The best creative/building games allow the player to let their imagination run wild, and are often set in a world that’s just as fantastical as the player’s imagination itself. There are so many different ways to interact in these games that they can often feel a little daunting to some players, but they always reward time invested with awesome constructions, clever contraptions, and a general sense of accomplishment that’s hard to beat.
Creativity is perhaps the most surprising aspect of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and we’ve all seen the video of the robot with the, uh, interestingly-placed firework. Not all of us have a Nintendo Switch though, and there are people who like the creativity, but maybe don’t like Link, or the fact that Zelda isn’t a playable character. For those people, we’ve grabbed the best creative/building games around for you to dive into and get busy with some elbow grease… to build things.
Teardown is, at least to begin with, a heist game where you have to break down the voxel-based world piece by piece to help various people achieve their mischievous deeds. You start off with just a sledgehammer and a dream, but you unlock tools as you go and can do things like put rocket boosters on a forklift truck, if you want to. It’s also got an incredible modding scene that adds in new missions, but also a lot of new tools. If you’ve ever wanted to send a tiny black hole forwards to see how it’d dismantle an art gallery, then this could be the best creative/building game you’ve ever played.
Satisfactory describes itself as a “first-person open-world factory building game.” While that’s true, it doesn’t really scratch the surface of just how involved the game can be. You and some friends can jump in to create world-sized production lines to help you create new tools and weapons, process new materials, and just generally do whatever you can put your mind to. It’s a very silly game, but also one that’s deeply rewarding for those with creative minds.
Dreams is a PlayStation exclusive that’s still fairly hard to believe. It allows players to peruse through thousands of player-created games in every genre and style imaginable, and there are gems available there that can’t be found anywhere else. It also allows players to use those same tools to create things themselves, be it just a simple player model for others to use, music, a level, or an entire game series. People have literally gotten jobs from learning game design in Dreams, so it’s the real deal.
Terraria has been around for over a decade, and while it may not be as popular as Minecraft, a game which it is often compared to, we like it more, so there. Terraria has you building houses, crafting circuits and electrical buildings, and also killing Cthulhu. It’s an absurd but incredible game that rewards players of all kinds and can be whatever you want it to be, especially if you start checking out mods and playing with friends.
Necesse is a top-down sandbox game that takes place in a procedurally generated fantasy world. It’s still technically in Early Access, but don’t let that stop you. There is almost too much to do in this game. You can go out adventuring, find settlers and give them tasks like cutting down wood or growing food, thereby eliminating the need to do those things yourself, and even learn to surf on lava. We’d need another four-thousand words or so to really cover this one, so just go and play it and thank us later. Oh, it’s co-op too.
Finally, we have No Man’s Sky. If you’ve not really been paying attention to No Man’s Sky since its launch, you might not realise that you can build your own bases now. You can also manage your own spaceships, have a mech suit drop down from orbit on any planet you want, and just sort of do anything. The way No Man’s Sky has evolved since its launch makes the evolutionary line of homo sapiens look shockingly dull and slow by comparison. Again, this is also multiplayer, so you should absolutely explore this infinite sandbox with some friends for the best experience.