Air combat games are filled with the sensation of flying and the adventure of dogfights. Gamers get to experience the thrill of dynamic fighter jets, aerial combat, maneuver their opponents, and enjoy the victory. There are lots of questions out there from avid gamers about the best Air combat games on PC. But there are lots of air combat games out there, so you may not know the right ones to install on your PC. We have created a shortlist of the best 20 Air Combat games you can enjoy during your spare time at home, either alone or with friends. In no particular order let’s take to the skies, shall we?
1. DCS: A-10C Warthog
Digital Combat Simulator: A-10C Warthog PC game is from Eagle Dynamics. It is one of the most demanding and detailed air combat games. Gamers are in for a hard time with this highly realistic game. This can be overwhelming for newcomers to the air combat genre, as it’s not for the faint-hearted. DCS: A-10C warthog demands dedication and only devout disciples get to reach the peak of the game.
DCS: A-10C Warthog is a PC simulation that provides a perfect recreation of modern air combat with diverse flight dynamics, weapon systems, and classified avionics. It offers great graphics and sound effects; this simulation produces virtual pilots out of gamers. The presence of different missions and campaigns serves up more than a casual game experience as well as the online mode where one can fly with and against friends through the online game browser.
2. IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946
This game is centered in the alternate historical year of 1946 with hundreds of new ground objects, over 300 aircraft, and nearly 200 new campaign missions. It’s a true masterpiece with excellent gameplay and a good level of detail. WW2 still rages on with battles between Germany and the Soviet Union with the addition of new planes with historical paint schemes to represent aircraft or squadrons that served in WW2. The game provides various objectives to accomplish such as intercepting American fortresses over Japanese islands and flying jet bombers over Europe. In three of these campaigns, hypothetical battles are created based on the war between Germany and the Soviet Union. You can never get tired of playing.
3. DCS: Black Shark 2
This is a great upgrade to the initial DCS: Black Shark simulation, with many new features. It is a simulation of the Russian Ka-50 attack helicopter with a sophisticated high-performance dual rotor system, an array of deadly weapons such as rockets, missiles, and bombs. It also has various buttons, switches, advanced technology, and a rescue ejection system that provides a real sense of flight to the gamers and of course, loads of fun. The damages that occur during flights are realistic, so you have to be careful, so you don’t end up feeling more hurt than you imagined.
4. Wings over Europe: Cold War Gone Hot
Hold on to your seats as this game takes you through realistic air combat, in some of the most intense dogfights of the Cold War timeline. Gamers get to experience the excitement flying some iconic jet fighters which include: F-105 Thunderbolt, F-15 Eagle, British Hunter, and A-10 Thunderbolt. These highly accurate planes, environments, effects, and an ever-challenging enemy AI as well as the multiplayer features turns up the heat on this Cold War game. You are going to engage in battle against 13 different Cold War Soviet aircraft. The missions in this game are generated randomly, so you can replay missions you failed previously. After each successful mission, you win awards, decorations, and even promotions.
5. Falcon 4.0: Allied Force
Advanced war strategy? Yes. Thrilling air combat? Yes. This game combines what gaming enthusiasts are always craving for and serves it in an engaging and action-packed simulation. With the warbird F-16 “Fighting Falcon’, you get to undertake missions over a wide array of detailed landscapes where dogfights are common. You are provided with weapons like AGM-88 HARM, cluster bombs and so on which are simulated using accurate specifications. Keep your head high and enjoy the events unfolding around you.
6. Pearl Harbor: Zero Hour
You’re in for some gaming goodness with hours and hours behind your computer screen. Zero Hour is a fun and captivating game where you play the role of a United States pilot back during the Second World War. You’ll have to battle your way across ten separate missions fighting Japanese forces, there are different aircraft for your missions with some cool names such as The Mustang, Hellcats, and The Devastator. The missions are drawn from the Pacific campaign of World War II, including the Battle of Midway.
7. Airfix Dogfighter
This is packed with great flight model and fun missions to make this game a real fan favorite. In the game, little plastic planes fly around a house setting such as a kitchen and a bedroom, carrying out tough missions. You have to choose between Allied and Axis forces at the start of the game, whichever side you pick, you have to face ten missions around the house and also get to unlock new areas. Gamers get to battles through the house in search of objects such as bombs, canons. It has an action-packed animation feel to it.
8. Flanker 2.5
It offers a thrilling and high octane gaming experience with a realistic look. The game incorporates the amazing graphics and gameplay from the initial Flanker 2.0 and adds the cherries on the top with new features such as wingman commands, aerial refueling. The game improves on its explosion and smoke effects, and the sound effect also adds to the realism. To successfully fly your aircraft, you need to have some knowledge of aerial combat, but don’t fret. This 2002 game will prepare you for the journey, with its 200+ page manual that you can flip through. If you can’t go through the manual, there are training missions that will get you ready to fly the Su27 Flanker and become the best armchair pilot.
9. Wings of Prey
Get ready to fight in some of the famous air battles. It is based around the ground and aerial military operations of World War II. With various theaters of war, gamers get to choose from: Berlin, Sicily, Stalingrad, and Britain. The game depicts an accurate war atmosphere in a detailed way with over 40 missions to keep the gamer hooked flying aircraft in air battles. Based on your level of expertise, this game’s flexible difficulty level system helps you enjoy it to the fullest. The sound effects are more than realistic, and you can use headsets when playing to take you deeper into the heart of the game.
10. Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War
The game is set back to the dawn of aerial warfare in 1917. You’ve not experienced a game quite this raw and thrilling. Historical details and nice computer graphics add beauty and realism to aerial combat missions. You get to engage in World War I missions and shoot down opposition aircraft. You can either play this simulation game in single-player mode or engage in a competitive multiplayer mode.
11. Falcon 4.0
A simulation game where you get to play as an F-16 flight pilot. Various missions with different difficulties provide the ultimate experience for aerial combat enthusiasts. It also has detailed environments and stunning graphics to accurately depict the world of air combat. The hyper-realistic graphics of the game throw you right into the pilot’s seat. You recognize the dogfight members on your team by the aircraft markings. Sometimes, the opposing team may paint over these markings. It’s war. You have to keep your eyes open.
12. Lock On: Modern Air Combat
You can’t be tired of fighting in the air yet. In Lock On: Modern Air Combat, you get to choose from various fighter aircrafts such as F-15 Eagle, SU-27 Flanker, and so on. Modern Air Combat blends intense gameplay with a graphical environment. Intense campaigns with a range of multi-player and individual missions serve up unlimited action to experienced and new players.
13. Attack on Pearl Harbor
This game takes you back in time where you partake in action-packed aerial combat, either as Japanese or American pilots. You get to fly some of the most sophisticated World War II aircraft and engage in bloody dogfights in the Pacific Theater. It is based on the original Attack on Pearl Harbor event and the battles that followed. You get to play from a third-person perspective. It has both single-player and multiplayer campaigns. In the multiplayer campaign, you can either choose to battle against each other or engage in cooperative gameplay. The game got mixed reviews upon release, but it is worth it.
14. Pacific Fighters
This is one of the most convincing air combat games for PC. You get to fly for the Allied forces in dangerous missions or become a pilot for the Japanese empire. You have a wide array of aircrafts such as Japanese Zero, F6F Hellcat, and some British fighter planes with interesting missions, in historic locations. The two modes you can play in this game are the Dogfight and Cooperative Campaign mode. The type of aircraft you use in either one of these modes depends on the type of mission you pick. Also, you can either play as Axis or Allied forces.
15. Wings of War
The Sky is wide enough; here you have the opportunity to rule the skies with this high-intensity action game. This highly addictive game is filled with drama and fast speed duels in the air. Players battle in the skies while earning medals and gaining ranks. The idea for the game comes from a mixture of board games, card games, and small wargaming systems to produce this amazing air combat game. An update to this game is Wings of War Miniatures, where model airplanes are used instead of the airplane cards used in Wings of War.
16. IL-2 STURMOVIK: Forgotten Battles
The Eastern front is where the action is. This remarkable game with great details and graphics also packs a cool selection of aircraft. New single-player and multiplayer missions with a solid enemy AI, which means you’ll get a challenge no matter the mission. You can choose to fly for the Soviets, Germans, or Hungarians under various campaigns. There’s also an online mode to add variety to the gameplay.
17. IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad
WWII fans would fall in love with this PC game set in the era. Interesting details and realistic graphics might make you feel you’re a WWII fighter. It is easy to understand for beginners and also has a multiplayer mode for dogfighting fans.
18. War Thunder
Realistic aircraft, good flight physics are the trademark style of one of the best flying games for PC. It has been updated to include the latest aircraft from different countries. Dogfighting has never been better, as multiplayer mode involves tactics and grit to survive these battles. There are more than 1.500 aircraft, tanks, warships, helicopters, and many other combat vehicles used in this game. You can also earn real money when you create original content for the game and share it on War Thunder Live.
19. Sky Fighters: Project 1
It’s worth mentioning even though it’s a bit of a throwback. This game about fighter jets is based on the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. It is still fun and engaging and worth a try for air combat enthusiasts.
Realism is at its peak in this game. It comprises more than 500 real airports and over 1000 runways and areas that look like real life. Realistic flight dynamics and a Dog fight mode put it on this list. You can begin this game with a training mode, which will improve your skills before you start fighting. In Dog Fight mode, you get to fight multiple waves of enemy airplanes. After completing the six game modes, you become a top gun.