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Top 10 Best Simulation Games

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-05-27
Simulation games are among the most popular game genres, perhaps the most important innovation to ever hit the gaming world. They made their appearance as far back as the 1950s, when designers experimented with tennis games on an oscilloscope, and by the 1980s technological advances made it possible for anyone who owned a computer to play simulation games. Simulation games have entered the real world as well, from computer-generated movie simulations to Disney theme parks, and they are used for many educational purposes.

There are so many great simulation games that you could produce a top 100 list and still leave out many of the best. Here’s a list of top ten simulation games that should be in every Sim game fan’s collection. Some of them are played only on PC, others are played on gaming systems such as Nintendo or Playstation.

10 Creatures

This series is an artificial life simulation game in which players must raise alien creatures called Norns. They educate them, help them explore their world, and breed them so that their planet is eventually successfully re-inhabited. The game allows for evolution, allowing the creatures to change and grow in diverse ways, depending on the player’s breeding choices. There are currently six games in the series, including a number of Creatures adventures for children. Both Creatures 2 and Creatures 3 are highly rated, but the original Creatures, released in 1996, still takes top spot.

9 Jumpstart Virtual World

This is an online learning game for children aged 3 to 10 that allows them to navigate their Jumpee character through a world of educational activities. Jumpees solve math, reading and geography problems, and explore concepts of music and art. The game can be played for free online, but access to more advanced features requires purchase of a subscription.


Although there are a number of excellent popular sports simulation games, FIFA is at the top of the heap. There are more than 20 variants of the game, each featuring improvements and remakes of the original, but the original FIFA International Soccer is still the one that leads the way. Players are part of a virtual soccer team, with real teams and players within the games. FIFA has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide as of 2011, in 18 languages and available in 51 countries.

7 Battlestations: Pacific

Among virtual war games that allow players to command an army and develop military strategy, Battlestations: Pacific is one of the most comprehensive. It was first released in 2009 for PC and later for Xbox 360. It features single and multiplayer modes, and is set between the Japanese Pearl Harbor attacks of 1941 to the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The historically accurate story follows both the Japanese campaign and the American campaign, and players can complete 28 missions on either side.

6 Gran Turismo 2

The original Gran Turismo came to being in 1992 in Japan, and was designed for the PlayStation systems. It allows players to choose from a large selection of real-world vehicles. The Gran Turismo series has been among the most popular and highest-selling simulation games over its lifetime, winning seven spots on the Guinness World Records. Out of all, Gran Turismo 2 is considered one of the best.

5 Petz

Digital pets, where players must care for some type of virtual animal, are among the earliest type of simulation games. With the Petz series, players adopt dogs, cats, horses, even pigs and bunnies. Games all have a common theme: monitor and care for the needs of your pet, from food, to love, to cleanliness. The series has sold over 22 million copies around the world.

4 Need for Speed

This racing simulation game was released in 1994, and is playable on a number of systems. When first released, it was notable for its high degree of audio and video realism and in the realistic way vehicles behaved. It has since developed into a multi-game series, with new releases every year. Need for Speed is considered one of the most successful video game franchises of all time.

3 Rollercoaster Tycoon

This trilogy of games simulates the management of an amusement park. Players are challenged to build and manage the park, then care for guests who visit the park, ensuring their needs are met and their visit enjoyed. Customized rollercoasters, of course, are the centerpiece. The first game of the trilogy was released in 1999, and several expansion packs are available.

2 Flight Simulator X

Flight simulator games probably had the biggest impact on the future development of the genre. With the first release of Flight Simulator, players could sit in a cockpit and try flying a plane. The experience was enhanced with every new release. With Flight Simulator X, players can fly 30 different planes and navigate them through more than 5,000 airports.

1 Sim City 4

No getting around it. The Sims, every version, still hold top spot as the best simulation game ever. Players are allowed to become the overseer of their very own city. They develop mass transit systems, cope with random disasters, and learn how to make cities livable. Historical, modern, medical, space, animals multiplayer: the game has gone in every developmental direction possible, including The Sims mobile version. Although all versions could make the top ten list, Sim City 4 takes a slight lead, with Sims 3 coming a close second.

The appeal of simulation games, of course, is that they allow the player to be in charge. You are a city manager, a business tycoon, a military general, a fighter pilot, an adventurer. Game play actively engages the imagination and puts you in the center of the action, all in a close simulation of real life.

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