- Driving simulation is a popular video game genre, with a focus on racing games, but truck and bus simulator games have carved out a niche for themselves.
- Bus Simulator 21, OMSI 2, Fernbus Coach Simulator, The Bus, and Bus Simulator 18 are some of the best bus simulator games for PC, each with unique features and gameplay.
- Bus Simulator 21 has immersive gameplay, top-tier graphics, and an extensive map with several missions and challenges, but some gamers have complained about frequent bug issues.
- OMSI 2 features a chronology function that allows players to experience bus driving in Spandau in the 1980s and 1990s, but most road signs are written in German, which is challenging for English-speaking gamers.
- Fernbus Coach Simulator offers a realistic driving experience through Germany’s major highways and intercity roads, with realistic interior and exterior designs for the coaches, but some roads are not scaled to proportion, posing a risk of involuntary lane departure.
Driving simulation is among the most popular video game genres. Most gamers often go for racing games because of the thrill and adrenaline rush of driving sports cars at high speeds. However, less-intense sub-genres like truck and bus simulator games have carved out a niche for themselves. Unfortunately, most developers often focus on console and mobile games, forgetting PC gamers. Still, there are several memorable bus simulator titles. Keep reading to learn our top picks for the best bus simulator games for PC you can play today.
|Bus Simulator 21
|It has one of the best gameplay modes and life-like physics.
|The chronology feature makes OMSI 2 stand out from other bus simulator games.
|Fernbus Coach Simulator
|The game features 40 different cities and covers more than 12,000 miles.
|The developers recreated Berlin at a scale of 1:1, which makes the gameplay very realistic.
|Bus Simulator 18
|The developers included a modding feature that allows gamers to create custom buses and routes.
Bus Simulator 21
Bus Simulator 21 is our #1 Best Overall bus simulator game for PC. It was published in 2021 and remains the latest release in the Bus Simulator series that you can play on your computer. This is disappointing, though. Astragon, a developer in the Bus Simulator series, released Bus Simulator City Ride in 2022, but the game was unavailable for PC.
The good news is that Bus Simulator 21 has immersive gameplay, so you can play it for hours almost daily and not get bored. For example, gamers experience two sides of the bus sector: driving and fleet management. You get to choose which bus to own from a variety of options. Even better, the car dealers allow you to test drive the bus within the premises before finalizing the purchase.
Bus Simulator 21 takes place in Angel Shores, a fictional city in the US. Initially, gamers criticized this game’s setting for only having a few districts and missions. Gamers will be glad that Astragon released a map extension in 2023. The updated map features additional bus stops and more diverse terrains. You must now watch for wild animals crossing when driving through nature reserves!
|Bus Simulator 21 has an extensive map and features several missions and challenges.
|Some gamers have complained about frequent bug issues.
|It has top-tier graphics compared to most bus simulator games.
If you have ever wondered how public transport worked in Germany in the 20th century, then OMSI 2 is the game for you. This game features a chronology function that allows you to experience Spandau in the 1980s and 1990s. Though little known today, Spandau is a locality in Berlin with a rich history dating back to the 16th century.
OMSI 2 uses many animated graphics. However, the developers sought to make the gameplay as realistic as possible. For example, it’s set to take place in the 20th century, and the buildings and landscapes are detailed and accurate for the period. Driving the buses is also very taxing, and you may need several attempts to master all the controls and maneuvers.
|You can select your preferred weather condition to make a mission more interesting.
|It has in-game flickering textures, which are distracting when driving.
|OMSI 2 has a chronology feature that allows you to relive bus driving between 1986 and 1994.
|Most road signs are written in German, which is challenging for English-speaking gamers.
Fernbus Coach Simulator
Fernbus Coach Simulator is one of the most realistic bus simulator games for PC. It is the go-to game if you want to experience driving a coach through Germany’s major highways and intercity roads. The coaches also have realistic interior and exterior designs. This came as a pleasant surprise, especially after it became public that TML Studios, the game developer, collaborated with FlixBus, one of the biggest intercity bus services in the world, to design the coaches.
During the initial release, TML Studios had only simulated approximately 12,427 miles (20,000 kilometers) of FlixBus’s route network in Germany. This covered at least 40 cities across the country. However, PC gamers have a reason to smile if the newly-released Fernbus Coach Simulator for Xbox is anything to go by. Released in February 2023, the game features a 31,068-mile (50,000 kilometers) route network and 100 European cities. We hope that these new updates are made available on the PC version.
|The bus network covers up to 40 German cities.
|Some roads are not scaled to proportion, which poses the risk of involuntary lane departure.
|The coaches have realistic designs.
|The voiceovers are predominantly in German.
The Bus is a city-themed simulation game inspired by Berlin, Germany. TML Studios recreated the streets of Berlin at a scale of 1:1 to make the game as realistic as possible. The developers also sought licenses from manufacturers like MAN and Scania, which allowed them to use original bus designs. Gamers can choose from various bus variants, which include solo, articulated, and double-decker buses. You can also repaint any buses you own to reflect the city’s culture or distinguish them from other city coaches.
The Bus enjoys one of the most vibrant fan communities. TML Studios launched The Bus Modding Editor, which allows gamers and developers to contribute towards improving the game. Fans can use the modding editor to create and share new maps with other gamers. This ensures there are always new routes to explore, which keeps the game interesting.
|It uses original designs from MAN and Scania, which makes the buses realistic.
|It is quite pricey compared to other bus simulator games for PC.
|The modding feature allows fans to create and share new features and maps.
Bus Simulator 18
Bus Simulator 18 is another PC game released under the Bus Simulator series, preceding Bus Simulator 21. Although it has been out for at least five years, the game continues to receive acclaim among PC gamers and critics.
Upon release, the publisher, Astragon claimed the developers designed Bus Simulator 18 to give gamers a glimpse of the life of a bus driver at work. The game has lived up to expectations. The map covers at least 12 districts, with a landscape that includes villages, metropolitan areas, and industrial zones.
Gamers can choose their preferred bus models from eight officially licensed brands, including IVECO, Mercedes-Benz, and MAN. Alternatively, you can use the modding editor to create custom buses. The modding feature also allows gamers to create and share new routes with the Bus Simulator 18 fan community.
|Bus Simulator 18 is easy to play, even for beginners.
|The graphics are lackluster compared to recent PC games like Bus Simulator 21.
|Gamers can use the standard buses or create custom ones using the modding feature.
You need not drive a real-life bus or coach to experience how it feels to drive one. The best bus simulator games for PC allow you to relive your driving fantasies while seated behind a computer screen. You can experience driving a bus through congested cities or long trips to distant towns. Other games like Bus Simulator 21 allow you to drive through nature reserves, something that even some real-life bus drivers do not experience.
Bus simulator games also allow you to experience what it takes to manage a fleet. Most titles have a career mode that allows gamers to accumulate money when working contract jobs until they can purchase a bus. This opens you up to more interesting missions and challenges.
It is disappointing that game developers have shifted their focus from PC games. We hope that they announce some new titles in the next year. However, should the situation remain the same, the bus simulator games for PC included on this list should keep you entertained for the foreseeable future.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Milos Muller/Shutterstock.com.