One of the most interesting things about playing the best building games is the fact that you have full control of everything you do so you can express yourself through the game, with your signature artistic vision. These games usually don’t have strict guidelines when it comes to the things you build, so you have the freedom to do whatever you think is efficient.
Being able to spot the differences that make a game a masterpiece as opposed to a flop is very important, so we’re gonna help you decide what the best building games are by giving you a brief overview of the ones which are objectively the best!
If you find this list helpful and informative, you should also check out some of our other articles. If you want to take to the open, vast expanse of space, then maybe you should take a look at the best space games. If adrenaline is more your thing, then why not play the best racing games, as well?
The best building games
Let’s start strong with one of the best building games ever made. Minecraft was released back in 2011 and it continues to be an amazing building game with so much depth in it that it is hard to explore everything it has to offer. Players have the complete freedom to explore and interact with the world in Survival mode, while also being able to show their creativity in Creative mode, which gives them the option of using any block from the world to make things as they wish. Over the years, Minecraft players have performed some truly impressive feats, such as starting a project to recreate the entire world on a 1:1 scale or replicating some very popular characters from pop fiction on a very grand scale. Whether you prefer to focus on the survival aspect of Minecraft or the building side of it, you will not go wrong, that’s for sure.
Imagine a game where you have the potential to do whatever you set your mind to when it comes to building, add enough complexity to play it for a lifetime, and you will get Factorio, one of the best building games ever released. This fantastic game places you on a strange alien planet, your spaceship has been destroyed, and you have to make do with whatever is in your vicinity. Digging up rocks will get you started, and exploring the world for other resources such as copper and coal will allow you to further improve your equipment as you improvise your way through various stages of technology. Eventually, you’ll be building drones, robots, oil refineries, and so much more. Since it plays in a top-down perspective, you can have a nice overview of everything happening on the map, and the sense of pride and accomplishment is great when you see your fully functioning base!
While other games prefer to place you in an idyllic world where you are free to do whatever you want with no stress, Frostpunk instead takes a different approach and places you in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are on the brink of extinction. You are given a small settlement and a few survivors who can fill out a variety of roles in society. Your job from here is to create a place where your people can thrive and prosper. Building management is key as you need to insulate your buildings to keep morale up, as well as focus on improving the many different elements of your settlement. As you progress through the game, you will also be able to establish systems of government that have absolute power in your settlement. The different path that this game takes compared to others makes it one of the best building games out there.
Very similar to the previous entry, Surviving Mars is all about creating a livable environment on the surface of Mars for your colonists. There are a lot of things to explore here, and the environment is very accurate since the game uses actual data collected on the surface of Mars. As you play the game, you’ll be able to modify many different aspects of your settlement, such as water, oxygen, waste, and most importantly, buildings. Improvement is very important in this game as it will give you the option of researching different facets of science to incorporate them into the day-to-day lives of your colonists. The game has a very high amount of depth considering it is set in the barren wastelands of Mars, so there is a lot to discover and experience, and it is one of the best building games.
One of the main characteristics of this game is its randomness. Players start on a procedurally-generated map, where they need to manage a group of random people with random traits that can either make them an asset or a hindrance to the rest of the group. The goal is to make sure that the players survive in this unforgiving world long enough to escape via spaceship. That is no easy feat, however, as the Rimworld you’re on has very harsh environments that can be hard to survive in, and there is a lot of management to be done to ensure you’re traversing the map in the most efficient way possible. No matter your best efforts, you can always get a member of your group to spawn as a pyromaniac or a psychopath who makes your life harder. If you want one of the best building games where many variables can go wrong, give RimWorld a shot!
Think of this game as a 3D, first-person version of Factorio that has a very similar premise to the very complex game — you are set on a planet to make it habitable for future colonists to come and make it their home. Creating a solid system of automation by creating a factory will make sure that there are enough self-producing resources for everyone. The starting area you select can create a tricky situation since each area has different resources that may or may not fit your needs so you have to adapt frequently. Of course, there is a heavy presence of progression since you can unlock different tiers of factory equipment, the higher your tier the more things you can produce. This also increases the complexity of your products so they can fit into more profound contraptions. Satisfactory is great when you include some friends into the mix, so if you have those, even better! The best building games come with a decent amount of complexity, and Satisfactory fits that bill perfectly.
One of the best building games available, Raft sets you (or your and your friends if you choose multiplayer) onto a 4×4 platform floating in the middle of the ocean. Using crude hooks, you can pull in various materials that you can use to make your raft bigger, as well as craft resources to add more body to your “vessel”. The things you can build are limited to what blueprints you have at the moment, but eventually, you’ll be able to build more complex things like sails, rudders, platforms, and engines (yes, engines). You have to do all of this while managing your hunger and thirst, on top of fending off the giant shark that periodically comes to bite a chunk out of your raft. Believe it or not, there is also a story to this game since you can find islands and various buildings where you can find notes. Connecting the notes will help you find all of them and conclude the story.
A multiplayer game with a primitive setting, Rust places you on a large map with many other players. Once you start playing, you have to use the environment to craft your tools and even build a shelter to act as a home base. There are many threats in the game, the most dangerous of which are other players. Enemy players can really get into the caveman vibe since they want your resources just as much as you do. This is why it’s important to be careful around other players and only form alliances with those you can trust. Alliances that form usually consist of a handful of players and they can fight others to capture their bases and resources, so you are free to assume that the game can get pretty exciting at times! All of these factors are precisely what makes Rust one of the best building games out there.
Another management game, Prison Architect has you assume the role as a governor and manager of a prison. Here, you have to create the entire infrastructure of your prison and make sure that it is operating on all cylinders. Making sure that your prisoners have acceptable living conditions will stave off any errors in your operation such as deaths, riots, bankruptcy, and more. Of course, there is always the possibility of things not going your way which might lead to riots and such, and accumulating too many mistakes will inevitably lead to you getting fired and failing the game. Overall, this is one of the best building games with a lot of substance and lovability, so you’re sure to be hooked as soon as you start playing.
This game is set at the cusp of the Industrial Age. Your job here is to build an efficient and prosperous city where all of the needs of the people are met and construction is going well. Since this time in history is extremely important for the development of making into the modern world, you always have a lot of things to do in order to optimize trade lines, transportation, housing, and much more. The campaign is rich with a lot of content where you can get very immersed, but you also have a multiplayer mode as well as a sandbox mode where you can essentially do whatever you want. Historical accuracy like this is the perfect way of producing the best building games in general. Envision your ideal city and bring it to life in this amazing game!
There you go! The best building games you can get your hands on at the moment. This genre is very popular, so we’re expecting new releases to come rolling in all the time with new amazing content. If you’ve found this list helpful, then you can also check out some of the best multiplayer games, as well.