Simulate the reality on your Nintendo Switch
Updated on April 1, 2023 – re-checked the list
After the popularity of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the simulation genre has really been quite popular. Simulation games allow you to live another life, away from the one you are currently in, playing as completely different characters often in a different world. There are lots of different simulator games, and often I feel that management games fit the bill too, but this list is going to stick to more games that allow you to live in a world different from your own.
- In case you prefer to play the RPG games on your Switch, here is the list of best ones released so far!
Simulation games are a fun experience and often allow you to play out worlds that you would otherwise dream of being in, or find experiences unlike the ones you could do in real life. There are many, many Switch simulation games out there, but we have spent some time finding the best of the best.
Now, let’s dive into our top 15 best simulation games for Nintendo Switch.
Original list by Jupiter Hadley, updated by Artur Novichenko
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Stardew Valley allows you to play the part of a newcomer, a new farmer, who is now living in a very small town full of people who seem to know everyone. It’s a far cry from city life, as you spend your days fishing, visiting the beach, fighting monsters in the mine, and tending to your crops. There are events that happen, changing of seasons, and the game itself is just a relaxing time full of goals that you can set for yourself. It’s a true life simulation game for Switch and some other platforms!
You guessed it – a bumble bee. You can explore a world full of pretty flowers, humans, bright lights, picnics, but all as a tiny bee just looking to collect pollen and defend your hive from other insects and even people who don’t quite like bees. It’s a lovely simulation game for Switch that gives you a huge world to explore, even if it is just big because of your small size.
Summer in Mara
Summer in Mara is a lovely game where you play as a young girl who can farm, fish and otherwise help locals on her small island. There are a lot of unique characters to speak too, who will give you quests to help you on your journey. With so much of the island to explore, many items to craft and lots to collect, it’s a game that easily will bring you to an entirely new world.
Construction Simulator 3
If you are looking for something a bit more realistic and more like a job that you just haven’t had the time to explore yet, Construction Simulator 3 is a good bet. In this game, you can pick up a job and then use a bunch of different tools and vehicles to create buildings, lay pavement and build up a structure that others could live in. This game is pretty realistic, with officially licensed brands that can be used. However, you won’t actually have to work in the hot sun all day.
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is another farming game, but with a bit more in it! You can manage your own farm, purchase livestock, plant seeds… but also explore a town, eat different foods, take photos of cute animals and so much more. The game itself is adorable – featuring lots of townsfolk to interact with, in-game festivals, and what feels like a lot of adventure! You can also fish, mine, and ride wolves if you’d like.
Graveyard Keeper has you playing as someone who manages graveyards. A lot of what you can do in this game would be illegal – or really frowned upon in real life. This game is a medieval cemetery simulator that allows you to build and manage your own graveyard – but you will need to cut costs, expand your business to do things like witch-burning and try to get villagers to attend church somehow. It’s a wild ride.
Dream Daddy is a narrative-driven simulator game for Nintendo Switch where you can play as a dad looking to date other dads. There are socially awkward situations, children that you need to consider, and lots of funny moments within this game. There are a lot of options when it comes to daddies to date, as well as a lot of big personalities all inside this small town that you will be living in!
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 has you running your own amusement park – something that I feel everyone would do in real life, if given the chance. This game has a lot of management aspects to it – as you decide who to hire, where to place different rides, what the ticket price is and even if you want to have animals as some of your attractions. You can play in sandbox modes with unlimited money or try making your millions through building something worth visiting.
Cooking Simulator is a classic, and in this game, you can cook recipes in a fully 3D and realistic kitchen. Who can tell you if you are doing good or bad at creating the food? You can create any food you can imagine, and choose from over 60 real-life dishes to try and polish out your cooking skills. Just try not to start a fire – in which case, you will find out why every kitchen (including this one) is equipped with a fire extinguisher, even in video games.
Stranded Sails is an open world exploration game, with yes, a fair bit of farming. You have washed up on an island and must survive on it – through farming, crafting and cooking for your camp of survivors. Your end goal is to build a new ship to allow you to head back home, but first you can discover loads of treasures and items around the island – along with dangers too. It’s a pretty neat adventure!
Cities: Skylines is one of the best city-builder games for Nintendo Switch. In this game, you will have to play as the mayor, create your own city and develop the economic system. Moreover, you have to pay attention to citizens’ reactions and, based on their feedback, improve various institutions such as schools, hospitals, etc. The gameplay is extremely interesting and pretty complicated, therefore, you should try this simulation game.
Moving on from taxis to something with a little more of a ‘bird’s view’ we have Crossroad Simulator, which is an oddly satisfying sim game that lets you direct traffic in increasingly challenging junctions. Of course, this is no easy feat – you must make sure you don’t cause an accident by switching on the wrong traffic lights, so if you want to play something relaxing, satisfying, but at the same time a little bit anxiety-inducing, you should definitely check out Crossroad Simulator!
Two Point Hospital
If simulation games are your bread and butter and you haven’t heard of Two Point Hospital, then what are you doing with your life? This is probably one of the best sims ever created when it comes to management and building sims. In the game, you have to build a hospital from the ground up and take care of every single element that you can imagine, from curing illnesses to dealing with the bureaucracy involved with having several doctors under your supervision. It’s simply put a masterpiece!
Hundred Days has been consistently one of the most delightful sim games out there. With beautiful visuals and choices that impact wine production, starting from the field and all the way to the bottle (including the actual bottle design), the game is one of the best experiences anyone with a Nintendo Switch or mobile device can enjoy – we even have a Hundred Days review which you should check out if you’re thinking about the game!
Becoming an alchemist can be either simple or veeeery complicated – you have a number of potions and rather shady ingredients, and you’ve got to mix them all in a cauldron. Follow the recipes accordingly or mess up the concoction, resulting in a small explosion. It’s a fun game that easily finds its way onto our list of best simulation games for Nintendo Switch because it’s just so fun and unique!