Perhaps the best Great People in the game, both in terms of power and flexibility, are: Adam Smith (Great Merchant, Industrial Era): +1 Economic Policy slot. That's on par with the bonus from Big Ben or Forbidden City wonders (and stacks with them, letting you have 9 slots, or 10 if you are Greece) James Watt (Great Engineer, Industrial Era): Builds a Workshop and a Factory in an Industrial Zone. +2 production from Factories. If Factories weren't good enough with their stacking effect zone, now you get even more production from them! Raja Todar Mal (Great Merchant, Renaissance Era): Trade Routes get +0.5 gold per district at the destination. Gain 1 Envoy. Most Trade Routes should go to your capital or another well-developed city for production/growth anyway, and it's not that hard to get 10+ Trade Routes by that time (and 15+ by Industrial Era). Don't know if Wonders also count towards the bonus, though.