I’d like to suggest the “The Settlers” series. “The Settlers” was released in 1993, “The Settlers 2” in 1996.
I mainly played “The Settlers 2” at the time and it was the very first, real-time city-building / economics game for me. It had great, cute graphics and animations for the time and it was super fun building up your own little economy while avoiding to get overrun by your enemies.
Settlers 1 and 2 were released for MS-DOS. The full series consists now of eight or nine games.
I support this suggestion. Played Settlers 2 as a kid and still do. I recommend taking a look at http://www.siedler25.org so that you can adjust to a bigger resolution and even play online and keep the whole screen for yourself.
Love this game