The 10 Best Simulation Games Ever Made, According To Metacritic

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As humans, we yearn for experiences we don’t expect to have in our lifetime. From being able to fly an airplane to living like a farm animal, there is only one way that people can put themselves in these situations. It’s video games.

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Specifically, simulation video games are meant to mimic real-life activities and events. There are quite a few games that accurately place players in these positions while others take a more satirical approach through overtly obfuscated storylines. Either way, these games are a joy to experience. Some of these simulation games are some of the best games ever made.


Animal Crossing New Horizons Celebration

Animal Crossing is a staple in the Nintendo library and its biggest installment has arrived on the Nintendo Switch at a crucial time. Animal Crossing: New Horizons begins as the player travels to a deserted island as part of a scheme started by Tom Nook. From there, players are tasked with developing the island and going about their daily lives while paying off their debt. The game features adorable villagers to befriend, cool creatures to catch, and various customizable ways to make the island as personalized as possible.

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9 F1 2020 (91)


F1 2020 screenshot

Driving games are high on this list, starting with F1 2020. This game is the official video of the 2020 Formula 1 and Formula 2 championships. The classic motorsport competition features several circuits for drivers to participate in. The game features a team management mode that allows players to develop their teams more than in previous games. The game features a career mode which allows players to choose between a half or full season of Formula 2. The game has been critically acclaimed for its accessibility and great graphics.

8 Colony Wars (91)


Colony Wars Game

Many people want to go to space but probably won’t get there in their lifetime. games like Colony Wars give people that experience, while initiating space combat. In the 1997 game, players complete missions using seven different starfighters equipped with different weapons.

RELATED: The 10 Best Space Flight Simulator Games (According To Metacritic)

There are many paths players can take depending on their performance in each mission. The immersion of being in space probably isn’t the same as it could be now, but the gameplay and game design bring it out.

7 IL-2 Sturmovik (91)


Screenshot of the IL-2 Sturmovik

If some players like air combat but don’t like doing it in space, IL-2 Sturmovik is for them. In the first installment of the series, players are taken back to World War II and the aerial battles of the Eastern Front. The game features 31 flyable aircraft and up to 15 countries to represent, including the United States, France, and the USSR. There was a multiplayer feature at the time that could support up to 100 players competing online. Still, the main game was considered one of the best war simulators by critics.


6 Free Space 2 (91)


FreeSpace 2 screenshot

Another space combat game, Free space 2 came out a few years later Colony Wars. Players take on the role of a pilot fighting against the Shivans, mysterious aliens at war with the human race. The game has lots of fighters to choose from. The story mode revolves around a series of missions. As each mission is completed, more fighters and weapons become available to use. The game was a commercial failure but critics felt the game deserved better. They praised the great action, great story, and easy to use controls.

5 F1 Challenge ’99-’02 (91)


F1 challenge game

F1 has had quite a few great games over the years, even with changing developers over its lifetime. F1 Challenge ’99-’02 takes place over four seasons of Formula 1. This particular game was the final F1 video game developed by EA Sports. The game has taken a leap forward as many of the game’s textures have been rebuilt from scratch. This included the car models, which got a high-res upgrade. Structures around the courses have also been revitalized, such as pit crews and scenic skies.


4 Microsoft Flight Simulator (92)


Microsoft Flight Simulator Game

Imagine being able to fly anywhere with the click of a button. That’s what the new Microsoft Flight Simulator has to offer. Players have an assortment of aircraft to choose from, from small personal planes to huge commercial jets.

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The game attempts to put players into real-time situations, such as night flying and weather. All the while, players can watch the beautiful views around them generated by Bing Maps data. The game received critical acclaim for its gameplay and graphics, despite some oddly generated landmarks.


3 Forza Motorsport 3 (92)


Forza Motorsport 3 - driving gameplay

Forza is one of the largest series of racing simulation video games in the world. The brand has two titles in the works that have several installments ranked among the best in the race. Forza Motorsport 3 is the highest rated game Sports car series, which focuses on pro-style track racing events. This game introduces features like car driving view, drifting and SUVs. The game features 400 customizable cars and over 100 race track variations. Reviewers praised the controls as very accessible and the environments as beautiful.

2 The Sims (92)


Screenshot of The Sims

The Sims is the most iconic life simulation series of all time, and its first game is still considered the best in the eyes of critics. Players can control customizable Sims, setting them up with relationships and careers. While players take care of their Sims through their basic needs such as hunger and sleep, they can also use the money Sims have earned to furnish their homes to their liking. There is no end to this game, which makes it all the more replayable. Since this first game, more than 25 titles have been created under The Sims’ Name.

1 Forza Horizon 4 (92)


Forza Horizon is the other branch of popular Forza series. These games focus more on an open-world driving format that allows players to move freely through the game’s massive environment. The best example in this series is Forza Horizon 4. There are various features in the game, including the ability to buy in-game houses and ever-changing seasons, which enhance an already great game. There are over 700 cars to choose from. The game received rave reviews for its environment, customization, and accessible racing controls.

NEXT: The 10 Best Real-Life Simulation Games, According To Metacritic


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