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The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

53 views | By Hangar.Flights Contributor | Last updated on August 29, 2022

Air combat games provide armchair pilots with a real-life experience of being at the controls of an actual fighter jet. They allow you to experience the adrenaline rush delivered by the thrills and whirls of dogfights, but without the dangers. Realistic air combat games are a popular gaming niche, and many offer high-quality graphics with legendary fighter jets from the cold war era and several modern fighter aircraft.

Skip this review if what you love is performing a ton of flight and fuel level checks while flying around all day in a flight simulator, because this is a list of the best air combat games that let you get right into the action.

Here is a list of the best free-to-play or paid air combat games you can play right now on video game consoles, PC, or arcades with fighter jets from several countries, accurate cockpit depictions, and natural terrain of real cities, including prominent landmarks.

The Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets

Now without further ado, here are the 9 best air combat games you can play in 2022:

9. Lock On: Modern Air Combat

9. Lock On: Modern Air Combat - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2003
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Developer – Eagle Dynamics 

Highlights:

  • The Dynamic Battle Generator allows players to create special combat plots. 
  • Over nine fighter jets from the United States and Russia, including the A-10 Warthog and F-15C Eagle. 
  • Immersive combat ecosystem with endless gameplay hours. 
  • Up to 32 multiplayer via internet connection. 

Introduced in 2003, Lock On: Modern Air Combat is a single/multirole air combat game for flight simulator fans and aggressive air combat players. It features impressive gameplay modes, which perhaps is a reason for its massive popularity despite its limited collection of fighter aircraft. Players can choose any U.S and Russian fighter jets for a diverse storyline of air-to-air combat or air-to-ground combat game modes, including anti-ship strikes, aerobatics, and pinpoint/anti-radiation strikes. And if your preference is leisurely flight gaming, then its flight simulator offers land-based take-off and landings, carrier-based take-off and landings, aerial refueling, and AWACS. Lock On: Modern Air Combat’s Dynamic Battle Generator perfectly balances a player’s desire to integrate combat and non-combat gameplay within a single storyline, which, in our opinion, makes the game worthy of inclusion in our list of the best air combat games with fighter jets. 

$8.90

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8. Strike Fighters: Project 1 

8. Strike Fighters: Project 1  - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2002
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Developer – Third Wire-combat flight simulation 

Highlights:

  • Gripping gameplay with dynamic campaigns.
  • Scalable options. 
  • Next-generation graphics software delivers intricately detailed aircraft and real-life terrain. 

First released in 2002 with a throwback plot that progresses through the decades, Strike Fighters: Project 1 provides players with an immersive air combat experience flying venerable cold war fighter jets of yesteryear on combat missions prompted by an age-long conflict over the world’s most contentious and valuable natural resource; crude oil. The storyline centers on the conflict between Dhimar and Paran, two fictional Middle Eastern Kingdoms fighting for the control of strategic crude oil fields and its evolution into a wider war involving the two world superpowers. Strike Fighters: Project 1 offers traditional combat simulation in a multi-faceted flight simulation platform. Players take the controls of the legendary U.S McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter jet as a career air force pilot or mercenary pilot. In the traditional gameplay style, more weapons and aircraft become available as you progress through the simulation. You can accumulate resources, buy or build a bigger plane, buy ammo, and improve your flying abilities by earning cash for target destruction and mission achievements. The new-generation DirectX 8.1 graphic software renders scenes in 32-bit color, with each player aircraft having a graphics detail of over 5,000 polygons. Other impressive features include colored point light sourcing, multi-layer textures, bump mapping, reflective environment mapping, and an advanced terrain engine with a digital elevation map to provide excellent effects at high and low-level action. Strike Fighters: Project 1 may be a couple of decades old, but it offers a great plot and awesome aircraft, graphics, and a fully customizable game mode deserving of a place on our list of the best air combat games with fighter jets.

7. Jane’s Advance Strike Fighters

7. Jane’s Advance Strike Fighters - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2011
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
  • Developer –  Trickstar Games

Highlights:

  • Land and sea air combat.
  • Take on cunning enemies from the North.
  • Plot set in Azbaristan

Set in both the Middle East and Central Asia, Jane’s Advance Strike Fighters is an impressive flight combat simulation with modern fighter jets and excellent graphics depicting more than 65,000 miles of continuous terrain and multiple gameplay modes. Players assume the critical role of squadron leader Razor of the fictional Central Asian country of Azbaristan and take on several enemies in a quest to protect the country’s interests. Jane’s Advance Strike Fighters is an air combat game that does not try to do too much or outshine in any particular area. Its recipe for success is the well-proven formula of putting new aircraft, weapons, maps, and storylines, including better graphics on an existing flight simulation platform. Among the many real-world jets featured in the game are the F-22A Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, and the Russian Su-35 Super Flanker. 

$12.49 $13.74

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6. Warbirds Extreme: Warriors in the Sky

6. Warbirds Extreme: Warriors in the Sky - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2002
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Developer – Abacus

Highlights:

  • Excellent collection of United States Air Force fighter jets.
  • 3-D aircraft cockpits, fully animated flaps, and landing gear. 
  • Low price with inexpensive add-ons. 

If you want to experience the thrill of an F-16 barrel roll on your computer screen, or the power of an A-10 Warthog’s tank bursting cannon without being a United States Air Force pilot. We recommend Abacus’s Warbirds Extreme: Warriors in the Sky air combat video game. It is a fast-paced video game designed to fast fighter jets like the Boeing/McDonnell-Douglas F-15E and Lockheed Martin F-16C Falcon into a visually unique non-violent flight simulator environment. The game does not offer many options, with eleven aircraft to choose from. However, its low price, medium quality graphics, and compatibility with Combat Flight Simulator 2 and Flight Simulator 2002 are enough to make our best air combat games with fighter jets list. 

$49.95

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5. Wings Over Vietnam

5. Wings Over Vietnam - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2004
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Developer – Third Wire-combat flight simulation 

Highlights:

  • Incredible simulation gameplay of the Vietnam War aerial war
  • Historically accurate fighter jet recreations.
  • Perform missions in single or multiplayer gameplay ranging from novice to experienced. 

Third Wire Productions’ successful attempt to recreate a historically significant air war in a video game introduced a new generation of gamers to the legendary aerial battles and fighter jets of the Vietnam War. Wings Over Vietnam is a PC combat flight simulator set during the Vietnam air war with over twelve period-correct fighter jets with historical loadouts and weapons systems designed to blow your foes out of the skies. Wings Over Vietnam is imbued with huge doses of reality with impressive graphics and offers a first-rate experience of the effects of air combat over the lush jungles of Southeast Asia. It has high-quality gameplay, including computer-controlled formation flying, realistic bomb sighting and missile locking features that mirror the real-life performance of the existing weapons systems, and close action dogfights between agile MiGs and heavier United States F-4 Phantoms and A-4 Skyhawks. You can select campaign missions based on real-life campaigns, including Operation Rolling Thunder, Linebacker I, or Linebacker II. Single missions allow players to practice with their favorite fighter jet or weapons. War Over Vietnam is available only on Windows OS, it’s only drawback. Still, its historical accuracy and excellent gameplay put it on our list of the best air combat games with fighter jets. 

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4. Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X

4. Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2009
  • Platform: PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Xbox 360, Wii
  • Developer –  Ubisoft Romania, Gameloft 

Highlights:

  • More than 50 different aircraft. 
  • High-quality graphics of real-life locations created using satellite data. 
  • Sole or multiplayer mode. 

Anyone familiar with Tom Clancy’s spy novels won’t be disappointed with Tom Clancy’s HAWX arcade-style air combat video game. It offers players access to over fifty iconic military aircraft, including modern fighter jets and advanced storylines designed to keep you hooked to your game console for hours. Proving your abilities as a top-rated air force pilot against numerous foes is the backdrop for all the game modes in Tom Clancy’s HAWX air video game. You start the game as an ex-U.S Air Force pilot who flies various missions in a high-stakes, fast-evolving landscape where loyalties constantly shift. The gameplay offers several rewards, and each successful mission unlocks additional planes and weapons, earning you more cash and experience points. The Enhanced Reality System provides a faster grasp of the game for new players, including a special assistance mode that warns you of incoming missiles or an imminent crash. You can turn off the system if you feel adventurous or confident enough to perform advanced evasive maneuvers. Few air combat video games possess Tom Clancy’s HAWX cutting-edge realism, which includes 3D generated multiple viewpoints and life-like terrain created using satellite data. The multiplayer mode has a seamless jump in/jump out functionality with PVP mode one-on-one dogfight challenges. Although it is showing its age, Tom Clancy’s HAWX is still ahead of the game with its massive aircraft collection, a gripping storyline, high-quality graphics, compatibility with an impressive number of platforms, and countless hours of guaranteed fun. We consider it worthy of a spot on our list of the best air combat games with fighter jets. 

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3. AirFighters Pro

3. AirFighters Pro - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2017
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
  • Developer –  RORTOS 

Highlights:

  • Realistic world maps and navigation software.
  • 569 major airports.
  • Real-time weather conditions. 
  • Test yourself in the “world campaign”

Microsoft AirFighters Pro allows you to fulfill your boyhood dreams of becoming a supersonic test pilot, land fighter jets on aircraft carriers, shoot down enemy fighter jets during intense dogfights, and above all, celebrate your numerous victories by drawing stars representing your kills on your aircraft fuselage. What more can an air combat game player ask? But there is more, AirFighter Pro air combat game has over five hundred real-life airports with over a thousand runways you can take off and land in real-time weather conditions. Partake in unending adventures flying famous fighter jets with unprecedented realism and performance like the F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-14 Super Tomcat, MiG-29K Fulcrum, AV-8B Harrier II, and the F-22 Raptor. Its immersive gameplay allows you to experience realistic flight procedures and test your game-playing capabilities in the “world campaign.” Microsoft Air Fighter Pro has something for everyone regardless of their playing level. It delivers the look and feels of an advanced flight simulation program at a fraction of its cost and is truly one of the best air combat games with fighter jets on our list.

$4.99

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2. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

2. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2011
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Developer –  Project Aces, Access Games, Namco

Highlights:

  • Steel Carnage, watch planes disintegrate in amazing detail. 
  • Excellent plot.
  • Stunning new aircraft and weapons. 

Watch your enemies become flaming debris of metal and burning oil as you become the king of the skies in The Ace Combat: Assault Horizon action flight simulation. Players get to enjoy flying over real-world locations while escalating combat actions in this next installment of the hugely successful air combat game franchise. You’ve got to play the game to experience its fantastic single/multiplayer combat sequences with meticulous attention to the tiniest detail. Immerse yourself in stunning graphics as you chase fighter jets through New York or Los Angeles, dodging skyscrapers and missiles. And when an airplane does blow up in a carnage worthy of Hollywood action films, you realize you are holding the controls of one of the best air combat games with fighter jets ever created. 

$55.45

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1. Ace Combat 7

1. Ace Combat 7 - The 9 Best Air Combat Games with Fighter Jets in 2022

  • Release: 2019
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Developer –  BNE Entertainment, Project Aces, BANDAI NAMCO Studios

Highlights:

  • Breathtaking graphics. 
  • Fantastic storyline.
  • An impressive list of new aircraft and weapons. 

Ace Combat 7 is a thrilling arcade combat game and the first in the Ace Combat series. Featuring slick graphics and fast-paced action, Ace Combat 7 is a new type of virtual flight simulator designed for responsive action and immersive visual interaction between your console and the aircraft. And speaking of aircraft, there are over twenty-eight types ranging from early fighter jets to modern stealth versions. The gameplay is a slow progression from older, basic fighter jets to more advanced aircraft with the opportunity of winning several rewards as you unlock new stages. Although campaign missions can be overwhelming initially, they get easier to understand as you progress. The game’s quirks are quickly forgotten as you pilot your fighter plane through intense dogfights and chase enemy planes through heavy storms, narrow canyons, and city skyscrapers. Ace Combat 7 is definitely one of the most advanced and best air combat games with fighter jets out there, and it is available on multiple platforms, including Windows, PS 4, and Xbox One.

$19.99

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