The best upcoming simulation games of 2023

Simulation games are computer games that are designed to simulate reality and reflect realistic aspects of various fields, such as everyday life, business, management, sports, aviation, space, and many others. In games of this type, the player often assumes the role of a character who is tasked with managing various tasks and challenges related to the simulated reality. Simulation games can vary in difficulty, from simple and easy to understand to very complex and demanding.

Examples of simulation games include The Sims, Farming Simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Football Manager, Euro Truck Simulator, Train Simulator, and RollerCoaster Tycoon.

What types of simulation games are there?

There are many types of simulation games that differ in theme and implementation. Below are some examples:

  1. Flight simulators – these are games in which the player plays the role of a pilot and manages the plane. Examples: Microsoft Flight Simulator, X-Plane, IL-2 Sturmovik.
  2. Driving simulators – these are games in which the player plays the role of a driver and drives a vehicle, e.g., a car, truck, bus, or train. Examples: Euro Truck Simulator 2, American Truck Simulator, Forza Horizon.
  3. Farming simulators – these are games in which the player manages a farm and conducts various types of field work. Examples: Farming Simulator, Pure Farming.
  4. Management simulators – these are games in which the player manages various enterprises or organizations, e.g., amusement parks, hospitals, airports. Examples: RollerCoaster Tycoon, Theme Hospital, Airport CEO.
  5. Life simulators – these are games in which the player takes on the role of a character and tries to meet its needs and achieve life goals. Examples: The Sims, Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing.
  6. Sports simulators – these are games in which the player assumes the role of a player or team manager and manages its activities. Examples: Football Manager, NBA 2K, FIFA.
  7. Combat simulators – these are games in which the player assumes the role of a soldier or commander and fights against the enemy. Examples: ARMA, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Squad.

Of course, these are just a few examples and the simulation genre can take many different forms and approaches depending on the game developers.

Why do gamers like simulation games?

Players like simulation games because of their great variety and the possibility of experiencing virtual experiences that are unavailable or too difficult to achieve on a daily basis. Simulation games allow players to perform various roles, such as managing a city, airport, farm or building amusement parks. In addition, simulation games often have educational elements, allowing players to gain knowledge about various areas of life, such as economics, geography, or resource management. For some players, simulation games are also an opportunity to relax and play peacefully, without the pressure of competing with other players.

Many simulation games can allow players to understand different aspects of life or learn something new. Of course, not all simulation games are designed to teach, but many of them can be an interesting educational tool.

There are many factors that have contributed to the popularity of simulation games. Here are a few of them:

  • Technological progress: With the development of technology, games are becoming more and more advanced. Thanks to this, simulation games can offer more realistic simulations, which attracts players who want to experience something new.
  • Extensive communities: Simulation games often have extensive communities that create mods, add-ons and share their experiences. Thanks to this, the game is gaining popularity and durability.
  • Increased interest in education: More and more people are paying attention to education and personal development. Simulation games allow you to simulate real situations and learn through experience.
  • Increased interest in environmental issues: In recent years, environmental issues have become very important to many people. Simulation games, such as Eco or Cities: Skylines, allow you to simulate the human impact on the natural environment and learn about the consequences of our actions.
  • Growth in popularity of indie games: With the development of the indie game market, simulation games have become more diverse and accessible to a wide audience. Small studios can create interesting, custom simulations that attract many players.

Yes, you could say The Sims is one of the most popular simulation games out there. Since the release of the first part in 2000, the series has gained immense popularity around the world and has sold over 200 million copies. Many people consider The Sims to be an icon of simulation games due to its unique style and gameplay that allows players to build and manage virtual characters and their homes, and lead the life of a virtual community.

Yes, certain types of simulation games may be more popular in certain countries or regions. For example, life simulation games such as Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons are very popular in Japan. These games allow you to simulate everyday life, including raising animals, growing crops, buying and selling products, and developing relationships with other characters.

In Europe and North America, city building games such as SimCity, Cities Skylines, and Tropico are popular. In them, players can design and manage their own cities, building infrastructure, developing industry and ensuring the satisfaction of residents.

In China and South Korea, mobile simulation games such as Honor of Kings and Lineage 2 Revolution are popular. These are games for mobile devices where players lead characters, develop them, fight other players and explore the virtual world.

In each country or region, players’ preferences regarding the types of simulation games may vary due to cultural differences, entertainment preferences and the availability of games in a given market.

There are cultural differences between the US and Europe that affect different gaming preferences. For this reason, popular sports simulation games may differ between the two regions.

In the United States, popular sports-related simulation games include the Madden NFL, NBA 2K, and MLB The Show series, which mirror American sports games such as American football, basketball, and baseball. In Europe, where these sports disciplines are not so popular, simulation games related to football are more popular, such as the FIFA series, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) or Football Manager.

Of course, these preferences may vary from country to country. For example, in the UK, where football is very popular, simulation games related to football are very popular, but also in Germany, Spain, and other European countries where this sport is also popular. Similarly, in the United States, sports such as baseball and American football are more popular in the South and West than on the East Coast, which also influences preferences for simulation games related to these sports.

What simulation games are worth waiting for in 2023?

These are exciting simulation games titles that offer a unique experience for players and are worth keeping an eye on as they release over the next few months of 2023.

EA Sports FC

EA Sports FC is a new title in a well-known series, resulting from a name change. Developed by EA Sports, the studio responsible for creating the FIFA series for three decades, this soccer game is the product of the company’s decision to terminate its license agreement with FIFA after the release of FIFA 23. In place of the former franchise, a new one has been launched under the developer’s name.

Similar to FIFA, EA Sports FC centers around soccer matches and winning tournaments, offering hundreds of licensed regional and national teams. The game’s realistic stadiums are replicated from locations worldwide, and the virtual players represent real-life athletes.

Cities Skylines II

The follow-up to the widely acclaimed city-building simulation game from 2015, Cities: Skylines 2, has been developed by Colossal Order and published by Paradox Interactive. The game will be available on Game Pass.

Similar to the original title, Cities: Skylines 2 allows players to build and manage their own metropolis. Tasks include constructing roads and zoning areas for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes. Proper budget management is essential to ensure the city’s financial stability.

Alaskan Truck Simulator

Alaskan Truck Simulator is a unique game that blends the realistic features of a truck simulator with those of a survival game. The game has been licensed by Discovery Channel, a renowned producer and broadcaster of popular documentaries and programs. Developed by Movie Games studio, known for titles like Lust for Darkness, Soulblight, and Squadron 303: Battles for England, the game offers players an immersive experience.

The game is set in Alaska, the northernmost state of the USA, where players are required to undertake various challenging missions that require driving to remote and hazardous locations. However, unlike other driver simulators, the gameplay is not limited to just driving. At times, players have to leave their trucks and venture on foot to fight for survival using an array of tools, including firearms.

WWE 2K23

WWE 2K23, developed by Visual Concepts and part of the popular series by 2K Games, is a sports game that recreates wrestling matches from the titular federation. The game, which was released in March, retains the gameplay mechanics introduced in previous installments.

Players engage in ring battles between several fighters, utilizing an array of punches, grabs, throws, and special techniques. The game features many of the sport’s greatest stars, including Roman Reigns, “American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes, Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

Aside from the ring battles, players can also engage in the administrative side of wrestling by managing teams or events. The game also includes an expansive editor that allows players to create their own wrestlers, move sets, arenas, and competitions.

Sengoku Dynasty

Sengoku Dynasty is a game that offers players a taste of life in medieval Japan and combines elements of survival, action RPG, and simulation genres. Developed by the Polish studio Superkami, the game is a continuation of ideas from the popular Medieval Dynasty. Set in feudal Japan, players start the game in a time of famine and war, and the main objective is to rebuild and secure a future for their family by settling in the legendary Peasants’ Kingdom.

The game features a vast open world, which players can explore freely from a first-person perspective. As they progress, players must gather resources and expand their settlement, which can eventually transform into a bustling city. The game also allows players to build multiple cities, but this is not an easy task. With its combination of survival, action RPG, and simulation elements, Sengoku Dynasty offers a unique and immersive gaming experience.

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is a farming RPG developed by Marvelous and a remake of the original Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, released in 2004. The game takes place in the Forgotten Valley, a picturesque and fertile land that we inherit after our father and his friend’s passing.

As the new owners of the farm, we must not only manage and grow it, but also become acquainted with the valley’s other inhabitants and actively participate in the community’s life.

Kerbal Space Program 2

Kerbal Space Program 2 is the second edition of the popular space conquest simulator. This game gained great popularity among amateurs of space flights and astronomy due to its educational value. The first early version of Kerbal Space Program was released in 2011, and it was continuously developed by an independent Mexican development studio called Monkey Squad. However, the sequel was commissioned by the publisher Private Division, owned by the industry giant Take-Two Interactive, and developed by a new team of producers from the American Star Theory Games.

Kerbal Space Program 2 once again places the player at the helm of the space program prepared by Kerbals, the friendly green skinned creatures who venture into space in the name of science and adventure. While retaining all the elements that made the series popular, the creators rebuilt all the key gameplay features from the basics.

Simulation games continue to attract players and enjoy popularity. Many new titles have been released in recent years, and many older games still have a loyal fan base. Popular series such as The Sims, SimCity or Farming Simulator are still very popular. Also, many new simulation games are hitting the market, including more and more realistic simulators that are becoming more and more popular among players.

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