We all know some big names in the genre, but there aren’t as many city building games as you’d think. In these type of strategy games, you usually command and micromanage a city which means that you plan, design and in some cases, you rule with an iron fist. These games can be time-consuming, but you can also play most of them forever, so if you’re into micromanaging and city building, you need to check out some of the games below as soon as you can.
5. Tropico 5
In this banana republic simulator, you assume the role of El Presidente and manage a tiny island. One of the most intriguing aspects about the Tropico series has always been the possibility of managing a communist country instead of a capitalist one political implications like those affect the mechanics even if they work on a smaller scale that most games from this list. By the way, Tropico 5 is the first game in the series that features both competitive and cooperative gameplay.
Banished puts you in control of a small village instead of a large metropolis. You’re village is populated by a group of outcasts and exiled travelers and they are your primary resource, which makes you feel more attached to them. That’s not the only innovation in the game: to build something you just need resources, since there’s no currency and there are also no skill trees.
Caesar III is also a fantastic isometric city building game (both titles were developed by Impression Games and published by Sierra Entertainment,) bu Pharaoh and its expansion Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile, simply have to be on this list. Like Caesar, these games focus on ancient civilizations and you need to create, expand, manage a city and every aspect around it. These games can be unforgiving in high difficulties, but they are worth playing nonetheless.
2. Cities: Skylines
Cities: Skylines takes concepts from SimCity and expands upon them in some meaningful ways, making it one of the best city building games ever made. Apart from allowing you to build cities, the game has modding capabilities which the definitive game that aver fan of the genre should own.
1. SimCity 2000
The SimCity series was the foundation of the genre and without it, this list would be completely different. Although SimCity 4 (the least we talk about the disappointing third iteration, the better,) is a safe bet, since the game plays and looks remarkably well even today, 2000 was the first that convinced thousands of players back in the day that constructing and building a virtual city can be one of the most gratifying things you can do in a video game.