The 8 Best Virtual World Games to Buy in 2018

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The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Minecraft at Minecraft.net, “For both kids and adults alike with its endless amounts of creativity and possibility.”
  • Best Humor: Job Simulator at Steampowered.com, “The world you operate in involves micromanaging a job in an interactive play zone.”
  • Best for Realistic Graphics: IMVU at Imvu.com, “Has one of the largest virtual goods catalogs out of all the virtual worlds listed with more than 30 million items.”
  • Best for Kids: Club Penguin Island at Cubpenguinisland.com, “You’ll go on an adventure filled with colorful environments and interact with other players while collecting various items.”
  • Best for Creation: Second Life at Secondlife.com, “Highly realistic graphics that make each of its wide collection of vibrant and imaginative destinations a captivating experience.”
  • Best for Cartoons: Toontown Rewritten at Toontownrewritten.com, “A virtual playground where you can finally live out your first-person dream of being a cartoon.”
  • Best for Teens: ourWorld at Amazon, “You start off by creating your own custom avatar from head to toe and are given a condo that you can furnish and decorate.”
  • Best Classic: Active Worlds at Activeworlds.com, “Purchase worlds up to 4,000,000 square meters in size, having full domain over your universes, and invite people to join in and explore.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Minecraft

Minecraft

Minecraft

Minecraft strikes the perfect balance of a virtual world game for both kids and adults alike with its endless amounts of creativity and possibility. The open world sandbox game can be played alone or with friends online or offline depending on whether they’re playing on a console, a mobile device, or PC.

The fun of Minecraft begins when you explore its randomly generated worlds of high mountains, thick forests and vast seas, all of which can be manipulated. You can choose a creative mode that allows you full reign of all the in-game materials so you can build a sky-high treehouse, mansions made of gold or deep underwater caverns with secret levers, trapdoors, and escape routes without any interruption. The game’s survival mode (best played with friends) has you forging for tools and crafting materials while fending off nighttime fiends, including giant spiders and zombies with swords, bows, moats, and so much more.

 

Best Humor: Job Simulator

Job Simulator

Sony

Job Simulator is a VR-only game that throws you into a virtual world where you partake in four exaggerated and inaccurate job roles in a first-person perspective. You’ll participate in humorous antics of trying your best as an auto mechanic, gourmet chef, store clerk, and office worker, and anything is possible.

Using motion controllers of the PlayStation Move, Oculus Touch, or the HTC Vive, you will interact with a virtual environment and perform various tasks in order to complete your job at hand. You are given massive creative freedom when it comes to how you finish a task (think baking crazy pizzas with bacon and cookies, throwing staplers, eating food from the trash, and manipulating your environment).

Job Simulator may be a little different on the list in terms of how far virtual world simulators go since there are no other players, and the world you operate in involves micromanaging a job in an interactive play zone.

 

Best for Realistic Graphics: IMVU

IMVU

IMVU

IMVU offers more modernized realistic graphics and physics for a virtual world game where you can make and customize your own detailed 3D avatars, content, and rooms. The game has one of the largest virtual goods catalogs out of all the virtual worlds listed with more than 30 million items.

You first start off with a basic apartment room that you can fully customize to your liking as you earn in-game credits to unlock more items.

The options are endless; you will get to meet and chat with new players in various locations like lounges, theme parks, clubs, user created rooms, as well as play games that range in genre from puzzles to action/adventure. IMVU allows content creation so you can sell your products in its catalog as well as participate in user groups and forums to showcase your work. Some parts in the game are not appropriate for kids and this title is recommended for people ages 18 and over.

Best for Kids: Club Penguin Island

Club Penguin Island

Disney

Club Penguin Island is a Disney-made, multiplayer, online, role-playing game set in a virtual world that’s suitable for kids. It features plenty of parental controls and safety features and encourages you to practice good behavior, use your imagination, explore, and learn.

Club Penguin Island makes it easy to navigate through its worlds, starting you off with a walkthrough with plenty of interactive events in between so you can get a feel of the game and then later make an account. From there you’ll go on an adventure filled with colorful environments and interact with other players while collecting various items, customizing your clothes, going on adventures, playing games, leveling up to get rewards, and more.

Club Penguin Island features a PC/MAC and mobile cross-platform play, making it one of the most compatible virtual world games on the list and easy for everyone to join together and play.

Best for Creation: Second Life

Second Life

Linden Labs

Despite being released in 2003, Second Life still remains one of the most popular virtual world games in existence with over a half million active users still playing today. The cross-platform, multiplayer, online game is highly interactive and allows you to create anything you can imagine.

Second Life boasts highly realistic graphics that make each of its wide collection of vibrant and imaginative destinations a captivating experience. Intended for people ages 16 and older, you can make finely detailed 3D models of yourself in the game then immediately go on to do everything from performing in entertainment events and even start virtual businesses where you can make real profits. You will get to connect with others around the world with options to join thousands of unique groups, partake in contests, workshops, parties, create your own real estate properties, and develop and shape vast landscapes. 

Best for Cartoons: Toontown Rewritten

Toontown Rewritten

Toontown Rewritten

Toontown Rewritten is a free-to-play revival of Disney’s Toontown, a virtual playground where you can finally live out your first-person dream of being a cartoon. The game is suitable for kids and is full of imaginative cities that are bouncy and animated with bright colors and a lot of zany interactivity.

You’ll start off in Toontown Rewritten by creating your own unique identity, choosing one of the multiple animal species such as a trouser-wearing bipedal dog or a dressed up crocodile. The world is filled with plenty of games and activities that are actually part of the city, and you’ll even get to fight off three-piece, pinstripe-suited, invading corporate robots with a collection of upgradeable gags, including throwing pies, dropping anvils, and squirting water to be used against them.

Best for Teens: ourWorld

ourWorld

ourWorld

In ourWorld you start off by creating your own custom avatar from head to toe and are given a condo that you can furnish and decorate. The in-game currency in ourWorld (called “Flow”) can be earned by socializing and going out and talking with other players, dancing, eating and drinking, and playing games.

Flow can be used to earn experience points and level up so you can learn new dance moves, unlock new areas, vehicles, or be exchanged for coins to buy new items for your avatar's clothes, hairstyles, and furniture. The casual games in ourWorld offer a ton of variety, from card games, puzzles, and platformers, and are all easy to pick up and play.

Best Classic: Active Worlds

Active Worlds

Active Worlds

Active Worlds has been around since 1995, offering a huge online virtual world where you can build your own realities and develop customizable 3D content. You will be able to explore a multitude of different user-created worlds along with replications of actual ​real-world locations.

The sandbox world of Active Worlds allows you to use hundreds of millions of objects in large interactive environments where you can navigate to cities and towns, play games, ride roller coasters, chat with other players, and much more.

You can purchase worlds up to 4,000,000 square meters in size, having full domain over your universes and invite people to join in and explore. Active Worlds is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems.