I recommend Tropico 3 for many reasons:
1. The aim of the game is to rule, and to rule for many years. You have work hard to do just that, managing the economy, maintaining your popularity, evading coups, balancing the factions on the island are a few examples. I enjoyed having to deal with all these.
2. The graphics are nice, I haven't played the earlier versions of the game (the original Tropico or Tropico 2) but this one has nice buildings and landmarks to choose from. The user interface is also well designed (unlike Tropico 4 - see below).
3. The game gives you an objective for each scenario, and you have only so many years to complete that objective. Having a single objective gives you a lot of freedom, you get to decide about other matters on the island.
4. The game has really good music, the tracks certainly fit the 'Tropical' atmosphere.
5. There is a plethora of different scenarios. Although it gets repetitive as you play, the game still has a good replay level.
Comparing Tropico 3 & 4:
So, if you are new to the Tropico series (like I once was), I would recommend getting Tropico 3 instead of Tropico 4. In my opinion, it definitely has a better user interface, a nicer objective system (Tropico 4 keeps giving you objectives - it is, as far as I have seen, endless and boring) and better music. One thing Tropico 3 may be lacking is imports (you can only export goods in T3), which is included in T4, but other than that, T4 is no better than T3, and I think T3 outweighs T4.
Posted: November 25th, 2013