10 Best God Games, Ranked (2023)

A common trait among the best simulators is the sheer breadth of freedom you're allowed as a player. Whether it be a meticulous management sim or a passive self-generating world, being in the driver's seat of this game's reality can make for really fun gameplay. A good god game gives you all the power you could want while limiting the monotony, allowing your actions to have consequences on the world.

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But being all-powerful isn't everything, and when these games present a challenge, it's your job to decide whether to be a benevolent ruler or a lord of destruction.

10 Godus

10 Best God Games, Ranked (1)

First, we have Godus, an older game that had a lot of potential once upon a time. This game was available both for mobile and Steam, but at first, had alternate designs for each version. You start in a wasteland with only a couple of believers, and you must shape the world around your people to lead them to their new home.

Terraforming is a major component of gameplay, allowing you complete control over how your little civilization looks. The gameplay involves developing society and battling other cities; you must prove you're the better god, after all. But this game got stuck in beta hell for years, its mobile features trapped behind a paywall, and unfortunately, it was never truly finished.

9 Cities: Skylines

10 Best God Games, Ranked (2)

Here's a city builder that wants you to come in believing you have tons of freedom. In reality, you actually have to be stringent and strategic in order to make stuff work. Cities: Skylines puts you in charge of making a modern city from the ground up, giving your citizens everything they need to survive and thrive in a metropolitan environment.

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If you're sick of designing and redesigning roadways and finding renewable power, I'd say go for the chaotic route. Where this game fails in its fun factor is in just how easily things can fall apart. Sure, striking your city with a meteor is kinda fun at the moment, but Cities rewards only thoughtful gameplay.

8 WorldBox

10 Best God Games, Ranked (3)

This sandbox has all the essential elements of a great god game, especially for players who want to see just how much destruction they can get away with. WorldBox's pretty pixel art world is completely shapable by the player, allowing you to create different biomes holding a variety of fantasy races. You can easily craft a whole world from your view in the sky, but the greatest intrigue is in seeing how your little societies interact with the world around them.

WorldBox gets boring after about thirty minutes because the AI isn't super complex; the inhabitants fight and conquer, but that's about it. Once you get impatient, you have tools that'll make this a game world you wouldn't want to be trapped in. Nukes, plague, and a zombie infestation pad out game time, but WorldBox ranks lower due to its simplicity.

7 Rollercoaster Tycoon 2

10 Best God Games, Ranked (4)

If you grew up in the 2000s, you might've played Rollercoaster Tycoon games as a kid. Often, the most fun can be had from trying to make the most hellish park possible. Where this game shines is the lack of censorship: for example, when you send guests flying off a coaster in Planet Coaster, they bounce around pleasantly. Guests in RTC 2 scream and explode.

Your nasty little seven-year-old self was probably too delighted to keep the suffer-train going on this one, and it isn't hard to make guests miserable. Mind you, RTC 2 ranks pretty low for having little mobility in just how awful you can be, but it wasn't exactly focused on your powers over the little people in the game. In this game, a park without a "Naughty Guest Jail" is hardly a park at all.

6 The Sims

10 Best God Games, Ranked (5)

The genre-defining Sims series is consistently regarded as one of the best life sims ever made, and it's easy to see why. But the original Sims released in the 2000s has that rustic charm and quintessential 90s oddball humor that separates it from its sequels. If you're coming into the first game having only experienced The Sims 4, for example, you'll be disappointed by the lack of nuance in social interactions and lifestyles.

This keeps the game in eighth, but the pieces of a great god game are there. In what other game can an NPC stand on your porch until they die? When else can a tragic clown come out of a painting and make you depressed until the Clown Catchers arrive? This is one of those ant farm god games: you just gotta sit back and watch the game drag itself into chaos.

5 Spore

10 Best God Games, Ranked (6)

Spore is one of those pervasive games that maybe not everyone has actually played, but pretty much everyone has heard of. If you haven't, it's an early 2000s god game where you design your subjects from the ground up. Every part of their biology hinges on your choices, including how they interact with the world around them.

It's a really cool concept that hasn't been replicated, and the game has expanded what you can do with your abominations. It's lower on the list since the gameplay is still somewhat simplistic, and it's ugly as sin.

4 From Dust

10 Best God Games, Ranked (7)

One of the original greats in the god game genre, From Dust often goes overlooked in discussions about genre-defining games. It's the most literal interpretation of a god game that can be found, allowing you to play as an ancient entity with certain powers over the land and elements.

As this deity, you're never made to feel all-powerful, as you're motivated to constantly protect what you can of your people by any means necessary. It's confounding that god games haven't tried to emulate the terraforming physics here. Its short duration and somewhat muddy graphics keep it from the top spot on this list, but this is a classic of the genre.

3 Dungeon Keeper 2

10 Best God Games, Ranked (8)

So, you say you want a god game, but what you really want is a game that allows you to torment and wreak havoc, right? Dungeon Keeper 2 is a classic management game that allows you to do just that. It takes all the tedious elements of regular civilization builders and throws them aside, so you can build torture chambers instead. Your goal is to take over the world, because of course it is.

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You build out your dungeon with a mind to strengthen your units, gaining ghoulish allies along the way. The game is so fiendishly charming but loses points from the early 3D clunkiness in both controls and design. Feel like one of the best multiphase bosses in gaming with all your hell minions by your side.

2 Universe Sandbox

10 Best God Games, Ranked (9)

Boy, I hope you're ready for some physics-based existential beauty. Universe Sandbox is exactly what you'd expect from the title, even if that may be difficult to grasp. You're given celestial bodies - planets, asteroids, stars, nebulas - and allowed to create and destroy to your pleasure. Send Mars hurtling into Earth and see if anything remains.

Build a solar system from scratch and create life, only to watch them slowly decay with a rising climate or get eaten by a black hole. All the powers of creation and destruction are in your hands, powered by a mathematically accurate physics and gravity system. Universe Sandbox doesn't make first since the graphics aren't phenomenal, which is slightly disappointing when you're watching galaxies high five.

1 Everything

10 Best God Games, Ranked (10)

This game is a bit of a cheat, simply because it's more of a walking sim than a god sim. But man, if you're up for feeling existential, Everything is a short but surprisingly complex journey into the meaning of life. You don't play as a god, technically, but you are the essence of life. You flow from one thing to another, living and not, all while listening to a philosopher speak about sentience.

While the game isn't graphically impressive, the minimalist design doesn't require it to be. Where this game shines is in all the little details, the ways you can play around with life without any real intent. Everything is number one due to its relaxed gameplay, inspiring message, and optimistic interpretation of what it means to be a godlike entity.

NEXT: Best Walking Sims

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