The 7 Best Virtual World Games

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
"The grandfather of the crafting and survival genre, Minecraft is still one of the greatest."
"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."
"The cross-platform, multiplayer, online game is highly interactive and allows you to create anything you can imagine."
"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."
"One of the best and most immersive open world games of all time."
"You will be able to explore a multitude of different user-created worlds along with replications of actual ​real-world locations."
"The game has one of the largest virtual goods catalogs out of all the virtual worlds listed with more than 30 million items."

Best Overall: Microsoft Minecraft

Minecraft

Courtesy of Amazon

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: Owlchemy Labs Job Simulator

Job Simulator

Courtesy of 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 Escape: Linden Lab Second Life

Second Life

Courtesy of 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 Cartoon: Toontown Rewritten

Toontown Rewritten

Courtesy of 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 Fantasy: Bethesda The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim

Courtesy of Bethesda

3.8

Considered one of the best role-playing games of all time, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim finally comes to the Nintendo Switch, allowing for intense portable gameplay on the go. With over 200-plus Game of the Year Awards, Skyrim’s open-world adventure is one of the most immersive and brings to the Switch new features such as motion controls and items from the Legend of Zelda series.

In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, players can do virtually anything and become anyone. The game is filled with tons of interactive characters that players can have conversations with, leading to friends, foes and even wars. Skyrim’s main story focuses on a dragon set to destroy the world, but players can take plenty of detours with side missions and subplots to gain new abilities, level up their character and postpone any obligation to save the world.

Best Classic: Activeworlds Inc. Active Worlds

Active Worlds

Courtesy of 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.

Best Realistic Graphics: IMVU 3D Avatar Creator & Chat

IMVU

Courtesy of 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.