The Top PC Flight Simulator Games for 2012
When it comes to PC Flight Simulators there are a few excellent choices. In this series we will look at simulators for the various platforms and the different genres of simulator..
First up we list the best selling and most popular flight simulator games for PC.
Of course the term “best” is subjective and you may not agree, contact us and give your opinion on what is best today.
So without further delay here are our recommendations for 2012.
X-Plane 10 Global Flight Simulator
X-Plane 10 is the culmination of 20 years of work on X-Plane, a series that has always been known for it’s flight dynamics. When you sit at the controls of a jet you want to know that what you are doing on the flight-deck is realistically reflected in the response of the plane and X-Plane has always delivered in this respect.
But what X-Plane 10 brings to the table in addition is absolutely stunning graphics and environmental effects. Wheel and engine movement when on the tarmac is detailed and smooth, wing flex during take-off is ultra realistic, and watching traffic shoot along the highways below you is magical. Basically the graphics on this just blew me away.
Be warned though that X-Plane 10 is a proper simulator, don’t expect your arcade game style here as you will be disappointed, mastery takes time and patience.
Another strong factor in favour of X-Plane 10 is the very strong community surrounding the franchise, leading to a continual and rapid churn out of aircraft and add-ons, both payware and free. Hardware recognition is also excellent, just tell X-Plane what you buttons do and the simulator handles the rest.
Not so hot are the installation and download times, this is one big program and you need to set aside a good couple of hours to install. Initially though only the first DVD in the 8 DVD set of the global edition is an absolute requirement to get started.
If you only own one PC flight simulator game, you can’t go wrong with X-Plane 10.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX)
For a long time prior to the release of X-Plane 10, Microsoft’s FSX had been to my mind the stand out airplane simulator game for PC on the market, in part due to it’s excellent graphics, but mainly down to it’s huge support community and a whole host of add-ons that can be purchased to flesh out the sim.
Whilst still one of the best PC flight simulators, the core package is a little long in the tooth now having originally been released in 2006. Third party tools improve graphics and aircraft and many other areas, but add extra cost for features that X-Plane 10 has now incorporated to the core package.
Microsoft Flight released in January 2012 was thought to be the successor to FSX, but this has not been the case. Flight is much more arcade style in feel, more a game than a simulator. FSX is still therefore a very good buy, but be prepared to buy add-ons in addition to flight hardware if you don’t already own any.
FSX does have a slightly easier learning curve than X-Plane.
Definitely Worth Considering
FlightGear – Free Open Source Flight Simulator
- Pros: Free for download only version, Very realistic flight dynamics.
- Cons: Not particularly user friendly, Launcher needs a good deal of work and can be difficult to set-up with some hardware.
So there you have our recommendations for the best PC Flight Simulators in 2012. We’ll take a look at arcade style simulators and other platforms in the coming weeks.