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Best Simulation Games

Simulation video games aim to create play around closely simulated real-world activities. This could be a battlefield, landscape, motor racing, farming, flying or just a kitchen.

The novelty is that you are not only playing a game but interacting with complex systems modelling the real-world in some way. This opens the door for creative and inventive approaches to succeeding in the game. It also provides the player with an open-world in which to spend time simply experiencing the simulation.

Almost any game can offer a simulation experience as this can combine with most genres to skew gameplay in a more realistic and open direction. This can mean that players enjoy a particular game not because of the shooting or racing but because it's a chance to spend time in a simulated world or system they enjoy.

From an educational and experiential perspective, a simulation game offers an entirely new way to learn and understand the world. Rather than a cold or external understanding of how things work, this offers an embodied experience of a system as the player moves and interacts with the simulation from within.

DetailsGenre Details

Era: 1989 - 2023
Total Games: 498
Total Likes: 8,118
 

 

Flower

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-11 year-olds

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Open World, Race and Simulation

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: That Game Company (@ThatGameCompany)

Players: This is a single-player game

Control the breeze blowing across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle to control the breeze soon turns into a...

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Steel Wool Studio (@SteelWoolStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games with jump scares rather than blood and gore. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the...

Sea of Thieves

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 20/03/2018

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Play, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Rare Ltd (@RareLtd)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 24-player online game

Sea of Thieves is an online game where you are a pirate searching for treasure and adventure. Cast into a large open sea you work with other online players to crew your ship and find treasure. The game has a main story but really focuses on creating...

Teardown

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: Tuxedo Labs (@TuxedoLabs)

Players: This is a single-player game

Teardown is a strategic game where you plan and execute a heist in a fully destructible environments. Your objective is to claim the key cards that are hidden around the map. However taking one triggers the alarm, giving you only sixty seconds before...

Subnautica (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World, Simulation, Stealth and Strategy

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Unknown Worlds (@UnknownWorlds)

Players: This is a single-player game

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Everything

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: David Oreilly (@DavidOreilly)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in between.

Mini Metro

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/01/2015

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Genres: Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Dinopolo Club (@DinopoloClub)

Players: This is a single-player game

Create an ordered, efficient underground train system. It sounds like hard work, but the simple Tube-map visuals, calm music, and streamlined interactions make this relaxing, like sudoku. Dip your toe in this strategy challenge and keep the system...

The Long Dark

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hinterland Games (@HinterlandGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Terraria

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 25/11/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Terraria Logic (@Terraria_Logic)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 8-player online game

Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser, version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block building game. To the world-crafting and survival it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...

Stardew Valley

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Concerned Ape (@ConcernedApe)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Price: 22% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Genres: Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 8-player online game

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

Game Builder Garage

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Creative and Simulation

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 1 to 8 players in the same room

Game Builder Garage enables anyone to make video games. Unlike other game makers, this offers in-depth lessons to take you from the basics to advanced techniques. The cute Nodon characters that power the visual drag-and-drop construction, enable players...

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/11/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform, Simulation and Traversal

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Bfod (@Bfod)

Players: This is a single-player game

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a strange game about movement and momentum. You are tasked with climbing a mountain. However, your only means of locomotion is a hammer that can stick to objects and drag you forwards.

Webbed

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 09/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 7 features

Developer: S Bug Games (@SBugGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Webbed is a running and jumping game with a twist. You play a spider who can make webs, swing, climb and all the while create music as she goes. It follows the story of our happy little spider on an adventure to save her boyfriend from a big dumb...

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Dan Games (@Dan_Games)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 5-player online game

Stormworks is an open world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using it's block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken vessels or...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-18 year-olds

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

This game departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and the passage of the sun and moon...

Toca Life: World (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 2-6 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Developer: Toca Boca (@TocaBoca)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Toca Boca, Toca Life, series of games comprise what are essentially toys in electronic form. They build on the Sago Mini games for 6-10-year-old children. Recreating interactive everyday settings like shopping, hospital,...

Biomutant

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/05/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Experiment 1 O1 (@Experiment1O1)

Players: This is a single-player game

Biomutant is an open world role-play adventure game where you play a Raccoon warrior in a large world filled with mutated animals. Exploring this living breathing ecosystem has the feel of Zelda Breath of the Wild, but in a broken down steampunk...

Tracks The Train Set Game

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Creative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Whoop Group (@WhoopGroup)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is a digital version of wooden toy train sets, without the costs of buying more and more track pieces. You build your toy train set and towns and then jump into the driver's seat and drive the train, seeing your toy world to scale. It's a very...

Welcome to Bloxburg (Roblox)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 01/11/2014

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Developer: RBX Coeptus (@RBX_Coeptus)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 100-player online game

Welcome to Bloxburg is a simulation Roblox game where you take on daily activities in a fictional city. Drawing on gameplay from The Sims, you care for your character and keep their mood positive, by building and customizing your house, learning skills...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-10 year-olds

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Price: 55% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Us Two (@UsTwo)

Players: This is a single-player game

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

Raft

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 23/05/2018

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Redbeet Official (@RedbeetOfficial)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 2-player online game

Raft is a survival game where you work to build a raft while stranded at sea. You start the game on a small raft with only a hook made of old plastic, with which you use to pull in floating barrels and planks of wood.

Townscaper

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Web, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Genres: Creative and Simulation

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Osk Sta (@OskSta)

Players: This is a single-player game

Townscaper is a town building toy. You pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 01/04/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Fighting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Landfall Games (@LandfallGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (know as TABS) is a fighting game where you choose different armies and troops to battle each other in an automatic simulation that models their offensive and defensive abilities. Once setup, the fight is largely...

Ark: Survival Evolved

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Price: 33% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Survivetheark (@Survivetheark)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 70-player online game

This game offers hunting-and-harvesting gameplay in a primal setting. Although not as polished or streamlined as a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a more ambitiously open world where you can choose your own way to survive. With crafting and...

Bugsnax

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 12/11/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Young Horses (@YoungHorses)

Players: This is a single-player game

Bugsnax is a whimsical adventure where you track, trick, catch and eat anthropomorphic food in all shapes and sizes. But as you do, you literally become what you eat. It's silly puzzling fun from the creators of [link to game/Octodad+Dadliest+Catch...

Hot Lava

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 19/09/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Action, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Klei (@Klei)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Hot Lava is a running and jumping game where you mustn't touch the floor because it's covered in lava. It takes the childhood playground game online as you work to cross nostalgia-filled maps on your own or with other players

Islanders

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 04/04/2019, updated in 2021

Price: 25% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Grizzly Games (@_GrizzlyGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Islanders is city-building game where you carefully place structures to earn points from their geographic location and relation to other features and buildings on your islands. Earn enough points and you unlock new buildings and eventually the chance to...

Slime Rancher (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/10/2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Monomi Park (@MonomiPark)

Players: This is a single-player game

Slime Rancher is a farming simulation with a difference. Rather than chickens, sheep or cows, you farm slimes. You explore the open world from a first-person perspective to find and collect slimes. As you develop your farm in numerous ways you generate...

Endling

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 19/07/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: Herobeat Studios (@HerobeatStudios)

Players: This is a single-player game

Endling is an exploration platform game where you struggle to survive. It's a game about extinction with a strong ecological conscience. You are the last fox on earth, trying to survive a world ravaged by the human race.

Spiritfarer

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Thunder Lotus (@ThunderLotus)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Spiritfarer is a boat building exploration game. Unusually though, you play Stella, ferry master to the deceased and the boat you manage takes them to the next life.

Astroneer

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 16/12/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: SES dev (@SES_dev)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Astroneer is an open-world space adventure where you colonize planets by creating habitable structures, farming and mining resources. There is no specific story, although the challenges of each planet give rise to struggles of achievement to placate the...

Stranded Deep

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 21/04/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Beam Team Games (@BeamTeamGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Stranded Deep is a survival game set in the Pacific Ocean. Taking a cue from films like Cast Away, you survive a plane crash and face life-threatening scenarios in a large open world. As the weather and time of day changes with the hours, you explore...

Thousand Threads

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 30/07/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 36 features

Developer: Threads Game (@ThreadsGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

Thousand Threads is an open world game of consequences. You are free to interact with the world, animals and people however you like, give, take, save, kill, inform, hide, befriend, betray. But how you do this will have ongoing and unavoidable...

Pikmin 3

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/10/2013, updated in 2020

Price: 28% off

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Genres: Action, Fighting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Monolith Soft (@MonolithSoft)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Pikmin 3 Deluxe is the latest in a series of puzzle games where you direct hordes of titular plant-like creatures to navigate garden locations. Different colour Pikmins have different abilities so the challenge is to get enough of the right ones to...

Boomerang Fu

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 13/08/2020

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Simulation

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Boomerang Fu (@BoomerangFu)

Players: You can play with 1 to 6 players in the same room

Boomerang Fu is a fighting game where you control small food-like characters. Using your boomerang the aim is to slice the other players with ranged or melee attacks. You can use a large range of power-ups such as: explosive boomerangs, disguise and...

Portal (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 2-player online game

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of...

Satisfactory

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 19/03/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Coffee Stain (@Coffee_Stain)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Satisfactory is a factory building set on a foreign planet. Like the popular Tycoon and Factory games in Roblox, you start with humble beginnings, you harvest what you can by hand but steadily you build a sprawling empire of automated harvesting...

The Eternal Cylinder

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 30/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: The ACE Team (@TheACETeam)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Eternal Cylinder is a strategy game where you survive by evolving your creatures to adapt to the environment. Your herd explore a strange world filled with exotic lifeforms and environments. All the while a menacing firey cylinder rolls towards you.

Freddy Spaghetti

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 15/12/2020

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Simulation

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Ratalaika Games (@RatalaikaGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Freddy Spaghetti is a running and jumping game. But you play a piece of spaghetti rather than a person. The game simulates the pasta’s physics as you use two trigger-buttons and a joystick to steer the main character across a wide variety of levels,...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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