This article will show you the top online games like Sims on the market. There are many games similar to Sims, but we have narrowed our list to the best games like sims online.
After finding lots of success with his SimCity franchise, game designer Will Wright took his own experience of personal tragedy and created the virtual dollhouse we all know and love as The Sims.
After losing nearly everything in the Oakland fires of 1991, Wright was left needing to rebuild his life. As a game designer, he started to see the potential for a virtual world hidden within the process of having to replace everything in his home and rebuild his life.
The Sims was originally built as a smart satire of the habits of the United States’ culture of consumerism. But, after its release, the Sims was even more successful than SimCity, and the sandbox game took off. Because of this, The Sims has spawned five sequels and countless one-offs, or expansion packs.
Now people can take their Sims from buying their first home, to falling in love, to becoming a vampire and needing to find a career that allows them to sleep during the day and work at night.
One of the main draws to games like sims online is the idea that there is no “goal.” You build a life around your Sim (or family of Sims) and try to make sure their moods are positive, and they live a good life.
The goal of keeping your Sims happy is built off of Abraham Maslow’s construction of the human-kinds hierarchy of needs (first written about in his Theory of Human Motivation paper in 1943.)
While The Sims might be one of the most popular life-simulation sandbox games on the market, there are plenty of online games like Sims out there.
The Best Online Games Like Sims
When it comes to online games like Sims, Second Life might just be the king of the castle. The reason for this is because Second Life takes what the Sims has created and pushes it to the next level.
While other online games like Sims focus on the game aspect of things, Second Life offers an extreme-level of freedom to its players. This includes the ability for players to partake in the game’s inner economy, allowing people to create real-life money in-game.
Second Life features intense, detailed character customization. Because of this, Second Life has become known as one of the top-notch life simulations available.
Finding its niche somewhere between the super-detailed world of in-depth customization that Second Life offers, and the stripped-down, but addictive nature of online games like Sims, IMVU has found a lot of success.
While this online games like the Sims offers a lot more customization and detail that cannot be found in The Sims or any of its expansions, IMVU is also a lot easier to settle into than other life simulators.
The Sims sandbox (mostly) goalless sandbox nature is pushed to the limits here, as IMVU is less of an online game and more of an intense chat room situation. With the main goals being just to socialize, it is the level of customization available for your character, as well as your own private space that makes this online games like the Sims.
This Nintendo 3DS specific game provides the players with a very cartoonish and whimsical simulation of life when compared to other online games like Sims.
The goal in Tomodachi Life is to create your character, then navigate them throughout randomly generated life situations, all while socializing and keeping an eye on their own specific hierarchy of needs – much like The Sims.
Much like The Sims, Tomodachi Life becomes more fun (and more challenging) when more characters are added. So, do not be afraid to let loose and socialize like crazy.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
A lot of the online games like Sims focus on creating a secondary world where you can interact with other people, or create a new life based in real-world situation. You can throw that out the window when it comes to Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Anyone familiar with the Animal Crossing franchise knows that these games toss any realism out the window and replace it with human-like animal people and cutesy animations.
While the game may look adorable, there is a lot of responsibility built into these titles. Like other online games like Sims, you are charged with creating (and customizing) your own character and their homes. However, in Animal Crossings’s new games, you are also in charge of keeping the city running as you are the mayor.
New Leaf has added a lot more customization options when it comes to your character, their homes, and even the city. But, it also added beefed up social aspect of the game, allowing you to interact with other “mayors” who are playing.
Like IMVU and others, SmallWorlds is an in-browser game that focuses on intense customization of your character and their space before walking out into the world and socializing.
Unlike some of the other online games like Sims, SmallWorlds is a little more focused, making it one of the best options for a younger, or more casual gamer who just wants to play around with fun customization options.
SmallWorlds does not just allow your customized character to socialize within the huge public spaces, it also opens up mini-games and in-game missions for your character to play through.
A lot of online games like Sims focus on building homes, and customizing characters, with navigating life events as a secondary priorities. Because of this, a lot of games on this list are elaborate chat rooms, or customization games. Unlike them, Kudos 2 is a true life-simulation game.
In Kudos 2, you start off as a 20-something waiter (or waitress) on the bottom rung of the social ladder. From here, you make a lot of life decisions and deal with the consequences of these decisions as life progresses.
From mundane choices like walking to work,or taking the boss, to more major ones like getting married or changing careers, you get to take total control of this characters life for a ten-year window.
A Kingdom for Keflings
No doubt borrowing from the stories of Gulliver and his travels to the world of Lilliputians, A Kingdom of Keflings puts its own twist on the story of a giant helping a village build and grow.
In this game you create a character – a giant – and then set out to help the tiny, tiny Keflings build their village, and help grow to prosperity.
Unlike a lot of online games like Sims, A Kingdom for Keflings focuses a lot on situational needs, and in-game puzzles/missions, it may lack some of the pure customization options gamers look for in Sims alternatives, but it remains a strong alternative for younger, more casual gamers.
This web-based online games like Sims allows gamers to create and customize their own avatar and use them to meet other characters in the world, and even get a job in SocioTown.
With the jobs in SocioTown your character can earn SoBucks, which can then be used in-world to purchase homes, customization options, and other forms of in-game entertainment.
With so many people involved in this massively multiplayer online social game, SocioTown is one of the online games like Sims that provides a nice combo of avatar customization, as well as social engagement.
Formerly known as Habbo Hotel, this game is one of the online games like Sims that falls more under the category of a social network than an online game.
Launched in 2000 by a Finnish company, this game allows you to create and customize your own Habbo, as well as your own hotel room, before taking off into the open world (or hotel) in order to meet other characters, play games, go on quests, or organize parties.
Different rooms within the game have real-world themes which adds and encourages a role-playing aspect to the game that can be missing from some of the other online games like Sims when they take on a social network/chat room format.
A lot of the customization of Habbo comes in the form of your own hotel room. Players can earn money in game and use this towards buying furniture or other design elements in order to customize your character’s room.
Virtual Families 2
This game gives you everything you could want from online games like Sims, with a few alterations from The Sims that makes it a lot more friendly for those looking to just play super casually.
Virtual Families 2 allows you to create and customize your own character and their home, and then roll through life with these characters (get a job, start a family, etc.) You can even still buy items and customize your home – all the fun stuff.
Where the big change comes with Virtual Families 2 is that your characters are a lot more independent when compared to their Sim cousins. Instead of standing around being bored and waiting for you to tell them what to do (like in The Sims,) your Virtual Families 2 family will make use of all the things you have purchased for them, or customized for them, keeping themselves distracted.
This online game like Sims lets you sit back and create without worrying your creations are going to be too needy and take up all of your game time.
Some online games like Sims are sandbox life-simulators with little structure that are mostly focused on character customization – and that is alright. But, there are some alternatives that are slightly more story focused, and in that realm, the Virtual Villagers series might just rule as king.
Taking place on Isola Island, you take control of villagers who are looking to rebuild their village and explore the island after a volcano destroyed the previous village. Through exploration, you can find new food sources, other inhabitants, and even some island secrets, all adding to the story and customization, building options in the game.
When looking for online games like Sims, you may want to fall back through the evolution of the game and find something similar to SimCity – the macro-view of the world of the Sims.
Cities: Skylines is one of the best online alternatives for this type of game. This game focuses more on building a city through functional architecture and working transit systems, and less on if your Sim is hungry, or just needs a nap.
While online games like Sims tend to lend themselves to casual, peaceful play times, Cities: Skylines is a version of this type of game for those looking to be challenged a little bit.
Other online games like Sims focus on building a character and navigating them through life, The Movies focuses on guiding your character through a specific path.
While this dedicated narrative path may turn a lot of Sims fans away from The Movies, the game has its own charm for those who always fancied themselves a movie buff, or future director.
This game casts you in many different roles (movie mogul, talent scout, or director) all while working your way towards the creation of a film.
One fun feature of The Movies is the fact that the “film” sprawls across many different genres and time periods, allowing you to take advantage of a variety of technology as time progresses (including getting plastic surgery for your stars.)