The Sims franchise has been incredibly successful since its release in the early 2000s. While the series has been largely without any real competitors, there has been a huge expansion of the life simulation genre, which continues to grow every year with even more incredible games. It's a tough task of finding that fine balance between fun and realistic, and between building and living the life you want. If you, too, are a The Sims 4 addict and feel like you have nothing to do while waiting for The Sims 5 to be announced, we've got a nice list of ten games you should totally give a chance, with similar mechanics and themes as the original Sims game series.
If you're really into just being thrown into difficult decisions and funny, imagined situations of an alternate life, BitLife is perfect for you. You can get this application for your phone and randomize a new life for yourself, which will progress with every year. The game will put you through various life events and give you options from which you must choose carefully, as your decision will always have interesting and sometimes hilarious consequences. It's a great bit of entertainment you can carry with you everywhere, with that random life event mechanic from The Sims very much present despite being only in text form.
9 Avakin Life
For a person on the go, but who wants a bit more out of the visuals of a game, an ideal pick is Avakin Life. You can get this on your smartphone and create exactly the character you'd like with the clothes you've always dreamed of.
While there's no need to worry about your needs, you can definitely get very creative with furnishing your room and giving your character that perfect fashion style. There's also the aspect of communicating with other players through common rooms and areas, as well as dance move emotes you can bust out at a party.
Similar to Avakin Life in concept but slightly more expansive and available only on the PC, IMVU also allows you to create that ideal character of yours, with the clothing and hair you've always dreamed of. Again, basic life simulation mechanics are absent here, as the game is more geared towards those who enjoy the character creation aspect of The Sims 4. You can join various chatrooms, furnish your own room or house and socialize with other users. Various dances and poses are also available, making it a really fun social networking game with tons of room of creativity.
7 Virtual Families 2
Available on Microsoft Store for PC users, Virtual Families 2 puts you in charge of a character and their daily life. Many of the mechanics from The Sims 4 are present here, including customizing their house, building a family one by one, going to work, and helping them with their needs. You'll be able to edit your house as well as the game progresses, and a bunch of random life events will either spell disaster or mildly complicate your daily life, maintaining that fun sense of challenge and mystery. The graphics are very appealing, similar to the first The Sims game with a top down view.
6 House Flipper
There are many different Simmers out there, with different needs. Some enjoy creating characters all day, while others all about building the ideal house. If the latter happens to be you, we really recommend checking out House Flipper, available on Steam for PC.
The game puts you face to face with a decrepit house, which you then need to renovate from top to bottom with the right tools and engineering knowledge. With incredible realism and impressive graphics, this is without a doubt one of the best building simulators, allowing you to even furnish and finally sell your finished product in-game.
5 Animal Crossing
For Nintendo fans, Animal Crossing is a great life simulator which puts the player into a town of animal-looking inhabitants. There are no real goals or objectives in this game, simply to live and flourish in the village by performing a wide range of activities that include fishing and collecting items. You can also customize your character, as well as your house to look exactly you want it to be. The game has a very specific visual style, as well as a realistic clock that mimics your real-world time, as well as seasons.
From the creators of The Sims came also the ultimate game of making your own alien species: Spore. You start off by creating your own species in cell form, and then watch them evolve in their environment over time, with various in-game challenges that come in to play. If you do well, your species will thrive on its planet and even achieve a position of domination. For those who love watching their creations grow, this is the ideal game, even though it doesn't simulate human life necessarily.
3 The Sims FreePlay
This list wouldn't be complete without the free-to-play version of everyone's favorite life simulation game. If you just can't put The Sims 4 down but also are constantly on the go, you can get EA's mobile version of the game for free on your phone.
The graphics are very pleasing and there's a lot of customization available, however, like most mobile games you'll need to be patient and many of your tasks will take a while to complete. Still, you'll be looking after your Sim in your dream house and tending to their needs as well as sending them off to work, just like in the original game, and that's as good as it can get.
2 Stardew Valley
Simmers who are also fans of retro games will definitely fall in love with Stardew Valley. You start off by creating your character, an office worker fed up with their dreary life in the city. And so, you head off to grandpa's farm in Stardew Valley, where your task is to build success from nothing and begin a new life. You have seasonal events and surprisingly immersive character stories, as well as a general story progression concerning an evil corporation seeking to take control of the town. Highly addictive, you can get this on PC and on your mobile device.
1 Second Life
When it comes to immersive online real-life simulations, Second Life is at the peak of that list. The fact that schools use the program for educational purposes and that an actual embassy was opened inside the virtual world goes to show just how expansive Second Life is. Much like with Avakin Life and IMVU you create and customize your character just the way you want, and can also buy and furnish your own house. It's a great game to live the life of your dreams, while also socializing with other players and joining chatrooms.