The best city building games

Here is a list that comprises the best city-building games. This is the best city building game which offers you a chance to build a city of our own choice.

The best city building games

There are quite a few city building games available for PC, consoles, and mobile. There are well-known sagas like SimCity, Anno and Tropico, and many other equally interesting games in which you can create your city. 

In this article, we have chosen 20 games that we recommend to all lovers of the genre. Cities, villages, planets, islands, historical civilizations, there is everything!

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The 15 Best city building games are

  1. Cities: Skylines
  2. Anno 140: Venice
  3. SimCity 4
  4. Tropico 6
  5. SimCity 3000
  6. Caesar III
  7. Frostpunk
  8. Valhalla Hills
  9. Surviving Mars
  10. Banished
  11. City Life
  12. The Settlers 7
  13. Aven Colony
  14. Factory Town
  15. Islanders

#1 Cities: Skylines

Release year: 2015.

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch.

Cities: Skylines is the city building game par excellence and the one that we recommend 100% if you are looking for an excellent game of this genre. 

The amount of detail and freedom that this title gives us is incredible, in which many aspects can play both in our favor and against us in each game.

As your development grows, you must take care of the buildings and districts you build. It is important to establish civil policies and be aware of possible changes throughout the day or night. 

It also helps to know how to connect different parts of your city, to ensure its prosperity. You will never get bored!

In addition, with official support for mods, with more than 100,000 on Steam, it is impossible for one game to resemble another.

#2 Anno 1404: Venice

Year of release: 2009 (2010 Venice expansion).

Platforms: PC.

Anno 1404 is a game that invites us to colonize lands. It does have its fighting, but the main focus is settlement building and trade. 

Little by little, you must work to prosper your village into the next power in the game. Mind you, this is all ambitiously fun, but it's not exactly a simple game!

The Venice sprawl is great if you love the theme of Venice. In addition to adding more challenges and missions, it integrates the possibility of playing multiplayer with or against your friends. 

You can show them that you are the best builder! And if you have loved this experience, you can always play other games in this franchise, although they are not of the quality of this one.

#3 SimCity 4: Rush Hour

Release year: 2003.

Platforms: PC.

SimCity 4 is undoubtedly one of the best city building games. In terms of its foundation, it is similar to other games of the genre, but under that first layer, it hides a deep richness. 

Throughout the game, you must not only build and grow your cities, but you must keep your inhabitants happy. If not, they will march!

The care you take in every aspect will define the success of your cities. Whether in the economy, health, or education, among others, you must give everything as a manager. 

SimCity 4 includes different modes, such as God, Mayor, or My Sim mode, which are different ways to enjoy this impressive simulator. Try it anyway; you will not regret it!

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#4 Tropico 6

Release year: 2019.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (announced).

Have you ever wanted to be the president of some Caribbean islands? Well, dreaming is over! In Tropico 6 you can play that role although, to be honest, you may end up being more of a dictator. 

It's how good a game is. And it is that this installment of the already well-known Tropico saga learned to renew itself, giving us the possibility to govern different islands and face international challenges.

Being at the head of an archipelago, transportation, and connections between different neighborhoods or islands is crucial. 

At the same time, you can do funny things like ask for the Statue of Liberty to be stolen and make election speeches. 

Tropico 6 takes everything as a joke, but it does not stop being a title with a spectacular playable facet.

#5 SimCity 3000

Year of release: 1999.

Platforms: PC.

The years weigh a bit on SimCity 3000, but it still remains one of the most sensational city building games of all time. 

One of the details that the players have appreciated is the topic of the advisors, who inform you what aspects you need to improve to prevent the city from sinking. 

With them, managing finances, security, environment, education and health is fun.

It is also crucial to manage the supply of electricity and drinking water. Keeping the population happy and ensuring the quality of life is an issue to take into account. 

Otherwise, your inhabitants will go out to protest or the criminals will rampage! With everything and that SimCity 3000 is an old game, it is an essential experience for every fan of this genre.

#6 Caesar III

Year of release: 1998.

Platforms: PC.

Caesar III is part of a saga in which our goal is to win the Emperor's favor and become the next Caesar. 

To achieve this mission, it is necessary to grow as a ruler starting from the lowest to receive all the necessary support. 

In the process, you must take care of peace, culture, prosperity, population, and, lastly, favor. These are the five categories to keep in mind at all times!

As you may have guessed, the constructions in Caesar III are based on the Roman Empire. If you love everything to do with that era, that's reason enough to play it! 

With everything and that you will fight not a few times, to advance you must trade and organize the houses well as long as each citizen progresses well.

#7 Frostpunk

Release year: 2018.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One.

Frostpunk is a very curious city building game for mixing survival aspects. You will help what is apparently the last group of humans on earth, after being submerged in a crushing ice age. 

Thanks to steam technology, you'll have to work hard to keep people's happiness high and expand your terrain with risky expeditions.

Being a very hopeless context, you will face numerous challenges based on the discontent of the inhabitants. People seek peace, prosperity, and security in the face of the deadly circumstances in which they live, and you decide how to move the town forward. 

Will you be a heavy-handed leader or will you decide to be more compassionate and try to please everyone? There are no right decisions in Frostpunk!

#8 Valhalla Hills

Release year: 2015.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One.

We warn you first, Valhalla Hills is not a game for everyone. In addition to worrying about expanding the population of the Vikings, the game system leans more to the care and management of these Norse.

You must ensure that they work and are increasingly productive, but you must take care of them and ensure that they do not starve. You have to work hard to get to Valhalla!

From time to time, the Vikings will do what they want or they will simply do nothing. In that sense, the operation is not adequate.

Except for that detail, Valhalla Hills is a unique experience that integrates a very interesting mix of mechanics.

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#9 Surviving Mars

Release year: 2018.

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4.

Surviving Mars is an interesting game within the genre that is worth giving it a try. It challenges you to survive on Mars, as the title of the game indicates, and it is much more than just creating cities. 

In this game, you are responsible for creating domes that function as small districts, which can have certain functionality.

It is important to control well the parameters of oxygen, water, shelter, and food, in addition to obtaining resources. 

Every game of Surviving Mars is not without its obstacles: plagues, wars, and aliens will appear from time to time, to name a few bumps.

#10 Banished

Release year: 2014.

Platforms: PC.

Banished is a game that does not focus so much on creating great cities, but rather on surviving exiled villagers. 

You will start from the lowest point, with only a few clothes and few resources, and you must help the villagers to start from scratch. 

The strong point is the management of the citizens themselves, watching them grow until they die naturally or from other causes.

You will have to collect resources and assign the occupations of the inhabitants, to ensure that together they succeed. 

From time to time merchants will come, very important people who will help you to have more animals and food. Of course, it is possible that they also bring some disease!

#11 City Life 2008

Release year: 2008.

Platforms: PC.

City Life is the best city building game that has an editing tool that is as simple as it is powerful. You can choose between different types of settings and environments, and then let your imagination run wild. 

You can build small towns or big cities full of skyscrapers. Little by little your creation will come to life, and you will have to keep your population happy!

In this game, citizens are divided into six subcultures, each with different needs. This will make you create some buildings or another, depending on how they need more work, houses, health, etc. 

Not paying attention to them will get them to the point of generating disturbances throughout your city.

The 2008 version has more content than the original, with several monuments inspired by real buildings. Additionally, elevation or satellite maps can be imported to provide even more rich scenery editing.

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#12 The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom

Release year: 2010.

Platforms: PC.

The Settlers 7 is a series known to management and strategy fans who have been playing on PC for years. In this seventh installment, the campaign mode takes you along a journey in which you must fulfill different objectives. 

To reach the goal, you can focus primarily on one of three branches, trade, technology, or military.

While managing the economy of your settlements, it is important to establish trade routes and enhance your buildings. 

Economic play is very important in The Settlers 7, as it is an aspect that you will pay attention to constantly. 

From time to time, you will be forced to fight and adapt quickly. Wrong decisions are unlikely to cause you to lose the game, but it will take much longer to achieve goals!

#13 Aven Colony

Release year: 2017.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One.

With Surviving Mars we were going to Mars? Well with Aven Colony we go to another solar system! You will be in charge of creating a new human civilization on the planet Aven Prime and, believe us, there will be no shortage of challenges. 

You will have to manage to construct buildings in the most different environments such as deserts, jungles, and tundras. Being an alien planet, many surprises await you.

On the one hand, humans must coexist with alien races, some more dangerous than others. On the other hand, the weather conditions change from one moment to the next, and very powerful storms happen! 

This is all very stressful ... yes, you guessed it, this implies that you must manage the colones in a way that you earn their respect.

#14 Factory Town

Release year: 2019.

Platforms: PC.

As you may have guessed from the title, in Factory Town the focus of construction is not on creating cities but on an industrial line. 

The purpose of this game is to create a functional production chain, but without neglecting the intelligent construction of houses and the collection of resources as well as medicine and gadgets. You will even find magical items!

Planning each step is important, due to the fact that there are many ways to increase production, but not all are equally efficient. 

It is convenient to manage the workers well and choose the moments to obtain resources and improve the machinery. 

Little by little, you will create a production network large and powerful enough that you will be the envy of the world!

#15 Islanders

Release year: 2019.

Platforms: PC.

Islanders is not the most complete game of the genre, but it is the most colorful and relaxing of all. 

If you are looking for a minimalist experience where you explore beautiful islands and create cities at your own pace, this game is ideal for you. 

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It doesn't really have a lot of content but it is cheap and with the random island generation, you can surely play several different games from each other. Cheer up!