The concept of power fantasies has long been ingrained in the world of video games. Games such as Doom, Grand Theft Auto, and Yakuza have captivated players by offering them the opportunity to dominate their virtual environments through punching, shooting, exploding, and even engaging in karaoke. However, when it comes to the ultimate power fantasy, no other role surpasses that of the leader of a nation.

While assuming the role of the President of the United States differs significantly from carjacking, battling dragons, or engaging in general gunplay, it still grants players a level of power and authority that they may lack in the real world. Therefore, it is worth exploring games that allow players to step into the shoes of the U.S. President.

1. Saints Row 4 (2013)

Although players won't engage in extensive political activities beyond the game's initial stages, Saints Row 4 presents the player character, the boss, with two major legislative decisions: curing cancer or ending world hunger. However, the game quickly transitions to an alien invasion scenario, reducing political decisions to a choice between "AK" or "grenade."

Saints Row 4
Saints Row 4

Saints Row 4 stands out as a highly fantastical portrayal of a United States president, complete with a unique character creation system. It is also the first time players witness a commander-in-chief personally strapping into a giant rocket launcher mechanism and unleashing explosive firepower upon a spaceship.

2. Shadow President (1993)

It might be challenging to generate enthusiasm for a geopolitical simulator from 1993, but Shadow President is often credited as the game that sparked interest in this genre. In addition to engaging in activities like invading Canada or plotting coups in South America, players of Shadow President must manage public perception, win elections, and balance the budget.

Shadow President
Shadow President

Depending on the decisions made by the president, the future of the United States (as depicted in 1993) can take wild turns, including the emergence of cyberpunk technology or even world peace.

3. Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)

For those who have ever wished to hear JFK exclaim, "Need some beans for the chowder here!" while reloading alongside Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara amidst the sounds of blood-curdling zombie moans, Call of Duty: Black Ops offers a secret zombies map called "Five."

Call Of Duty Black Ops 1
Call of Duty: Black Ops

Instead of engaging in rounds of policy debates with political opponents, players and their friends face wave after wave of zombies armed with pistols, shotguns, and even demonic cymbal-playing wind-up monkeys. While not the most presidential experience in the traditional sense, the inclusion of JFK's memorable lines creates an engaging atmosphere.

4. Supreme Ruler Ultimate (2014)

Supreme Ruler Ultimate not only allows players to shape the politics but also the time and place in which they unfold. This political sandbox offers players the opportunity to wage war, participate in a race to Mars during the second great space race, or relocate the country's capital from Washington, D.C., to Alaska.

Supreme Ruler 2 1
Supreme Ruler Ultimate

Players can challenge themselves by attempting to transform 1950s Sweden into their ideal non-aggression pact-abiding anarcho-capitalist dystopia. Alternatively, they can try to repaint the White House in a Soviet-appropriate red. According to fans, jumping into sandbox mode and pursuing personal goals is the most enjoyable way to play.

5. Metal Wolf Chaos (2004)

Metal Wolf Chaos presents a highly ambitious interpretation of the American political process from the perspective of someone who appreciates awe-inspiring mech anime. However, policymaking takes a backseat in this game, as it primarily focuses on action-packed battles featuring giant mechs.

Metal Wolf Chaos
Metal Wolf Chaos

While Metal Wolf Chaos lacks extensive policymaking elements, it compensates with an abundance of intense, mech-clad combat from start to finish. If only real-life civic action resembled the game's portrayal, it would be a spectacular but likely disastrous sight.

6. SuperPower 2 (2004)

SuperPower 2 boasts a tightly-knit fan base, ensuring a good chance of finding someone to play with in multiplayer mode despite the game's age. For those who prefer a solo experience, the game's impressive artificial intelligence adapts and changes behaviors among world leaders, leading to challenging and unpredictable gameplay.

SuperPower 2

SuperPower 2 offers players the freedom to dominate other countries' economies, exploit their natural resources, or even destroy their military bases, depending on the player's inclinations. It allows for complete control over one's actions throughout their presidential term, including the ability to abolish term limits, establish a presidential monarchy, or declare oneself the ruler of the seas.

7. NBA Jam: On Fire (2010)

While numerous real-life presidents have made appearances in sports video games, not all of them were playable characters. However, NBA Jam: On Fire allows players to control the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, who joins forces with Joe Biden and Bill Clinton on the Democrats team. Given Obama's famous installation of a basketball court in the White House, his inclusion in the game is a logical choice.

Nba Jam On Fire
NBA Jam: On Fire

It remains uncertain whether Clinton or Biden possess basketball skills comparable to their political prowess. NBA Jam: On Fire also features an unlockable Republican team led by the 43rd President, George W. Bush. While Bush may seem more inclined toward golf than basketball, his inclusion creates an intriguing rivalry.

8. This Is The President (2021)

While most presidential simulators present players with economic, geopolitical, or ethical challenges, This Is The President takes a different approach. In this game, players are tasked with ratifying an amendment to the constitution that pardons every president for their previous crimes, including those committed while engaging in shady business activities.

This Is The President 2
This Is The President 

This Is The President offers plenty of substantial policy options to grapple with, alongside other self-serving political figures vying for influence within the Oval Office. However, it should be noted that the game appeals to those with a nihilistic perspective on politics or a dark sense of humor. In this regard, it may be considered the most realistic simulator on the market.

9. Sid Meier's Civilization 6 (2016)

Civilization 6 immerses players in an alternate history, beginning with the founding year of the United States of America, around 4,000 BC. The game offers a unique take on historical events, where even figures like Gandhi have access to nuclear weapons. Players must guide America toward its full potential, ensuring its prosperity and preventing its decline.

Civ 6 Abe Lincoln
Sid Meier's Civilization 6

Term limits in Civilization 6 extend well beyond reality, lasting around 6,000 years (barring a cataclysmic nuclear apocalypse). Fans of iconic presidents such as Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, as well as those who enjoy pursuing cultural victories, will find Civ 6 to be a fitting presidential experience.

10. Democracy 4 (2020)

As the latest installment in a series of compelling spreadsheet-powered political simulations, Democracy 4 places players in the role of a newly elected, faceless President of the United States. Once in office, players must satisfy the diverse demographics of the country or risk losing reelection or even facing assassination.

Democracy 4
Democracy 4

Democracy 4 emphasizes complex policy-making over warfare, and its interface may not immediately evoke excitement. However, the game's depth and immersive mechanics captivate even the most avid political enthusiasts, keeping them engaged throughout the night.

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