Back in the day, the original Star Trek series inspired kids to become astronauts, scientists, and even doctors. Meanwhile, Star Wars captured the imaginations of science fiction writers and future game developers. The thrill of the unknown has captivated many young minds to go beyond the stars both in real life, fiction and space video games.

Even though real space travel and colonization are still far out of our reach, video games made by the same kids who grew up watching Star Trek or Star Wars can take us where no gamer has gone before.

Space games – from sims and space operas to chilling horror

Let’s start with Kerbal Space Program, a game that has little green men for characters and might look like it doesn’t take itself too seriously. In truth, the physics and spacecraft building mechanics are so realistic, that even NASA employees love firing up the game for a little fun or even exercise. And that’s the biggest praise space games can get.

Kerbal Space Program is a space game that is praised by NASA engineers

While we’re talking about space building sims, Space Engineers takes things a little further. Think of it like Minecraft, only instead of cities, you’re building spaceships and space stations. The game’s features don’t end there, as you can take your spaceship for a spin or engage in space battles. And they look spectacular.

The universe seems to be infinite, and there’s one game that is capable of simulating the vast and endless vacuum. Yes, we’re talking about No Man’s Sky which procedurally generates every planet you land on. It is said that to explore all 255 galaxies in No Man’s Sky would take nearly 585 billion years.

What list this would be without little drama and threat to the universe? Who doesn’t love a good space opera? Bioware sure does and they’ve made one of the best space operas in gaming. Yes, we can’t get enough of the Mass Effect trilogy as it fascinated us with its characters, storytelling, and epic scope.

Among space games Mass Effect is a thrilling space opera.

What’s more terrifying than being stranded in a space station with creatures who want you dead? Space horror will never go out of style and if you’re looking for an atmospheric blood-chilling scare-a-thon, we can’t stress enough how amazing Alien: Isolation and Dead Space are. These two take space exploration games to a whole next level.

Alien Isolation is a pinnacle of space horror games

The selection of space exploration games is as vast as the space itself. Already played what we chose to feature? Dive into the space games collection and find something that you haven’t yet played. Explore space and get inspired!