Railroad Tycoon Review

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Railroad Tycoon

A true simulation classic that you can download and play for free!

Avg. Rating: 4.25 / 5

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DFG Exclusive Review Summary

Average, has some problems & recommended with caution.


  • Trying to become a railroad tycoon and competing against the likes of J.P. Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • The ability to customize railroads and industry give you complete control over the game and your railroad business.
  • The game is a free and fun railroad simulation.


  • Game is difficult to just start. A clear tutorial is not easily accessible.
  • Button use is a struggle (function keys are mainly used and the mouse doesn't move fluidly).
  • Graphics are so pixelated it is difficult to fully see what you are doing




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Game Description

The classic simulation game Railroad Tycoon!

With the recent return of Sid Meier to the Railroad Tycoon franchise, 2K games has decided to give away the wonderful original that started it all.

You'll start with a small (but respectable) amount of seed money. Combine that with your railroad business savvy and you'll soon become the greatest tycoon that the railroad industry has ever seen!


And as your cartel and buying power grows, you'll be able to play the stock market, pushing your competitors out of the way with buyouts or engaging them in all-out price wars! All in all, you'll have to be mighty resourceful and shrewd to become the next Railroad Tycoon.

So, download this classic for free and see if you can retire as a great railroad mogul!

How to get the free full version:

  1. Click our "Download Free Game" link above to go to the 2K Games website
  2. Click the "Downloads" button on their Railroads page
  3. There should be a section that comes up that says "Railroad Tycoon" and a link to "Download". That will get you the full version of the game for free!

Railroad Tycoon Review

Jim Rosenquist Avatar

Review by Dylan

Railroad Tycoon leaves a lot to be desired. This simulation game of engineering and managing a railroad empire has poor gameplay and unclear objectives.

Can Be Hard to Figure Out

The overall point of the game is to build and manage a railroad company through laying track, building train stations, purchasing cars, and scheduling trains. This overall goal is clear, however, the means of doing this are not and the smaller objectives are difficult to figure out. One major goal of the game is to connect cities by train; however, the poor graphics and bad gameplay make it hard to know exactly where cities are in relation to each other, as well as the easiest and cheapest way to connect them. The game in it's core is great; however, the choppy pixelated graphics, unclear button use, and the unknown objectives, make this simulation a constant guessing game.


Some Things Just Aren't Very Clear

As you begin play you are presented with a choice of whether or not to be an investor, financier, mogul, or tycoon. As it turns out this is the game's difficulty setting. This is initially unclear, and once a decision is made, there is no option to change that decision and revert back to the previous page.

This is not the only instance when an “undo” command is unavailable. During game play all decisions are final. There is no second guessing or “messing-up.” Once an action is made, it is made, regardless of whether or not it was intended. This can be a problem because of the game's trial and error nature. Since directions are not clearly spelled-out one must guess to figure out the game. Since “undo” is not possible, starting from scratch and resetting the game seems to be the only option. This makes the game a bit frustrating as one error may lead to starting over.

Build Your Railroad Empire

To begin the game you are given 1,000,000 dollars to start your railroad empire. You must make wise investments in order to make it grow. This may be through spending a lot early in hopes of making a large and quick return, or through more conservative play. As your supply of money increases, your ability to make money also increases. This can be seen in the improved trains you can buy or the larger stations you can send your trains to. Each improvement in some way increases your overall revenue and takes you one step closer to the game's ultimate goal—becoming a railroad tycoon. This goal of becoming a railroad baron is enticing and encourages continuous play.

Though the game may be designed for railroad enthusiasts, the simulation element makes the game appealing to a broad range of people, especially those with entrepreneurial interests. Also, this game being a free download is great. This will provide hours of fun (maybe a little frustration) and it doesn't cost a dime.


Conclusion - Not the Best But It's Free

Overall, the game is not on par with a lot of other simulation games. Figuring out the game can be tiring and the lack of an “undo” button may be the source of a lot of frustration. However, the game's entrepreneurial nature and free download make this a good investment for anyone interested in simulation games or for any casual player looking for a good time. No expertise in the railroad is needed to enjoy this game.

Railroad Tycoon is just a simulation game for the casual player looking for a slight challenge. Play with an understanding that the game may not be the most user friendly and enjoy it for what it is—a free game about building railroads and making money.

Player Reviews

Gameplay Video

Catch a glimpse as a railroad tycoon is built from the ground up.

 Video of game play for Railroad Tycoon


Click Screenshot to enlarge

Railroad Tycoon - Screen 1 Railroad Tycoon - Screen 2

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