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The best games like The Sims in 2024

With our guide to the best games like The Sims on Switch and mobile, you can build the life of your dreams on the go, no matter what kind of life you desire.

Games like The Sims: Three Sims (a shop assistant holding a dress, a detective, and a surgeon inspecting an X-ray) pasted on a blue PT background

In our guide to the best games like The Sims on Switch and mobile, we’ll show you some of the top life sim gems available to download and play right now, offering you a level of control you can only dream about in the real world. With both indie developers and big studios taking influence from the success of the original life sim The Sims, there’s a wealth of ways to live a second life, from taking up the reins as an urban architect, to rural bliss on the farm. Just, don’t get weird with it (we know you will). 

If you’d rather have financial freedom over happy families, you might have a more productive time reading over our picks for the best Tycoon games on mobile and Switch. Or, if you’re looking to nurture whole societies instead of nuclear families, we’ve put together a list of the best games like Civilization on Switch and mobile so you can start on your path to global dominance. If you just want to have a good time, try our list of the best party games on mobile.

Let’s get going with the best games like The Sims on Switch and mobile.

Games like The Sims: A screenshot from Animal Crossing New Horizons showing a character with pink pigtails, birthday cake glasses, and a yellow and pink dress and outfit emoting with flowers in front of a pink house with a dark pink mailbox and a pumpkin off to the right.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

Ah, the simple life. Leave the hustle and bustle of modern times behind for an island retreat in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This isn’t a holiday, though, and you’ll need to pull your weight on your island to bring in new neighbors, restore the museum to its former glory, and help Tom Nook shift his wares.

The customization options are where New Horizons shines, with almost everything on your island under your control so you can make your own slice of paradise. If you fancy customizing your devices to match your island life, head over to our Animal Crossing wallpapers guide. We also have a list of the best games like Animal Crossing, if you want to experience similar games.

Games like The Sims: A screenshot from Stardew Valley featuring a wooden lodge.

Stardew Valley – Switch and mobile

As one of the biggest breakaway indie hits of the last decade, Stardew Valley is a must-play for anyone even slightly invested in the life sim genre. From farming to fishing to falling in love with one of Pelican Town’s singletons, there are few limits to what life in the valley can bring.

What’s more, Stardew Valley’s single developer has worked consistently to bring new content to the game since its release, so the once humble farming sim now has hours and hours of playability. Check out our Stardew Valley review to dive even deeper into this farming sim gem, or learn more about the newly-released Stardew Valley 1.6 update before starting up your ranch.

For some extra assistance, we can tell you about characters such as Stardew Valley’s Linus, Stardew Valley’s Shane, Stardew Valley’s Haley, and Stardew Valley’s Alex.

Games like The Sims: Promo art for The Sims Mobile.

The Sims Mobile – mobile

You can’t get much more like The Sims than The Sims itself. This mobile port does tone down the possibilities from the main series, but has all the main ingredients to create the classic Sims hijinks, and still retains some form of quest mode.

It’s a free-to-play title, too, so if you’re not quite willing to commit to the responsibility of raising a family in the Sims 4, why not test out your domestic skills in a slimmed-down version of the original life sim. 

Games like The Sims: The cover art for Youtubers Life 2 featuring a large logo on a yellow background and three characters in various poses.

Youtubers Life 2 – Switch

Dream big, and stream big, in the vlogging life sim Youtubers Life 2. While this one is obviously aimed towards younger audiences, it can still be fun for all, as you do your best PewDiPie impression and live your life for the views.

The goal in this game is to amass as many subscribers as you can, unlocking customization options along the way to help your channel stand out from the crowd. 

Games like The Sims: Key art of Graveyard Keeper's Ultimate Collector's Edition.

Graveyard Keeper – Switch and mobile

Are you looking for more macabre moments in your life sim game? If so, Graveyard Keeper is a surefire pick for you. You’re not looking after a family of living beings here though. Instead, it’s your job to tend to the dead and their resting places, as the purveyor of the local morgue and graveyard.

There’s a ton to do in Graveyard Keeper, especially with the ultimate edition, and it’s one of the funnier games from this list, thanks to Gerry, the booze-addled skull who guides you through your new career as a mortician. 

Games like The Sims: A screenshot from SimCity BuildIt showing a cityscape and a ginger woman holding a large map and smiling.

SimCity BuildIt – mobile

Swap out family planning for urban planning with SimCity Buildit, a scaled-down version of EA’s architectural simulator, Sim City. If games like Cities: Skylines are a bit intimidating for you, this is a great alternative entry point.

The slimmed-down menus and options make SimCity BuildIt a perfect introduction to city-builder games for younger fans, with less emphasis on deep mechanics and an easily approachable design element that prioritizes wonder over architectural tedium. 

Games like The Sims: Key art from the game Cattails.

Cattails – Switch

If you’re feline like playing something a little different from the other titles on this list, Cattails is one of the more out-there life sims on Switch. Plus, it’s one of the best cat games too, so that’s a bonus.

If you hadn’t guessed it, in Cattails, you’re a cat. You’re no stray, though – instead, you live in a community of other cats and spend your days hunting for mice, searching for a mate, and, if you’re lucky, popping out kittens. 

Games like The Sims: Key art of Virtual Families 3.

Virtual Families 3 – mobile

When looking for a mobile equivalent to the Sims, you can’t go wrong with Virtual Families 3. It’s clear that the title lends a lot from its inspiration, both in terms of game design and controls, but it simplifies the formula a little for those less accustomed to the genre and dials down the wacky.

If you want to indulge in a bit of domestic bliss, we couldn’t recommend this game enough. 

There you have it! With that list, you should have enough life sim games to keep you going for, well, life. If you still haven’t found anything that strikes a chord, have a browse of our picks for the best Switch simulation games to see some zanier options outside of the life sim sub-genre. Or, if you’re looking to learn more about the real world, check out our list of the best geography games on Switch and mobile.