10 Best Police Simulator Games

    Many of us have fantasies about joining the police force when we’re kids. We think of the police as bringing in the bad guys, stopping society from falling apart, and keeping all of us safe at night. Of course, the reality is much more complicated than that, as we’ve learned in recent times, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for good police simulator games that teach us about the realities of policing, or just plain fun experiences in which you play as a police officer. Here are the 10 best police simulator games out there right now.


    1. This Is the Police

    Both This Is the Police and its followup, the appropriately-named This Is the Police 2, are worthwhile additions to the police simulator genre. At their core, they’re adventure games with a narrative focus; you play as a sheriff who must manage a police force, sending them out to deal with crimes and dealing with the consequences. Along the way, you’ll uncover a story of corruption, crime, and ordinary people trying to get by in a world that teems with seedy intrigue.


    2. Sleeping Dogs

    Okay, so Sleeping Dogs isn’t really a simulation, per se, but you do play as a police officer in this open-world crime sandbox, so we’re including it. Sleeping Dogs revolves around Wei Shen, a police officer who’s gone undercover as a Triad in order to infiltrate their ranks. Of course, Shen’s loyalties become conflicted when it turns out that his conceptions of reality and morality are flawed, and he must navigate a labyrinth of alliances, friends, enemies, and dangerous situations. 


    3. 911 Operator

    If you want to get a taste of life on the other side of law enforcement, then 911 Operator will give you what you need. As you might have guessed from the name, you play as an emergency services phone operator, directing people’s calls and assigning the necessary emergency services to their situations. It’s a tense, difficult game that doesn’t pull any punches, and while it doesn’t quite approach the brilliance of something like Papers, Please, it’s still a great experience.


    4. Police Simulator: Patrol Officers

    Looking for a good police simulator? Well, the clue’s right there in the name. Police Simulator: Patrol Officers sends you to the “fictional” city of Brighton (we feel the UK city’s residents would disagree, although this city is in the USA) in order to be a police officer. Deal with crimes, respect the law you’re enforcing, and experience what it’s like to be part of the police on a day-to-day basis. This isn’t a game for glory hunters; rather, it’s for those who want to know what law enforcement really has to offer.


    5. Disco Elysium

    Again, we might be playing fast and loose with the definition of “simulator” here, but in Disco Elysium, you play as a cop who has been on a bender so legendary that he now cannot remember who he is. As you solve a murder case that may be tied to the local political situation, you must gradually piece together who you actually are, aided by several voices in your head that double as the skills with which you navigate the world. It’s as weird, wonderful, and unmissable as it sounds.


    6. Beat Cop

    This retro-style pixel art adventure might not look much like a realistic police simulator, and that’s because it isn’t. It offers a gritty narrative full of dark, edgy humour, though, as well as gameplay that doesn’t feel a million miles away from the classic Police Quest series of games. This one’s much more violent and bleak, though, so if you want the “essence of 80s cop shows”, as the game’s developers put it, then you should definitely make sure to check this one out. 


    7. L.A. Noire

    As you’ve probably already guessed from the name, Rockstar’s L.A. Noire is strongly inspired by the classic noir detective story L.A. Confidential. It takes place in postwar Los Angeles and follows police officer Cole Phelps as he rises through the ranks of his organisation, uncovering a sinister plot as he goes. There are some slight missteps, but for the most part, L.A. Noire is a story that’s well worth experiencing, especially if you have any affection for the time period or genre.


    8. Police Quest Collection

    At one stage, Police Quest games were reportedly used to train rookie officers in proper police procedure, such was their dedication to realism. If you’re in the market for a more arcade-style police experience, then you’re probably going to want to stay away from Police Quest, but as a police simulator game, you really couldn’t get closer to the truth than this. These adventure games may be a little slow and methodical for some, but they’re as immersive as gaming gets, especially for the time.


    9. Lego City Undercover

    Lego City Undercover is obviously not an accurate simulation of real police work. After all, you are playing as a man made of Lego. What it lacks in realism, though, it makes up for with a fun, sparky plot, a massive city to explore, and a huge amount of things to collect. If you’ve got kids in your life – or if you’re just looking for an open-world game to pass some time while you listen to a podcast – then Lego City Undercover will more than suffice for that purpose.


    10. Ready or Not

    Ready or Not is a more intense police simulator than you might be used to. It casts you as a SWAT officer responding to deadly hostage situations, so you’re going to need all of your skill and wits about you if you want to succeed. Together with your friends (or bots if you’d prefer to play alone), you’ll breach a number of locations, look for hostages, and take terrorists down before the situation can get worse. It’s tense and realistic, which makes it an ideal police simulator.


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