User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 214 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 214

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  1. Mar 5, 2013
    10
    This game is stunning and so far ahead of its time it's crazy. Probably Maxis' finest achievement. Will anyone be playing SimCity2013 in 10 years?......
  2. Feb 8, 2013
    9
    one of the best game i have played. you can create entire countries and continents, shape mountains an plains. and also create beautiful and intricate cities. many good things about this game, and a few cons of annoying advisers and bad pollution.
  3. Mar 7, 2013
    10
    The last true simcity to be made. The epic culmination of the games that came before it, presented with perfect, goal driven gameplay, a steep learning curve that screamed out accomplishment! when you overcame it, so many hours, so much creativity to be had, easily moddable, one of the top 5 games ever made.
  4. CRL
    Jul 25, 2011
    7
    Once you get the hang of building a city, this game will eat up hours without you noticing. It's fun, challenging, realistic enough... and sometimes if you're having a bad day, it's just what you need to send an asteroid crashing down into a city.
  5. Dec 29, 2013
    9
    The perfect city-building simulation game! I've spent SO many hours of my childhood making cities and destroying them, that I lost track years ago. I've always held this game in a special place in my heart, and for good reason. It's very well constructed, it seems accurate enough (from a citizen's standpoint), the graphics do not disappoint for it's time period, the gameplay is exhilarating and keeps you on your toes. It feels great to be in control of a city of hundreds of thousands of people (for me, even a million!). It makes you feel accurately powerful and that you've truly accomplished something. I played this SimCity before any of the others, but I believe this one's the best either way. The control and interface is spot-on perfect, and all of the utilities and missions you can do keep you interested for hours and hours! There was so much promise in this game series, as this was in my top three all-time favorite games growing up (before I got into Steam and such), but my god EA, SimCity 5 is probably the biggest gaming disappointment in my entire life. Expand
  6. Jul 7, 2013
    7
    I wrote a scathing review before, but I have to say the game isn't quite that bad. Sure, it has a quite a few crash bugs and falls flat in some places, but altogether the regional map is nice and the development of the city is fun to watch and manipulate. There are some annoying things, like terrain pathing for building placements (like, a lot of the time housing built on a hill will just make a garage spring up). But more than that isn't to be expected from a 10 year old game, which was just getting a grip on its technology.

    Still, here's some points from that old review that I still think are worthy of consideration:

    "SimCity 4 loses much in the way of atmosphere from the previous title. The great caricatures from SimCity 3000 are replaced with sprites from The Sims (classic) when Sims 2 was already out. What? There's still the uptown jazz, but some of it is annoying and repetitive. Graphically, its only a marginal improvement over SimCity 3000 and doesn't fully utilize hardware available at the time.

    As to mechanics, there's not much to do but zoning and planning. One of the reasons why SimCity (2013) revolutionizes the series is because it gives you something more to do than just lay down streets, pipes, and zones. Once you get everything layed out, you'll find there's nothing to do but build a new city.

    There's also some arbitrary things like power lines, which have no real purpose except making islands a little harder to play. Not really, because you can just lay down one wind turbine and its all good."
    Expand
  7. Sep 3, 2012
    9
    I can honestly admit that I have spent way too much of my life playing this game. I may have taken a few months or maybe even a year break but going back and playing this game is still fun. The best SimCity to date, far better graphics with an array of options and much improved game play. The mechanics of this game are brilliant and are actually pretty darn realistic in comparison to how a real city may be. Another amazing thing about this game is fact that there are thousands of mods, buildings, and cities available for download online that REALLY adds some serious amount of content. Also, I am seriously more excited about SimCity 5 than any other game coming out, it will be epic! Collapse
  8. Mar 10, 2013
    10
    A city simulation that allows for total control and customization. Ten years later the game is still a huge hit with the modding community and still has plenty of replay value. I'm not sure there will ever be another city simulation game like this one.
  9. Jul 30, 2013
    8
    To this day, still the best city building simulation (and certainly so much better than the lastest Sim City). Sim City 4 lets you play God and create your own region, terrain, and of course cities. Design, build, destroy your own cities, so much fun. Gets repetitive, but only after something like 50 or more hours once you have discovered all the special buildings. And then you can still gets dozens of great mods for this game. Definitely recommendable for anyone who from time to time feels like actually creating stuff in a videogame rather than destroying. Expand
  10. Mar 10, 2013
    10
    This game is so great simply because it has a HUGE, thriving modding community. You can literally re-create your hometown in exacting detail by downloading stores which exist just down the street. You can build the mega-city of your dreams and tie it to a region of other cities. Simple mods allow you to set city and region sizes as big or as small as you want. This game has all the functionality it should have, plus any mods you'd like to add. It is amazing how good this game is compared to SimCity 2013, which doesn't even have half the features this game does. It is also Origin (spyware) free, DRM free and you can save your game to your own computer! You don't need to log onto a server to play a single player game! Expand
  11. Mar 11, 2011
    8
    Simcity 4 is a classic. The game's pretty hard but it really has the pure city simulation feel to it that the more recent city building games lack. The basis of Simcity 4 is rather complex and the source of a succesful city in the game is successful zoning of the three available zoning types; residential/industrial and commercial. Your city will boom with population and the economy as you progress with carefully planned zoning. Simcity 4 also requires water supply, electricity and many other things to secure a fully stable city. The game is certainly not for begineers. The first time i played it i was like 'What the?!' and i went to playing average games like Simcity Societies and Cities XL 2011 though Citylife was a good one. Simcity 4 is the best game for those who really want a challenge and who want to built a realistic city using zoning, taxing and much, much more. There are few negative aspects to the game, other than its complexity and sometimes hard economy system but other than those minor issues, its a brilliant game and i recommend it to the more skilled and experienced simulation players. Expand
  12. Feb 6, 2014
    8
    The last decent Simcity game. Why I remember booting up the original game via floppy disk drive when I was a wee lad many years ago. Never really got into the supposed "best" Simcity game, "Simcity 2000," and I certainly didn't have the time to play its follow up several years later. However, this is what I got and this is what I played for a long time now. It makes city building much more of its focus, but the micro-management of said city, takes a back seat for the most part as its much more automated in most respects. You can literally plant a firehouse or fire department down in one portion of your industrial zones and never worry about fires again. Speaking of which, the water system is much easier to use than Simcity 2000's attempt, which I recall being a bit mind boggling honestly. Its severely cut down the tediousness of building a proper city, and for this I have to give it kudos. Unlike Pharaoh, Caesar III or Zeus & Poseidon, it manages to awe inspire your risk-reward much more efficiently, such as instead of having to worry about placement of buildings and zones, you have to worry more about what crowd you want to attract- as in richer or denser. The ultimate goal is skyscrapers, not huts, not used car lots, but dignified, majestic and rewarding SKYSCRAPERS. Of course you'll have to really play with the miniaturized economy to pull all the necessary strings, keep your sims healthy, keep them protected by local law enforcement, properly educate them, and keep them from bursting into flames. Anyone can play this game and build a fledgling town or city, but to truly master the internal mechanics, define a perfect layout that accentuates all your deeply laid early mega-city planning, and profit from it? Those are the people that will really enjoy this game, and despite its flaws, will have a wonderful time going back to start it all over again. Expand
  13. Mar 21, 2013
    9
    An incredible game, it has kept me entertained for so many years making cities is very fun and the simulation is quite deep and complex, but sitll retaining a fair difficulty level for those less patient (coming from someone who plays in Rush Hour). Great Sim City.
  14. Jul 20, 2012
    10
    SimCity 4 is a great game. The graphics has been much improved since SimCity3000, are even by today standards are very good. Also they are rather realistic, not childish and colorful like in other similar games. The music is enjoyable to listen to and makes a great background for what you're doing. The game is not ridiculously hard, like some people say, but it is demanding, which for me is a good thing, because more and more games tend to get easier these days.

    It's also very enjoyable to play, whether you're trying to create a huge metropolis, or just watch your sims living in your city. The game is now 9yo, and whenever I get a new PC I'm reinstalling SimCity 4 on it, because it's always so fun to play. And then, there are mods. You can literally create an entirely new game with modifications, new buildings, better textures and so on, so If you're bored with std SimCity gameplay, you can always download dozens of new buildings and build yourself a truly custom city of your dreams, which is quite awesome!

    There are some issues though. Fist of which is the lack of widescreen resolutions, which is common to all EA games from that time. It's also quite buggy, and tend to randomly crash with no apparent reason, so you have to remember to save your game often, otherwise you'll loose everything you have been working on. Also when your cities are growing bigger, the loading time is growing with them, so it can become very, very long.
    Expand
  15. Feb 2, 2013
    9
    Combining the superb strategy feeling and the exceptional good gameplay and you'll get the greatest SimCity ever made. Maxis has done a great job. A must have game for all SimCity fans and all the people who wants a citybuilding game!
  16. Dec 16, 2012
    8
    Really good game. For 2003 game it has really nice graphics and new additions, but sometimes making new city isn't fun because it's repeating all the time, I know there are many mods, maps but game should have it on its own! Anyway, good game!
  17. Mar 12, 2013
    9
    I enjoy this game, although it has its flaws. I appreciate that it is from the era before constantly-online nonsense, and its regional play made it one of the high points in the franchise. However, the traffic simulation left me wanting somewhat, with sims often just deciding not to go to work because they picked a job that was too far away for them...
  18. Mar 11, 2013
    9
    One of the last good games published by EA before the next-gen consoles rolled around and shoved multiplayer and DLC down our throats.
    Fantastic soundtrack, fair gameplay, great terraforming controls, unlimited possibility... this game has it all in terms of simulations.
  19. egn
    Mar 12, 2013
    10
    This game still holds the crown of all city builders, it is the yet-to-be-surpassed pinnacle of the modern city simulation. In terms of detail, fun, replayability, and strategy it has it all. I first bought this game 10 years ago when it was new, and I still play it from time to time even after all those years. This is one of those games that is like that.
  20. Jun 23, 2013
    10
    This game has to be the most remarkable Simcity game ever made. This game proves to everyone that a game does not have to have stunning visuals to be a great game. I invested years into this game. Modding, and building until my region was filled with beautiful, realistic cities. I played this game for 5 years and I don't regret a single second of it. Simcity 2013... Now that's a whole different story. Expand
  21. Dec 3, 2013
    9
    I really like this game,I spended most of my time on this game because it is very addictive.I build up my own city and watch it grow.Unfortunately,I played on Window 7 it crash randomly.That bug make me had to rate this game 9 out of 10 but it is still a great game!
  22. Dec 8, 2013
    10
    Over a decade on there is nothing that comes close to SimCIty 4. The map size is huge, the detail and graphics are beautiful especially at night-time and the core of the game is challenging but very rewarding. Starting as an agricultural city with high profit ratios, your city expands and many of the corresponding issues that plague big cities build up till you find yourself trying to juggle all your cities demands. Unlike previous and future SimCity games this one is enthralling from start till...we always which can become a problem for ones social life. I consider this to be a perfect game. Expand
  23. Mar 20, 2014
    10
    Best SimCity game ever! The complexity in building your empty land into a great city, or town supporting your neighboring city was so great and I keep playing this since published until now.
  24. Apr 12, 2014
    10
    Indubitably the best of them all! One of my favourite games of all time, SimCity 4 provides it all in stunning graphics for its publication date and an unbelievable, inspiring, absolutely sensational soundtrack to go along with it!

    Do not be let down by this game's age, it compares to be better than its newer city simulation rivals; I specifically mention SimCity: 2013, which was an
    absolute failure compared to this. If you appreciate that game, you will worship this game -- I believe that it is superior in its gameplay, its entertainment value, and its soundtrack. Expand
  25. May 18, 2014
    8
    Excellent game SimCity 4 is the best in its class, namely the creation of cities. The game features many different scenarios, amazing graphics (such as the ability to zoom in to see the streets), and a simple management of your city. You can create your way, as you want. In short, if you find a game to create your city, please choose SimCity 4!
  26. Sep 3, 2012
    0
    I can honestly admit that I have spent way too much of my life playing this game. I may have taken a few months or maybe even a year break but going back and playing this game is still fun. The best SimCity to date, far better graphics with an array of options and much improved game play. The mechanics of this game are brilliant and are actually pretty darn realistic in comparison to how a real city may be. Another amazing thing about this game is fact that there are thousands of mods, buildings, and cities available for download online that REALLY adds some serious amount of content. Also, I am seriously more excited about SimCity 5 than any other game coming out, it will be epic! Collapse
Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Due to the presence of some stability and performance issues, as well as a few noticeably lacking features, SimCity 4 doesn't seem as polished as it could have been.
  2. Technical sim junkies will have a lot to build, destroy, and monitor, but newbies might want to run for shelter.
  3. 75
    Unfortunately the high system requirements and tedium of building will probably turn away hordes of players who otherwise would've had a great time.