People sometimes mistakenly refer to open-world games as “Sandbox”, however, a real sandbox game is very different. In this type of game, not only can you explore the vast world, but you can also create without much restriction. Whether you are building a sprawling town or constructing a massive castle, sandbox games typically can accommodate your every need. In this article below we will list out some of the best sandbox games that you could play on PC in 2022.

1. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a game that borrows heavily from similar titles in the Harvest Moon series. You start out in a rural town with nothing but a dilapidated house and crop fields that are more akin to the wilderness than a place to grow vegetables. The game is simple in its understanding: build a farm, make profits, and live your life. What the game allows you to do makes it so much more layered. You're left with the freedom to explore the town, its residents, and mold your farm into whatever you want it to be and on your own time. Sure, there are events to attend, festivals to see, men/women to romance and marry, kids to have, buildings to construct, fish to catch and weird little slimes to slay (Dragon Warrior, anyone?), but how and when you do those things is up to you.

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In essence, the game offers you very similar things to do as a Harvest Moon game does: Build and upgrade your farm, plant crops, upgrade tools, mine in the never-ending dungeon for precious ore, go fishing, romance and get married...etc. While some of your old favorites are back, new aspects have been introduced as well, but I won't spoil those in this review. Let's just say there's a nice story that evolves over time.

Stardew Valley Farm

The freedom to do as you please is what makes this game, and Harvest Moon in general, so enjoyable. It's a chance to mellow out, play at your own pace and still enjoy everything the game has to offer. What Stardew Valley does, it does right. It's charming, cute and feels rewarding, even when all you're doing is cuttings weeds. It doesn't pull any punches or try to be something it's not; the developer had a goal in mind and Stardew Valley is a reflection of just that. You can feel the effort, the time and the devotion that went into this game over the years. Stardew Valley is a gem and worth looking at. If you loved Harvest Moon, you'll love Stardew Valley.

2. Terraria

Primarily, Terraria is a sandbox game. You appear in a new world with some basic equipment and no real instruction, eventually, you will build a small house to survive the monsters that surface during the night, discover some form of corruption eating away at the world, encounter new NPCs and face off against powerful Boss enemies. Despite all this, you are given little direction, these are merely facets of a larger game that allows players to do as they wish, encountering all the world has to offer at mostly their own pace. Part of the great design behind the title is in the difficulty curve I mentioned earlier, meaning challenges pitted against a player start easy and steadily increase at a rate easy to handle. Although traditional RPG elements are largely absent, a discrete leveling system is present in the form of Bosses that have been defeated, meaning if you don't progress through these enemies then the gameplay doesn't become more difficult. In fact, the first boss doesn't spawn until you're suitably equipped with armor and health.

Terraria Journeys End

My hours in the game are split roughly equally between single and multiplayer. Single-player stands up on its own perfectly fine, but in my opinion, the game is much more rewarding gathering some friends and working together to tackle the bosses, as the feeling of reaching new goals is shared, and the amount of 'grinding' for materials is spread across multiple people. It also helps to appreciate the brilliant soundtrack, as if you voice chat with your group then spontaneous humming along loudly is to be expected.

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Enemy design is exciting and unique, with floating eyes, possessed suits of armor, giant robotic worms, and a ninja suspended in a giant ball of slime all making appearances.

3. Garry's Mod

Garry's Mod is one of the best sandbox/community-driven games on PC and possible in gaming.

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There are so many things you can do in this game, it makes some AAA games look small. When you buy Garry's Mod, you are really paying $10 for a blank canvas. It's up to you to find out what you want to do with it. You can mess around in the sandbox, making cities, waging wars, doing heists with friends, really there is no limit.

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If you don't like to use the sandbox mode, no worries. This canvas you bought can do so many other things. How about you play a game where you and many others work together to try to kill a small group of Traitors who are also trying to kill you? How about a game where you disguise as props and play a big game of hide and seek? There's way more than just that, but I hope you get my point. Valve has given us this canvas where you can do whatever you want. The Steam workshop is your portal to all of the things you can get to shape your canvas and make your game how you want it to be. There really isn't much describing you can do with this game, because you, the player, make it what it is.

4. Don't Starve Together

Don't Starve Together has an insane amount of replayability, combined with a near-infinite amount of ways to play it. One person could be a complete and utter warlord trying to defeat all the bosses the game has to offer, while another could just be trying to recruit all the pigs they see and give them unique hats; extraordinarily, both of these playstyles can coexist with each other in this game.

Dont Starve Together

The first few hours of the game are infuriating. You die so many times that you might give up on playing it entirely. Then you come back and look at guides to get good. Then you keep dying until you stop dying, and now you suddenly have a hundred hours into the game; even with that, you're still finding out new ways to play the game and get better at not dying. You still somehow die anyways, because this game's few core mechanics are so well-done that ignoring one of them may or may not come back to bite you in the rear.
The only thing that really separates the newbies and the veterans in this game is the amount of knowledge they have in the game, and yet the game has so many ways to be played and further optimized that there really isn't a definitive way to even say who's the most professional at not starving and who isn't.

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All things considered, saying that the game is "pretty good" might be an understatement. It's so good that it probably made me forget to not starve in real life at one point. Personally, I may have played this game too much. But one of my personal favorite things about this game is that even though the sandbox part of the game is encouraged at some points, it isn't crucial to the experience; it's made my own goal of being an all-conquering war god very enjoyable. The fighting is quite simplistic, but with how the enemies and bosses of the game are designed, it's probably for the best that fighting is simple; one trip-up can cost you your entire game, and the way the bosses challenge your knowledge of the game makes for battles that have made me have a heart attack a few times -- looking at you, Misery Toadstool.

5. Cities: Skylines

In a nutshell, Cities: Skylines is your basic city simulator. You start off with a blank landscape and a highway off to the side, which is the key to growing your sprawling city. Sounds very simple, yes? Well, not quite. Cities: Skylines goes beyond just throwing houses and shops together. You're required to check pollutants in the form of ground and noise, dissipating clogged roadways, providing entertainment, and so much more. Essentially, this game is everything that you could ever ask for in a simulator.

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There is a very realistic feel to this game. It's not just about throwing out color-coded building zones, but more about true city management. Do things right and your population will be grateful and steadily grow. Do things poorly and your city will clear out faster than a zombie apocalypse could make it happen. Numerous tools are at your disposal as expected with an interesting dynamic that truly brings realism into the game. Cities can be carved up into different districts and each district can have its own set of policies and characteristics. Players even choose the names. But it doesn't just stop there. Players can give custom names to just about everything in the game including its citizens.

Cities Skylines

Transportation and pollution will be key challenges as with any game of this type. Having experience with previous endeavors like the Cities in Motion series, Colossal Order has easily found a way to challenge players along these lines. Cars and trains, ships and planes. Cities Skylines has it all. The water simulation is spectacular as well. Placing your sewage disposal upstream, for example, could result in contaminating your citizens' water supply. Realistic flooding is another possible scenario. The maps included are gigantic and beautifully designed terrains that offer endless possibilities when planning your city and continued population growth unlocks the ability to expand to adjacent tiles on the map as well as making more buildings and options available (such as taking out loans). These options are tied in with overall success and not just simply from having enough funds available, a feature that definitely enhances the experience.

>>> Read more: Top 4 Best Base Building Games On PC In 2022