Reiner Knizia is well nigh a legend in board gaming. He has a doctorate in mathematics and his ludography is too long to list here. Suffice it to say, the man can design a game or two. Or a hundred. In fact, three of his designs, all with auction mechanisms, share a distinction as being some of the best games to feature auctions ever.
The games, sometimes referred to as the Knizia Auction Trilogy are:
Modern Art (1992)
These three games represent a wide representation of auction systems in games. By playing these, all of which are available on the iPad, players can get a crash course in auctions and the tension derived from them. Even better is to play them in chronological order. Each one offers a unique spin on set collection and changing values for items between each auction. This makes the whole concept of value dynamic on every turn and drives much of the game tension.