Are you interested in exercising your architectural creativity or want to try something different in games? If yes, you must try your hands on these city simulation games. The game designers understand that no city is perfect, and one must create their own! While playing these free city building games, the player acts as a planner who designs and leads the city.
The player ensures the social, economic, and political development of the town and formulates management strategies accordingly. You need not brave the real streets; instead, create your world and go wherever your heart desires.
Be it GBA games, open-source games, VR games, board games, or even the hidden Google games, games are fun. These city builders also teach you what it takes to operate a city efficiently, and it surely isn’t a walk in the park.
We have curated a list of the best free city building games that you can play online, the ones which you can buy and know why they are better off, and city building games for Android and iOS.
Top Free City Building Games To Play Online And Stake Your Claim
The players in city building games claim on another world or change it as per their whims and fancies. Will the utopia that you create end your urban woes? Let’s check the free and online city building games.
1. Forge of Empires
One of the best free city building games, Forge of Empires is a multiplayer strategy game where the primary objective of the player is to create, develop, and expand a city. The online game starts in the Stone Age and ends in the Virtual Future, indicating the path the player needs to undertake.
The building space given to each player at the beginning of the game is limited, which expands gradually. Will the empire you built survive through the test of time?
2. Rising Cities
Rising Cities revolves around urban development and the players take up the role of the mayor of the dream city. You need to help it grow to a big metropolis in this strategy based city builder game.
The game starts as the player creates a living space for the residents, collects rent, and provides employment opportunities. Use the available resources optimally, help build a thriving economy, and come up with fun places to hangout in this online game. Rising Cities is our favorite when it comes to the options available for free city building games.
3. City Connect 2
One of the most challenging free city building games, City Connect 2 is a civic-minded puzzle that requires you to connect all the buildings in the small city to roads.
The building game has various levels and six settings for difficulty. You can choose the preferred difficulty level at the beginning of the free game. The purpose of the game is to provide basic civic amenities to the people. Repair the roads and railways as you work your way out, connect the neighborhoods, and get rid of the infrastructure you no longer require in your city.
4. Epic City Builder 3
Epic City Builder 3 requires the players to create everything that the inhabitants of a city need in their daily lives. Your task is also to keep them happy by providing them with civic amenities and continuously growing your metropolis.
The gameplay is to build houses that will attract others to your town, develop industries, and set up a municipal corporation. What more? For urban planning, you can choose the ordinances you wish to impose, like sales tax, parking fines, and speeding cameras.
Out of all the free city building games you come across, be rest assured to be hooked to Epic City Builder 3 for the longest time.
Do you love playing Jenga? How about combining the elements of the city building genre with it? Balancity is a combination of the two and is based on physics. The players need to create tall buildings while making sure they are well-balanced on a platform.
Also, you need to keep the inhabitants of the city happy. Not only jobs, but you will also have to provide them with basic civic amenities, build airports and train stations, create power plants and landmarks.
6. City Builder 3D
One of the best free city building games online, City Builder 3D, allows you to experience the life of a city engineer. The gameplay revolves around the players building and taking care of their city, along with ensuring the citizens are happy.
Are you all set to play the fantastic simulation game and design the ultimate metropolis?
You can start with building a variety of residential houses and utility stores and go on to making stadiums, airports, and recreational zones in this pc game. Design your dream city and aim for it to be prosperous, vibrant, and vivid. Let’s get started!
7. City Wizard
Different from the ones we’ve listed so far, City Wizard is one of the most distinct and free building games online where the player takes up the role of the overall planner who leads his/her city. The aim is to help the city grow while combating zombie attacks.
The players are given special items to ensure that the kingdom flourishes, and the three powers are Diamond, Lightning Bolt, and Power up. The players in this free game work their way out to combine similar objects and build cities on each of the hexagonal playfields.
Best City Building Games For You to Buy
Some of the city building games online come with a price tag! Once you have excelled at the free city building games or ready to take the next plunge, check out the city building game that you should play.
1. SimCity 4
Undeniably, one of the most popular and not free city building games, Sim City 4 enables the players to construct a virtual world. You are the mayor of the city that you create and manage your dream city. The players start from a blank map and make sure they expand the city, keeping in mind the predetermined budget.
Place government buildings and other constitutional establishments and earn money for your city from the taxes the citizens pay in this online game. You also get to play a multiplayer version where you collaborate with the other players to achieve your urban planning targets.
2. Anno 2205
One of the best city simulation games, Anno 2205, is a part of the Anno series and set against a futuristic backdrop. You get to conquer Earth by establishing busy multiple cities, unique buildings, and substantial industrial complexes while aiming to build a better tomorrow.
In this Anno series, make sure that the citizens are safe and that you construct a perfect city that thrives on every opposing circumstance. Anno 2205 takes the strategic city building genre to new heights by enabling the players to travel to space and taking them on exciting expeditions. Grow great cities on Earth, establish your base on the Moon, and use the resources wisely to convert your city into a thriving metropolis.
3. Prison Architect
Prison Architect enables you to construct and manage your own private and maximum security prison. The detailed layers of the complex gameplay require micromanaging and will impress any fan of the city building genre.
The players start by building a single cell at first. After its completion, they proceed to add CCTV cameras to keep an eye when the guards are away and gradually incorporate more patrols. Do not forget to meet the sanitation and food requirements of the prisoners. Though it does not come under free city building games, it is worth it to pay for the adrenaline rush.
4. Cities: Skylines
Managing a city well is equal parts thrill and hardships, which is highlighted in Cities: Skylines, a modern take on the classic free city building game. Every player can mod the gameplay as per their choice and choose how difficult and exciting they want the house building games to be.
The game boasts of a fully comprehended transport system, and the players are only limited by their imagination. You construct the city from the ground, engage yourself in urban planning, and place roads and buildings judiciously.
5. Urban Empire
If you’re interested in politics, get your hands on the Urban Empire, one of the best city builder games. Apart from building cities, the players need to make sure that the city skylines can withstand technological breakthroughs and ideological uprisings.
You are the mayor of your city coming from a ruling dynasty, and for the next 200 years, you decide the fate of your utopia. In this PC game, the game challenges the players in taking essential decisions involving topics like child labor and taxes.
If you ever run out of the free city building games, get your hands on this one.
6. Another Brick in The Mall
Another Brick in the Mall is cleverly titled and is the best city simulation game. It enables the players to carry out their fantasy by designing, creating, and managing their super malls.
In the best city simulation game, as the person in charge of the mall, you will have various shops, restaurants, and supermarkets at your disposal. You need to hire staff who act as good managers, thereby ensuring everything is in order.
The players start the game from groundwork, carving roads, and allocating parking slots for visiting customers. The ulterior goal is to earn profits, which is only possible if you work with your team in harmony.
Frostpunk is a survival and strategy-based city building game where every decision comes with a price. The player takes upon the responsibility of building the last city on Earth and ensures that the community has all the means it requires for survival.
Will you be able to spark fires of hope and warmth in the people of your civilization? What decisions will you take for the survival of your city? The presentation of animation in this city builder game is unique and detailed, thereby giving the gamers a visually enthralling experience.
8. Cities in Motion 2
Cities in Motion 2 is set against the same backdrop as its predecessor and is not a free city building game. The gameplay revolves around building and leading the transportation system of the city. The player starts from scratch in creating and managing public and private transport networks that are non-existent in the city.
The strategy game can be played in a multiplayer version as well, with both cooperative and competitive modes. The players control the timetables in the dynamic city and can build alone or choose a friend for help.
One of the best city builder games, Banished, requires the players to take charge of a group of exiled travelers and help them in restarting their lives. The players aim to grow the new land into a habitable place and keep the population alive. Your primary resource in Banished is the townspeople.
Keep the people happy by providing them with all the amenities they need. There is no money involved in the game. You can engage in a barter system by exchanging your hard-earned resources with trade vessels. There are more than 20 occupations available for people like mining, hunting; and you need to use more than one strategy to succeed with the city.
10. Tropico 6
Tropico 6 is a new release and is significantly better and denser than its predecessors. The main goal of the player is to grow the city and its surroundings while trying to stay in power. The island runs because of its people, so the players need to make sure that they are happy and satisfied.
Every action that you take or any disapproval might result in you being voted out from your position; are you ready to face the challenge? Raid foreign lands, steal monuments and add them to your collection and customize the looks of your palace in this addictive city building game.
Planetbase requires you to play the role of a base architect and manager guiding a group of space settlers, something that you must have already handled in free city building games. The challenge, here, is to colonize a remote planet and build structures required for survival. You need to make sure that there is an adequate supply of food, water, oxygen, and other necessary amenities.
The players need to prepare themselves for disasters too and put up fights against the pirates. Are you ready to build in a self-sufficient base in a not-so-favorable environment?
12. Aven Colony
Aven Colony is a highly competitive city building game, which is ideal for gamers who love challenges and obstacles. Your primary goal as a player is to rebuild humanity. To restore nature, you have to keep your city unaffected from natural calamities and gigantic sandworms.
Players start with portraying the role of a governor and once they establish themselves enough; upgrade to the position of the president. Aven Colony also requires you to unearth your planet’s history and mixes some strategy games elements well with the city building niche.
13. Surviving Mars
Surviving Mars is one of the most thrilling city building games, which blends elements of survival and strategy games. The players are fully armed with all the suitable equipment and have to survive battles on red barren land. Explore the planet’s dusty surface, be your own scientist, and see to it that none of the citizens feel short of oxygen at any point.
Play the role of a botanist when required and make wise decisions and survive colonist attacks. The game constantly keeps you posted about how well you are progressing in developing your city and warns you against impending dangers and dust storms. So, execute your best strategies as the red planet is waiting for you.
14. Anno 1800
Anno 1800 is one of the Anno series games and makes the player a part of the ongoing Industrial Revolution. You have to expand your empire, build infrastructure, earn profits, and indulge in beneficial trade. You start with warehouses and farms and convert the land into the world’s most happening metropolis with unique buildings and beautiful city skylines. Remember, the better you create the better bargain you’ll get for the empire you build.
Anno 1800 is also available in sandbox modes and multiplayer versions. The city building game lets you win by incorporating various techniques, instead of having one straight method. Do not forget to keep a vigilant eye on what your enemies are up to and never lose sight of their moves.
15. Cities XL
Cities XL was released in 2013 and deserves a mention because it was quite ambitious for its time. Although it looked like a basic city building game, the multiplayer element made the gameplay very exciting. Every city was owned by a different player and you could indulge in trade with the others to get what you like or give what they like. Currently, the game has removed the MMO element.
As a virtual mayor, you have to be well-prepared for all the problems one might face in a huge metropolis. From smooth public transport facilities to abundance of energy resources, provide the best of everything to your townsmen and see your city thrive.
Best City Building Games For Android And iOS
Now that we have discussed free city building games, as well as the paid ones, let us dig deeper and check the best city building games for Android and iOS users.
1. SimCity BuildIt
One of the best city-building games for Android, SimCity BuildIt requires you to build a unique and beautiful city that is ever-growing. The job of the player starts to get complicated as more citizens join the city since managing them well and keeping them happy is the main goal.
You can create and place unique buildings with a futuristic vision and plan well to make sure that the level of taxes is constant in this Android game. The free city building game is available in multiplayer modes online, which enables the players to compete with others and form alliances with fellow mayors.
2. Fallout Shelter
Fallout Shelter is fun, has a simple storyline, and the most unique gameplay. The players need to select a room from the plenty of options available and convert it into a dwelling shelter that is 2,000 feet beneath a bedrock by excavation.
In this Android game, the users need to ensure that the residents do not die and are unharmed from all types of dangers. The players can dispatch residents above-ground to explore the blasted surface and can turn useless junk products into craft items.
Fallout Shelter classifies as one of the most played free city building games on Android and iOS devices.
One of the best city building games for Android and iOS, Megapolis requires the players to construct a city of their dreams, starting from scratch. In this mobile game, you need to develop an urban infrastructure, build a research center, and expand the mining industry. What more? This free city building game allows you to create replicas of real-life monuments.
The Android game uses realistic 3D graphics and throws challenging tasks at the players with rewards. Make sure that every decision that you take flourishes your Metropolis and enables you to survive colonist attacks.
4. Designer City
Designer City is different from the other free city building games as the gameplay is non-scripted, thereby giving the players creative freedom. The mobile game provides you with a massive area in which you can design your city, and multiple cities cannot look the same because of the dynamic land generation. How about attracting residents to your island by building skyscrapers?
There are 75 challenges available in the app for the players. Manage the transportation system, build airports, parks, and monuments the way you want in this city building genre game.
5. City Island 3
One of the best free city building games, City Island 3 boasts of intuitive gameplay that offers challenging tasks and rewards to the players. The mobile game supports high-quality graphics and allows you to build a city on an exotic island with some cash and gold being handed over to you in the beginning.
The players can upgrade their islands by using hundreds of unique items available in the app. The main aim of the gamers should be to make sure that they strike a balance between people, the number of jobs, and their happiness quotient. Another striking feature about City Island 3 is that the residents provide you with feedback.
Townsmen is different from the regular house building games as the players are given a village at first which they convert into a grand medieval empire. The residents of the village look endearing, performing their everyday routines. The players in the mobile game get to take part in challenging tasks spread across diverse surroundings.
Collect taxes from the villagers in the form of coins and harvest farm crops. Build marketplaces and beautify your city with magnificent monuments, gardens, parks, and statues in this Android game. What more? The building game also has meaningful weather and season effects.
Out of all the free city building games we’ve listed, Townsmen has the most exciting plot.
City Mania adds futuristic elements to city building simulation. Just like the other free city building games, the players can craft hundreds of unique buildings and expand the city from a town to a metropolis. City Mania allows you to recreate famous landmarks like The Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Eiffel Tower, thereby providing a mix of virtual city playground that has reality and creativity.
You can recruit dozens of funny characters, decorate your skyline with skyscrapers, and elevate the city to be the number one tourist destination. If you’re short of resources in this mobile game, you can hit the Marketplace for collecting extra cash and upgrades via the in-app purchases.
One of the best free city building games for Android, TheoTown offers pixel style graphics. You, as a mayor, can build your city with diverse zones to offer the residents basic amenities like food, water, and education. The game allows you to run and manage multiple cities at a time.
Establish great transportation networks by building train stations, airports, and bus depots. Do not forget to collect the taxes from people which will be required to run the city you create.
9. The Battle of Polytopia
This turn-based 3D strategy game will remind you of the Age of Empires. The player chooses his/her tribe at the beginning of the mobile game and gets a fixed amount of resources. The resources can, however, be expanded by discovering and hunting. One of the main goals is also to defend your establishment against the enemies.
The building game is solely based on survival in which the players take up the role of the leader of the civilization. The Battle of Polytopia is played in real-time, and every game will be a new experience for you.
Isn’t it one of the most interesting free city building games you’ve come across? Well, we vouch for it.
Township is a mix of city building and farming and one of the best free city building games. The player takes up the role of a city manager and harvests crops at the farms on this Android game. You can process the crops in the factories, sell goods to develop your town, and indulge in trade with exotic countries.
How about opening restaurants, cinemas, and other means of recreation to attract more people to your town? The player can also run his/her own zoo by adding animals from anywhere around the world. Let’s get started!
11. Virtual City Playground
Are you in the mood to run a city? Get your hands on Virtual City Playground, one of the best free city building games for Android and iOS. The game is thoroughly enjoyable, progresses quickly, and has a simple interface. Build industrial buildings and manufacture retail goods to be delivered to the shopping malls.
Recycle garbage, plant trees, and make your city go green. Add hospitals and fire stations and reward responsible citizens by arranging public events. What will you add to make your city stand out and reach new towering heights?
12. Idle City Empire
Idle City Empire is immensely popular and takes the city building genre to a whole new level. One of the most popular free city building games on the Google Play Store, Idle City Empire, is an excellent choice for gamers looking for an exciting plot. In this free game, players have to think wisely and invest their money in multiple businesses.
Build buildings for your town, improve the standard of living of your townsmen by giving them luxurious amenities, and spend in infrastructure. The city building simulator gives multiple opportunities to players for upgrading their gameplay. So, seize the opportunity and become a billionaire. You can play the game offline as well.
You no longer need to rack your brain for looking out for the best city building games. We’ve listed the free city building games for your PC, the best building games to buy, and also the mobile game ideal for Android and iOS.
The best free city building games in our opinion are Forge of Empires, Rising Cities, City Connect 2, and Epic City Builder 3. If you’re a gaming enthusiast and do not mind shelling out some cash, get your hands on SimCity, Anno 2205, Prison Architect, Cities: Skylines, and Planetbase. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to the best city building games for Android, but Fallout Shelter, Township, City Mania, Megapolis, and City Island 3 would make it to our list of favorites.
Each of the names mentioned in the lists above will give you a unique and memorable gaming experience. Are you all set to be hooked to these city simulation games for hours of fun?
(Article Updated on 25th March 2021)