There hasn't been another Star Wars space combat game since the likes of the Star Wars: X-Wing and TIE Fighter series.
And although Star Wars Battlefront made a valiant attempt at bringing those classics to life once more, none of the Star Wars titles have hit the nail on the head so hard as the most recent adventure, Star Wars: Squadrons.
(Star Wars: Squadrons is currently available for PC, XBox One, and PS4.)
Star Wars: Squadrons is a modern take on these classics, capturing everything fans loved about those retro Star Wars adventures and offering new versions of dogfights and space missions in droves.
It's very much an amalgam of all the things early ‘90s PC players loved about the Star Wars games that came before it, and for once it doesn’t try to shoehorn microtransactions or unwanted loot boxes down players’ throats.
For the uninitiated, the early Star Wars space combat games were—and still are—fan favorite.
In 1993, LucasArts revealed Star Wars: X-Wing, one of the first games ever to use 3D polygon graphics for ships, and a veritable best-seller. It also brought a space combat that felt the most realistic out of the all the Star Wars games at that point.
Star Wars: X-Wing put players in the cockpit of a Rebel pilot's ship as they take part in a variety of battles throughout the first Star Wars movie.
Each mission includes a special briefing, cutscene, and messages that help advance the story, but it's all about feeling as though you're nestled comfortably within an X-Wing hurtling through space.
Combat consists of warring with other starfighters with laser weapons, deflector shields, and warheads. There are different firing modes and plenty of ways to enact destruction on enemies.
What's more, you can take part in dogfights, convoy attacks, and high-flying strikes on massive capital ships.
Star Wars: TIE Fighter debuted in 1994, building on the foundation built by the earlier X-Wing title. Instead of focusing on the first Star Wars film, it explored the role of an Imperial straighter during The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
It improved upon X-Wing in many ways and expanded on the things players could do within its universe. It isn’t a completely different game, but it improved just enough to go down in history with its predecessor.
Now, Star Wars: Squadrons lets players experience both sides of the war, whether in dogfights, fleet battles, or a variety of other scuffles.
It’s clear LucasArts would never bring a traditional X-Wing or TIE Fighter game to fruition (since the company no longer releases games) so if you’re looking for something that channels the past through these classics, look no further.