City building games can be very diverse and have individual features that don’t suit every gamer. We picked our favorites and made a Top 15 ranking of the Best City Building Games for you.
You might wonder which City Building Games are particularly trendy right now because more and more of them are joining the ranks. This list of selected titles might come in handy.
15. Kingdoms Reborn
This title is a classic city-building sim that includes the construction of a civilization along with resource management. Choose the appropriate location for your city and improve the lives of your inhabitants by providing them with food and luxury goods. Thus, expand your empire and attract even more citizens. Another interesting thing about this game is that you can play it online with friends in real-time, either cooperatively or competitively. Hence, Kingdoms Reborn is especially recommended in multiplayer mode.
Kingdoms Reborn can be purchased for PC via Steam.
Many city-building games put you in front of a great challenge. But in Islanders, it is different. Here there are neither research trees, resources, nor trade, but simply the act of relaxed city building on an island. In the beginning, you can choose between various building packages that fill your inventory. Place them at no cost and earn points by doing so. As your score increases, you unlock new buildings to choose from. Try to construct as many buildings as possible to be rewarded with additional points. If there is no more space on your isle, you can expand your empire to other islands. The game ends when you have no more buildings in your inventory to construct. However, if you can permanently find space, this probably won’t happen.
You can purchase this title for macOS, Linux, and PC via Steam.
13. As Far As The Eye
Go with your tribe to the world center, which is called The Eye. As a chief, you’ll see yourself in the responsible task of escaping with your people from a great tidal wave and getting to the place of rescue. On your journey, you’ll build a mobile village that you’ll have to manage sufficiently to ensure the survival of your civilization. This game is a roguelike with turn-based resource management, which offers you procedurally generated gameplay with difficult decisions and skill trees. However, the high level of difficulty also makes it very rewarding.
As Far As The Eye is available for PS4/PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Linux. You can purchase it for PC and macOS via Steam.
12. Before We Leave
Want to play a non-violent city building game? In Before We Leave, you’ll rebuild civilization in the universe and lead it back to its old pride. Build farms and other infrastructure, and make sure your inhabitants are happy. Your society can even expand to other continents and planets. Discover ancient technologies, manage resources and create a magnificent colony network. You’ll have to face not only catastrophes but also planet-eating space whales that search for plant-based food on your worlds.
Before We Leave is available for PS4/PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Get a copy for PC and macOS via Steam.
11. Surviving the Aftermath
If you are more interested in post-apocalyptic city building games, you might like this title. Here, in a deserted world, you’ll have to observe and expand a colony in a procedurally generated wasteland, while protecting it from bandits, wild beasts, and natural disasters. It’s up to you to keep the colony intact as best you can. You’ll also have to make tough decisions, take risks, or even make sacrifices to ensure its survival.
This title is available for PS4/PS5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, and can be purchased for PC via Steam.
There are serious, challenging city building games, but there are also much more relaxed titles – like Dorfromantik (German for “village romance”). So sit back and start building your settlement piece by piece with the help of many hexagonal tiles. On these tiles are various elements for your civilization, like forests, fields, or houses. This game is relatively similar to a puzzle since you’ll always be asked to connect certain elements together, for example, to fit 300 trees in a forest. Aesthetic urbanism and puzzles go hand in hand in this title.
Dorfromantik is available for Nintendo Switch, and can be purchased for PC via Steam.
9. The Colonists
This title is no less relaxed than our #10 but captivates with an exceptional cuteness: Help a group of robots that have escaped from Earth to build a new home in the galaxy. The Wall-E-like robots have the desire to live in human conditions. So we try to build farms, develop technologies and gather resources for them so that the robots can live, eat and sleep like us. A relaxed gaming experience that brings good humor and lots of fun.
This title is available for PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and can be purchased for PC, macOS & Linux via Steam.
8. Airborne Kingdom
In this title, you’ll play a sky city building sim, in which you’ll build your own flying empire and explore a vast desert. Discovery and city management have been combined here in a very unique way. Gather food and resources, build houses and explore the desert areas for lost technologies. Be there for your people and lead your air kingdom to glory.
Airborne Kingdom is available for PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and you can get it for PC & macOS via Steam.
7. Aven Colony
Welcome to another special city building simulation in space. In this game, you’ll be confronted with numerous challenges and obstacles that you’ll have to overcome in order to successfully build your space settlement. Fight against the permanent lack of oxygen, constant natural disasters, and alien life forms like giant sandworms, while you pursue your goal of rebuilding humanity on an alien planet.
This title is available for PS4/PS5, Xbox One, and it can be purchased for PC via Steam.
6. Tropico 6
This building simulation transports you to the colonial era. As governor, your goal is to become “El Presidente” of an ever-evolving island empire. Although the game awaits you with enough complexity in terms of city building, it also features a significant amount of comedy, which is typical for the Tropico series. Here, you have to do everything to stay in power. Even if you have to bribe officials or use military means to achieve this. Are you ready for not quite clean business?
Tropico 6 is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and you can get it for PC, macOS & Linux via Steam.
5. Surviving Mars
This title, besides building a city, is also primarily about naked survival because the building simulation doesn’t take place on Earth but on our neighbor Mars. In addition to the development and expansion of the colony and the food supply, it is especially important to continuously provide enough oxygen for the citizens and to protect them from natural disasters like cold waves or storms. Exploration of the planet and research also play a large role in the game since they allow significant improvements to your colony.
Surviving Mars is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and you can get it for PC, macOS & Linux via Steam.
4. The Wandering Village
With the newly released The Wandering Village you’ll play city building games of a very special kind: Try to survive with a group of nomads in the post-apocalypse. How? On the back of a gigantic slow-progressing creature (hence the name). The world around you has become lifeless and poisoned. The land growing on the creature’s back is fertile and offers a safe place to settle. Explore different biomes and numerous resources as you decide whether you’d rather act as a parasite or form a symbiotic relationship with the creature.
The game is available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and it can be purchased for PC, macOS & Linux at Steam.
If you are looking for new kinds of city building games, you might want to take a closer look at this title: There is no real gameplay in this game. Instead, you can go ham with your creativity and build picturesque island cities. Block by block, you can expand your dream city in all imaginable shapes and colors. A lovingly and warmly designed city-building game for PC, which has rightly taken its position in our list due to its innovative design.
Townscaper is available on Mobile, Nintendo Switch, and you can buy it for PC & macOS via Steam.
This building sim is also a survival game, in which you’ll have to protect your society from the merciless cold. Heat is the most important resource in this title. Frostpunk offers you impressive graphics paired with sophisticated strategic gameplay. Demanding challenges and an exciting story await you. With the Console Edition, this original survival experience is now also available for consoles.
Frostpunk is available for PS4/PS5, Xbox One, and it can be purchased for PC & macOS via Steam.
1. Cities: Skylines
This city builder has great depth and richness of detail that puts most other games in the genre to shame. Cities: Skylines is all about creating a breathtaking and fully functional urban metropolis where life blooms. You must build roads, create and maintain zones for different industries, manage taxes, and much more. The roots of Sim City are clear but developed further in a very clear direction. Those who like a high level of micromanagement will definitely have found a very suitable city building game with this title. On top of that, the game has a lot of remarkable mods available, with which the game experience can be extended at will.
The game is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and you can purchase it for PC, macOS & Linux on Steam.
Are you looking for genres other than city building games?
We hope that this list might have supported you in the search for your next favorite city builder. We wish you a lot of fun! Feel free to also check out our lists for the best free RPG games, the best free FPS games, and games like It Takes Two.
Did we miss any great city building games that belong on this list? Feel free to drop a comment below.