Photo: Campo Santo

Total Nerd The Best Walking Simulators of All Time  

Jason Robbins
678 votes 235 voters 5.3k views

List Rules Vote up the most playable and engrossing walking simulator games.

What are the best walking simulator games? How about we start with, "What ARE walking simulators?" Over the last few years, a new genre of game has cropped up in which the main gameplay mechanic consists not of killing things or solving puzzles or even platforming. What's left? Walking. Yes, walking (or in some cases, swimming) around the environment and discovering things is the central conceit of these games.

Yes, many gamers balk at this lack of action or interaction. In fact, it's those same naysayers that coined the term "walking simulator" to highlight the boring activity that makes up the brunt of the game. But what these folks are missing out on is some of the best storytelling in games today.

That's right - what these games lack in traditional gameplay, they often make up for in rich and emotional narratives. After all, the creators of these games have a story they want to tell and they build the entire game world around it. They don't start with a shooting or puzzle mechanic and then fill in the blanks with some story beats, like other games often do. Here, with each discovered letter or picture or ruin, a small piece of the developer's vision falls into place, and it can be very rewarding to the patient player.

So, what are the greatest walking simulator video games today? You tell us! Check out our list of the best walking simulators and vote up the ones you'd actually play.

list ordered by

1
90 15
Firewatch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
Firewatch

2
46 15
The Stanley Parable is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time

3
43 15
Journey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time

4
39 15
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

5
47 23
Gone Home is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time

6
35 15
Everybody's Gone to the Raptur... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

7
26 8
SOMA is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
SOMA

8
28 10
Abzu is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
Abzu

9
24 9
Virginia is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
Virginia

10
26 15
Dear Esther is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time

11
12 8
The Old City: Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
The Old City: Leviathan

12
19 17
That Dragon, Cancer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
That Dragon, Cancer

13
8 6
Ether One is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
Ether One

14
14 13
Lifeless Planet is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
Lifeless Planet

15
11 12
Proteus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
Proteus

16
5 9
Sunset is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Walking Simulators of All Time
Sunset