Here we take a lightspeed survey of some of the best space themed games in the galaxy. Each brings something unique to the table and uses the backdrop of interstellar adventure to deliver exciting gameplay experiences that will keep you coming back for more.
1. Elite: Dangerous
Elite: Dangerous is a successor to one of the very first space themed games, 1984’s wireframe space shooter, Elite. Though 2014’s Elite: Dangerous goes far beyond the limitations of its ancestor. Available on all major platforms, Elite: Dangerous gives you a space-ship and lets you forge your own destiny in a rich online multiplayer world of galaxies, star systems and space-ports. Players can take to mining or smuggling, trading or piracy. This open ended nature leads to genuinely novel play experiences as each player figures out their niche in a living world of space exploration.
2. Among Us
Among Us was the break-out indie hit of 2020 and is still immensely popular today. This multiplayer game is set on a space-ship where routine maintenance must be kept up in order to ensure good working order of the vessel. But there’s a catch: one of your crew is an imposter who is tasked with killing off the other players while deflecting suspicion away from themselves. This is played out in the emergency meetings that are called whenever someone finds a fresh body. Players must then vote on who they suspect is the murderer. The imposter wins if they manage to survive to the last round.
Bringing the stellar theme to the world of slots titles is the undeniable classic Wildz Casino: Starburst game. Consistently rated as one of the top ten most popular slots games on online casinos, Starburst has gone from strength to strength since its initial release in 2012. Whereas many modern slots games have, at times, complicated additional features like bonus rounds and free spins, Starburst is a traditional casino title that emulates the captivating gameplay of its mechanical forebears. This makes it a solid and eminently playable experience for new and experienced gamers alike.
4. No Man’s Sky
The story of No Man’s Sky’s development is legendary at this point. This project, first conceived of back in 2011, was over-hyped by its indie development crew, Hello Games, to such phenomenal heights that the final product never had any chance of living up to it. In fact, in recent years it was perhaps the single greatest disappointment in the modern games industry, not counting the catastrophic fall-out from Cyberpunk 2077’s botched release. The intitla promise held out for No Man’s Sky was that it would be a true go-anywhere-do-anything space exploration game with millions of unique, procedurally generated planets with full atmospheres, thousands of novel lifeforms and a whole galaxy to explore. When the game first went on general release back in 2016 it lacked virtually everything people were promised. It had no crafting system, the vast majority of worlds were same-y and the entire galaxy was virtually bereft of any life save the player. Impressively, in one of the all-time greatest redemption arcs we’ve witnessed, the developers quietly kept their heads down and kept working following this critical backlash. Eventually, after several more years and a host of free expansion packs, the game has finally grown into something resembling its initial concept. Its synthesis of crafting, exploration and survival simulation now makes for a compelling experience, and its in-game universe teems with life.
5. Kerbal Space Program
Kerbal Space Program is a game like no other. This playful sand-box rocket simulator conceals some serious real-world physics. Try time and again to build a rocket that will conform to the laws of nature and successfully achieve escape velocity while keeping your astronauts intact. Should you succeed at that daunting feat, new challenges quickly emerge. Plan your own space missions with precise real-world calculations to ensure you’ll have enough fuel and supplies to make it to your destination and back in one piece. This is a game where failure can almost be taken for granted, with successful missions only coming after extensive trial-and-error and careful planning. This makes a successful voyage all the more exciting when you do pull it off, though you’ll never tire of the fantastic crashes and explosions that punctuate your efforts at getting there.
6. FTL: Faster Than Light
Faster Than Light started life as a Kickstarter project and has gone from strength to strength with an ardent community fanbase of supporters and a port to Apple’s iOS ecosystem letting a whole new audience experience its thrills. FTL is a rogue-like game, meaning you are placed in a randomly generated scenario each game, with only one life at your disposal. This makes this type of game fiendishly hard but immensely rewarding as you manage your limited resources and make critical decisions that could mean life or death. While most rogue-like games take place in a fantasy setting with dungeon rooms, FTL gives the genre a sci-fi facelift and puts you in charge of the running of your own space-ship. Under attack from pirates? You may need to re-route vital power from the engines to your shields in order to weather the encounter. This is a game where every action has consequences, and experienced players are rewarded for their astute choices.
7. Upcoming: Starfield
While Starfield isn’t out yet, and in fact isn’t due to hit the shelves until at least Q2 2023, its inclusion on this list cannot be omitted. This is because Starfield holds out the promise of Skyrim in space – you heard us. The developers behind this new project are none other than Bethesda, the studio that brought us the Elder Scrolls games, those wonders of first person RPG adventure. Little more is known of Starfield yet, save that it’s the first new IP the Maryland based team have worked on in over 25 years. The game was initially slated for development back in the 90s, but was cancelled after the team came to believe that the technology available to them at the time was too limited to do their vision justice. Starfield is also supposed to be one of the most expensive games ever developed, which by modern industry standards would put its costs up into the $400-500 million range. Whether all that will pay off remains to be seen, but with Skyrim still among the best loved games today, even 11 years after its release, Starfield likely has every chance to become a modern classic.