Best Train Games To Play In 2021

Train Games

There’s something about playing games that mimic a part of real life, no matter how ordinary or mundane, that always gets me hooked. I’m never going to be able to pilot an F-16 or manage a football team, so I use games to get as close to the real thing as possible. One other, slightly more obscure experience I turn to games for is trains. Everything from being an engineer to a railroad tycoon is covered in the digital world, and we’ll have you laying tracks in no time with our list of best train games to play in 2021.

Ticket To Ride

  • Release Date: May 24, 2012
  • Developer: Days of Wonder
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS

Not every great train game has to involve jumping into an engine and rolling down the tracks. Sometimes it’s just as fun to . Ticket To Ride is the digital adaptation of the hit board game of the same name. Playing solo against computer-controlled opponents or multiplayer against a few friends, the objective is the same – earn the highest score by completing routes between cities. Strategy comes into play as you try to fulfill your destination tickets (making routes between two designated cities) while trying to guess where other players are headed and trying to block them. 

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Railway Empire

  • Release Date: January 26, 2018
  • Developer: Gaming Minds
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Railroad Tycoon was one of the first tycoon games I ever played. The premise was simple – start by building a route between two towns and deliver goods, then grow your rail system while managing expenses so you don’t go bankrupt. While the Railroad Tycoon series was full of fantastic games for their times, they don’t have the same complexity as the more recent Railway Empire. Build the First Transcontinental Railroad in Campaign mode, compete against AI opponents as you try to complete specific tasks in Scenario and Free mode, or just build whatever you feel like in Sandbox mode.

Train Simulator 2021

  • Release Date: September 17, 2020
  • Developer: Dovetail Games
  • Platform(s): PC

If you’re looking for a true train driving simulator with realistic physics and authentic licensed locomotives, then look no further than Train Simulator 2021. TS2021 isn’t for the casual train fan. There’s a lot of managing knobs, dials, and switches, so expect to have your butt planted in the engineer’s seat and less time in other camera views. 

 

Train Sim World 2

  • Release Date: August 20, 2020
  • Developer: Dovetail Games
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Just like the similarly named Train Simulator 2021, Train Sim World 2 is developed by Dovetail Games. Regardless of name similarities or developer, TSW2 is its own game and is geared more towards the general gamer while TS2021 is more for the hardcore train engineer. There’s still plenty of sim to deal with in Train Sim World 2, but it does give you a little more time to enjoy the view. Speaking of, the visuals in TSW2 are just a tick better than those of TS2021 as well. 

Train Valley 2

  • Release Date: April 13, 2018
  • Developer: Flazm
  • Platform(s): PC

If you want to try your hand at being a railroad tycoon but want a more casual experience than something like Railway Empire, Train Valley 2 might be more your style. Train Valley 2 is more of a puzzle-style game than a micro-manager, requiring you to physically manage your trains and routes to meet objectives and avoid head-on collisions. It sounds simple, but with small, congested maps it can get pretty crazy as the number of trains and amount of track starts to grow.

Unrailed!

  • Release Date: September 9, 2019
  • Developer: Indoor Astronaut
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Ok, so this might not be a realistic train simulator, but Unrailed is a great multiplayer train game. Whether online or going couch co-op, Unrailed provides some tense moments and more than a little screaming and yelling as you and your friends clear a path by harvesting resources, then using those resources to lay down track in front of an ever-moving train. Teamwork and quick decisions are required if you plan on overcoming the obstacles in your path and making it to your destination. 

Train Sim

  • Release Date: Updated May 10, 2021
  • Developer: 3583 Bytes
  • Platform(s): Android, iOS

Here’s a train game you can take with you on the train. Try your hand as an engineer with various locomotives and car types across a wide variety of locales. Complete missions by controlling your speed, switching tracks, and making required stops. Multiple camera angles include the engineer’s station and from inside a passenger car along with several different exterior views. It may not be as visually impressive as a PC or console game, but Train Sim is a relaxing way to spend your time when you’re on the go.

Written by
Old enough to have played retro games when they were still cutting edge, Mitch has been a gamer since the 70s. As his game-fu fades (did he ever really have any?), it is replaced with ever-stronger, and stranger, opinions. If that isn't the perfect recipe for a game reviewer, what is?

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