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Top 10 space games

In honour of the announcement of Star Citizen, we've listed our favourite space games



Lawrence Holland, developer of Their Finest Hour (a Battle of Britain flight sim), turned his hand to the Star Wars Universe with X-Wing.

The results were astonishing. Holland created what can only be described as a proper flight simulator in space, complete with a huge number of keyboard commands. X-Wing isn’t just about flying around with the joystick and blasting enemy ships; you have to pick your targets carefully, configure your laser cannons differently depending on whether you’re attacking small, fast-moving fighters or capital ships, and juggle power between lasers and shields.

It’s fast-paced and frenetic, and requires proper dogfighting skills to stay alive, as you loop and roll to get the Empire off your six and dive down hard on a capital ship to disable it with ion cannons.

X-Wing was followed by the even better Tie Fighter, which had you flying for the Empire, and then X-Wing Alliance, where you played the part of a smuggling family caught in the middle of the conflict – and even let you fly the Millenium Falcon. Every one is a classic, and we will never see their like again.


It was the original. The space opera. The immersive, story-driven epic that caused everyone to upgrade their PCs and invest in a Gravis joystick.

At a time when most 3D games had enemies made of a few polygons, Wing Commander used animated scaling sprites to give enemy ships and space stations real detail. There were animated cut-scenes, a rousing soundtrack and the course you took through the game even affected the story – almost unheard of in 1990.

The combat was involving, too, as you switched between various weapon types depending on the type of enemy you faced, and banked and turned with mass driver rounds bouncing off your shields. Later games such as X-Wing may have had a more sophisticated flight model, but none could match Wing Commander for making you feel like you were part of an epic conflict in space.

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