The Best Flight Simulators for PC in 2019

Pilot a WWII bomber, modern airliner, or space shuttle

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Flight sims range from transporting passengers on jet planes to fighting battles in World War II. Almost all time periods are represented, whether it's a themed game (WWII is popular) or a historical plane included in a flight sim. With the add-ons available for "Microsoft Flight Simulator," you can fly just about anywhere, and with X-Plane 10, you can manipulate weather conditions and system failures for some scary good fun. 

Our Top Picks

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'X-Plane 11 Global Flight Simulator'

XPlane 11



Flight enthusiasts are bound to enjoy the 3D cockpits that are part of every aircraft in "X-Plane 11 Global Flight Simulator." Even beginners can quickly learn to negotiate thousands of airports, immersive landscapes, and realistic cities. This flight simulator delivers a close-to-realistic experience for serious flight sim fans.

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'X-Plane 10'

"X-Plane 10" is one of the most realistic flight simulators on the market. You can create your own planes or fly just about any type of plane. It has everything from gliders to space shuttles and allows users to change flight conditions, play with different weights, and take off from thousands of different airports. It also has multiplayer functionality so you can duke it out with your friends. 

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'Microsoft Flight Simulator X'

Create your own routes, fly across the world, and make your own airplanes. The gameplay of "Microsoft Flight Simulator" can be extended through downloading plane skins and buying add-ons made by third-party developers. With each new version, new aircraft and cities are added. This time around, Microsoft did something a little different and added mission-based play. "Microsoft Flight Simulator X" comes in standard and deluxe editions. The deluxe version comes with more cities, airplanes, and airports.

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'IL-2 Sturmovik'

"IL-2 Sturmovik" is a WWII combat flight simulator. If you are looking for a combat flight simulator, look no further. This game has awesome features. There is an excellent mission builder, multiplayer features that include up to 32 players in dogfight mode and stunning graphics. The combat takes place in the air, and from the air to the ground. Anyone interested in war and flight will enjoy this one.

You may also want to take a look at our picks for the best World War II flight simulators. And if you like WW2 games in general, read our reviews of the best World War II strategy PC games.

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'Lock On: Modern Air Combat'

Take over the helm of eight jets from America or Russia in combat action. "Lock On: Modern Air Combat" comes with training and quick-start missions. If single player missions are not your thing, you can play with up to 32 players via LAN or six through the internet.

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'B-17 Flying Fortress'

Take control of a B-17 bomber and participate in long-range daylight bombing missions in "B-17 Flying Fortress." You'll be in command of a squadron of 12 bombers, as they target positions 20,000 feet below to destroy them. Play as a tail gunner to take out interceptors. For variety, you can join the Luftwaffe and work to prevent the B-17s from delivering their payloads.

Looking for more simulation games? We did the research and found the best airport simulation games available this year.

What to Look for in Flight Simulators for PC

Plane selection - Each flight simulator game offers a different array of planes you can fly. A WWII game will have historical planes from that era, while games set in today’s time will have more modern jets. Some games even have the option to create your own flyer. 

Detail level - The graphics of your game make all the difference. While part of it depends on the capabilities of your gaming system, the development of the game will also play a factor. The more realistic and detailed the graphics are, the more immersive the experience will be. 

Add-ons - At their most basic, all flight simulators are the same. However, it’s the add-ons that really set one game apart from another. If variation is important to you, look for games with lots of different airports and landscapes. You can also alter the experience by manipulating the weather conditions, cargo weights, and airplane skins.