Simulators are nothing but games imitating various activities. The themes of these games usually revolve around everyday life or related professional careers and various fields, such as city building or flight simulation.

The 1984 game Fortune Builder, created for the ColecoVision console, is officially recognized as the precursor of the genre. However, we should not overlook the quite significant role of the 1973 game Lemonade Stand created by Bob Jamison, in which players were tasked with making decisions regarding the purchase of supplies and pricing of lemonade based on weather forecasts.

The game was released on Apple II and was recognized as an excellent simulation primer for children in terms of making business decisions.

Since the 1970s, a lot of time has passed, and simulation games have incredibly evolved and gained a multitude of fans. With them in mind, we have prepared our ranking of not only top ten but top fourteen (!) sim games worth playing in 2024!

Criteria for Evaluating Simulation Games

A rich offering of simulation games is a true paradise for their fans, where you can become whoever you want. Depending on whether you prefer fast driving, free flying, house building, city building and management, or virtual businesses, the best simulation games will provide you with a large dose of varied fun and an engaging storyline.

Sim games are engaging and attracting players, forming an active game community where they can share impressions and experiences from the game. The significant interest and activity of players, as well as the availability of official add-ons and unofficial mods make the game, despite the emergence of newer (often improved) rivals, not age and still gathers crowds of fans around it.

And it is precisely criteria such as good fun, playability, engaging storyline, and most importantly, realism of gameplay, as well as player opinions that we took into account when compiling our ranking of the best simulation games for the year 2024.

The Sims 4

Release date:2014-09-02
Genre:Simulation
Developer:Maxis

The Sims 4 is a simulation game released by Electronic Arts. It is another installment in The Sims series, which started in 2000.

Playing The Sims is playing the game of life – we decide the fates of virtual people in which we can embody ourselves. Our task is to take care of their needs, both material and spiritual. The Sims 4 differs slightly from previous installments because its characters experience emotions for the first time, which influence their further development.

The Sims 4 offers not just hours, but days of fun. Over the years, the gameplay has been enriched by fan-made mods, micro-expansions introducing cosmetic fixes, or expansions with story campaigns. It is already a legendary simulation game, offering players virtually unlimited possibilities of fun.

Key features
  • You can play it endlessly
  • Extensive character creation menu
  • Emotion pack influencing character development

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Release date:2019-04-01
Genre:Indie
Developer:Landfall Games

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is a strategic game developed and released by Landfall Games. TABS is often referred to as an absurdly funny game, but the battles taking place in it are based on… pretty accurate laws of physics.

In the game, we immerse ourselves in the battlefield turmoil. Intense skirmishes take place at different evolutionary stages, in different epochs. Two enemy factions are facing off, and it’s up to you whether you will emerge victorious from this battle!

TABS captivates primarily with its innovative approach and a guarantee of great fun. There’s no time for boredom here, and the battles are incredibly captivating.

Key features
  • Extensive campaigns and battles
  • Sandbox mode
  • Various (absurd) units to choose from

Roman Empire Wars

Release date:TBA
Genre:Strategy
Developer:Emperor Games

Roman Empire Wars is an RTS (real-time strategy) game developed and about to be published by Emperor Games. Unfortunately, the release date is not yet known, and information about the game itself is scarce.

Image credit: Emperor Games

What we do know for sure is that in the game, we will take on the role of a ruler of ancient Rome to participate in historical battles and lead our legions into battle. Naval and land battles await us, during which every detail will matter, such as terrain shape or soldiers’ morale.

It must be admitted that the first trailers are breathtaking. The battles look incredibly realistic, as does the graphical design. So all we can do is patiently wait.

Key features
  • Real-time battles
  • Naval and land combat
  • Morale’s impact on the course of battle

House Flipper 2

Release date:2023-12-14
Genre:Simulation
Developer:Empyrean

House Flipper 2 is a simulation game released in 2023 by Frozen District for PC. The release for PlayStation 5 and Xbox X/S is expected on April 10, 2024.

In House Flipper 2, we play as a builder whose task is to buy old, dilapidated houses and restore them to their former glory. Most renovations are carried out at the request of interested property clients, so it’s worth listening to them carefully. Building a house from scratch is also possible.

It turns out that the digital world of builders can be quite relaxing, especially if you can decide on the type of work being done at any given time. Enhanced graphics and gameplay realism compared to the first installment make the title attractive to new players.

Key features
  • Relaxing gameplay, based on building and renovating houses
  • More realistic and enhanced graphics compared to the first installment
  • Possibility to independently choose orders

OMSI 2: Steam Edition

Release date:2013-12-11
Genre:Simulation
Developer:MR-Software GbR

OMSI 2: Steam Edition is a simulation game of a city bus driver. It is the second instalment of the original OMSI released in 2011.

Our hero is a bus driver for Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. The game takes place in Berlin from 1986 to 1994. Our task is to travel through the streets of the German capital.

Both editions of OMSI have gained great recognition among players and critics for their realism in the game, including replicas of original timetables, damage system models, and extensive maps.

Key features
  • Weather changes affecting driving
  • Broken vehicles require time for repair
  • Realistic traffic flow

Goat Simulator

Release date:2014-04-01
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Coffee Stain Studios

Goat Simulator is a surprising simulation game released by Coffee Stain Publishing. We explore an open world from a third-person perspective.

The game is a unique simulation of everyday life. What makes it so unique? The character of a goat that we will embody! However, do not expect our life to be spent in carefree fun, relaxation, and munching on grass. Extraordinary goats are created for extraordinary deeds.

Although the idea itself seems at least strange, the game has gained tremendous player approval. Our goat is walking chaos, so the fun never ends.

Key features
  • You are a goat!
  • Destroy everything around and collect points for it
  • No storyline – just you against the world… And you are a goat!

PC Building Simulator

Release date:2018-03-27
Genre:Indie
Developer:The Irregular Corporation

PC Building Simulator is a critically acclaimed computer building simulation released by The Irregular Corporation.

PC Building Simulator is a kind of training program because during the game, you have the chance to learn or refine your skills in building and maintaining various PC setups. As you can imagine, most of the assembled equipment is geared towards gaming.

The game offers incredible realism, immersing the player in computer repair techniques with very high accuracy.

Key features
  • Three different modes
  • Extensive tutorial
  • Building a computer from scratch

Football Manager 2024

Release date:2023-11-06
Genre:
Developer:Sports Interactive

Football Manager 2024 is already the twentieth installment of the Football Manager series, released by Sega.

Football Manager 2024 is a simulator of a football team at full throttle. Step into the shoes of a team manager, build your team from scratch, and lead it to victory – if you can…

Realistic game animations of players, building the team from scratch, realism of all actions – these are just some of the features that have made the Football Manager series a must-have for every football fan.

Key features
  • Amazing realism of gameplay
  • Intelligent transfer mechanics
  • Numerous new and improved mechanisms

ARMA 3

Release date:2013-09-12
Genre:Strategy
Developer:Bohemia Interactive

Arma 3 is the third installment of the first-person shooter series Arma, developed and published by Bohemia Interactive Studio.

The action of Arma 3 is set in the very near future. In the game, we play as Corporal Ben Kerry. Our task is to create a unit and go into battle against the enemy.

Arma 3 is an incredible title that captivates players with its realism, both in terms of graphics and faithful representation of real battles.

Key features
  • Dynamic worlds of Altis and Straits
  • Extensive, realistic arsenal
  • Variety of military vehicles

Euro Truck Simulator 2

Release date:2013-01-16
Genre:Economy
Developer:SCS Software

Euro Truck Simulator 2 is the continuation of the game Euro Truck Simulator from 2008, released by SCS Software.

In Euro Truck Simulator 2, we play as a truck driver, and our task is to transport goods throughout Europe.

Thanks to Euro Truck Simulator 2, you can feel like a real truck driver. The game is nicely done, and the realism of the gameplay – from choosing the truck, through picking up goods, to delivering them – elevates the fun to higher levels.

Key features
  • Digital journey through European roads
  • Extensive truck tuning options
  • Building your own transport company

Powerwash

Release date:2021-05-19
Genre:Simulation
Developer:Nokta Games

Powerwash is a… power washing simulator game released by Square Enix.

The game action mostly takes place in the fictional town of Muckingham. In the game, we play as a power washer operator whose task is to clean the city streets from the overwhelming dirt. The task may be difficult, especially because of volcano awakening and unexpected visits from Bigfoot.

To general surprise, Powerwash is an incredibly relaxing game. The soothing sound of water and the dirt disappearing under its high pressure can work wonders for our psyche. The high realism of the gameplay adds flavour to it.

Key features
  • Relaxing simulation game
  • Feel pure satisfaction
  • Realistic graphics

Supermarket Simulator

Release date:2024-02-20
Genre:
Developer:

Supermarket Simulator is an early access simulator released on February 20, 2024. The official release of the game is planned for 2025.

The gameplay takes place from a first-person perspective. In the game, we play as the owner of a supermarket, and our task is to run the store starting from the very basics.

Despite all its simplicity, the game has gained many positive reviews from players. The realistic simulator allows you to see the work in the supermarket from the inside.

Key features
  • Realistic gameplay
  • Create a supermarket from scratch
  • Run retail trade and survive

Farming Simulator

Release date:2021-11-22
Genre:Simulation
Developer:Giants Software

Farming Simulator is a series of agrarian simulators released from 2008 to 2023, with the first instalment titled Farming Simulator Classic.

We play as farmers running their own farms. We have a range of agricultural machinery and vehicles at our disposal. It’s up to us how we run our farm, and if we succeed, we may even create a farming empire.

The series, improved from year to year, attracts new players with its realism and high-quality graphics. The option to play with friends means you don’t feel like leaving the monitor.

Key features
  • Hours of fun by running your very own farm
  • Many free mods available
  • Realistic and engaging gameplay

BeamNG.drive

Release date:2015-05-29
Genre:Adventure
Developer:BeamNG

BeamNG.drive is a real-time car simulation game developed and published by BeamNG GmbH. We have many diverse vehicles at our disposal: from ordinary cars through racing cars to huge, heavy trucks.

Of course, BeamNG.drive is not just an ordinary simulator. The creators ensured that the game is captivating.

Crashes and damage are incredibly realistic, and players themselves are responsible for creating their own vehicles and even maps.

Key features
  • Huge selection of vehicles
  • Realistic crashes
  • Building maps on your own

Conclusion

What connects all selected by us, the most popular games for the year 2024 is certainly the realism of gameplay. Although they are not always the newest titles, thanks to realistic effects or faithful reflections of real occupations, they attract crowds of fans. Fans who, by throwing new ideas or creating mods, have a huge impact on the further development of a given title.

Don’t believe it? See for yourself by trying out our awesome selected positions! Or maybe you already have your dream top ten simulation games? Share your list with us!