Monopoly is widely considered to be one of the best classic board games. However, you can have too much of a good thing!
If you want to branch out and try something new, but don’t want to leave your Monopoly roots too far behind, then other games like Monopoly could be the perfect place to start.
The Monopoly game range has expanded through the years, so there are many different versions for kids and adults. But, when you want something without the Monopoly name tag, then take a look at these other games that I think are also worth your time…
Board games Monopoly is like:
- The Game of Life
- Pay Day
- Railroad Ink
- Cash’n Guns
- Power Grid
- Lords of Vegas
- Machi Koro
The Best Games Like Monopoly
If you need a break from playing Monopoly, and want to try something a bit different, read on to learn more about other awesome games that will feel like a twist on a classic.
1. The Game of Life
Actually older than Monopoly, The Game of Life has many similar features as well as the right amount of difference. Like Monopoly, it’s been reinvented several times with different versions on sale.
Like Monopoly, The Game of Life has a money-grabbing goal. The aim of the game is to be as rich as possible by the time the game ends, but instead of buying houses and hotels, you’ll do this by making the right career choices, marrying, starting a family, and jetting off on vacation. Just like with Monopoly, there are various cards to collect as you move around the board. Some will work in your favor, but others will make you lose money.
If you’ve never played The Game of Life, you should definitely try this game for family fun that’ll have you questioning your life choices.
2. Pay Day
For a game that might be a little too close to home, but adds in so much fun that you don’t care, think about playing Pay Day. Of all the board games like Monopoly, this is one of the closest.
The goal is to get through the money from one Pay Day to the next, making sure you can cover your bills and taking out a loan if you can’t.
Many people confuse Pay Day with Monopoly, and it’s easy to see why. You must make astute financial decisions, whilst trying to keep as much of your money as possible. Pay Day and Monopoly are both Hasbro games, though in Pay Day you get just 31 in-game days to totally change your fortune.
One great thing about Pay Day is that it won’t take as long as a game of Monopoly. While a Monopoly game can last for hours, in Pay Day you choose how many months you want to live through. Each month takes about 10 minutes to play, so you can control how long your game of Pay Day will last.
If the appeal of Monopoly comes from owning everything and slowly destroying your competitors, you’ll probably be a big fan of Acquire.
Instead of investing in property, you’ll be investing in businesses. You’ll be dealing stock, merging companies, and cashing in your shares at the right time. Of all the Monopoly-like games on our list, this is probably the most complex. It has a higher recommended play age because the rules can be confusing.
Acquire is similar to Monopoly in that it’s all about grabbing money. Get as much as you can by making careful financial decisions. Your fellow players? They’re there to be bulldozed as you build your path to financial success.
For the pure, unadulterated joy of simulated capitalism, you won’t find a more in-depth game than Acquire. It’s one of those games like Monopoly that’s likely to cause family arguments.
Carcassonne is one of the less well-known family board games like Monopoly.
In this game, you’re in medieval France, and game pieces are used to build the landscape as you play. Tiles might have small pieces of roads, fields, or medieval buildings. As you play, build and connect so that everything fits together properly. Then, add a follower (known as a ‘meeple’) to start collecting points on your behalf.
Like Monopoly, Carcassonne involves many careful and well thought out decisions. When is the right time to expand your city? Is it best to try and get ahead, or to stop your opponents from being able to build the way they want? There’s a lot of strategy involved.
Carcassonne might not be as well-known, but it’s a fascinating (and somewhat educational) board game. Though it seems very complicated, children over seven can start getting to grips with the gameplay.
Older children and adults can swap the city buildings of Monopoly with a charming Italian vineyard. In Viticulture, you start with a small plot of land, a few workers, and a little cellar.
You’ll need to decide how to use your workers, whilst adapting to the changing seasons, as well as making money from visitors that want to tour your winery.
This is one of the Monopoly-like games that involves planning and using cards correctly. You’ll need to think about planting vines (a lot like positioning buildings in Monopoly) and expanding your vineyard. Like Monopoly, Viticulture is a lengthy game to play.
Viticulture involves the strategy of Monopoly, without the elements of taking money from friends and family. It’s the perfect game for a peaceful evening, perhaps with some real wine by your side.
6. Railroad Ink
To play Railroad Ink, you’ll roll the dice and draw your railroad tracks. You need to create as many routes on the gameplay board as possible, by carefully planning where your track pieces go and avoiding any incomplete routes.
Expansion packs are available, adding hazards like water to find your way around. The marks made on your game board can be erased when you’ve finished playing.
Just like Monopoly, Railroad Ink involves elements of luck and chance. You need to make the best of your situation; whether the dice rolls work in your favor or add extra in-game challenges.
Railroad Ink is a game that you can play on your own or with friends and family. Gameplay is unlike a traditional board game, so there’s a great novelty element.
7. Cash’n Guns
Like Monopoly with additional violence, Cash’n Guns is strictly for older players.
Your goal is to collect as much money as possible, but with this game, there’s no board to move around. Instead, money goes in the center of the table and eight foam handguns will be directed to cause harm to your competitors. It’s a last-man-standing gangster game, all about being the one to take home the cash.
Cash’n Guns is similar to Monopoly because you need to make strategic decisions to become the player with the most money. In this case, instead of buying houses and hotels, you’re choosing when to load your gun and who to aim it at! You’ll play through eight rounds, with loot cards to collect as you gain wealth.
Despite a violent goal, Cash’n Guns is a lot of fun for adults and older children. It’s a fast-paced party game that rarely lasts more than 30 minutes, so it’s a great game to play when you don’t have time to sit down and play Monopoly.
8. Power Grid
In Monopoly, you’re building the buildings. In Power Grid, you’re making sure that the rooms will actually light up. To succeed in this game, you must supply power to as many cities as possible. You’ll connect pre-existing lines, then bid against your competitors to take control of them.
Think of Power Grid as a game of Monopoly with the potential for even more grudges. When players purchase power plants, they unlock upgrades and better power plants that their family and friends can take advantage of.
In short, your success can help competitors be even more successful. Just like in Monopoly, you’ll need to be strategic to acquire the right raw materials and expand your network.
Power Grid is played in five different rounds, so it never stagnates or feels boring. You’ll start by bidding on power plants, then end the game with expanded cities and a pile of money to count.
Wingspan might be an unusual addition to a list of the best board games like Monopoly, but this beautifully illustrated and well-made game has notable similarities.
In Wingspan, you play as a bird collector and try to collect and raise your birds in your wildlife reserve. You must feed them, breed them, and draw new bird cards to fill three different habitats.
Where Monopoly is based on buying property and earning money at someone else’s expenses, Wingspan is a more gentle and peaceful game with some similarities. You’ll be able to enjoy beautiful illustrations in a game that’s focused on the beauty of the natural world. You’ll still need to be strategic, paying attention to the abilities listed on each card.
Wingspan is a well-made game that might seem confusing at first, but could quickly become a favorite with adults and teens. You’ll learn about different types of birds, testing your strategy and planning skills to meet specific goals.
10. Lords of Vegas
Like Monopoly set in Las Vegas, this board game allows you to build and develop to expand your Nevada city empire.
It’s one of those Monopoly-like games that looks very overwhelming at first glance, but the complicated game board expands and develops to become your best friend as you play. Starting with very little, you must build casinos on empty lots and hope the cards work in your favor.
Of all the games that are similar to Monopoly, this one brings you closest to the Monopoly elements of expanding by building and constructing. Your success will depend on how many lots you build on, and how big your casinos are. You can trade and make deals with other players, just like you might trade property cards in Monopoly.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a casino developer, now is your chance to see how it feels. You can even choose to gamble in your opponent’s casino, to change your financial fate.
Known as just Cashflow, or as Cashflow 101, this colorful board game is one of the best board games like Monopoly.
You’ll start in the Rat Race – a small circle where you’re paid your salary and get to draw cards to change what happens. You’ll have spare cash, but there’s not a lot going on.
If you escape to the Fast Track, you’ve got a lot of money and you need to decide how you’ll invest it. Escaping the Rat Race brings a whole new set of problems with lawsuits, tax audits, and failed investments to negotiate.
This is one of those Monopoly-like games that really gets you thinking about money. Having a lot of money might be good in Monopoly, but Cashflow shows that it can bring about new problems in real life.
Instead of buying and selling hotels, you’ll be learning how to file financial statements. Just like in Monopoly, you’ll need to make the financial deals that work in your favor.
Cashflow feels like a very different game when played with two players, so it’s well worth trying this game as a pair and with a larger group of friends. The game was designed by self-help author Robert Kiyosaki, so it comes with an educational element that reinforces what he says in his books.
12. Machi Koro
Machi Koro is a fast-paced game, where you’re the mayor of the city. Being mayor means solving the community’s problems, whilst developing a city with attractions, shops, and houses to make sure that the economy keeps going.
As with Monopoly, you’ll collect income from the property you build in Machi Koro. To succeed you’ll need to build faster than your competitors. Some properties allow you to take income from the bank, whilst others allow you to take money from other players. Just like Monopoly, you’ll be crossing your fingers and hoping your loved ones lose out.
Machi Koro is like Monopoly in fast-forward. It involves similar elements of buying property and stealing money from your friends, but there’s no board to move around so it’s portable and ready to play anywhere.
Playing Suburbia alone or with friends, you’ll turn a small neighborhood into something much bigger.
Hexagonal tiles represent the buildings within your small town. Connect tiles together to maximize their effects and make as much money as possible. You’ll need to think carefully about tile positions, as points are scored (and money is gained) based on adjacent tile types.
Suburbia is one of those family board games like Monopoly that everyone enjoys. Even younger children, who might not have the best strategic awareness, can pick up the basics very quickly. As in Monopoly, you’ll increase your bank balance by buying the most valuable buildings. In this game, hotels are only as valuable as what they’re built next to.
Suburbia is a highly enjoyable game for families and groups of friends. The rules are simple, but in-depth strategic thinking is required if you want to win the game.
What game is most similar to Monopoly?
There are many games similar to Monopoly, but the closest is Machi Koro which is a faster version and without the Monopoly game board. Machi Koro involves buying property, collecting income, and taking advantage of competitors. If you want a board game like Monopoly, it’s one of the best options.
The bottom line
There are many other games like Monopoly to try if you want to expand your collection. Popular elements include the buying, selling, and trading of property and the impact of chance.
As you play, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and the financial decisions you might make. Of course, those decisions are a lot more fun when you can pack them away at the end!
Monopoly fans know that there’s something great about earning cash and buying buildings. Many Monopoly-like games follow similar themes, though it’s worth looking out for different approaches like the bird-focused gameplay of Wingspan.
And if it’s the economics of Monopoly that draws you in, you should definitely take a look at my list of the best economic board games too.