The finest simulator games allow you to try out a lifestyle you never knew you wanted to try or a profession you never knew you were interested in. Some games are difficult and need you to gain technical skills in order to succeed, while others are more like playable ASMR in that they put you in a state of flow and provide a nice distraction from your everyday life.
We’ve got you covered whether you’re looking to unleash your inner middle-aged man with a jet washer, leave the rat race for a life tending turnips, or launch a new career as a producer behind the scenes of a British television network.
If you’re looking for a new fix of delicious sim bliss, check back often as we update this list when more bizarre and amazing simulators appear on PC and consoles.
Accumulator of Actual Crime
Basically, how hardened a criminal would you say you are? That means you won’t enjoy Noble Muffins’ Thief Simulator. This open-world burglary simulator may be perfect for the average Joe who fantasizes about being a bad guy.
Find homes to rob and sneak around inside to learn the routines of the residents. Then you may break in with your beat-up black van and an assortment of theft implements to make off with anything that isn’t bolted down. Gain notoriety as the neighborhood bad guy of choice by mastering the skills of lock picking, security system reconfiguration, and window breaking. Basically, don’t get caught!
Euro Truck 2 Simulator
Who would have thought that a game in which you control a truck would be so engaging? Obviously, SCS Software did, since the sequel to their trucking simulator is currently one of the highest-rated games on Steam, ranking ahead of titles like Dishonored, Civilization V, and Half-Life 2. As a matter of fact, Euro Truck Simulator 2 provides that devastating mix of being enormously relaxing and fiercely captivating, with the pleasant journeys along your designated trade routes segmented by junctures of deep strategy, as you think about things like fuel, finances, and furbishing your rig with new upgrades. The crowning triumph of Euro Truck Simulator 2 is that it is not only a game for transport experts but rather is enjoyable for anybody who has even a passing interest in the freedom that comes with driving.
The phenomenally successful zombie mod for ARMA 2, DayZ, is what brings the ARMA name to the attention of most people, but ARMA 3 deserves some of the credit for what it brought to the table of military simulation. Bohemia Interactive’s ARMA 3 is a brilliant example of the sandbox strategy genre, providing players with a dynamic, organic battlefield in which to act out their own personal war stories against friends and adversaries.
To maintain the sense of immediacy in each interaction, the simulation is detailed to a certain extent. The fact that ARMA 3 can be horrifying at times is a credit to how well it captures the feeling of modern warfare and how well it immerses the player in the experience.
Harvest Moon: The Video Game
The fundamentals of the Farming Simulator haven’t changed much; expand your farm by purchasing more land and better machinery, and spend your days relaxing in the scenic countryside. You can choose from a wide variety of high-quality machines and equipment made by well-known companies (if you are a farmer). The game’s improved aesthetics, customizable farms, and rideable horses make it one of the most authentic agricultural experiences you can have without getting your wellies muddy. By far the greatest of the series, Farming Simulator 22 also lets you farm with your buddies online through crossplay.
The Planet Coaster
Screams from a frankly dangerously built theme park ride would be missing from any “greatest simulators” list. However, that is exactly what paying customers to expect. Frontier Developments, experts in management simulations, present Planet Coaster to satisfy your craving for a throwback to the Rollercoaster Tycoon era. It’s never been more exciting to create your very own theme park, from the flowerbeds on up, than in this game. There is a lot for first-time players to learn as they construct, manage, and staff their theme parks. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, though, Planet Coaster’s possibilities seem endless. Whatever type of theme park you’re hoping to create, you’ll be able to locate all the necessary components here thanks to the game’s seemingly infinite supply of downloadable content packs.
Simulation Game of Cooking
Aiming to experience what it’s like to work alone in a commercial kitchen? The appropriate response is “YES CHEF!” and here to put your cooking abilities to the test in a massive, realistic kitchen is Cooking Simulator. If you’ve only played Cooking Mama, this is like jumping in the deep end of the pool. Your customers have high expectations, and cooking is more than just twirling a wooden spoon around a pot. Instead, you need to meticulously measure each ingredient, cut your meats and vegetables into uniform sizes, and cook them in the appropriate pots. Fortunately, the game’s developer, Big Cheese, lets you ignite fires, smash plates, and blow up the microwave if you’re in the mood for mindless devastation, which is how many of us had our first meals. Oops.
The Urban Skyline
In 2015, Cities: Skylines offered a fresh take on Maxis’s classic SimCity template, reviving interest in the city-sim subgenre. Skylines play like a contemporary city-sim in every respect, and it’s never looked better to see your metropolis grow and prosper in real-time. Nonetheless, rest assured that not much has altered. People in your cities still dislike living in close proximity to the sewage treatment facility or without access to clean water. Fussy. Also available on console, Cities: Skylines joins a growing list of simulator games that offer the convenience of a controller for players who aren’t as skilled with a mouse and keyboard but still want to experience the game’s compelling simulation of urban planning and development.
Which of these simulator games have you tried?