Best games are the ones you start from scratch and achieve greatness. It’s not a real genre but I would like to address such games as rags to riches.
There are many games like that. But today, I will share with you only the best rags to riches games you can play on PC. Total 20 games can be found on this list that’ll make you start as a poor fellow and become rich by the end of long challenging gameplay.
BEST THIEVING GAMES < Similar genre.
Man, these games are so satisfying. Just ticks the right places in my brain neurons. Anyways, without further delay, I present you the 20 best rags to riches games:
1. Mount & Blade
Mount & Blade is an amazing medieval action RPG franchise and is possibly the best game to experience rags to riches feeling. You can still play the Mount & Blade Warband with Prophesy of Pendor mod. The mod makes the game super advanced. But if you like better graphics and most up to date Mount & Blade, try 2022 release Bannerlord.
So, let’s break down what this game is about. The game set in a nation divided by kingdoms constant waging war with each other. Of course, bandits, looters, raiders, and other rogue warbands roam the world.
You start as a mercenary and fight for gold. At first you have nothing but your sword and your horse. As you progress, you build mercenary warband, recruit man, and acquire wealth. Then maybe, a King will accept your vassalage. When you become a vassal, you’ll be granted a fief to manage. As of late game, you can even become a King yourself.
2. Crusader Kings III
Crusader Kings III is one of my favorite games of all times. It’s a 4K strategy RPG set in medieval times, crusade era to be specific. You simply choose a historical ruler from the start date and try to survive, prosper, and spread your dynasty.
You can start the game as count, duke, king, or even as the emperor. Of course, you shouldn’t start as the emperor of HRE or Byzantine if you want to achieve the rags to riches experience.
Believe me when I say this, starting as a mere count and becoming a high king or even emperor is so satisfying. That’s how I got addicted to Crusader Kings.
3. Sims 4
There is a video game that all family can enjoy! The Sims is the best life simulator game you can ever play. It’s really casual.
You create your sim (avatar) and start in a small house as a young adult. Then, choose a career path, make money, and start a family.
You are dirt poor at the start, obviously. But if you can make right career choices, investments, becoming rich is not impossible. What’s more, you can move to a bigger house, a villa to show off how rich you’ve become. You can even have butlers and maids serving your family!
4. The Guild
Let’s continue with my favorite medieval business management. The Guild is a creating and running businesses simulation with many twists. It has a dynasty building part of it too, which is pretty similar to Sims or Crusader Kings games.
Here is the gameplay. First, you start as a poor farmer who is wanting to start a business in the medieval times. First you start small businesses in the village. Then you make money, expand your businesses, and climb the ranks of citizenship. Eventually, you’ll move your businesses to city streets with more sophisticated manners. City jobs will also open to you. You can become the city guard, judge, or even the governor.
5. Grand Theft Auto
Almost everyone played Grand Theft Auto at some point in their life. It’s one of the most popular video game franchises of all times. You’ve possibly know all about it but still, let me explain.
Grand Theft Auto games are all about becoming filthy rich via criminal activities. Such as exertions, stealing, heisting, killing, and etc. Main protagonists of GTA always start with zero. However, not for long. Because climbing the ranks of the criminal underworld pays a LOT.
6. Medieval Dynasty
After Mount & Blade, Sims, Crusader Kings, and The Guilds, here is another dynasty management game. Well, this is the final one, so, you can relax!
Basically, this game is a village building simulation with dynasty building elements in it. You start as a simple farmer and build your village. In the meantime, you marry and start your own dynasty. When you die, your belongings pass to your heir. What’s more, your skills also pass down. So, from poor farmer to town governor, it’s a long way but super satisfying.
This one is pretty hardcore. You start in a sci-fi post-apocalyptic universe as a drifter with nothing. You can become farmer, mercenary, trader, thief, etc. But be careful, you can literally get robbed, beaten and sold to slavers in the first 5 minutes of your playthrough. What’s more, cannibals can eat you.
On late game, from humble beginnings, you can find companions and start your own settlement.
8. Kingdom Come Deliverance
Best realistic medieval RPG of all times is Kingdom Come: Deliverance, without a doubt. Unquestionably all RPG fans should play it.
The story is pretty generic. In summary, you play as the son of blacksmith. Life’s good. However, invaders storm your village and slaughter everyone out of nowhere. You barely escape. That’s how your story starts. You have nothing and must make a living by selling your sword as mercenary.
9. Pathfinder Kingmaker
Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a party-based RPG, just like Baldur’s Gate 3 or Icewind Dale. What makes it relevant to the rags to riches genre is its story.
As story progress, you’ll conquer new regions and claim them as your own. Basically, you’ll carve your own kingdom from nothing.
The game is not limited on one topic either. You can do many other things such as exploring, dungeon crawling, NPC interactions, and ruling.
Here is a space sandbox to pour thousands of hours. Well, now that I think of it, most sandbox games match with rags to riches phenomena.
Start the game with a single starship. Then work for becoming the Elon or Bezos of galaxy. Many things to do such as exploring, mining, trading, and battling. Work hard! Afterwards, you’ll be commanding fleets and ruling an empire!
11. X4: Foundations
Here is another space game. This is the second and the last one. So, if you don’t like the sci-fi, you can scroll down without worry.
X4: Foundations presents itself as a universe simulation. So, how does it work? Basically, you fly ships and explore the space all while managing an empire.
X4 also lets you explore, trade, fight, and build on a galactic scale. Unlike Avorion, X4 is single player only. Which is much better for those who don’t enjoy competitive MMORPGs.
Hail El Presidente! Tropico is a colony simulation franchise that mixes realism and humor perfectly.
You start the game as a colonial governor of British Empire. Your purpose is to build your colony and later purchase your independence so that you can rule throughout ages all the way to the modern age.
In essence, you go from banana farms to offshore offices.
13. Game Dev Tycoon
Tycoon and job simulation games also match with rags to riches sub-genre. Game Dev Tycoon lets you live the dream of every indie game developer.
Basically, you start in a garage in the early 80s and start your own small game development company. If one or two of your games blow up, you’ll become rich. Moreover, you can invest that money to hire more developers, move to an office, and develop your own game engine and console.
Spore is a game in which you go from bacteria to emperor of galactic empire. Does it fit to rags to riches? Not in cash aspect, that’s for certain. Still, the sense of development from nothing to greatness is what made me include Spore to this list.
Start as a cell, evolve and become a creature. Then, gather tribe, form civilization, and conquer the galaxy.
Even though it’s an old game, people still play and praise Spore because of its uniqueness.
Oh boy, here we go again. Skyrim released more than 10 years ago, and people still play it. That’s how good it is. Though its mostly mods that keeps Skyrim up to date.
Anyway, Skyrim is the perfect example of rags to riches. You don’t start from zero in Skyrim, you start from negative sum. Main character gets caught crossing border illegally and sentenced to death. Luckily gets saved randomly by an unexpected dragon attack during execution.
Now main character has nothing and must make a living in the dangerous world of Skyrim. Oh, don’t worry, by the end of it, you’ll be the grandmaster of 6 guilds, owner of 15 houses, and sitting on numerous artifacts.
Raft is a sandbox crafting adventure game set in an endless open-world ocean. You can play it solo, but it’s really really fun co-op.
Gameplay is pretty basic. You’re stranded in the middle of ocean with nothing but a raft and a hook. Throw your hook and scavenge whatever you can while your raft drafts. So that you can upgrade your raft by crafting all kinds of tools, gadgets, and utilities. Eventually, your raft becomes a luxury yacht!
Minecraft is the most popular game ever; gamers and statistic agree on that fact. So, what is it about? Minecraft is all about building, mining, farming, scavenging, crafting, and exploring.
As always, you start with nothing in Minecraft. You need to collect wood, craft wooden tools, and then mine. Once you have enough resources to survive, you can explore more artistic pursuits. Such as building mansions, villas, castles, villages, pools, gardens, wonders, or whatever. I for myself build my characters golden statue! Talking about rags to riches, that’s how.
A group of people banished to the wilderness by their tribe. They literally have nothing and must make a living. That’s the story of Banished.
So, start with hand full of people and form a village. With enough work, you can form a prosperous town and flourish.
If you like city builder colony sim genre, go for it.
19. House Flipper
House Flipper is a basic job simulation game. You take control of a general contractor who is specialized in buying houses, renovating, and selling for profit. But beware, some houses are literally crumbling.
It’s a fun satisfying game. You buy an old cheap house and turn it into a high value property. Definitely rags to riches.
I mean look at the thumbnail image of House Flipper. It’s a crumbling house, waiting to be renovated and then sold at profit!
20. Barn Finders
Last game on this list is another simulation game. Though this one is a bit different from regular simulations, in a fun way.
You can make a lot of money in Barn Finders as a freelance worker. You partake in storage auctions, bid, and find valuables in boxes. Fans of the reality show Storage Wars will love this game, the game is basically inspired by it.