Immerse yourself in imaginary worlds without leaving your chair. From piloting planes to building intricate cities, simulator games empower you to live out your wildest dreams and curiosities. Whether you aspire to be a chef, race car driver, or computer hardware guru, the best simulator games deliver experiences that rival reality.
This collection of the top simulator titles caters to all tastes, ranging from serene escapism to high-octane action. We’ve handpicked these gems to provide the ultimate virtual adventures. From classic franchises like Microsoft Flight Simulator to innovative surprises like PowerWash Simulator, these games showcase the remarkable potential of the simulator genre.
So strap on your VR headset, rev up your gaming wheel, or just grab your controller. It’s time to explore new worlds, master new skills, take on exciting challenges, and immerse yourself in the best simulator games available today. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
PC Building Simulator – Unleashing Your Inner Tech Guru
Embrace your inner geek and delve into the detailed world of PC Building Simulator. This immersive experience is ready to satisfy your technological appetite, more than you could have ever imagined. It’s an ideal game for those who find comfort and tranquility in resolving computer hardware issues, catering to every single detail, one rig at a time. This simulator game goes to the microscopic level of managing your PC business, even down to the nitty-gritty details like unscrewing hardware and untangling a myriad of wires.
PC Building Simulator stands tall as one of the best simulator games, boasting an ultra-detailed environment where you can work with an extensive array of genuine hardware components from renowned brands like Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. These brands lend an extra layer of authenticity, providing you with a platform to create your ultimate dream builds with a touch of realism.
The simulator also flaunts a free construction mode, providing you an exciting opportunity to assemble your dream gaming PC. After engrossing yourself in this virtual technological journey, don’t be surprised if you get the urge to build your very own PC. So strap on your anti-static armband, get your thermal paste ready, and prepare your can of pressurized air, because PC Building Simulator awaits you.
Two Point Hospital – Managing Medical Madness with a Smile
Step into the hilariously chaotic world of hospital management with Two Point Hospital. It’s your mission to ensure the newest healthcare facility in Two Point County is up to par, capable of handling any bizarre ailment the quirky locals might bring. Be it peculiar diseases like Floppy Discs, Cubism, or the much-feared Night Fever, your hospital must be equipped to cure them all.
As one of the best simulator games, Two Point Hospital harkens back to the classic 1997’s Theme Hospital, albeit with a modern twist. It shares much of the engaging gameplay, appealing visuals, and lighthearted humor that made its predecessor a hit. However, despite its humorous take, don’t be fooled – this simulator game will test your managerial skills by swiftly ramping up the pace. Your job is to carefully balance the budget while simultaneously dealing with increasing patient demand and expanding your health empire.
The journey to building a successful healthcare system is not easy, but if you’re in search of a heartwarming, challenging business simulation game, Two Point Hospital is your perfect match. The game is infectiously addictive, demanding careful decisions for the sake of efficiency. After all, when it comes to running a hospital, every second counts.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover – A Skyward Journey of Precision and Realism
Rewinding to its initial release in 2011, IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover might not have wowed audiences with its flight-and-fight dynamics. However, it has since transformed into a prime example of one of the best simulator games on the market. Thanks to the persistent dedication and effort of the Norway-based group, Team Fusion, a series of top-tier patches have brought it up to a standard worthy of its IL-2 Sturmovik name.
The past performance glitches that once plagued Cliffs of Dover are now a thing of history, with the problematic AI now boasting more logical and practical behaviors. It’s this level of detail and commitment to improving the user experience that sets it apart.
The modern version of Cliffs of Dover showcases new aircraft models, enhancing the game’s allure. Meanwhile, the original planes benefit from an upgraded physics system that offers more realistic ground handling. This increased challenge compared to 1C’s base game results in a more authentic flying experience. Add to that fine-tuned airborne maneuverability for engaging and realistic dogfights, and you’ve got a game that delivers on all fronts.
In essence, the game has evolved into a vastly superior version compared to its original 2011 release. This transformation is largely due to the relentless efforts of Team Fusion, whose patch (now at version 4.312) is a must-download to enhance your game playing experience.
Planet Coaster – Designing Dreams into Reality
How could we craft a list of the best simulator games and not include the exhilarating thrill of designing a dangerously daring theme park ride? That’s precisely what Planet Coaster offers, and it does so with gusto. Created by the simulator game experts at Frontier Developments, this game will satisfy your cravings for nostalgia, harking back to the days of the old school Rollercoaster Tycoon.
Designing your personal Disneyland or Universal Studios has never been more engaging or fun. Every single detail, right down to the flower beds, can be custom-designed to create the park of your dreams. However, first-time players beware! The sheer volume of options available may seem a bit daunting initially. But once you become familiar with the basics of building, organising, and staffing your park, the possibilities with Planet Coaster are boundless.
What’s more, the game guarantees a constant supply of fresh content thanks to its myriad of DLC packs. Whether you’re aiming to design a spooky Halloween-themed park or a magical winter wonderland, Planet Coaster has got you covered. So strap in, hold tight, and get ready for the thrilling ride that is Planet Coaster.
Assetto Corsa Competizione – A Symphony of Speed and Precision
When it comes to capturing the raw emotion of high-speed driving, Assetto Corsa Competizione steals the show. While other titles such as Project CARS and Grid Autosport might offer a more structured gameplay experience complete with career progression and other features, none can match the pure, visceral thrill that this game provides.
Assetto Corsa Competizione successfully recreates the adrenaline-pumping sensation of handling a speedy car with exceptional authenticity, immersing players in an incredibly realistic racing environment. From the awe-inspiring sound design to the meticulously crafted physics model, this game justifies every penny you might have spent on a top-tier force feedback wheel.
This masterpiece surpasses its predecessor, Assetto Corsa, in its attention to detail and authenticity. With enhanced aerodynamics and advanced tyre modeling, it offers an unparalleled driving simulation. The multi-channel audio sampling of real GT cars delivers pitch-perfect sound effects, further enhancing the immersive experience.
The laser-scanned reproductions of real-life tracks allow you to live out your wildest racing dreams, such as navigating your car around the Nürburgring, without the actual risk of spinning out on the infamous Karussell. This level of accuracy and attention to detail is what makes Assetto Corsa Competizione one of the best simulator games and an absolute must-play for racing enthusiasts.
World of Tanks – A Historical Journey of Power and Strategy
If you’ve ever found yourself engrossed in a war-based game, thinking, “This is thrilling, but wouldn’t it be even more so if it involved tanks?” then you’re in for a treat. World of Tanks is a thrilling, tank-centric warfare simulator that propels you into the driver’s seat of historic armored behemoths from around the globe.
As a player, you’ll find yourself engaged in thrilling battles against opponents from all over the world. This game features a variety of stunning maps that replicate diverse terrains, each presenting its unique set of challenges and strategic gameplay.
Not only does World of Tanks provide an exhilarating gaming experience, but it also offers a taste of history. Many of the maps represent locations where significant battles took place, adding another layer of depth and context to the gameplay. This requires you to adapt your strategic thinking according to each battlefield’s unique characteristics.
If you’re eager to dive into this historical combat simulator, our detailed World of Tanks guide will provide all the help you need to get started. Immerse yourself in this one-of-a-kind battlefield experience and see why it’s considered one of the best simulator games available.
War Thunder – An Adrenaline Rush of Historical Warfare
War Thunder is a standout among the best simulator games for its simplicity and accessibility. This free MMO game allows players to dive right in, quickly understand its mechanics, and start enjoying the gameplay without any hassle. It’s a far cry from the steep learning curve of titles like Flight Simulator X.
Boasting an impressive roster of over 300 aircraft from the World War II and Korean War era, War Thunder offers a rich and varied gameplay experience. You have the freedom to pilot each aircraft using either an arcade or simulation physics model, enabling you to engage in thrilling air combat against players across both PC and console platforms. The game’s cross-platform compatibility means PC players often have an ample number of adversaries to engage.
While the aerial aspect of War Thunder offers a swift and exhilarating experience, the ground combat provides a stark contrast. The tanks move at a slow, tension-filled pace that keeps you on constant alert. The slow pace enhances the thrill of the hunt as you scan your surroundings for enemies. Generally, the first to strike in this free game on Steam tends to emerge victorious.
Participating nations include the USA, Russia, Britain, Germany, and Japan, each offering unique mechanical strengths and weaknesses. However, this game requires a considerable amount of grinding, making it potentially unsuitable for players averse to such gameplay elements. If you’re seeking a World War II sim with a vast, engaged community and no initial financial investment, War Thunder perfectly fits the bill.
Cities: Skylines – The Modern Standard for City Building Sims
When Cities: Skylines appeared in 2015, it breathed new life into the city simulation genre. Drawing on the foundational elements of the original SimCity, Skylines presented a modern reimagining of the classic game, establishing itself as a quintessential city sim in the process.
Watching your city expand and thrive in real-time is a captivating experience, and Skylines delivers this with stunning graphical detail. Despite its modernity, the game stays true to its roots. For instance, your virtual citizens will voice their complaints if they live too close to a sewage plant or lack access to clean water.
Cities: Skylines also stands as one of the growing number of simulator games available on consoles. It boasts a streamlined user interface that makes using a controller not just a feasible option, but a genuinely enjoyable one. Whether you’re an experienced PC gamer or more comfortable with a console controller, Cities: Skylines provides a rewarding city-building experience that suits a wide range of players.
Cooking Simulator – The Ultimate Culinary Experience
Ever fancied stepping into the shoes of a professional chef and managing a bustling kitchen all by yourself? Well, Cooking Simulator is here to put your culinary skills to the ultimate test. This best simulator game transports you into the heart of a vast, hyper-realistic kitchen environment, significantly stepping up the heat from your usual Cooking Mama experience.
Your customers are discerning, and merely brandishing a wooden spoon around a pan won’t satisfy their appetites. Cooking Simulator challenges you to achieve precision in every aspect of your cooking. This includes accurately measuring ingredients, skillfully dicing vegetables and meats, and cooking each dish to perfection in the appropriate saucepan.
However, if you’re in the mood for a bit of light-hearted chaos, Cooking Simulator allows you to unleash your inner kitchen anarchist. The game developers at Big Cheese have incorporated elements of sheer mayhem into the gameplay. You can ignite fires, shatter plates, and even cause your microwave to explode. Just don’t let that happen too often, or your dream of becoming the next culinary maestro might go up in smoke!
F1 2020 – The Epitome of Formula One Racing
If you’re a dedicated fan of F1 games, chances are, you’re well-acquainted with Codemasters’ official F1 series. This annual release offers an unrivaled simulation of the adrenaline-filled world of Formula One racing, bringing you as close as possible to the real-life racing experience. F1 2020, the latest entry in the series, has been hailed as the best yet, earning our praise as “exemplary racing.”
The F1 series is renowned for its best-in-class handling model, and F1 2020 elevates this even further. The game captures the thrill and precision of controlling one of these lightning-fast vehicles with unparalleled accuracy. Minute changes in traction, the rear of the car twitching on wet terrain, and the slight judder as you reach top speed – every detail is faithfully recreated, whether you’re racing through the Côte d’Azur in a modern marvel or a classic speedster.
F1 2020 doesn’t stop at the racetrack – it extends into the pit lane too. Here, you interact with your pit crew, earning their trust and boosting team morale, which in turn leads to more efficient servicing of your car during races. This subtle addition, combined with the authentic feel of the cars, tracks, and overall F1 ambiance, culminates in what we believe to be the finest F1 simulator currently available.
Train Sim World – A Truly Authentic Railway Experience
Train simulator games have been a fundamental part of the PC simulation games landscape for a considerable period, offering players the thrill of controlling powerful locomotives. Although the latest Train Simulator iteration remains a popular choice for many, Train Sim World, a brainchild of the same developer, Dovetail Games, aims to provide an experience that’s a notch higher in ambition.
Often regarded as one of the best simulator games in its category, Train Sim World offers an astoundingly realistic and immersive train gaming experience. The attention to detail is remarkable; for instance, you won’t even be able to leave the station unless you’ve charged the battery. Playing in first-person perspective, you’re responsible for all aspects of driving, managing, and maintaining the trains, as if you’re physically present and running the locomotives yourself. True to the essence of simulator games, Train Sim World goes the extra mile to make you feel like a bona fide train operator. Our adventures captured in the Train Sim World travel diary bear testament to this.
Though its initial launch was slightly underwhelming, Dovetail has shown commitment by consistently enhancing the game with fresh features, trains, routes, weather conditions, and much more. Additionally, a plethora of DLC packs is available for those seeking new challenges. While the costs may seem steep to some, the game’s potential for expansion justifies the investment, especially when you’re seeking a thoroughly detailed and realistic train simulation experience.
Thief Simulator – Unleash Your Inner Outlaw
Are you a hardened lawbreaker? If the answer is no, then Thief Simulator by Noble Muffins could be your perfect entry into a virtual life of crime. This open-world burglary simulator allows you to experience the thrill and tension of being a thief without any real-world repercussions.
This game, one of the best simulator games for aspiring rogues, encourages you to scout the neighborhood, carefully selecting houses to target and meticulously studying the daily routines of their occupants. Once you’ve gathered all the necessary intelligence, it’s time to dive into the action. Armed with your trusty van and an assortment of thief’s tools, you embark on your illicit mission to pilfer anything that isn’t firmly secured.
From picking locks and tinkering with security systems to cutting through windows, you’ll have to master all the tricks of the trade to become the top rogue in the neighborhood. Just remember, getting caught is not an option. So, plan your moves carefully, exercise stealth, and embark on an exciting journey of virtual mischief with Thief Simulator.
Insurgency: Sandstorm – A Riveting Blend of Simulation and Action
Insurgency: Sandstorm, the successor to the original Insurgency game, masterfully bridges the gap between hardcore military simulation and adrenaline-fueled arcade multiplayer games. The game is designed in such a way that anyone can join and experience the thrill, but a fair warning – trying to play it like Team Fortress 2 or Counter-Strike won’t get you very far.
In many ways, Sandstorm resembles a streamlined version of ARMA 3. While you’ll encounter familiar elements like capture points and experience points, the core essence of the game is all about simulating the intensity and chaos of modern warfare. The gameplay is unforgiving – a couple of accurately placed bullets are enough to take down an adversary. However, aiming and actually hitting targets require a good degree of skill.
This title, one of the best simulator games, presents an extensive range of authentic weaponry, each with a unique feel. Furthermore, the modding system allowing for customization with barrels, grips, and scopes completely alters the weapon dynamics, making each gunplay experience unique. The game adheres to realism, discarding elements like grenade warning flashes and scoreboards for kill tracking. Additionally, factors like weight for loadout management and reloading that changes the entire magazine add another layer of realism. As discovered in our Insurgency: Sandstorm review, its minimalist approach to UI and screen clutter enhances the gaming experience.
PowerWash Simulator – Unleash Your Inner Clean Freak
The magic of the best simulator games lies in their ability to transform mundane tasks into captivating experiences. PowerWash Simulator is a perfect example. It’s surprising how a game centered around cleansing dirt and grime with a pressure washer can be so irresistibly engaging.
Faced with vast expanses of muck, the game’s allure lies in grabbing your cleaning machine, armed with its variety of nozzles, and diving into a messy job. The process is oddly calming, almost meditative, as you clear up the filth across different maps in the career mode. Each clean section rewards you with a satisfying “pling,” a small dopamine hit that keeps you hooked. Once you start, you’ll find yourself engrossed, thinking, “Just a few hundred more sections, and this place will be spotless.”
PowerWash Simulator even allows for co-op mode, where you can invite a friend for a joint cleansing spree. It’s a clean, wholesome fun that seems unlikely but works wonderfully well.
Dirt Rally – The Apex of Off-Road Racing Simulation
Codemasters have truly struck gold with their initial venture into the realm of early access development with Dirt Rally. The game boasts an impressive player base of 136,000 players and a user rating of 92% on Steam, cementing its spot among the best simulator games.
This success story is largely attributable to an enhanced focus on driving realism and a deliberate deviation from the more console-style presentation that characterized earlier iterations of Dirt games. Much like F1 2015, Dirt Rally has adopted an all-new handling model that feels significantly more nuanced and weighty, catering perfectly to enthusiasts seeking a near-authentic off-road racing experience. The driving mechanics particularly shine when paired with a good force feedback wheel.
This UK-based studio has an established reputation for crafting games that perfectly emulate the delicate balance of rally driving. After all, they’re the brains behind the iconic Colin McRae Rally back in 1998. But with Dirt Rally, they’ve managed to strip away the fancy extras to focus on delivering what might just be the best all-terrain driving model since Richard Burns Rally.
While some die-hard fans might argue that Richard Burns Rally, backed by 14 years of mod development, still holds the top spot for rally simulation, getting it to run seamlessly on modern PCs can be quite a task. It’s time to embrace the fact that Dirt Rally represents the future of low-grip, high-thrill motor racing simulations.
Farming Simulator 22 – Agriculture At Its Most Authentic
The quintessence of the Farming Simulator experience remains consistent – acquire more fields, upgrade your farming equipment, and relish the tranquility of your daily routine amidst lush green landscapes. Farming Simulator 22 provides an incredibly wide selection of machinery and tools, featuring brands that would be household names in any farmer’s abode.
In terms of delivering a truly authentic farming experience without the necessity of actual muddy boots, this game reigns supreme. This authenticity is further amplified by the updated visuals, customizable farms, and even the delightful addition of rideable horses. Farming Simulator 22 surpasses its predecessors to become the standout star of the series. What’s more, it now facilitates communal farming through crossplay, allowing you to cultivate your fields with friends, making it one of the best simulator games on the market today.
ARMA 3 – Embrace the Realism of War
ARMA 3 isn’t interested in coddling you, in fact, it has little concern for whether you’re having a good time or not. Its priority isn’t your kill-to-death ratio from Call Of Duty. This game revolves around a single premise: realism, and it does so exceptionally well that it was once mistakenly used as real-life war footage.
In ARMA 3, you’ll find yourself consulting your map and compass more often than aiming your TRG assault rifle down its sights. The game encourages strategic, long-range combat, making it a haven for those who relish the cerebral aspect of a sniper game. When faced with a tank, your initial instinct isn’t to brandish an RPG launcher but to grab your radio instead. Every single key on your keyboard serves a unique purpose in this daunting war simulation.
However, as you take your first fearful steps across its vast battlefields, seeing helicopters hovering above, you start to grasp the hardcore appeal of ARMA 3. The numerous Steam reviews from players with thousands of gameplay hours provide testament to this enduring allure. They’ll acknowledge the game’s irritating bugs, but unanimously concur that these do not detract from the enjoyment of Bohemia’s remarkable large-scale combat simulation.
While ARMA 3 does feature a single-player campaign, the true longevity of the game lies in its multiplayer sandbox. Here, under the watchful eyes of numerous players, you’ll attempt your first helicopter flight, probably with the grace of a flailing insect. It’s also here that you’ll learn to move and communicate effectively as part of an infantry unit, employing voice communications for precise, valuable information rather than frivolous chatter. This transformational experience epitomizes the true power of ARMA 3, one of the best simulator games available.
The Sims 4 – Life Unleashed
Over the years, Maxis has supplemented The Sims 4 with a wealth of Expansion Packs, Stuff Packs, and Game Packs. Consequently, the game now feels akin to hundreds of distinct games bundled into one. You might opt to oversee a family of vampires or werewolves, construct an ultimate tiny home, enjoy a beachside existence, live the high life of rich and famous sims, or simply dedicate hours to building a countryside mansion of unparalleled grandeur.
Whether your passion lies in designing or immersing yourself in the constantly updated lifestyle aspects, The Sims 4 continues to offer unrivaled diversity and depth. Its ongoing commitment to enhancing representation and inclusivity further cements its position as the best among management simulation games. Whether you’re role-playing, constructing, or managing, The Sims 4 stands tall as the paragon of life simulation games.
Microsoft Flight Simulator – A Sky-High Spectacle
The 2020 edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator was a game-changer for the series. For the first time, console players could join their PC counterparts, thanks to the game’s debut on Xbox Game Pass. This was a dream come true for many aspiring aviators who lacked the high-end gaming PCs traditionally required to enjoy such a game. The astonishing flight simulator, created by Asobo Studio, now allows your mind to enter Airplane mode from the comfort of your living room.
The game is a visual feast, with the degree of realism embedded into the technicalities of flight being as awe-inspiring as it is intimidating. The developers have crafted the game with an appreciation for those who simply wish to take off and explore the virtual world. If you want a more casual experience, you can enable all the assist features, turning the game into a stunning global tour. As a virtual pilot, you can marvel at a photorealistic 4K earth, complete with accurate weather patterns. Whether you want to see the world’s famous landmarks or just find your home, Microsoft Flight Simulator obliges with unmatched precision and beauty, securing its spot in the list of the best simulator games.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 – A Journey Unlike Any Other
Some argue that Euro Truck Simulator 2 lacks the aspirational appeal that flying games possess, given the perceived ease of becoming a truck driver versus the daunting hurdles of becoming a pilot. However, the brilliance of Euro Truck Simulator 2 is that it lets you experience the life of a lorry driver without actually having to become one. And in doing so, it delivers one of the best trucking experiences in gaming history.
The game offers a range of experiences. On one side, it’s meditative and soothing; imagine cruising the wide roads of Northern Italy, just under the speed limit, while a local radio station fills your cabin with soft melodies. On the other side, it’s an intense challenge. Think you’ve conquered gaming because you defeated the Fume Knight in Dark Souls II? Try parking a Scania R Highline carrying a yacht after a nocturnal drive from Luxembourg to Budapest.
SCS Software’s simulation is a fascinating version of driving, quite unlike what you might be accustomed to from racing games. Forget your preconceived notions about turning circles and the role of mirrors. In this world, mirrors aren’t just to show the aftermath of your reckless driving, they’re critical to your driving experience, vital to successfully navigating tight corners without dinging your paycheck.
The game also thrives on its substantial modding community, with an impressive collection of additional trucks, maps, liveries, and sound packs that breathe new life into the experience. The base game already provides a vast expanse of roads to traverse and a variety of vehicles, but these mods elevate Euro Truck Simulator 2 into a realm of endless possibilities, making it one of the best simulator games on the market.