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The Best City-Building Games of All Time

Updated August 17, 2020 22.3k votes 6.9k voters 783.9k 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.

  • 1
    Cities: Skylines

    DeveloperColossal Order

    Cities: Skylines is a city-building game developed by Colossal Order and published by Paradox... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 2
    Caesar III

    DeveloperImpressions Games

    Caesar III is a video game developed by Impressions Games and published by Sierra... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 3

    DeveloperBreakAway Games, Impressions Games

    Pharaoh is an isometric city-building game set in Ancient Egypt created by Impressions Games... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    Banished is an upcoming city-building strategy game focused on careful resource management and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 5
    SimCity 4


    SimCity 4 is a city-building/urban planning simulation computer game developed by Maxis, a... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 6
    Anno 1404

    DeveloperUbisoft, Blue Byte Software, Related Designs

    Anno 1404, known as Dawn of Discovery in North America, is a city-building and economic... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 7
    SimCity 4: Rush Hour


    SimCity 4: Rush Hour is the expansion pack for SimCity 4 created by EA Games and Maxis, where... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 8
    Zeus: Master of Olympus

    DeveloperImpressions Games

    Zeus: Master of Olympus is the fifth full title of the City Building Series developed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    Tropico 4

    DeveloperHaemimont Games

    Tropico 4 is a video game developed by Haemimont Games and published by Kalypso Media. It is a... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    SimCity 2000

    DeveloperFull Fat, Maxis

    SimCity 2000 is a city-building simulation video game and the second installment in the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 11
    Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom

    DeveloperBreakAway Games, Impressions Games

    Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom is the sixth title in the City Building Series. BreakAway... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    SimCity 3000


    SimCity 3000 is a city building simulation personal computer game released in 1999, and the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    Anno 1701

    DeveloperSunFlowers, Related Designs

    Anno 1701, also marketed as 1701 A.D., is a video game of the Anno series with both real time... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Anno 2070

    DeveloperBlue Byte Software, Related Designs

    Anno 2070 is a city-building and economic simulation game, with real-time strategy elements.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 15
    Poseidon: Master of Atlantis

    DeveloperImpressions Games

    Poseidon: Master of Atlantis is a historical city building game expansion pack set in ancient... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    Tropico 2: Pirate Cove

    DeveloperFrog City Software

    Tropico 2: Pirate Cove is the 2003 sequel to the computer game Tropico. Tropico 2 was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 17
    Caesar IV

    DeveloperTilted Mill Entertainment

    Caesar IV is a city-building game set in ancient Rome, developed by Tilted Mill Entertainment.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    Civilization IV

    DeveloperFiraxis Games, Soren Johnson

    Sid Meier's Civilization IV is a turn-based strategy computer game and the fourth installment... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 19

    DeveloperStormfront Studios

    Stronghold is a Dungeons & Dragons city-building real-time strategy computer game published by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile

    DeveloperTilted Mill Entertainment

    Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile is a city-building game set in ancient Egypt, developed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    Cities XL

    DeveloperMonte Cristo, Focus Home Interactive

    Cities XL is a city-building computer game developed by Monte Cristo as a sequel to their... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 22
    RollerCoaster Tycoon

    DeveloperMicroProse, Frontier Developments, Chris Sawyer

    RollerCoaster Tycoon is a construction and management simulation video game that simulates... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 23
    Tropico is a series of construction and management simulation computer games developed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 24
    CivCity: Rome

    DeveloperFiraxis Games, Firefly Studios

    CivCity: Rome is a city building strategy game by Firefly Studios and Firaxis Games. It... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 25
    The Settlers: Rise of an Empire
    The Settlers: Rise of an Empire, a real-time strategy game, is the sixth game in The Settlers... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button