You’re the leader, and you make all of the choices. Management, simulation, and planning are part of the best city-building games for PS4 and PS5.
We’ve covered you if you want to develop and manage a city, down to your citizen’s salaries. Of course, we’re looking for titles available for PlayStation consoles, as the genre doesn’t often exist outside of PC.
Selecting the Best City Building Games on PS4 and PS5
City-building games are part of the simulation genre. You act s the planner and leader of a town, city, or empire. You play with an overhead view and manage many aspects of the location.
For example, you choose building placement, building evolution, research, taxes, trading, land plots, pipelines, education, pollution, security, weather, etc.
Strategy video games incorporate elements of city building and management. However, compared to strategy, the goal of city-building games is simply an ongoing process. You don’t have to defeat anyone.
Either way, we’re picking the best games in the genre. Choices correlate to both fan appreciation and critic’s appreciation. The best titles balance economic, planning, and challenged-based goals for the best experiences. They also tend to add elements from other simulators, like politics or government.
City-building games generally go in one of these two ways. They are either a free-form sandbox, so you can develop as you’d wish. Or they feature a campaign with objectives, challenges, and lore to explain your tasks. We’ll include both types, as preference is personal.
Moreover, the city-building category has various nearby genres. Those are parks, factories, businesses, governments, life, sports, and colony simulation. We’re taking into consideration colony management games as well, as long as they feel similar.
Best City Building Games on PS4 PS5
- Developer: Ludeon Studios
- Publisher: Ludeon Studios
- Release Date: October 2018
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux – Xbox, PS5 (Pre-order)
RimWorld is a top-down construction and management simulator with an impressive AI storyteller. The setting is a distant future where humans live in space colonies. These colonies are isolated, full of bandits and hazardous environments, though.
You start with a randomized set of colonists and build your location from scratch. Each settler has a set of stats that determine what they can or can’t do. You play with an aerial view and tell your settlers what to build, where to go, or work.
Then, the AI system takes into consideration hundreds of variables. That goes from the weather to your resources to the mood of your settlers. According to your state, it delivers stories, events, and results. There’re various AI storytellers to choose from, though, and they vary in difficulty.
Lastly, the game features a narrative, deep lore, and procedurally generated worlds. Even so, there’s a victory condition: you must construct or repair a spaceship and travel back to space.
Frostpunk: Console Edition
- Developer: 11-bit studios
- Publisher: 11-bit studios
- Release Date: April 2018
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, macOS, iOS, Android
Frostpunk has risen in popularity since its debut and stands as one of the best city-building games. The genre is not quite popular currently, so we don’t get to see many entries fill its gaps lately.
The title mixes survival elements. You’re the leader of the 19th settlement in an alternate timeline. Your goal is to maintain and develop the city throughout a volcanic winter.
So, you manage resources, structures, and voters. The story happens across several episodes, each one presenting new challenges. In general, it’s about exploring the area for survivors and resources; you need coal to make steam and keep the town warm.
Other elements include politics, weather conditions, and politics. For the latter, your citizens may increase or decrease their efficiency according to your rule. And you may rule with an iron fist or as a true democrat.
- Developer: Colossal Order
- Publisher: Paradox Interactive
- Release Date: March 2015
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux, Google Stadia
Cities: Skylines is a straightforward city-building game. It features a free-form simulation featuring yourself as the mayor of a developing town. It has various layers of strategy and complexity, but it’s also easy to pick up and play.
You take care of urban planning, roads, taxes, zoning, transportation, structures, services, and more. Other elements include health, pollution, employment, and traffic.
The city boasts an AI system that handles its citizens. Particularly, you’d see it in the traffic, and the more traffic, the less happy citizens you get. Planning the city is one of the most important factors of your gameplay.
For gameplay, you begin your sandbox experience with a small plot of land. From there on, you can add roads, commercial, residential, industrial, or service zones. And as the city grows, citizens will move in, and you’ll unlock more features.
- Developer: Limbic Entertainment
- Publisher: Kalypso Media
- Release Date: March 2019
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, macOS, Linux
Tropico 6 is a management, construction, and political simulator. It’s similar to previous games in the series. Hence, you play as “El Presidente,” the leader of a fictional Caribbean island country.
As El Presidente, you manage the archipelago with an overhead view. Then, you lead the country across four eras (Colonial, World Wars, Cold War, and Modern). Your job is to develop the area and make your nation a world power.
The title includes simulated citizens. Your leadership affects their productivity: they could be loyal and productive or revolt. Similar to Frostpunk, you can become a dictator or a rightful ruler.
Lastly, part of your job is connecting the different islands on the archipelago. You must build chains of services, pipes, bridges, and roads to keep the different parts of your nation healthy.
- Developer: Mothership Entertainment
- Publisher: Team17
- Release Date: July 2017
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Aven Colony is a strategy and city-building game. It features an objective-based single-player campaign. The experience concerns colonizing an alien planet, so it’s a sci-fi colony planner.
You take care of building a human city on Aven Prime, planet light-years away from our home planet. You oversee resources, construction, and settlers.
Then, you build the place from scratch, and new colonists will move in as it evolves. There’re many things you can build as the game features technological tiers. You start from small tends until rising towards massive skyscrapers and space elevators.
Lastly, buildings serve different purposes within your colony, and you must fill in various services. These include oxygen, food, living quarters, mining, exploration, defense, and expansion. Additional tools like hover cars and flying drones help you with these tasks.
- Developer: Haemimont Games, Abstraction Games
- Publisher: Paradox Interactive
- Release Date: March 2018
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Surviving Mars is a city building and simulation with a sci-fi setting. It’s about building a colony and ensuring it survives on Mars. That said, it follows an objective-based campaign.
The simulation uses real Martian data to deliver a “realistic” Martian experience. Then, you choose a sponsoring nation, each one offering different benefits and tech tries, to land on Mars.
For gameplay, you use drones, rovers, and similar tools to prepare and build the colony for humans. You must build domes, infrastructure, resource storage places, landing pads, and oxygen generators. The ultimate goal is to create a thriving colony with enough food, oxygen, and space.
Also, you research technologies to build machine parts, concrete, food, electronics, and buildings. There’re five fields of research, and you can unlock technologies that can lead you to various victory conditions.
- Developer: Madruga Works
- Publisher: Madruga Works
- Release Date: October 2015
- Platform: Windows, macOS, PS4, Xbox One
Planetbase is a strategy sci-fi simulation and colony building/simulation game. The setting is a distant planet, and your mission is to build an outpost where colonists can survive.
You lead a group of settlers constructing a base on a secluded planet. You’re the architect and the manager. It’s up to you to guide the colonists in creating a self-sufficient location. However, environmental and space hazards (like meteors) will challenge you across the 10 milestones to complete.
So, you need to secure water, food, living quarters, and oxygen. There’re various structures to build, each providing one of these services. Moreover, settlers can mine different metals, which you can use to create robots.
Lastly, you can colonize four planets, each featuring different conditions and difficulties. These are Storm, Barren, Frozen, and Desert planets. You’ll get workers, engineers, or guard settlers for the job. Then, robots will take care of monotonous tasks.
Kingdom Two Crowns
- Developer: Noio, Licorice
- Publisher: Raw Fury
- Release Date: October 2015
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
Kingdom Two Crowns is a 2D strategy and city-building game. It’s easier than most games in the genre, as its approach is simpler and less punishing. Also, it features pixelated graphics and a gorgeous soundtrack.
The gameplay has two broad segments. During the day, you roam the land as the king, searching for people and resources. Your job is to find loyal followers to help you build and protect your realm.
At night, evil creatures and soldiers will attack your settlement. So, you must spend your day building your defense and developing your town. For example, you can place towers and walls and archers behind walls.
Also, you can play the game in co-op on the PlayStation 4. A second user can join locally or another player online via the PS Plus subscription. If you join the game as a team, both share the crown, roles, and features.
Regions of Ruin
- Developer: VOX Games
- Publisher: Gameclaw Studios
- Release Date: October 2017
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, Linux
Regions of Ruin is a 2D RPG that revolves around building cities and fortresses. It’s also an open-world sandbox, although the game presents increasingly difficult challenges.
The lore follows a dwarven realm in decadence. Under your command, different tribes are rallying together to rebuild their power. You do it across a hand-drawn environment full of details and stories.
So, you’ll explore the world in 2D to find your kin and get quests, followers, and information. Your character can fight, level up, and develop skills in various skill trees. He can also loot gear from fallen enemies and forge his own gear with the resources you find.
You construct, expand, and manage a city in the town. There’re various systems to handle, but, in essence, you need to keep your kin happy and make a city sturdy enough to survive enemy attacks.
Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault
- Developer: Acquire
- Publisher: Acquire
- Release Date: July 2015
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, PSVita, Xbox One
Aegis of Earth: Protonovous Assault is a real-time tower defender within a fantasy world. The story happens 50 years after the “Silent Apocalypse,” a catastrophic event that brought demonic creatures to Earth.
Alongside the creatures, a new element found a home on the planet, “altenite.” It stands as your best resource and hope for survival. But as you gather and expand across the world, monster stacks will attack you.
The gameplay happens on various interfaces. There’s a world map where you see the place of your different settlements. Then, there’re the settlements, circular towns you must develop. You place shields on the outer rim, power generators, defensive structures, and resource-gathering structures.
Lastly, you must take care of the happiness of your citizens and other elements. For example, you collect taxes, allocate resources, buy equipment, set up artillery and soldiers on the battlefield, and more. And when battles begin, you use the weapons you have placed until you defeat the wave.