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14 Games You Need To Play If You Love 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons'

Updated October 19, 2020 326 votes 58 voters 1.7k views14 items

List RulesVote up the best games for fans of Nintendo's uber-adorable 'Animal Crossing' franchise.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game that’s taken the world by storm. In fact, people are rushing to snatch up Nintendo Switches just so they can zone out of the current state affairs and dive into their own little island paradise. While the style and gameplay have a unique sense of accomplishment, there are plenty of games like Animal Crossing that are equally as enjoyable (and probably a lot cheaper).

Throughout five console releases (and three spin-offs), the Animal Crossing franchise has garnered a dedicated fanbase. Players are tasked with building their farm, carrying out various tasks, making friends with the local villagers. Because the games are open-ended, you can literally play it for years without running out of things to do.

Whether you're looking for similar Switch games, PC games, or mobile games, check out the most popular games like Animal Crossing and vote up the ones you think share a striking similarity. If you're starting to feel a little too on your own private island, or if you're simply looking for a few similar simulation titles, give these games a go.

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  • Photo: Eric Barone

    Originally released and published by Chucklefish in 2016, Stardew Valley is one of the most popular farming simulation games currently available. The game has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from players and critics, as it lets players grow their own farms, fight off dangerous enemies in the mines, and make few friends along the way. Not only that, but the multiplayer mode is also top-notch.

    Aside from the fact that's a 2D game, one of the standout features is relationship building: There are dozens of people in the village that players can either befriend or marry. You do this by giving them gifts that are unique to each player. You need to be careful, though, because a gift loved by one person might be hated by another. It's the little nuances that really help make Stardew Valley so special, and the more you play the more you began to appreciate all of its various complexities.

    • Release: 2016
    • Developer: Concerned Ape
    • Genres (Video game): Simulation, role-playing
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
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    The Sims 4

    Photo: Maxis, The Sims Studio

    Just like New Horizons and other Animal Crossing games, The Sims 4 is a life simulation game where players are basically in the driver's seat when it comes to navigating the game. Published by EA in 2014,  players assume control over the lives (and likelihoods) of several people or "Sims." While building the lives of the people, you can also build the city itself. With the ability to change basically everything, there's a lot of replayability in this game. 

    One of the most popular aspects of any Animal Crossing is the relationship building. You can try to build positive relationships with every character in the game. However, when it comes to The Sims, you have control over every person in the city. As a result, you can control the relationships between each character. This gives you the ability to make interesting dynamics in your town that you wouldn't be able to otherwise. 

    • Release: 2014
    • Developer: Maxis, The Sims Studio
    • Genres (Video game): Life simulation
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
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    #240 of 454 The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time#671 of 1,371 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans#49 of 75 Hardest Video Games of All Time

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  • Photo: Tamahikari Tammas / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Not only is it the best-selling game of all timeMinecraft is the game that all modern farming games are based on. This pixilated simulation game gives you more freedom than you have in Animal Crossing in terms of building your home. However, it won't give you the same community feel that you can find in games like New Horizons and New Leaf.

    Minecraft is the ultimate sandbox game and gives the player the ability to build whatever they want. You can build several farms and you can automate them if you wish. You can even build an epic base to live in. Unlike Animal Crossing, there are plenty of bosses and foes to defeat. It's also one of the most rewarding games ever made. Players who have been playing for more than 10 years are still finding new things to do. 

    • Release: 2009
    • Developer: Neverland
    • Genres (Video game): Console role-playing game, Simulation video game, Role-playing video game
    • Platform: Wii
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  • 4

    Fantasy Life

    Photo: Level-5

    Fantasy Life and Animal Crossing have a handful of differences, but this engaging title certainly shares some of same familiar gameplay mechanics. For starters, players produce materials to improve and upgrade their house throughout the game, which involves a level of constant grinding that's similar to Animal Crossing.

    A few things. For starters, Fantasy Life is more of an RPG game than a life simulation game. However, it does try to blend the two styles. Throughout the game, you'll level up and master life classes. This will give you the ability to get new materials and upgrade your home even further. 

    Release: 2012
    Developer: Level-5
    Genres (Video game): Role-playing video game, Life simulation game
    Platform: Nintendo 3DS

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