The city building game genre is a simulation video game that was invented in the last few decades. It is fulfilling gameplay where gamers take the role of town or city planners while acting as the city leader entrusted with the responsibility for the growth and management of the city.
Gamers decide on the placement of buildings and other management efforts like paying worker’s salaries and deciding work priorities.
The game genre has gone through a series of development stages over a few decades. This has resulted in bustling varieties of challenging city building games that bring the best architectural skills in you. While it is not easy to build and maintain a city, it is a great experience and you can have a lot of fun with these games. Cities Skyline is currently one of the best city-building games.
Nonetheless, if you don’t like the graphics or you’re looking for a city building game with a personality that matches your outside the traditional backdrop of Cities Skyline, we have provided in this guide a collection of realistic city building games and sci-fi simulator games that you’ll find interesting.
So, whether your aim is to transform and populate the city again, overcome fresh planets, or conquer the traveler’s threat, you’ll find this our list of the 25 best games like city skylines interesting.
You’ll find from the list a suitable match whether you’re more inclined to hardcore game or you require games with a more subtle challenge suitable for newbies. Already excited and eager to know what the lists are? Let’s go:
Top 25 Best Games Like Cities Skylines
Frostpunk is the city building game like Cities Skylines you can access from your personal computer, Xbox One, or through the PS4 platform. It is a game that would make you ponder repeatedly on your overall morality.
Your task is to live and struggle to survive in a yet to mature ice age while inhabiting a protected city powered with steampunk but which was not finished before the large freeze started. While leading a set of survivors, you work hard to rebuild the city near a gigantic heater that regularly requires petrol to keep your citizens safe and in good health conditions.
Similar to other great survival games, Frostpunk focuses on the management of resources efficiently to maintain the city and ensure its growth. Your key attention is to ensure that you regularly fuel the furnace. Compared to other City-building games, in Frostpunk the focus is more on survival than becoming a ruler. The catch is to engage in a regular change of actions to make your populace happy. At the same time, you must keep refilling the city’s food stock.
Just like other apocalypse games, Frostpunk is not a carefree city building game. While you roam the difficult tundra, you can hardly escape death. Besides, you need to take lots of hash decisions to maintain the city.
So, your concentration is more on creating rules to maintain order among your citizens rather than on structural placement and appearance. In this game, you’re in charge of building the last existing city in a post-apocalyptic world burdened with eternal winter.
You’ll experience a lot of challenges playing the game due to the snowy landscapes and this means you will need to regularly keep heating up the environment as temperature management is essential. However, this is only a part of the many tasks you could undertake.
2. Anno 1800
Anno1800 is accessible on the Personal Computer and the game is a reappearance of the historic city building game that positions you as a leader of a company during the period of the Industrial Revolution.
Your task is to engage in trades as you grow your empire from a couple of farms and warehouses to build a flourishing industrial city that people will cherish and admire.
You can, in the end, work on attracting tourists to one of your numerous museums or zoos you developed as you build the contemporary city. Anno 1800 provides you with multiple gameplay options including its campaign, multiplayer, and sandbox modes.
Similar to other best 4X games, there are many ways you can be a winner in the Anno 1800 game and these include the growing wealth and investors. You can equally win by inviting visitors and obtaining diplomatic ties. While the city exists in the midst of other Pitted islands, you will constantly watch your rivals and their realm decisions to discover through political shortcomings how you can trust them and their mode of operations.
Besides keeping an eye on your rivals, your task is equally to ensure that you make your employers happy which working on the expansion of your trade and the growth of your town.
The game integrates a regular news release from a newspaper which keeps the population informed about what is going on and improves their happiness. Such information simulates the real-world of the Industrial Revolution. Even though Anno 1800 touches on the ugly reality of the age, you can hardly resist its perfect and charming vistas’ visual.
3. Surviving Mars
Surviving mars is another best game like Cities Skylines which you can access through the Personal Computer, Xbox One, and PS4 platforms. Mars has constantly been the right place to be when looking for an image of the location of the upcoming habitable world if our current world ever encounters an untimely death.
However, the unreceptive and inimical world isn’t precisely friendly to humans. The environment doesn’t have any oxygen. The temperature is also cold and the landscapes are barren which makes living in this world a great challenge. This is exactly what the game of Surviving Mars is all about.
You have to reside on a barren and grimy red planet as you struggle to develop a lasting colony. Just like the name of the game suggests, you must work to ensure its survival. You can utilize drones to explore the unfamiliar terrains of the unknown planet and invest in research and development to enhance your likelihood of surviving the unforgiving background.
The different settlers in the unfriendly world have distinctive personalities which include both strengths and weaknesses that you have to grapple with. These can complicate the difficulty you experience in the world or enhance your problems.
The retro-futuristic ambiance of the auditoriums you construct while inhabiting this world transforms Mars and makes it a little more stylish. And by improving your planning strategy, you can develop a prosperous society that keeps spreading across the unfamiliar world.
4. Tropico 6
The Tropico 6 is currently accessible through the personal PC. It will soon be accessible through the Xbox One and PS4 platforms. Tropico 6’s focus is on striking a balance in a metropolis that is unable to satisfy all the different groups of residents.
The challenge comes from dubious government officials that you’ll deal with before you can concentrate on your main goal that alters in every scenario. Just as you’ll anticipate from a tyrannical city builder, Tropico 6 offers you a lot of opportunities.
However, you can anticipate a few brutal penalties any time you place a wrong call. Any time the general election time is approaching; you can decide to play a clean politics or engage in electoral fraud by bending the populace to vote in your favor. However, there are rooms for a compromise between losing an election, beginning a new level of getting your internal factions angry
This game is a revisit of the El Presidente that allows you to develop and rule your own island paradise. You can either decide to play as a tyrannical ruler or a peaceful leader. Tropico 6 launches a fresh research tree that boosts your political processes and makes you the best ruler of a tropical world.
You don’t build only a single Island, the game lets you build and manage many metropolises across multiple large islands with differing conquerable challenges. You need to build transportation systems and bridges to link up your islands if you plan to develop an expansive empire.
5. Aven Colony
Aven Colony game is another game like Cities Skyline you can play on the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 platforms. You can navigate through the self-effacing city builder to another planet where you’ll experience additional challenges apart from deciding the best strategy to construct your roads.
For beginners, you’ll need to take into consideration the challenges of working in a terrifying unfamiliar biome space and an unfriendly environment. Rather than concentrate on the creation of a fresh city to lure and attract residents, your target is to rebuild humankind.
To achieve that, you’ll concentrate on altering the atmosphere, battling against continual natural disasters including the absence of oxygen and strange lifeforms like huge sandworms. You begin as a governor and grow your rank to become a president of your colony while working to expand your techniques and test your capacity. You begin with little goals like building a water pump.
Banished is accessible on the PC but unlike most of the games on the list, it is a bit older. However, irrespective of this, it is one of the most intriguing games in the genre. While playing the game, you begin with a few exiled voyagers.
You begin by depending mainly on the resources these banished voyagers carry along. This means you will have to be tactical about managing the resources to build a fresh home for the exiled residents. The populace will develop, grow their families, and later depart similar to what you’ll find in the Sims.
Your task is to make all your citizens happy while developing your small city. There is no common currency or skill tree. So, you’ll be relying on the resources brought by the exiled voyagers or trading and building the city. There are 20 occupations available to your citizens.
You’ll have to assign the citizens with their tasks which can include things like teaching, mining and the provision of therapy to the sick as you grow the city to be the best in the locality.
7. The Colonists
The colonist is accessible on the PC. It is a fun-filled city-builder that comes with nice pace and delightful small-sized robotic citizens. You play as the leader and would strive to regulate the actions of these little robots that absconded from Earth while searching for a fresh abode in the galaxy.
All these small robots have a unified dream of becoming human while this won’t be possible because they are robots. All you do is to develop a society that looks like a human society and handle them as if they are true humans.
Inspired by the Settlers and Anno series, the Colonists involve the harvesting of resources to let these robots eat and drink like humans. You can equally establish farms, conduct study for fresher technologies, grow from one age to the other while exploring the mystery of the acreages where you settle.
You need to develop tactics for building roads, transportation systems, and other infrastructures. The gentle pace of the game and the absence of threats make it a relaxing game for those who want a relaxing city-builder.
8. Factory Town
The Factory town is a recently developed CITY-builder that allows you to change a lively 3D environment into an oil factory city. You begin your task with a handful of workers and one building.
However, when you have gathered minerals and crops from the environment, you can start to grow your small lone-building into a commercial center. You have to conduct research to discover different types of machines that will help you to process your resources to ensure you grow your production chains.
You can equally utilize magic-powered machines to make the task easier. While it is still in the early stage of its release, this game is already gathering a lot of fans because of how interesting it is.
9. Rise of Venice
Venice was displaying his maximum potential during the Rebirth and was seen as a city of self-indulgence, splendor, and conspiracy. Famous as the linchpin of society and the social center of Europe, Venice was the most significant trading center between Western Europe and the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
It was also a center or platform for political frauds and undercover operations.
You’ll be playing the game as a young man working hard to succeed, build wealth, and be powerful. Supported by your family, you will start to build an empire for interchange through different cities like Rome, Genua, Constantinople, Tripoli, and Alexandria including other important cities from the Resurgence.
As you grow and advance your empire to the rank of Venetian society, you boost your power with smart transaction decisions and obtaining occasional favor so you can gather your followers that will assist you to start building fresh construction facilities, assess yourself in inspiring sea battles where you will engage in combats against pirates and political foes to develop into the Doge of Venice.
10. Endless Legend
While playing this game, you’ll be growing food, building industries, and wealth using advanced magic while you exist on your planet with a history of mystery apocalypse. You will survive through the worst ever recorded winter.
While you work to realize the lost secrets of your realm and the obscurities of the legends with the rumored and actual ruins, you’ll notice that you’re not working in isolation. There are others who like you are struggling to survive, develop their empire, and be the victor.
You will have your own city, loyal inhabitants, and multitudes of armies. You must work to develop your power and magic to sustain their lives. It will be all struggles to achieve those. You have to discern where to go and what you can get. What will be your final end will not be certain. It could be full of struggles of bloodsheds. It can equally be a bed of roses.
11. Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition
The major objective of the Age of Empires 2 is to construct your city and make it a base where your army can carry out operations from. Unlike other games where you are constructing a city for survival, dictatorship, or engaged in repopulation, you are preparing for battles.
You select from various historical civilians and adapt their strengths to achieve prosperity in your land. The original game release was in 1999, and in 2013; the HD edition came in to replace the Age of Empires II Definitive Edition.
The game has a lot of things to accomplish aside just building and even though you are new to the strategy game genre, you can still enjoy the game. There is also a lot of tutorials you will learn from to achieve your objectives as you play.
Building the city is this vein supposes that you construct, villages and towns and finally merge them so that they become cities that can withstand the threat of battles you are about to encounter. Sending out your men to scavenge for resources or manage farmlands to keep your cities in a good economy is not enough. You will stall have to construct barricades and watchtowers if you wish to protect them from enemy attacks.
12. SIMCITY 4
For some time now, the popularity of the SimCity series has grown and a lot of other city-building-games have adapted several things from it. In 2013, SimCity 4 was launched and even though the game doesn’t tender anything particularly new to the genre, it’s still an enjoyable and tough challenger.
After the release of SimCity 2000, which several gamers like me enjoyed, the news that the 2013 game was coming out. We couldn’t wait for it since it was going to be like its predecessor. There were numerous expectations like the time traffic similar to real-life when creating roads, buildings, and tools you could use for zoning.
You could also follow each Sim as they experience their day. Unfortunately, SimCity 2013 faced some setbacks like single-player mode without an internet connection. The plot space too had limits and would prevent you from establishing those massive cities you ever wished to build.
Nevertheless, the game is wonderful and is more preferable when you match it with Cities Skyline. It has a better color scheme and art chic. The improvement was also an upgrade to SimCity 2000 with improved tools for city building, great graphic design, and a beautiful soundtrack.
Planetbase is a game where you manage a colony after landing on a desolate planet. Your mission is to generate an expansive city out of the desolate planet you found, guide the colony who you are leader over, and lead them through an unknown journey.
It is a city-building game too and aside from managing Energy, Food, and Oxygen which are important resources, your duties also include making sure your colonists are properly fed and happy. This would bring about an end or success in your city. There are several Bio-Domes where your colonists can reside and this arrives more as your city develops gradually.
14. Anno 1404 Dawn of Discovery
In this game, you have to manage your major resources and seek an advantageous one that will improve your technology. You can achieve this by dispatching your scouts to go comb for them. Dawn of Discovery is dissimilar from city building games as it places you in the early 15th century. This is around the period when the Holy Knights (Crusaders) moved around and did battles.
Another reason why Anno 1404 is different is because of the elements of strategy you can integrate into building mechanics for your base. These cannot be found in games like Warcraft or Starcraft several gamers regard ad tops. The game lets you build amazing road networks that you could use to access these buildings and gives you an option of peaceful gameplay or battle driven maniac.
15. Imagine Earth
Imagine Earth grants you the opportunity to be a manager of a colony where you can select your planet and attack and conquer other rival factions. Your mission is to generate the most lucrative colony possible so that you can control the whole market.
It is very flexible to build your colonies or cities and you have the choice to sustain the present wildlife you found on the planet while reaping resources off it or just obliterate the environment and possess it.
With game progress, you will begin new technological researches that will improve your manufacturing capacity and make your market deal easier. It will also aid in building your army to face enemy cities and aliens aiming for your downfall.
With the advancement in your city, you will see the need to send out more explorers so that they will be sufficient for dominating other colonies. The ink and canvass have been given to you, put down your design.
16. The Universim
There are some times you discover that controlling everything in your city is not enough to satisfy you. This is why Universim gives you a god-like ability to lead the citizens of your planet and keep them in perpetual peace. You can as well go further to send down your wrath on enemy planets.
It begins from the Stone Age era up until when your citizens attain the civilization they need to explore space and eventually other parts of the universe. You have a dynamic world where other living beings are, hence, you aren’t certain of peace always.
At some points, you will experience natural disasters nut you will have to survive them though your citizens. Carrying out research that would better your civilization is also one of the things you should though your people would be disobedient at some point.
You will have the power to control the weather when your citizens accomplish tasks. However, you will scare them into action by incurring wrath when they choose not to follow you.
17. Rebuild 3
Just to add to the city building game genre, Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville brings with it a touch of horror where zombies have overrun the Earth. Few survivors are remaining and you must bring back civilization as you construct buildings, one after another. These buildings will range from hospitals and houses to forts.
Standing guard is a difficult role but you have to manage starvation, cure illnesses, battle enemy NPC forts, and keep your survivors in goodness. Aside from these, you can also scavenge for food, carry our researches, and kill zombies to make the game more entertaining.
Although there are some similarities in Rebuild 3 and other city building games, the game developers decided to take it a little further to the dead and your encounter with them.
18. Prison Architect
Prison Architect is an inspiration from games like Theme Hospital, Dwarf Fortress, and Dungeon Keeper, though here, you are a prison warden whose job is to build the most interesting private prison that will assist Uncle Sam, curb the rising crime rate in the society.
You also get contracts from the government which gives you additional money. The city’s most treacherous syndicates are in your custody and it is your role to keep them safe. You will also find several add-ons that furnish you with Prison Tales of inmates under your custody. The game still lets you play as a prisoner who wishes to escape from prison in the Escape Mode as some players do enjoy.
Still, you should get ready to encounter the mess hall riot by employing sufficient men, capable of maintaining order and checking the prisoners.
19. Judgment Apocalypse
It is your duty in Judgement Apocalypse to guide a team of survivors to journey the world where they will encounter demons in the search for a haven. You will have to build this haven by gathering essential resources, crafting your gears, and at the same time, guard it against demons hits.
You can also send men to search for supplies and carry out research that will benefit your colony and keep away the demons. Always ensure you make good defense plans because every loophole is an advantage to the enemy.
20. Pocket City
The pocket city is accessible through the iOS and Android OS. This game is a suitable fit if you want a city building game you can play on the go. Pocket City is one of the best mobile-friendly city building games.
It comes in a lovely piece of artwork that allows you to strategize and develop your city from a small town to a busy metropolis just by swiping through your mobile device. This small city builder comes with dual modes. The first one allows you to slowly unlock structures as you complete quests and tasks.
This comes with a feeling of rewards as you progress through your city building. Alternatively, you can take on the sandbox mode of the game which comes with all the building open to you to allow you to take your time as you craft a perfect city and see it grow.
While it is a mobile-based game, it comes with incredible details. Besides, you don’t have to install any in-game app to enjoy the gameplay.
21. Anno 2205
Anno 2025 is a game about the future as the name implies. You have the task of setting up new earth and even accessing other planets. The gameplay is similar to that of Anno 1404 though it has an enhanced AI and aids you in managing your building through its efficient user interface. The game adorns you with limitless space for city expansion and gives you an option to manage various cities concurrently on several locations of the Moon and Earth.
The graphics are stunning and will keep you on the edge of your seat all day long. The future cities have a bright green and blue look emphasizing more on neat glass roofs that make you imagine how the world will be then.
22. Tropico 4
Have you ever wished to rule a South American country and pose dictatorship? Have you heard the title “El Presidente” and ever-imagined it for yourself? Tropico 4 gives you that opportunity as you take charge of tools you could use to form your country regardless of the people’s choice. With the arrival of geographical powers and changing times, you will find exciting challenges to surmount.
The game already has its roots in earlier Tropico games though it deepens your power as a dictator and grants you the opportunity to conquer other nations of the world. Disloyalty is certain to arrive so you should carefully monitor your cabinet members to prevent anyone from turning against you.
23. Oxygen Not Included
You are certain in Oxygen Not Included that something is amiss and ready to occur at any given time. It has its cartoonish art style that looks coarse and puts you in a situation to aid space colonists who wish to create a subterranean asteroid base. In this base, you can control resources like your Workers’ sanity and Oxygen.
The game starts with you in an asteroid where you have to dig for important resources that you will use to discover what had occurred as you enhance your Duplicants’ life. There is a special personality allocated to every Duplicant like mining natural resources and cooking delicious meals.
You should ensure you do not overstress them so that they do not cry or vomit thereby distributing germs. When digging, ensure you pay good attention, or else you will flood the whole base.
The Factorio game focuses on resources mining, conducting research on different technologies, building houses and the associated infrastructures, automating manufacturing processes, and engaging in combat with adversaries.
You’ll have to get resourceful to structure your factory, merge simple elements into imaginative buildings while utilizing your management skills to ensure the sustainability and growth of your factory. You will work equally includes protecting your factory from unfriendly creatures.
The RimWorld storyline involves three survivors of a space liner that got crashed. They work to develop a settlement on a borderline world at the edge of a famous space. The game took inspiration from the space cowboy movie air of Firefly, the deep Dwarf Fortress model, and the classic scale of Dune and Warhammer 40,000.
Just as in Prison Architect, Rimworld sports similar animated colors and cartoonish graphics. You are in charge of three characters that landed on the wrong planet where there is no way to engage in speed of light travel or superluminal contact. Hence, you will have to craft important tools and construct the infrastructure necessary to form your colony. It is also your job to choose to escape or stay.
There are special personalities given to the characters that you have to pay attention to so that they could be happy and not sad. With the growth in your colony, there will be an increment in people willing to build you a spaceship for your return back home if you aren’t interested in staying any longer.
Your task involves the management of the sentiments, needs, and minds of settlers. You’re equally in charge of soothing the wounds of individuals and healing their sicknesses while engaging in highly-simulated minor-team gun shooting.
You work to build fashion structures using available weapons, and kit made from metal, firewood, stone, fabric, or outlandish and revolutionary materials while fighting pirate invaders, hostile communities, raging animals, and prehistoric assassination machines. You will explore a newly created world every time as you game.
You can build your settlements in biomes which can vary widely and may be jungle or tundra. Each of these settlement biomes has distinctive vegetation and wildlife. Your task equally includes the management and development of settlers with exclusive backstories, features, and skills.
The integrated intelligent and inconspicuous AI tutor makes it easy for you to learn how to play the game.
After Dark is the primary development of the largely popular standard city simulation Cities: Skylines. The game develops on the range of functionalities and customizations aimed at enhancing the thrill and managing the task of the city building skill.
Cities: Skylines is related to SimCity. However, while the Cities: Skylines allows you to build cities, the issue with the EA’s latest SimCity trip is that instead of building cities, it allows you to only build towns.
Cities: Skylines is a city-building game created by Colossal Order and distributed by Paradox Interactive. It is a lone-player open-ended city-building simulative game.
Gamers take part in city planning by managing the different zone, taking care of road placement, overseeing tax payment procedures, public services, and public transport system of the city.
Yes, you can play cities skylines offline. While you can play the game for as long as you want offline, you need to go online to be able to get the game update.
Just like Cities: Skylines where your ultimate goal is to build your dream city, these games are building games as some give you various other game additions. Your buildings normally come in zones and it is your choice to choose the grid format you wish to use.
You can also spread the money by establishing complex road systems, or more sophisticated architecture which could include world wonders. You’ll receive prompts by expanding your city which notifies you of the needs of your citizens.
Gradually, you will unlock fresh features and draw more people willing to reside in your city. This is not always found in all the building games though their similarities are much. The prison, zombies, and research building games also bring their chic with them hence, whichever catches your eyes, try it out and enjoy the gameplay.