Written by 7:27 pm Game News, PC Games, Review

11 best games like The Sims 4 on PC 2024

A pink-haired player and Ursula, as Vanessa, pose for a selfie in Dreamlight Valley, one of the best games like The Sims.


What are the best games like Sims? If you’re fed up with setting your Sims on fire, watching them struggle to control their own bladder, or seeing them wash their dinner plate in the bathroom sink, then these games are very similar to The Sims, but they offer a nice alternative to EA’s Truman Show simulator.

You may be able to download The Sims 4 for free these days, but sometimes it’s fun to try something different. 2024 is a huge year for Sims-likes, with InZOI, Life By You, and Paralives all on the horizon, as well as the Sims 5 release date or a Project Rene beta hopefully coming soon. While you wait, join us as we run the gamut of Sims-like experiences on PC, from doing up houses and managing budgets to forging relationships and maintaining sim happiness.

Here at the 11 best games like The Sims in 2024:

Dreamlight Valley

Dreamlight Valley is a Disney life sim in which you find yourself in Dreamlight Valley itself, and must set about bringing Disney and Pixar villagers back home after a mysterious event. This itself provides extensive, story-driven gameplay, while the story itself is driven by making friends. OK, you can’t make them unhappy, and it’s pretty easy to build a friendship, but Dreamlight Valley story and friendship quests which take place as you build out and decorate the valley itself are constantly entertaining, and soon you’ll have a Sim-like town filled with comrades.

Games like Sims: An overview of a hospital in Two Point Hospital, showing a GP's office, ward, and an assortment of examination rooms.

Two Point Hospital

The spiritual successor to Theme Hospital doesn’t disappoint and for anyone who remembers Mr. Bloaty Head and the other farcical ailments, the diseases in Two Point Hospital are even wackier. In Two Point Hospital, you’re tasked with managing a hospital, growing it from just a small reception to a full blown operation of diagnostic rooms, wards, and, er, clown clinics. Everything can go wrong, and everything does, but learning to juggle the rising queues, the cranky doctors demanding pay rises, and training up fresh blood is half the fun.

As challenges roll in, there’s a lot of structure to Two Point Hospital, as you strive to meet objectives such as curing a certain amount of patients. Striking the right balance between staff and patient demands while still remaining profitable will force you into rash decisions and woeful mistakes. If you love designing your ideal, functional Sims house and reacting to your Sims’ unpredictable mood swings, then you’ll love handling a pay dispute with Dr. Nigel Explosion – you can fire him and watch him storm through your hospital corridors, possibly slipping on an overflowing trash can or ghost remnants in a fit of rage. There are also plenty of fires to put out, literally and metaphorically, and ghosts to vacuum up in this weird but very wonderful ode to one of the best simulation games of all time.

A rundown shack in need of renovation in House Flipper 2.

House Flipper 2

We’ve replaced House Flipper with the 2023 sequel on this list, which takes things up a notch with new tools and a new UI. While it might not be immediately obvious how House Flipper is like The Sims, and it certainly doesn’t involve looking after people who can’t tell themselves to eat, if your favorite part of The Sims is buying and fixing up houses, then House Flipper 2 lets you do exactly that. Start with small jobs for other people, like cleaning up their mess after a garage gig or getting their new cafe ready for business, and earn the money you need to buy and flip houses of your own.

Tiny settlers trade at market stalls in Pioneers of Pagonia, one of the best games like The Sims.

Pioneers of Pagonia

This incredibly cute colony sim from the makers of the classic The Settlers game stole our hearts during Steam Next Fest in 2023 – watching its tiny little people go about their daily lives.

More strategy and city-building than The Sims, Pioneers is also incredibly similar in many ways, you need to keep everyone in your settlement happy by ensuring that the correct buildings have been set up, that they have what they need to build them, and even make sure they have enough food and housing to reproduce. Then, while you’ve got some downtime and they’re all happy for now, just sit back and watch them interact with each other.

Games like Sims 4: Residents of Sandrock interacting with one another at a junkyard in My Time at Sandrock.

My Time at Sandrock

Speaking of the best relaxing games, My Time at Sandrock ranks high on our list. Now out of early access, it’s set to surpass My Time at Portia with its vital quality-of-life improvements to crafting and building. Sandrock is populated by a sleepy desert community that’s fallen into disrepair, and it’s up to you to transform it into a hub of productivity from your humble workshop. By expanding the land, you also expand Sandrock itself while helping its charming residents maintain it.

Unlike The Sims, the residents of Sandrock don’t go about their everyday lives as much as they’re tied to specific story events. However, you can still form relationships with the locals by giving them gifts, even going so far as to romance and marry them if you wish. You can even create jealous love triangles by pursuing multiple suitors at once or break up with a budding spouse if you no longer feel a spark and gain an adversary instead. Plenty of character customization options exist, from fresh haircuts to new clothes. While there are a lot of similarities between The Sims and My Time at Sandrock, the latter provides a slightly more wholesome, story-driven experience.

Games like Sims: An overview of a thriving farm in Stardew Valley, which include a vegetable plot, animal barn, and a quaint path up to the house you inherit at the beginning of the farming sim.

Stardew Valley

If farming games sound more up your street, there’s nothing more relaxing than Stardew Valley, a game where you leave the hubbub of the city and retire to a small town to take over the family farm. This life and town sim transports you to Pelican Town, where you get to know, befriend, and possibly marry the local residents (although there’s no WooHoo equivalent, despite the many Stardew Valley mods available).

As you forge relationships with the townspeople, you must keep on top of your farming, creating profitable produce and mining resources to put back into the local community and use for tool upgrades.

Games like Sims: An overview of a zoo in Planet Zoo, depicting visitors milling about a path that curves around an empty enclosure.

Planet Zoo

Planet Zoo is an extensive and relaxing sim game where you’ll spend ages poring over your zoo build. You can either tackle a new zoo from scratch in sandbox mode or pick up zoos needing dire help in the career mode. Planet Zoo has a lot more heart than other building games like Cities Skylines and Two Point Hospital.

Building enclosures and creating the perfect habitats for your critters is by far the most satisfying part of Planet Zoo, especially when the animals arrive ready to explore their new home, and you can zoom in to witness their behavior. You can then raise your animals and release them back into the wild to earn conservation points, which unlock more exotic animals and upgrades for your zoo. You’ll need to keep your animals fed, watered, and content in their surroundings by tweaking their enclosure to include enough space, companions, and flora to their liking – otherwise, you’ll get an influx of notifications to warn you what needs doing.

Planet Zoo does require a lot of patience to grasp the slightly convoluted interface, and there’s more to running a zoo than just cute pandas; you’ll also need to keep the customers and your staff happy. This means creating a zoo that considers all these facets, including benches for your guests, ensuring they’re educated with information screens, and all your staff have toilets and a staff room on hand. You’ll also be obsessing over the placement of each building and the zoo’s overall aesthetic, so if you’re a stickler for the details in The Sims and the high-pressured occupation of keeping your Sims happy, then Planet Zoo is an adorable step in the right direction.

Games like Sims: An overhead view of a sprawling city, with plenty of green spaces offset by industrial factories.

Cities Skylines 2

If you want to rule over your residents without getting to really know them, you can detach yourself from your Sims’ disgruntled faces by overseeing the construction of a large city. This way, you get to rule over thousands of Sims rather than one measly family. Instead of zooming in on individual houses, you’ll need to think bigger as you grow and maintain a city using grids to build entire neighborhoods. Sure, Sims had their own answer to this in the form of the SimCity series, but the Cities Skylines games are arguably the best city-building games around.

Following the success of Cities Skylines, CS2 is about creating a well-functioning city with effective roads and junctions, a running water supply, and a self-contained economy, but with even more added extras to the first game. Think more advanced economical decisions, more detailed tax calculations, and better sounds. You’ll need to consider everything from electricity to neighborhood placement while keeping the residents happy and your city funds ticking over. If you love The Sims’ construction mechanics, there’s a lot of similarity in Cities Skylines 2 management, but with more strategy and much less coaxing your Sim to get it on with Jeff from across the street. With Cities Skylines, a decade worth of Cities Skylines DLC, and now Cities Skylines 2, there’s hours of organizational fun to be had in this series.

A romance blossoms as the player hands a gift to Mark in Coral Island, one of the best games like The Sims.

Coral Island

For another life sim with the dating aspect of The Sims, Coral Island is the perfect alternative. This cute farming sim sets you off on a challenge to improve the town you recently moved into, namely by clearing out the ocean of garbage and oil, but also making friends along the way. If you make really good friends with someone, namely by giving them gifts, you can choose to marry them, and even have children with them, who themselves grow into adults – though there’s no WooHoo here, at least not that’s shown, this is a family game.

Games like Sims: A cityscape view of the fictional city of Los Santos, inspired by Los Angeles with its spaghetti motorways, rolling hills, and developing skyscrapers as a helicopter flies low overhead.


Okay, hear us out. You can play as a customized character in an open-world setting rife with content, from owning apartments to having your own garage packed with cars. There’s definitely some Sims-esque action in earning money to buy and customize property, but instead of overseeing your Sims empire, you can roam the streets of Los Santos, choosing to throw a punch at an unsuspecting passerby or spin the wheel at the local Diamond Casino.

If you want a more authentic sims experience, GTA Online roleplaying allows players to play specific community roles like grocery store clerks, police officers, and taxi drivers. We’ve put together the best GTA Online roleplaying servers and how to join them, including some help navigating the forum lingo to get started.

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Okay, you might be wondering how Minecraft is even remotely like The Sims, but here’s the thing: if you like the house-building aspect of The Sims, then Minecraft’s creative mode could be right up your, ahem, street (you know, like houses are on?). Anyway, from the basic Vanilla mode of Minecraft, up to modded versions with added blocks or even smaller blocks, you can create masterpieces big or small, and kit out the interior if you’re imaginative enough. If you’re a builder in The Sims, we’re certain the challenge of building in Minecraft will be satisfying and a walk in the park.

That’s everything we’ve got for the best games like The Sims. If you’re looking to branch out, look at all the best PC games out right now. We’ve also got a list of the best Sims 5 mods on our wishlist and the Sims 5 cheats we might expect to utilize in the life sim’s eventual sequel.