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.
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.