If your family just loves Monopoly but you feel like you’re ready to try something new, you have come to the right place. We have a list of fantastic family board games that share some of the best parts from Monopoly but have fun and interesting twists your family can enjoy.
Before we get into our list though let’s cover off some of the things that make Monopoly so popular to begin with. Monopoly is primarily about building your fortune by expanding your property empire and ultimately fleecing your opponents out of every penny they own. Dice chucking, auctions, deal making and snapping up the best properties are all part of the Monopoly experience.
But Monopoly isn’t for everyone, the downside is the game can drag on for a long time, with players slowly bleeding money and as a result can create a bitter aftertaste for some. Don’t worry these games should give you some of that Monopoly feel without the arguments.
Best Family Games Like Monopoly
Play Time: 60-120 Min / Players: 2-4 / Complexity: Medium / Age:10+ / Publisher: Catan Studio / Designer: Klaus Teuber
- Lots of variability and replay value due to gameboard of randomised tiles
- Little down time as all players can be affected by dice rolls
- Some good strategy on offer despite dice being involved as players decide on optimal placement for their settlements
- Offers up some good opportunities to negotiate and trade with other players.
- Can lead to multiple turns where you don’t get any resources, and this can be frustrating
- Play time can be much lengthier than other games on this list.
Our first entry in our Monopoly-like games list is a real classic and has won numerous awards. In Catan you are claiming land and income is at the mercy of dice just like Monopoly. The difference here is that instead of claiming streets in a big city you are building settlements and cities on the island of Catan. There are plenty of opportunities to wheel and deal by trading resources with other players.
Catan is all about expanding your hold on the island and its resources by building your network of roads, settlements, and cities. Each tile offers different economic value depending on the resource it represents and the number that triggers it on dice rolls. My son loved this game when he was around 10 and used to play it repeatedly, it was one of the games that got him interested in board games.
This is one of the lengthier games on our list and will be better for older kids as it still has a reasonable learning curve. But it shares a lot of great traits with Monopoly and is an extremely popular choice.
Play Time: 20 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 7+ / Publisher: Hasbro
- Easy to learn
- Clever adaptation of Monopoly as a card game
- Bidding mechanism works well
- Encourages player interaction
- Quick to play.
- Not as many different action cards as Monopoly Deal
- Card design is a little plain.
Our next game for Monopoly lovers is Monopoly Bid. Monopoly Bid retains the property focus and bidding from the original game and removes just about everything else.
This is a quick-fire family game which is perfect for younger players with a short attention span. What it adds are some neat little action cards that can be used to sabotage your opponent by stealing properties or granting you some bonus cards.
The gameplay is very simple. Players need to outbid each other for precious properties to make three coloured sets for a win. The catch is the bidding is all blind, no one knows what everyone else has bid until the cards are revealed. This leads to some great player interaction and some gentle ribbing when players vastly over bid for a property.
Our kids just love this game, and the short time frame means there are fewer arguments as a loss isn’t as big a deal.
Check out our full Monopoly Bid review.
Play Time: 30 Min / Players: 3-6 / Complexity: Low / Age: 10+ we think 8+ / Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon Games / Designer: Stefan Dorra
- Easy to learn
- Plenty of player interaction due to auctioning being central to the game
- Quick to play, most games can be played in well under 30 minutes
- The auctions are a lot of fun and offer up some interesting decisions on bidding strategy.
- Players who aren’t keen on auctions or bidding aren’t likely to enjoy this game.
For Sale is another great family game with bidding. Just like Monopoly players will be competing for the best properties and aiming to earn the most money they can but the only way to snap up property is through auctions.
There are two key phases in For Sale, in the first phase properties are auctioned off to players who will use their limited supply of money to bid for them. The highest bids get the best properties with the most value. The second phase is all about selling the properties you purchased for the most profit possible.
This game is so simple it can be picked up in a few minutes so it’s great for young kids and families. If you love a good auction this is the game for you!
Play Time: 15 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ we think 6+ / Publisher: Hasbro
- Easy to learn
- Lots of great variety in the cards and actions
- Card actions enable some good gameplay options
- Instructions on the cards are really clear and the colour scheme helps nicely to differentiate cards
- Plays really well with different player counts.
- No complaints from us!
If your family loves Monopoly but wants something quicker and more streamlined, Monopoly Deal fits the bill perfectly. Monopoly Deal takes Monopoly’s best traits and distills them into a simple, quick, and streamlined card game. We think this is the best version of Monopoly available.
To win you must earn three sets of coloured properties just like Monopoly Bid, but there is a lot more depth and variety on offer here. You will find yourself stealing properties, charging rent, collecting debt, and even taking money from your opponents as a birthday gift. There are so many opportunities to mess with your opponents and ruin their plans which keeps player interaction very high.
Although this game shares a lot with Monopoly, it majorly trims down game time, removes rule ambiguity and leads to fewer arguments! This game is a real winner if your family wants something with a Monopoly feel but in a leaner package.
Check out our full Monopoly Deal review.
3.Century Spice Road
Play Time: 30-45 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ / Publisher: Plan B Games / Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi
- Easy to learn
- Very simple and streamlined gameplay with little down time
- Some good depth and interesting decisions involved in optimising your merchant deck
- The components look great.
- Some younger players may find this frustrating at higher player counts as attaining Point cards becomes very competitive at 4 or 5 players.
In Century Spice Road your goal is to grow your wealth like Monopoly, but this game is all about gaining precious spice and instead of using your wealth to buy property you will be buying lucrative trading contracts. The contracts will grant you points needed for victory.
If you love trading, Century Spice Road is for you. There are four types of spice and each contract requires a different combination of spice to allow you to purchase it. Players will be competing for merchant cards at the outset of the game that they can use to generate, upgrade and trade spice. You will find that trading spice efficiently and with a well-built deck is key to being successful here which adds some nice strategy.
If you love trading and want to branch out a bit more than the previous games, this is a great option. The addition of deck building through merchant cards also adds some nice depth.
Check out our full Century Spice Road review.
Play Time: 30 Min / Players: 2-4 / Complexity: Low / Age: 10+ we think 7+ / Publisher: Space Cowboys / Designer: Marc Andre
- Gems look beautiful and will appeal to younger players
- Simple but very addictive gameplay
- Great family game suitable for wide age range, our whole family loves this game
- Feels relaxing and enjoyable to play
- Great gateway game for beginners but enough strategy for experienced gamers.
- Hard core gamers may find Splendor a little too simple.
This is another great family game that swaps out property for a commodity, this time precious gems. If what you love about Monopoly is that feeling of growing wealth, Splendor will give you that feeling but instead of properties you have cards representing mining, finishing, and transporting precious gems.
As your tableau of cards grows your purchasing power increases and you can buy more expensive gems worth more points. The first to 15 points wins.
This game has so much going for it for families. It is incredibly easy to learn, the art is gorgeous, and kids just love the thick poker chip style gems that come with the game. You can still be a bit mean in Splendor and interfere with your opponent’s plans just like Monopoly, but it somehow doesn’t create as much ill will.
This is one of our favourite family games and comes out regularly. In fact, we love it so much that we seldom finish a game when we reach 15 points, our girls demand we play until all the cards run out!
Check out our full Splendor review.
1.Machi Koro 2
Play Time: 45 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 10+ we think 7+ / Publisher: Pandasaurus Games / Designer: Masao Suganuma
- Very easy to learn
- Little down time as dice rolls could affect all players
- Cute theme that kids will enjoy
- Players get resources every turn so there aren’t many wasted turns
- Randomised card lay out leads to more replay value
- The synergies between buildings offer some nice strategic choices.
- Random market introduces some luck for card availability.
If you’re the kind of Monopoly fan that loves the thrill of dice determining who gets paid and still want property to be the focus, then Machi Koro 2 is probably for you. This is a far more streamlined game than Monopoly, there is no board to worry about, the game is essentially a large deck of cards, dice, and coins.
In Machi Koro 2 you are creating a city full of buildings that will generate the money you need to build prestigious landmarks. The first player to construct three landmarks in their city wins!
As you add bakeries, cafes, shopping centres and other buildings to expand your city you will be able to gain income from the relevant dice rolls. Each building will trigger on a certain dice roll and grant you a benefit, sometimes this means taking money from your opponent, sometimes from the bank. The strategy here is all about deciding which numbers you want to target and using building synergies effectively.
The game play is refined and improved from Machi Koro making it the version to get if you’re keen to get a copy. Machi Koro 2 gives you all the great stuff Monopoly has to offer but wraps it up in a quirky theme and some far more streamlined gameplay. This game is so simple, younger players will have no trouble grasping the rules in minutes. A fantastic family game for Monopoly lovers.
Check out our full Machi Koro 2 review.
Once you have tried some of the games in this article you might get the itch to keep branching out beyond Monopoly and Monopoly-like games. Great news we have plenty of resources to help. A good place to start is by checking out our beginner’s guide to board gaming.
We hope you have enjoyed our Games Like Monopoly article. If you have any more questions or just want to share your thoughts, please leave a comment below, or get in touch through our contact page.
About the Authors
We are parents who love board gaming. We have three children and have been enjoying board games as a family ever since we had our first child. We share our real unbiased experiences and opinions on board games so you can decide if they are right for your family. We also write guides and articles to help you get the most out of your family game time.