The first Rollercoaster Tycoon was amazing. It gave you almost everything you could want in a theme park building simulator, including some really nicely laid out parks in the ‘story’ mode. The second one took all of that and made it better. Retaining the isometric viewpoint, it added a plethora of new features to make gamers lives easier, and to maximise the fun you could get out of a game. The game was even licensed by Six Flags, giving you access to five of their real life parks which were always fun to make profitable or destroy.
One of the finer features that were added was the scenario editor. It wasn’t exactly perfect, but it did give you a lot of extra cool things to do. You could build a scenario that had an easy enough objective, but the only rides you were allowed were monorails and merry-go-rounds. Or you could have a super tough objective and let players have every single thing researched immediately from the off. It really was good fun creating a set of new and interesting scenarios when the ones that came with the game started to get a little dull.
In terms of theme park management/simulation games, I still don’t think RCT2 has been topped. Though it could happen in the future, I’ll always default to the Hasbro Interactive favourite when I want to terrify the masses of theme park goers.