Simulation games have always been immensely popular, and it's pretty easy to see why. Whatever the game is, be it Assetto Corsa or World of Warships, whether you're a pilot flying a helicopter or creating your own theme park, simulation games are incredibly entertaining.
With such a variety of simulation games out there, only rounding up 10 was a difficult task. We've managed to do this by only listing the highest-ranking and rated games worldwide, as well as any that we love to play.
Although they may not boast quite as much thrill and action as other games, simulator games provide a whole world of entertainment in itself. With many of them, you have the ability to, in other words, (virtually) 'play God', and you have complete control over your creations.
Take The Sims, you can choose relationships, careers, and in some expansion packs, you'll get to go swimming in tropical islands or sending them to university. With X-Plane 11, you're able to actually fly an aircraft, of which you have a wide range to choose from.
Simulation games are incredibly addictive, so before you go and spend your next couple of free hours playing, take a look at our best simulator games guide, as you may just find an unexpected new favourite.
We've included a wide range of different games so that no matter what you're looking for, you'll find it in our roundup.
The best simulation games
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Put your pilot skills to the test with the Microsft Flight Simulator. Choose between standard planes to wide jets, face the challenge of difficult weather and nighttime piloting, and enjoy the stunning views of metropolitan cities and vibrant nature landscapes. What we will say is that you'll need some powerful hardware to run this game smoothly, so make sure you have one of the best gaming PCs with you. With a top gaming PC, you'll be able to see some outstanding visual detail; it's incredibly realistic, with superb graphics, and the gameplay is very fluid.
The Sims 3
Now we aren't classifying expansion packs here just the game as a whole, and there is no doubt in any of The Sims fans' minds that this instalment is the best from the series. The Sims 3 is extremely immersive and boasts so many features and content, you can follow your Sims to work, take part in different activities and visit different worlds. And if you're a The Sims fan, check out our roundup of best The Sims games.
Two Point Hospital
This is where the realism of sim games is mixed with an element of absurdity. Throughout this game, you will have to ensure your hospital is working and running smoothly, meaning you'll have to build bathrooms, ICUs, and even offices. Let us assure you this is no easy task, as the hospital is haunted, meaning ghosts will be flying around terrifying patients, and while trying to eliminate them you'll have to make difficult and time-sensitive decisions. It's also had significant upgrades in terms of the visuals since the last instalment, Theme Hospital, so the graphics are pretty great.
If you need some more thrill and action in your simulation game, then consider ARMA 3. Throughout this military shooter game, you'll be creating and living your war story, with over 40 different weapons and vehicles to choose from, you'll experience true immersive combat play.
Want a different slice of the pie in terms of simulation games? Then let us introduce to you the Cooking Simulator. In this sim game, you will be in charge of your very own kitchen and will have full control over what you want to chop, boil, slice or sautu00e9. You'll get to fully submerge yourself in a Chef's life, with hungry customers waiting as you accurately measure ingredients. It's not all stressful, if you decide you've had enough you can also break plates and blow up microwaves.
Kerbal Space Program
In this fun and light-hearted simulation game, you'll find yourself having to build a resilient spaceship so that you can safely and efficiently fly your crew through space while ensuring it doesn't blow up. Although this may seem straightforward, understanding how to build the ideal spaceship will take several attempts, most of which will be classed as failures. You're going to have to get creative and use your intuition which will be rewarded if you succeed!
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Now, this may seem a little out of the ordinary and not in the least thrilling, but this game might just surprise you. The graphics are what really make this one of the best simulation games. You'll be on the road most of the time, and the landscapes, views, and landmarks that you'll encounter are truly spectacular. You'll have to ensure you're delivering all the important cargo and goods on time as well as road tripping through some incredible locations.
Silent Hunter III
If you're ready to enter the world of submarine simulation, there's no better game to get you sucked in like Silent Hunter III. Set in WWII, get ready to engage in some tense and suspense-filled gameplay, where you'll have to fight your enemies for the coveted price of control over the Atlantic ocean. There'll be a difficult variety of systems to choose from when engaging in combat (don't worry too much, the tutorials are very informative). You can stalk your enemy, stay well below the waterline, fire the cannons or man the guns, just make sure you survive.
Gran Turismo: Sport
After the updates were done and the improvements were made, Gran Turismo: Sport became one of the most sought-after racing games. You're getting an incredible array of tracks and cars to choose from, paired with some impressive graphics to help you become truly immersed in the game. If realism is what you want (and let's face it, with simulation games, we do) then this very entertaining racing game is ideal for you. It's also very intuitive to play on a controller, so unlike other simulation games, you won't have to spend ages getting used to the mechanics of it.
Train Sim World
All aboard the train simulation world! If you're ready for some relaxing and fun gameplay, or you're just a super into trains and the mechanics, then this videogame may be ideal for you. Glide through the San Francisco Bay, learn to steadily start and stop the passenger train, all whilst trying to beat your highest score.
What to read next?
Isabel Martins is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, specialising in technology.
Subscribe to the What’s The Best Newsletter to keep up to date with more of the latest reviews and recommendations from Isabel and the rest of the What’s The Best team.