Sometimes when you play a video game, you don’t want to be the hero saving the princess. You don’t want to be another soldier on the battlefield. Sometimes you want to play a video game that lets you bring out your creative side. Here are our top picks for the best creative video games.
Please note that the numbers don’t mean that the game is better than another listed game here. For example, #1 is not better than all the other games listed, it just happened to be listed first. What you find fun and what gets your creative juices flowing is different for each person.
If you aren’t familiar with Minecraft, you have been living under a rock for the past decade. Minecraft continues to be one of the most popular games even today. Available on just about any modern console and mobile device.
Minecraft is essentially building blocks: the video game, players haven’t spent days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years building incredible projects. From castles to whole villages, to whatever the imagination inspires. The sky is the limit, quite literally in this sense as the whole world is your canvas.
Minecraft even has a creative mode for this specific thing. Allowing you to terraform the land, choose and blocks you wish to use, and not have to worry about food and health like you would in survival mode.
Despite coming out years ago, Minecraft still gets updates frequently, with new enemies, items, and of course blocks to work with. This isn’t even mentioning the fact that the PC version has a very active modding community. Mods can take things even further by adding even more blocks via texture packs, improving the graphics of the game, and more.
Despite all of this, Minecraft is a game you can purchase for $20-$30 depending on your console or mobile device of choice. I believe the mobile, named pocket version is a lot cheaper.
So, what are you waiting for? A world of creativity awaits you in Minecraft, you’ll find yourself lost in your world for hours.
Next up on the list, we have The Sims 4, which, unlike Minecraft, allows you to add a lot more personality to your creativity.
Maybe you don’t want to design whole worlds, but instead, want to be creative in designing people. This game is perfect for you. You can design everything about your personal ‘sim’, the virtual people in this game. From their body and facial features to their personality traits.
The Sims 4 also has something called “Build Mode” which allows further creativity beyond character creation. You can also design your sim’s home. You can design the size of the rooms, furnishings, and add some extra features to your home like swimming pools.
We do feel like we need to address the elephant in the room when it comes to this game. While the game does have a ton of content that will keep players busy for weeks and it is nice that new content is still being added to this game. This game is expensive! While you can own the standard version of the game for just $20 using our affiliate link above, the extra content will cost a pretty penny and then some.
As you can see, this is the long list of DLCs (Downloadable Content) on Steam. Also according to Steam, there are 53 DLCs to purchase separately and as you can see on this list multiple of these DLCs cost up to $40!
Finally, we would like to mention that the PC version does have a modding community as well, adding even more content to the game. At least mods are free.
If the daunting amount and price of the DLCs associated with The Sims 4 doesn’t deter you from this game, then, by all means, give it a shot. There’s a free demo you can try out as well.
Try not to create anything too crazy, a certain bald content creator would appreciate that.
If world or people designing aren’t your creative avenues, how about 2D platforming level design?
In Super Mario Maker 2, you can do just that, allowing you to make your very own Mario level. Not just any Mario level either, you can choose from the original Super Mario Bros, Super Mario World, and the New Super Mario Bros.
Make your very own creation then share it with the community, you can also play levels created by others as well for inspiration for your own levels of what or what not to do.
Don’t worry about the level design process being complicated at all, Nintendo guides you through with a story mode showing you the ropes, which you’ll get the hang of in no time. Not to mention the game comes with over 100 levels designed by the developers to spark some level creation ideas.
One final note is that in order to play this game online, whether to share your levels with the world or to try someone’s design you will need to buy a subscription to their online service which costs $20 for a whole year.
Hopefully, that subscription doesn’t deter you from this great game, especially if you are a big fan of Mario games or 2D platformers in general. The replayability here is endless.
Let’s talk about an older game that some of you might have forgotten or just not heard about at all. Coming up on its ten-year anniversary is Scribblenauts Unlimited, a game where your creativity is the core gameplay mechanic.
Throughout your adventures you’ll need to help individuals, maybe they need help obtaining a certain object, or something is blocking their way.
It is up to you to create an object that you think will help them the most. You can create just about anything you want.
While the game does seem targeted towards a younger audience, that doesn’t mean the game isn’t fun for anyone at any age. If you’re looking to take a relaxing break, Scribblenauts Unlimited provides around 20 hours of gameplay.
While it might not have the long replayability of other options listed here, it is still a game worth mentioning on this list. Keep in mind that this is an older game so it is only available on older consoles like the Wii U and not the Switch. However, the game is available on Steam! We also hope to see a new one in the future!
Maybe creating your own world in Minecraft is a little too much. Understandable. How about instead you create your own little island?
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons you can do just that, customize the way your character looks and dresses, decorate your home and even terraform the island itself. With a cast of interesting villagers that can live on the island with you, the choices are endless.
Despite coming out in 2020, Nintendo has recently released new content for this game, giving players even more customization and items to go for.
You can also play this game online, as long as you have a subscription to Nintendo’s online service. You can view other players’ islands, have them visit yours, and hang out together.
We also have to talk about this game’s biggest flaw, you can only have one island per Switch console. A weird decision from the developers, as it punishes those who share a single Switch console. Forcing you to buy another one just to have different islands.
That being said, the game is still fun, and relaxing, and has plenty of content to keep players occupied for months to come.
Conclusion: The Best Creative Video Games
So, what did you think of our list? I know we didn’t include every single creative game out there, so there are bound to be some “But you forgot about X game!” thoughts after reading. That’s understandable. I know we didn’t mention games like Fortnite’s creative mode, which is also good for creating all sorts of things.
We should also mention other games like Terraria, No Man’s Sky, Fallout 4, Little Big Planet, Dreams, and Kerbal Space Program!
As you can see, if we took the time to mention all these great creative video games, you probably would’ve clicked away a while back. Still, if the above-mentioned games in our list aren’t enough for you, check out the ones we briefly mentioned, all with either a creative mode or where creativity is a big part of the gameplay.