TL;DR: Drive on an empty parking lot with orange traffic cones as obstacles as a possibly cheaper and better alternative to a computer driving simulator. Then drive on real streets, slowly moving from easier to harder driving conditions.
I would recommend an easier, cheaper and more realistic alternative instead of a driving simulator. It helped me and others to learn to drive in a major city with some of the worst drivers in the US. I bought a few (4-8) cheap orange traffic cones (nowadays they are available on Amazon, in dollar stores, etc). I put them up to create a driving course on a parking lot that's empty in the evening or on weekends.
I could simulate many difficult cases that I later actually encountered when driving on the real streets:
different types of parking: angle parking, perpendicular parking (forward and in reverse) and parallel parking; tight parking (parallel and perpendicular);
quick braking and turns to avoid obstacles;
tight turns (U-turn, multi-point turn);
driving around obstacles like triple-parked cars on both sides of the
driving forward or backwards on a narrow street;
keeping control of the car on ice and snow; avoiding
hydroplaning (after a heavy rain/flooding).
Most importantly, after many hours of such practice I could really feel my car. It was a tool that felt like an extension of myself, similar to a walking stick, a bike, a kayak, or a pair of skis.
I then moved to driving in the following order on actual streets in a big city with significant traffic, starting from easiest to the most difficult:
- in light traffic, on easy streets;
- in light traffic, on difficult streets;
- in heavy traffic, on easy streets;
- in heavy traffic, on difficult streets;
In the process, I learned most of the advanced skills. For example:
- Change lanes across multiple lanes of heavy traffic;
- Read the intentions of the drivers around you to react to (and predict) the situations when:
- drivers cut you off without signalling,
- drivers pull out in front of you without signalling,
- drivers quickly slow down or just plain stop on the highway in front of you
- drivers make a quick left turn into the oncoming traffic in front of your car,
- drivers run the red light in front of you as you start moving across the intersection,
- pedestrians text while they walk across the street in front of you,
- pedestrians run the red light across the street in front of you.
In many of these cases in a big city with a lot of traffic, having advanced car handling skills (braking, accelerating, turning, etc) was very helpful.
Professional resources (not endorsements, but simply illustrations of similar techniques, used by professionals):
- Example of a cone course from the Outdoor Safety Institute: S-turns, parallel parking, etc.
- Example of Defensive Driver Training from Survive The Drive: emergency braking, turning exercises and crash avoidance maneuvers, obstacle course.