15 Best Nuke Simulator Games

Video games have always thrown in some fictional weapons to unleash havoc against your enemies. From the BFG 9000 to the Hammer of Dawn, every once in a while, a video game will throw in a weapon to give players that desperate edge they need to take out hostile forces. However, some of the more scary weapons in video games are the ones mimicked from real life such as the infamous nuke.

Nuclear weapons can clear out massive areas from the fireball blast, thermal radiation, ionizing radiation, and residual radiation creating a zone that makes it toxic to step into. For this list, we’re going to highlight some of the best video games that put players into control of a nuclear weapon.


#15 Fallout 76

Platform : PC, PS4, Xbox One

Release Date : November 14, 2018 

Genre : Action role-playing 

Fallout is a massively popular video game franchise as it continues to throw players into an in-depth RPG set years after a nuclear war has leveled the world’s civilization. While the video games have mainly just been single-player narrative-focused experiences, Bethesda opted to bring out something drastically different with Fallout 76. Instead of a single-player narrative, players are given an MMO where players are part of a Vault 76 survivors that are tasked with clearing up the world and rebuilding it.

As a result, players can build up their unique settlements while venturing out into the wasteland with other potential players wandering around, taking on quests, or battling against hostile enemies. The Fallout franchise general plays a lot on nuclear blasts and weapons which we’ll dabble a bit more about later in this list. With that said, there is a bit more to Fallout 76 with players being able to set off nukes within the online game world. While there are several different means of acquiring nuke codes to set off these weapons of mass destruction, the main reason for denoting these explosions is the fact that the in-game world from where the blast is denoted will offer higher-level enemies to roam around which will include better drops for players to collect.

#14 Balance of Power

Platform : Macintosh, MS-DOS, Windows 1.0, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIGS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98

Release Date : September 1985

Genre : Strategy 

Balance of Power is based around the cold war era between the United States and the Soviet Union. Released back in the 1980s, players can still find some enjoyment out of this game. As mentioned, players are picking off the two sides and from there each turn represents a year. However, during that year, the players are presented with a series of events in which they will need to decide what action to take in order to resolve the different issues. The problem is that some of the decisions could make things tenser with the opposing country or help ease tension. If things get too tense then this could lead to a nuclear war between the two, ending the game.

#13 Rise of Nations

Platform : PC, OS X

Release Date : May 20, 2003 

Gold Edition

October 28, 2004 (PC)

November 2004 (Mac)

Genre : Real-time strategy 

Rise of Nations was first released back in 2003 but it’s since been put out through the likes of Steam giving players the ability to pick this game up once again. In Rise of Nations, players are going through different ages of history. It’s a very strategic game as you build up your civilization, find resources, continue to research for upgrades, and supply your territory with an army. As you continue to progress, those that put an effort in keeping their territory built up, thriving with resources and a strong army will be able to conquer. Of course, as you continue to progress players can slowly build up their nuclear arsenal as well giving a strong fist to dominate your enemies when the time calls to strike.

#12 Outrider

Platform : PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, XSX|S

Release Date : April 1, 2021

Genre : Third-person shooter, role-playing 

Outrider.org is a website that gives players the ability to launch a simulated nuke anywhere in the world. You could simulate a nuke going off in big cities or even your backyard. From there you get a feed of data showing the outcome of the nuke. From how far the damage would go, how many lives it would hit, and a more detailed breakdown of the bomb radius. Players would be able to see how far out the fireball blast would be to the radiation zone. This simulates the current bombs that we know of in the military, but players can go back to more primitive weapons as well to see the differences from more outdated weapons to current standards. There’s no real gameplay here, but it’s a neat simulator if you’re after more comprehensive information regarding the aftermath of a bomb drop.

#11 World In Conflict

Platform : PC

Release Date : September 18, 2007

Genre : Real-time tactics, real-time strategy 

There’s plenty of media highlighting the cold war and what could have happened. It was a tense period between the United States and the Soviet Union, where each had their forces armed and ready to go. In World In Conflict, this game dabbles into the idea of the Soviet Union unleashing a surprise attack as they invaded different countries in an attempt for power. This leads to the United States leading an attack to fight back and take out the Soviet Union. Overall, this is a real-time tactics game for players to enjoy as they battle against different areas of the world in what would be considered World War III. As you can imagine, as players progress through the game and are rewarded points to spend on different attacks. Sending out nuclear strikes is in the realm of possibilities.

#10 Civilization Series

Platform : Amiga, Atari ST, SNES, PC, Linux, Mac OS, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, iOS, Android, Nintendo DS, N-Gage, Windows Phone, Facebook Platform, PS Vita

First release Civilization September 1991

Latest release Civilization VI October 21, 2016 

The Civilization series is a huge hit with fans. This turn-based strategy game first got started back in 1991 and its latest installment was released just a few years ago in 2016. Fans enjoy the strategy of building up their civilization, working with others, and fighting off opposing factions when diplomacy fails. As players build up their civilization, research technologies, and stack their armies, there’s the ability to unleash hell through a barrage of nuclear attacks. Although, there is some strategy here as well since you will want to hit a target to do enough damage to the country defenses. With that said, when a player begins their assault and launches their nuclear missile, it will land down and completely demolish an area, but you will want to take note of the opposing side’s capabilities as you very well could find nuclear missiles being unleashed on your territories.

#9 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

Platform : PC 

Release Date : October 25, 2000 

Genre : Real-time strategy 

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is a real-time strategy game that launched back in 2000. It’s a game that also follows two factions, the Soviets along the Allies as they are up in arms for power. Based loosely on an alternative Cold War setting, players are battling against each other through the means of taking out enemy bases. Like most RTS games, players are building up their resources which are done by obtaining money. To obtain money, players can sell off their buildings within their territory or they could secure mining trucks that will gather precious gems and ores. This would allow players to build up their armies, establish new bases, and bulk up their defenses along with their offensives. One of the aspects that fans tended to like about Red Alert 2, in particular, is the fact that each side had its pros and cons. For instance, the Soviets were able to produce better heavy attacks with the likes of advanced rocket launchers or tanks while the Allies thrived in naval warfare. Still, both sides could make use of nuclear weapons to launch at their enemy.

#8 Fallout 3

Platform : PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Release Date : October 28, 2008 

Genre : Action role-playing 

The Fallout franchise in general has plenty of moments dealing with nuclear attacks. After all, the games pick up after a nuclear fallout around the whole world giving players a struggle to make their way out of protected vaults underground and live much of a normal life on the Earth’s surface. With a giant wasteland full of radiation areas and toxic mutated creatures, there’s no telling just what you’ll come across with topside but it’s that thrill of the unknown and uphill battles is that have players diving into these RPGs releases. With that said, Fallout 3 has some moments for players to use nuclear weapons. For instance, there is a perk that players can unlock in the Fallout 3 Broken Steel add-on, called Nuclear Anomaly. Here players will erupt into a massive nuclear explosion when their HP hits 20 or less. Likewise, there’s the infamous quest called The Power of the Atom that allows players to either disarm an atomic bomb that didn’t go off at a local makeshift town or to trigger the bomb and blow the area up.

#7 Fallout 4

Platform : PC, PS4, Xbox One

Release Date : November 10, 2015 

Genre : Action role-playing 

Going off a bit more from the previous entry, Fallout 3, there is the latest mainline installment available today, Fallout 4. Again, similar to Fallout 3, players end up in a vault after a nuclear fallout around the entire world that has players emerging from the underground depths and head out into the open wasteland. While each installment has its narrative for players to go through along with a slew of side quests, these games typically continue playing around with nuclear weapons. In Fallout 4, players can use a weapon called the Nuke. It’s exactly what it sounds, it’s a giant cannon weapon that offers players the ability to fire out nuclear missiles to deal some insane damage to enemies. While using the Nuke is a bit overkill for certain enemies, other mutated beastly creatures can prove to be a necessary opponent to warrant this behemoth of a weapon.

#6 Starcraft Series

Platform : PC, Classic Mac OS, Nintendo 64 

Release Date : PC March 31, 1998 

Classic Mac OS March 12, 1999 

Nintendo 64 June 13, 2000

Genre : Real-time strategy 

The StarCraft series is a game that got its start back in 1998 and over the years it’s received expansions, spin-offs, along with a single mainline sequel with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in 2010. This is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game that has players going against AI in a campaign or facing opposing players. Much like other RTS games, players are actively building up their bases and claiming territory as they prepare to send out attacks against the opposing side. While this game is set in a futuristic world with otherworldly enemies, the power of nukes is still a fan-favorite military weapon of choice when it comes to clearing out an enemy’s base. Players can build up a nuclear silo and can fire it out although depending on the video game you’re playing either StarCraft or StarCraft II, players may have to sacrifice supply resources to send out a nuke.

#5 War Thunder

Platform : PC, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S

Release Date : December 21, 2016 

Genre : Action, vehicular combat, combat flight simulator

War Thunder is a popular vehicular military game in which players join in and fill out opposing sides with aircraft or tanks. It’s a pretty established free-to-play video game, but did you know that the developers added the ability to use nukes. It’s available through the arcade mode which players are forced into acquiring fifteen bomber points. After you accumulate the number of points required, players can fly in with an aircraft carrying the nuke in which you’ll have to attempt at getting within a zone which requires some quick maneuvering, but if you manage to get into the zone, you can drop the bomb clearing the area out.

#4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Platform : PC, PS3, Xbox 360, macOS, PS4, Xbox One

Release Date : PC, PS3, Xbox 360 November 10, 2009, / macOS May 20, 2014 

Campaign Remastered

PS4 March 30, 2020

Xbox OnePC April 30, 2020

Genre : First-person shooter 

The Call of Duty franchise always has a strong online community of players with each installment and with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the competition brought out a hidden killstreak for players to strive for. The hidden killstreak was the Tactical Nuke, which ended up being an unlockable killstreak in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It’s not an easy killstreak to get as it requires 25 consecutive kills. When a player manages to get the killstreak, a nuclear warhead shows up on the player’s screens with a sound alert going off. This will result in a bomb being dropped and giving the victory to the team with the player triggering this killstreak. With that said, if it’s a free-for-all game mode then even if a player manages to get the killstreak, the game win is still awarded to the player with the most amount of kills.

#3 Mercenaries 2

Platform : PC, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360

Release Date : August 31, 2008 

Genre : Action-adventure 

The Mercenaries franchise was a bit of a hit as it put players into a third-person shooter set in an open-world environment. Players were taking the role of mercenaries, helping different factions out with their needs, and you could bring in your weapons or vehicles by ordering them through the in-game market. Included in that marketplace is a nuke but it’s only available for players who have completed the game and started back up. If you save up enough in-game currency, which is $1 million then you can purchase a nuke and wreak havoc in the city. Unfortunately, the franchise only saw two installments with the third game being canceled along with the development team behind the original two installments, Pandemic Studios, being shut down.

#2 ICBM

ICBM is a real-time strategy video game that is based around a fictional world war. Players take control of a continent where your goal is to build up your arsenal of nuclear mass destruction weapons to use against everyone else. It’s a strategic race to annihilate all the opposing groups before they flatten your nations. This is done through a wide range of strategies from researching new weapons or building upon already established weapons. From there, you will need to start building up your arsenal and defenses for both missiles, aircraft, and even naval divisions. Likewise, it’s a game where players are needing to ensure that they know where enemies are starting to store their goods so you know just where to hit the most while keeping your weapons hidden or well-protected. Best of all, there are a few different means to play with others on here as outside of single-player gameplay, you’ll find online competitive games with other players or you could go through a game in teams.

#1 Defcon

Platform : PC, Mac OS X, Linux

Release Date : PC 29 September 2006

(Steam) 26 March 2007

OS X 19 April 2007

Linux 11 December 2012

Genre : Real-time strategy 

Going off on the last point made, another solid entry to a real-time strategy game is Defcon. It’s a game that puts players in control of a commander secured in an underground bunker. With only an old computer to see what’s going on above, players are mainly fighting a war where the winner is just the group that managed to lose the least in terms of its population. This is one of the games that are simplistic yet rather terrifying. Within this game, players take the role of a region and from there they will slowly build out their forces. Afterward, it’s all about knowing when and where to strike, if you strike first but too early then the counter-strike may prove to be game-ending. Likewise, being a game where every region is for themselves, it’s a tense build-up as slowly you go from simple attacks using naval and air forces to full-on nuclear missiles, destroying regions and their citizens in the process.