To see all the complete ranking, visit our listing of the best PC simulation games of all time.
Opening our list is a team-up between Aperture Labs and Bridge Constructors. Take the role of an employee of Aperture Science and build bridges, ramps and other constructions in numerous test chambers.
However, instead of the regular bridge-constructing, you’ll be able to make things easier (or complicated) with the presence of these physics-defying portals. If you’re expecting a pure Portal game, this ain’t it. The cake is a lie, but the bridge constructing is real. Solve a myriad of puzzles similar to Portal’s problem, without the ever-present portal gun.
Game Grin’s Dominoid gave it a 9 out of 10. Praising the game’s steep learning curve and difficulty. Saying that, “It’s tough as nails, and you’ll need to put some hours in if you want to complete it, but it’s addictive and totally worth it.”
There is an apparent challenge here, and it’s not for kids who don’t like science. There’s plenty of brain-teasers in each level and it requires careful thinking and planning. It has a playscore of 8.24.
9. Dungeons 3
There isn’t a lot of games that let you play the bad guy, let alone the embodiment of EVIL. Kalypso Media’s RTS game lets you finally play like that one crazy guy who designs a treacherous dungeon.
Dungeons 3 is a continuation of the previous Dungeon titles, but this time, there are enough resources for you to mess around against the helpless heroes that venture into your personal hell. Game Watcher gave this one an 8.50, citing that, “Dungeons 3 is plain, straight, addictive fun from start to finish.”
3 manages to add more nuance to the art of the Dungeon Keeper titles while adding a bit of meta-humor into the mix. But despite the additional content, the game is far from perfect. Game Grin gave it a 7.50 out of 10, saying that, “A fun, interesting dungeon builder that lacks confidence in its own identity.”It doesn’t really have the same oomph that was once captured us in the previous titles, but it does make up for its massive amount of things to do. In short, it’s not quite bad.
It receives a playscore of an 8.29.
This is made for those who were still around during the early days of RollerCoaster Tycoon. Especially to those who spent hours and hours building that perfect railway system. Parkitect is a love-letter to that kind of feeling. It puts you once again as a businessman responsible to build the best theme park in the world. How would you create that perfect park? It’s all up to you. Throughout your proprietorship, you’ll be doing most of that “Walt Disney” stuff.
Destructoid loved this game so much they gave it a 9 out of 10. Asking the question, “... "is this game a modern-day RollerCoaster Tycoon?" the answer is an absolute yes.” As a Steam title, the game is open for fun experimentation in the Steam ‘Workshop’, where you can learn and find some nifty techniques to gain more profit. PC Gamer also had something to say. They gave it a 7.50 out of 10, also saying that it’s, “...fun and mechanically sound, but not something you’re going to queue up hours for.”
Overall, it has a playscore of 8.33.
Concepts like these are the reason why we decided to limit these games ‘of the last three years’, otherwise, they’d be buried with the huge amount of Strategy games on the PC.
Do Not Feed The Monkeys is an interesting game where your only job is to watch strangers through surveillance cameras. The ‘monkeys’ aren’t real monkeys. These are human subjects you’re tasked to spy on. It’s up to you if you want to mess around or simply watch how their everyday lives go. Either way, your decisions will impact the game’s ending.
Game Reactor gave it an 8 out of 10. Claiming that, “It's one of those little gems that you have to try because it does things differently and exemplifies the diversity and creativity on display on the indie scene.”
For a game about voyeurism, it does so well that it doesn’t take itself seriously, although it had its fair share of social commentary that speaks a lot about our society. But most of all, you’re basically watching people do stupid things. It has a playscore of an 8.38.
From the team that gave us that emotionally wrecking survival game, This War of Mine, they have another title that will give us an even bigger responsibility for the future of the human race.
Frostpunk is a beautiful city-building game with a depressing story about a sunless Earth. In short, everything is FREEZING COLD. You are an Overseer tasked to lead these survivors into a new tomorrow. Battle frostbites and hypothermia by building massive steam-powered machines capable of bringing heat and warmth to your people.
Hardcore Gamer gave it an 8 out of 10, saying that, “Hours will go by as you are consumed into the doom-and-gloom of your city while trying to make sure people don’t die.“ Its chilling morality lets you pick sides depending on which Laws you sign. You could assert your dominance under a disciplinary system, or bring hope to people through religious means.
There are multiple ways to save your people, and that’s where Frostpunk shines. Even GameSpot gave this a 9 out of 10. Praising the game’s unique survival elements. Saying that, “Frostpunk is among the best overall takes on the survival city builder to date.“
Winter has come and Climate Change is real guys. The game receives a playscore of an 8.52
Apart from building roller coasters, Simulations are also saving lives through medical breakthroughs… and a whole lot of silliness. SEGA’s Two Point Hospital is a hospital building game where you construct the most efficient medical facility and cure those who fall ill from unusual diseases. However, the game is not as normal as you think it’d be. Although it deals with illnesses, the patients you meet aren’t exactly part of the status quo. There are aliens to probe, mummies to heal and even robots to fix.
Rachel Weber from Games Radar applauded the game’s design, giving it a perfect 10. Saying that, “... it's taken the funny bones and beating hearts of the original and transplanted them into an entirely new mini-universe of glee and medical mischief.”
Like most modern games, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Any moment you’ll be dealing with a massive horde of the undead, or a swarm of extraterrestrial freaks. Aside from maybe its functionality issues, Two Point Hospital is a wellspring of comedy that might tickle your funny bones. It has a playscore of 8.54.
The makers of Don’t Starve are back with another fantastic title that tests your wits, skills, and patience. This sci-fi simulation game takes you to the harsh reaches of space where you survive and make do with your limited resources. Everything you do in this space colony is under your control. As the overseer, make sure everything is in check because just when you thought you had it all figured out, the game continues to troll you in the most unexpected ways possible.
UK Reviewer Metro gave it an 8 out 10. Praising the game’s design. Cites that Oxygen Not Included is a “Funny, clever, and extremely complex mix of management simulator and survival game that manages to make abject failure almost as entertaining as success.”
There are numerous solutions to handle each problem and this game isn’t all too considerate of your numerous responsibilities. It continues to mess you up no matter the costs, and that’s the major challenge (and one of the best features) of this title. It has a playscore of an 8.64.
If Vaporwave was a videogame, then this is it. Dive into virtual cyberspace where the law is at its most vulnerable. Hypnospace Outlaw is a trippy internet simulator where you take the role of a Hypnospace Enforcer.
As badass as it sounds, your job is to hunt down web wrongdoers. Watch out for illegal activities including malware spreading, copyright infringement and even mysterious conspiracies that might shake society. On the surface, it looks like a nostalgic trip to the old days of the internet, but its detective elements make the game worth your time.
PC Gamer gave it an 8.10, impressed by the game’s puzzle elements, saying that, “It respects you enough to let you figure things out at your own pace, and with almost no hand-holding.”
Zoomers might not be able to grasp the complexities of this internet age, but the generations before will surely find a sanctuary of the best (and worst) things of 1990s internet. It has a playscore of an 8.66.
Probably the most wholesome entry on this list. Slime Rancher is an adorable and straightforward adventure where you manage a ranch and raise cute extraterrestrial slimes. As a young Rancher who recently got access to this renowned property, you are tasked to get it up and running. There are a plethora of fun things to do that’s reminiscent to farm-simulator classics like Harvest Moon.
Instead of that 2D feel, this first-person simulator has a modern touch. You’re left to explore this sprawling world loaded with secrets and hidden treasures. CGMagazine’s Jed Whitaker gave it a perfect 10, saying that, “Slime Rancher is one of the cutest games out there.”Although the has a charming premise, some of the concerns stem from its repetitiveness. PC Gamer gave it a 6.50, criticizing the game’s gameplay, saying that, “A slight and repetitive but cute farming game, Slime Rancher doesn't quite reach the heights of its sub-genre.”
If you’re into this fantastic slime-ranching experience, there’s no stopping you. It’s the perfect stress-reliever after a looooong day. Slime Rancher receives a playscore of an 8.84.
After years in Early Access, it’s about time Ludeon Studios unleashes their sci-fi colony simulator where you create your own mesmerizing story and help these crash-landed survivors. Powered by an intelligent AI storyteller, every scenario is randomly generated, adding more depth to its survival elements. It feels like watching a different sci-fi story in each passing moment. Characters have different paths and the planet isn’t all too friendly with the human race.
Game Reactor’s Mike Holmes gave it a perfect 10. Praising the game’s allure, saying that, “It's the kind of game that you'll wake up thinking about, that you'll sink untold hours into, that'll run in the background while life goes on all around you.” And he’s not lying, most players on Steam racked up 200 hours and even more of their game time. But hey, like most games, RimWorld isn’t close to perfect.
PC Gamer’s Sam Greer had something to say about the game’s design, although its AI-generated story is interesting, he iterated that, “...you can't help but begin to see the gears and cogs in the machine.” Amidst all that, RimWorld is a realistic take on the sci-fi space sim genre with a playscore of an 8.90.