The best city
building games
on PC


Whether your aim is to regroup and repopulate Earth, conquer new planets, or defeat the commuter’s menace that is congestion, then this list of the best city building games on PC should serve you well.


Tropico charges you with building a city from the ground up, all while dealing with the economic demands of the island, the happiness of your citizens, and bargaining with overseas allies.

You won’t be able to satisfy all factions and residents, as challenges arise from crooked government officials that you’ll need to complete in order to achieve your overall goal.


There are a few additional challenges that come with building a colony on an alien planet - you’ll battle against constant natural disasters, a hostile atmosphere, and even alien lifeforms like gigantic sandworms.

You’ll start out as a governor and rise through the ranks to establish yourself as president of your colony, gradually expanding your toolset and uncovering the planet’s history in the process.


Instead of plonking down each building yourself, Cities: Skylines’ intuitive zoning tools let you map out your city districts and watch the buildings pop into place.

Cities: Skylines also features a gloriously deep and complex mix of transit options, which means you get to spend countless hours trying to ensure your denizens can get around with ease.


Frostpunk is the kind of city builder that will make you question your own morality over and over again. You must survive a premature ice age in a city that was left unfinished before the big freeze took hold. 

Unlike many other city builders, Frostpunk is about surviving instead of ruling, and it’s a constant juggling act to keep your new citizens happy, while ensuring the city is stocked with food and the furnace is fully operational.


Much like Frostpunk, Surviving Mars blends survival and city building, albeit on the barren red planet rather than a frozen hellscape. 

You’ll be your own botanist, scientist, and city planner as you work to keep your flocking colonists fed, happy, and protected from dust storms.


SimCity 4 is a truly classic city building game, with only one real goal - creating your dream metropolis. 

You have different zones of buildings you can lay down in a grid format, but you can also splash the cash to build intricate road systems or more advanced architecture, and even world wonders. 

ANNO 1800

Anno 1800 returns the city building series to its historical roots. As a company leader in the Industrial Revolution, you trade and grow your empire from a couple of farms to a thriving metropolis.

There are a variety of ways to win Anno 1800, ranging from accruing wealth and investors to attracting visitors and securing diplomatic ties. 


In Age of Empires 2, your main goal is to build your city as a base of operations for your army as you prepare to wage war through the ages. 

As your townspeople scavenge for supplies and farm the land to keep your civ afloat, you’ll also need to build watchtowers and barricades to defend against enemies, and train villagers for combat.