The Best Life Simulation Games Like The Sims
On the hunt for more life simulation games like The Sims? I'm a huge fan of the genre (I especially like the game The Sims 3), and I've dedicated this page to the games that I consider the very best.
I started my love with The Sims very early on in my gaming career and have played the games in the franchise for countless (quite possibly thousands) of hours. I'm probably your stereotypical 'girl gamer' who grew up on a healthy dose of The Sims. If you're like me or just love life simulation games, I hope you find this page helpful.
I love hearing from readers, so if you have thoughts, opinions, or games like The Sims that you think should be included, then visit the comment section at the end and let us know.
The Ingredients for Games Like The Sims:
|The Game Must Have:|
Control over character's life
Randomised events (like real life!)
Opportunities to build relationships
Which Sims Game Is Your Favourite?
If you love games like The Sims because of the fashion and house decorating elements, then you'll definitely want to consider creating an account on Lady Popular, a website that is gaining a rapid following as one of the top free-to-play online games dedicated to a female audience.
The game definitely is a fashion game at heart with an emphasis on shopping for outfits, entering into fashion contests, and even creating your own fashion runway looks.
If you don't want to partake in the fashion elements of the game, players can instead enjoy the wide number of customisation options available for your apartment, which grows from a single room quickly into an entire mansion for you to fill with your own furniture choices.
As far as free-to-play and online alternatives to The Sims go, Lady Popular cannot be beaten.
My Sunny Resort
My Sunny Resort is an interesting mix of resort building, management, and Sim-like room customisation. This addicting, free-to-play browser-based game will particularly appeal to those who like customising their own house on The Sims.
As the name might suggest, the game is set on a sunny resort where players begin with plenty of vacant land. Your role is to turn this land into a bustling holiday destination. The steps to get there include managing finances, hiring staff, and choosing the correct buildings to add to your resort.
The part of the game that feels most reminiscent of The Sims is the way that My Sunny Resort lets you customise individual guest rooms. This lets you create some amazing rooms for the high rollers who take a weekend away at your resort as well as more budget-orientated rooms for the family visitors. This customisation aspect feels very like The Sims franchise with a good range of furniture items to place in the available space.
My Sunny Resort even includes some interactivity elements that let you give directions and look after your guests in a similar manner to the way you would look after your Sims in the various Sim instalments.
My Sunny Resort Gameplay Trailer
Instant Messaging Virtual Universe (IMVU)
IMVU is a mixture of chat, content creation and avatar customisation that all fans of The Sims will appreciate. Not only do you get the opportunity to create your own avatar with it's own style but you can also be on the other side of the table by creating clothing and accessories for your own avatar or the community in general.
If you've got a creative eye and was never happy with what The Sims offered in terms of customisation and always wanted to create your own items (or were an active modder of the original Sim games) then you'll love the IMVU community that is filled with millions of players that want to chat, create and customise.
As one of the best free to play avatar games around IMVU is a must try to with a signup process that only takes a few seconds there is nothing holding you back.
If you want raw and endless customisation, then Second Life is easily the very best option out there. The game lets you live out an entirely new life in an online environment and caters to both people who want to be social with other players and those who would rather explore the world alone.
With a highly customisable engine behind the game, it is easy to spend hours and hours creating your perfect look in this online world. Customising your character isn't the only option available to you either, with plenty of opportunity to create houses, items, objects and more.
Second Life is the sort of game that always has something for you to do, and the great variety of activities available offers appeal to everyone. The best part of Second Life, though, is the fact that it's one of the few free-to-play life simulation games out there.
If you haven't tried Second Life before, then take 15 seconds to setup an account and enter into the amazing world that awaits you!
Club Cooee is a chat, social, and customisation experience that encourages players to hang out in impressive 3D virtual worlds and listen to music together through the DJ Party feature.
If you like to meet new people while having plenty of options to customise your own avatar, then Club Cooee is the best Sim alternative for you. With a community in the millions, ensuring the fact that thousands of players will be active at any single time, there is lots to enjoy in the game's online environment.
Start customising your own account and meet new people by creating your free account to participate in the 3D virtual chat.
The number one option if you are hunting for life simulation games like The Sims has always been The Movies for me. Just take one look at the screenshots, and you'll get a very Sims-like vibe straight away. The game does also have tycoon/business-style elements, and since I've always been a fan of this genre as well I really liked the mix. It won't be for everyone, though.
The Movies is available on PC and Windows platforms and challenges players to lead a movie studio through the ages. You'll get to go from the early days of the film industry up to modern times. Along the way, your technology and the tastes of consumers will change, so you always have to be on your toes about what you are currently developing to make sure it will be a box office hit and not a complete flop (there are enough of those in real life cinema!).
While the gameplay does sound fun, it becomes even better when you realise that you have a role to play in every (and I mean every) single detail of the game. You have to not only create the studio (like building a house in The Sims) but also look after the careers of the film stars by making sure they are spending their time wisely. If they feel like life is getting too stressful, they'll go off the rails just like real actors do.
The final component that pulls everything together is the movie side of the game. These movies aren't just created for you, though. In The Movies, you will have to make the movies yourself by selecting the genre, themes, script, and scenes. You'll then have to mange the actual filming process to ensure you come in under budget and that it gets finished in time. Most of your creations will end up being about a minute or two in length and then can be shared with other people, which is half of the fun.
If I could only suggest one of the many life simulation games like The Sims that are out there today, I would say go and play The Movies, simply because you'll get hundreds of hours from it.
Some Screenshots Of The Movies Gameplay
The Movies Game Trailer
One of the simpler life simulation games like The Sims is Virtual Families. It's got some very unique elements to its gameplay that have got me hooked, despite the fact that I didn't think I'd like it at first glance.
Virtual Families consists of two games (Virtual Families and Virtual Families 2: Our Dream House). Both of them are on several platforms, so it's quite easy to play this game, be it on PC, Mac, Android, or even iPhone. As the name might suggest to you, the game is more focused on simulating a family dynamic rather than that of a single person or character. If you prefer to play a single or couple when you play games like The Sims, you'll probably want to give this one a miss; it's definitely for family-oriented people.
In the game, you'll choose from hundreds of different options to create your own little family. Choose wisely because you are about to spend a whole lot of time with them. Your role in the game is to encourage them to perform actions that better their career opportunities and life in general while of course keeping them happy. Efficient use of time is the real key here like in most life simulation games.
Virtual Families is particularly good at throwing random events your way to keep you on your toes. You constantly have to react to situations from fires to water leaks to job losses to the house falling apart. It does a great job of reflecting the real issues that can arrive on a day-to-day basis in the real world!
Incorporated into the experience are a number of mini games that allow more skilled players to gain a leg up in the game world, and it's nice to have an extra element that most games don't have. To keep you interested for the long term, the game uses a trophy system (with over 100 trophies) and hidden Easter eggs.
If you've only got the budget or time for one of the games, I recommend Virtual Families 2 as it adds a lot of house customisation elements and pets into the gameplay, making it more inline with what most people want in life-simulation games like The Sims.
Virtual Families 2 Screenshots
Virtual Families 2 Gameplay (iPhone/iPad)
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
I love my 3DS, but sometimes it's a hard console to find games for, especially in the life simulation games genre.
Thankfully with the release of New Leaf in 2013 I finally had a game that was similar to The Sims. While previous games in the Animal Crossing series did have some life simulation elements, New Leaf took it to a new level by giving you control of an entire village.
If you, like myself, have played previous games in the franchise, you'll pick up the gameplay pretty quickly. Even if you haven't, the game isn't that difficult as it definitely was designed for younger and more casual audiences (common for Nintendo games). Animal Crossing doesn't use people; instead, it uses anthropomorphic characters that have animal elements. It's definitely a very quirky and unique game world that awaits you (which I love).
In this simulation game, you'll be placed in the Mayor's chair as you control everything in the town. Exploration and communicating with other residents makes up most of the game, but activities such as fishing (my favourite), building, and shopping also are available. Ultimately, your goal is to improve the wealth of yourself and the city through the Bells currency, which can be earned in a number of ways. The level of customisation here is simply insane, especially for a 3DS game, but that's Nintendo, always producing high-quality experiences.
Personally, I had the most fun with the multiple aspects, so it definitely helps to have a friend or two who are also into Animal Crossing. Like The Sims, it isn't a bad game to play alone; I just don't think it's your best option.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf Screenshots
The New Leaf Game Trailer
Kudos 2 is one of the more unique games. I found it a toss-up whether or not it deserved inclusion on this page of life simulation games.
It's heavily focused around stats, so min/max gamers will be drooling over it (I fall into this category), but other gamers might find this a turn off. Regardless of this, I decided that because I've had so much fun with this game, it really needed to be shared! The game does include a demo on its website, so you don't have to make a purchase to decide if the game is right for you.
So what does the game actually involve? It's a mixture of life simulation and strategy that challenges you to use your time wisely to create the best life possible. Kudos 2 plays out in turns so you have plenty of time to make decisions about how you want to spend your day. Is it time to do that project instead of going out with a friend? Time to work out at the gym to impress a new date? Maybe it's time for a relaxing day at home. The choices you make during the game will directly impact on your stats and various moods.
The flexibility of the game is its greatest asset. I'll play one game solely focused on my career, then decide to be a social butterfly in the next, which is similar to how I play The Sims. For that reason, I got a lot of fun out of Kudos 2, and I think most other fans of games like The Sims will tell you to give the game a try (remember there is a free demo available!). I'd also like to point out that the game is not computer intensive in anyway, so if you're limited to playing on a laptop, then Kudos 2 will still run perfectly fine.
Kudos 2 Gameplay
Some Kudos 2 Gameplay
Which ff These Life Simulation Games Like The Sims Takes Your Fancy?
Jasmine on April 03, 2018:
how do I play your games?????
Hot girl on June 13, 2016:
Ive played all these games and sims is still the best
lala on February 15, 2016:
hot chick on August 02, 2015:
put games youy can play next time
Molly on November 22, 2014:
It's a shame because most of these you have to download if any body finds any good games please respod thanks :)
Catherine Mostly from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 02, 2014:
Btw, this is the kind of hub that deserves to be on the Hub of the Day page - just sayin. ;)
Catherine Mostly from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 02, 2014:
Thanks for the great list. I'm going to try out both Movies and Kudos - they sound like my cup of tea. :)
vanesabg on August 10, 2014:
gatsby on August 05, 2014:
i love the sims all of them they make me happy and they are fun to play they should just make all games free so it could make them win more costumers .....:)
Sarah Forester (author) from Australia on February 06, 2014:
Thanks for the comment! I LOVE both The Movies and Kudos 2, can't recommend them enough. I think Kudos 2 has a sale on right now.
cactusbythesea from Seattle on February 06, 2014:
Great list of suggestions, thanks for posting this article! I hadn't heard of The Movies or Kudos 2; I'll have to check them out.
SuzieML on February 05, 2014:
Love this genre, I'm thinking of trying to get Animal Crossing it just keeps coming up when I search for games to play.
GamerAtHeart on February 05, 2014:
I'm going to try Virtual Villagers, thanks!
Sarah Forester (author) from Australia on February 04, 2014:
Thanks for your comment! Great to hear from another Australian. I really recommend checking out The Movies, it's the most Sim like experience I've been able to find and I've gotten so many gameplay hours out of it!
Brittany Brown from Sydney, Australia on February 04, 2014:
Great list! I love The Sims franchise, and I also enjoyed Kudos 2 (as well as Rock Legend, by the same creator- you should try it out if you haven't yet).
I keep hearing good things about The Movies...I'll have to check it out :)
GG-Gamer on February 03, 2014:
The life simulation genre is always at the top of my list of genres, I'm a big fan of Kudos 2 like you, its just different but really well put together.