Jet fighter pilots are often revered for their skills and control over jets. Many people love aerial dogfight scenes in movies like Top Gun, Red Tails, The Eternal Zero, etc. Many such fans turn to flight simulators to experience the thrill for themselves, but unfortunately, flight sims do not provide such an experience. If you want to engage in realistic, intense aerial dogfights, you should play one of the jet fighting games. We will save you the trouble of looking for them all over the internet. Here we have compiled the list of the best jet fighter Games for PC:
1. IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad
IL-2 Sturmovik game series is perhaps one of the most famous and top jet fighter games for PC. The series has created a benchmark of its own in the genre of flight combat games. Simply said, the game is made for veteran players of the genre, but that doesn’t mean beginners are not welcome. Battle of Stalingrad takes the perfection of the series to a whole new level. This is because of the hidden depth and technical detail in the gameplay mechanics. The stellar single-player mode features 3 iconic wars from history. A custom mode lets you create a battle scene of your dream, there’s a competitive multiplayer mode. All these aspects of the game are further glorified by realistic physics, detailed aircraft dynamics and looks, and advanced flight modeling.
2. Wings of Prey
Wings of Prey is the PC version of one of the best jet fighter games on console, called IL-2(series). The game is vast and diverse, as you would expect, but it is also quite flexible. Meaning that players of any skill (beginners to pros) can give it a try, and it is certain to give them a great time. There are quite a variety of planes you can fly and a few more purchasable ones. The campaign offers a lot of missions featuring iconic battles from the world’s history. The multiplayer mode is functional but a bit buggy. The action is undoubtedly heated in Wings of Prey.
3. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown promises supreme dogfight gameplay on PC. You can enjoy the view across acoustic diverse landscapes, blow up stuff, chase and shoot down enemy pilots, destroy enemy bases with missiles, etc. You will constantly be in a plane on enemy territory, so you must strategize which bases or enemy planes need to go down first, or sometimes you have to act fast because there will be a time limit. In serious dogfights, your reflexes are the only thing that will keep you alive. For hardcore players, there are a lot of nuances/possibilities to toggle in battles. The complexity can get surprisingly deep, after all, this is what the Ace Combat series is known for.
4. Freespace 2
Free space 2 is one of the best space aircraft combat games for PC. The game is set in the year 2367, the world was in complete chaos. Wars were fought with Capital ships, supersonic fighter, and bomber planes. But three decades have passed now and society is rebuilding. But the ”Shivans” hostile alien species have again become a threat. You play as a skilled pilot deployed to eliminate them while protecting the ally alien species called Vasudan. The gameplay is out of the world! Freespace 2 offers one of the best space jet fighter combat with fast-paced action, worthy missions, and beautiful space jet craft design.
5. Flying Tigers – Shadows Over China
Many of the World War 2 games on the market only have to offer the same old gameplay, but Flying Tiger is one of the exceptions. The gameplay feels like a fresh breeze with easy-to-understand mechanics. You don’t need to stick your face into the instruction manual for hours. The storyline is surprisingly one of the best aspects of the game and will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is a jet fighter action game, inspired by America’s secret volunteer squadrons that defended China against Japan in the CBI (China, Burma, India) theater of World War 2.
6. DCS World
If you are into hardcore dogfights, Digital Combat Simulator World is sure to tick all your boxes. DCS World offers a flight simulator and battlefield for free. It not only has many magnificent and famous plane models (25 more for purchase) and the same for tanks and ships. The game is filled with finely detailed models, top-class missions, multiple wars from various time periods, and much more. The realism is so good, it will make you feel like an accomplished Jet fighter pilot whenever you play. With State-of-the-art graphics and the sheer variety of military equipment, DCS World is one of the greatest jet fighter games of all time.
7. War Thunder
War Thunder is easily one of the best Jet Fighter games for PC. A large range of realistic fighter planes, great flight physics, awesome combat mechanics, etc. makes War Thunder an absolute blast to play. The game has several modes to suit your moods and tastes. There’s a free-flying mode where you can simply cruise around, insanely fast-paced multiplayer battles, and much more. The vast tutorial and guides are easy to understand, so it’s one of the best games for new genre players. With all the updates over the years, the game is complex enough to even make a veteran sweat. War Thunder also has terrain and naval battle options as deep and awesome as ariel ones.
8. Project Wingman
A truly refined experience of jet fighters is what makes this game shine. Project Wingman is not a typical flight simulator, but don’t think the game is trivial because of its easy-to-understand controls. You get to fly and dogfight in the sky of another Earth-like planet. The missions are brutal, you will have to be fast and skilled to defeat some high odds against you. Futuristic weapons like rail guns and geothermal cannons are always ready to shoot you down from the sky. As an Ace pilot, you need to use your weaponry and skills to clear your missions with more than 20 aircraft and 40 weapons. The campaign mode is the best part of the game, and playing it on VR takes it to the next level!
9. Bomber Crew
Bomber Crew is quite different from other jet fighter games on the market. You are completely in charge of a massive fighter plane as it carries out missions. Better get ready to give orders for navigation, gun down enemy aircraft, bombing enemy bases, etc. It sounds easy, but each of the above-mentioned objectives has sub-steps of its own. Making a mistake in these steps will have consequences, from wastage of fuel to destruction of your ship. These requirements go up a notch or two when you are in battle. All of this is so superbly detailed that the game feels like a brutal management simulator in its peak moments. Pulling off such high-stakes missions is what makes the game memorable.
10. Elite Dangerous
Elite Dangerous is another great jet fighter game for PC, especially if you like intergalactic Star Wars kind of experience. You can play it solo or with friends in the Open Play mode. Learning to play Elite Dangerous takes time and patience. This is so because you will be left to do as you please in a whole universe after the tutorial. Things can go pretty crazy from here, though, you do not want to get into the deep trading or political system on the get-go(watch beginner guide on YouTube). What makes the game stand out is the big, risky but bountiful world that is offered to its players, who can traverse it in their jet spacecraft. The action is incredible with a variety of foes and a multiplayer Arena mode!
11. Star Wars: Squadrons
How could we talk about the PC jet fighter games and not talk about Star Wars! Fulfill your childhood/teenage fantasy of piloting one of the many cool aircraft from Star Wars. You play on either side of the New Republic or Empire, the gameplay is quite balanced (and surprisingly clever too!). The story is set just after the “Return of the Jedi” movie. Enjoying the cosmos through the cockpit of fighter planes from Star Wars is the best experience. Don’t get too caught up with the views though, or you might get shot down by the rival ships. Combat is refreshing thanks to the 4 classes of jet fighters, each with its own perks. Just imagine playing the game in VR and blasting rival jets with lasers and future tech in space.
12. Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.
You want to play Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. when you are in the mood for some purely intense jet fighter dogfights. You don’t need to worry about arbitrary things like fuel, flight sims controls, etc. just get ready for insane action. Fly and protect iconic cities of Tokyo, Los Angeles, Washington DC, etc. If you want to complete campaign missions with friends, you could make a squad with 4 players. Multiplayer mode is quite rough around the edges, but the gameplay of single-player mode is worthwhile.
13. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
Ace Combat games are usually set in a fantasy world on a faraway planet, but Assault Horizon is set on Earth. The dazzling terrain is made of popular cities like Paris, Miami, etc. You will take the skies with a variety of cool jet fighters. The combat is certainly fun, it’s definitely won’t give you the feeling of a flight simulator, but the arcade-style controls are refreshing and realistic enough. This is great for players who do not have any experience of the genre. There are plenty of dogfights in the campaign for players to enjoy. Plus, the multiplayer modes have a great variety and matches are intense throughout the time.
14. ARMA 3
This game from Bohemia Interactive games makes you take a dive into a deep combat simulation. Shooting and warfare are not limited to simply aiming and shooting with two keys. You will have to learn the vast features of the game to keep up with the unbelievable action. You can be on foot, in a tank, or a jet fighter. The story campaign is great, but is outshone by the superb multiplayer experience. You will get a taste of freedom in the story missions when you must devise your own strategy to clear the missions. Now imagine playing a 100v100 multiplayer match in this sandbox, it’s going to be chaotic and fun!
15. Sky Rogue
Sky Rogue may not look like it, but it is actually one of the best jet fighter games for PC. Yes, it is an arcade game and doesn’t have realistic graphics, but the gameplay will make you forget all that in a few minutes. Zoom through the sky with flashy jet fighters with super-smooth controls to evade missiles by spinning and doing cool skills in the air. Choose your jet fighter from more than 20 plus jets available, and load it up with deadly weaponry to blow up your enemies. The game has never-ending missions for you, with more than 30 weapons to use them in!
16. Birds of Steel
Birds of Steel is a real gem for gamers who love jet fighter games, specifically those who are intersex in vintage planes. This game is basically built by vintage plane fans for themselves and others like them. There are more than a whopping 100 classic planes you can fly. You can see the rich details were made by true fans of those planes. From each dial and button in the cockpit to your visibility due to the weather, all are impressively programmed. You can have different experiences with the game depending on your difficulty level. The arcade setting is the best for beginners, while many gamers prefer the realistic setting to make the gameplay feel more real.
17. IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover
The complexity and depth of the game force beginners of the jet fighter genre to get frustrated. It feels as if the game was made strictly for veteran players. This is thanks to the extensive depth of the gameplay. For example, damage to a jet fighter is brilliantly portrayed in this game. You can take out specific parts(or personnel) of the jet fighter, and it has different effects. Not only that, with the number of options and things to tinker with, you could play a few hours without even taking off. The more you play, the more you will understand how small things affect your gameplay. This makes the gameplay all the more worthwhile.
18. Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight
Exactly what the name suggests, the game makes you dive into the battlefields of World War 2. The campaigns make you play as an ace pilot of major countries and let you control more than 50 historically accurate jet fighters. You can customize them to make them flashy. Further, you can assemble a squad of great pilots to help you carry out insane missions. Get ready for some amazing dog fights over mesmerizing views of the Pacific Ocean, Egyptian deserts, etc.
19. Lock On: Modern Air Combat
The maps in Lock On are created by satellite data, so the terrain looks absolutely detailed. You have access to 8 well-made jet fighters. Each plane has its specific play style, which makes you consider which one to choose for your mission. You can use these in the story missions or create your own missions, using the mission editor. Get ready for some intense dogfights, as all enemies offer a considerable amount of challenge. There’s really a lot to learn for veteran and beginner players alike.
Well, there are no jet fighters in this game, but rather you fly in a wing suit by yourself! The game is about achieving as high speed as possible. Try carrying out complex and cool maneuvers at this speed. The game definitely doesn’t have awesome and hours of content, but it is certain to give you a high adrenaline experience. Breeze by the never-ending map procedurally generated map. It is definitely one of the simpler games on this list with relatively less action, but considering the cost, it’s good enough.