Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. 84
    Tropico 3 combines a very good city building game with an intriguing political game.
  2. Playing a banana republic dictator in Tropico 3 might not be easy, but it certainly is rewarding.
  3. Tropico 3 has all the depth you could want, but presents itself in a fresh light that emphasizes fun without coddling the player. If you have any interest in playing out a dictatorship fantasy, this is as good as it gets.
  4. Gamers should find that Tropico 3 is one of the better city-building RTS games to come out in a while, and although it may not be much different from its predecessors and its online "features" don't amount to more than social media "lite," what it does offer is simply solid and polished gameplay.
  5. The expected sandbox mode complements Tropico's excellent campaign, and it's exactly what you'd expect. [Nov 2009, p.112]
  6. 80
    Tropico 3 is an enjoyable city simulator that offers the same sort of replayability that others of its kind do; this one just emphasizes experimentation with moral behavior rather than perfecting a building grid. Outside of the refined graphics and Latin soundtrack, it doesn't reach too far beyond the original Tropico. But that's fine with me, as it was the best of its kind since the original SimCity.
  7. And, of course, there's the music. Which, as we've already is discussed, is awesome. The fight to have this music piped through every PA, loudspeaker and radio station in Britain begins now. Viva la revolution.
  8. Tropico 3 is nothing particularly special in concept — it's basically SimCity in a bunch of fictional Cuba-like nations. The historic incidents and your handling of them, combined with small touches like avatars and online functions, make for a fun and distinct experience.
  9. 75
    Tropico 3 beats the hell out of history books, and strangely, most games of its kind. I only wish that the soundtrack had more tunes. And that I could have the DJ shot. God, I can't stand that guy.
  10. Tropico 3 goes back to the origin of the series, offering the same mechanics of the first episode with a full 3D engine, a 15 mission campaign and a lot of things to do.
  11. Overall, Tropico 3 is a fine city management game, provided that you don't mind that it's essentially just Tropico with a modern game engine.
  12. Beyond that, Tropico 3 is a fantastically addictive single player game that will have you up until the wee hours of the morning — who knew a Castro sim could be so much fun?
  13. Good looking and well played, fun and very hilarious, Tropic 3 has almost every ingredient to be considered a classic within its genre.
  14. Tropico 3 definitely shines out as a polished, well designed example of management simulation. While the campaign itself is a little short, the real appeal is in establishing your own personal benchmarks, beating other players’ scores online and earning in-game accolades through achievements.
  15. Tropico is as vibrant and capricious as the setting, and never dry or formulaic in the way that other management games can tend to be. [Christmas 2009, p.106]
  16. Tropico 3 is a well-designed sim with just the right balance of complexity and micromanagement. It looks good, it sounds good and playing it just might teach you something. How many games can you say that about?
  17. The tongue-in-cheek Cold War-era humour is preferable to Cities XL's hard-faced exterior, but Haemimont's skill in masking the behind-the-scenes mechanisms pales in comparison to Mote Cristo's effort. [Dec 2009, p.118]
  18. The tongue-in-cheek tone of the game almost seems to mock you as much as it mocks the real life despots of the Cold War. If you can shrug that off, you'll find a decent little sim.
  19. Tropico 3 is a great city builder and at the same time an enjoyable and very good-looking RTS.
  20. So here's the deal: If you like sims and have the patience to let things run on their own for stretches of time, you'll probably enjoy Tropico. If you're a Tropico fan from the old days, expect more of the same except with prettier graphics and make your decision based on that. If you're the type of sim player that enjoys building large SimCity style metropolises, Tropico probably isn't for you as you won't be building any San Juans in the game. Lastly, for everyone else, the slow pace of the game and the time it takes to get a working economy will probably try your patience too much.
  21. A good-looking, surprisingly deep, charming city-builder. Lots of good ideas that make intuitive sense. More than worth the price of admission.
  22. With the game available from retailers now for $10-$15 less than most newer releases, it’s definitely a great way to unleash your inner dictator.
  23. Tropico 3 is what the second part of the series wanted to be: a great game! Good graphics and the nice music plus the trade and political system make it to an amazing experience!
  24. Tropico 3 is a good game even though similar to the first episode (played eight years ago). There are some improvements, but is very similar than the first episode. Despite it, Tropico 3 is an exciting game that requires you a good dedication.
  25. By putting away the lessons of the creepy second chapter, Tropico returns to its origin, and entertain the player with deep strategy and a hilarious social parody.
  26. Brings the political and economical facets of running your own little island to life with vivid colors and tropical music. The game also adds a lot of humor and stays true to the original game.
  27. One of the few successful attempts to mix politics and gaming is far more entertaining than you'd think.
  28. Tropico goes back to its roots with a new developer which has reproduced the most noticeable and fun elements of the first Tropico, merging the typical city management options with politics and social planning, which makes this a very interesting and engaging game.
  29. Nothing but a copycat of the original Tropico game comes with small arrangements like a road building system or 3D visuals. Yet it is a catchy and reliable “dictatorship” game. [Nov 2009]
  30. The lack of a competitive online mode also reduces the replay value, although you can compete indirectly by getting high scores, and you can even visit other player’s islands.
  31. While it isn’t a perfect game it does manage to come rather close to that mark. If you have a PC that is able to run Tropico there is no reason not to run out and buy the game. It is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
  32. Overall, Tropico 3 is enjoyable for those that thrive on simulator city management games.
  33. As much fun as a day at the beach, but Tropico 3 misses a big boat by not showing you the results of your presidential labours. [Dec 2009, p.108]
  34. A great sense of humor. [Christmas 2009, p.94]
  35. With a reasonable $40 price tag and some solid visuals to go along, this one crosses genres nicely to appeal to both RTS fans and city management-types alike.
  36. Tropico 3 is a difficult, but never an unfair game. Is your financial plan in order, then the political problems will rise on the table, and vice verse. You can never rest and stay on guard for new problems to solve. Before you can solve every problem in the right way you might be a couple of games further. That’s also because of misplaced buttons and options. It is a little downfall on the ‘build your paradise’ game that despite of those small problems, shines like a tropical sun on a usually bright day in paradise.
  37. It's difficult to imagine a better way to adapt this special kind of game in a better way than what Haemimont has done with Tropico 3.
  38. Despite the 3D graphics, Tropico 3 is basically the same game like the first version eight years ago. A lot of things are not up to date, but the mix of politics, economy, development and black humor is ageless. If you liked the first Tropico, you will love the new one.
  39. A really involving little sim. [Christmas 2009, p.78]
  40. The makers of Tropico 3 managed to update the original game while preserving its spirit.
  41. Surprisingly deep city-building sim with lots of neat quirks. [Christmas 2009, p.62]
  42. Whether you have played the prior Tropico titles or not, the blend of politics, construction and economy make this a fantastic game if you can stick with the learning curve.
  43. Those who have already played the first one should not expect anything new in Tropico 3 - the gameplay is almost identical. This is good news for fans, because the original is still a great game, but we would rather have liked to see more innovations.
  44. Tropico 3 is not only a faithful adaptation of a classic idea, it’s also the best game Haemimont has ever made.
  45. A successful and faithful relaunch of the series. Tropico 3 delivers nice graphics, entangling music and a gameplay that makes you feel El President-ish at once! Go buy, or else…!
  46. 80
    Tropico 3 has turned out to be a nice management sim that fans of the genre will love. The gameplay mechanics are elaborate, the economic and political systems are well done and it looks like a charm. The micromanagement can be annoying due to lack of information, but luckily it's never entirely frustrating. Looking for a good sim? Tropico 3 is definitely not a bad choice.
  47. It's manifestly amusing and downright fun, and that's its real strength. [Issue#26, p.46]
  48. Tropico 3’s gameplay hasn’t changed much since the first iteration thus making it difficult for the players to decide whether the new graphics is enough to make want to be El Presidente once again… But if you’ve never played at it before, this is a great chance!
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 41
  2. Negative: 3 out of 41
  1. Feb 11, 2011
    This game is the best city builder ever! The economics are challenging but manageable, the graphics are far better than I expected and its all sent off with a nice dose of latin music. Ok, so you cant be that much of an evil dictator but you can still assassinate people, ban things and do almost anything you want.. The gameplay is fun, and my only real complaint is that you cant completely build your own map. However, its still amazing. Viva El Presidente! Full Review »
  2. Nov 16, 2011
    Addictive, fun, challenging and possesses a great sense of humor, I highly recommend this game, ive had hours upon hours of fun with it. There are many different challenges that can make up a mission or map, you can choose what sort of industry to focus on, there is quite a lot on offer in this game. Full Review »
  3. Oct 18, 2011
    Truly a great modern city builder. I'd say it shares the same level of complexity as Sim City 4. Many complain about its learning curve, but if you play the basic and advanced tutorials, and if you read the first 20 pages of the instruction manual, you should know what you are doing before you even start. It was optimized well for the PC, and the retail copy came with no DRM, so that makes it even better! Full Review »