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If you find arcade games that are full of mindless action repetitive and boring, and want something extremely realistic and more serious and grounded, then look no further, because here you will find something just for you. Take a look at the genre of simulation video games and choose your next favorite!
What is a simulation game?
Basically, these games are all about simulation of real-world activities, such as war, business, role play, or just simple walking. They tend to copy real activities and can be used as training, analysis, prediction, or entertainment. In simulation games, the player often has no clear goal of what to do: these games just let the player perform activities that are as realistic as possible in the format of the video game.
Why are simulation games so popular?
At the first glance, games of this genre can look boring and repetitive, but their main feature – realistic simulation of real-world activities is the thing that is praised by many players. If you are curious about how a real submarine works, you can simply play a simulation game based on this theme, and you will know at least basic things about how it works. So, these games are good for deepening knowledge about various processes. These games can be relaxing, outrageous, funny, extravagant, and it is exactly why a lot of people like them.
Main types of simulation games
There are three main types of this genre. Take a look at each of them:
- Management simulation. Also known as construction simulators or management games, they let players build, expand or manage certain communities with limited resources. If you have played a strategy game, you definitely know what the importance of resource management is.
- Life simulation games. Also known as artificial life games, or social simulation, this type of games lets players control artificial lifeforms. Those games are about individuals and relationships between them. These games could be a simulation of an ecosystem.
- Sports. Video games about sports aren’t only arcade-type: some of them simulate the playing of various sports. There are a lot of kinds of sports games, including athletics, team sports, and extreme sports. Some of them recreate playing, others emphasize management, strategy, and organizational aspects of it. Some even feature real teams and players and keep updated with new real-world changes.
What are the best simulation games series?
Take a look at the most popular series of this genre:
- The Sims. First released in 2000 by Maxis, The Sims series is probably the best-known life simulation franchise in the world. By now, everyone knows what the games are about – build houses, control everyday lives of sims and enjoy the vast selection of DLCs involving everything from eco-lifestyle to kitchen redecorating projects. There is no need for other games like Sims because there will always be the one and only!
- Farming Simulator games. Created by the company GIANTS Software, Farming Simulator has been the best farming game on the market since 2008. Take up farming, breed livestock, grow crops and sell assets created from farming;
- Gran Turismo. Driving simulator game created in 1997 by Polyphony Digital, Gran Turismo is not only the best car simulator game, but also always exclusive to Sony hardware. Learn how to drive various real-world vehicles – get ready for the best racing simulator games with GT!
- Cities: Skylines. A city-building game released in 2015, Cities: Skylines is one of the best of its kind. Developed by Colossal Order, the series offers players to engage in urban planning by controlling zoning, road placement, taxation, public services, and public transportation of an area;
- Football Manager. A Sports Interactive series recreated in 2004, Football Manager lets players manage football teams;
- Silent Hunter. A submarine simulator created in 1996 by Aeon Electronic Entertainment, Silent Hunter is one of its kind. Who wouldn’t like to control a submarine? Eh? This is the game of dreams!
- Euro Truck Simulator. Since 2008, Euro Truck Simulator by SCS Software has been one of the leading series of vehicle simulations. Here players have to control real-world trucks in various countries and deliver cargo;
- ARMA. A war simulation series created in 2006 by Bohemia Interactive, ARMA is known for its attention to detail and realism. If you wonder what it’s like to be a part of real warfare, ARMA is waiting for you;
- Microsoft Flight Simulator. This old flight simulator game series created in 1982 is the best way for every ace to experience the most realistic flights in the form of a video game.
The history of simulation games
- The 1960s. The Sumerian Game (1964) is considered the first economic simulation game. It was a text-based early mainframe game;
- The 1980s. A trend to use hydraulic motion technology for arcade video games emerged. Sega's first game to use a motion simulator cabinet was Space Tactics (1981), a space combat simulator that had a cockpit cabinet where the screen moved in sync with the on-screen action. A racing video game Hang-On (1985) let players sit on and move a motorbike replica to control in-game actions. This style of the simulation was followed by rail-shooters such as Space Harrier (1985), racing games like Out Run (1986), and combat flight simulators such as Space Harrier (1985);
- The 1990s. Sega’s R360 (1999) simulated the full 360-degree rotation of an aircraft. Sega was creating these kinds of simulation games until the 2010s.