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Best Simulation Games on PlayStation 4

Simulation video games aim to create play around closely simulated real-world activities. This could be a battlefield, landscape, motor racing, farming, flying or just a kitchen.

The novelty is that you are not only playing a game but interacting with complex systems modelling the real-world in some way. This opens the door for creative and inventive approaches to succeeding in the game. It also provides the player with an open-world in which to spend time simply experiencing the simulation.

Almost any game can offer a simulation experience as this can combine with most genres to skew gameplay in a more realistic and open direction. This can mean that players enjoy a particular game not because of the shooting or racing but because it's a chance to spend time in a simulated world or system they enjoy.

From an educational and experiential perspective, a simulation game offers an entirely new way to learn and understand the world. Rather than a cold or external understanding of how things work, this offers an embodied experience of a system as the player moves and interacts with the simulation from within.

DetailsGenre Details

Era: 1986 - 2024
Total Games: 329
Total Likes: 7,705
 

 

Webbed

Release Date: 09/09/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Webbed is a running and jumping game with a twist - you play a spider who can make webs, swing, climb and all the while creating music as she goes. It follows the story of our happy little spider on an adventure to save her boyfriend from a big dumb...

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Rocket League is a sports action game where you drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It's a game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What's not obvious from the...

The Long Dark

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Road 96

Release Date: 16/08/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...

Alien: Isolation

Release Date: 06/10/2014, updated in 2019

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Alien: Isolation is an adventure horror game set in space, remastered in 2019 from the 2014 game due to its popularity. You play Amanda who is trying to find out the truth behind her mother's disappearance. You explore Sevastopol, a decommissioned...

Wobbledogs

Release Date: 11/03/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Wobbledogs is a pet simulation where your dogs not only need care but are rapidly mutating different behaviour and appetites. You breed new dogs (from eggs), create and decorate a home for them, feed them and see how they evolve.

Flock

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Open World and Weather

Flock is a cooperative traversal and collecting game where you take on the role of a flying shepherd. To play you move around the world tending to your unique herd of flying creatures. It sounds complicated but really it's just a big wild place on the...

Spelunky 2

Release Date: 29/09/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Spelunky 2 is, like the classic Spelunky, a running and jumping game where you explore mysterious caves on the moon looking for your missing parents. On your journey, you will find unique environments, treasure, and people to join you as you delve...

Black Skylands

Release Date: 09/06/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Open World and Pixels

Black Skylands is an adventure game where you pilot an airship through a sprawling open world of floating islands. You play Eva, who's ship has been destroyed and father killed. Your task is to rebuild your home from the deck up, arm and prepare for...

Wobbly Life

Release Date: 09/07/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Cartoon and Open World

Wobbly Life is a lively open-world game where you explore an island with your friends to find quests, mini-games and earn money. Play involves finding jobs to do, earning money and buying lots of everyday things - but the real play is around the edges...

Gran Turismo (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2017

Out Now: PS3, PS4 and PSP

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and 3D Third-Person

Gran Turismo is a driving simulator that focuses on a photo-realistic driving experience. Players race real-world cars where bodywork and interiors are perfectly modelled. Whether hatchbacks or supercars, this game lets you step into the world of the...

Nidhogg

Release Date: 12/09/2014, updated in 2014

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita and PS4

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Nidhogg is a fast two-player duelling game whose simple visuals belie the skill required to defeat your opponent. The novelty is that upon death you reappear on the next screen. The player to advance through the most screens wins.

Sniper Elite 5 (Series)

Release Date: 26/05/2022, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Open World

Sniper Elite 5 is the latest game in the shooting simulation series that focuses on tactical third-person combat, advanced gun physics, traversal and an enhanced slow motion kill camera. With realistic environments and real-world locations, customise...

Williams Pinball

Release Date: 09/10/2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, Mac, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox One and iOS

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Williams Pinball is a series of simulation games that recreate the classic pinball experience in a virtual space. You shoot the balls up the table, use the flippers to keep it up, and can even nudge the table to stop it from sinking. It stands out for...

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Release Date: 01/04/2019, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (known as TABS) is a fighting game where you choose different armies and troops to battle each other in an automatic simulation that models their offensive and defensive abilities. Once set up, the fight is largely...

Ark: Survival Evolved

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Persistant World

Ark: Survival Evolved is an adventure simulation game that offers hunting-and-harvesting gameplay in a primal setting. Although not as polished or streamlined as a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a more ambitiously open world where you can choose...

Slime Rancher

Release Date: 14/10/2016

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

Slime Rancher is a farming simulation with a difference - rather than chickens, sheep or cows, you farm Slimes. As you gather more Slimes and species, you collect more types of Plorts from them, which can be used to upgrade your farm and your gear. It...

Farm Together

Release Date: 25/02/2018, updated in 2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Persistant World

Farm Together is a low-pressure farm simulator where you develop your farm by yourself or cooperate with your friends. Starting with an empty plot you can grow crops, plant trees, take care of the animals, add buildings and facilities, and unlock new...

Human Fall Flat

Release Date: 07/12/2017, updated in 2017

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Human Fall Flat is a movement platform game with rag-doll characters. You run, jump and solve puzzles with your elastic character, either on your own or with another player. Get it wrong and you fall flat on your face, often with comedic timing.

Cities: Skylines

Release Date: 10/03/2015, updated in 2023

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night and Grid

Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation. It rekindled the attention to detail and ambitious city planning of the Sim City games. You zone buildings, place roads, set taxation and provide public services and public...

Gang Beasts

Release Date: 12/12/2017, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Gang Beasts is an over-the-top brawling game where you play wobbly characters who kick, throw, push, pull and pummel up to seven other rivals to win. The game models real physics so you have to work with the grappling and jelly-like bodies to both get...

House Flipper

Release Date: 17/05/2018, updated in 2019

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

House Flipper is a simulation game where you renovate old broken houses to make money. It's a blend of money management, detailed interior design and repair right down to the electric circuitry. It fosters a sense of creativity and imagination in how...

The Forest

Release Date: 30/05/2014

Out Now: PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

The Forest is a survival horror game where you are the only passenger to live after a plane crash. You explore a mysterious forest to find food, shelter and safety but soon have to battle strange cannibalistic people.

Riders Republic

Release Date: 25/02/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Riders Republic is an extreme sports game where you can mountain bike, ski, snowboard, and fly in a wingsuit and rocket suit. This builds on other spot games with tens of online players competing at once in each event.

Castaway Paradise

Release Date: 08/01/2018

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Hand-Made, Open World and Persistant World

Castaway Paradise places you on your own tropical island. Make the place your own with decorations and furniture, dress up, collect bugs, fish, grow crops and help your new neighbours. It's an open-world game that offers an Animal Crossing style...

Freddy Spaghetti

Release Date: 15/12/2020

Out Now: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Freddy Spaghetti is a running and jumping game where you play a piece of spaghetti rather than a person. The game simulates the pasta’s physics as you use two trigger buttons and a joystick to steer the main character across a wide variety of levels,...

Just Die Already

Release Date: 20/05/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Just Die Already is a sandbox game where you play a retiree in a near future where people aren’t having any children and pension funds are drying up. It's an intentionally absurd set-up of old people fending for themselves in a world that wants them...

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2023

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill-based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Hokko Life

Release Date: 02/06/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

Hokko Life is a community simulation game like Animal Crossing. You pick a town and set up your home, before spending time helping the place develop into a charming rural idyl everyone loves. Even though it's the creation of one person, it has most of...

Two Point Hospital

Release Date: 25/02/2020

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Two Point Hospital is a light-hearted healthcare simulator. You take charge of a hospital, similar to Theme Hospital, where you must construct and maintain wards, machines and staff.

Summer in Mara

Release Date: 15/06/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

Summer in Mara is a farming game with a strong narrative about an adventurous girl called Koa. With a full day-night and season cycle, you can take the challenge on at your own pace as you build your farm and explore the world around you Take care of...

PowerWash Simulator

Release Date: 19/05/2021, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

PowerWash Simulator is a puzzle game where you clean different objects and locations using a pressure washer. It's designed to be soothing with sounds of high-pressure water and satisfyingly clean results as you blast away every speck of dirt and grime.

Surviving Mars

Release Date: 15/03/2018

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Day and Night

Surviving Mars is a colony simulation game based on the real geography of Mars. You build and maintain a liveable habitat while balancing resources and researching new ways to adapt to the hostile environment. You receive occasional rockets from Earth...

SnowRunner

Release Date: 28/04/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

SnowRunner is an off-road driving simulation game that is the follow-up to MudRunner. You drive all-terrain vehicles to traverse between locations and complete deliveries. You need to use the vehicle's gears, all-wheel-drive, fuel levels and other...

The Sims 4 (Series)

Release Date: 04/02/2000

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Persistant World

The Sims puts you in charge of a world of characters living normal lives. By providing a home, a job, leisure, friendships and even a love interest, you work to make them happy. It’s an open-ended game as well, although the altruism is focused on...

MudRunner

Release Date: 31/10/2017, updated in 2020

Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Mudrunner is an off-roading simulation where you drive ageing Soviet vehicles in extreme, muddy and unpaved environments. It's novel because of the simulated driving and that you just have a map and a compass to navigate.

Planet Coaster

Release Date: 17/11/2016

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Day and Night

Planet Coaster Console Edition is a pleasure park construction and management game. It draws on games like Theme Park and Rollercoaster Tycoon. You build different theme park rides and roller coasters in considerable detail, to score design points and...

Bonkies

Release Date: 29/01/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Bonkies is a co-operative building game where you construct buildings from different blocks. With a jetpack and a grab-arm you work with other players to manoeuvre the blocks into place. It starts quite simply but soon gets everyone shouting.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Release Date: 10/02/2012, updated in 2020

Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is an adventure where you set out from the vibrant city of Rathir to rescue a world torn apart by a vicious war. Along with its huge scale, the game offers nuanced character development and a political system where you...

Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Release Date: 30/01/2014, updated in 2017

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a traversal game where you try and control an octopus masquerading as a human as he goes about his day-to-day life. Using a combination of sticks and buttons, it creates an awkward, stomach-churning feeling of having too many...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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