Simulator of the Year

My picks for the best simulation games from 1978 to present. Choices made based on US release dates and certain port release dates.

The Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail
1978
Platform: Apple II (First time it was available on home computers)
Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0
Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0
1980
Originally Released as FS1 Flight Simulator
Platform: Apple II
Computer Bismarck
Computer Bismarck
1981
Platform: Apple II, TRS-80
Cartels & Cutthroats
Cartels & Cutthroats
1981
Platform: Apple II, DOS, Commodore 64
Utopia
Utopia
1982
Platform: Intellivision
Oil Barons
Oil Barons
1983
Platform: Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS
President Elect
President Elect
1984
Platform: Commodore 64
Elite
Elite
1985
Platform: Apple II
Alter Ego
Alter Ego
1986
Platform: Apple II, PC, Commodore 64, Mac
Sid Meier's Pirates!
Sid Meier's Pirates!
1987
Platform: Apple II, Commodore 64, PC
F-19 Stealth Fighter
F-19 Stealth Fighter
1988
Platform: PC, Mac, Amiga, Atari ST
SimCity
SimCity
1989
Platform: Mac, Amiga, PC, Commodore 64
Railroad Tycoon
Railroad Tycoon
1990
Platform: PC, Mac, Atari ST, Amiga
SimAnt
SimAnt
1991
Platform: PC, Mac
Star Control II
Star Control II
1992
Platform: PC
SimCity 2000
SimCity 2000
1993
Platform: PC, Amiga
Star Wars: TIE Fighter
Star Wars: TIE Fighter
1994
Platform: PC, Mac
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat
1995
Platform: PC
Capitalism Plus
Capitalism Plus
1996
Platform: PC
Armored Core
Armored Core
1997
Platform: Playstation
Caesar III
Caesar III
1998
Platform: PC, Mac
Freespace 2
Freespace 2
1999
Platform: PC, Mac
The Sims
The Sims
2000
Platform: PC, Mac
IL-2 Sturmovik
IL-2 Sturmovik
2001
Platform: PC
Star Trek: Bridge Commander
Star Trek: Bridge Commander
2002
Platform: PC
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
2003
Platform: Game Boy Advance
The Sims 2
The Sims 2
2004
Platform: PC
Nintendogs: Labrador & Friends
Nintendogs: Labrador & Friends
2005
Platform: Nintendo DS
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
2006
Platform: Wii
Trauma Center: New Blood
Trauma Center: New Blood
2007
Platform: Wii
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
2008
Platform: Xbox 360
The Sims 3
The Sims 3
2009
Platform: PC, Mac
Football Manager 2011
Football Manager 2011
2010
Platform: PC, Mac
Minecraft
Minecraft
2011
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Euro Truck Simulator 2
2012
Platform: PC
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
2013
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Elite: Dangerous
Elite: Dangerous
2014
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Cities: Skylines
Cities: Skylines
2015
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley
2016
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Farming Simulator 18
Farming Simulator 18
2017
Platform: Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita
Railway Empire
Railway Empire
2018
Platform: PC, Mac,Linux
Anno 1800
Anno 1800
2019
Platform: PC
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
2020
Platform: Switch
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator
2021
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Dwarf Fortress
Dwarf Fortress
2022
Platform: PC
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
2023
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC

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