Space, the final frontier, has been the location of many sci-fi writers and folks interested in where humans are going next. There are many games currently on the market that explore space in novel exciting ways.

Take a cosmic journey with us as we explore the top space games released.

We have searched through the internet to bring highly immersive space games that cover a variety of styles. We have found giant online MMOs that let you simulate running an entire space fleet.

We have also found games that pit you as mech pilot time travelers working to save Earth from an alien hoard.

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HOW WE RATE THE TOP SPACE GAMES

planet in space

Critiquing space games is a straightforward process. We analyze whether or not the game actually puts players into a situation where they feel they are in space.

Next, we consider whether or not the world the game builds is enticing enough for the player to enjoy.

We take into account the following factors to decide the top 10 space games:

  • Gameplay
  • Narrative

GAMEPLAY

Analyzing gameplay is at the forefront of how we critique space games. Space games should feel different from most other video games. Varied lighting, gravity, and game mechanics built on simulating the environment of space impress us the most.

NARRATIVE

The frontier of space provides an excellent setting to craft untold narratives. In each game reviewed we consider whether or not the game has pushed the space genre forward in terms of narrative.

Is the player told new stories? Does the narrative not suffer from the same cliché as many space operas? These questions help us recommend the top space games to gamers.

10 Top Space Games

space game

1

Star Wars

Star Wars: The Old Republic - PC
  • Define Your Star Wars Saga - Choose from one of eight iconic roles
  • Choose the Light or Dark Side - Meaningful choices throughout your journey will determine the light or dark side
  • Adventure with Companions - Build or break meaningful relationships with your companions

No top space gaming list would be complete without mentioning Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II. Building off the success of the first game, this game throws you into the Star Wars universe as a Jedi exiled from the Jedi Order.

It is up to the Exile to prevent the Sith from completely wiping out the Jedi order. This game has excellent crpg gameplay mechanics. Combat is a tactical dance of light sabers, and force push skills.

What puts this game in a league of its own, is how the gameplay mechanics are reinforced by the narrative of the game. Throughout the game, you don’t just stay on the light side or good side. Through choices you make you can actually move towards the dark side.

These choices don’t just inform your morality, they change the types of skills your character can use, and even their combat style.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II pushes the Star Wars space opera forward by exploring the duality of the force. We rate this game a 5 out of 5.

2

EVE Online is one of the only online mmo games that prides itself on user generated empires and marketplaces. Everything you find in EVE online is the result of real-world players making decisions, building, or destroying in the EVE galaxy.

You need to play this game if you have ever wanted to join an intergalactic space federation. With tons of internal systems, user generated politics, ships, and large-scale conflicts, EVE Online is the #1 sandbox space simulator.  

Players have access to their own ships, and can join a fleet of their choosing. Players define everything from the way their ship operates, to the galaxies those ships inhabit.

The narrative in EVE Online is unlike any other because it is completely generated by the community. Nothing is set in stone, and everything is changing constantly. This game provides players with a true space opera experience.  

We give EVE Online a rating of 5 out of 5.  

3

Mass Effect

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Mass Effect Andromeda - PC
  • Chart your own course in a dangerous new galaxy. Unravel the mysteries of the Andromeda galaxy as you discover rich,...
  • Battle like never before. New additions like destructible environments, boosted jumps for added verticality, and all new...
  • With amazing weapons, powers and tech, and much more flexible skill and weapon progression tree you can replicate your...

Mass Effect 3 is a space opera designed by BioWare that sees humanity fighting against the forces of the Reapers, an intergalactic mecha-squid alien race.

Gameplay is fun and frantic. You can choose between 4 different power sets, Combat, Tech, Ammo, and Biotic to take on a variety of alien threats. These abilities help you tailor your Commander Shepherd to your own combat preferences.

Combat is the most kinetic it has been in the Mass Effect series as players also get access to a close range melee tool that changes the flow of combat. 

The narrative in Mass Effect 3 is bar none. The space epic presented in this game is the culmination of a series of exploring the various manners in which human life evolves as it intersects with other alien races and cultures. 

Mass Effect 3 is an exhilarating, tactical foray into a near distant future. We rate Mass Effect a 4 out of 5.

4

Dead Space

Dead Space 2
  • For the first time, experience the horror of a Necromorph outbreak in multiplayer as you fight in skirmishes around the...
  • Continue the frightening Dead Space saga in a whole new survival-horror adventure with engineer Isaac Clarke
  • Impale Necromorphs into the walls with the Javelin, use improved telekinesis to turn limbs into deadly weapons, plant...

Dead Space is a survival horror game that is truly frightening. If you thought Alien was horrific, wait until you play through Issac Clarke’s story.

Issac Clarke is a ship engineer who finds himself stuck on a mining space ship during an outbreak of an alien scourge. The dead are transformed into Necromorphs that attack anything in sight.

Dead Space features many gameplay mechanics that are inspired by horror movies. Necromorphs will jump off the ceiling, out of corners, and out of vent shafts to kill you. Everything is deadly and attacks with an intent to kill.

Players are outfitted with a variety of engineering tools that are used to cut off Necromorph limbs, or throw objects at a high velocity towards the Necromorph. Dead Space rewards intuitive, and quick thinking. Death is around every corner.

Dead Space is a cinematic masterpiece in video game format. The narrative is riveting and is a new take on the space horror genre. Cutscenes of player deaths are gruesome, and truly capture the horror of an alien scourge outbreak.

We rate Dead Space a 5 out of 5 for transforming the horror space survival genre.

5

Prey

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Prey - PlayStation 4 [video game]
  • In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032
  • You are the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever - but things have gone terribly wrong
  • The space station has been overrun by hostile aliens and you are now being hunted

Prey is another first-person horror survival game. Players play as Morgan Yu, a space station researcher studying the antagonistic alien collective, The Typhon. Eventually, an outbreak occurs, and players use a combination of their own abilities, and abilities learned from the Typhon to escape the space station.

The gameplay design of Prey is incredibly intricate and detailed. In fact, it manages to revolutionize sandbox gameplay much like Portal did when it first game out. Players are given a large amount of agency to engage the game in whatever manner they see fit.

There are a number of creative ways players can solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and ultimately escape the station. This freedom of choice is imbued in the gameplay and the narrative itself. This game is an excellent example of Emergent gameplay. Gameplay that excels because it is built off of excellent smaller gameplay mechanics.

We rate Prey a 5 out of 5 for providing players with an incredible space station to explore in varied ways.

6

No Man's Sky

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No Man's Sky - Xbox One
  • No Man’s Sky is an epic science fiction adventure set across an infinite universe, in which every star is the light of...
  • In this infinite procedurally generated universe, you'll discover places and creatures that no other players have seen...
  • A mystery lies at the centre of the galaxy, an irresistible pulse that draws you on an epic voyage to discover the true...

No Man’s Sky is a fun low-key space adventure that puts players in the role of an explorer. As an explorer, players travel between different planets and galaxies with the primary goal of exploring and surviving.

Gameplay is mainly mining and crafting based. Players can deconstruct materials from planets, asteroids, flora, and fauna to both improve themselves, their weapons, and their space ship. Resource management is the core gameplay loop provided by No Man’s Sky.

There are also aggressive elements in the game where players have to defend themselves from hostile pilots and terrestrial creatures. Ground combat revolves around properly taking cover, not getting flanked by enemies, and using the terrain to give you tactical advantage.

Space combat involves defending yourself against pirates and other alien threats. Players must consider whether or not they have the resources to stay in dogfights, or whether or not they should warp away.

The narrative of No Man’s Sky compliments the gameplay nicely. Because you are an explorer in No Man’s Sky, there is no real pressure put on to the player to achieve some optimal rank or beat a final end boss.

The game’s essence is exploring an incredible amount of procedurally generated, beautiful alien worlds. Space needn’t always be hostile, so sit back, relax, and explore.

We give No Man’s Sky a rating of 4 out of 5.

7

Mass Effect Trilogy

Mass Effect Trilogy - Xbox 360
  • Over 75 hours of story content, plus Mass Effect 3's critically acclaimed multiplayer mode
  • Create and customize your own character with his or her appearance and skills, then play your Commander Shepard through...
  • Experience an amazingly rich and detailed universe where your decisions have profound consequences on the action and the...

Mass Effect 2 is a narrative driven game that explores the various characters and races that exist in the Mass Effect Universe.

Mass Effect 2’s gameplay elements are not as kinetic as Mass Effect 3. However, what makes Mass Effect 2 worthy of this list, is how relationships are formed with Commander Shepherd’s crew members.

You have the option to go on a variety of quests that help contextualize different character and species actions in the Mass Effect Universe. Characterization is what makes Mass Effect 2 an incredible space journey.

We rate Mass Effect 2 a 4 out of 5.

8

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS [Online Game Code]
  • Realistic gunplay mechanics with a large array of weapons & attachements
  • Motion captured character animations
  • Realistic vehicle mechanics

In Faster Than Light, you play as a captain tasked with running a ship that is on a mission to save the galaxy. Gameplay elements involve carefully managing the resources of your ship as you try to mitigate the damage that journey causes.

FTL puts you in a variety of high stakes situations that cause you to constantly have to shift your way of thinking. The rogue like elements of this game make it an excellent space combat simulator.

We rate Faster Than Light a 5 out of 5.

9

Valkyrie

PSVR EVE: Valkyrie - PlayStation VR
  • Explore the intricate sci-fi universe of EVE Online like never before as you engage in deep-space aerial dogfights and...
  • Chase wealth and notoriety on the edge of space. Become a hired mercenary and trade cannon fire for cash or join a band...
  • Experience the intensity of 360-degree combat across distant star systems, taking command of heavily-armed fighter ships...

Eve Valkyrie is a VR game that puts players in the cockpit of a ship in the EVE Online universe. If you’ve ever wanted to relieve the joys of Luke Skywalker destroying the Death Star, then look no further than trench mode.

EVE Valkyrie features over the top dogfights that you can enjoy with a VR headset. Graphics are absolutely stunning, and the VR simulation actually makes you feel like you are in a spaceship!

We rate EVE Valkyrie a 5 out of 5.

10

Into the Breach is a game that asks the pivotal question, what would you do if you had knowledge of the future? You play as a squad of time travelling mech pilots tasked with saving Earth from an insectoid like alien race.

Into the breach is a deep tactical turn-based strategy game in which you know the actions of your enemies. You know what the enemy is going to do, so you have to decide how you can mitigate the most damage.

Into the Breach also allows you to form relationships with your crew. When your crew is defeated in combat, and this will happen, you have to decide who dies permanently, and who gets to go to the past to battle the aliens again.

We rate Into the Breach a 5 out of 5.

war with demon

Buyer's Guide

Although we have provided you with the top 10 space games of all time, it is possible that we missed one.

We recommend that players consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to buy a space game:

  • How is space portrayed
  • Is it fun?
  • Price

Our Top 10 Space Games Of All Time Are All Groundbreaking

Each space game we have selected is ground breaking in its own way. These games cover the final frontier in novel ways that are sure to interest players.

We are sure that players will find a space game on this list that resonates with their fantasies about space.

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