10 best farming / simulation games (according to Metacritic)


In the world of video games, there are a lot of choices. Whether you prefer fighting games, action games or platform games, there is something for everyone. Sometimes these worlds and experiences aren’t about collecting coins, setting high scores, or battling monsters. At least, not entirely.

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There are many games where players can live their lives and build their own world to get away from, indulging in simpler pleasures such as building a house or a farm, or just discovering the adorable players in the game. These games offer a special kind of escape, especially these days when everything seems so uncertain. Here are some great games that involve this magical blend of farming and simulation, with their metacritical scores testifying to their quality.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 90

Gameplay screenshot of an animal crossing new horizons

A game as iconic as this doesn’t need to be introduced. Released in 2020 and with a metacritic score of 90, the latest entry in the beloved Animal Crossing series was a much-needed escape for most. Thanks to the Internet, players around the world have shared their discoveries and creations.

The Animal Crossing series is famous for its quiet gameplay that takes place in real time (i.e. the time set on your Nintendo Switch). Seasons change, night turns to day, and with each gradual change players find new insects and fish to catch, activities to do, and animal friends to know.


The Sims 3 – 86

The Sims 3 screenshot

The third game in one of the best-selling video game series of all time, The Sims 3 is widely regarded as one of the best in the franchise. With a score of 86 on Metacritic, it might not exceed the Sims 2 score of 90 but is considered much more modern and accessible.

The Sims is all about creating people, called Sims, and their personalities, then letting them interact and build their lives. The possibilities are endless, and just when players think they’ve seen it all, there are a wide variety of mods to explore.

Valley of the Stars – 89

stardew valley farm screenshot

Another iconic game, this independent masterpiece has established itself in video game culture. Stardew Valley is a game that seems to live and breathe, while boasting a wonderful soundtrack and beautiful pixel art style. With a metacritic score of 89, it’s obvious that this game, made entirely by one person, is loved by so many.

In Stardew Valley, each season brings changes in flora and fauna. Players can form relationships, get married, mine, fish and, of course, harvest crops, to name just a few of the activities this game allows. It’s a beautiful world to escape and make your own.

Moonlight – 83

Moonlight screenshot

Moonlighter brings together a mix of gameplay elements to create a fantastic simulation adventure. The game scores 83 on Metacritic and is played as a farming and life simulation game crossed with an action RPG.

This is another game that will appeal to gamers with its beautiful art style, as well as RPG simulation and action mechanics. Players battle enemies and bosses using a smooth combat system, while getting to know the village community and maintaining their shop. There is a lot to craft, loot, and build here.

Rune Factory 4 Special – 81

Screenshot of Rune Factory 4

This episode of the Rune Factory game series is the first for Nintendo Switch. The series combines RPG elements with simulation, proving once again that this is a highly regarded combination and recipe for a great game. Rune Factory 4 Special has a score of 81 on Metacritic.

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In addition to just farming and exploring dungeons, Rune Factory 4 also has an extensive relationship system. Players can choose from a variety of NPCs to continue a relationship with and even start a family together.

Terrariums – 83

Terraria gameplay screenshot

In Terraria, players can do just about anything. This game, with its 83 score on Metacritic as proof of its quality, allows players to immerse themselves in a rewarding cycle of adventure, crafting, and foraging.

The world of Terraria is procedurally generated, so each new game file is a new adventure where players must start from scratch to gather resources such as minerals, craft armor, and defend themselves. Terraria is a fun and immersive, charming little game that can be played in bursts to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

History of the Seasons: Friends of the Mineral Town – 77

Story of the Seasons: Mineral Town Friends gameplay screenshot

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a classic farming simulation game, lovingly remake on Nintendo Switch. The game’s score of 77 on Metacritic is proof that this remake retains the qualities of the original game that made it so lovable and charming.

In Friends of Mineral Town, players explore a quaint town full of friendly faces and a farm to cultivate. The game’s calendar is packed with events to do, so between making friends, growing crops, and seeing what’s going on in Mineral Town, there’s no shortage of things to do in this cute and uplifting game.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 – 86

Dragon Quest Builders 2 gameplay screenshot

The Dragon Quest series is popular in the world of JRPGs, so what is it all about with Dragon Quest Builders? In this game, players can work alone or with friends to find materials and, you guessed it, build things. It’s very well executed and polished, earning its metacritical score of 86, and Dragon Quest’s signature art style brings it all together.

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The game also features extended exploration and a single player campaign mode. There are cities to design and defend, weapons to craft, and all kinds of locations and materials to explore in this fun and exciting game.

Minecraft – 93

Minecraft screenshot

Gamers who love simulation games are unlikely to have heard of Minecraft. A simple concept but brilliant in execution, Minecraft is anything and everything you want it to be. The game’s score of 93 on Metacritic speaks for itself.

In Minecraft, the only limit is your imagination. Players can build towns from scratch, or farms, or even roller coasters, all using the in-game blocks. The game can be played alone or with others, and is enjoyed in a variety of modes, including including a sandbox mode and a survival mode. Its world is really all you make of it and all you want to explore.

Sakuna: Rice And Ruin – 80

Rice & Ruin Sakuna gameplay screenshot

In Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, players face off against demons in 2D battles. However, that’s not all the game is about. Throughout the game, players explore beautiful environments and engage in a farming simulation. The game has a score of 80 on Metacritic.

Players collect resources during the combat phases of the game and explore the world, while in the agricultural segments these resources are used through a series of mini-games to grow rice. There is also a day and night cycle in the game, affecting the power of demons in combat.

NEXT: 10 Farming Games That Aren’t Stardew Valley

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