Firefighting is one of the noblest professions out there. It’s impossible not to see the people who break their way into burning buildings and rescue people, pets, and possessions as heroes; they’re risking their lives on a daily basis to help others, and usually not for the kind of pay they deserve, too.
With that in mind, you’d think there would be an abundance of firefighting games, but that’s not really the case. Still, here are 12 of the best firefighter games out there so you can indulge your fantasy of becoming a celebrated firefighting master. Disclaimer: it may be difficult to find some of these games, but they’re worth seeking out!
Embr is a frantic multiplayer firefighting game that’s about as far from a simulation as you can get. Together with your friends, you must rush into burning buildings to put out fires, salvage stuff, and try to make as much money as you can. The game takes place in a hyper-deregulated capitalist future where firefighting is good money, so if you like a dash of satire with your firefighting, here’s the game for you.
2. 911 Operator
911 Operator isn’t technically a firefighting game; you’ll be dispatching more than just firefighters, as you’re the titular 911 operator who must oversee all emergency services dispatch calls. Still, if you’ve ever wanted to be the person behind the screen rather than the one on the ground actually fighting the fires, then 911 Operator is very much a game that should be on your wishlist.
Available across all major platforms, Firegirl: Hack’n’Splash Rescue is a sidescrolling roguelite platformer in which you play as a plucky firefighter who must save the city from a series of mysterious fires. This one’s a bit more fantastical than your average firefighting sim; you’ll be taking down monsters born of fire just as often as you’re taking on the regular kind of blaze.
4. Burning Rangers
Unfortunately, Burning Rangers has to go squarely in the “retro” column, because it’s pretty much impossible to find this game right now without spending a lot of money. However, it was an excellent Sega Saturn game and one of Sonic Team’s few jaunts outside its main platforming franchise, so it’s worth a look if you like to hunt down collectible retro games and you don’t mind splashing out (no pun intended).
5. The Ignition Factor
If you pick up a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you can enjoy this pleasingly retro firefighting game, which originally launched for the SNES back in the mid-90s. It’s a top-down action-adventure game in which you must fight your way through a burning building in order to rescue hostages. The gameplay gets a little repetitive after a while, but this is still great fun.
6. Flame Over
Like Firegirl, Flame Over is a roguelite game, which means you can look forward to randomly generated levels and theoretically infinite replayability. You are the wonderfully-named Blaze Carruthers, and you must explore an industrial complex in order to put out fires. The fire system is dynamic, which means it’ll behave in interesting and unpredictable ways as you play.
If you want to know what it’s really like to be a firefighter, then you could do a lot worse than Firefighting Simulator: The Squad. This game puts you in the shoes of a real-life firefighter and includes brand partnerships with genuine firefighting equipment makers, so there’s no more immersive firefighting experience on the gaming market right now. You can also team up with your buddies to form a firefighting squad.
Much like 911 Operator, you’re not actually a firefighter in this game. Rather, you’re running a centre for various different emergency services, including firefighters. You’ll need to build and maintain your facilities, allocate resources, and make sure you’re equipped to deal with any challenges that suddenly arise. This one’s for the more management-oriented gamer.
You’ve probably guessed from the title that this is another game which revolves around more than just firefighting. However, you can play as a firefighter if you wish, along with other members of the emergency services. This is an Early Access project, so it’s a little rough around the edges, but if you want to genuinely roleplay as a firefighter and not just play as one, this game gives you the opportunity to do so.
10. Emergency 20
The entire Emergency franchise is worth looking into if you want firefighting games, but Emergency 20 is arguably the most accomplished of its series. Like Rescue HQ and 911 Operator, this game encompasses multiple emergency services, but this time, you’re dispatching them to crises in real-time and overseeing their management of those situations yourself.
Okay, so we’re cheating slightly by including Firewatch on this list. Technically, you don’t get to do any actual firefighting in Firewatch, but you do play as a ranger whose job is to identify and deal with forest fires, so we’re counting it. This is a “walking simulator”-style adventure game with an involving story and good characterisation, so play it if you want something a little more sedate.
12. Fire Commander
Last but not least, it’s Atomic Wolf and Pixel Crow’s Fire Commander. This is another strategic entry in the firefighting genre, so if you want pulse-pounding action, you may want to look elsewhere (although rounds of Fire Commander can get pretty exciting in and of themselves). Send your firefighters into life-or-death situations, manage your water, and make sure your team is in tip-top shape.