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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: renedrivers / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Although at first glance the game looks a lot like Minecraft, it actually shares more similarities with Animal Crossing. Players are faced with the insurmountable task of attempting to rebuild the world after it's been destroyed. It's a little more large-scale than building a farm in Animal Crossing, but it's a similar premise. 

    Although the ideas are similar, Dragon Quest Builders is different enough from Animal Crossing to give players a wholly unique experience. You can take the game at your own pace and enjoy the scenery as you go. Feel free to build the world in any way you like, because it's your world and everyone else is living in it. 

    • Release: 2016
    • Developer: Square Enix
    • Genres (Video game): Action role-playing game, Glossary of video game terms, Open world
    • Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3
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  • Photo: Amccus

    Probably the closest you can get to Animal Crossing without enrolling the help of Tom Nook, Harvest Moon is one of the franchises that will appeal to Animal Crossing lovers the most. As a farming simulation game, players get to interact with their environment in ways that mimic most Animal Crossing games. While the first Harvest Moon was released on the SNES in 1996, there have been more than a dozen later installments, with updated thematic elements and engaging storylines. Each one is great in its own way, but there's something truly special about the original.

    What makes Harvest Moon fun for farming simulator fans is the constant grind. Every day you need to make sure that you water your crops and feed your animals to keep them producing. Maintenance is required for everything to run, so there's always something to do at the farm. Best of all, most games are open-ended, so you can keep playing long after you've finished the main story.

    • Release: 1996
    • Developer: Pack-In-Video
    • Genres (Video game): Console role-playing game, Simulation video game, Role-playing video game
    • Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii
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    #54 of 154 The Best Super Nintendo (SNES) Games#501 of 1,371 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans#97 of 356 The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made

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    My Time At Portia

    Photo: Pathea

    My Time at Portia is all about starting a new life in a new town. You can play the game at your own pace, much like in Animal Crossing. And while building your life you'll be tasked with harvesting resources and building new tools. Sound familiar?

    While a lot of life simulation games get old fairly quickly, My Time at Portia is much longer than traditional life simulation games and does a great job of keeping the game fresh from start to finish. It also has a unique look that gives it a more fun and cartoonish feel. 

    Release: 2018
    Developer: Pathea
    Genres (Video game):  Action role-playing game, Simulation Video Game
    Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Macintosh operating systems, Microsoft Windows

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    • 8

      Staxel

      Photo: Plukit

      Staxel features basically all of the main elements that other life simulation games like Animal Crossing have. You can farm fish, hunt animals, and even collect bugs. However, you have a lot more customizable options with your farm.

      If you think Animal Crossing is a little too restrictive—as in some parts of the game are a bit too linear—you'll enjoy Staxel. You can build your farm block-by-block in a style that mimics Minecraft. There's also no combat involved, so you don't need to worry about enemies attacking you at night. Perhaps even better, it's also a great game to play with friends.

      Release: 2018
      Developer: Plukit
      Genres (Video game): Simulation Video Game
      Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, SteamOS

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