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Top 10 Economic Games

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In 1883, George Parker (later joined by his brother Charles in the game business) published the board game Banking. Ever since, games with economic themes have been a staple. Here are some of the very best economic board games.

1. Acquire

Acquire
Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro
For 2 to 6 players, ages 12 and up. Designed by Sid Sackson, published by Avalon Hill / Hasbro / Schmidt Spiele.
Players invest in companies, trying to hold a majority of stock. Businesses grow and merge as tiles are added to the board; each game develops differently. Acquire has been published several times over the years, a testament to its enduring quality.

2. Power Grid

Power Grid
Image courtesy of Rio Grande Games
For 2 to 6 players, ages 12 and up. Designed by Friedemann Friese, published by Rio Grande Games.

3. Automobile

Automobile
Image courtesy of Warfrog Games
For 3 to 5 players, ages 12 and up. Designed by Martin Wallace, published by Mayfair Games / Warfrog.

4. Agricola

Agricola
Image courtesy of Z-Man Games
For 1 to 5 players, ages 12 and up. Designed by Uwe Rosenberg, published by Z-Man Games / Lookout Games.

5. Modern Art

For 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up. Designed by Reiner Knizia, published by Mayfair Games / Hans im Glück.
In this auction game, players bid for paintings by modern artists. Players are constantly involved in the game; there is little downtime. Your strategy has to change depending on who you're bidding against, so no two games are the same.

6. Merchants of Amsterdam

For 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up. Designed by Reiner Knizia, published by Rio Grande Games / Jumbo.
Dutch auctions reign as players compete to be first or second in categories like shipping, domestic (in Holland) districts and foreign districts. The mechanical clock adds a nice psychological element to the game -- don't bid too early.

7. Brass

For 3 to 4 players, ages 14 and up. Designed by Martin Wallace, published by Warfrog / Eagle Games.

8. Genoa

For 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up. Designed by Rüdiger Dorn, published by Alea / Rio Grande Games / Asmodée Editions.
Everything can be negotiated in Genoa, which was previously released as Traders of Genoa. You have to play with opponents unafraid to make decisions, but with the right crew, Genoa is superb. Players acquire goods and fill orders to earn money, making deals all along the way.

9. Money

For 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up. Designed by Reiner Knizia, published by Gryphon Games.

10. Monopoly

Monopoly
Image courtesy of Hasbro
Designed by Charles Darrow, published by Parker Brothers / Hasbro.
Perhaps the best-known of all modern board games, Monopoly is both over-hyped and under-appreciated. Most people play using incorrect rules, making it a somewhat tedious experience. But there is a solid game here involving some basic economics.
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