From controlling cities to transportation railways, the PlayStation 4 has a number of great simulation video games to enjoy right now. We’ve selected some of our personal favorite simulation video games on the console.
With that said, we want to know your favorite simulators on the PS4 and titles to consider for a future update to this article. Let us know your favorite video game simulators by leaving a comment down below. Likewise, because this list is pretty diverse with the different video games we did not rank these in any particular order.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the best PlayStation 4 simulation video games.
#20 Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 & 2
Tony Hawk Pro Skater has never been a realistic simulation game. It’s more of a less an arcade game, but at the same time, it would be amiss not to at the very least mention Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 & 2. The remakes of the first two Tony Hawk Pro Skater games bring the franchise back to its roots and thankfully it’s done incredibly well. Let’s be honest here, the past few Tony Hawk video games were letdowns but this iteration offers gamers a look back to the past installments and levels with a massive overhaul.
Graphically it’s a great-looking game and the gameplay mechanics feel more or less the same, but the developers obviously gave a slightly more modern twist. The result is a fast and more aggressive Tony Hawk game. You’ll be able to pull off some great combo tricks, skate with friends, attempt to unlock various in-game content such as hunting down all the skate letters. Additionally, there is not only a slew of iconic professional skaters you can take control of but you can also create your own custom skater. Unfortunately, the create a skater option is limiting so don’t go in expect slider options to adjust your body type or facial features.
#19 Project Cars 2
Slightly Mad Studios has had a pretty good track record when it comes to racing games as they got their start in 2009 with Need For Speed: Shift and has continued with a variety of other titles that ranged from more arcade-style racers to simulation games. You likely are aware of the Project Cars franchise as it started in 2015 but has since gone on to receive a sequel in 2017. This is a motorsport racing simulator that features over 100 different rack layouts, 60 unique locations, and nearly 200 cars to pick from.
With a variety of elements playing a factor in racing such as track temperature or dynamic weather effects, playing Project Cars 2 felt even more realistic compared to the first installment. There was even the bonus of featuring off-road driving for those that prefer rallycross. While this is one game that made our list, we may soon see it get traded in for the next installment of Project Cars.
#18 Farming Simulator Series
Farming Simulators always seem to do a solid job within the gaming market. From Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley to the Farming Simulator, there’s certainly a market for these manual labor simulation games. Within Farming Simulator, players will experience more of a modern feel of being a farmer.
Players will work on hundreds of acres with over 250 farming vehicles and equipment. Within the game, you will tame the ground to bring out a healthy harvest of crops while also taking care of the various livestock on their farm. Likewise, a big portion of the game will be selling your goods to help expand your land and equipment.
#17 The Sims 4
The Sims franchise has maintained a strong following over the decades and the fourth main installment of The Sims happens to be the latest. As always, the gameplay still remains around controlling a group of individuals who live in the same house.
Players can also tweak the household to replicate a design that they particularly enjoy whether that be décor to fully rearranging the house blueprint. Outside of the construction side of things, gamers within The Sims 4 will still be able to adjust the everyday activities of their characters.
Likewise, The Sims 4 has received four expansion packs to help bring in new content for players to include in their designed homes along with adjusting gameplay aspects such as the introduction to the toddler life stage into the game which was previously dropped before launch.
#16 Cities: Skylines
Cities: Skylines may not have been developed by EA Maxis, but it’s certainly what most of its players and fans of the simulation/tycoon genre would consider being the true successor to the Sim City series of games.
Similar to the Sim City series, Cities: Skylines is a simulation title in which players can build up and maintain a city, full of buildings and civilians. The game will put gamers in control of various zoning’s, road placements, taxation, transportation, and even public services.
Of course, the game will throw players a few problems as well. This could be as simple as focusing on desires from your civilians to natural disasters wrecking sections of the city. Much like The Sims 4, Cities: Skylines have also received a number of expansion packs.
For instance, the Mass Transit expansion pack introduced new transit systems into the game such as cable cars and blimps along with a mini-expansion called Concerts which allowed gamers to bring in new event venues for concerts and festivals.
#15 Kerbal Space Program
Kerbal Space Program puts players in control of a space program where your sole purpose and duty is to create functional ships for a crew of Kerbals. With a collection of parts that will play an effect through the build of a spacecraft, players will learn how to successfully develop a spacecraft capable of going into space and landing back down to Earth.
There are a few game modes that are worth trying out. Not only is there a sandbox mode that will give players the ability to be creative and consistently conduct trials and errors of various spacecraft build but also modes that will give players objectives and missions while traveling through space.
With a realistic physics engine, crafting a spacecraft can be a challenge. Each part will need to be carefully placed which may mean playing around with your crafts for quite some time until they are fully ready for action.
#14 Prison Architect
Prison Architect is a construction and management simulation video game. Players are in total control of designing a private prison used to host several inmates. This is a top-down 2D video game where not only players are tasked with designing and building a prison, but to also manage the facilities.
Some of the management processes will include hiring staff such as a warden, guards, along with other workers to keep the prison, neat, orderly and maintained. Furthermore, players can adjust their prison to include a reform program to help with a prisoner’s rate of success when leaving.
#13 Tropico 5
The Tropico series has always put players in control of a country with an emphasis on being a government simulator. Within the game, players will go through four different eras while Tropico tosses a number of objectives to complete.
As the leader of a country, gamers will have to handle various aspects from maintaining the order of the countries people to bringing bliss and prosperity. However, if you’re not looking to go through a campaign or facing against other players, the game does offer a sandbox mode.
Within this sandbox mode, a pre-generated island will be created for players to tweak and control.
#12 Aven Colony
Overall, the narrative around Aven Colony is based on a human colonization of an alien planet. Because of this, there are various hazards you will have to deal with such as freezing night temperatures, alien plagues, and keeping your residents happy.
Essentially, Aven Colony is a futuristic take on something similar to the Sim City franchise. Players will be building a number of structures that will not only help with providing resources to keep your colony well fed and safe, but also a means of entertainment to keep civilians morale positive.
Outside of providing water, oxygen, crops, and electricity, gamers will have to maintain a means of commute, crime control, and employment. As mentioned, the city colony as a whole will have to fight against the various plagues and diseases that will spread across the planet which may mean tweaking how your city is overall built and controlled.
#11 UFC 3
UFC has blown up over the years and fans all over the world tune in to see the various mixed martial arts fighters compete for a belt in this MMA franchise. Likewise, we’ve seen some big household names come up such as Conor McGregor. The video game market may not have a long line of UFC video games to look back on, but the latest entry, UFC 3, is one that has managed to gain quite a bit of attention. Similar to other sports games, each new entry seems to just make some fine adjustments for fans, but UFC 3 feels like a better overall experience.
As you can imagine, there are the usual game modes you’ll find in any fighting game, but where you’ll likely spend most of the time is through the career mode. This is where you’ll make a character attempt to make it big in the UFC. Outside of fighting which feels overall fluid, there are a bunch more aspects that go into your fighter. You’ll have to train in various areas of fighting along with selling the fight itself. This is done through the likes of social media where you can overall just hype up the fight or feud with another fighter.
#10 Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley has been a huge hit that acts very much like the Harvest Moon franchise. This is a farming style simulation title where players take on the role of a character who inherits their grandfather’s dilapidated farm.
Again, much like Harvest Moon, the game will have players tending to crops and their livestock while also introducing craft goods, mining, among other social activities. Since its release back in 2016 the video game became a massive hit and has sold over three million units by the end of 2017. Now the video game is looking to be tweaked for future enjoyment.
For instance, there are plans for a co-operative play which at the time of writing this article, completion of this multiplayer update is coming up in the near future.
#9 Railway Empire
Railway Empire is all about transportation using the railway network. Players will have control of the 40 different trains with the ability to build a railway station and maintenance buildings. Likewise, the game will allow complete control of railway services, but the competition will be thick.
Gamers will need to go against rival railway services which may mean keeping up with the technologies that surround railroads to using various tactics to help attack your opponents business.
#8 PC Building Simulator
The PC Building Simulator had been a hit for not only enthusiasts that enjoy building computers, but newcomers as well. It’s quite a useful tool to help newcomers understand building computers as well. Overall, the game follows players opening up shop and attempting to turn a profit by fixing and upgrading customers’ computers. This is done through email where a client will message in and request certain changes or is uncertain what the problem may be. You then purchase the various parts required and start tinkering away with the computer.
Everything from opening up the case, taking out different components, replacing parts, and ensuring that the work is done before you send out the PC to the customer. Some upgrade pathways can be had such as automatically wiring up the computer rather than plugging each wire into its dedicated port. Furthermore, you can get additional workbenches to work on multiple computers rather than one in a given time.
#7 Elite: Dangerous
If you enjoy open exploration and freedom then Elite: Dangerous may become an interest right from the start. This is a video game developed by Frontier Developments where players will set off on a massive open world experience.
The game starts players off with a bit of cash and a spaceship, the rest is up to you. Players will be able to go on space adventures, trade with other players in this open world galaxy, and of course, go head to head in a space combat simulation.
There are a plethora of ways to earn money both legally and illegally in the game. Speaking of, there’s a number of servers which allows for various roleplay. As a result, the game can be quite challenging or a relatively easy experience.
#6 World of Tanks
World of Tanks is an MMO that puts players into the mid-20th century. Overall, the game is an action title that features vehicle combat. Players will be fighting within a variety of tanks that will vary in stats and as players progress within the game, new tanks can be collected to use in online matches. Best of all, the game is available for free to enjoy right now on the PlayStation 4.
#5 Job Simulator
Job Simulator has become a hit online and one of the more recommended VR titles to pick up. With that said, the PlayStation VR is required to enjoy the game. Within the title, players take on the role of a human in a robot driven world.
The game offers a variety of everyday jobs to take on such as a standard office job to a car mechanic or even a convenient store clerk. Regardless of the job, players will have to do various tasks while interacting with the various objects and sets. It’s a fun game for all ages and one of the best early game pick ups you’ll want to cross off when you first purchase a PlayStation VR system.
#4 Jurassic World Evolution
When it come to building and running a park, there are a few different titles available but one of the more unique takes on the genre is Jurassic World Evolution. This is a game developed under Frontier Developments in which players take control of managing a dinosaur theme park.
In a lot of ways, this game is similar to the Zoo Tycoon franchise where players will be choosing out the decor, the live species exhibit and the staff that takes control of it all. The gameplay is easy to understand as well so if you find yourself not enjoying other similar titles that take the city building aspect into some very fine details in order to fully work then you may want to give this game a try.
#3 Planet Coaster
Frontier Developments has been around since 1994 and the studio has worked on several iconic video game titles. One of those classic title hits was RollerCoaster Tycoon and after a decade since its release, the studio opted to make a spiritual successor with Planet Coaster. It’s overall a buffed up version of RollerCoaster Tycoon as you’re thrown in charge of an amusement park where your goal is to make a thrilling park for guests.
Everything from the different customized roller coaster builds to the way your theme park is designed can be tweaked. You can even see where your guests are having the most fun on your rides to ensure that not only new guests will find them enjoyable but take out any of the problematic areas for a new fresh attempt. Likewise, another big area to the game is profit, you’ll need to turn a profit to keep the amusement park running and you’ll have a variety of areas as well to ensure that loans are paid off and you can keep the rides going. These areas include rides, tickets, shops, among other facilities that can sell goods for guests.
#2 Surviving Mars
Within Surviving Mars players will be on the cold red planet where their sole goal is to manage and oversee the colonization of the new world. Of course, there will be some challenges that will come up giving players some tough obstacles to pass through.
This is a city-builder type game as well where players will have to build up their colony and gather resources to maintain their colonization. As a result, the game will have a bit of a strategy element to the gameplay similar to the early point in our list, Aven Colony.
#1 Dirt Rally 2.0
When it comes to racing games there are really two sub-genres. You have your arcade-style titles that are easy to pick up and play. However, there are the more simulation title racers that offer enthusiasts to a particular sport or just racing in general that greatly tweaks the gameplay for a more realistic approach. Dirt Rally 2.0 is definitely part of the latter with players getting a real simulation heavy racing title. This is a game that offers a wide range of rally cars, stages and modes that would be aimed at those who generally love rally racing.
You’re going to find the ability to make tweaks to your car that is aimed at the course you’re dealing with, manage your crew, and simply race to face mostly the time rather than other racers. Codemasters have been around for some time now and they have proven to be a great development studio when it comes to racing titles and it really shows in this game. We’ve already taken a crack at the title and offered our pros, cons along with a few personal opinions in a Before You Buy episode which you can view up above.