Do you love SimCity? Craving for more similar simulation games in your life? This list has got you covered! Check out my picks for the 10 Best City Building Games like SimCity. Each of the following PC games is a stunning world / town / city building simulator in its own right. You may have already heard of some of these simulation games, but others are fairly obscure. Like SimCity, all of them give you the awesome power to shape the precious lives of the citizens who inhabit your stunning sandbox creations.
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1 | Tropico 5
Return to the island nation of Tropico in Tropico 5. This epic city building game is packed with a sizable campaign with tons of enjoyable features. You can pick the era you wish to reign in, ranging from the colonial period, World Wars, Cold War, all the way up to modern times. Each era has its own available buildings and edicts which gives each period a unique feel. You can develop advanced trading mechanics, technology trees, and scientific research. The game’s policy feature also lets you pick what laws exist on you own island. Tropico 5 also comes with multiplayer for up to four players and allows for custom sandbox maps and missions. Players looking for games like SimCity will not be disappointed!
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2 | Banished
Take control of a group of exiled travelers who have begun their new lives in Banished. You need to keep your citizens happy, healthy, and fed to grow your settlement. These townspeople are your primary resource in a building simulation game that lacks skill trees and traditional money systems. Banished opts instead for a bartering market that works just as well. There are twenty different occupations that your citizens can have such as hunting, farming, and teaching. It’s important never to get too complacent, though, as each playthrough poses unique scenarios challenging you to adopt fresh strategies.
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3 | Gnomoria
Lead a group of gnomes in Gnomoria, a sandbox village management game. These gnomes have set out into the world and want to thrive. To help them survive you will need to craft items, set traps, build structures, and collect resources. The environment is fully destructible; anything can be broken down and rebuilt elsewhere. Players can sculpt the land while fending off monsters and other invaders. Each gnome can be molded as an individual with a unique combination of attributes, with each playing a distinct role in the expansion of your village. Graphics are old-skool, gameplay is fabulous!
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4 | Stonehearth
Enter into the fantasy world of Stonehearth with its charming blocky characters and environment. You’ll be helping a small group of settlers thrive in a dangerous land where monsters constantly invade. When you’re not defending your land, you’ll be working to gather food, build shelter, and expand your village. All members of the town have jobs, such as crafting, fighting, and gathering materials. You can decide whether you want to create a powerful empire or a buzzing trading center – the choice is yours! The game is also open to mods that introduce an infinite realm of customization. As with other games like SimCity, there is no shortage of things to do in Stonehearth!
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5 | Imagine Earth
Imagine Earth is a city building (or should I say, planetary?) simulatior that takes place in space. This is a real-time simulation game with a heavy focus on climate change. You must adapt to a new planetary ecosystem and its natural limitations to be successful. One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want to push for unbridled corporate success or care for the wellbeing of your people and environment. You must thus find the perfect balance between sustainability and growth as you search for new energy sources in order to avoid yet another climate collapse. Imagine Earth is arguably one of the freshest and best simulation games available for the PC.
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6 | Cities: Skylines
Cities: Skylines is without a doubt one of the best city building games of the modern era. Similar to SimCity, this simulation is easy to pick up but hard to master. You work as the city’s mayor and must manage healthcare, taxes, education, and much more. Citizens react according to your choices and will complain if irritated. As one of few city building games like SimCity, you can develop your urban sandbox empire as you like by creating neighborhoods, industrial, and commercial areas. This game is so detailed and customizable that you can even change the names of businesses and even… cows. The game allows for extensive modding that unlocks Cities: Skyline’s full potential. Some critics have even claimed Cities: Skylines to be “more like SimCity than SimCity”. That says a lot about its status as one of the best city building simulation games like SimCity ever made.
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7 | Startopia
Startopia is often hailed as a cult classic. This early 2000’s game has the player rebuilding a network of space stations destroyed after the apocalypse. To succeed, you need to gain the interest of various alien races. These aliens provide their knowledge and create new technologies that will improve your space stations. Conflict arises when each race wants you to build their ideal station, even as you retain creative control. Startopia also features a sandbox and multiplayer mode for those interested in collective space micromanagement.
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8 | Lethis – Path of Progress
Dive into the Victorian Steampunk universe of Lethis – Path of Progress. This city building game takes place during a period of rapid urbanization. You’ll be tasked with constructing and managing Lethis while keeping citizens happy. As with games similar to SimCity, this title features wonderful and charming graphics as well as a light-hearted soundtrack. You can grow and expand your city by building farms, factories, neighborhoods, and more. Each socio-economic class has their own needs; the poor want basic cutlery while the rich want jewelry. Upset citizens will riot and undermine progress. Players looking for more games like SimCity will adore this uniquely themed city building game!
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9 | Stronghold HD
Stronghold HD is the right choice for you if you’re searching for classic building simulator games like SimCity. This old-skool castle management simulator is now available in fully remastered HD. The task at hand is to unite medieval England and take back the land stolen from you. The game features various missions such as capturing enemy castles, breaking sieges, and accumulating gold. You get to design your own castle as well as decide how to divide your limited resources among your people, economy, and military. You’ll also be managing taxes, harvesting resources, creating weapons, and assembling troops. Perfect for players looking for games like SimCity with a medieval twist!
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Also check out the Complete Stronghold Bundle Collection (non-HD)
10 | Project AURA
Project AURA takes place after severe climate change destroyed the earth and most of human civilization (not too far from the truth?). At the end of the 21st century, remaining humans built cities on seas impervious to the dangerous atmosphere. Due to food and supply shortage, humanity decided to take refuge and hibernate using cryo-preservation. You take control of this newly awakened colony of disaster survivors and must create a prosperous habitat from scratch. You’ll need to develop technology to improve the colony’s research, infrastructure, and production. Best of all, you’ll even get the chance to explore what remains of the 21st century – a little added exploratory bonus for gamers looking for more games like SimCity!