Build, survive, outlast, and thrive in these five amazing city building games.

The city builder genre has been around for ages, giving players the opportunity to imagine and create their own civilizations from the ground up. As more and more of these games have come out over the past several years, there have been some hallmark improvements to their quality of life and playability. But, in 2024, what are some of the best city builder games to be on the lookout for? Here's our take, even including a hidden gem or two.

Gord screenshot (Image via Team17)
Gord screenshot (Image via Team17)

#5: Gord

Gord is a game many have likely not heard of, as it currently sits with only 477 reviews on Steam and came out in August of 2023. Those numbers, however, certainly don't tell the full story of just how interesting of a game Gord really is.

Gord takes place in the backdrop of Slavic folklore, which brings darkness and other spooky creatures into the city builder fold. This makes for a unique approach to survival, as opposed to the usual bandits or raiders that medieval city builders typically rely on.

Gord typically retails for $34.99 but is currently on sale on Steam for $17.49. It also has a free demo. So, if you have played all the classics and are looking for something a bit less popular, Gord is certainly worth a try.

Cities: Skylines 2 screenshot (Image via Paradox Interactive)
Cities: Skylines 2 screenshot (Image via Paradox Interactive)

#4: Cities: Skylines 2

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Cities: Skylines 2 is a mecca for the city builders in 2024. Coming out in October of 2023, this game launched with its fair share of issues, and its predecessor was certainly a tough act to follow. But, for those looking for a modern and complete city builder, it's hard to suggest anything else.

Cities: Skylines 2 allows players to create their own bustling metropolis down to the most minute detail. Build complex highways, residential areas, and put your dream city on the map. In the words of one NPR reviewer, "It's like SimCity on steroids."

Frostpunk screenshot (Image via 11 bit studios)
Frostpunk screenshot (Image via 11 bit studios)

#3: Frostpunk (and Frostpunk 2)

Frostpunk remains a triumph, even to this day, and the 2018 rugged city builder is getting a very interesting sequel in July of 2024 with Frostpunk 2.

The reason we are suggesting you play the original Frostpunk first here is because Frostpunk 2 will start players off with a completed city, seeking to dive much more into the politics and expansion of the frozen empire. Where the original was about surviving the brutal elements, the sequel will be about mastering them and learning to build a society in the snow.

This looks to be a very bold and very daring spin on the city builder genre but will be a must-play for fans in 2024. Mark your calendars for July and make sure and give the original a go in the meantime.

Farthest Frontier screenshot (Image via Crate Entertainment)
Farthest Frontier screenshot (Image via Crate Entertainment)

#2: Farthest Frontier

While it was technically released in 2022, Farthest Frontier remains in early access at the moment with an expected "full" release in "early to mid-2024," according to developers. Even though it is in early access, this game feels very playable in its current state and looks to be an excellent step forward for the city builder genre.

The premise of this game is that you assemble a group of folks who have fled an empire to start a new life in the wilderness. This means survival is at the forefront, and players will be constantly working against the environment and outside forces as they grow their settlement into a true city.

Fans of the genre should love Farthest Frontier, and with its current Steam rating of very positive with over 15,000 reviews, that seems to be the case so far.

Manor Lords screenshot (Image via Hooded Horse)
Manor Lords screenshot (Image via Hooded Horse)

#1: Manor Lords

Good things come to those who wait, right? Well, in the case of Manor Lords, the wait isn't going to be much longer as the highly-anticipated city builder game is set to come out in early access on April 26, 2024.

Manor Lords is taking a bold approach, looking to combine all of the elements of a medieval city builder with full RTS combat simulation. It looks to have tech/development trees, massively customizable building mechanics, territory expansion, and so much more. This makes for an unbelievably ambitious effort but also could provide the next massive step forward for the genre.

We hope you enjoy what we believe to be the best city builder games of 2024. This is a genre that continues to improve year after year, and these five titles are evidence of that refinement.

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