Video gaming’s top 5 trading games

by MaddOx
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The world of business is never too far away from the headlines. The exploits of the leading traders and business magnates sometimes inspire others to delve into the world of trading stocks and shares, or perhaps look at the top forex companies.

In contrast, most stories in the video gaming news represent an escape from the world of finance, taking players to an altogether more magical place. There have however been occasions when trading and video gaming have overlapped, with a plethora of games having featured at least some sort of trading element over the years. Looking to buy, sell, and wrangle your way to victory? The following five releases could be worth a look. 

Our top 5 trading games

Capitalism 2

  • Release: 2001
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS
  • Developer: Enlight

Given the title of the game and the giant dollar sign on the cover, it will come as no surprise that the accumulation of wealth is your primary motivation in this well-received release from 2001. A deep strategy game, Capitalism 2 does a great job of replicating the type of decisions you might face in the real-life business world, including buying and selling, marketing, and manufacturing. It may be old but in terms of a pure business simulation, this game set the benchmark.

Capitalism 2 trading game gameplay

Evil Bank Manager

  • Release: 2018
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows
  • Developer: Hamsters Gaming

Ever suspected that the world’s rich and powerful achieved their wealth and status via slightly dubious means? This could be the game for you. All morals and ethics are thrown out of the window in this business sim, as you strive to generate vast piles of wealth via means both fair and foul. Print your own money, become a federal reserve, plot, and scheme. Do whatever it takes to succeed in a world where money really is your only goal.

X4: Foundations

  • Release: 2018
  • Platforms: Microsoft Window
  • Developer: Egosoft

Why settle for becoming an earthbound billionaire when you can take your trading expertise into outer space? The eleventh instalment of the popular “X” series places you slap bang in the middle of an ever-evolving space-scape, where all of your decisions and actions impact the world around you.

An open-ended game, you are free to follow whatever path you see fit, with the aim of achieving notoriety, wealth, or both. Stick to trading your way to the top or enhance your financial undertakings with a spot of violence and piracy as you expand your empire.

Merchant of the Skies

  • Release: 2020
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, macOS
  • Developer: Coldwild Games

Perhaps the real-world business theme is a little heavy for your taste. If that’s the case, then why not captain your own airship and become a tycoon in the clouds? Beginning life as a small ship owner with a hatful of dreams, your goal is to establish the most profitable trade routes, buying and selling resources and items, as you work your way up to owning that dominant trade company you always deserved.

Anno 1404

  • Release: February 2009
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Wii, Nintendo DS
  • Developer: Related Designs/Blue Byte

Any of the Anno series of games would be a decent fit for this list, but for us, 2009’s Renaissance/Medieval set Anno 1404 just about does it best. The most recent instalment of 2018’s Anno 2205 obviously puts this game in the shade graphically but doesn’t offer the same level of complexity in its decision-making.

In Anno 1404 your task is to establish settlements and industry, aiming to both satisfy your allegiant citizens and further your own expansive ambitions. Mixing city building with economic strategy, your ability to trade successfully is integral to your success.

Anno 1404 trading game screenshot

For even more top gaming lists like this trading games one, check out our Opinion Pieces section.

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