Simulation Games Bridging Virtual Worlds with Real-Life Skills

Simulation Games: Bridging Virtual Worlds with Real-Life Skills

In the vast world of game publishing, simulation games bring the concept of replicating real-world scenarios. They contribute to the development of the video games industry and provide valuable experiences regarding education or training fields.

These games allow players to immerse themselves in a virtual environment where every choice matters.

Without further ado, let’s explore how they impact education in a contributive way!

Definition and Characteristics of Simulation Games

Simulation games are video games that are designed with the idea of mimicking real-world scenarios or events.

In these games, you, as a player, can join in various activities from real life to serve purposes such as training, entertainment, prediction, or even analysis.

For example, in some particular games, you can learn how to fish or operate a business such as a farm.

So, unlike other video game genres, game simulator prioritizes realism and accuracy to give engaged players the most immersive experiences and feelings.

A screenshot from Flight Simulator

Generally, these games do not include defined goals or particular objectives at all, players can choose to control their activities freely and then wait to see the open-ended nature react to a wide range of possibilities.

Among several simulation games that have gained widespread popularity across different platforms, some games have gained popularity for a reason.

The Sims is a notable example. In this game, you can create and control virtual people and manage their daily lives and interactions. The game has gained love from players because it lets them be creative and tell their own stories in a virtual world.

Or we can look at Flight Simulator by Microsoft Studios as a standout. This simulation game is famous for its realism by paying attention to details like the weather and how the cockpit works. As a result, players feel like they’re truly experiencing flying.

Types of Simulation Games

As simulator games are designed to cater to various purposes, there are some prominent types of simulation games, each challenging players in different aspects of virtual reality.

Construction and Management Simulation (CMS)​​

These online simulation games in this subgenre allow you to build, manage, and expand fictional communities and projects.

With limited resources, you must find ways to balance expansion while effectively managing those resources.

An example of CMS simulation game - Cities Skylines
Image from ParadoxInteractive

Moreover, resource management and decision-making skills are required to proceed with smart moves and keep everything running smoothly. 

For example, in the Cities: Skylines simulation game, you act as a city planner and find ways to build and manage a virtual city in an ever-changing environment.

Life Simulation Games​​

Similar to the previous subgenre, life simulation games are also about managing and controlling.

However, the difference lies in the targeted objects: instead of looking at communities, this sub-genre allows you to control one or more artificial lifeforms.

A screenshot of The Sim 4 - one of the most popular simulation games
Image from Steam

From making career choices to handling relationships, these games let you make decisions and see how they impact your virtual world.

We can refer to The Sims as a notable example. In this game, you can create and control characters, known as Sims, and guide them through various aspects of their lives.

Sports Simulation Games​​

These online simulation games allow you to become the team manager of a sports team. Your mission is to make important decisions related to team training, player selections and so much more; all is to aim for the championship.

But in some games, you can also take on the role of a solo athlete to conquer the challenges and win the triumphs of a specific sport.

An example of Sport simulation games - Football Manager

That said, sports simulation games offer you an immersive experience in various aspects of real-world sports.

You can prepare to make strategic tactics and overcome all challenges ahead to gain final victory in the dynamic sports world.

For example, the Football Manager gives you the role of a football manager. You can make decisions and manage the team to gain success.

Other Types​​

Besides these popular types, online simulation games also go beyond the usual and explore some special areas. Which includes:

  • Medical Simulation Games: You will be a medical doctor and perform surgeries in virtual medical scenarios.
  • Military Simulation Games: You engage in virtual battles, plan the strategies, and experience all challenges like in the real battlefield.
  • Photography Simulation Games: You can capture beautiful moments of animals or people, and explore the world of photography in a virtual setting.
  • Vehicle Simulation Games: Drive and operate your various kinds of vehicles through tough terrains and experience real driving from the driver’s perspective.
  • Immersive Sims: These games offer you big open worlds and exciting stories. They allow you to explore every aspect of the game and make different choices that can affect the game’s story.

Top 19 Simulation Games of 2023

2023 was the year that included a lot of fun. We’ve witnessed a wide array of simulation games, which cater to various interests and preferences.

Here’s a top simulation games list that has captured the attention of gamers this year:

1. Kerbal Space Program 2

Embark on your space journey with the new features and better graphics. You’ll have the opportunity to reach the stars, explore space, and face challenges again in this new version.

2. Thief Simulator 2

You’ll be in the role of a thief, waiting until night to steal things from the neighborhood. It’s important for you to try not to be caught and find valuable items to earn money.

3. Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist

You can show off your artistic side in this simulation game. Draw and sell your art to surrounding residents, then get money to buy more art supplies and improve your skills.

4. Hometopia

You can design and decorate each aspect of your dream home in this game. Make all the interiors reflect your tastes and preferences; make sure your virtual friends are happy.

5. Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

Experience life in the countryside and do all farming tasks such as planting crops and caring for animals. You can also get to know the people of the Forgotten Valley and find your true partner in life to grow old together.

6. WWE 2K23

You can enter the ring with enhanced graphics and your favorite WWE superstars. With improved gameplay mechanics, you can make your characters stand out and experience the thrill of authentic wrestling matches.

7. Sengoku Dynasty

This game is where fatherhood comes into play. You act as a father to bring a better life for your daughter. Then, you have to build and manage the village, navigate the complex relationships, and establish your legacy.

8. Hello Engineer

Set in the amusement park, you can unleash your creativity and engineering skills here. Try building, experimenting, and solving challenges with your creative problem-solving skills to escape from frightening Neighbor.

9. The Riftbreaker

This is the second world expansion for The Riftbreaker. Your mission is to find and stop a dangerous threat spreading underground. So, explore the depths, and save the day from the mysterious danger beneath the surface.

10. Undisputed

This game can be considered the most realistic boxing game in the gaming world. You can choose from over 50 historical fighters in Undisputed, and use their unique styles and moves to face off against opponents.

11. Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 6

This game allows you to customize all aspects of the game, including your bike appearance, gear, and even your rider’s style. So, customize your bike, pick your favorite gear, and get ready to ride in a game that lets you be you both on and off the track.

12. Plasma

This simulation game challenges you to push the boundaries of scientific discovery. Game developers give you chances to build up anything you can imagine, like robots, factories, arcade machines, and so much more.

13. The Sims 4

Even if you’ve heard of The Sims, the fun doesn’t stop! The Sims 4 has been a hit and turned into a free-to-play game. In this game, you can build and grow your Sims family while making their bonds even more close-knit.

14. House Flipper 2

You become a contractor in this game. Your role is to renovate and decorate properties to turn them into profitable assets. So you can dive into the world of home improvement and showcase your creativity.

15. Big Ambitions

As its name suggests, this game will help you achieve the big ambition of building a business empire across New York City. You start with small steps as a small company, then gradually grow and eventually reach unprecedented heights.

16. Dredge

Navigate the depths of mysterious waters in Dredge by going fishing. So join in and catch as many fish as possible to grow your fishing prowess, upgrade your boat, and earn more money.

17. F1 23

You can experience the excitement of Formula 1 with the latest series. It brings you an authentic experience from start to finish; you’ll race in lightning-fast cars, aiming to be the champion of intense races.

18. Stronghold: Definitive Edition

This big strategy title has been advanced with features and improvements from the classic form. This definitive edition will challenge you to build, defend, and conquer incredible battles.

19. Disney Dreamlight Valley

Embark on this magical place where everything wondrous is possible. Try to rescue your favorite Disney and Pixar characters from dark thorns, and they’ll become your friends and travel buddies.

Educational Use of Simulation Games

In every learning and education program, practical experience is equally important as theory. That’s why simulation games can be powerful educational tools to assist learners in a more immersive way.

Rather than participating in conventional modes of instruction, players can now facilitate a flow learning experience that actually happens around them.

To be more specific, simulation games create a dynamic environment where learners can actively apply theoretical knowledge to realistic situations.

This approach, by far, not only increases the interest and motivation of students in learning but also enhances their deep understanding of complex concepts.

An illustration of simulation games and their educational purposes

For example, students can experience medical scenarios or business simulations and see if their actions can lead to successful outcomes or potential challenges.

Moreover, many games are designed to help learners develop specific skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, and teamwork.

By being provided instant feedback for each step they take in the world of simulation games, they can learn from their choices and improve gradually.

Challenges and Future Directions

Using simulation games for instructors and educational institutions​​ also poses potential challenges.

The first concern is that the game may lack full life-like situations to guide students through everything comprehensively. This means that students could miss out on important details or experiences they might encounter in the real world.

Another challenge might be the need for special training for instructors. Because not all teachers are familiar with using games as teaching tools, it’s hard for them to convey the lesson effectively to the learners.

That said, it might take some time for instructors and knowledge givers to adapt to this new way of teaching and mix them with traditional methods, perhaps through a compulsory course on using simulation games.

Despite these challenges, we can be positive looking at the potential future.

As technology never stops evolving, video game publishers will release game titles that are even more immersive and realistic. As a result, learners can gain benefits from this; they can experience virtual environments that closely mirror real-world scenarios.


Simulation games add a touch of excitement to our experiences; they create virtual worlds that let us experience many things that we might never have a chance to do in real life.

The cool part is that we can totally enjoy these games in entertaining and educational ways.  Whether building a city, managing a team, or learning medical skills, simulation games make learning interactive and enjoyable.

As technology improves, these games will become even more awesome, offering us more realistic and immersive adventures.

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