Community Picks: The 25 Best Simulators In PC Gaming

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thrakazog

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The Steam FSX is a separate entity owned by Dovetail Games, that has a rather closed off DLC market, much like their other sim games. The original FSX still eclipse's it in the market, and has a huge community that supports it with both paid and free mods. However, ever since Prepar3d went 64-bit, it is now quickly taking over as the top flight sim (both in terms of users and 3rd party support).
 

JoeMomma

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I am amazed that you included DiRT2.
I am a long time fan of racing games.
I think DiRT is the best at nailing 1/2 way between being a challenging sim while still being a fun game. Most of the others in the DiRT Series have been either too hard or too arcade. I have never uninstalled it since 2009.
 

phantom_e

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Note: It should read "fewer details" not "less details". I wouldn't bring it up, but it's becoming so widespread in professional communications - tv ads, printed ads, HERE, etc. that I just had to say something somewhere.
 

TheStig47

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War Thunder is my favorite online game. Vehicles are all actual wartime machines modeled as closely as possible to the real ones. Not mentioned in the description is that War Thunder has three modes of play - Arcade (my mode for fun); Real; and Simulator. Arcade uses relaxed physics but Real is much closer to how they really handled and Simulator is even more exact. For example, in Simulator with aircraft one must use a joystick (Arcade and Real can use either - mouse is best in Arcade) and fly in cockpit mode, and have all the physical aspects that real aircraft have - yaw, pitch, trim, etc.

Too, War Thunder gets continually updated and I've been playing as a pilot now for over 4 years, daily (I'm retired).
 
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I liked Jane's F-15, but yea, no Jane's AH-64D Longbow (or 2), no Falcon 4.0 (or even Falcon 3.0 back in the day), no SU-27, etc. So many fabulous simulators back then; a pity the younger generations have few options to play those classics.
 

spdragoo

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Wow, now there's a reference that takes me back. That was fun to play but I also remember it being complex at the same time.

There were 2 others they should have considered as well. Chuck Yeager's Air Combat was a fun one. Early VGA graphics, of course, but you not only had the varied campaign options (being able to play both WW2, Korea & Vietnam missions) but you could really have fun with the free-flight options. It was surprisingly fun to take an F-4 & see how many waves of B-29s could be shot down before running out of ammo.

And another complex & realistic one was Birds of Prey. You picked your side (NATO or Soviet), could fly anything from fighters (F-15, F-16, etc.) to bombers (i.e. B-52). You could customize your loadout, but the weapons were limited to the ones they could carry in real life (i.e. only bombs & large ground-attack missiles for the B-52), you had the (by now standard) separate control to start your engine(s) before engaging the throttle, full flap controls, choice of carrier or land bases, etc. And sure, for the time period (released in 1992) the graphics today would look very bad...but it fit on a single floppy disk.
 
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