The Insider's Guide to PC Gaming's Best Flight Simulators

Pilot a WWII bomber, modern airliner, or space shuttle

Interior Of Airplane
Benjamin Weimar / EyeEm/Getty Images

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. 

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.

"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. 

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.

"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.

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.

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.

Was this page helpful?