11 Games Like Cities Skylines

Surviving Mars - Games Like Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines is one of the most in-depth and immersive city-builders, so where do you go from there? If you’re looking for games like Cities Skylines it can be tricky to find titles with the same complexity. However, there are loads of games that capture the depth of experience with a lot of creativity. 

There are loads of great city-builder games and sim games similar to Cities Skylines. These range from historical and sci-fi builders to more relaxing sim titles. 

These are some of the best games similar to Cities Skylines right now. We’ll start with some of the more basic picks, with the best titles in this genre further down!

1. Going Medieval

Going Medieval - Games Like Cities Skylines
The Irregular Corporation

Historical city-builders were all the rage once, but what if you want one that’s similar to Cities Skylines? Modern games have much more polish and deeper management than the old Sierra city-builders. Going Medieval is a game that captures both feelings. You get the authentic historical city-builder with all the detail of a modern approach. 

Going Medieval is a colony-building simulator. The aim is to build a fortress that can defend itself from both the wilderness around you and raids from rival powers. The title is set around the end of the 14th century. 

After a plague has hit the population hard, there are many dangers both from wilderness and rivals. The game begins with a basic structure. Eventually, you build it up to a full fortress that can defend your settlement and population. 

The game has deeper simulations for villagers and other people than you’ll typically find. Each have their own agendas and history, being drawn from the context of the era. This adds realism and a unique dynamic to politics.

Being set in the 14th century, there are obviously not the same expansive options for transport. This is still a game like Cities Skylines though with its deep approach to building a base. You’ll find the city under siege approach provides plenty of entertainment, even without trains and modern technology. 

2. Prison Architect

Prison Architect - Games Like Cities Skylines
Paradox Interactive

Prison Architect is another game from the same publisher as Cities Skylines! They have some major differences though. Prison Architect isn’t about building a utopian society, you’re building the prison itself and attempting to make sure no one can get out. 

Beyond the surface level though there’s a lot in common. Prison Architect is one of the best games like Cities Skylines. Players can take advantage of some less than ethical sources for building up their prison, like bribery, snitches, and generally whatever else you need to keep everyone contained. 

It has a unique twist in letting players attempt to escape these prisons too! Escape Mode lets you control one of the NPCs in your prison or one built by someone else. This mode lets you really test out how well you’ve built your prison. 

One of the more fun aspects of Prison Architect is its art style. Most city-builder games go for a slick style. Prison Architect has a simple cartoony style. It probably helps to distract from the fact that your prison is full of hardened criminals and dangerous gangs! This makes a nice change of pace compared to most games like Cities Skylines.

The title gives you full control of how you want to build your prison. If you want to construct some bizarre cruel maze, you can. Although, it might not last too long. Equally, if you want to optimize things and try to make your prison the single most efficient there’s a lot of space for that too.

Prison Architect excels in everything a sim or builder game should. It gives you space to be creative and also the options you need to drill down into management. It even lets you experience your creation as one of the residents. That’s pretty unique even in the best sim games.

3. Two Point Hospital

Two Point Hospital - Games Like Cities Skylines

Two Point Hospital is a simulator game with a few added twists. On its surface, it’s a hospital-running sim putting you in charge of ensuring the health of a community. However, it’s the personality that the game adds that has really grabbed attention.

Two Point Hospital isn’t just a simulator based around a hospital. With its expansions, you have the scope to make your hospital an entire hub. There are in-depth management options for the hospital that covers all aspects of healthcare. 

You can even try to make the hospital an award-winning facility that pioneers the latest healthcare. Outside of the mechanics, you’ve also got the characters themselves. 

Everything in Two Point Hospital has been designed to be a bit more interesting than your standard NPCs wandering around. The game art style cartoonish matches its tone, with fun interactions and secrets hidden all over the game. Its touches like this that make it one of the best games like Cities Skylines.

Two Point Hospital isn’t the only builder of this type though, Two Point Campus has been shown off too. The first Two Point Hospital specifically though shows what the series can do.

4. Frostpunk

Frostpunk - Games Like Cities Skylines
11bit Studios

Frostpunk is a survival and city-building game that takes building a sustainable society to the extreme. The main challenge here is managing your resources in a way that ensures survival. Building a metropolis is possible, but it’s definitely a much bigger challenge here.

The Frostpunk series is set after a blizzard storm wrecked the earth. It’s left the planet harsh with people struggling to survive. This is a survival game, a city-builder, and there’s even focus on strategy here. To survive you need to protect the last city standing on earth.

The strategy element adds a lot to the title. There are different situations that’ll arise that test your resolve and your city’s strength. It’s difficult to find the right balance to survive all potential threats.

Most city-builders work best on PC. Frostpunk though has had a decent translation to consoles. It’s one of the top city-builder games for PS5 and controls decently even on those platforms. Games like Cities Skylines are rarely fantastic on console, so this is a nice touch.

Frostpunk is a harsher world than Cities Skylines, with an unforgiving approach to management. If you’re up for the challenge though, building a city in this uninhabitable earth is a fun change of pace. 

5. Planet Coaster

Planet Coaster - Games Like Cities Skylines
Frontier Developments

Planet Coaster does for Rollercoaster-Tycoon-style games what Skylines did for the city-builder. This game takes the coaster tycoon format and extends it just about as far as it can go. You’re planning and building theme parks here but with levels of control over the management that are staggering.

The title has an impressive level of detail and realism. You create an entire theme park from the ground up. There are the options to use specific theming everywhere. You can make a fantasy park like Disney Land or go for something themed purely around thrills. The possibilities are wide open.

As one of the games like Cities Skylines, it takes an in-depth view of transport in a city, Planet Coaster gives you nearly complete control over the guest experience. There are even choices of mascots you can get to roam the park.

The construction of the park itself is completely open. You can build coasters on a completely piece-by-piece basis. That’s a level of detail replicated everywhere. 

Everything down to the paths your guests use can be broken down and customized to make them perfect. If you’ve ever had a dream theme park in mind, you can probably build it exactly here.

This game is more of a creative sim game than a challenging one, but it can be played in a way that makes it more challenging if that’s your thing. If you enjoy building excessive or creative cities in Skylines, then this is the perfect theme park experience for you. 

6. Civilization VI

Civilization VI - Games Like Cities Skylines

The Sid Meier’s Civilization Series is one of the most iconic strategy games, but the latest installment brought in city-building elements. Not on the scale of a full-blown SimCity-style game, but it’s much more important in Civ VI than before. Civ is one of the better games like Cities Skylines if you want more competitive gameplay.

Civ now features a robust system for planning out your cities. As each one is settled, you’ll have to direct workers to gather more resources for the city. Districts and buildings now need to be built independently. You’ll need to plan space and prioritize in each city.

The expansions for the game build on this even further. Population happiness becomes a major part of strategy. You’ll have to build cities that further your goals of domination but also keep a happy populace. 

The city-building aspects are new, but Civilization still has its deep strategy elements.

Civ is one of the best turn-based games on PC for its complexity. You’ll need to build and plan cities to advance your way to victory over rival civilizations

Civilization might not be as deep in its city-builder, but each city is one step in building an empire from a single settler unit. This is a unique and fun alternative to Cities Skylines.

7. Tropico 6

Tropico 6 - Games Like Cities Skylines
Kalypso Media

Tropico is a more light-hearted take on the city-building genre, but one that’s become quite sophisticated. It’s modeled on the idea of a banana republic. Over multiple ages, you need to build your island from a colony to an independent and strong state.

Tropico 6 has added unique mechanics with a Leader character being built up by the player. With greater developments to each citizen on your island, you can build a power base among the population in a more real way than ever before. 

Tropico 6 adds new and deeper mechanics for transportation and infrastructure. That’s alongside a focus on economic development to achieve an independent island. The game even gives you control over policy and government. 

Tropico 6 has a lot of humor in the game. This has made it feel fresh in the genre. It’s this unique approach that makes it one of the best building games on PC along with one of the games most like Cities Skylines.

8. Railway Empire

Railway Empire - Games Like Cities Skylines
Kalypso Media

Cities Skylines is great for a full city-builder, but its traffic management is one of the most impressive parts of the game. If you’re looking for more of this specifically then Railway Empire is probably the best pick! 

This game is a full immersive sim based entirely around railways. It offers a similar level of depth and complexity to the traffic system in Skylines, but with a laser focus on the transport. No more buildings getting in the way of your amazing traffic system.

Being based around railways as a concept, this is a game that is a lot wider than a city-builder. You’re building more than one city. Ideally, you can build a fully functioning transport system on a major scale.

9. Planet Zoo

Planet Zoo - Games Like Cities Skylines
Frontier Developments

Much like Planet Coaster, Planet Zoo has brought that same intense level of detail to Zoos. It feels has the depth of options and control that you’ve probably ended up expecting since being spoilt by City Skylines. 

Planet Zoo features a lot of animals. You might end up building a Zoo with a more varied ecosystem than any you’ve seen before.

This is another title from Frontier Developments and it’s been highly acclaimed since its release. Like Planet Coaster there’s a focus on creativity.

Many people find playing through Zoo Tycoon a relaxing experience. You can build up the perfect habitat here and try to keep your visitors enjoying the experience. You get a lot of power to customize the look of your Zoo. If you’re not paying too much attention to economics, some special maps can be built here.

Planet Zoo is a great pick for games like Cities Skylines if you’re looking for a creative simulator.

10. Dyson Sphere Project

Dyson sphere Project - Games Like Cities Skylines
Gamera Games

The Dyson Sphere Project is on the opposite end of the spectrum to our last pick. While that was a relaxing game like City Skylines, this one is for the player who likes breaking down into the details. It’s based around the idea of a Dyson Sphere, or superstructure.

This is a hypothetical megastructure that could be constructed around a star itself. The project would allow for intense harvesting of energy. The idea came about to explain how an advanced society could fuel its energy needs.

This game puts you in charge of actually making that theory a reality. Not an easy task. If your main concern building in Cities Skylines is trying to make your city as efficient as possible, this is the game for you.

The Dyson Sphere Project is a city-builder for those chasing perfection. You can attempt to make your megastructure look good, but it’s a big challenge just getting things running. Once you do you can level up your project to begin producing all you need to fuel space exploration.

This pick won’t be for everyone, but it’s a fun futurist twist on the city-building genre. It’s a fantastic sci-fi take on a game like Cities Skylines.

11. Surviving Mars

Surviving Mars - Games Like Cities Skylines
Paradox Interactive

If you’re a big fan of Cities Skylines then chances are you’re already aware of Surviving Mars. If you’re not, this is one of the closest games like Cities Skylines. It’s from the same publisher as Cities Skylines and the developers behind some of the best Tropico games.

Surviving has some very similar systems for city-building but with unique twists. The main difference is that the game is set on Mars. The cities are under domes since there’s a bit of an oxygen problem building skylines on the red planet. 

The game has stronger survival elements that you’ll find in Cities, but the same depth and creativity. Making Mars a liveable place for your citizens is a big task. The game has a lot of different systems. You can get into detail with management for resources and financing.

Support comes from various space agencies. But you’re going to need to find a way to get more supplies, and oxygen, then build cities that can stand up to the harsh environments of Mars with just their limited input.

The game goes a bit further than just building cities. There are some sci-fi elements in mysteries you’ll find on the planet. 

Getting Surviving Mars set up to build a fully functional utopia is going to be difficult, but this is a challenging and rewarding city-builder.


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