cover image for a listicle article outlining some of the best city-building board games

Top City Building & Management Board Games

Top City Building & Management Board Games

City-building board games offer an exciting mix of strategy, resource management, planning, and creativity. Whether you're a casual gamer, a board game enthusiast, or a strategy fan, there's a city-building game out there for you. So, let's find out the top city-building board games, including board games with tile-placement, engine building, resource management, board management mechanics.

Disclosure:

1. This article is not a review. It is a quick overview of these games. The article includes games based on our own opinions.

2. We have played some of the games, but not all of them. The games are not sorted in any particular order. If you want to learn more about a particular game, click on the included links!

3. The article contains affiliate links - when you buy through links on our site, we may earn commission at no cost to you.

Saw a mistake? We are just human, and some errors can happen. If you saw a mistake in the article, let us know in the comments below or send us a message.

city building board games, an abstract image

The Best City Building Tabletop Games

Tapestry

Description: Tapestry is a 2-hour civilization game for 1-5 players where you create a unique civilization from the dawn of humanity into the future. Advance through science, technology, exploration, and military tracks to earn benefits, build your capital city, and tell your civilization's story with tapestry cards. 

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Civilization: A New Dawn

civilization a new dawn board game cover box image

Description: A New Dawn is a strategy board game for 2-4 players where you lead history's greatest empires to expand domains, gain technologies, and build wonders. Players conquer beautifully illustrated maps, populate them with resources and city-states, and pursue dynamic agendas detailed on victory cards. Race to achieve these goals and ensure your civilization's dominance in this ever-changing world.

Highlights: The board game is inspired from the acclaimed "Civilization" video game series. Although many players prefer the video game, it still offers good engine building mechanics for a relatively great price compared to many other games on this list. So, if you are a fan of city building board games, it might be worth a shot. 

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Suburbia

suburbia board game cover box

Description: Suburbia is a tile-laying game where players build a city, managing residential, commercial, and industrial areas to achieve balance and growth. The game's strategic depth and replayability make it a standout in the genre.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Quadropolis

quadropolis board game cover box art

Description: In Quadropolis, players take on the role of city planners, competing to construct buildings and optimize their city layout. I think that Quadropolis' engaging mechanics and beautiful design make it a must-play for fans of city-building games. 

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Sunrise City

sunrise city board game cover box

Description: Sunrise City combines tile placement and bidding to create a dynamic city building experience with a focus on zoning and development. I have to say that the bidding mechanic adds a unique twist, making each game session different and exciting.

BGG link here.

Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King

isle of skye board game cover box art

Description: In Isle of Skye, players act as chieftains building their kingdoms, balancing tile placement and resource management. The auction and tile placement mechanics create a strategic and enjoyable experience.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here

Terraforming Mars

terraforming mars board game cover box

Description: Set on Mars, players work as corporations to terraform the planet, building cities, planting forests, and improving infrastructure while balancing resources.

Highlights: The combination of engine building, card management, and resource management offers rich gameplay.

👉 Read our full Terraforming Mars Review Here.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here

Machi Koro

machi koro board game cover box

Description: A fast-paced game where players roll dice to earn income and build landmarks, aiming to be the first to complete their city.

Appeal: Simple rules and quick gameplay make it accessible and fun for all ages. Affordable price tag.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here

The Castles of Burgundy

Description: Players build settlements and castles in medieval France, balancing resource management and strategic placement.

Why It's Recommended: Known for its strategic depth and replayability. Just know that a new version of this game is coming out of a very successful crowdfunding campaign.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here

Between Two Cities

between two cities board game cover

Description: Players work with their neighbors to build cities, aiming for a balance between cooperation and competition.

Key Features: Unique mechanics that require collaboration while competing.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Small City

Description: Players manage a small city by improving the infrastructure, focusing on growth and development while balancing citizens' needs. The complexity and depth make it ideal for strategy enthusiasts.

BGG link here.

Sprawlopolis

sprawlopolis board game cover box

Description: A cooperative game where players work together to build a sprawling city, balancing objectives and limitations.

Key Aspects: Its compact size and cooperative gameplay are highlights.

BGG link here.

Urban Sprawl

Description: Players compete to develop a city from its founding to its growth into a bustling metropolis. Gain permits, invest in projects, and become the dominants player in your city.

BGG link here.

Metropolys

Description: Players bid to construct buildings in various neighborhoods, aiming for strategic placement, bidding and area control. 

BGG link here.

Copenhagen

coppenhagen board game cover box

Description: A tile-laying game where players construct colorful buildings along the waterfront of Copenhagen. The game's elegant design and simple mechanics, make it appealing to many players.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Antiquity

Description: A relatively old city-building game known for its complexity and thematic depth. Players build cities, manage resources, and deal with pollution and famine. 

BGG link here.

Big City: 20th Anniversary Jumbo Edition!

Description: The updated version of the Big City. Players collaboratively build a city, focusing on strategic placement and development to create a bustling metropolis.

Gameplay Features: The large, modular board allows for endless city configurations, making each game unique. The mix of strategic planning and interaction keeps players engaged throughout. 

BGG link here.

City Tycoon

city tycoon board game cover

Description: City Tycoon has players developing a city by balancing economic growth and resource management to build the most prosperous city. The blend of strategy and resource management makes City Tycoon a deeply satisfying experience for those who enjoy economic simulation.

BGG link here.

Town Center

Description: The Town Center involves building a modern city center, focusing on both vertical and horizontal development with a 3D perspective.

Highlights: The unique 3D building mechanics set it apart, offering a visually engaging experience.

BGG link here.

The Estates

the estates board game cover box

Description: Players in The Estates invest in real estate and construct buildings, aiming to outmaneuver opponents in a high-stakes auction environment.

Gameplay Features: The auction and investment mechanics create dynamic and competitive gameplay.

BGG link here.

Keyflower

Description: Keyflower combines worker placement and tile laying as players build villages, balancing resources and strategic planning.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Expancity

Description: In Expancity, players build a modern city by balancing residential and commercial development in a strategic mannerThe satisfaction of constructing a visually impressive cityscape enhances the strategic depth of Expancity.

BGG link here.

Tokyo Metro

Description: Players invest in Tokyo's metro system, balancing development and investment strategies to create a successful network.

Highlights: The unique theme and economic mechanics make it a standout in the city-building genre.

BGG link here.

Welcome To...

welcome to... board game cover box

Description: Welcome To... is a roll-and-write game where players design a suburban neighborhood, balancing various development goals.

Key Aspects: Its quick setup and engaging gameplay make it accessible and fun. The ease of setup combined with the strategic depth makes it a perfect game for both quick sessions and longer play.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Alhambra

Description: In Alhambra, players build the famous palace, balancing resource management and tile placement to create the most impressive structure.

Key Points: Known for its accessibility and strategic depth, it's a classic in the city-building genre.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Carcassonne

carcassonne board game cover box

Description: Players build medieval cities and landscapes using tile placement, creating a picturesque tableau.

Why It's Popular: Its simplicity and strategic depth make it a classic and highly accessible game.

Personal Preference: The joy of creating a beautiful landscape while outmaneuvering opponents is why Carcassonne remains a staple in my collection that you can play with almost any type of player - beginners and seasoned ones.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

Ginkgopolis

Description: In Ginkgopolis, players build a futuristic city, balancing tile placement and resource management in a unique setting.

Key Features: Its unique theme and innovative mechanics set it apart from traditional city-building games. The futuristic theme and clever mechanics of Ginkgopolis provide a fresh and engaging twist on the genre.

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

The Capitals

the capitals board game cover box

Description: Players develop a city through various eras, balancing growth and economic development in a historically rich setting.

Unique Elements: Its historical scope and strategic depth offer a comprehensive city-building experience.

BGG link here.

Santa Monica

Description: Players build a beachside community, balancing tourism and local attractions to create the most appealing boardwalk.

Key Points: The thematic elements and strategic gameplay make it a relaxing yet competitive experience. 

BGG link here.

Buy on Amazon here.

city building board game session with friends

Conclusion

City building board games offer a diverse range of experiences, from strategic planning to creative construction. Whether you're managing resources in Suburbia or building skyscrapers in Manhattan, these games provide endless entertainment and challenge. Share your favorites and join the conversation to explore more about these captivating games. Happy gaming!

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Share your favorite city building board games and any tips you have for fellow gamers in the comments below.

And feel free to check out what joyful-games.com has in store for you!

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