. The aim of this game is to supply power to as many cities as possible. You can even bid against competitors and take control of them, so there are plenty of strategic similarities with Monopoly on that front.
The catch is that when you are successful in upgrading plants, your competitors may also benefit, so you have to be careful in how you proceed. The game has five different rounds to keep things interesting. The winner is the player who has expanded the most cities and has the most money.
It’s ideal for players aged twelve and older and costs around $20.