For many gamers out there, The Sims is the absolute best series of games out there for the escapism they provide. Players can get their creative juices flowing and create entire worlds where they control what characters do, from cleaning and cooking to going on dates and making a family. Life simulation games were around for decades before The Sims in many forms, but there’s no doubt that Maxis changed the genre with them. However, if you do want to dip your toe into the entire genre, we want to make that easy for you. Below is a list of the 26 best games like The Sims for life sim fans. Enjoy!
The 26 Best Games Like ‘The Sims’
Games Like 'The Sims'
1. 'Alter Ego'
Alter Ego is an entirely text-based game that allows you to simulate a life by making choices and seeing the results. What's important in these kinds of games is that the writing is great and that there are enough scenarios that the replayability is there, and both of those are true for Alter Ego.
2. 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons'
If you own a Switch, there’s a good chance you already own Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It's the second best-selling game on the handheld, behind only Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, despite coming out three years after it. It was great for people to escape to the game's colorful locale during the pandemic because you can talk to NPCs, go fishing, farm resources, and do a whole lot more.
3. 'Avakin Life'
Avakin Life could be the perfect choice for you because it’s available on Android and iOS, which means you can play it on the move. The customization here is also great, with countless options for how to style your character. You can then take them online and interact with other players.
BitLife, like the aforementioned Alter Ego, is a text-based game but is perhaps the most popular one around today. Released in 2018, the game starts players off at birth and lets them make impactful choices all the way up until their death. The scenarios here can be hilarious, tragic, and everything in between.
5. 'Cities: Skylines'
This is one that fans of The Sims, but especially SimCity will be able to appreciate. If you like the control that The Sims games give you but want it on a much larger scale, look no further than Cities: Skylines. As the name implies, you’ll build entire cities and have to combat things like natural disasters, traffic jams, and pollution, to name a few.
6. 'Fallout Shelter'
Here you build and manage your own Vault, which means being in charge of directing dwellers and making sure they have power, food, and water, which is a key balancing act in the game. Some have complained about the micro-transactions, but it’s more than possible to not spend money on the game and still enjoy it.
7. 'Fantasy Life'
Fantasy Life was released in 2012 and developed by Level-5 for the Nintendo 3DS. Set in a fantasy world called Reveria, this game lets players choose their character from one of a dozen Life classes, including chef or paladin. There’s actually also a decent main story to follow here if you’re interested in that aspect.
8. 'Farmer’s Dynasty'
If you like the "Cottage Living" expansion pack on The Sims 4, then playing Farmer's Dynasty is a no-brainer. As well as getting married, having kids and interacting with people like in standard life sim games, here you can take full care of a farm. You can care for crops and animals and then sell them and reinvest in yourself.
9. 'Farming Simulator 22'
To take farming to the next level, perhaps try out Farming Simulator 22. For years, the series has been one of the best out there in terms of realism and little details that add to the overall experience. In fact, it's so nuanced that it might be off-putting for some, but if that’s what you like, you can easily spend hours here.
10. 'Harvest Moon: One World'
Harvest Moon: One World lets players start a farm and puts emphasis on being able to interact with the rest of the characters there. If you like this game, you might like the previous ones in the series even more. Many argue that it has a little more depth to it.
11. 'House Flipper'
It’s very easy to spend hours in House Flipper and get lost in the details of buying rundown houses and upgrading every little aspect of them. You can take weeds out of the garden, knock down walls, paint new walls and even take out the rubbish. Seeing a house go from unliveable to an enchanting beauty because of your own hard work is a treat.
IMVU, which is popular in the life sim space, is a game that features tens of millions of items within its in-game store, thanks to those who decide to create items for the game. Anyone can do this and if loads of people buy your item, you receive an in-game currency that you can choose to reinvest if you wish. Customization is the name of the game here.
13. 'Jurassic World Evolution'
Made by Frontier Developments, Jurassic World Evolution is a unique combination of life sims and Jurassic Park games. It's a management and construction game where you can build your very own dinosaur theme park from scratch, all the while taking care of unpredictable weather, power failures, threats of dinosaurs breaking out, and more.
Developed by Sean Young and published by SmashGames, Littlewood is a game that takes place after you have defeated a Dark Wizard. You're now tasked with rebuilding the town, with a great amount of customization. The grind of gathering materials and then designing everything from fences to houses and picking out where trees go is a fun one.
Minecraft is so diverse a game that with its many mods and modes, it can be like a lot of games out there, but The Sims is one of the main ones. If you want to let your creativity run wild, jump into creativity mode, where materials are infinite.
16. 'My Time At Portia'
You’ve inherited a workshop from your father in a town called Portia. There, you can make all kinds of things to earn money, but you can also mine, farm, craft, cook, and more. Interacting with other people around you is where a lot of the fun is here. Despite its 3D fun look, the game lets you get married and have children just like The Sims.
17. 'No Time To Relax'
This game puts you in a group of four either online or locally and lets you play out life while competing against each other. Going to school and work will put you ahead, but having activities and hobbies here is important too.
18. 'Planet Zoo'
As its name suggests, the unique spin on life sims like The Sims here is that you're building and managing a zoo. You’re in charge of keeping animals safe and filled with food and water. You’ll also need to ensure that each animal has enough space that they’re happy. Once animals are raised, you can release them back into the wild for extra points.
This isn't technically a life sim, but it's an open-world survival game that will require as much work as a life sim can. You start out on the ocean with a small piece of wood and eventually have to build a raft. You’ll also need to explore islands to find resources to survive.
20. 'Rune Factory 4 Special'
Some things you can do in the "Special" edition of Rune Factory 4 are farming, getting married, crafting, dungeon exploring, and more. Combat is also a factor here, which might give it an edge over other life sim games for some.
21. 'Second Life'
Despite launching nearly twenty years ago, Second Life has maintained a good player base. You create and customize an avatar and thanks to the community of players who create in-game items that can be used without limit once introduced into the game, it still feels fresh.
The Sims games are made by Maxis, as is this pick on the list. Spore was released in 2008 and is a life simulation real-time strategy God game. It allows players to develop a species from it being a microscopic organism all the way to it growing and mastering the planet.
23. 'Stardew Valley'
Stardew Valley was created with some of the older Harvest Moon games in mind. The game can feel a little more like an RPG than a life sim, but it certainly will do the same job as The Sims for you. Fishing, raising animals, cooking, farming, and more come into play here and the skill tree means you can customize even your skillset.
24. 'Two Point Hospital'
Released in 2018, Two Point Hospital is made by the creators of RollerCoaster Tycoon, which is a beloved building and sim game series. Here, you’re charged with constructing and maintaining a hospital, which comes with a unique set of problems than most life sim games. You’ll need to stay on top of toilets, cafeterias, seating, and vending machines as well as take care of patients.
25. 'Virtual Families 2'
Just like in The Sims, here, you're in charge of a character and essentially, their entire life. Along with everything that’s in your control, random life events can throw a spanner in the works and be fun to deal with and work around.
26. 'Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles'
If you’re after something like The Sims but want a more laid-back approach and want your hand held a little more, try out Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. You can still customize your character, meet characters and make friends, but there’s also an open world that you can explore.