Why is Cities Skyline better than SimCity?

When you compare Cities Skylines (2015) and the last version of SimCity (2013), there can be a question of whether is Cities Skylines better than SimCity. I will try to answer that in today’s article!

First things first: SimCity 5 is more like a mobile game and Cities Skylines has solved all problems which have players with SimCity. Some of the problematic aspects are shown below:

Maps and goals

For me, the biggest mistake which occur in SimCity 5 is the square limitation. When you join the map there are some “squares” and you can select one of them. But that’s all you have – just this square and nothing more.

There is a typical map from SimCity 5. As you can see, there are “hubs” from squares. However, you can’t build outside them and in addition, they aren’t connected at all!

In Cities Skylines you have one square. In Cities Skylines it is the same but when your city is growing, you can open or buy additional “tiles”. And if you use mods, you can play on all maps. This is a feature that you want when you play building games. If you are limited, there aren’t as many “funny” elements.

As I assume, the main goal in SimCity is to build a monument in the circle placement. And one of the other goals is to balance all cities in the cluster because if you have a lot of people, you can’t place them in every city university.

Overall, I think you have a lot more variable objectives in Cities Skylines (as I wrote in my previous article).

Economy, services

In SimCity are some economic specializations which make sense to me, for example, SimCity has casinos and such. However, I still think that the economy in Cities Skylines is more complex (and if you think, no, there are DLC industries) and when you want to play a tycoon strategy builder game, you want complexity.

Some people say that the “learning curve” is much more entertaining in Cities Skylines and also much smoother. However, because it’s 9 years from the last SimCity, I cannot compare it properly. All I can say is that I currently play Cities Skylines more often.

What I like about SimCity 5 are the upgrades buildings, where you can upgrade specific buildings by adding more generators and special things which modify the building into a certain form…

Building upgrade in SimCity 5, source: YouTube

… in the image above, you can see a Mayor’s mansion with additional buildings. This affects the stats and at the same time, it is this micromanagement that I love!

Mods and community

Mods are a strong part of Cities Skylines and the community of builders loves this game. There are a lot of tips, videos, and things that you can add to your game. Mods are easily accessible through Steam Workshop and you can easily participate and earn from the community.

While I was playing the last SimCity I wasn’t able to find anything. Yes, there were some YouTube videos and how-tos. However, this game was built on community and friends. So I joined a Facebook group where I found some playing buddies, but still, in this group, nothing happens for me.


I think that Paradox and Colossal Order make much better support for Cities Skylines than EA for SimCity 5. With SimCity, you must play online on the server and there are often problems with it. I think that EA doesn’t listen to its players when they ask for bigger maps. At the same time, there aren’t many big DLCs that extend the game and change the game’s function. Cities Skylines have 12 DLCs today which change many gameplay elements. There are a lot of expansion packs and so there is the support that players need.

My experience own with these games?

I bought SimCity (2013) when it first occurred at the market but I played it just the first month. The parcels for cities were small and so you were limited on what to build (simply put, I was limited in the building). On the other hand, there were some “social” elements with which you could play with your friends. You was playing on one map with two cities and just needed to figure out how to collaborate.

However, still, Cities Skylines (2015) is much better! Why? You aren’t limited by the size of the map, the infrastructure is much better and you have a lot of things to do. For me, Cities Skylines have everything that I expect from such a game.

What to buy and play?
For me, it’s Cities Skylines!

But wait! In 2022, a new project named Highrise City occurred and officially, it should be the newest game of this type…
… however, it is in “early access” and so we must wait until this game will be reviewable.

In the end, there is a funny video which compares Cities Skylines and SimCity with a good sense of humour.

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!