Top 10 Sim Games That Will Hook You For Hours

Feeling bored this year may be an overstatement since there are a plethora of gadgets and recreational activities available. Today’s technology along with the internet has provided us with more than enough entertainment and activities for you to exploit unless you are living in a cave which makes you a caveperson. 

But enough with the lame jokes because today we will be looking at 10 of the best simulation games from five subgenres that will make the word ‘boredom’ obsolete to you.  So, without further ado, let’s jump into our list.

Life Simulation

Life Simulation as the name suggests is focused on nurturing life in the virtual world. This category covers digital pets, god games, social simulations, and biological simulations.

The Sims

The Sims is the most generic example of a life simulation game. In an interview with New Yorker, the game’s developer Will Wright states that the game’s inspiration comes from his personal experience after losing his home in 1991. Coining the game as a virtual dollhouse representing or replacing his possessions after the tragedy. 

The Sims for those new to the game depicts real-world activities in a virtual sandbox platform. Players get to create a virtual representation of themselves that they can manipulate throughout the map.

The Sims grew from a single game to a franchise boasting sequels, expansions, and spinoffs. If you are looking to play the latest entry to the franchise, you can check out The Sims Mobile.

The Sims

The Sims Mobile image courtesy of Games.lol


Spore

Spore is a God game that employs the use of real-time strategy. Published by Electronic Arts in 2008, Spore allows players to evolve microscopic organisms into celestial beings. 

The gameplay is divided into five stages – Cell Stage, Creature Stage, Tribal Stage, Civilization Stage, and Space Stage. Each stage comes with various objectives that the player must complete to progress to the next stage. Spore is available for the PC and Mac OS X.  

Spore


CMS (Construction Management Simulation)

Also known as management or building sim, CMS is a simulation focused on simulating activities in construction, economics, industrial production, government, and sports management. In these games, players will have the ability to build communities, manage factories, govern cities, and become business tycoons.


Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a farm management simulation game inspired by the Harvest Moon series. Players will have the freedom to create a character that they can manipulate to perform various activities like crafting, exploration, cooking, fishing, etc. 

Players can also interact with NPCs and explore procedurally generated caves. Stardew Valley comes from ConcernedApe and is currently the number 1 simulation game on Steam. 

Stardew Valley


Cities: Skyline

Developed by Colossal Order and published by Paradox Interactive, Cities Skyline is like a SimCity game, but on steroids. Players in the game will have the freedom to build and manage their very own cities. 

In addition, they will also have the ability to designate districts, enforce district-specific regulations, and restrict/enforce developments. Cities: Skylines is available for PC, macOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Stadia, and Nintendo Switch.

Cities: Skyline


Sports

Sports games are another subgenre of simulation games that depict real-life sports competitions. Most of these games focus on team sports, track, and field, combat, or extreme sports.

Sports


Football Manager 2022

Football Manager 2022 or FM20 is a sports management game developed by Sports Interactive and published by SEGA for Android, IOS, macOS, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia. 

FM20 allows players to choose and play teams from 53 countries on five continents. The game also boasts a plethora of leagues, a data analyst system, and a meeting, making it one of the biggest and most expansive football management games to date.


Out of the Park Baseball 23 – OOTP 23

The Out of the Park Baseball 23 game is the latest installment of the highly acclaimed OOTP series. Developed and published by Out of the Park Developments, OOTP 23 is the ultimate baseball management simulation that you can get your hands on. 

The game comes with an up-to-date roster of MLB, MiLB, and KBO complete with ultra-realistic player ratings, league rules, and schedules. If you are into baseball, then OOTP 23 is the closest thing that gets you to owning a team.

Out of the Park Baseball 23 – OOTP 23


Vehicle Simulation

Vehicle simulation games are focused on providing an accurate representation of real-world automobiles, aircraft, spacecraft, watercraft, etc. To shy away from the overwhelming number of racing sims out there, our choice for vehicle simulation is purely just that, providing players with a realistic driving experience without the pressures of competition.


Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is a universally acclaimed game developed by Asobo Studio and published by Xbox Game Studios in 2020. The game provides photorealistic visuals complete with real-time weather effects based on real-world data. 

On top of that is the real-time world air traffic incorporated by the game’s Azure AI. Enjoy endless hours of exploring the friendly skies by playing this game on Xbox and PC.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020


American Truck Simulator

Developed and published by SCS Software, American Truck Simulator features officially licensed highly-detailed trucks from the biggest manufacturers on the planet. 

This visually stunning game provides the ultimate trucking experience across the US. Players will have the freedom to explore the US hauling various types of cargo in multiple trailers.

The game also features multiple simulation settings for advanced players and truck enthusiasts. 

In addition to the realistic features is the management element that allows players to buy garages, build a truck fleet, hire drivers, and expand their trucking company. You can get the American Truck Simulator on Steam for a highly discounted price of $4.99.

American Truck Simulator

Other Types of Sim Games

Other types of game simulations include medical, military, and other types of simulations not covered by the other subgenres. Check out two of the best simulation games below that will surely keep you busy for hours on end.


Project Hospital   

Most medical games are too graphic for some players which is why our first choice is more on hospital management. Project Hospital is a medical simulation game developed and published by Oxymoron Games for PC. 

The game provides players the tools necessary to build, manage, and expand their hospital in addition to playing the role of a doctor. Project Hospital features a wide selection of game modes packed with multiple challenges for a reasonable $12.99 price tag on Steam.

Project Hospital


Unity of Command 2

Unity of Command 2 is a military simulation game that combines the intricate strategy-based mechanics of wargames with a simple design. Some of the game’s most iconic features include a dynamic campaign, deep operations, and supply/logistics management. Unity of Command 2 will provide players endless hours of gameplay for $9.99 on Steam.

Unity of Command 2

Simulation vs Strategy

Sim or simulation games are a super-category focused on replicating real-world activities. For over five decades, the genre has evolved from a text-based economic simulation to an ultra-realistic experience rich in elements and features.

Simulation is also closely related to the strategy genre since most modern strategy games employ the use of CMS (construction management simulation). One example is the 4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) subgenre which comes with the basic elements of simulation like resource management and city-building.

Despite the resemblance, 4X titles are not pure simulations since most 4X games are purposely made for competition and domination. Pure simulations, on the other hand, are focused on a specific type of activity.

Simulation vs Strategy

SimCity BuildIt cover image courtesy of EA

One great example is SimCity BuildIt which is focused mainly on city-building and management activities. Although some of the game’s features like the disasters, for example, are a bit exaggerated, the elements of the game along with its core gameplay provide a satisfying simplified simulation version of real-world city management.

To that end, if you are looking for a game focused on high-level strategies primarily on domination or elimination of the competition, then your search should start in the strategy genre. 

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a seamlessly immersive experience with no strictly defined goals, then feel free to choose from the Sim or Simulation games highlighted on this page. 

Images were sourced from Steam except for the ones with captions. 

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