Since February 2000, EA has been running social sim games. There have been four main titles, dozens of spin-offs, and hundreds of DLCs. Even though it got mixed reviews, The Sims 4, the latest game in the series, sold a lot of sales. Due to its many expansion packs, the entry has sold over 36 million worldwide sales and made up to $1. Elements from The Sims 3, like being able to add a pool, were not in the sequel. Maxis returned these features as free patches or paid content after the time came out. We want all the good things about The Sims and none of the bad. Let’s see what other games like The Sims we can find.
Choosing Games Like The Sims
We chose to look at the elements of The Sims 4 as they are now to find similar games.
Social Simulation – The Sims 4 is a similar strategic sim, just like the other games in the series. You develop a character and take part in an interactive world.
Customizable Character – The game starts with a screen where you can make your character. The Sims 4 has a big menu with many options to change your Sim’s appearance, personality, and likes and dislikes.
Live Stages – The Sims has seven stages of life (from baby to elder). You can create your Sim anywhere except for the first baby (you can begin playing as a toddler, though).
Maps – In The Sims 4, you can create and customize your character in different maps (called “Worlds”). These are all different neighborhoods, and you can go to any of them whenever you want.
Open-ended Gameplay – The Sims doesn’t have a set goal or focus (except for so,e DLCs). Simply put, you control almost every part of your Sim’s virtual life down to the smallest detail. In the same way, you are responsible for what your character does, wants, and needs.
Families And Friends – Players can make their own families by romancing in love with other Sims in the neighborhood. They can also play with Sims families that already exist or create their own Sims.
In-game Work – The Sims make “Simoleons” by getting a job, selling items they’ve made, or selling goods from their garden. So, you can get a career, develop your skills, and grow up in your field.
Build Mode – The build mode is the most popular series of The Sims games. It’s the place where you can build and customize your house by buying building materials, furniture, and decorations. As players progress through the game, they can find more items to use.
Emotions – The Sims 4 added a system called “Emotions.” Your Sim can feel different things, and each feeling has three stages of intensity. In virtual life, your Sim’s mood can be affected by several things.
Art Style – The Sims series, including The Sims 4, has a friendly art style. This means that the graphics look like cartoons, are safe for kids, and don’t need much PC power.
Online Feature – The Gallery is an online area where players can trade Sims, players, families, rooms, and buildings with each other.
We’re looking for games like The Sims that have a mix of these elements and their main features. Overall, we want social simulation sims focusing on strategy, character customization, and micromanagement.
11+ Top Games Like The Sims 2022 To Play
Games Like The Sims 2022 to play.
1. Stardew Valley
One of the most famous social sims is Stardew Valley. Every day, more than 20,000 players play it at the same time on Steam, which is a huge number for an independent title made by a signal designer, Eric Barone. The game draws players in with old-school RPG graphics, relaxing music, and NPCs with a lot of heart. On Stardew Valley, you play as a farmer in the countryside on an open-ended main quest where you can pick to help develop the nearby town. Well, as you grow your farm, you develop skills that make your work easier. Over time, you trade your goods to make money, and with that money, you can buy home decor to build and customize your farm. And if managing the farm gets too hard, you can invite up to three players to your Valley.
Together, you can easily develop the farm, share resources, split profits, improve the community, and explore the open world. When you get back to town, you can get to know any character in the Valley. Every character has a different story and history. You can farm, mine, cook, raise animals, go to shops, and fight monsters in caves. Like in The Sims, you can marry other NPCs to make your own virtual family.
2. Animal Crossing: New Horizon
The best social simulator game is Animal Crossing: New Horizon. The 2020 Nintendo IP became the best-selling game of all time worldwide, but it can only be played on the Nintendo Switch. You play as a tourist from another country who comes to an island. On the island, though, there are animals that look like people who need your help. Soon, you’ll be helping the people on the island develop many social and building features. For instance, you can build and customize a farm, decorate your house, fish, look for treasures, run shops, dig up fossils, look for messages in bottles, talk to NPCs, gather resources in the forest, and much more.
The main loop of the gameplay is making friends with other NPCs, building up your own farm, and doing many other things. On top of that, the game lets you customize your character in many mechanics, has a crafting system, works in real-time, and has nice graphics. Lastly, the game has a key element called “multiplayer.” Up to eight players can join the same server to build, craft, and travel together. Still, the game has a story that can go in any direction and has no goal other than to be fun.
3. Second Life
Second Life is a great choice if you want to play a social sim that makes you feel like you’re really there. It’s a real-life simulation platform for online MMORPGs. It’s been online since 2003, and schools, embassies, and workplaces use its virtual worlds to get together with people who live far away. Players can make an avatar for free, change how it looks, and do what they want with their virtual lives, even though it sounds like something from Orwell and is very close to what Facebook wants to do with their Metaverse ideas. Still, there is a place for Second Life in this world. During the pandemic, for example, it lets classmates, coworkers, friends, and family talk to each other in the same virtual space.
You join an online world that stays up and talks to other players. There, you can find tens of thousands of virtual games and communities that other players manage. As a result, you’ll never run out of things to do, people to meet, or places to visit. Running a business and owning property in Second Life is easy and encouraging. Still, there are thousands of NPCs with specific jobs around the world. All in all, Second Life has been the most popular virtual decade for more than ten years. It now has a huge market where you can buy items like virtual clothes and home decor. In addition, NFTs are making their way into the game through land plots and other in-game properties, for better or worse.
4. My Time At Portia
A farm is the center of many social sim games. Most of the time, though, that’s because of games like Stardew Valley. No matter what, we chose My Time at Portia because it has cute graphics and a lot of features for a social sim. You play as a new person who moves into Portia, a cute open-world game with lots of extra things to do. Also, you can fish, farm, craft, cook, mine, and do much more. You can date someone, get married, have kids, change your appearance, and decorate your house, just like in the Sims.
As the new resident who lives there, though, your grandparent left you a workshop. This is your office, the website you need to develop to make money from all the crafts, gadgets, and other items you sell. But the game’s true heart lies in its thriving community. The people who live in Portia are friendly and charming, and they can date or be friends with the playable character. But Portia is a good choice if you want to make another virtual family.
5. Two Point Hospital
Among the best careers in The Sims 4 is being a doctor. You can control your Sim while he works, which you can’t do with other careers, so you can take care of your patients. If you enjoyed that gameplay, Two Point Hospital would feel very similar. This game is a simulator of a hospital. It has a full mechanics set that lets you design and builds a hospital from scratch. But it’s not the real world, so there will be a lot of strange diseases like “Cubism” that need special machines and treatments.
After you build a hospital that works, you have to watch over your staff like a hawk. Also, it will improve the hospital’s reputation, but you have to ensure everything works well. As you improve your hospital, you’ll be able to make more hospital spend on improving it. All in all, Two Point Hospital has a unique mix of humor and a clever way of looking at running a building in the healthcare system. Finally, as a management simulator, you can expand, improve, decorate, and customize the hospital in endless ways.
Spore is a game made by the same creators who made The Sims, but fans have already forgotten about it. That’s a shame because the title has a unique idea, a complicated system, and a game system that was years ahead. Spore even has a social feature that lets you explore the galaxies of other players and let them see your world. This is a simulator, but it is very different from the rest. You play as an alien species called a Spore and start the gameplay as a cell. From the moment you start the game, it will feel like a sandbox with a lot of different options you can do. Concerning the choices, you must go through five stages. To evolve, you have to go through different challenges in the game.
You compete with other species for the gene they have to offer. You can fight them and eat them or use different tools to do their work for you. If things go your way, you will do well on the planet and evolve by taking “parts” from other species and choosing genetic options. It’s the best experience if you like to manage the care of something you made and watch it grow. So, you don’t play with a real person, but you can craft your own experience. You can make anything you want, from mindless killer beats to smart people traveling through space. The world you play in is huge, open, and can be filled with whatever you want. In the end, you can make your species into a “macro civilization,” which means you can control more than one cell.
7. Fallout Shelter
You don’t have to follow the Fallout series to enjoy its social sim spin-off. Pay-or-wait mechanics ruin the core gameplay, which is a shame because the game is “free.” It adds shooting, simulation, other systems, and some light RPG mechanics. It’s a fun and addicting game you can play for hours without spending a dime. You are an “Overseer,” which means you are in charge of an underground safe place for survivors called a “Vault.” As the charge, it’s your job to manage the resources, rooms, and citizens.
It has two main gameplay loops. First, you decide which rooms to build in the shelter and what the citizens should do. There are rooms for sleeping, generating power, food, and water, as well as science labs, medical labs, arsenals, training areas, and more. Each room gives you money (caps) and a new level. Then, you tell the vault dwellers where to work, and based on their stats, which you can improve, they’ll do a better job. The second part of the gameplay is going out into the wild. If you send your citizens out of the vault, they will explore the wild and give you a text-based menu of what they found. But if they find bases, you can play 2D turn-based shooting segments with a single explorer or a group of explorers.
8. The Sims FreePlay
This is the popular simulation game version you can play for free. The Sims FreePlay is an option if you can’t stop thinking about The Sims 4 but don’t have time to play at home. This simplified version can be played for free on devices and tablets. It looks similar, has a similar color palette, and works similarly. For example, the screen for making a character is big, and the mode for the build is great. But since it’s a free mobile game from EA, you may have to be patient to play it. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel bad about asking for money to do its job faster and finish its tasks.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do: you can still do almost everything you could on the PC title. So, most of the mechanics you see in the core title are there, like an emotional system, a career, families, romance, and needs. So, we chose FreePlay because it’s a nice way to play while you’re on the go. It also lets you explore other neighborhood areas for things like going to the park, shopping, or going on dates.
9. SimCity 4
SimCity has always been a title that goes along with The Sims. The Sims is like zooming in on the experience, while SimCity is like zooming out to get the full picture of Maxim’s franchise. Since the last game came out, nearly a decade has passed. Still, it’s a classic title that both social sim and real-experience strategy (RTS) fans should play. There is a version of SimCity 4 Deluxe on Steam right now. Players with newer systems will have to find a way to run the game work.
Still, SimCity 4 might be the best game in the city sim genre. The focus is on planning for cities. Also, you play as the mayor and develop the city slowly but surely. The end goal is to build a place where everyone is happy. When citizens don’t like where they live, they move to a different town. As your city grows, you have to keep track of many systems and statistics. The game’s mechanics are based on real-world things like taxes, income, loss, imports, exports, etc.
10. Cities: Skylines
Skylines is a game about making a city. Instead of managing the lives of one person at a time, you manage the lives of a whole population. First, you build a city and then take care of all its systems. This includes urban planning, roads, taxes, public services, transportation, jobs, and industries. Your job is to keep a city’s many elements in balance.
In other words, you’re the boss. As the mayor, you manage the care of the city’s budget. Then, you can build anything you want with the city’s resources. As the game continues, you will naturally be able to build new things. You should keep an eye on stats about things like pollution, health, jobs, and crime. Overall, if you like caring for a house and family in The Sims, I’m sure you’ll love watching over a city. Remember, though, that you’ll also have to deal with natural disasters that happen outside of your control.
11. Family House: Heart & Home
Family House is a social simulator for mobile devices only. It’s like playing dollhouse on your phone. In the game, you have to create a house that you can improve better over time. Then you add family members and manage the lives of important parts of their lives. For example, you can grow and make food, buy clothes, design the inside, and pay rent. But it’s not about just one “Sim.” Instead, the game is played by several generations of a family. So, the younger members move into the house that you build.
The result is managing the care of a virtual family with cutesy graphics and lots of charm. Overall, it’s a simple, free game that’s good for the whole family. The developers promise a social feature that will let you visit your friends’ houses to get rewards and talk to them. In addition, they will add more rooms so they can offer more activities.
12. Virtual Families 2
In 2012, Virtual Families 2 was only available as a mobile app. In 2018, it became available for PCs. The developer made both games look and feel like The Sims, so the sequel is similar to the first one. So, Virtual Families 2 looks like a spin-off of The Sims, right down to the graphics, mechanics, and point of view. In the second part, an adult with certain traits is adopted. Then, players put the adult in a house and live its virtual life, including its career and family. We put it at the bottom of our list because it’s been out for a long time.
Since the systems are simpler and less complex than in The Sims, it takes less time to play. But your characters still need to be watched over. Like Sims, your characters can’t meet their own needs, wants, and desires on their own. Last, building a house is a big part of Virtual Families 2. You can fix up your building, buy home decor and furniture, and expand on the game’s build mode. Outside the build mode, you can get closer to your family, get a pet, and buy new items.
13. Bitlife Life Simulator
BitLife: Life Simulator is a simulator game that only works on mobile. It’s an option for people who don’t have a capable PC or console or who want a game for their phone. It’s a text-based simulator of life. At different stages in life, you can make different choices in the game. Depending on what you like, you can take different paths. In other words, the game goes in the right direction based on what the players do.
Then, you keep an eye on your character’s stats as they move from one stage of life to the next. For your character to grow, you must play different minigames and deal with the results of your choices. Overall, you can be a good person from when you are a baby until you are older. Or you can live a horrible life, turn to crime, start riots, and cheat on your partner. In short, it’s a fun social sim where you use a text-based interface to micromanage your virtual life.
Final Thoughts: Games Like The Sims
This is our list of the best Games Like The Sims that you can play in 2022. Further, please let us know if you know of other Games Like The Sims. And I hope you have a great day.