When people think of video games, they tend to think of the standard platformers or shooters like “Super Mario Bros.” or “Call of Duty”. While simulation games have been around for decades, they really started to take off during the 2000s and have been growing ever since. From seeing what it would be like to run a farm to flying the largest jets in the world, simulation games have a lot to offer.
Out of all of the simulation games that have been made, though, which ones truly rank among the best? Here are our picks for the five best simulation games and what makes them so special. Some of the honorable mentions include “Roller Coaster Tycoon”, “Animal Crossing”, and “Euro Truck Simulator”.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator has been around since the late 1970s, developed by the owner of the Sublogic Corporation, Bruce Artwick. Players fell in love and 21 million games were sold by 1999 when it was also crowned the best-selling flight simulator by The Guinness Book of World Records. In 2019 it was announced that Microsoft has plans to release a new and improved version of the flight simulator. In 2020 the standard, deluxe, and premium deluxe versions were released for the PC, with the Xbox Series X edition later released in 2021.
Stardew Valley is the wholesome creation of Eric Barone. In the game, you’re responsible for caring for your late grandfather’s run-down farm. Inspired by Harvest Moon, the simulation role-playing game allows you to tend to your farm by growing crops, raising livestock, mining, and foraging. As well as everyday activities such as cooking, chatting up the townsfolk, fishing, and even getting married and having children. The game quickly became a hit for its relaxing and therapeutic gameplay, selling over 20 million copies by 2022. Stardew Valley is playable on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation Vita, and PS4
PowerWash Simulator was developed by Futurlab and first released in 2021 for Steam users. It’s a very straightforward game where you do just that. You’re given a variety of locations and objects to fully clean via your handy dandy power washer. The levels vary in difficulty as well as the size of the projects as you progress in the game. The interesting messes become more difficult to clean, so you’ll need to purchase certain chemicals to aid in the cleaning process. It’s also a good idea to use different nozzles when cleaning a specific surface, or a mess from afar.
“The Sims” has become one of the most popular simulator options as players create an entire living town filled with people and homes while also getting a glimpse into their lives despite speaking a language of gibberish. The newest entry, “The Sims 4” is the fourth addition to the social simulation games, developed by Maxis, then released in 2014 for the PC and in 2015 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The game has since become free to play in late 2022, making most of its money off players’ in-game purchases. Over 36 million players have joined the gaming sensation and spent over $1 billion on copies of the game and expansion packs.
Farming Simulator is a relaxing farm-based simulation game developed by GIANTS Software. It was first officially released in 2008, re-releasing every couple of years with new content, updated graphics, and tasks for players to enjoy. So far over 25 million copies have been sold and it has over 90 million downloads for the iPhone, Android, iPad OS, and Kindle.
“Farming Simulator” allows players to know the feeling of growing crops and operating a farm with top-of-the-line equipment. It’s the ultimate game of relaxation for those of us that live in apartments or condos instead of sprawling farm landscapes.