Top 28 Games That Teaches You Personal Finance

Top 28 Games That Teaches You Personal Finance

Games That Teaches You Personal Finance

Let’s face it: learning about finance can sometimes feel overwhelming or boring. Luckily for us, personal finance games exist.

Combining entertainment with learning, these games make mastering personal finance fun and engaging. Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or just someone looking to improve your financial knowledge, there’s a game out there for you. In this article, I’ve curated a list of the top 28 games that teach you personal finance in whatever category you find yourself in. Let’s begin;

The Top 28 Games That Teach Personal Finance

Here are the top 28 games to help you level up your financial literacy while having fun. Each game has a brief description highlighting its educational value and the economic concepts it covers.

Personal Finance Games For College Students

1. Gazillionaire

Gazillionaire

Age range: Teenagers and adults

Number of players: Single-player

Description:  Gazillionaire is a trading simulation game where players compete to build an empire by trading exotics on different planets. Players invest in larger ships, buy warehouses, outmanoeuvre competitors, and transport essential commodities between seven planets in the Kukubian empire. The aim is to become the wealthiest trader and build a successful trading empire.

Personal finance lessons: Gazillionaire teaches concepts such as trading, investment, risk management, and strategic decision-making. You learn about supply and demand dynamics, investment strategies, resource allocation, and managing financial assets to maximize profits and build wealth.

Gaming platforms: PC.

2. X4: Foundations

X4 - Foundations

Age Range: Teenagers and older  

Number of Players: Single-player 

Description: X4: Foundations is a space trading and combat simulator game where players can engage in various activities such as trade, combat, piracy, and constructing their space installations. The aim is to gain notoriety or wealth, establish personal empires, and dynamically alter the game world.  

Personal finance lessons: X4: Foundations teaches you about economic management through simulated trade and empire-building mechanics. You’d learn about investment, risk management, and decision-making to grow your wealth and influence within the game’s universe.  

Gaming platforms: PC 

3. Command & Conquer: Red Alert  3

Red Alert

Age Range: Teens and adults  

Number of players: Single-player, multiplayer  

Description: Red Alert is a real-time strategy game where players control the Soviet or Allied factions. The aim is to defeat enemy commanders by destroying their bases while defending one’s base to maintain resources and production. Players progress through campaigns or skirmishes, completing missions with specific objectives. The game emphasizes resource management, base-building, and strategic combat.  

Personal finance lessons: Red Alert 2 teaches you about resource management and strategic decision-making, similar to managing personal finances. You must gather resources, invest them wisely in units and buildings, and prioritize your spending to maximize efficiency. The game also highlights the importance of defending assets and planning for the long term, which are all essential concepts in personal finance. 

Gaming Platforms: PC

4. Railroad Tycoon III

Railroad Tycoon III

Age Range: Teenagers and adults

Number of players: Single-player

Description:  Railroad Tycoon II is a business simulation video game where players assume the role of chairman of a railroad company. The aim is to make profits for investors by building tracks, stations, and trains while completing various objectives and dealing with rivals and random events.

Personal finance lessons: The game teaches you about financial management through revenue generation, expense management, investment strategies, and economic fluctuations. You engage in financial manipulation, issuing bonds, stock trading, and dealing with scenarios like bankruptcy and economic states.

Gaming platforms: PC game

5. Victoria 3 

Victoria 3

Age Range: Teens and adults  

Number of players: Single-player, multiplayer  

Description: Victoria 3 is a grand strategy video game where players control various countries from 1836 to 1936, focusing on politics, demographics, and diplomacy. Players must manage interest groups and make diplomatic plays to achieve their objectives, which may include territorial expansion or economic dominance.  

Personal finance lessons: Victoria 3 teaches you about economic management, strategic decision-making, and the consequences of financial actions. The game’s economic mechanics simulate real-world scenarios, such as managing budgets, dealing with inflation, and making trade agreements, which can help you understand fundamental principles of personal finance.  

Category: Grand strategy  

Personal Finance Games for Kids 

6. Prêt-à-Porter

Prêt-à-Porter

Age Range: Children

Number of players: Multiplayer

Description: Manage a fashion company in the competitive world of international fashion. Expand your company, hire workers, create designs, and compete in fashion shows to increase prestige and profitability.

Personal finance lessons: Teaches kids economic strategy, budgeting, investment decisions, resource management, and balancing income with expenses.

Gaming platforms: Board Game

7. Growtopia

Growtopia

Age Range: Children, teenagers, and adults

Number of players: Massively multiplayer online, no specific limit mentioned

Description: Growtopia is a massively multiplayer online sandbox video game where players can chat, farm, add friends, trade, build worlds, and engage in player-versus-player combat. The game has no end goals or 100% completion, but there is an achievement system and quests to complete from non-player characters.

Personal finance lessons: Growtopia teaches kids about entrepreneurship, trading, and managing resources. They can trade items, manage in-game currency (locks), and understand supply and demand dynamics. Kids can also learn about investing in virtual assets and managing their wealth.

Gaming platforms: PC, Android, iOS, macOS, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

Family Board Games That Teach Personal Finance

8. Agricola 

Agricola

Age Range: 12 and up

Number of Players: 1 to 5

Game Description: Agricola is a board game where players act as farmers, managing resources to expand their farms and feed their families. The aim is to build the most prosperous farm by the end of 14 rounds.

Personal finance lessons: It teaches economic and resource management skills as players must plan and strategize to maximize profits, manage food production, and balance various aspects of their farm.

9. Monopoly

Monopoly

Age Range: All ages

Number of Players: 2 – 8

Description: Monopoly is a multiplayer board game where players roll dice to move around the board, buy and trade properties, and develop them with houses and hotels. The aim is to drive opponents into bankruptcy.

Personal finance lessons: Monopoly has been teaching personal finance for decades by simulating real estate transactions, property management, and financial risk-taking. You learn about budgeting, investment, negotiation, and dealing with unexpected expenses.

10. Cashflow 

CASHFLOW

Age Range: Teenagers and adults

Number of players: Multiplayer (usually 2 or more)

Description: CASHFLOW is a board game where players aim to escape the “rat race” by generating passive income through investments in real estate, stocks, companies, and more. Players start in a typical 9-to-5 job and strive to acquire assets to build up their passive income until they graduate to the “FAST TRACK,” where real wealth is made. 

Personal finance lessons: Not many people agree with the lessons of Robert Kiyosaki’s game, CASHFLOW, but it teaches financial literacy, investing, wealth building, and money management.

The game coaches you on securing assets and investing money correctly and reveals your investing personality, helping you develop winning strategies in the game and real life.

11. Acquire

Acquire

Age Range: Teenagers and adults

Number of Players: 2–6 players

Description: Acquire is a game where players engage in mergers and acquisitions to earn the most money. Players develop and merge hotel chains, earning money based on the size of the acquired chain. The aim is to strategically invest in chains that will grow and yield high returns, ultimately accumulating the most wealth by the end of the game.

Personal finance lessons: Acquire teaches investment, risk management, and strategic decision-making concepts. You learn about the dynamics of mergers and acquisitions, the importance of timing investments, and how to assess asset value and potential growth. The game simulates real-world financial scenarios to help you understand the principles of wealth accumulation and asset management.

12. Pay Day

Pay Day

Age Range: 8 and up

Number of Players: 2 to 4 players

Description: Pay Day is a board game where players simulate money management over a calendar month. Players collect monthly wages, pay bills, and make financial decisions to accumulate the most money by the end of the game. The winner is the player with the highest cash and savings at the end.

Personal finance lessons: Pay Day teaches money management skills such as budgeting, handling expenses, saving, and making strategic financial decisions. You learn about the importance of managing income, paying bills on time, dealing with unexpected expenses, and planning for the future.

13. Power Grid

Power Grid

Age Range: 12 and up

Number of Players: 2 to 6 players

Description: In Power Grid, players compete to build up electrical networks and power most cities by strategically bidding on power plants, buying resources, and expanding their connections network. The aim is to efficiently manage resources and infrastructure to supply electricity to as many cities as possible.

Personal finance lessons: Power Grid teaches resource management, strategic decision-making, budgeting, and planning for growth. You learn to analyze costs, negotiate, and adapt your strategies to changing conditions, mirroring real-world financial challenges.

Personal Finance Games about Money Management

14. Harvest Moon (Farm Story)

Harvest Moon

Age Range: Teenagers and adults

Number of players: Single-player

Description: Harvest Moon is a farm simulation role-playing video game where players take on the role of a young man tasked with restoring and maintaining a farm inherited from his grandfather. The aim is to manage the farm by allocating time between daily tasks such as clearing land, planting crops, selling harvests, raising livestock, attending festivals, building relationships with villagers, and foraging.

Personal finance lessons: Harvest Moon teaches us personal finance concepts such as budgeting, resource management, investment, and planning. You learn about the financial aspects of running a farm, including budgeting for expenses, managing income from sales, investing in farm improvements, and balancing short-term needs with long-term goals to achieve financial success.

Gaming platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

15. Planet Zoo

Planet Zoo

Age Range: Teenagers and adults

Number of players: Single-player

Description: Planet Zoo is a construction and management simulation game where players build and manage their own zoo. The aim is to create a successful zoo by designing animal exhibits, ensuring animal welfare, managing staff, constructing guest amenities, performing research, and working towards the conservation of threatened and endangered species.

Personal finance lessons: Planet Zoo teaches personal finance concepts such as budgeting, resource allocation, and investment. You must manage finances effectively to maintain the zoo, make strategic decisions on spending, prioritize expenses, and maximize profits. 

Gaming platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.

16. Planet Coaster

Planet Coaster

Age Range: All

Number of players: Single-player

Description: Planet Coaster is a construction and management simulation video game where players build and manage their own theme park. The aim varies depending on the mode chosen:

  •    Sandbox Mode: Build a theme park with unlimited funds and unlocked features.
  •    Challenge Mode: Construct a park with limited funds and face various challenges.
  •    Career Mode: Complete objectives such as constructing roller coasters, achieving park ratings, or managing staff.
  •   Scenario Editor: Customize objectives in saved parks.

Personal finance lessons: Planet Coaster teaches financial management through budgeting and resource allocation. In Challenge Mode, players must strategically manage limited funds to build and maintain their park while maximizing profits. This simulates real-life financial decision-making and encourages players to prioritize spending, invest wisely, and manage expenses effectively.

Gaming platforms: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and macOS platforms.

17. AdVenture Capitalist

AdVenture Capitalist

Age Range: Teenagers and adults

Number of players: Single-player

Description: AdVenture Capitalist is an incremental video game where players invest funds into certain products to generate revenue, starting with a single lemonade stand. The aim is to build a capitalist empire by expanding investments, hiring managers to automate earnings, and progressing to new areas of business like the Moon and Mars.

Personal finance lessons: AdVenture Capitalist teaches investment strategies, revenue generation, resource management, and the concept of compound interest. You learn about diversification, maximizing profits, and the importance of reinvesting earnings to grow wealth over time.

Gaming platforms: PC, browsers, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and PlayStation 4.

18. RuneScape

RuneScape

Age Range: Teens and adults

Number of players: Single-player, multiplayer

Description: RuneScape is an MMORPG set in the fantasy world of Gielinor. Players create custom avatars and set their own goals, such as completing quests, training skills, or engaging in combat. The game features various activities, including trading, chatting, mini-games, and cooperative or competitive play.

Personal finance lessons: RuneScape simulates economic principles through its in-game skills system. You can earn experience points by performing activities like mining, fishing, and crafting, which mirrors real-life earning potential and investment. Additionally, you can engage in trading and commerce, learning about supply and demand dynamics and market fluctuations.

Gaming platforms: PC

19. The Sims 4

The Sims 4

Age Range: Teens and adults

Number of players: Single-player

Description: The Sims 4 is a free social simulation game where players create and control virtual people called “Sims.” Players are responsible for directing their actions, fulfilling their needs, and helping them attain their desires. The game aims to simulate the lives of these Sims, allowing players to build houses, develop relationships, pursue careers, and achieve their goals.

Personal finance lessons: The Sims 4 teaches personal finance through various in-game mechanics. Players learn about budgeting by managing their Sims’ finances, earning money through jobs or selling crafted items, and making decisions on how to spend or save their Simoleons (in-game currency). They also learn about the importance of prioritizing needs and wants, balancing work and leisure activities, and investing in revenue-generating items.

Popular community challenges like the “rags to riches” also place more emphasis on budgeting, skill acquisition and living within your means.

Gaming platforms: PC 

20. Tradewinds

Tradewinds

Age Range: Teens and adults

Number of players: Single-player

Description: Tradewinds is a video game where players take on the role of a merchant in the 19th-century Far East. The objective is to buy and sell goods, battle pirates, and amass wealth to become a Tai-Pan, the highest rank in trading.

Personal finance lessons: Tradewinds teaches personal finance through strategic decision-making in trading goods, managing finances, and investing in ships and equipment. You learn about budgeting, risk management, and the importance of saving and investing for future growth.

Gaming platforms: PC

Confidence level: High. The information is directly sourced from the provided text.

21. Banking and Finance DLC  

Banking and Finance DLC

Age Range: All

Number of Players: Single-player  

Description: The Banking and Finance DLC for Capitalism Lab simulates the financial world with a high level of realism, allowing players to build a business empire by expanding into the banking and insurance industries. Players can issue and trade bonds, invest in global stocks, and manage their bank’s capital and loans. The aim is to maximize profit while navigating through economic cycles and risks.  

Personal finance lessons: This DLC provides an immersive experience of managing a bank and insurance company. It teaches you about risk management, capital allocation, investment strategies, and the impact of economic cycles on financial institutions. It also introduces concepts such as bond issuance, stock trading, and global market investing.  

Gaming platforms: PC

22. Fable II  

Fable II

Age Range: Teenagers and older  

Number of Players: Single-player, multiplayer 

Description: Fable II is an action role-playing open-world video game set in the fictional land of Albion. Players assume the role of a young hero destined to stop a former ruler turned madman from destroying the world. The game features exploration, combat, character customization, and decision-making that affects the character’s morality and appearance. The aim is to progress through the main story, engage in side quests, build wealth and property empire, and make choices that shape the character’s journey and the world around them.  

Personal finance lessons: Fable II teaches about economic management through various gameplay mechanics. You can purchase and rent properties, run businesses, set prices, and manage income streams to accumulate wealth. You learn about investment, entrepreneurship, and economic decision-making within the game’s dynamic economy.  

Gaming platforms: Xbox 360

23. GearCity

GearCity

Age Range: All

Number of Players: Single-player  

Description: GearCity is a business simulation game in which players manage their own automobile company. The aim is to build and expand the company by designing and producing vehicles, managing finances, researching new technologies, and competing with other companies in the market.  

Personal finance lessons: GearCity teaches players about financial management, decision-making, risk assessment, and strategic planning within the context of running a business. Players learn about raising funds through debt systems, managing loans, issuing bonds, and handling stocks.  

Gaming platforms: PC 

24. Cities: Skylines

Cities - Skylines

Age Range: Teenagers and adults

Number of Players: Single-player

Description: Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation game where players engage in urban planning by controlling zoning, road placement, taxation, public services, and public transportation. The aim is to build and manage a thriving city while balancing various elements such as budget, health, employment, traffic, and pollution levels. Players start with a plot of land and gradually expand their city by adding residential, industrial, and commercial zones and essential services like power, water, and sewage. As the city grows, players unlock new improvements and features to manage and enhance their city’s functionality.

Personal finance lessons: Cities: Skylines teaches personal finance concepts by simulating the financial aspects of managing a city. Players must carefully allocate their budget to meet the needs of their growing population while maintaining a stable economy. They learn about taxation, budgeting, resource management, and the consequences of financial decisions on the city’s prosperity. Additionally, the game encourages strategic planning and problem-solving skills essential in real-life financial management.

Gaming platforms: PC

25. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

Age Range: Teenagers and adults

Number of players: Single-player or up to eight players online

Description: Stardew Valley is a farming simulation game where players inherit a dilapidated farm and must restore it while engaging in various activities such as growing crops, raising livestock, fishing, cooking, mining, and socializing with townspeople. The aim is to manage the farm, build relationships, explore, and customize the farm to achieve success and happiness.

Personal finance lessons: Stardew Valley teaches personal finance concepts such as budgeting, resource management, investment, and planning. Players learn about budgeting for expenses, managing income from sales, investing in farm improvements, and balancing short-term needs with long-term goals to achieve financial success.

Gaming platforms: PC

26. Lemonade Tycoon

Lemonade Tycoon

Age Range: All ages

Number of players: Single-player

Description: Manage a lemonade stand business, set prices, buy supplies, and expand to different locations. Aim to sell lemonade for profit and progress from suburbs to a stadium.

Personal finance lessons: Teaches budgeting, pricing, inventory management, marketing, and responding to economic factors like weather and news headlines.

Gaming platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, and others.

27. Hegemony

Hegemony

Age Range: Teens and adults

Number of players: Single-player

Description: Manage empires, conquer territories, and manage resources in a historical grand strategy setting. The aim is to expand your empire and achieve victory through military, economic, and cultural superiority.

Personal finance lessons: This game teaches strategic resource management, budgeting for military campaigns, understanding the importance of supply chains, and balancing economic and military needs.

Gaming platforms: PC.

28. FarmVille

FarmVille

Age Range: Teens and adults  

Number of players: Single-player, multiplayer  

Description: FarmVille is an agriculture simulation game where players manage a virtual farm. They perform tasks like ploughing land, planting crops, harvesting, raising livestock, and expanding their farm. The aim is to build and maintain a successful farm.  

Personal finance lessons: FarmVille teaches players about resource management, budgeting, and prioritising expenses. Players must balance their spending on crops, animals, and farm upgrades to maximise profits and progress in the game, which reflects real-life financial decisions.  

Gaming platforms: PC, Mobile

Conclusion

You’re now equipped with the ultimate resource for mastering personal finance through gaming. Real-world scenarios covering housing, transportation, and insurance are often integrated into these games, further enhancing their educational value and relevance to everyday life.

So, whether you’re rolling dice in Monopoly, managing resources Rail Road tycoon, or trudging through the complexities of space trading in X4: Foundations, remember that each game offers valuable lessons in personal finance that can empower you to make informed financial decisions in real life.

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