SimCity boasts an open-ended gameplay environment where players are tasked with the construction and running of a city. The end goal of the different games like SimCity is to build a thriving city by ensuring that it has enough services and facilities to meet the needs of residents while remaining financially stable as well.
Players are handed a plethora of tools to accomplish their city construction goal with control over buildings, city services like health, utilities, leisure, education, and plenty more.
In the latest SimCity game series, players have more control over terrain, letting them change the gameplay to create even more exciting, interesting, and special cities. This ever-increasing tool depth with every new game makes SimCity the go-to option for sandbox fans looking for total freedom.
The city-building games similar to SimCity below offer the same features and gameplay as the SimCity series for city-building devotees. This includes construction, customizable game worlds, open-ended goals, and management.
We’ve selected the following games based on types of gameplay experiences, time period, game setting, number of players per session, sub-genre, difficulty level, and tactical strategy.
Kingdom: Two Crowns
If you enjoy a nice little challenge, this game offers it not just through constructing a kingdom from the ruins, but also through defending your construction from the ravaging forces called The Greed. In Kingdom: Two Crowns, you manage the monarch on top of their noble horse, dishing out coins to whichever buildings or citizens you like.
In the game, the key to success is proper management of resources—how you use your gold coins determines whether the kingdom will enjoy prosperity or be eventually destroyed.
Players must choose defensive measures (from options like weaponry, outer walls, and archers) and money-making opportunities (such as farming, fishing, and hunting). If you want your monarch to succeed, then consider playing the long game.
Anno 2070 is very similar to SimCity in that your goal is to build cities and maintain a thriving economy. The game also boasts real-time elements and is one of the many titles in the popular Anno franchise. It’s actually one of the most popular games in the franchise.
As the title suggests, Anno 2070 takes place in 2070, during which global warming has absolutely destroyed polar ice caps. As a result of excessive flooding, many old cities have been decimated and replaced by new islands. The onus is on you to settle these new islands and build new sustainable civilizations.
Unlike Anno 2070, this game takes the city-building franchise to its origins, giving you the title of company leader during the Industrial Revolution, where you trade and expand your empire from just two warehouses and farms to a flourishing industrial city that’s the envy of everyone.
In the end, you can even entice tourists to visit one of your numerous zoos and museums as you transition into the modern times, navigating all the societal and logistical challenges that accompany such a seismic change.
In Anno 1800, you have many ways to play across the sandbox, multiplayer, and campaign modes. Like in the most popular 4X games, you have various ways to win in Anno 1800, including amassing wealth and investors, securing diplomatic ties, and attracting visitors.
While battling against other islands, you must pay close attention to your enemies and their decisions as you scheme and plot through trade and diplomatic blunders how they conduct themselves and if you can trust them.
Apart from keeping an eye on your rivals, you must keep your employees happy while you grow trade and expand your company town. In addition, there’s even a newspaper that moves around regularly and affects the happiness of the people by reporting your city’s triumphs and failures across the land.
Such details help bring the Industrial Revolution era to life, and although Anno 1800 certainly glosses over the grim picture of the period, it’s difficult not to be hooked in by its dream-like charm and vistas.
This is a follow-up on the original City Life title, which allows a single-player mode as well as online multiplayer mode if you like. On top of constructing cities, you also can create lots of different transport modes in the game, including tunnels and bridges.
You can incorporate buses, subways, and airports into the game, too, to make it feel completely habitable. When it comes to the city itself, there are various residential lots based on your citizens’ social classes. And you can include industrial and commercial lots as well.
Cities XL has spawned numerous sequels that you can try out if you wish to.
If you enjoy role-playing games apart from SimCity, then you should check out Towns. The game introduces a number of role-playing game elements into the gameplay as you need to manage a settlement atop an explorable active dungeon. The developers have alluded to the Diablo series as one of their inspirations for Towns.
Another exciting aspect of Towns is that you can pick your preferred biome in which to begin your settlement, whether it be snow, grass, or otherwise. But it’s worth noting that Towns is an incomplete game that its developers abandoned.
All the same, it’s still a playable and exciting game to try out if you want something different.
In Aven Colony, you’re an unassuming city builder who’s taken to a different world where you’ll face much tougher challenges than deciding on the best places to construct your roads. First of all, you’ll have to take into account the obstacles placed by the hostile environment and the frightening new space biomes.
Rather than build a new city to attract residents, your primary goal is to restore humanity—an undeniably lofty goal. To achieve your goal, you must adapt to the environment, constantly battle against natural disasters, deal with lack of oxygen (this one’s quite serious), and even fight off alien creatures such as gargantuan sandworms.
Beginning as a governor, you’ll scale the political ladder and become your colony’s president as the game unfolds, all while expanding your set of tools and putting your abilities to the test by starting with little goals like erecting a water pump before eventually manning a full-scale army like Starship Troopers.
Aven Colony isn’t only a pure city-construction game either, since it includes aspects from the best strategy games and 4X games. There’s a nifty expeditions system and light combat that allows you to eventually expose the planet’s history.
If you aren’t into Aven Colony, don’t worry—there are many more space colonization titles around to try out. Released in 2018, Surviving Mars gives you the horrible challenge of making and maintaining life on planet Mars.
There’s not only complex city-building and the distribution of valuable resources to think about, but every colonist has his or her own stats to maintain and traits that affect how they operate and work. Surviving Mars also allows for various difficulty environments, making it playable by both hardcore and beginner city builders.
If you’ve played your fair share of building and simulation and want to try something new, heck, something even wacky, Construction Plus could be the game for you. Released in 2019, the game has nearly three times the content its predecessor boasted and it’s all about designing and keeping in place a larger-than-life, corrupt town that offers players lots of comedic potential.
You not only can build ridiculous oddities and structures, but the town teems with wild people like trigger-happy thugs and even zombies. If you’re looking for a more fantastical gaming experience, you can definitely enjoy this game.
This is an open single-player city-building game. You must strive to maintain your city. This involves everything from making sure pollution levels are low, dealing with public transportation, zoning, everyday lives of residents, and much more. For starters, you start out with a basic piece of land as well as a highway interchange exit.
Then you must start to make progress by building roads, providing essential services, and creating jobs. Once you do so, the city will slowly begin to grow as folks arrive and unlock new assets such as transit and public schools.
City: Skyline offers several expansion packs, including Campus, which allows you to add concert venues and university campuses.
This city-building game is a bit different from some of the games on this list since it focuses a little more on management when it comes to running a city apart from politics. Tropico 4 is a popular game in the Tropico franchise and you may also want to give Tropico 5 a try.
In Tropico 4, you’re the ruler of a failed island nation. You can choose your map from the ten maps available to you. Then you can personalize various elements of your island, including the minerals and type of vegetation found there. Your aim is to keep your people happy.
This is the type of city-building game that’ll make you doubt your own morality time and time again. Your goal is to pull through a premature ice era in a protected steampunk-powered city that wasn’t completed before the ice took hold. Leading a bunch of survivors, you have to reconstruct your city around a gargantuan heater that always requires fuel to keep the populace healthy and safe.
As with some of the top survival games, Frostpunk centers on managing resources well to keep your city running and your main goal is to keep the furnace burning. Unlike other city-builders, Frostpunk focuses on survival rather than ruling and it is an endless juggling act to satisfy your new citizens while ensuring that the city doesn’t run out of food and the furnace is working effectively.
As you can expect from a great apocalypse game, Frostpunk is hardly a light-hearted city-building game. In this hostile tundra, death is unavoidable and you face lots of difficult choices just to keep your city running.
Rather than worry about how everything looks and the placement of structures, you must make laws to maintain law and order among citizens, take chances with risky adventures, and sometimes teach a criminal a lesson.
In this game, you take over as part of a mayoral empire and govern your city and its people through two centuries of history. Your responsibilities include establishing infrastructure, planning city districts, empowering your people to know their democratic rights or ignoring them and reigning supreme on your own, blackmailing and bribing opponents, discussing political choices at the city council—the choice is yours!
Urban Empire can be described as a city-ruler game, pioneering a brand new type of strategy game where city-builder features are combined with political machinations. It also adds profound historical and social events to the mix, generating a completely new gameplay experience in which you must use political savvy and strategic planning to successfully grow your city as Mayor.
This is a strategy/simulation game in which you take charge of a colony with climate disaster survivors.
Humans will suffer the ravages of climate change in the not-too-distant future. Forced to stock up on vital reserves via cryo-preservation, they wait for a second chance.
As the 21st century comes to an end, humans are at last aware of the horrific climate disaster and are devoting their efforts to guarantee the survival of their offspring, instead of preventing the unavoidable crisis. In this endeavor, humans have started building a bunch of sea cities that can withstand the hostile environment.
Overwhelmed by serious food shortage and overtaken by events, they constructed ultra-secret dwellings that would house them during hibernation so they could wake up to a more hospitable environment.
In this game, you must protect and take care of a developing space colony all while resisting the forces of climate change and corporate greed. Establish trade, form alliances, wage economic warfare, and research new technologies in a real-time fight for galactic survival.
Using tower defense mechanics, you can shield your colony from swarms of locusts, marauding space pirates, and invading aliens. In addition, the earth has been decimated by an ecological failure. Will your new city follow suit?
Minimize your carbon emissions, or else suffer freak weather events, rising sea levels, and even worse in Imagine Earth.
This real-time strategy game is one that’ll excite the most diehard SimCity freaks. The game has a better story line and plot than SimCity, but you must know how to use resources well and take care of a village. The plot of Stronghold 3 revolves around the Boy from earlier games.
Having cheated death, The Wolf is seeking vengeance against the Boy. As a player, you must team up with your allies to fight him. You can wage a military or economic campaign against him. The economic campaign is probably more suitable for fans of SimCity since it’s less story-driven.
Ever thought about playing a city-building game in space? If yes, then Planetbase is your best option. The game is quite remarkable in that it involves trying to build a habitable human settlement on another planet. For fans that enjoy playing SimCity but want a completely new environment, then Planetbase is a godsend.
You must help a bunch of space settlers establish a civilization while having to deal with environmental factors such as natural disasters. You can add robots to Planetbase to help you complete some of the tasks as well. There are also different planets with varying environments.
In Flotsam, players are taken from an earthly setting and put in a flood environment. This extremely special environment makes Flotsam even more unique when you also factor in its one-of-a-kind and special mechanics.
What begins as a game of survival develops into an aquatic city-building game, which eventually evolves into a game that teaches a powerful but subtle environmental lesson. This game is one the few uncommon games that might make a strong political statement and at the same time not spoil its fun factor.
While Rollercoaster Tycoon isn’t necessarily a city builder, it does let you create and run your very own amusement park. The game became very popular that it spawned many sequels and spin-offs.
The main aim of this game is to build a fantastic amusement park, which means you have to come up with roller coasters. In the previous versions of Rollercoaster Tycoon, you could even take your own roller coaster rides with a first-person point of view.
You’ll need to keep an eye on how visitors interact with each other based on their intensity as well as ensure that your park is clean and free of vomit!
FAQs on the Best Games Like SimCity
Answer: The best city builders include:
• Aven Colony
• Tropico 6
• Surviving Mars
• SimCity 4
• Anno 1800
• Age of Empires II Definitive Edition
• Cities: Skylines
Answer: The best free-to-play city-building games include:
• Toy Box Metropolis
• The Final Earth II
• Micropolis Online
• SimCity 2000
• City Creator
• Idle City Builder
Answer: SimCity is a city builder, urban planning simulation MMO game released by Electronic Arts and created by Maxis Emeryville. Released in March 2013 for Microsoft Windows, it’s the first significant title in the SimCity franchise since SimCity 4 was released a decade earlier.
Answer: Some of the best video games to play at home include:
• The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
• Horizon Zero Dawn
• Hitman 2
• Night in the Woods
• Fallout 4
• Rocket League
Answer: Top building games available on PC include:
No Man’s Sky
Ark: Survival Evolved
The Sims 4
Car Mechanic Simulator 2018
Looking for top city-builders like SimCity? There’s nothing more soothing and fun than enjoying an evening of city-building games while sipping your favorite hot drink.
Spend countless hours coming up with buildings the way you like or scrabbling around trying to save humans who are on the verge of extinction. And occasionally, you can deliberately bring about chaos just to see how your people would cope. Not great as you’d expect!
This list of SimCity-like games has something for everyone, from hardcore planners seeking a fresh challenge to entries promising tutorials to newcomers to a few apocalyptic threats and stripped back interfaces. Apart from difficulty, there’s a mix of science-fiction simulator games and realistic city builders here in case you’re sick of setting up your urban areas against a conventional background.
Our best pick of the SimCity-like games above is Kingdom: Two Crowns. It’s a little harder to play than SimCity since you have to build a kingdom in ruins and also defend your building from marauding forces known as The Greed. And how properly you manage resources will determine whether your kingdom will prosper or be destroyed.
Whether your goal is to bounce back and repopulate Earth, deal with the problem of congestion in public transport, or conquer new planets, then these SimCity-like games should satisfy your craving for the best city-building games.