What are the most complex video games?


Where complexity is a function of the game universe and the emergent phenomena that can arise within the game, what games come to mind?

Bonus points for showing examples, screenshots, and descriptions rather than just naming titles.


Does your solution involve THAC0? Because if it doesn’t, it’s not as complex as any game with THAC0. >:(



The game of automation! Once you get past the fact that the graphics are extremely dated, you’ll be able to enjoy it.

Here’s the trailer:

You start off in a 2d world with a few pieces of iron, a furnace and a steam drill. First you make an ax and start mining some coal, and iron and copper and smelt the iron and copper to make copper and iron plate. Then you can start to place down automatic drills to mine for you, and the ores get placed on belt that are moved to smelters.

Then you can start researching new technologies to build furnaces and belts automatically.

There’s tech that unlocks robots, trains, and so much more.


No Man’s Sky


Thats funny, factorio was the first game that came to mind, even though I’ve only played it a little


Does this mean that The Sims is the most complex video game of all time?

Edit :ninjaneer:


That’s really interesting and probably true. If you think about all of the potential outcomes of any given game, The Sims is probably up there with most complex ever.


Factorio is complex-ish, but it’s not too awful, IMO. You want real complexity? Go check out Dwarf Fortress and Rimworld :wink:

The prior is a huge inspiration to a ton of developers (including the devs of Rimworld). The goal is to achieve total simulation. The dev team for Dwarf Fortress are expecting to enter 1.0 sometime in the next ~20 years, according to the lead. The super-intense simulation is the key cause of each games’ complexity, and allowing the players to have more choices and situations to encounter.


Maybe there’s a lot more to it than the info in the article… But based on the article I don’t see any particular reason it’s more complex than existing games, just that they’ve decided to make it impossibly confusing…


Maybe this interview will shed some additional light on the depth/complexity of the game.


I totally forgot about dwarf fortress, I’ve never played it but it comes up alot in conversations about game design