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Best simulation games on GamesNostalgia

Whether you've always dreamed of building your own virtual city, managing a bustling farm, or even piloting an aircraft, simulation games offer an exciting escape from reality. These immersive experiences not only provide entertainment but also serve as a fertile ground for unleashing your creativity and problem-solving skills. Dive into the world of simulation games and discover a universe where your imagination knows no bounds. From constructing intricate structures to making strategic decisions, these games allow you to shape and mold your own virtual reality.

To be part of this group, it's not enough to have some simulation elements. All games try to simulate reality, at least in part. Here we tried to list titles where the simulation is the game's core.

The first simulation computer game was probably Bruce Artwick's Flight Simulator, the first realistic flight sim, released in 1980 for the Apple II. In 1985, David Crane programmed the first virtual life simulator with Little Computer People, the progenitor of The Sims, a success that Maxis would release 15 years later. But the first hit of Will Wright's company was the city-building simulation game SimCity in 1989, followed by SimAnt and SimLife in 1992, SimHealth in 1994, in many others.

Going back to flight simulators, we must mention F-15 Strike Eagle, one of the first games created by Sid Meier, initially for the Atari 8-bit. But other famous titles of the '80s include F/A-18 Interceptor, Falcon, F-16 Combat Pilot, and F-19 Stealth Fighter. In the '90s, we had F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter 2.0, released in 1993, and the Great War Planes series series created by Damon Slye for Sierra/Dynamix, with Red Baron, Aces of the Pacific, Aces Over Europe and others. Planes are not the only vehicles simulated. In Silent Service, released in 1986, you control a submarine; in Gunship, the AH-64 Apache helicopter.

Moving towards economic simulations, in Chris Sawyer's Transport Tycoon, you need to manage a transport company, while in Railroad Tycoon Deluxe, you build railroads and manage trains.

After the successes of his god-game titles, such as Populous, Bullfrog entered the simulation scene with Theme Park in 1994. Theme Hospital was another big hit, but the most successful title was Sim Theme Park in 1999.

It's not always easy to identify simulation games; sometimes, there is a significant overlap with strategy games, especially in business simulations. City-building games like Caesar might or might not be considered simulations. That's why we suggest checking also business simulation, city building, and construction simulation.

Sim Theme Park windows

Sim Theme Park (also known as Theme Park World) is the sequel to Theme Park and the second game in the series. It is a theme park management game where players build their own theme park with roller coasters, rides and food stalls.

Year: 1999 Genre: Simulation

business simulation management real-time simulation

Sim City 2000 dosamiga

SimCity 2000 is the city building game subsequent to SimCity, developed and published by Maxis Software and released in 1993. It made its way onto many platforms following its initial release.

Year: 1993 Genre: Simulation

aga city building construction simulation management real-time sim city simulation

Theme Hospital dos

Theme Hospital is a business simulator developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts for the PC in 1997. It's the second game in Bullfrog Productions' Theme series, and was proceeded by Theme Park.

Year: 1997 Genre: Simulation

business simulation city building comedy construction simulation humour management real-time simulation

SimTower: The Vertical Empire windows-3.x

SimTower: The Vertical Empire is a simulation game developed by Japanese company OpenBook and published by Maxis in 1994 for Windows 3.x and Macintosh. The game was initially devel...

Year: 1995 Genre: Simulation

business simulation city building management simulation

Transport Tycoon Deluxe dos

Transport Tycoon Deluxe (or TTD) is an improved version of Transport Tycoon, a business simulation game developed by Chris Sawyer. The game was published by MicroProse in 1995 for MS-DOS.

Year: 1995 Genre: Simulation

aviation business simulation hovercraft isometric management naval real-time simulation train transport watercraft

Homeworld windows

Homeworld is a sci-fi real-time strategy/simulation game created by Relic Entertainment and published by Sierra in 1999 for Windows PC. The game concept is very straightforward: ta...

Year: 1999 Genre: Strategy

3d real-time rts science fiction simulation space management space sim strategy

Constructor dos

Constructor is a simulation game developed by System 3 and published by Acclaim in 1997 for MS-DOS. It was later ported to Mac OS, Playstation and Windows. In this game rich of hum...

Year: 1997 Genre: Simulation

business simulation city building humour management real-time simulation

Star Wars: X-Wing dos

Star Wars: X-Wing is the first space combat sim game set in the Star Wars universe created by LucasArts. It was released in 1993 for PC MS-DOS only, and it was followed one year later by Star Wars: TIE Fighter.

Year: 1993 Genre: Simulation

imuse movies real-time science fiction simulation space combat sim space flight star wars vehicular combat simulator

SimFarm dos

SimFarm is a spin-off of SimCity, developed and published by Maxis Software it was released in 1993 for DOS. It was ported to other platforms in the subsequent years. Instead of a ...

Year: 1993 Genre: Simulation

business simulation management simulation

Red Baron dosamiga

Red Baron was created by Damon Slye at Dynamix and published by Sierra Entertainment in 1990 for MS-DOS 5.0. Two years later it was ported to Amiga. Red Baron is a flight simulator game set in World War I, on the western front.

Year: 1990 Genre: Simulation

aviation combat flight simulation flight sim historical battle history simulation war ww1

Frontier: Elite II dosamiga

The 350th game on GamesNostalgia is our favourite game ever: Frontier: Elite II. You can download here the PC version, which had a more advanced graphics engine, featuring texture mapping, compared to the Amiga version.

Year: 1993 Genre: Simulation

3d amiga original game polygons science fiction simulation space combat sim space flight texture map trading

Silent Hunter dos

Silent Hunter is submarine simulation developed by Aeon Electronic and published by Strategic Simulations in 1996 for PC MS-DOS only. This World War II submarine combat sim was created mostly by William T.

Year: 1996 Genre: Simulation

history naval simulation submarine vehicular combat simulator watercraft ww2

Wing Commander dosamiga

Wing Commander is a space combat simulator designed by Chris Roberts and first released for the PC DOS in 1990. It was later ported to the Amiga, CD32, Sega CD and the SNES. It is...

Year: 1990 Genre: Simulation

3d science fiction simulation space combat sim space flight texture map vehicular combat simulator

Sid Meier's Pirates! amiga

Sid Meier’s Pirates! is the original award winning pirate life simulation game developed and published by MicroProse in 1987 for the Apple II, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and PC Booster.

Year: 1990 Genre: Simulation

caribbean history naval open world pirates real-time simulation vehicular combat simulator watercraft