Space combat or space war games is a fairly well-known concept when it comes to video games. Therefore, it isn’t surprising to see a variety of new games spring up in the genre leaving all fans spoilt for choice. Be it larger-than-life combat scenarios in space or becoming the pilot of your own spaceship, these games get addictive once you start playing. Most of them require you to battle it out against your opponents, who are either fellow players or bots.
The fast-paced gameplay, the ethereal ambience that the game creates, and the agility of movement required entices all game lovers, especially the science geeks. Full of action, adventure, and tricky moves, these combat simulation games enable you to traverse through planets and start a new life virtually by settling in a surface you like.
To pick the best space games out of the myriad options is a mammoth task, but we’ve selected the top eight that made the cut using our discretion.
Freelancer was released in 2003 and is about an intergalactic mercenary who can either become a strict-law enforcing fighter or a greedy hunter. A society is taking its first small steps into 48 sprawling galactic systems and the player has to ensure everything is in order. You need to become a freelancer, make your own way out, and get rid of all the greed and bloodlust that comes in-between your mission.
Gamers will particularly like the intuitive controls, beautiful graphics, fun dogfights, and the engrossing narrative. You can also choose to play the game in multiplayer mode and indulge in the limitless possibilities of space. Satisfy your thirst for vengeance and break the rules or bring out your weapons to enforce the law; choice is yours!
Developer: Digital Anvil
Platforms available: Microsoft Windows
2) Splitgate: Arena Warfare
Very different from the usual space combat and first-person shooter games, Splitgate: Arena Warfare has multiple exotic sci-fi locales. The story is offbeat and the gameplay requires the players to take up different roles at different stages of the game. You will find yourself battling it out on alien planets in one instance and struggling to wade through a distant space location in the next. Irrespective of where you are, the visuals are going to be stunning!
The unique gameplay makes Splitgate: Arena Warfare stand out from other similar games. Not only will you thoroughly enjoy the gaming experience, the points received at the end of every level will keep you hooked until you get your favourite avatars unlocked. The game uses player-controlled portals to create a new dimension of arena combat and is a must-try!
Developer: 1047 Games
Platforms available: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, Linux
Everspace is a roguelike space game in which players take control of a clone of a Colonial Fleet scientist to end an interstellar war. Since it consists of roguelike elements, players are encouraged to die so that they can earn credits and use them on various upgrades, making the rest of the phases more exciting and easier.
One of the reasons why this space combat game is immensely loved by gamers is that the narrative is slowly revealed as the player reaches specific points during a run. So, every level you cross brings something new with it, thereby keeping the surprise element intact and excitement quotient high.
Stunning visuals and a captivating story, Everspace takes the players on a challenging journey through an ever-changing, well- crafted universe full of surprises.
Developer: Rockfish Games
Platforms available: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, Linux
4) Star Conflict
Star Conflict is a dogfighting MMO that will make the player a part of pilot clashes amid asteroid belts, revolve around planets, and combat it out in fast-paced scenarios. While it’s mostly concerned with PvP battles, gamers also get an opportunity to grab a few quests, explore ruins, and indulge in sky fights.
The highlight of the game is the ships. From nimble fighters, beefy frigates, bulky destroyers and hundreds others; you will be spoilt for choice while picking one for yourself; and while you are still in the middle of the game, there’ll be multiple chances given to you to unlock and upgrade your vessels.
Fight for your chosen faction, hunt down foes and get into war to spread your team’s influence and earn yourself some well-deserved rewards.
Developer: Targem Games
Platforms available: Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS, SteamOS, Macintosh operating systems
5) Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is quite different from other space combat games because of its unique gameplay and the most creative narrative. Players control a fighter spacecraft and choose between helping the police or a pirate mastermind. So, you get to pick if you want to play the good guy or become evil for a day.
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw allows full movement in space and does not confine the player in a two-dimensional plane. With easy-to-handle controls, beautiful graphics, and a great variety in missions, the game is one of the most sought-after in the genre. You can also take a break from shooting space vehicles and play mini-games that involve pool and slot machines. How cool is that!
Developer: Double Damage Games
Platforms available: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
6) No Man’s Sky
Space is unconquered and magnanimous, and the desire to explore the unknown is what No Man’s Sky is based on. The addictive game uses techniques which ensures that you’ll never reach the end of space and it includes more than 18 stunning planets to explore. Apart from exploration, the game requires the players to find means to survive. Master the trade route, get your hands on effective combat procedures, and make sure to have a smooth launch while take off!
Whether it is base-building or deep sea exploration, the game has tons of activities that will keep you engaged. The multiplayer mode, VR compatibility, huge updates, and the unlimited inventory space makes No Man’s Sky a favourite among gaming enthusiasts.
Developer: Hello Games
Platforms available: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, macOS, Microsoft Windows
7) Elite: Dangerous
The space flight simulation game Elite: Dangerous enables you to explore an open-world representation of the Milky Way Galaxy. The fun open-world game boasts a non-linear gameplay and an expansive storyline. The players should prepare themselves for a fairly long adventure, as it can take a while to complete the game’s massive amount of content.
Carve your own path traversing through the rich galaxies, admire the galactic power plays and be in awe of what you’ll spot on screen. Grab the best weapons, constantly improve your capabilities, upgrade your ship’s hull and make sure the victory is yours.
Developer: Frontier Developments
Platforms available: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
While playing Stellaris, players will witness mutant uprisings, robotic rebellions, and the discovery of alien texts that will make citizens question their place in the galaxy. The galactic role-playing game gives players multiple options that’ll help them in creating unique and eccentric space species. The robust species creator and various intelligent decisions that you take before starting the game indicates you can create any alien that you have ever imagined!
Stellaris’ main focus is on exploration. While most space games stick with one method of interstellar travel, this one gives the players three varieties to choose from, each with their own strengths and conflicts. In one game, the galaxy might be a network of hyperlanes and in the next you might find yourself building starry galaxies from scratch.
Developers: Paradox Development Studio, Tantalus Media
Platforms available: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems, Xbox Series X and Series S
~ Hope you enjoyed the list!