Are you bored with the same old routine of RPGs and adventure games? Looking for games that are more realistic with less violence? Life simulation games are just the thing for you! Life sims are games that let you control a character, a group of one or you could even play as a god. In a digital world, you will complete quests, build cities, heck you can build Jurassic Park, or even fly a plane to one of the world’s biggest airports! As you can see, these life simulators are intensely diversified. You may find something to your fancy below. Here we have a list of the 20 best life simulation games for PC:
1. Microsoft Flight Simulator
Often hailed as the best life simulator game ever, Microsoft’s Flight Simulator brings you a world rich with detail and depth. Or rather “our” world. The realism that this game captures is actually scary. This is instantly noticeable as soon as you land at an airport you have physically visited. You will instantly recognize the layout of the city and the airport. In the game, you have access to around 20 different planes and an immense number of airports. Only 20 of these airports are built by developers, while the rest are magically crafted by a smart AI using map services on the go. You could fly the plane on auto-pilot to simply enjoy the view or you could opt for a little challenge by doing some things manually.
2. The Sims 2
The sequel to the earth-shattering game of video game history was released in 2004. Multiple titles and expansions have consistently been released since then. This gem of a game is filled with endless possibilities for creativity and characters full of distinct personalities. Just like in life, the goal of this game is to primarily enjoy the moment. You can play it as an architecture simulator, business simulator, or maybe the best of all worlds! It is just impossible to sum such a vast game in a few sentences.
3. Stardew Valley
This 16-bit dreamy countryside is just the place you want to be in those lazy afternoons. Stardew Valley offers an immensely interactable and deep world with RPG elements. You inherit a gorgeous farm after your grandfather passed away. Soon you leave your corporate job and come back to your hometown to rebuild it. The decision to what to upgrade, what to do, are all left to you as you explore this rural world filled with possibilities. The changing seasons with their unique, soulful soundtracks, the charming and well-written town folk to build relationships with, the ambitious main quest, and all the farming, fishing, mining, fighting monsters, etc. will have you playing for at least 100 hours or more.
4. Cities: Skylines
Cities: Skylines is one of the best city building life simulator games on PC. This amazing simulator lets players build big, beautiful sprawling cities of their dreams. Building roads, planning different sectors for commercial, residential, and industrial purposes all the while acting like a god building huge structures in a short while, sums up the general experience. And all that is just the tip of the iceberg. Each of these sectors is full of diverse sub-divisions which will keep learning as you progress in the game. Traffic just like in reality is a real pain here as well.
5. Kerbal Space Program
Kerala Space Program will have you do multiple trials and errors till you succeed. This game plays out like a rocket simulator, wherein you will have to do all it takes to get that rocket into space, in the perfect orbit no less. The management of the weight of the rocket, the fuel it carries, and the heavy engine is a crucial aspect of the game. All this is available in the career mode, but if you are looking for a simple relaxing experience then the sandbox mode will give you just that.
6. The Sims 3
The third installment of the series revolutionizes the Sims experience by taking away the emphasis of a single home. Your sims will now freely roam around the city, instead of you watching them sitting and doing stuff in a confined space. Switching between your sims is effortless and feels right. Many players do not realize that a part of the game is to simply sit back and enjoy your sims doing a bunch of stuff on their own. The Sims 3 continues to be what the previous games were good at, which is being one of the best and biggest life sims with emphasis on time management.
7. My Time at Portia
For a post-apocalyptic game, My Time at Portia is quite a cheerful game. You play as a young man aspiring to be the greatest builder in Portia, like his father. So it is obvious that the game is based on a lot of building, besides that there are RPG mechanics and resource management as well. At first, the farming of resources and other mechanics are quite simple, but you won’t become the greatest builder with just that. As the game progresses each mechanism gets more complex, but soon enough you are provided with better tools as to not make it a hassle. It’s not all grinding and building though, as there are a lot of events in the game with fun mini-games to enjoy.
8. Two Point Hospital
The classic hospital simulation game genre received one of the best life simulators when Two Point Hospital was released in 2018. The funny names of the diseases and vivid art style of the game hide behind it the smart strategic problem-solving mechanics it is at the core. You will be given 15 hospitals to manage in the Two-point county, each with its respective goals and quests. Managing them successfully and turning in some profit is the basic premise of the game. The looks of the hospitals are just as important as the staff in them. Building a fancy hospital will attract some of the best doctors, plus hiring staff with a keen eye for their personalities will go a long way as well.
9. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
After playing Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles for a few hours, you will realize that the game’s design is minimalistic, and yet the limitless amount of things to do seem to contradict it. The game has negligible restrictions on its players. Every element of the game, namely farming, story, and exploration are independent of each other. There are no level or rank restrictions for anything. This unhurried and peaceful game lets you do whatever you want whenever you want. It is clearly inspired by some of the best titles in video game history like Zelda, animal crossing, etc.
10. Graveyard Keeper
Tend for a graveyard in your medieval village and bury the dead respectfully. You act as the founder and caretaker of the graveyard in your village. You will start on a small patch of land with a few headstones. As you progress through the game, you will keep expanding your graveyard. Manage your energy and time by prioritizing tasks like, digging graves, clearing land for expansion, paling headstones, etc. Farming and crafting many items is also a major part of the game. With the new free DLC, you get the ability to reincarnate the dead and give them tasks. Graveyard Keeper seemingly does not have an ending as you can keep expanding your graveyard and keep earning money.
Reigns is a retro-themed game in which you will play as a king of a medieval kingdom. Just as every king has its wise advisors, you too will have yours. The game revolves around making the choosing the right advice from your advisors and maintaining peace and prosperity in your kingdom. You must maintain the balance between the four pillars of the country, namely the kingdom, the military, the church, and the wealth. Each choice powers up one or more of the factions while reducing the power of others. Even if one of them becomes extinct or too strong your reign will end immediately.
12. Planet Zoo
Planet Zoo offers you an insanely customizable world and more than 50 detailed animals to place them in. You could spend hours creating a perfect and heavenly place for your furry and feathery friends, the sheer amount of possible variations is astounding. You could also copy some of the other player’s builds as well. The animals have enjoyable animations and their skin texture (fur, feathers, etc.) almost looks real! Many species give you bonuses with their affinity bonus when placed together. An easy-to-understand interface will teach you, all you need to know to keep these animals happy. With enough success, you can convert your zoo into a franchise!
13. Bee Simulator
The ultimate Bee Simulator is now purchasable from the Epic games store. Bee Simulator as the name suggests, lets you be a cute, little, fuzzy bee. But just like a real bee, you will have a lot of stuff to take care of. Pollination, making honey from nectar, defending and outsmarting wasps, scaring away humans who bother you, and building a pretty hive for your family. The beautiful world of Bee Simulator is brimming with life and threats, it demands you to make the best decisions for yourself and your hive.
14. Airplane Mode
Playing Airplane Mode will make you feel nostalgic. After all with the current situation of the pandemic, many countries have scant air travel options. In Airplane mode, you will be experiencing air travel as a passenger. But it’s not a sitting stimulator, the experience feels completely realistic! You will have to put up with long flights by entertaining yourself by watching movies, have a delicious-looking meal, read a book or solve some puzzles in the newspaper. Also, each time you play, there will be random disturbing events like infuriating delays, no Wifi, or even tolerating a baby’s cry for a while.
15. Fallout Shelter
For players who are not a fan of survival horror games of the famous post-apocalyptic “Fallout” game series, Bethesda studios have a new title to offer. You can enjoy the Fallout experience as a town (or rather bunker) simulator. Managing the production and maintenance of enough food, water, and electricity is just the basics. You will also have to defend yourself against threats like raiders and disgusting radroaches. Everyone in bunkers has to work at different departments (people work better if you match their stats with the industry) with you as the manager. While during the first few days you won’t have enough manpower and may need to compromise somewhere, later it gets easier as more people are available.
16. Second Life
The game truly promises us players what the name suggests, quite literally “Second Life”. This is precisely so because of the high degree of freedom this sandbox world offers. Your lifestyle and your buildings can be as detailed and sophisticated as you want, from a simple structure with no details to a skyscraper looking like a five-star hotel. Just like in life, the deeper you would like to go, the more time-consuming it will be. This richness in detail is not just limited to building, your character can be customized down to basic details. You can also roam around wherever you please and visit others.
17. The Bus
The name doesn’t leave much to explain. The game promises incredible details of the mechanics behind a public transport bus. Apart from the usual picking up and dropping passengers, you will be collecting their tickets, driving around an AI traffic system, and managing different routes. All this will take place in a detailed, virtual version of the city of Berlin. Famous buildings, with changing seasons and landmarks of the city are well depicted and filled with passengers waiting for a ride.
18. House Flipper
In House Flipper you buy a ruined house and work hard to renovate it into a posh home, to sell it for some serious cash. Fortunately or unfortunately, House Flipper is brutally realistic. From changing fuses, rewiring sockets, making furniture, even cleaning the windows before selling the house, it makes you work for those big bucks. House flipper is just as appealing and fun as the Sims with the doll-house view of the house, to give you a higher view.
19. Jurassic World Evolution
Relive the experience of the Jurassic world movie starring the same actors from the movie but with hilarious voice acting. With a small cluster of tropical islands as a base, you must build a dinosaur theme park for the public. after the tedious work of discovering and analyzing all the gene codes for 42 dinosaur species, you can finally build your dream dino-park! Or so you might think, but the sandbox map is quite restrictive. After some basic tasks and setup of your park, you can also choose to drive around the map in a jeep or fly in a helicopter, to bask in the beautiful sight of dinosaurs alive and roaming around in the wild. Unlike the movie all dinosaurs ignore your presence.
Who knew having aquatic pets was so much fun? Customize your dream fish tank, add in your favorite aquatic pets, and get ready to have some fun. To make their personal ecosystem more pretty, add in some cute corals, pebbles and stones, aquatic plants, etc. You can even visit them with a mini-submarine and swim with them! It’s not all fun and frolic though, as your fish can die in cringy ways. Save them from being affected by diseases, fungus, stop them from jumping out of the tank, prevent them from getting killed by an innocent child, etc.