25 Astonishing Space Exploration Games

We all dreamed to be an astronaut while we were young maybe because human are hardwired to dream of discovery and exploration and these space exploration games will help you relive that dream of yours.

Only few of us will be able achieve that dream to stand on moon or approach the surface of mars but still game developers from all over the world are putting there hard work to build these awesome space exploration games.

So whether you are passionate about setting up the very first colony on mars or maybe designing the ship of your dreams.

Lets count down this list of 25 great space exploration games of all time.

25. Star Conflict (2012)

 space exploration games  Star Conflict (2012)

Star Conflict is a free-to-play dynamic massively multiplayer online game space action game.

The gaming platform Steam describes it as an “action-packed, massively multiplayer space simulation game”.

The core of the game is PvP spaceships battles, PvE missions and an open world.

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Steam

24. Metroid Prime Series (since 2002)

Metroid Prime Series (since 2002)

The games heralded a revival of the Metroid series in 2002 after an eight year absence, as the series did not see a release on the Nintendo 64 console as fans had hoped it would.

Instead, the games were released on the next two generations of video game consoles: two on the Nintendo GameCube, two on the Nintendo DS, and one on the Wii.

The three main titles were later combined with enhanced controls and released on the Wii as the Metroid Prime Trilogy.

Chronologically, the Prime series falls between the events of Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid II: Return of Samus, but the storyline is greatly self-contained and has little effect on future games.

Platforms: All major platforms, too many to list!

23. Mass Effect Trilogy (2007-2012)

Mass Effect Trilogy (2007-2012)

Mass Effect is an action role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Originally released for the Xbox 360 video game console in 2007, it is the first game of the Mass Effect series.

The game takes place within the Milky Way galaxy in the year 2183, where civilization is threatened by a highly advanced machine race known as the Reapers. The player assumes the role of Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who must stop a rogue agent from carrying out the Reapers’ galactic invasion.

The gameplay requires the player to complete multiple quests that generally involve space exploration, squad and vehicular combat, and interaction with non-player characters.

Platforms: PC, Mobile, All Major Consoles

22. Distant Worlds: Universe (2014)

Distant Worlds: Universe (2014)

Distant Worlds is a real-time grand strategy wargame developed by Code Force and published by Matrix Games. Distant Worlds was released on March 25, 2010.

Three subsequent expansions, Return of the Shakturi, Legends, and Shadows were released in 2010, 2011, and 2013, respectively.

The game appeared on the Steam platform on May 23, 2014 under the name Distant Worlds: Universe, gathering the original game and all expansions into a single package with new content.

Platforms: PC

21. Eve Valkyrie (2016)

Eve Valkyrie (2016)

Eve: Valkyrie is a multiplayer dogfighting shooter game set in the Eve Online universe that is designed to use virtual reality headset technology.

Originally launched for Microsoft Windows for use with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, CCP Games has announced they plan to enable cross-platform play between the three major VR systems: the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR.

Released in March 2016, the game has two game mode options: Chronicles can be played in single player, while Combat allows eight by eight combat PvP (player versus player) missions.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, PS4

20. Destiny 2 (2017)

Destiny 2 (2017)

Destiny 2 (also known as Destiny 2: New Light) is a free-to-play online-only multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie. It was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 6, 2017, followed by a Microsoft Windows version released on October 24, 2017.

It became a free-to-play title on October 1, 2019, followed by the game’s release on Google Stadia the following month. It will be available on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X platforms upon their respective releases in late 2020.

The game was published by Activision until December 31, 2018, when Bungie acquired the publishing rights to the franchise. It is the sequel to 2014’s Destiny and its subsequent expansions. Set in a “mythic science fiction” world, the game features a multiplayer “shared-world” environment with elements of role-playing games.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One

19. FTL: Faster Than Light (2012)

FTL: Faster Than Light (2012)

FTL: Faster Than Light is a space-based top-down real-time strategy roguelike game created by indie developer Subset Games, which was released for Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux in September 2012.

In the game, the player controls the crew of a single spacecraft, holding critical information to be delivered to an allied fleet, while being pursued by a large rebel fleet.

The player must guide the spacecraft over eight sectors, each with planetary systems and events procedurally generated in a roguelike fashion, while facing rebel and other hostile forces, recruiting new crew, and outfitting and upgrading their ship.

Combat takes place in pausable real time, and if the ship is destroyed or all of its crew lost, the game ends, forcing the player to restart with a new ship.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, macOS, Linux, iOS

18. Observation (2019)

Observation (2019)

Observation is an adventure-puzzle video game developed by Scottish studio No Code and published by Devolver Digital.

The game, described as sci-fi thriller, puts the player in control of a space station AI in order to recover from the sudden, mysterious loss of its crew.

Observation is an adventure game. The player takes the role of Sam, short for the Systems Administration & Maintenance (SAM) artificial intelligence software aboard a multi-national space station that serves to monitor the entire station.

Initially, the player’s view is limited to where the crew have relocated Sam, but as the game progresses, Sam can move its core presence between several of the modules on the station and manipulate cameras and other electronically-controlled equipment in that module.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, PS4

17. Surviving Mars (2018)

Surviving Mars (2018)

Surviving Mars is a city building simulation video game developed by the Bulgarian studio Haemimont Games and published by Paradox Interactive.

It was released on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 15, 2018.

The player serves as an overseer who must build a colony on Mars and ensure the survival of the colonists.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One

16. Star Trek Online (2010)

Star Trek Online (2010)

Star Trek Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Cryptic Studios based on the Star Trek franchise. The game is set in the 25th century, 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis.

Star Trek Online is the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game within the Star Trek franchise and was released for Microsoft Windows in February 2010. At launch, the game required a game purchase and a recurring monthly fee. In January 2012, it relaunched with a tier of free-to-play access available.

After a public beta testing period, a version of the game was released for OS X in March 2014. Due to technical issues with the port, support for OS X ended in February 2016.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One

15. The Outer Worlds (2019)

The Outer Worlds 2019 1 1 25 Astonishing Space Exploration Games

The Outer Worlds is an action role-playing video game featuring a first-person perspective.

In the early stages of the game, the player can create their own character and unlock a ship, which acts as the game’s central hub space.

Though the player cannot control their ship directly, it serves as a fast travel point to access different areas in the game and acts as the player’s persistent inventory space.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

14. Civilization: Beyond Earth (2014)

Civilization: Beyond Earth (2014)

Beyond Earth is a turn-based strategy game played on a hexagonal-based grid, iterating the ideas and building upon the engine of its predecessor, Civilization V

Co-lead designer David McDonough described the relationship between the two games by saying “The bones of the experience are very much recognisably Civ.

The idea of the cities, city-base progression, leaders, the passage of time, tile-based, turn-based, building improvements, technologies. A lot of them are very familiar themes to the Civ player.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux

13. Homeworld Remastered Collection (2015)

Homeworld Remastered Collection (2015)

Homeworld is a real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sierra Studios on September 28, 1999, for Microsoft Windows.

Set in space, the science fiction game follows the Kushan exiles of the planet Kharak after their home planet is destroyed by the Taiidan Empire in retaliation for developing hyperspace jump technology.

The survivors journey with their spacecraft-constructing mothership to reclaim their ancient homeworld of Hiigara from the Taiidan, encountering a variety of pirates, mercenaries, traders, and rebels along the way.

In each of the game’s levels, the player gathers resources, builds a fleet, and uses it to destroy enemy ships and accomplish mission objectives.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC

12. Space Engineers (2019)

Space Engineers (2019)

Space Engineers is a voxel-based sandbox game set in space and on planets. It was developed and published by Czech Republic independent developer Keen Software House. In 2013, the initial developmental release of the game joined the Steamearly access program.

During the following years of active development, Space Engineers sold over one million units. In total as of 2019 the game has sold over 3.5 million copies In May of 2015, for approximately a year and a half, the game’s source code was officially available and maintained by KSH to assist the modding community. 

On December 15, 2016, the game entered Beta and was later officially released on February 28, 2019.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC

11. SpaceEngine (2019)

SpaceEngine (2019)

SpaceEngine (stylized as “Space Engine”) is a 3D astronomy program and game engine developed by Russian astronomer and programmer Vladimir Romanyuk. 

It creates a three-dimensional planetarium representing the entire universe from a combination of real astronomical data and scientifically-accurate procedural generation algorithms. Users can travel through space in any direction or speed, and forwards or backwards in time. 

SpaceEngine is in beta status and is currently freeware for Microsoft Windows. SpaceEngine’s latest release, version 0.990 beta, is the first paid edition (released on Steam).

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux

10. Universe Sandbox (2019)

Universe Sandbox (2019)

Universe Sandbox is an interactive space gravity simulator video game and educational software. Using Universe Sandbox, users can see the effects of gravity on objects in the universe and run scale simulations of the Solar System.

Various galaxies or other simulations, while at the same time interacting and maintaining control over gravity, time, and other objects in the universe, such as moons, planets, asteroids, comets, and black holes.

The original Universe Sandbox was only available for Windows-based PCs, but an updated version, Universe Sandbox ², was released for Windows, macOS, and Linux in 2017.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC

9. Outer Wilds (2019)

Outer Wilds (2019)

Outer Wilds is a 2019 action-adventure game developed by Mobius Digital and published by Annapurna Interactive for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

The game features the player character exploring a solar system stuck in a 22-minute time loop, which ends as the sun goes supernova.

The player continually repeats this cycle by gaining knowledge, which is retained, that can help them on later loops. The game received critical acclaim and won several awards, including for game of the year.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

8. Everspace (2019)

Everspace (2019)

Everspace is a space combat game in which the player progresses through a number of sectors with increasing difficulty. In this game the player is expected to die. With each death you can spend earned credits into Perks, which in turn facilitate your following run.

The player can find weapons and add-ons that can be used during the current run. The player is also given the ability to craft and upgrade various systems of their ship, including weapons, maneuverability and shielding.

An overarching storyline is revealed as the player reaches certain points in a run for the first time. You can also meet NPCs which will give you different objectives to complete in the current or following runs and they will reward you when you complete their tasks.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

7. No Man’s Sky (2016)

No Man’s Sky (2016)

No Man’s Sky is an exploration survival game developed and published by the indie studio Hello Games. It was released worldwide for the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows in August 2016, and for Xbox One in July 2018.

The game is built around four pillars: exploration, survival, combat, and trading. Players are free to perform within the entirety of a procedurally generated deterministic open world universe, which includes over 18 quintillion planets.

Through the game’s procedural generation system, planets have their own ecosystems with unique forms of flora and fauna, and various sentient alien species may engage the player in combat or trade within planetary systems.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

6. Stellaris (2016)

Stellaris (2016)

Stellaris is a 4Xgrand strategy video game developed and published by Paradox Interactive. Stellaris‘s gameplay revolves around space exploration, managing an empire, diplomacy, and space warfare with other spacefaring civilizations.

It was released worldwide for Windows, macOS, and Linux on May 9, 2016, and was released on February 26, 2019 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One

5. Endless Space 2 (2017)

Endless Space 2 (2017)

Endless Space 2 is a turn-based strategy, science fiction 4X game developed by Amplitude Studios.

It is the sequel to Endless Space, which was released in 2012. The game had been made available through Steam’s early access program since October 2016. It was released on May 18, 2017.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS

4. Kerbal Space Program (2015)

Kerbal Space Program (2015)

Kerbal Space Program is a space flight simulation video game developed and published by Squad for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

In the game, players direct a nascent space program, staffed and crewed by green humanoid aliens known as “Kerbals”. The game features a realistic orbital physics engine, allowing for various real-life orbital maneuvers such as Hohmann transfer orbits and bi-elliptic transfer orbits.

The first public version was released digitally on Squad’s Kerbal Space Program storefront on 24 June 2011, and joined Steam’s early access program on 20 March 2013.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One

3. Star Citizen (2015)

Star Citizen (2015)

Star Citizen is an in-development multiplayer space trading and combat simulator developed and published by Cloud Imperium Games for Microsoft Windows.

A spiritual successor to 2003’s FreelancerStar Citizen is being led by director Chris Roberts and has become highly criticised during its production. Concept talk of the game began in 2010, with production and development started in 2011. 

The game was announced in 2012 through a successful Kickstarter campaign which drew in over US$2 million. The launch of the game was originally anticipated for 2014, but was repeatedly delayed.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC

2. Eve Online (2003)

Eve Online 2003 1 25 Astonishing Space Exploration Games

The game is renowned for its scale and complexity with regards to player interactions – in its single, shared game world, players engage in unscripted economic competition, warfare, and political schemes with other players. 

The Bloodbath of B-R5RB, a battle involving thousands of players in a single star system, took 21 hours and was recognized as one of the largest and most expensive battles in gaming history.

Eve Online was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art with a video including the historical events and accomplishments of the playerbase.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux

1. Elite Dangerous (2014)

Elite Dangerous (2014)

Elite Dangerous[a] is a space flight simulation game developed and published by Frontier Developments. Piloting a spaceship, the player explores a realistic 1:1 scale open-world representation of the Milky Way galaxy, with the gameplay being open-ended.

The game is the first in the series to attempt to feature massively multiplayer gameplay, with players’ actions affecting the narrative story of the game’s persistent universe, while also retaining single-player options.

Elite Dangerous is the fourth game in the Elite video game series, one of the longest-running video game franchises. It is the sequel to Frontier: First Encounters, released in 1995.

Space Exploration Games Platforms: PC, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One

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About the Author

Anukul Saini

Anime and gaming enthusiast with a passion for sharing my knowledge and insights. I've watched over 1000 anime and spent countless hours playing video games.

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