„Space. It seems to go on an on forever… until the gorilla starts throwing barrels at you.“ – Fry, Futurama
Fry from the TV series Futurama liked to play a simple space game with asteroids and a gorilla on an arcade machine. It was 1999. Now we have fast PC’s and the games are a lot richer. We can enjoy space exploration, planets, asteroids, space stations, spaceships, space battles, all of that with nice graphics and realistic physics. Let’s take a look at 7 today’s most popular space games for PC:
1) Space Engineers – Space Game #1
Rating: 95% – Excellent
Space Engineers is an exciting space game. The environment includes asteroids and planets, which you can explore, build stations on, and fully destroy. You can fly to a planet directly from space, get out of your ship and walk on the planet with a machine gun, ride a land vehicle and visit land bases. Stations and spaceships have detailed interiors with complex electronics, which you can control and even reprogram.
There are three modes available in Space Engineers, singleplayer mode in which you play a story, multiplayer player vs player battles, and the most popular, multiplayer free mode, in which you just freely fly and build.
The game is sold for $19.99 at Keen Software House Shop. It still marked as “beta”, but it is perfectly playable and does not crash more often than once per month.
Interesting fact: Keen SW House have already sold a lot over 1 million copies, which made the studio over 20 million dollars. In 2015, Marek Rosa, the CEO, used 10 million out of this money to start a new artificial intelligence development company GoodAI.
2) Star Wars: The Old Republic
Rating: 92% – Excellent.
One of the most popular MMORPG’s in the world – the first edition of Star Wars: KOTOR came out in 2003 and today, million players still log in every month. The game is full of battles, so prepare your blaster or lightsaber. Regarding the lightsaber’s color, your actions matter – multiple small decisions in the game will determine over time whether you belong to the light side or the dark side of the Force.
The original, old version of this space game is available for as little as $5 on Amazon (used PC DVD). The newer expansions Battlefront and Empire at War can be bought in one pack called Star Wars: The Best of PC.
3) Star Trek Online
Rating: 90% – excellent.
The Star trek Online is a space exploration multiplayer game in which you switch between ground mode, ground PvP fights with phaser rifles, space mode and space PvP battles with giant lasers. Here is a video showing the gameplay of the tutorial in the single player mode at the beginning of the game.
4) Mass Effect
Rating: 90% – excellent.
Mass Effect is an action role-playing single player space game. In the following years, two sequels came out, Mass Effect 2 in 2010 and Mass Effect 3, 2012. The whole trilogy revolves around a race of Reapers, who nearly exterminated all sentient life in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The game has beautiful cut-scenes and excellent voice acting, so the player feels really in the game. You can buy the whole trilogy in one pack for $14 on Amazon.
In March 2017, a brand new version Mass Effect: Andromeda came out.
5) Miner Wars 2081
Rating: 87% – Very good.
Another space exploration game by KeenSWH, creators of Space Engineers. In Miner Wars 2081, you fly in a special asteroid miner spaceship. The campaign features 31 different missions full of shooting. The difficulty is fairly high. Game modes include Single-player/Co-op/Multi-player. The open world environment in Miner Wars 2081 is fully destructible, including asteroids, just like in Space Engineers. Full source code of game and engine (VRAGE) is publicly available.
6) Space Station Simulator
Rating: 85% – Very good.
A simulator game in which you become in charge of a space station orbiting Earth. The game is very complex and realistic. You can design your own team of astronauts and your own station. You can see your station from both outside and inside, you can watch the stars or the surface of Earth, you feel like a true astronaut.
If you have played a truck simulator or train simulator, you are going to like this game too. It is available for just 10 bucks at Amazon.
7) Online Flash Space Games
If you’d like to enjoy spaceships, space stations and aliens, but you don’t feel like spending money on PC space games, there are good old flash games. Here are two flash game sites I played at:
They have a wide variety of games to choose from, my favourite game was Alien Transporter. It gets quite addictive very quickly, which is definitely a success for the creator studio Armor Games.
Another site for space flash games is FreeOnlineGames.com. Again, a whole range of enjoyable little games to choose from.