Newsroom News Breaking Comics Tags RSS
News video games 09 November 2022, 17:25

author: Krzysiek Kalwasinski

Best City Builder Games 2022

Living in a city is one thing, but being able to build it, and then develop and maintain it – now that's a challenge (or unrestricted fun). There are quite a few games that focus on this. We have selected the best of them.

The roots of city-builders go back to the 1980s, when the first SimCity, and the game called Utopia, were released. Unlike other strategy games, they focused on development and open-ended construction, rather than achieving victory by meeting specific goals. In the 90s, The Settlers released, revolutionizing strategy games. Before, there had been no production with such a complex economy model. The formula was extended by the Anno series (1998), and SimCity 4 was considered the pinnacle of the genre for a long time. Today, the genre is back to grace, also in futuristic settings. There's no shortage of variety, as evidenced by the list below.

Best city builders 2022


Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #1
  1. Creators: Polymorph Games
  2. Platforms: PC
  3. Early access from February 1, 2019
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (86%)

If you fancy something similar to the Anno and The Settlers series, you will certainly be interested in the Foundation. The action in the game from Polymorph Games is set in the Middle Ages. As in other productions of this type, the core assumption of the game is to develop the city and making it prosper.

In Foundation, the area in which we settle the city plays a key role. A settlement near a forest will never lack wood, which will make building wooden structures easier. However, other resources, such as stone, may be in short supply. Therefore, it's also possible to create complex production chains, thanks to which we will provide our residents with everything they need. And all this to turn our settlement into a fully functional, medieval metropolis.

Surviving Mars

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #2
  1. Developer: Haemimont Games
  2. Platforms: PC, PS4, XONE
  3. Release date: March 15, 2018
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (84%)

The creators of the appreciated Tropico 5 also provided a completely different production. Surviving Mars is a game that takes a similar premise to the surface of Mars, where we will build a colony. The whole game is embellished with numerous references to the most popular authors of science-fiction novels (such as Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov) and draws on the aesthetics of retrofuturism.

Creating a viable Martian colony is no simple task. In the first place, it's necessary to ensure appropriate living conditions by providing life-supporting systems. However, this is not yet a guarantee of success. Everything that we build is exposed to extreme weather conditions (the structures can deteriorate under the influence of temperatures). Once we introduce the first residents, it will be necessary to ensure their comfort. With adequate effort, the colony can grow very fast.

Surviving the Aftermath

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #3
  1. Developers: Iceflake Studios
  2. Platforms: PC, Switch, XONE, PS4
  3. Release date: November 16, 2021
  4. Steam reviews: Mostly Positive (72%)

If you liked Surviving Mars, you might also like the sequel Surviving the Aftermath. The assumptions of the previous game were about building a self-sufficient Martian colony. The continuation, in turn, faces us with a fallen civilization. The Earth has suffered an apocalyptic catastrophe. So, we're dealing with a post-apocalyptic city builder.

We have at our disposal a procedurally generated world with 6 different areas. Our task is to build a colony for the survivors, develop it and keep it in the best condition possible. And as you might expect, each biome presents us with completely different challenges. In addition, the random nature of the game makes it almost impossible to get bored with it.

Dawn of Man

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #4
  1. Developer: Madruga Works
  2. Platforms: PC, PS4, XONE
  3. Release date: March 1, 2019
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (86%)

Dawn of Man, in contrast to other city-builders, takes us to prehistoric times. We start in the Stone Age and finish in the Iron Age. We play the role of the guardian of the village, and our task is to guide it through all stages of the mentioned historical period.

In terms of gameplay, the work of Madruga Works is more than a typical city-builder. There are also clearly outlined elements of survival. The world that our people inhabit is full of dangers. They can lose their lives, for example, while hunting for game, and this, in turn, is necessary to obtain food. At least initially, until the population starts growing vegetables. Winter can also be a threat – then, it's obviously harder to keep warm and getting food is much more difficult.

Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #5
  1. Creators: 3Division Entertainment
  2. Platforms: PC
  3. Early access from March 15, 2019
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (92%)

Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic is a game in which our goal is to lead the title republic to glory. We play the role of a city manager and how we achieve the desired goal is entirely up to us. A characteristic feature of the production of 3Division Entertainment is great freedom – the game doesn't impose further goals. It's also worth mentioning that the game is pretty realistic. The creators made sure that the buildings actually resemble those from the Soviet era.

In terms of mechanics, it is a typical city-builder. We have a specific area at our disposal, where we erect various types of structures with specific functionality. These can be factories, schools and, of course, residential buildings. Then, you should make sure that our country can economically sustain itself. In all this, of course, the well-being of inhabitants is important.


Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #6
  1. Creators: Shining Rock Software LLC
  2. Platforms: PC
  3. Release date: February 18, 2014
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (89%)

Banished is a real-time economic strategy. We begin the game as the commander of a group of exiles. They go on a journey to find a new home. When they finally find a suitable place to settle, it is necessary to ensure that they can survive. Once the basic needs are secured, we can start building a nation. However, the task won't be easy. The rules governing the debut game of Shining Rock Software LLC are ruthless. The game is characterized by a high level of difficulty.

Winter, for example, can be a serious threat. Therefore, we must properly prepare ourselves for it. This entails building warm houses, getting appropriate clothes and stockpiling food. We also need firewood, but deforestation will make it difficult to find game. We also can not overfish the lakes, otherwise population of marine life will go extinct. Banished is a game for people looking for a challenge. Every decision we make here can lead to our demise.

Going Medieval

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #7
  1. Creators: Foxy Voxel
  2. Platforms: PC
  3. Early Access June 1, 2021
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (89%)

Going Medieval takes place in an alternative version of 14th-century Europe. The action is set right after the so-called Black Death, which today is known simply as the plague. As a result of the epidemic, civilization ceased to exist and humanity almost completely vanished. The setting can therefore be described as post-apocalyptic. Our task is to build a village and thus contribute to rebuilding the civilization.

In a stark contrast to other game sin the genre, we start the game by creating a character who will be the protagonist of the story. Later during the game, we will decide what buildings to erect next and where. Apart from that, we make various types of decisions that will determine the fate of the population. We must meet their basic needs, but also assign duties and train them to fight – because bandits are prowling in the wild lands. However, they aren't the only threat, as it also comes from less friendly seasons.

Kingdoms and Castles

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #8
  1. Creators: Lion Shield
  2. Platforms: PC
  3. Release date: July 20, 2017
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (92%)

Former employees of Maxis studio (creators of, among others, SimCity) founded a studio called Lion Shield and created Kingdoms and Castles. Unlike their earlier series, the action of this game takes place in a fantasy world. By default, we play the role of a manager, who initially deals with the development of a small village, which, thanks to their efforts, may transform into a metropolis.

The gameplay is largely based on classic rules. Most of the time, we collect raw materials and construct new buildings, while ensuring the well-being of the inhabitants. The challenges include seasons, which come with their own, specific difficulties, and various plagues that can befall upon our kingdom. In addition, there are Vikings and dragons, against which we can defend ourselves using castles, defense walls and turrets.


Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #9
  1. Creators: Toukana Interactive
  2. Platforms: PC, Switch
  3. Release date: April 28, 2022
  4. Steam reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (97%)

DorfRomantik really stands out from other titles. It's a unique combination of an economic strategy and a puzzle game. The whole thing is similar to what we can experience in a board game called Carcassonne (which also has a virtual counterpart in the form of Carcassonne: Tiles & Tactics). The game is about arranging random landscape elements.

DorfRomantik is a great game to relax with, because the goal is to create the most beautiful land possible. There are, however, simple challenges. They consist in properly connecting blocks – for example, so that a deer is surrounded by a forest. All this is presented in an extraordinary graphic design that resembles a paper-mache model.

Tropico 6

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #10
  1. Developer: Limbic Entertainment
  2. Platforms: PC, XSX, XONE, PS5, PS4, Switch
  3. Release date: March 29, 2019
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (87%)

Tropico 6 is by far the most iconic series on this list, especially when it comes to city-builders. The humorous series with El Presidente in the lead role has been around since 2001. In every part, the goal remains the same: we are to manage the title island in the best way possible. To a large extent, we do this by building the city and fulfilling the presidency goals, thus gaining the support of our subordinates. Of course, the creators improve the formula by reworking given elements and adding new elements.

In part six, we have the opportunity to manage an archipelago for the first time in the series. With this in mind, new opportunities arise, for example in terms of transport – it is possible to build bridges or underground tunnels. This, however, is not everything. We can also send agents to other countries to steal intel and technologies. All this to ensure the best possible life for the inhabitants of our city. And also to make our palace as impressive as possible, of course. All this in eye-catching, colorful and highly detailed graphics.

Cities: Skylines

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #11
  1. Developer: Colossal Order
  2. Platforms: PC, XONE, Switch, PS4
  3. Release date: March 10, 2015
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (93%)

If you're missing the iconic SimCity franchise by Maxis, Cities: Skylines may be what you need. The creators from Colossal Order studio provided a rock-solid city-builder with pretty advanced graphics (even for a game that's already over 7 years old), and also took care to give us accessible controls and camera operation. Our goal is to build a city and manage it in such a way as to ensure its financial prosperity. We have to design everything from absolute scratch, so we start the game modestly – from a small plot of land and a single highway access.

Then, we have to design roads, create residential, commercial and industrial zones, and make sure that all of the areas in the city can be easily accessed without traffic jams. Over time, we will also be able establish public transport services (including trains, trams, buses, metro, etc.) – if we have enough money, of course. We can obtain funding in various ways – through taxes, revenues from public services, parks, or entertainment venues. Once we're financially secure and have enough power secured, we can also start to develop prosperous industries such as farming, mining or forestry to get even higher income. This game is a truly massive and addictive time-sinker.

Aven Colony

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #12
  1. Creators: Mothership Entertainment
  2. Platforms: PC, XONE, PS4
  3. Release date: July 25, 2017
  4. Steam reviews: Mostly Positive (74%)

Aven Colony is the debut project of Mothership Entertainment studio. It takes the idea of building a city into the outer space, and places us, the players, in charge of a colony on an alien planet. The planet is called Aven Prime and it has become mankind's new home. Our task is not only to manage a futuristic city, but also to take care of the safety of its inhabitants – there are many hazards on the planet, even in the form of dangerous fauna.

The story campaign is the game's bedrock. At the beginning, we have a fairly modest complex, but with more serious progress, it turns into an impressive base. The planet itself is quite diverse, so during the expansion, we find ourselves in different types of areas – from deserts, to marshlands, and snowy hills. It's interesting not only in this respect, because we have many different structures at our disposal that have functions suiting the most demanding residents.

Anno 1800

Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #13
  1. Creators: Ubisoft Blue Byte
  2. Platforms: PC (XSX and PS5 in 2023)
  3. Release date: April 16, 2019
  4. Epic Game Store rating: 4.8/5

If you are not fascinated by the vision of building a modern or futuristic city, you may be interested in Anno 1800. It's an economic strategy set in the nineteenth century, that is, in the times of the industrial revolution. It was then that mankind made significant discoveries in the field of geography, science and broadly understood industrialization. The production of Ubisoft Blue Byte is governed by the rules known from the previous parts of the series. This edition boasts high-quality graphics and attention to detail, thanks to which we can closely watch the lives of our subordinates.

We play the role of a ruler whose goal is to build a prospering metropolis. We start out with a small settlement and few subordinates to whom we need to assign tasks and provide them with resources needed to do their jobs. Of course, we must not forget about their needs. All this is accompanied by diplomacy – we can establish alliances or wage wars with neighboring countries.


Best City Builder Games 2022 - picture #14
  1. Developer: 11 bit studios
  2. Platforms: PC, XONE, PS4
  3. Release date: April 24, 2018
  4. Steam reviews: Very Positive (91%)

The creators of Frostpunk like to describe their game as a "society survival sim." This is because, in addition to the features typical for the city builder genre, it also has some survival elements. Now, survival here isn't easy, because the Earth is undergoing a brutal ice age that collapsed the civilization as we know it. Any remnants of the old world are stuck miles beneath the ice cap. The game completes this interesting setting with great visuals that contrast the black and brown, mechanical structures of civilization with endless and merciless whiteness of a frozen planet. Cutscenes were created by the famous Platige Image studio.

The gameplay is generally about building and expanding the city. We must ensure access to heat, medical care, housing, etc. We erect residential buildings, hospitals, and industrial structures. However, aspects of social structure and organization of primitive administration are key. Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice individuals for the general good. Other times, we will be forced to resort to completely abominable practices such as child labor, or even cannibalism. When playing Frostpunk, we will often make a morally rotten decisions. However, one cannot take things too far – there are two crucial metrics of our population: hope and discontent, and it's not easy to balance them against the harsh environment.