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What is the Best Combat Flight Simulator for PC?

Updated on October 01, 2016
Zakmoonbeam profile image

Michael has been an avid gamer and part time writer in more decades than he cares to remember.

Flaming Cliffs 2 Flanker
Flaming Cliffs 2 Flanker

What is a flight simulator or flight sim? While you could say it's a video game, it is also so much more than just that. With so many options these days, it can be hard to decide what flight simulator, combat sim, or flying games to buy. You certainly can't always rely on advertisements. You can, however, rely on my opinion. I have nothing to gain by reviewing and recommending what I consider to be the best value flight simulators for your money that you can get right now.

Strike Fighters 2 and Expansions

Strike Fighters 2 and its expansions cover a vast period of time, and give access to the best planes on both sides of some of the major conflicts in recent history.

This small team actually deserve more publicity, so please check them out. They are supported by a wonderful community of "modders" that create everything from scenery, to planes and entire campaigns.

Note: For a fully updated review and tons of great screen shots from the Flight Simulators series, check out my extended article on Strike Fighters 2.

SF2 Expansion Pack 1

New Features

  • Mission Editor
  • 1956 Campaign set in Cold War Europe
  • All 3 original campaigns updated with new aircraft

New Aircraft

  • Lightning F.1/2/3/6
  • Hunter F.1/2/4/5
  • F-100A/C Super Sabre
  • Yak-23 (AI only)
  • Canberra B.2/6 (AI only)

Bonus Features

If you have Strike Fighters 2 merged:

  • Lightning F.53 (player flyable)
  • Canberra Mk.20 (AI only)

If you have Strike Fighters 2 Expansion Pack 1 merged:

  • MiG-15 (AI only)
  • Additional skins for C-47 and Spitfires
  • Meteor F.8 and Mystere IV units in 1956 Campaign

Also, stop the presses! Because:

TK and the team at Thirdwire have just release the hotly awaited F-14 based Strike Fighters 2 North Atlantic combat Flight Simulator. I have not had time to buy or play this one yet, but judging from the feedback in the official forums, it's going to be pretty popular.

Player Flyable Aircraft

  • F-14A Tomcat
  • A-7E Corsair II

Player Flyable Aircraft

  • F-100D Super Sabre
  • A-4B/C/E/F Skyhawk
  • F-4B/C/D/E/J Phantom II

SF2 Vietnam

  • F-100D Super Sabre
  • F-105D Thunderchief
  • F-4B/C/D/E/J Phantom II
  • F-8C/D/E/H/J Crusader
  • A-4C/E/F Skyhawk
  • A-7A/B/C/D/E Corsair II

SF2 Europe

  • A-7D Corsair II
  • A-10A Thunderbolt II
  • F-100D Super Sabre
  • F-105D Thunderchief
  • F-4C/D/E/F/M Phantom II
  • F-15A Eagle
  • Harrier GR.1/3
  • Hunter F.6/FGA.9

SF2 Israel

  • A-4E/F/H Ahit
  • F-4E Kurnass
  • F-15A Baz
  • F-16A Netz
  • Kfir C1/C2
  • Mirage IIICJ Shahak
  • Nesher

SF2 Expansion Pack 1

  • Mystère IVA
  • Meteor F.8
  • P-51D Mustang



F-4 Phantom flying at sea level.
F-4 Phantom flying at sea level.
F-4 Phantom waiting on the ramp for take-off.
F-4 Phantom waiting on the ramp for take-off.
F-4 Phantom over Vietnam.
F-4 Phantom over Vietnam.
Cockpit view.
Cockpit view.
Splash 1 bandit!!
Splash 1 bandit!!
Harrier take-off.
Harrier take-off.

Video: Strike Fighters 2 Vietnam

Video: The First Day of Six Days War, Strike Fighters 2 Israel

IL-2 Sturmovik

This one is huge! With IL-2 Sturmovik, we'll go back a few years in to World War II and some that never left the prototype stage. So, it's almost entirely prop-driven planes, with a few early jet and rocket examples. Its sequels—Forgotten Battles, the Ace Expansion Pack, Pacific Fighters, and 1946—all contain 347 aircraft, with over 250 of them flyable ones.

  • The best thing about this sim is that even though it's an oldie, the community has kept it alive through mods and new campaigns. The number of planes keep increasing with new maps all the time.
  • Some of the biggest mods are truly works of art. It would be a crime not to look at Ultrapack, Dark Blue World, and HSFX. These not only add new planes, campaigns, and maps, but they can also dramatically improve the slightly aging graphics—beyond all imagination!
  • You can mod in a smaller way by visiting "Mission4today" and registering. There, you'll find patches, many user-generated missions, and even full story scripted campaigns.
  • Where can you get it? While it may sound like it's going to cost a fortune, you can purchase it from STEAM for under 10 euros! Or, if you need the security of a physical disk rather than a digital download, try Amazon.

This truly is one of the greatest flight simulators you can buy for your money.

Il-2 Sturmovik 1946 Spitfire.
Il-2 Sturmovik 1946 Spitfire.
Il-2 Sturmovik 1946 Spitfire.
Il-2 Sturmovik 1946 Spitfire.
Il-2 Sturmovik 1946  BF-109 frontal view.
Il-2 Sturmovik 1946 BF-109 frontal view.

Video: IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 Trailer

IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad / Moscow

More recently, the creators of WWI simulator Rise of Flight released IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad, closely followed by the Battle of Moscow. Cheap they are not, but the value represented is amazing!

Graphically, this is s stunning title. What I love about BOS is that it caters for newer players as much as the hardcore simmer crowd. There is a robust and lively multiplayer element as well.

As you might expect from the titles, there are predominantly German and Russian planes on offer here. Air to ground and air to air are both represented and a full mission editor is included in the deal.

The campaigns are simply brilliant in my opinion. There are so many small details that show a real love of the genre and indeed the history of these battles. Truly a next generation combat flight simulation, you owe it to yourself to jump headfirst into this great sim.

Time For a Montage

IL-2 Glory

Lock on Flaming Cliffs 2, DCS Black Shark, DCS Black Shark 2, and DCS A-10C Warthog

Below are some brand new, up-to-date, modern sims!

DCS and Eagle Dynamics are the new ones to watch out for in the world of combat flight simulators.

  • These are somewhat more "hardcore" sims — as in they are going to take a lot of time to master. However, they both have an easier arcade mode to get you going. Also, graphically, they are absolutely astonishing! Both are so much more worth your money than certain other sims.

Over the past couple of years, we have also been treated to DCS Black Shark, DCS Black Shark 2, and Lock on Flaming Cliffs 2.

  • Black Shark covers helicopter warfare from the Russian perspective and lets you fly the Kamov KA-50 attack helicopter. It's rough, tough, low, and slow, but this thing handles like no other! Black Shark 2 is also now available, improving on the original in every way. Expect a full review soon.
  • Flaming Cliffs 2 gives you access to the A-10 Warthog (one of my favourites!), the F-15 Eagle, Su-27, Su-33, Su-25, Su-25T, MiG-29 and MiG-29S. A10-C is the third sim available right now — it is an extremely accurate simulation of the latest generation A-10.


Black Shark cockpit view.
Black Shark cockpit view.
Black Shark external view.
Black Shark external view.
Flaming Cliffs 2 cockpit view.
Flaming Cliffs 2 cockpit view.
Flaming Cliffs 2 A-10 exterior view.
Flaming Cliffs 2 A-10 exterior view.
DCS A-10C exterior view.
DCS A-10C exterior view.
DCS A-10C exterior view.
DCS A-10C exterior view.

Video: "Edge" Black Shark, Air Combat Simulation: DCS

Video: Flaming Cliffs 2, (look how far we've come)

Flaming Cliffs 3

Flaming Cliffs 3 has just been released in beta form as the follow up to Flaming Cliffs 2. It is improved in every way possible. However, this also comes at a premium to those who have tried every version.

This is now no longer a stand-alone simulator. Rather, it has been fully integrated into the DCS world. It's a full combat simulation that allows control of land and air assets, and is also in a multi-player facet! Is it worth the expense? I think so.

Flaming Cliffs 3

A-10A from Flaming Cliffs 3.
A-10A from Flaming Cliffs 3.
F-15C, shot down over Georgia.
F-15C, shot down over Georgia.

Video: Flaming Cliffs 3

DCS World 2.0

DCS World is the latest update the the DCS series and my goodness there is a lot to cover! Think of it as a Hub of sorts, into which all the DCS modules you choose to purchase integrate. As of the time of writing there are no less than 22 modules in total, including some duplicates. Also available is the Nevada test range, adding hundreds more square miles to fly around in.

Add to this additional mission and campaign modules and you really do have a lifetime of flying to absorb yourself in.

The DCS World 1.5 edition is free and includes the Su-25T and TF-51D aircraft and a huge swathe of Georgia to fly around and blow stuff up in. That said, this is really quite hardcore, especially the additional modules. At around 50 bucks a pop, the modules are not cheap. Perhaps best to pick one or two and really learn the fly the plane and learn the systems!

Almost forgot to mention, there are different generations of warplane and helicopter here, representing the 1940's right up until modern day aircraft!

DCS World

Rise of Flight

Rise of Flight is all about old school WWI bi- and tri-planes and also contains amazing damage model and graphics. There's also a feeling of really flying that many other sims are lacking and would kill to achieve. Best of all, there is a "free to play" model in place now, so you can try it before you buy. They have recently added a career mode, field mods (think new sights and so forth), and you can buy and add on as many or extra planes as you wish, or none at all.

You do need to invest some serious time to get the most out of this sim, and, of course, a fairly powerful PC. I would also recommend a decent joystick with throttle, I personally use a Saitek X52, which is available from Amazon.

The multiplayer version is vibrant, but somewhat hardcore. A lot of practice is needed before venturing into the online battlefields.

Source
Source
Source

Video: Rise of Flight: Multiplayer Dogfight

IL-2 Cliffs of Dover

IL-2 Cliffs of Dover, or CLOD for short from here on in. Where to start with CLOD? Well, it's a Battle of Britain era sim, raging across the southeast part of Britain—across the channel and into Northern France. You get to fly from both sides of this epic battle.

This is was a controversial title at launch. The game was released in a completely unfinished state and few if any PCs were strong enough at the time to get more that 10 frames per second, rendering the game unplayable to most folk. However, with much thanks and gratitude to the community this game has gotten a whole new lease of life. A recent patch made CLOD Windows 10 compatible and the guys over at ATAG (the air tactical assault group) have released no less than 4 community patches that completely and utterly re-invigorated the game and made it a firm favourite of mine.

It's cheap enough, available on Steam and with the free community patches and even re-written campaigns, this combat simulator finally deserves a place in every armchair pilots library!

Source
Source
Source

Video: IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover

Wings of Prey

Wings of Prey is a flight simulator set in various theaters in World War II. This is the PC version of IL-2 Sturmovik "Birds of Prey."

  • In terms of the plans you can fly, there are the usual suspects, and some slightly more unusual ones as well.
  • The campaign takes you from the White Cliffs of Dover, to the Mediterranean, into Russia, and then through the invasion of Germany. This means that you get the pick of the best planes the Allies had throughout the war.
  • It has an "Arcade" mode, which gives you unlimited ammo, makes it easier to shoot stuff. It also doesn't punish you with blackouts or red outs.
  • There are a couple of other settings, so you can tinker with it and get the set up just right for your experience.
  • You also get a number of planes to crash and burn with and get shot down in. So, it's not a case of "Oh, bugger. I got shot down 25 minutes into a mission and now I have to start again." Unless of course, you want it to be. In which case, go for the simulator setting!

Wings of Prey Cockpit View
Wings of Prey Cockpit View
Wings of Prey Hurricane
Wings of Prey Hurricane
Wings of Prey Spitfire
Wings of Prey Spitfire

Falcon BMS

Wow! Talk about value for money. This one if a FREE add on to the existing Falcon 4 combat flight simulator. Graphically, this one is amazing, it has a great illusion of speed, and my oh my, is it chock full of complicated flight systems to learn!

I have only had it a few days, and it has already impressed me enough for me to throw my support behind it fully. Remember, these guys are the heroes of the community, doing so much, and asking nothing in return!

Only thing to bear in mind is you will need the original Falcon 4 to play.

Time for take-off.
Time for take-off.
Great lighting!
Great lighting!

Falcon BMS 4.32

In Closing

Thanks for reading to the bottom! There is a lot of (hopefully) useful information here, and I try my best to keep it regularly updated.

Please remember to support the people who make the magic. Flight simulators are not as popular as they used to be. I accept that. However, if those of us who like to fly support the right people, then it can continue. All I have done in this article is give my opinion on who to support, who not to support, and why they do or don't deserve it.

Please make sure you money goes to the people intent on keeping our hobby alive. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed my opinion on the best combat flight simulators!

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    • Dan 7 days ago

      I was hooked on JANES USAF back in the day when I had a Win-XP machine. I now have Win10 and can't find any decent flight sim that has a relatively modern jet fighter in it. I particularly loved flying the A-10 against ground targets. Win10 compatibility is key. I know that Lock-On will not even boot up for me on Win10. (Bummer.) Any advice to offer?

    • David 11 days ago

      Thanks, Michael!

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
      Author

      Michael Murchie 11 days ago from Parts Unknown

      David, I have found Youtube to be a great help when learning flight simulators. That being said, most of the games listed here have an "arcade" style mode to practise. IL-2 BATTLE OF STALINGRAD has a nice and forgiving flight mode, but if you have a console like PS3 or Xbox 360 then something like Ace Combat can be a fun place to start. Sure, it's unrealistic but we all have to dip our feet in somewhere and they can give you an understanding of flight, although you might pick up some bad habits along the way :) For non combat general flight learning then Dovetail Games Flight School, available on Steam is great. It teaches the absolute basics like take off and landing. Get the fundamentals right first and then progress to dog-fighting is a sure fire way to get the groundwork right!!

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
      Author

      Michael Murchie 2 weeks ago from Parts Unknown

      Craig O, I am limited by Hubpages insofar as links go. What I can say is that CLOD will run on Windows 10 with a little tweaking and is available on the Steam platform. There is some great news for CLOD as well, as there looks to be some collaboration between mod makers and the new owners of the IP. This means an update to direct x 11, and more content to be added in the future. Exciting times !

    • Craig O 2 weeks ago

      Would it be possible to put links to these games? I didn't see any and I'm especially interested in CLOD that will run on Windows 10. I'm finally getting a powerful enough computer where I think these will run and I want to make sure I get the one that has the patches (or patches available). This would really be appreciated!

    • Beer 6 weeks ago

      How is Warbirds doing these days? My favorite sim by far 15-20 years ago, with an amazing community.

    • chris 7 weeks ago

      DCS products are very buggy and inaccurate with the only exception of Ka-50. Every update causes more bugs than those that tries to solve.

    • SpiritW0lf 3 months ago

      Rise of Flight got biased and the crew nerfed a whole bunch of rotary engined planes to please the inline engines crowd. Some planes were ludicrous nerfed to the point of not being flying worthy. Don't waste your time with this game it unless you are not serious about competition, history and honesty. And they nailed the last nail to their coffin with it. The servers just emptied after. They did not take it seriously and not only disrespected the players who favored rotary engined planes, but they disrespected the legend those planes carried with them over the war.

      DCS, best feel of flying with detailed physics, but the game is unfinished in terms of damage model and visibility for WWII planes. Gun effects, smoke and so on so forth is really poor, and this affects how you fly and pull the trigger. These effects are even less detailed than what you got with Combat Flight Simulator. It is a very good simulator for sightseeing and getting to know the plane. I have a few modules and never really got hooked by it because I am into dogfight. They don't seem to care about these issues and the game is already almost a decade old, so it will die with these problems.

      Il-2 BOS has so many problems that would not fit in this post. No wonder its servers are always empty besides the Russian ones. It seems it did not impressed the US and Western Europe markets.

      In fact, besides Cliffs of Dover that I never played (due to the bad rep), there is really no good combat flight simulator for piston driven planes out there. Who knows, maybe in the future.

    • Frankie Kam 3 months ago

      Digital Integration's Tornado. But only if you (1) enjoy 1993 flat-shaded polygon graphics; (2) relish spending 1 to 2 hours planning a multi-plane coordinated mission, using the best Mission Planner ever, and 20 minutes flying the mission; (3) don't have a super rig PC to fly all those scrumptious flight sim games listed above by MM. Frankie "TornadoMan" Kam.

    • Eric Goodwin 4 months ago

      Been out of the sim world for some time.Just wondering if any of these new games give hard kills when you shoot.The one thing I hated about Il2 was that you could sit behind a Lagg3 pumping 20mm into it and they would just keep on and on.Also unless you flew in auto mode you could NEVER catch up with any other aircraft including the other 109's in your squad.

    • Trevor David 4 months ago

      It would REALLY be nice which of these actually run on Windows 10, 8 etc etc.......

    • clovis 4 months ago

      DCS World, Flaming Cliffs 3 and Falcon Top! The rest is arcade

    • 4 months ago

      I'm looking to find out what the best flying games are. I noticed there are a lot of games and a lot of opinions. I'm looking more towards arcade style games though, with multi-player LAN or split-screen (no online only). The following is a list of what I came up with thus far with a few sims added to make a more rounded collection. What would you consider to be the best arcade style flying games?

      Ace Combat 4 (aka Distant Thunder)

      IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 (V4.13.2) (SIM) (or BIRDS/WINGS OF PREY CE for ARCADE)

      Crimson skies: High Road to Revenge

      Secret weapons over Normandy

      Falcon 4.0: Allied Force + BMSv4.33U1 (SIM)

      Snoopy Flying Ace

      DCS: A-10C Warthog + Black Shark 2 (HARDCORE SIM)

      CFS3 FirePower + Wings Over Flanders Fields (SIM) (turn all the realistic settings off for ARCADE)

      These are some other games that could also be on the list:

      AeroWings 2: Air Strike (SIM)

      Birds of Steel (SIM/ARCADE)

      Warhawk

      Flight Simulator X GE (SIM)

      Airfix Dogfighter

      Warthunder

      World of Warplanes

      Tom Clancy's HAWX

    • Charles Bolt 7 months ago

      Aces High. Extremely hard to master and a great community.

    • Margus 7 months ago

      DCS World - 100% realism. It`s a best

    • John Rowden 10 months ago

      Hello, Well I must saythat if you have not played Cliffs of Dover with the Team Fusion Mod you are missing outon one of the best sims out there.

      Given the fact that it is a small theatre, the joy it gives flying multiplayer in large bomber formations being protected by fighter wings is a treat.

      Up to 100 people playing at the same time, team speak for your squadrons, cannot get more real than that.

    • DoveFreexrolo 10 months ago

      I have read so many content on the topic of the blogger lovers but this post is actually a nice post, keep it up.

    • ebabes13 13 months ago

      Aces High. Realism and extremely good aircraft modeling. Hard to master but very satisfying.

    • Falfin 13 months ago

      I miss Air Warrior =[

    • Rick J 16 months ago

      Long Live Falcon 4.0 BMS

    • Coogan 18 months ago

      Aces High II. It's a great game. Right now it's having a graphics overhaul. I can't wait to see it when it's complete.

      S Coogan

    • thomas 21 months ago

      i am very good at flight sim. but i got a combat joystick yesterday and i want to know what is the most accurate flight sim is.

    • QQ 21 months ago

      so which one is the best?

    • Quelper 22 months ago

      CLOD or Cliffs of Dover has been modded so heavily that it is currently KING of the WW2 flight sims.

      I would LOVE you to try out version 4.0+ and review that! http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/ is a good place to start

    • JimmyC 22 months ago

      Personally I would recommend Aces High2.

      By HiTech creations.

      Open sandbox multi player hundreds on line fighting each other,taking bases,fighting in ground vehicles over vast terrains.

      Amazing flight models for a vast choice of WW2 aircraft. Its difficult to begin with but any thing good always is.

      It has a great community of worldwide souls from all walks of life.

      if you want to pit your wits against other human foes in WW2birds this game is for you.

      Try it . I bet you'll like it and it's free for practising and then free for 2 weeks in the main arenas.then a monthly fee which is great value for money.

      I don't know why it's been overlooked in this review because it out classes all the other games listed above.

      See you in the skies

      Salute JimmyC

    • Zack 2 years ago

      It is not a plane, but the best one ever made is " Janes Longbow 1 and 2"

    • Keisha Hunter profile image

      Keisha Hunter 2 years ago from Paradise and then some

      Cool stuff

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
      Author

      Michael Murchie 2 years ago from Parts Unknown

      I would not personally class HAWX as a flight simulator, it's more arcade game. That said, it looked good at the time and the game was indeed fun to fly around and shoot things in, even if it was really silly at times!

    • Anonym 2 years ago

      The best flight simulator is Tom Clancys H.A.W.X.

    • rogeriocoelho profile image

      rogeriocoelho 2 years ago from Coimbra, Portugal

      https://youbeq.com/

      Free multiplayer driving and flight simulator. Explore realistic locations, drive around and meet people. Built with Google Earth API.

    • 2 years ago

      hi what about

      J.A.S.F - Janes Advanced Strike Fighters?

      thanks

    • TWC_Fatal_Error 2 years ago

      Andreas and those of you interested in a real simulation PC driven only true physics true hit boxes and damage modeling air combat simulator, then look no further than Cliffs of Dover. I am not a salesman but it is $10 and there is no jump into instant action you must spend time just learning to get a plane in the air. Combat pilots learn to fly first.I bet a full 95 out of 100 of you reading this won't get in the air your first honest try, for it is a simulation first and a combat simulator second.Wonderful support from the community and many squads to join in and fly like it was done in 1940 no icons no moving maps wind turbulence all the effects and beautiful to fly and when you think your ready put on your big girl pants and come get some in the axis vs allies server ::S::

    • Chris 2 years ago

      I am surpriced that you didn't mention War Thunder? easily the best Flying Sim ever!

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
      Author

      Michael Murchie 2 years ago from Parts Unknown

      @Bobk1937, sorry to have missed a favourite out! It was simply down to not having played it myself, therefore I didn't think it was right to have an opinion on it. Assuredly though, it is on my to do list :)

    • Bobk1937 2 years ago

      How come OFF (Over Flanders Fields) was left out. Unlike Rise of Flight, OFF got the WW1 air war story line right historically plus great planes and scenery.

    • Kolin 2 years ago

      I have both flaming cliffs 2 and il2 1946, but if I had to pick, it would be 1946 for sure. The modding community is great, and it's free multiplayer. I would guess that I have about 400 fly able aircraft. Deffinantly the best sim I have ever owned.

    • cc 2 years ago

      cliffs of dover WWII with the new team fusion mod...brillant

    • WarDog1912 2 years ago

      Try out this one guys, im sure that you you will not be disappointed http://storify.com/AirWaspTornado/new-wwii-tactica...

    • Andreas 2 years ago

      I am looking for any (real) flying sim with a great online experience, be that airplanes from today or the WW2 era.. I am happy with WT but I do feel that there's something missing and that they may be a bit off when it comes to realism, like you just said. Any help here will be much appreciated and to me, online combat is very important, going back to fighting AI just won't cut it for me.

      Regards,

      Andreas (AceRevo @ Warthunder)

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
      Author

      Michael Murchie 2 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Warthunder is fun but light hearted, not a serious sim as such but a good fun plane based shooter!

    • andreas 2 years ago

      What you think of warthunder?

    • Frank 3 years ago

      You guys should check out Star Citizen. A AAA PC space sim with dogfighting that is being entirely funded by crowdsourcing!

    • Dragan 3 years ago

      Hi people !

      really good site ! Nice an civilized discussion and excellent reviews. Thanks !

    • Reticuli 4 years ago

      OH, and Total Air War 2. Free. I don't run it quite as often as I used to, but that's worth checking out, as well. Flaming Cliffs is cool, but never really holds my attention as much as the study sims.

    • Reticuli 4 years ago

      Fixed Wing:

      Falcon BMS... Fantastic. You could get everything you want here. Perfect stereoscopic. Great avionics. Flight model that is among the best.

      DCS A-10... Don't have it, but haven't heard anything bad about it.

      And Janes FA-18 still has what it takes and might eventually get 32bit color support.

      Helo:

      DCS Blackshark 2... strange channel damping characteristics and quirky yaw, but best flight model for a combat helo sim.

      Comanche Gold. Dumbed down and miniaturized version of everything, but doesn't do anything terribly wrong.

      LB2 is too glitchy on modern systems and the rockets don't work right. Not really worth it, unfortunately. Fun if you have a lot of time to blow and you don't mind CTDs and losing your game. Shallow but inoffensive modern AC/AH flight model.

      And then EECH is waaay down on the list, in spite of all their avionics and eye candy mods. The flight model is terrible on it, possibly worse than on the original release, and the terrain is a spoofed 2D format that can't do stereo. Arneh's wheel suspension is notable, though. EE2 fixes the graphics but keeps the terrible flight model. It's amazing that even with the source code being available, no one has ever improved the root coding of the flight dynamics.

    • John 4 years ago

      All good stuff but I like World War II online to be honest. It has something none of these games have, and that is you can fly axis and allied fighters, bombers, and transport aircraft, in an immersive compbined arms fight, against ground units, against other fighters, providing CAS/CAP in a very large map (europe). Most flight sims are sandbox, and may offer some limited multiplay, but nothing like what an MMO can deliver. So for me it's still World War II online in terms of simulators.

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
      Author

      Michael Murchie 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Pembquist, I have tried the Aces High 2 demo, and have to say that it feels a little too dated to me compared with what's on offer now. World of Planes is on it's way for a totally online experience, but I don't think online only is for me, with a family I need something I can pause when I need to ;)

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
      Author

      Michael Murchie 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Mahadevank, I am sure that you will have noticed that I wrote a fair bit in this article about Flightgear, I am a fan, but it's not combat related, so it's not something I am going to give more space to right now. I liked you tutorials page, keep up the good work and thanks for reading

    • pembquist 4 years ago

      You missed the best combat flight simulator there is: Aces High 2. Its multiplayer and its costs 15 a month but its aircraft are modeled on the real flight characteristics of ww2 planes. It is addictive and hard but satisfying. There is a free 2 week trial.

    • mahadevank profile image

      mahadevank 5 years ago from Bangalore

      If you're reading this…you should try Flightgear for FREE :) Helpful tutorials available at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Helpful-Tutorials-fo... as well to help you get started!

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
      Author

      Michael Murchie 6 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Hiya DNem, thanks for reading! I am not running the worlds fastest PC, in fact its a home build cobbled together out of spares! But maybe its time to upgrade so you can dip your toes in :)

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      DNemesis 6 years ago

      Strike Fighters looks delicious. I always had some interest in IL2 and MS Flight Simulator X. However, my mid range PC doesn't allow me to enjoy it the way i want to.

      Thanks for a great article, ill certainly keep these titles in mind.

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image
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      Michael Murchie 6 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Jeez, it really does break my heart to see people being taken for a ride, however "legal" the process might be. Good luck with the refund, I hope that you out it towards a deserving sim :)

    • ck 6 years ago

      I'll second your opinion. I made the mistake of falling for the ProFlightSim ad, and then found out they were just re-packaging FlightGear. Not only that, but their "4 bonuses add up to more than $530 in retail", are all free downloads on the internet. I'm in the process of getting a refund right now...

    • Mads 6 years ago

      Thanks for the advice and the warning! Plenty of cheaper options by the looks of it

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