The best simulator games allow you to experience a completely different way of life, a career you’ve never considered, or even dabble in crime. While some are difficult, requiring absolute accuracy and requiring you to learn technical skills, others are similar to playable ASMR, inducing a flow state that will provide a welcome break from the real world.
We’ve got something for everyone here, whether you want to channel your inner middle-aged man with a jet washer, ditch your corporate job for turnip farming, or launch a new career as a producer behind the scenes of a British TV channel. Here are the 5 best simulation games to play.
Microsoft Flight Simulator:
Microsoft Flight Simulator offered us all tickets to blue skies and new lands. The game is visually stunning, and the level of realism applied to the mechanics of flying an aircraft is impressive.
Fortunately, the game includes its flight school to teach you the basics, as well as options to vary the amount of assistance the game provides to help you avoid a terrible crash. You’ll be rewarded with views of a 4K, photorealistic Planet Earth from the cockpit.
The Sims 4:
Create a sim or take over the lives of any of the EA-created NPCs and start living their lives the way you want, choosing everything from their career to romantic partners to general behavior. Be evil, be kind, be a weirdo; the game does not force you down any particular path, but rather allows you to experience and play through the consequences of your actions.
DLC allows your sim to experience life with magical powers, get a pet, move to a new country, have paranormal experiences, and much more. Or simply use the money to cheat and spend many happy hours building a mega-mansion.
The ARMA brand is best known for its wildly popular zombie mod based on ARMA 2, DayZ, but ARMA 3 deserves some credit for what it brought to the military-simulation table. ARMA 3 serves as an open-ended arena for organic, dynamic war stories that can be played out with friends and foes, and Bohemia Interactive executes the essential elements of sandbox strategy with aplomb.
The simulation’s depth is extensive, but only to a point, to maintain the immediacy of each interaction. ARMA 3 can be extremely stressful and even terrifying at times, but this is a testament to the game’s immersive power.
Euro Truck Simulator 2:
SCS Software did because their trucking sim sequel is currently one of the highest-rated games on Steam, ranking above Dishonoured, Civilization V, and Half-Life 2. The reality is that Euro Truck Simulator 2 provides that devastating blend of being both immensely relaxing and fiercely captivating, with pleasant journeys along your designated trade routes.
It is punctuated by junctures of deep strategy, as you consider factors such as fuel, finance, and furbishing your ride with new upgrades. Euro Truck Simulator 2’s greatest achievement is that it appeals to anyone who enjoys the simple pleasures of the open road.
X-Plane 11 is an excellent choice for aspiring pilots. This flight simulator, released in 2017 by developer Laminar Research (contrary to the misleading title), allows you to control a variety of real-world aircraft, ranging from helicopters to gliders to massive jumbo jets.
What sets it apart from the crowd is the inclusion of the Plane Maker modding tool, which makes it simple to create new and exciting aircraft to fly. Complex weather modelling is also included, simulating real-world weather in-game to provide an authentic flying experience. If you want to be a part of the jet set, this game should be your next stop.
Even when it is intended to criticise or raise awareness, entertainment is escapism that allows us to explore new worlds and experiences. We can play as soldiers, fantasy warriors, and goats in video games. Simulator games, on the other hand, provide hands-on training and active participation.
Because simulator games simulate the real world, those who practice with them will be able to adapt the skills they learned in reality. Simulator games also provide the benefit of allowing you to learn at your own pace. Many aspiring pilots and drivers can train by playing simulation games that look and feel completely real.