• Discover the top city-building games of all time to enrich one’s collection with the finest titles in the genre.
  • From charming indie gems like Minami Lane to unique experiences like Kingdoms and Castles, the genre offers a diverse range of options.
  • Dive into the world of city-building with Timberborn’s beaver-themed construction, Banished’s harsh environment challenges, and DotAGE’s turn-based strategy twist.

City-building is a broad and varied genre of video game, with roots in classics such as SimCity. These games are usually concerned with the managing of economies, happiness, expansion, and the overall construction of a city.



The 12 Best City Building Games of All Time, Ranked

Players deserve to know the best city-building games of all time to expand their library of this genre’s finest and brightest.

Luckily, for fans of city-builders and indie games alike, there is an abundance of indie titles that fit into the city-building genre. From cute and colorful minimalist games such as Minami Lane, all the way to city-building roguelikes such as Against The Storm, there’s a variety of indie city-builders on offer.

1 SteamWorld Build – A Dual-Layered Steampunk City-Builder

Steam User Rating: 77%

SteamWorld Build - Gameplay

SteamWorld Build
December 1, 2023

The Station

The SteamWorld games are known for their quirky Steampunk setting and iconic robotic characters. Like many SteamWorld games, SteamWorld Build is distinctively different from other titles in the franchise.

SteamWorld Build also stands out as a city-builder with its dual-layered design. In SteamWorld Build, players must build a frontier Steampunk western town, expanding and managing their industries while balancing resources. However, players must also excavate the ground beneath their town to construct a rocket to leave the planet.

2 Minami Lane – A Sweet And Simple Street-Builder

Steam User Rating: 98%

Minami Lane - Gameplay

Minami Lane
February 28, 2024

Doot , Blibloop

This cute and colorful miniature city-builder takes place on a single street, tasking players with creating a fun and wholesome place for people to live and hang out. Minami Lane isn’t packed with complexities and hours of content, but the short but sweet experience it offers is consistently cozy.

Minami Lane is a fairly straightforward experience, featuring a mission-based structure that tasks players with completing various objectives. Players will have to pay attention to the wants and needs of their people, but Minami Lane is frequently relaxing to play, and rarely asks much of the player.

3 Kingdoms And Castles – A City-Building Base Defense Game

Steam User Rating: 93%

Kingdoms And Castles gameplay

Kingdoms and Castles
July 20, 2017

Lion Shield, LLC

This low-poly castle-building game tasks players with building and managing a burgeoning kingdom. However, players will have to defend it from frequent dragon attacks and Viking raids. These entirely different raid types force players to ensure they’re prepared for both, with no catch-all solution available.

Dragons breathe fire down on vulnerable buildings, which can spread throughout the city without proper fire control. However, Vikings will break in and slaughter the population, even going as far as to kidnap people as they raze the city. When they’re not defending from raids, players will have to worry about their economy, happiness, and even the health of their people.

4 Going Medieval – A City-Building Colony Simulator In The Medieval Age

Steam User Rating: 89%

Going Medieval gameplay

Going Medieval
June 1, 2021

Foxy Voxel

This combination of city-building and colony-simulation is in Early Access at the time of writing, but already features a variety of mechanics and features that make it worth trying out. Going Medieval tasks players with building and expanding a fortress city as they defend it from various raids.


Best Colony Sims, Ranked

Players who enjoy transforming humble settlements into bustling cities will enjoy these immersive colony sims.

Going Medieval allows players to build strongholds with ease, featuring intuitive 3D terrain tools that allow for multi-story buildings and terraforming. Players can even redirect the flow of water to create moats, or accidentally flood their own settlement.

5 Timberborn – An In-Depth City-Builder About Beavers

Steam User Rating: 95%

Timberborn - A developing colony

Microsoft Windows , macOS

January 1, 2021

Mechanistry, Mechanistry Sp. z o.o.

This beaver-themed city-builder features two playable factions that encourage different playstyles. What’s unique about Timberborn is its focus on vertical construction, water physics, and river control. In fitting with its theme, Timberborn is massively focused on building dams and storing water to prevent drought.

With no enemy factions to worry about defending from, Timberborn is much more focused on creating sustainable cities. Timberborn‘s gameplay is deep, but very easy to learn, and the win-lose conditions are clear and easy to understand. This makes Timberborn a great city-builder for newcomers and veterans alike.

6 Banished – A Modern Classic

Steam User Rating: 89%

Banished - Gameplay

February 18, 2014

Shining Rock Software

This old-school-inspired city-building strategy game features unforgiving winters and a focus on battling the elements and harsh environments of its world. Unlike many city-builders, Banished doesn’t feature currency or research trees of any kind, instead offering players a stripped-back, resource-focused experience.

Banished is an extremely unforgiving game, giving players little hand-holding and not being afraid to kick the player while they’re down. The quiet, heavily strategic gameplay of Banished won’t be for everyone, but it’s a consistently rewarding city-builder for those that stick it out.

7 Against The Storm – A City-Builder Roguelite

Steam User Rating: 95%

Against The Storm - Gameplay

Against the Storm
December 8, 2023

Eremite Games

This dark fantasy city-builder combines classic city-building gameplay with a roguelite structure, perfectly capturing the exciting initial phase of city-builders. Against The Storm distills the city-builder genre into fast-paced, objective-based missions that task players with building various settlements.


7 Beginner Tips For Against The Storm

Newcomers to Against The Storm should check out these helpful tips before getting started.

Against The Storm features a distinctive art style that’s somewhat reminiscent of Warcraft and a streamlined gameplay loop that’s easy to learn but hard to master. Against The Storm can be unforgiving, but its roguelite structure ensures that players almost always make a little progress.

8 DotAGE – A Turn-Based Roguelite City-Builder

Steam User Rating: 95%

dotAGE - gameplay

October 4, 2023

Michele Pirovano

DotAGE takes heavy inspiration from resource management and worker-placement tabletop games. The game features a research tree, cute pixel art, and a solid turn-based gameplay loop that rewards strategic thinking.

DotAGE is more of a survival game than an army-building or base-defense game, tasking players with building village settlements that are capable of withstanding catastrophic events. The game’s roguelite nature also ensures players experience new mechanics and content on each playthrough, adding a great deal of replay value to the game.


6 Darkest Colony Sims, Ranked

Colony sims typically focus on deep systems over theme and story, but these games combine both ideas, blending deep gameplay with dark overtones.


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