The best building games will have you craving for creativity and power as you become the founder of a house, city, town, village, or kingdom. You’ll be the captain of your own ship and you’re taking the wheel to constructing your own place.
Okay. Let’s stop with the clichés and get down to business.
If you love construction and feel extreme satisfaction after finishing your masterpiece with the hammers and drills, then this guide is for you. The meat of this article will dig into the top building games you can enjoy on different platforms. Let’s start building!
|Cities: Skylines||All Ages|
|Sid Meier's Civilization VI||10+|
|ARK: Survival Evolved||16+|
|No Man's Sky||7+|
|The Sims 4||12+|
|Frostpunk: Console Edition||17+|
The Top Building Games On Different Platforms
Initial Release Date: May 2009
Age Rating: 7+
Developers: Mojang Studios, Other Ocean Interactive, 4J Studios, Xbox Game Studios
Publisher: Mojang Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Xbox Game Studios
Minecraft is one of the best building games you can grab on different platforms. The game is very addictive and you’ll find yourself chipping blocks and grabbing all the materials you need to build your masterpiece. Players can explore through different environments and combat monsters to win a prized treasure.
The game stands out quickly because it’s not the typical look you see nowadays wherein characters and environments are realistic. Its unique visuals look outdated and amusing but will seriously charm the players, especially kids. As adults, it’ll give you a bit of nostalgia for games you played when you were young. The game’s appearance is super unique making it a memorable title.
Sit tight in your gaming chairs as the gratification in Minecraft comes from earning everything. For instance, in Survival Mode, you start with nothing, but you can gather resources to make food, tools, and shelter. This is different from other games where you need money (or the in-game currency) to make an establishment.
One of the most important things you can do in Minecraft is to create things. But, it’s quite difficult to do as the recipes aren’t documented in the game. There are some wikis that can help you with it, but most of them are blurry. We’d love to have the game integrate recipes into it so player’s minds won’t have to be boggled by how to formulate items.
With this drawback, Minecraft is still one of the best building games you can get. You’ll start getting addicted to it as you master your environment and learn how to craft items. As night time arrives, the monsters will creep in and you need to have your sword ready to eliminate them.
Unpredictable adventures await you in Minecraft. There are nights spent on crafting for items or hunting for food. At some nights, you’ll find yourself stumbling on a mine that’s filled with monsters and of course, treasure.
You can also opt for the Creative Mode where you are invincible and you have access to all items within the title. But, this wouldn’t give you the same gratification you get when you build everything by yourself.
Minecraft is truly a great building slash mini-adventure game with the quirks of its visuals making you amused. Plus, it’s a great title for both kids and adults with its excellent construction gameplay making you feel a sense of massive accomplishment.
2. Cities: Skylines
Initial Release Date: March 2015
Age Rating: All Ages
Developer: Colossal Order, Tantalus Media
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Cities: Skylines will hook you up because of its authenticity. The developers made sure you experience what it’s realistically like to run a municipality. There’s room for growth, proper zoning, creation of districts, and formulation of policies making you feel like a real mayor running a realistic city.
With this game, you can opt for the single player mode where you select from various maps ranging from different types of territory. Players can begin the game in standard conditions or they can ramp up the difficulty. Infinite money mods are also available. A tutorial isn’t available but tips pop up on a continuous basis while playing.
In terms of being the mayor, Cities: Skylines has made it very realistic. First things first, there’s what we call zoning. You can choose to zone locations a low or high and you can also divide them into categories such as residential, commercial, and industrial. These will help you thoroughly plan a city layout making you in charge of your area.
The second amazing thing about Cities: Skylines is its map which can be stretched out. Initially you start with a square map with a length of 2km on each side. However, you can still gain access to more land to expand your city. This will give you more freedom to build what you like and correct mistakes making you feel like the king of the world. Smart utilization of policies and districts can help players create cities that resemble those in real life.
Cities: Skylines come with only a few issues but is one of the best city building games available in the market right now. Its addictive gameplay will have you building cities carefully while planning the zoning and formulating districts for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. All of this is possible without the actual 5 AM calls you get as a true-to-life-mayor.
3. Tropico 6
Initial Release Date: March 2019
Age Rating: 13+
Developer: Limbic Entertainment
Publisher: Kalypso Media
If you love watching construction, then Tropico 6 would be an excellent game for you. It’s a city building title where citizens are simulated. You watch almost everything — from construction staff making their way towards the building site to employees digging for gold.
When everything is going well, your island has a calm nature to it. On the other hand, you may also find yourself scouring the entire map while trying to find the problem. For instance, the workers may not be on-site or the industrial plant may be lacking in raw materials.
Tropico 6 has a sandbox mode where there are a lot of options (including islands) to choose from. There’s also the campaign mission where the game will have specific requirements you have to follow.
In sandbox mode, you can simply progress slowly to grow your island. You can go for financial ventures diligently and you have the freedom to handle your growth through various eras. Missions present you with some entertaining obstacles you have to overcome. These include citizens spreading propaganda, challenges in tourism, stabilizing international relations, and more.
Tropico 6 has over-the-top mission requests that inject humor into the mix.You may find yourself doing one political mission only to find out that it leads to outrage of a certain category of citizens. You’ll have to do something about it, and usually, the solutions are amusing and downright mind-boggling.
Ultimately, Tropico 6 is a great game for those who love to watch people perform tasks — there’s the builder, the teamster, the miner, and the factory worker, among others. All in all, it’s a great building game you’d love to spend hours on.
4. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
Initial Release Date: October 2016
Age Rating: 10+
Developer: Firaxis Games, Aspyr, Aspyr (Mac)
Publisher: 2K Games
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is one of the best building slash strategy games you can get. Similar to its predecessors, you have to build empires, finish victory conditions, and fight other war leaders. Aside from that, you’re playing against the world. Your civilization is influenced by your environment from deserts lacking trees to forests that are rich in resources.
The redesigned maps of Civ 6 are amazing, opening up new opportunities for growth. Although there’s a lack of tutorials and a bit of a learning curve, you’ll learn the ropes when you begin exploring. Similar to previous titles, you formulate cities, train combat units, and conduct diplomacy, among others.
There are a lot of new features which can be overwhelming at first but are great additions to the game. The map is the glue that holds everything together and it looks better than ever. The visuals and gameplay keeps your eyes stuck on the screen helping you focus on the most important aspects of your mission.
Tile types and terrain are the most critical factors to grab your victories. And with each move you make, you must consider careful city planning. There’s always a need for foresight and good judgment. You will find yourself going through trial and error which may frustrate you. But after you pull off that victorious feat, you’ll definitely feel an instant sense of gratification.
Your environment will play a huge part in how you build your civilizations. For instance, you can find a city right next to an ocean to boost your sailing capabilities. Your surroundings will give you access to specific resources, districts, and other civilizations.
With the wealth of environments found in Civ 6, your imagination is the only limit. One day, you’re on your way to bulldozing off some place to gain new resources. At other times, you’ll be fending off enemies.
5. ARK: Survival Evolved
Initial Release Date: June 2015
Age Rating: 16+
Developers: Studio Wildcard, Virtual Basement, Instinct games, Efecto Studios, Abstraction, Instinct Games S.A.E.
Publisher: Studio Wildcard
ARK: Survival Evolved gives you an frustrating yet impressive experience in gaming. At one point, you’re going to build a hut near the beach. The next thing you’ll experience is running around to avoid getting killed by dinosaurs. One of your goals is to stay alive as whatever monolithic creature comes out of the jungler only to rip your parts out.
Learning curve isn’t steep which makes the initial phases of your game entertaining. There’s a hunting-slash-gathering system in place. Thus, you have to gather resources by killing wildlife for their meat and hides. You also have to chop trees, find wood, scavenge for berries, and smash rocks.
When you level up, which can be quick-mannered in the game, you gain points to help you purchase engrams serving as plans for gear. Starting out with prehistoric stuff (e.g, ragged clothing, stone axes, and campfires), you progress to more modern devices such as compasses, gunpowder, bows and arrows, and spyglasses.
On ARK: Survival Evolved, you can also train dinosaurs by taming them and letting them roam around the landscape. These can be very tedious but it’s worth it as you can use them to fend off enemy dinosaurs.
These can also be done on solo mode or multiplayer mode. The latter has two options where you can’t kill another player (PVE) and another choice where you need to eliminate the person at the other end of the world (PVP).
The design of ARK: Survival Evolved is majestic and addictive. However, we found that the difficulty of achieving tasks is a big drawback. This cannot be considered a flaw as the developer may have intended to give players a massive challenge. The game is still considered a masterpiece for those who love to couple both building and survival altogether.
6. No Man’s Sky
Initial Release Date: August 2016
Age Rating: 7+
Developer: Hello Games
Publishers: Hello Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment
The announcement of No Man’s Sky led to mixed reactions in players. Some were excited for a game that’s way ahead of its time while others think the game seemed impossible. On the bright side AND technologically, the game delivers very well.
The title begins with you on a lonely planet and a broken spaceship beside you. Very few tutorials teach you which resources you need to fix the ship and get it to work. At some point, you’ll find every item you need and make the necessary repairs to get your spaceship to fly to another planet.
There are various differences among each planet you visit and you will also find yourself in unique situations. However, the premise of No Man’s Sky is a loop wherein you have to gather, craft, fly to another planet, and repeat the process all over again.
There are side tasks you can do if you want to distract yourself. However, the core principle is the same, as you move to one planet, you do everything in your power to move farther to another one. There’s a path that will keep your head focused on the game and will keep you busy for hours and hours.
The downside to No Man’s Sky is some of the tech troubles you will encounter with it. There are small bugs that mess up your gameplay. However, we noticed that it’s still fairly stable with the PS4. Fortunately, patches have been made to fix some of the game’s issues.
On the flip side, you will truly be immersed when travelling through space. The tools that are built into No Man’s Sky are amazing. We’ll end with the note that this game is truly ahead of its time and is worth trying out. It offers an incredible universe for you to explore — a universe that may seem impossible to some. It is worth noting that this game has a PSVR title in the series named No Man’s Sky: Beyond.
7. The Sims 4
Initial Release Date: September 2014
Age Rating; 12+
Developers: Maxis, The Sims Studio
Publisher: Electronic Arts
The Sims 4 is an amazing game where you can have your own character and let him (or her) live life to the fullest. You will be impressed by the customization options of the appearance of your character. These customizations even include a choice of “walk style” ranging from feminine to tough.
Creating your own Sim is very intuitive allowing you to modify different body parts to get the specific size and shape that you want. You could also give your character four different traits which is slightly lower in number compared to Sims 3.
The great thing about emotions in this game is they offer contextual opportunities. For instance, you can tell a joke when you’re embarrassed at a conversation. The interactions make a whole lot more sense compared to static ones.
To get the best out of interactions, it is a must to socialize and leave your nest. This is where you’ll notice the biggest drawback of Sims 4 — it has a tiny, stifling environment where every trip you make pulls up a loading screen. No matter where you go, it seems like you’re bumping into the same set of people over and over again.
Multitasking of characters can be done and is improved compared to its predecessors. Your character can eat while watching TV or work on a project while chatting to a friend. You don’t have to micromanage the interactions of the Sims every single time. And, you’ll enjoy watching the conversations among them.
Building in Sims 4 is vastly upgraded from that of Sims 3. For instance, you can customize your cabinets and counters. The customizations are really cool with new tools at your disposal. Sadly, there are no cars and pools in Sims 4 which may be a bummer for players.
Overall, the emotions and contextual actions within the game are strong and adds to the fun. Plus, it has an array of amazing building tools making the title more enjoyable than before. Sims 4 is a great start to what may be expanded into better versions.
8. Anno 1800
Initial Release Date: April 2019
Age Rating: 12+
Developers: Ubisoft Blue Byte, Ubisoft Mainz
Anno 1800 is very addictive and you’ll find yourself with hours flying by needing a break that you won’t take. It’s another title in the long-running series of village management. The premise of the game involves collecting and creating different resources to make sure your inhabitants are happy.
As you progress through the game, you will need more sophisticated facilities, more ingredients, and more educated laborers. It becomes complicated when you can’t find certain pieces you need. That’s where trading comes in, it’s a crucial part of the game you need to survive.
Initially, you may be tempted to make your area look good. As you go on, you’ll realize the value of space plus the importance of having more establishments to attract workers you need to advance. After that, you’ll experience the delight of advancing and expanding in a rapid manner.
You will also have AI competitors that have different personalities. One might expand aggressively with no concern for while some may extend their help to you or ask for your assistance on new land.
Of course, with these different characteristics, you should expect that they will react in various ways. Trading with others is key to advancement so you must maintain diplomacy. Every move you make isn’t guaranteed to elicit a positive reaction from the AI giving you the feeling that there are more to them than just simple computer-generated beings.
If you are new to the series, you will notice that the game isn’t as easy as it looks. However, part of enjoying the game includes learning from your mistakes. You’ll find yourself going through trial-and-error in terms of establishment layouts, expansion, and trade routes.
Anno 1800 has amazing visuals with high-quality details of the environment and buildings. Plus, the single-player campaign is a great way of playing the game in a different manner. It has a handful of missions with a great storyline.
Our take? Anno 1800 is a great game immersing you into hours of playing while focused on succeeding in your missions. In addition, it has a well-crafted story in a single-player campaign. Drawbacks are minor and as a newcomer to the series, you’ll find yourself having initial difficulty. But once you get a go at it, you’ll have downright fun with Anno 1800.
9. Frostpunk: Console Edition
Initial Release Date: April 2018
Age Rating: 17+
Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publishers: 11 Bit Studios, Merge Games
Ultimately, city building games force you to balance the use of your resources. Sometimes, there are enemies that want to conquer your land. It’s about starting from scratch to create a full-blown city that prospers.
Frostpunk: Console Edition comes in PS4 and Xbox One and takes place in a chilly setting where humanity is forced to rebuild to survive. Temperatures keep falling around the world and you have to build a city around a massive furnace. You are responsible for ensuring everything runs smoothly. Thus, you have to allocate resources wisely in order to make sure everybody survives.
Frostpunk: Console Edition lacks explanation of the systems which will need quite a bit of a learning curve for newcomers. Essentially, it is important for you to produce enough coal to ensure the furnace keeps burning. You always have to watch for temperature drops to keep the city sustainable. Managing resources is critical as well. These resources include wood, steel, coal, and food, among others.
The game’s storyline is so amazing as you will encounter a lot of unique challenges. The game is quite difficult but you’ll find it very enjoyable as you make sure you survive in the cold, harsh weather.
The game delivers a tense, exhilarating experience only a few titles in the genre can provide. It’s not just about building, you also have to guide your people to survive against all odds. There are a few technical issues, but the feeling you get from playing the game is, nonetheless, satisfying.
Recap: Nine Of The Best Building Games
The best building games for different platforms will have you owning your empire, city, or kingdom in no time. You will experience the power of creating and managing citizens, military manpower, commercial establishments, and industrial plants.
Plus, you will feel the power of being in control of everything to make sure your area prospers. You’ll definitely love these building games as they range from medieval to modern times. Options are abundant and you’ll definitely enjoy the addictive hours spent on your screen.
Start building your dream city slash kingdom and be on top of every nuance!