The 5 Best Airport Simulation Games

Guide people to their destinations safely in one of these titles

Airport

Judy Bishop - The Travelling Eye / Getty Images

Take over an international hub — and all the responsibilities that come with it — in these airport simulation games. Setting up security, managing traffic, and planning flight schedules are some of the tasks you'll complete as you experience what it's like to work in a real air traffic control (ATC) tower.

01
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'Tower!3D Pro'

Screenshot of the video game Tower!3D Pro

 FeelThere

What We Like

  • Three photorealistic airports.

  • Uses commands, AI, and speech recognition for an authentic experience.

  • Has voice recognition.

What We Don't Like

  • A bit overpriced.

  • Three maps aren't enough.

  • Voice commands can be a hassle.

A successor to the best-selling Tower! 2011 ATC simulator, Tower!3D Pro puts you in charge as you guide aircraft of various sizes to and from an active runaway during landing and takeoff.

It includes flight strips, ground and air radar screens, and a full 3D view of each airport. There's also voice recognition, multiplayer options, dynamic lighting and shadows, a day-night cycle, and more.

02
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Airport Simulator 2019

Screenshot of the video game Airport Simulator 2019

 Toplitz Productions

What We Like

  • A large, realistic airport.

  • Drive all the vehicles.

  • Has vehicle damage, personnel injuries, and sick leave.

What We Don't Like

  • Launched in a buggy, unfinished state, but improved with updates.

  • Overly repetitive.

In Airport Simulator 2019, you're the manager of a major international airport and it's your job to make sure everything runs smoothly. That means you'll buy and maintain a vehicle fleet, train staff, and more. As you gain experience, the airport grows, adding more gates and runways that accommodate larger planes.

03
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SimAirport

Screenshot of the video game SimAirport

LVGameDev LLC

What We Like

  • Over 16 aircraft and 15 airlines with realistic, high-quality textures.

  • There's always something to expand or optimize.

  • A starter airport eases new players into the game.

  • Developers are very engaged with the community.

What We Don't Like

  • It's in Early Access on Steam, which means it's a work-in-progress.

  • Economy needs some tweaking.

  • Like many Early Access games, it has bugs.

SimAirport is a game where you control everything, "from the cruise-altitude decisions to the smallest ground-level details." Build an efficient and profitable international hub in Career Mode, or get creative in Sandbox Mode. Build a terminal, hire staff, tweak flight schedules, and design infrastructures like roads, fuel systems, service vehicles, and more. Every decision has an impact on your gameplay, right down to the trash cans.

04
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Airport CEO

Screenshot of the video game Airport CEO

 Apoapsis Studios

What We Like

  • Complex.

  • Constantly updated.

  • Passengers have personalities, needs, and a background story.

What We Don't Like

  • Like SimAirport, it's in Early Access on Steam.

  • A bit buggy, according to early reviewers.

  • Tutorial could be more in-depth.

Airport CEO is a 2D tycoon and management sim where you design an airport's infrastructure and run the business side as well. As the boss, you cater to the passengers, hire friendly and helpful staff, and ward off criminals. And that's before you deal with equipment breakdowns, bad weather, emergency landings, and more.

05
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Airline Tycoon Deluxe

Key art for the video game Airline Tycoon Deluxe

 Spellbound AG

What We Like

  • Has 4-player co-op over a LAN.

  • Has more than 30 locations.

  • It's on mobile platforms.

What We Don't Like

  • The comic book aesthetic might turn off gamers looking for a more realistic experience.

  • It's a bit dated.

Originally released in Germany in 1998, Airline Tycoon forgoes realism for humor. The art style is bright and cartoonish, but the gameplay is no joke. The Deluxe edition contains all the content found in the original game, along with 20 new airports and new opportunities. Also, unlike other entries in this list, it allows up to four people to play together over a local area network.