Best Zoo Management Games

Management games have been a way to make yourself think and pass the time for years. You can run your own theme park, start a restaurant, lead a sports team to a championship, and even take charge of a zoo. There are many games that put you at the helm of a startup showcasing animals to their patrons.

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You will find yourself starting at the bottom of the food chain. Then you will have to make difficult decisions about which animals to include, where to put amenities such as food and restrooms, and what kind of rates will make your zoo profitable. If this type of game characterizes you, you will be glad to know that the gaming industry is not lacking in the zoo management category.

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8/8 Jurassic World Evolution

Many dinosaurs traverse a body of water in Jurassic World Evolution.

There were a few Jurassic Park games in the past, but Jurassic World Evolution set a new benchmark. It accompanied the start of the latest Jurassic Park movie trilogy and put you in control of your own dinosaur-themed wonderland.

This is a difficult game to learn, as it can be difficult to follow the tutorial and understand the workings of the game. However, it is a very fun time building dinosaur park. Just watch out for any of the creatures escaping and terrorizing your guests.

7/8 Roller Coaster Tycoon 3

An elephant is walking in the garden in the wild!  The expansion for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.

Don’t think too much about the zoo management scenario in RollerCoaster Tycoon. Well, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 has brought animals to its theme park with Wild! It was released in 2005. This included several new attractions, such as entire zoo structures and safari rides.

This was a breath of fresh air for the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise. Instead of creating unfinished journeys that sent visitors to their doom, this Zoo-based expansion kept your focus with a great deal of updates to the core Tycoon formula.

6/8 wildlife park 3

Elephants roam the jungle biome at Wildlife Park 3.

Wildlife Park 3 has made running a zoo as immersive as possible. The information presented to you all the time makes it a real learning experience. Not only are you helpful with the game and its mechanics, but you are gifted with detail and knowledge about the animals in your care.

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It eventually became a bit cramped in content and overwhelming after adding seven expansions. Things like mermaids and dinosaurs were introduced, and what had been a pretty reality-based zoo-running title began to drift into fantasy. Fortunately, you don’t have to use the expansions, so you can enjoy it in its original glory.

5/8 Let’s build a zoo

The zoo is buzzing with visitors as they see the many animal attractions at Let's Build A Zoo.

Let’s Build A Zoo arrived in 2021 on PC and then on consoles in 2022. It’s a top-down zoo management title with fun graphics and somewhat simplistic gameplay. You could spend hours just watching the zoo patrons walk around and try out what you’ve built.

This one stands out above the others in a different way, though. It allows you to splice DNA to create countless new species. Monsters are always on the table with this feature. And you can run your zoo like a mafia boss by extorting partners and visitors and by breaking the law with a variety of activities.

4/8 Zoo Tycoon 2

A chimpanzee sits in his exhibit at Zoo Tycoon 2.

The second entry in the Zoo Tycoon franchise is one of the most acclaimed zoo management games of all time. Introduce level playing style. It makes you feel more like an omnipotent zoo builder than a miserly businessman trying to keep things afloat.

Numerous expansions have given way to a huge list of animals and attractions. You can move along the zoo’s trails and get up close and personal with the displays. While many of the business elements of the first title are still present, this game makes you feel like you’re part of the zoo instead of just running it.

3/8 Zoo dealer

Zoo tycoon herders roam near a fair and merry-go-round in Zoo Tycoon.

The original Zoo Tycoon is an iconic game. The classic title came out in 2001, and even with its retro gameplay and graphics, it remains one of the best zoo management experiences ever. Many believed that it was ahead of its time and still preferred it over the new and improved zoo management games.

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Zoo Tycoon offers you a large amount of ways to play. There is the main campaign where you start your zoo and hope to keep it afloat. There are scenarios that give you certain objectives to complete. It offers a free mode where you can access everything without restrictions. The given content is hard to find in other zoo management games.

2/8 Jurassic World Evolution 2

A T-Rex and other dinosaurs travel through a desert-like biome in an official image for Jurassic World Evolution 2.

The Jurassic World Evolution sequel took everything from the beginning and made it exponentially better. Critics considered it a massive improvement over the original. It features more than 70 dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures, all with different needs for housing and food.

This game has been delivered on a much larger scale. More biomes have been added, Chaos Theory mode allows you to act out moments from the movie franchise, and Campaign mode lets you create your own Jurassic Park.

1/8 Planet Zoo

A tiger emerges from a body of water under a bridge at Planet Zoo.

Planet Zoo is the most realistic and impressive zoo management game available. Its graphics, gameplay, and overall experience are an animal lover’s dream. You can build the zoo to your liking, and you can control an actual character who can walk around, interact with patrons, and complete exhibit-related tasks.

This title is quite complex when you get deeper into it, but it has everything a beginner needs too. Whether you are an experienced zoo management fan or a casual gamer who wants to hang out with some gorillas for a little while, this game is really for everyone.

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