Animal Crossing was arguably the game of the pandemic, and while it may be a cute commitment, it hardly replicates the blood, sweat, and tar-speckled throat spit that goes into running a real farm or building a truly exploitative, large-scale economy. So, if you’re bored of “making friends with the villagers” and you’re ready to sacrifice your social life in order to learn an insanely complex skill you’ll never use, here are 5 realistic simulator games that don’t fuck around.
Most of us have played a farming sim of some description, but Farming Simulator 20 is not cute. From John Deere to New Holland, over 100 genuine farming vehicles and machines are faithfully recreated – you’ll even have to clean and repair them. There are also three huge maps to choose from and an entire fleet of livestock that you have to keep alive. The realistic physics of the game combined with the true-to-life workload means that you’re guaranteed to come out of this game with the ability to grow your own carrots.
With the first instalment released in 1982, Microsoft Flight Simulator is a classic when it comes to serious sims, and is the true definition of realistic gaming. It has real-time weather and real-time air traffic, and the whole planet is accurately recreated using real-world map data. As a bonus, not only is this game the closest your sorry ass will come to flying a real plane, it has also been called “the most aesthetically pleasing game of 2020” – so if nothing else, you can enjoy the view whilst you fluff the landing.
Now we’re talking. Rip off your t-shirt and put on your bearskin hat as you transform into a communist dictator in one of the most complex city builder tycoons ever created. Plan the transport network and build residential and industrial complexes, then have some fun with the population as you decide how the kids are educated before launching TV and radio stations to influence your citizens opinions. It’s like having all the fun of a dictatorship without Joe Biden phoning you every 10 minutes to tell you that he forgot why he phoned.
Nothing beats the open road. Except never leaving your house, which is why Euro Truck Simulator 2 is such a treat. Experience the life of a trucker in extreme detail (minus the service station hand-jobs and microwave hamburgers, sadly) in an open world, condensed version of Europe. Start with small jobs then work your way up to a top trucker as you earn money to buy your dream vehicle and venture further afield. There’s plenty of expansions for this game too, the latest being the Iberia launch back in April. The Scandinavia DLC is *chefs kiss*.
Released a mere month ago, this one is fresh off the meat wagon. Think you know about cars and stuff? Now’s your chance to prove it as you run your own auto repair shop with the inner workings of the cars recreated in painstaking detail. There are genuine car mechanics out there who don’t know how to play this game because it’s too mechanic. If tinkering with the vehicles in your shop doesn’t satisfy your raw hunger for broken cars, there’s also some fixer-up modules so you can have a pimp project on the side.
Now that we’ve covered some of the most realistic simulator games on the market, it would be rude of me to take up any more of your time with a rambling conclusion. You will be needing all of it to juggle your real job and your pretend soviet dictator job, whilst simultaneously trying to hold together your already shaky marriage. If your kids ask you why you don’t play with them any more, just tell them it’s because you don’t like them. You can always pay for their therapy later with all the money you make from your auto repair shop.
Want more sims? Check out the simulation section of our peaceful games directory.