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The Best City-Building Games of All Time

Updated August 17, 2020 19.1k votes 6.9k voters 785.4k views58 items

List RulesVote up your favorite city-building sim games.

The best city building games offer more than enough variety for every type of gamer. These highly rated city-builder games for PC, mobile, and Mac are ordered by popularity, so only the greatest city-building games are at the top of the list. Spanning the entire history of the genre, these builders are considered the best in the genre. If you're only familiar with the SimCity franchise, then prepare to find a ton of other games that are less known but equally as fun. If you're a fan of the Settlers franchise in particular, then you'll want to check out this list of the best games from the Settlers series.

This list includes all challenging city-building video games that have ever hit the shelves, so it doesn't necessarily have all the more obscure or new city-builder games. Popular games like SimCity and Pharaoh are known to many, but there are plenty of great city builders you've probably never heard of. This list answers the questions, "What are the best city-building games?" and "What is the greatest city building game of all time?" If you're looking for a list of games like SimCity then this list is exactly what you need.

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    DeveloperColossal Order

    Cities: Skylines is a city-building game developed by Colossal Order and published by Paradox Interactive. The game is a single-player open-ended city-building simulation. Players engage in urban...  more

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    Banished is an upcoming city-building strategy game focused on careful resource management and survival as an isolated and growing society. The player guides citizens of a remote community of...  more
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    DeveloperBreakAway Games, Impressions Games

    Pharaoh is an isometric city-building game set in Ancient Egypt created by Impressions Games and published by Sierra Entertainment for Microsoft Windows. It involves the construction and management...  more

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    DeveloperImpressions Games

    Caesar III is a video game developed by Impressions Games and published by Sierra Entertainment; the third installment of the Caesar series, part of Sierra's City Building Series. It was released in...  more
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    686
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    DeveloperMaxis

    SimCity 4 is a city-building/urban planning simulation computer game developed by Maxis, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts. It was released on January 14, 2003. It is the fourth installment in the...  more

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    DeveloperUbisoft, Blue Byte Software, Related Designs

    Anno 1404, known as Dawn of Discovery in North America, is a city-building and economic simulation game of the Anno series, with real-time strategy elements. Released in 2009, it was developed by...  more
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    DeveloperImpressions Games

    Zeus: Master of Olympus is the fifth full title of the City Building Series developed by Impressions Games and published by Sierra Entertainment. Like previous titles, Zeus focuses on the building...  more
  • 8

    DeveloperMaxis

    SimCity 4: Rush Hour is the expansion pack for SimCity 4 created by EA Games and Maxis, where the player builds a city from scratch....  more
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    DeveloperHaemimont Games

    Tropico 4 is a video game developed by Haemimont Games and published by Kalypso Media. It is a construction and management simulation video game, which focuses on a city-building simulation. Like the...  more
  • 10
    The Settlers: Rise of an Empire, a real-time strategy game, is the sixth game in The Settlers series. It was developed by Blue Byte and published by UbiSoft, with a US release date of September 25,...  more
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    DeveloperMaxis

    SimCity 3000 is a city building simulation personal computer game released in 1999, and the third major installment in the SimCity series. It was published by Electronic Arts and developed by series...  more
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    DeveloperMicroProse, Frontier Developments, Chris Sawyer

    RollerCoaster Tycoon is a construction and management simulation video game that simulates amusement park management. Developed by MicroProse and Chris Sawyer and published by Hasbro Interactive, the...  more

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    DeveloperSunFlowers, Related Designs

    Anno 1701, also marketed as 1701 A.D., is a video game of the Anno series with both real time strategy and city building elements, developed by Germany-based Related Designs and published by...  more
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    335
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    DeveloperBlue Byte Software, Related Designs

    Anno 2070 is a city-building and economic simulation game, with real-time strategy elements. It is the 5th game of the Anno series. It was released on 17 November 2011, and was co-developed by the...  more
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    DeveloperImpressions Games

    Poseidon: Master of Atlantis is a historical city building game expansion pack set in ancient Greece. It is the expansion pack to Zeus: Master of Olympus. Its most visible addition was the new...  more
  • 16
    Tropico 3: Absolute Power is a 2010 simulation video game....
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    DeveloperTilted Mill Entertainment

    Caesar IV is a city-building game set in ancient Rome, developed by Tilted Mill Entertainment. The game was released on September 26, 2006 in North America. The game features a three-dimensional game...  more
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    DeveloperHaemimont Games

    Imperium Romanum is a 2008 video game for Microsoft Windows developed by Haemimont Games and published by Kalypso Media. The game is a city-building game where players are governor of a province and...  more
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    DeveloperStormfront Studios

    Stronghold is a Dungeons & Dragons city-building real-time strategy computer game published by SSI and developed by Stormfront Studios in 1993....  more
  • 20

    DeveloperFiraxis Games, Soren Johnson

    Sid Meier's Civilization IV is a turn-based strategy computer game and the fourth installment of the Civilization series. It was developed by lead designer Soren Johnson under the direction of Sid...  more

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    Caesar is a city-building computer game where the player undertakes the role of a Roman governor, building ancient Roman cities. Released in 1992 on the Amiga, ported the next year to Atari ST, PC...  more
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    DeveloperTilted Mill Entertainment

    Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile is a city-building game set in ancient Egypt, developed by Tilted Mill Entertainment. The game was released November 2004 in the United States and February 2005...  more
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    DeveloperMonte Cristo, Focus Home Interactive

    Cities XL is a city-building computer game developed by Monte Cristo as a sequel to their earlier game City Life. It was originally scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2009, but was...  more
  • 24

    DeveloperDR Studios

    Tycoon City: New York is a 2006 city-building game that was developed by DR Studios. The game first released on February 21, 2006 and players are tasked with developing New York City, specifically...  more
  • 25

    DeveloperChris Sawyer, Chris Sawyer Productions

    RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 is a construction and management simulation PC game that simulates amusement park management. Developed by Chris Sawyer and published by Infogrames, the game was released on...  more