Do you like dabbling into other careers or hobbies through a video game format? There are all sorts of great simulator-based video game titles that release each and every year. We decided to take a look at the very best available on the latest generation console platforms.
These are some of the best simulator video games that have released within the last few years.
#16 No Place Like Home
No Place Like Home is a farming simulation game that was only released in March 2022 for PC. The game is incredibly cute and relaxing, allowing gamers to play as Ellen Newland. She is a girl who has decided to visit her grandfather on Earth for the very last time before moving to Mars. Despite her big plans, she soon discovers that her grandfather is missing and that his beloved farm has been destroyed. Ellen takes on the job of saving the environment, helping the community, and rescuing the missing animals from the farm, all while searching for her grandfather. No Place Like Home is perfect for anyone looking to kick back and play a good farming simulator, and the great story is an added bonus. This game is available on Steam.
#15 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 the game 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.
#14 The Sims 4
The Sims franchise has maintained a strong following over the decades and the fourth main installment of The Sims was released on the latest generation of consoles. As always, the gameplay still remains around controlling a group of individuals who live in the same house.
As always, players can tweak the household to replicate a design that they particularly enjoy whether that be décor to fully rearranging the house blueprints. Outside of the construction element, gamers within The Sims 4 will still be able to adjust the everyday activities of their characters. Likewise, The Sims 4 has received additional expansion packs to help bring in even more content to go through.
#13 Job Simulator
Job Simulator has become a hit online and one of the more recommended VR titles to pick up. With that said, you’re going to need a decent gaming PC with either the HTC Vive or an Oculus Rift 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.
#12 Jurassic World Evolution
If you enjoy building up parks and attractions while managing the business side of things then you’ll want to keep tabs on Jurassic World Evolution. The video game is developed by Frontier Developments who has brought out such classics as the RollerCoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon franchises.
With this release, players are put in control of building their own Jurassic Park where you’ll manage the design of the park and the business aspect of maintaining a successful business.
#11 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.
#10 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 another game we’re going to discuss below, Aven Colony.
#9 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 the 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 have players act quickly at a moments notice.
#8 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.
#7 Planet Coaster
If you enjoyed the past RollerCoaster Tycoon video game installments then you won’t want to pass up on Planet Coaster. This is a management simulator game in which players control a theme park.
Not only will players be able to completely customize the park with rides and decor but you will also manage the behind-the-scenes work that goes into running a park.
#6 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing has been an iconic video game franchise after it really got its start worldwide with the Nintendo GameCube. The video game series is traditionally a social simulator and a very chill gameplay experience. Currently, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest installment to the franchise for the Nintendo Switch with players being put on an island that they can clean up and attempt to bring in newcomers to enjoy the scenery.
The game also plays on players traveling to other players island, mimicking the time of day, and featuring several events. As a result, the game will receive plenty of updates. For those that are more interested in sitting back and enjoying some more relaxing gameplay than we can highly recommend this simulation game.
#5 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 civilian needs to natural disasters wrecking sections of your 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.
From the developers who delivered This War of Mine to the masses in 2014 comes their latest release, Frostpunk. If you’re familiar with This War of Mine, you’ll find that Frostpunk shares some strong similarities, one of which is toying with the player’s moral compass.
Within the game, players are left having to control a city of civilians who is seeking refuge from the harsh cold temperatures within the world. Being one of the few cities built around a heat source, players will have to strategize on how to handle various issues that may come up.
The game will force players to seek out resources and build up the city. However, gameplay will soon become a balancing game when it comes to pulling resources together in order to fight off problems that may affect the health and safety of the city inhabitants.
#3 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, and 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.
#2 Kerbal Space Program
Kerbal Space Program puts players in control of a space station facility where your sole purpose and duty is to create functional ships for a crew of Kerbals. With a wide 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 through trial and error.
There are a few game modes within Kerbal Space Program that are worth trying out. Not only is there a sandbox mode that will give players the ability to be creative 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.
#1 Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft has delivered its Flight Simulator franchise since 1982. That’s decades’ worth of video game titles released and while the series has been a bit dormant, Microsoft opted to unveil a new installment coming in 2020 during their E3 2019 press conference. If you already know about the franchise then you can expect more of the same with this new installment but with a visual overhaul.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, this is a simulation video game where players take control of an aircraft. It’s a highly detailed simulator where players will fly to select destinations all while going about the variety of controls for each aircraft.
In this game, players can fly anywhere in the world as data will be used from Bing Maps to generate the various pathways along with environmental aspects like trees and wildlife. There is a ton of players actively seeking not only this game but hardware accessories such as flight sticks to other control modules.