stub Train Sim World 4 Review (Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 & PC) — Is it Worth Playing?
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Train Sim World 4 Review (Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 & PC)

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Dovetail Games’ Train Sim World 4 arriving at my local station earlier this week wasn’t something I was necessarily expecting to see, much less board for yet another worldwide adventure across cobble, asphalt, and snow. And yet, just as soon as the steamed locomotive rolled up into the platform and called me aboard, I couldn’t help but find my seat adjacent to the engine room. Again, I was to depart and travel the luscious landscapes of the French Riviera—bound for a station of my own choosing. The cap was on, and thus the railways had, after just twelve short months, reopened to the general public, and above all, that one fledgling conductor who yearned to once again travel the long and grueling Schnellfahrstrecke Kassel/Würzburg route with a BR403 DB ICE 3.

It’s been a few days since I first left that station, and to say I’ve seen enough of the world to be able to chalk up a good enough review of Train Sim World 4 wouldn’t be right. It wouldn’t be right because, simply put, there’s so much left to experience in and around the world—and thrice as many locomotives and additional routes to travel, too. But having said all that, at it currently stands, I feel rather comfortable in these shoes, so I’ll give it my best shot and paint the most vivid portrait possible. Let’s dive right in.

All Aboard!

Train Sim World 4 is—you guessed it—the fourth mainline installment in the series, and the upgraded version of 2022’s Train Sim World 3. Not a whole lot to touch base on there, to be honest. But the question that has yet to be answered is this: what’s new this time around, and why did Dovetail Games feel the need to conjure up yet another entry for the railway saga, given the fact that the previous installment is still relatively fresh off the tracks?

To put you in the picture, Train Sim World 4 offers a myriad of new routes—Los Angeles’ Antelope Valley Line, and the East Coast Mainline, to name just a couple. It also opens up new routes across not only the UK, but Austria, too. And that’s just the routes; there are also a handful of new locomotives—Flying Scotsman, and Vectron—to try out in an all-new, jam-packed Training Centre and revamped Free Roam mode, too. So, quite the upgrade indeed.

In addition to the aforementioned features and tapestry of locomotives and routes, Train Sim World 4 also includes an all-new and evidently powered Photo Mode—a feature that allows you to capture breathtaking moments during your aimless travels across Europe and the USA. This alone is worth the price of admission, to be fair; we can’t help but love a good old-fashioned wallpaper of a steam train rolling through the hills of a picturesque countryside with the warming glow of a sunset beaming through the coals. And that’s just the icing on the cake.

Railways for Days

So, new features set aside, are there any changes in the actual journey itself? Well, yes — there are a few, in fact. There’s actually more freedom this time around, too, as players can now use AI to not only spawn locomotives in a heartbeat, but have them carry out certain errands of your own making, too. And that’s the beauty of it, you see — there are no rules in Train Sim World 4; it more or less provides you with the tools to craft your own experience, and at no point does it restrict you from setting out to see the world from your own perspective.

There’s also the Creators Club—a communal hub that provides a seemingly endless supply of custom content, skins, and routes to embark on. This isn’t a new thing, by any means, but it has gone under some amount of construction since Train Sim World 3, so there’s definitely an incentive to return and scrape the barrel of all its latest user-created material.

By now you’re probably convinced that there’s enough bang for your buck, so to speak — and there is. What’s more, if you’ve never experienced the series before, then you’ll actually find an abundance of things to see and do. And for a $50 game, that’s quite impressive — more so when you take into account the hundreds, if not thousands of hours of content Dovetail Games coughed up to generate a platform that’s not only beefy, but surprisingly sustainable.

Ruler of the Tracks

Gameplay in Train Sim World 4 isn’t all that different from its predecessor: you take control of one of several locomotives, and embark on various routes around the UK, USA, and Europe. As the overseer of sorts, you can either travel down known routes, or create your own and share them with other players online. It’s slick, mechanically sound, and visually appealing to the naked eye, too — which is everything we’ve come to expect from the series since its 2018 inception.

Switching lanes ever so slightly, there is something I couldn’t help but think about during my time in the latest sequel, and that was, why couldn’t any of this have been implemented in the previous entry? Safe to say that Dovetail Games probably could’ve released a couple of expansions for Train Sim World 3 and arrived at the exact same destination as the fourth, but chose not to out of what, greed? Who knows. Either way, I didn’t see any reason why Train Sim World 4 couldn’t hold fire for another couple of years — especially when the third still had so much life left in the locomotive.

Having said all that, Train Sim World 4 is still a worthy replacement, and arguably the most inclusive chapter in the series to date. Sure, Dovetail Games could’ve achieved the same results by holding onto Train Sim World 3 a little longer and feeding it a few more lumps of coal — but that ship has since sailed, so there’s no real point in arguing over it, to be fair. But if you have just started out in Train Sim World 3, however, then I personally wouldn’t rush to experience the fourth just yet. And that’s coming from someone who’s found something to love in every single entry in the series to date.

Train Sim World 3.5?

Just to expand on the previous point a bit, Train Sim World 4, in spite of all its updates, does carry over all of the content from the previous game, which means you can experience 90% of what Train Sim World 3 has to offer in the fourth, but with a few extra bells and whistles to boot. Again, this does draw some level of frustration, more so when you realize that the remaining 10% could’ve been bundled into a single expansion, and not, for example, into a full-priced standalone adventure. Swings and roundabouts though, I guess?

Train Sim World 4 is also a product of the same game engine that built the last entry, so again, there’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the fourth — other than its slightly cleaner look and smoother mechanics. When all’s said and done, though, there really isn’t any reason to call it a new game. It’s a 3.5, at best, and that’s sure to rock a few apple carts whether Dovetail Games like it or not.


Not to provide you with a copout answer or anything, but the truth is, Train Sim World 4 is, in more ways than one, a better version of Train Sim World 3—right down to its visuals and extended gameplay modes. As for why these features weren’t in the previous game is unclear, but clearly Dovetail Games saved the best things for last. And that’s great, truly, as it’s taken just short of a five years to locate the missing pieces and formulate a product that’s not only sustainable, but representative of locomotive simulation games, in general. But as for where the devs will take the series next is beyond me, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what sorts of ventures will arrive at the platform on my next global outing.

It goes without saying that, railway enthusiasts, in spite of their freedom of choice when it comes to selecting a train simulation game, will certainly find so much to adore in Train Sim World 4. Thanks to its new routes, locomotives, modes, and quality-of-life improvements, the latest stop in the track has single-handedly managed to make a journey worth embarking on. Mechanically, it operates as smooth as the newly implemented Flying Scotsman; and visually, it gleams as bright as the Los Angeles shoreline itself — so I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a glossier, slicker version of Train Sim World 3.

To conclude, though, it is worth mentioning that Train Sim World 4 isn’t massively different from the third, and therefore is less likely to attract fans who’ve been scraping the barrel of Train Sim World 3 for twelve months straight. But for newcomers, well, it’s a perfect place to make your mark on the world, I’ll say that much.

Train Sim World 4 Review (Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 & PC)

All Aboard the 3.5

Train Sim World 4 is a fantastic introductory locomotive simulation game for newcomers to the series, that much is true. Having said that, Dovetail Games definitely could’ve packaged all the latest content into one standalone expansion for the third — and a huge portion of the fan base will agree on that, too. It isn’t a bad game by any means, but come on Dovetail — don’t be greedy.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.