Continue if you are looking for the best city building board games because that is what we are going to give you. City Building games put you in a position where you must construct and manage a city in a way that is efficient, powerful, and/or lucrative. There are games that exist across all the different corners of time and genre of game. It was hard to reign it all in but we did our best. This is our definitive list of the 10 best city building board games.
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#10 | Imperial Settlers
Just making the list of the best city building board games comes one set in ancient civilization times. Through drafting and variable player powers, you start with nothing and need to build up your new city, claiming the most land and glory as you go along.
Romans, Barbarians, Egyptians and Japanese all at once move to a new land in order to expand the boundaries of their empires. This card game lets you lead one of the four and build empires by placing buildings, then sending workers to those buildings to acquire new resources and abilities. Players take various actions in order to explore new lands, build buildings, trade resources, conquer enemies, and thus score victory points. For 1 – 4 players, games last 45 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Imperial Settlers on Amazon
#09 | The Princes of Florence
When you think best city-building board games in a period of time, great industrious cities of the past come to mind. One of those times was Florence in the 15th century. Mixing cultural endeavors and economic prosperity, this game recreates that time and gives you everything you could want in a game of this genre.
You are trying to attract artists and scholars to the city to become the most prestigious family in Florence. You get your own palace grid and you need to fill that with a mix of buildings. There are a variety of professions such as astronomers, organists and architects. Each is attracted to a particular combination of building, landscape features, and social freedom. The more you can do this, the more work points you generate. For 2 – 5 players, games last 75 – 100 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy The Princes of Florence on Amazon
#08 | Suburbia
Suburbia is Sim City reincarnated in board game form and that is why it makes the list of the best city building board games. Through drafting, you need to build your city balancing zones for industrial, commercial and residential activities. Set in the modern-day, it feels very relatable and inspirational.
You must plan, build, and develop a small town into a major metropolis. Use hex-shaped building tiles to add residential, commercial, civic, and industrial areas, as well as special points of interest that provide benefits and take advantage of the resources of nearby towns. Your goal is to have your borough thrive and end up with a greater population than any of your opponents. For 1 – 4 players, games last about 90 minutes.
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#07 | Welcome To
The one roll-n-write game on the list of the best city building board games is one from a simpler time. In a very thematic take on a genre that is exploding, you need to contract a quaint little town and it is all done in a very balanced way that makes you make a quick decision and stick with it.
You are the mayor of a small little town in American suburbia circa the 1950s and you need to put together a better city than all the other players. Your sheet is three rows of empty houses and various amenities like pools, parks and spots for fences. Each turn three combinations of street numbers and actions are flipped. You pick one set and add those to your neighborhood. House numbers need to go in order and space fills up. For 1 – 100 players, games run about 25 minutes.
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#06 | Architects of the West Kingdom
Architects of the West Kingdom makes the list of the best city building board games for more reasons that just having “Architects” in the title. This is a great worker placement game that gives everyone a special character power to help drive home your main goal of putting together something truly amazing.
Set at the end of the Carolingian Empire, circa 850 AD, you are a royal architect who must compete to impress your King. You will need to collect raw materials, hire apprentices, and keep a watchful eye on their workforce. These are treacherous times, points are gained by constructing various buildings and advancing work on the Archbishop’s cathedral, but look out, rival architects will stop at nothing to slow your progress. For 1 – 5 players, games go for about 60 – 80 minutes
#05 | Lisboa
Another great city period game on the list of the best city building games is one surrounding the fantastic Portuguese city and the reconstruction that was necessary when disaster struck. This is a great mix of a city building game that really plays to the thematic. You have great amenities in the form of opportunities but you are also dealing with destruction and recreation.
This is a game about the reconstruction of Lisboa after the great earthquake of 1755. During the game, players schedule hearings to get character favors, such as commerce, construction, and openings. Players need to manage influence, construction licenses, store permits, church power, workers and money, with the workers’ cost being dependent on the prestige of the players. For 1 – 4 players, games last 1 – 2 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy Lisboa on Amazon
#04 | Keyflower
If you want to be king or queen of the Renaissance era in the city building arena, Keyflower is the title on the best city building board games that you are going to want to look at. This is a tremendous worker placement game that is all about building up the best civilization possible.
Each player starts the game with a “home” tile and an initial team of 8 workers being 1 of 3 colors. Workers of matching colors are used by the players to bid for tiles to add to their villages. Matching workers may alternatively be used to generate resources, skills and additional workers. Throughout the game, players will need to be alert to the opportunities to best utilize their various resources, transport and upgrade capability, skills and workers. For 2 – 6 players, games last 90 – 120 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Keyflower on Amazon
#03 | Le Havre
This is a pretty straightforward worker placement game, but it is a good one. The player action is really interesting, you interact with the placement spots but there are also other layers of this making you interact with other players. Le Havre is a sold game and easy choice for the list of the best city building board games.
Your turn consists of two parts: (1) distribute newly supplied goods onto the offer spaces; then (2) take an action. Choose either to take all goods of one type from an offer space or to use one of the available buildings. Building actions allow players to upgrade goods, sell them or use them to build their own buildings and ships. Buildings are both an investment opportunity and a revenue stream, as players must pay entry fees, Monopoly style. Ships, on the other hand, are primarily used as key tools. For 1 – 5 players, games last 30 – 150 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Le Havre on Amazon
#02 | Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico makes the list of the best city building board games frankly because it is just one of the most amazing board games in existence and it just happens to have this as its backdrop and engine. Using unique mechanisms that have never been done as well as they have in Puerto Rico, you have many decisions to make and paths to victory to take.
In Puerto Rico you are a colonial governor on the island of the same name. The aim of the game is to amass victory points by shipping goods to Europe or by constructing buildings. You get your own player board with spaces for city buildings, plantations, and resources. Shared between everyone are three ships, a trading house, and a supply of resources and doubloons. For 2 – 5 players, games run 90 – 150 minutes.
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#01 | 7 Wonders
7 Wonders is as great as the multiple human accomplishments it represents. Taking the top spot on the list of the best city build board games comes the ingenious game that blends quick drafting with epic city building. It is a wonder (pun intended) that so much gameplay can fit into such quick action in a deeply satisfying way.
This is one of the best drafting games out there. Over three eras, players pass around cards and take one from a stack turn after turn to take actions that help either build up your empire and resources or help construct your specialized wonder of the world. For 3 – 7 players, games last about 45 minutes.