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games set in space

15 unmissable games set in space

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Most of us might not get to explore space in real life, but we can certainly venture to all corners of the universe in video games. There have been countless games set in space. Often, the setting is horrifying, pitting us against space monsters and mutants. But not always: sometimes we’re simply exploring the wonder that is space, or engaging in a gripping sci-fi story. Here, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best space games, covering a variety of genres.

We’ve got just about a bit of everything on our list: story-driven narrative games, first person shooters, adventure games, even simulation games. So, no matter what your favourite type of genre is, we’re pretty sure we’ve got a game set in space to suit.

1. Dead Space

Dead Space
Image: EA
  • Dead Space Remake is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The original is playable on Xbox via backwards compatibility and PC.

Dead Space isn’t an ideal space story. It isn’t about discovering new planets and exploring the outer reaches of space. Let us just say it’s a bit more… visceral than that. The game follows space engineer Isaac Clarke who is part of the crew of the ship Aegis VII. Isaac and his team unexpectedly crash into the Ishimura, a mining ship, and uncover that something strange is going on there. 

And by “something strange”, what we really mean is: everyone is dead, dying or turned into horrific alien creatures. You’re tasked with repairing the ship as much as you can, defending yourself against the terrible monsters there.

Whether you’re playing the original or the 2023 remake, we’re pretty confident you’re going to have a terrifying, excellent time. In fact, in our review of the Dead Space remake, we praised how faithful it is to the original while still throwing up plenty of surprises.

2. Outer Wilds

Image: Annapurna Interactive
  • Outer Wilds is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

Things seem to go wrong quite often in space, and the story in Outer Wilds is no exception. You play as an unnamed explorer who has found themselves stuck in a 22-minute time loop that resets at the end of each day. The player is tasked with finding out why the time loop is occurring — and thankfully, any progress you make during each time loop remains consistent over the next.

What’s intriguing about Outer Wilds is discovering the story behind the Nomai, an ancient race that colonised the system you find yourself in. Not only do you have to try and find out why and how you’re stuck in a time loop, but also who the Nomai really were and how their existence has influenced the world. In our review, we called Outer Wilds an “enthralling excursion” and, five years since its release, there’s still nothing else like it.

3. Alien: Isolation

Alien Isolation BAFTA
  • Alien: Isolation is available on PS4, Xbox One, PC and and Switch

It may be 10 years old this year, but Alien: Isolation is still one of the best — and scariest — games set in space. Set in the much-loved Alien universe but telling an original story, Alien: Isolation puts you in the shoes of Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda. After learning that a flight recorder from her mother’s ship has been found, she joins the retrieval team in the hopes of finding out what happened all those years ago.

As you might expect, things don’t go the way that Amanda planned. The titular Alien has made its way to the space station and has begun attacking and killing everyone on board. Amanda’s new focus is to get her and her team off the space station before it’s too late.

Needless to say, if you’re a fan of the Alien movie series, Alien: Isolation is a must-play. It starts off slow, but as the Alien learns your habits and movements, things get increasingly terrifying.

4. Deliver us the Moon

Deliver Us The Moon screenshot
Image: Keoken Interactive
  • Deliver Us the Moon is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

Set in a future where scientists have been trying to harness energy from the moon to use on Earth, Deliver us the Moon casts you as a lone explorer sent to a space agency worksite on the moon. Abandoned some years before, the mission to harness energy failed — and it’s down to you to figure out why.

While Deliver Us the Moon isn’t strictly a horror game — you won’t find any mutated monsters to fight against here — it is absolutely teeming with atmosphere (and its fair share of dead bodies). Exploring the abandoned space station is thrilling. In our Deliver Us the Moon review, we called it an “excellent sci-fi adventure”, praising how well it balances puzzles, exploration and storytelling.

5. Fort Solis

Fort Solis review
Image: Black Drakkar Games
  • Fort Solis is available on PS5 and PC.

In our Fort Solis review, we said this game had us on the edge of our seat from start to finish. It’s true: this story-driven adventure is tense, heart-pounding and utterly intriguing. Set on Mars, you take on the role of Jack, an engineer aboard a mining rig. But when he picks up a distress signal from another part of the complex, things take a very dark turn.

Like Deliver us the Moon, Fort Solis isn’t exactly horror. You won’t find yourself fighting against monsters, but there’s a sense of unease that will never quite leave you as you play. It may be a short adventure, but it’s one we couldn’t put down as we made our way through it. It looks fantastic, exploring the mining rig is fascinating, and the characters are brought to life with top-notch voice acting.

6. Tacoma

  • Tacoma is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

This next title is definitely an intriguing one. Tacoma is an exploration game set on a what seems to be a completely empty space station. Protagonist Amy has been assigned to enter the Tacoma station and gather AI data. You’re able to piece together the events that happened on the station using Amy’s augmented reality system. 

Players will spend most of their time aboard the Tacoma trying to uncover what went wrong on the ship. You’ll be able to listen in on past conversations and help you find clues or answers to puzzles you might run across along the way. Our Tacoma review called this “one of the most human stories” ever set in space, largely down to its excellent storytelling and characterisation.

7. The Expanse: A Telltale Series

The Expanse: A Telltale Series
Image: Telltale Games
  • The Expanse: A Telltale Series is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

The Expanse: A Telltale Series may be aimed at fans of the long-running Expanse TV series. But even if you’ve never watched (or even heard of it), there’s a lot to get out of this game about a space scavenger. It’s technically a prequel to the series, and as we said in our Expanse review, it’s a great starting point for newcomers. It weaves an intriguing narrative about pirates, corrupt crew members and more, and also gives you the chance to freely explore ship wreckages.

It’s the first Telltale game to release since the company closed and then reopened under new control — and it’s a great sign of things to come. Developed by Deck Nine, it’s much more technically competent than previous Telltale releases: it looks fantastic and it allows for more freedom than other games have in the past.

As always, though, the decisions you make matter, and your choices will influence how the story unfolds. It’s often a case of life or death, so you may want to play through this epic space game more than once to see all the available outcomes.

8. Starfield

Starfield
Image: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Starfield is available on Xbox Series X/S and PC.

You didn’t think we’d have a list of the best games set in space and not include Starfield now, did you? Bethesda’s space-faring epic, released last September, lets you set out across the solar system with a great level of freedom, flying where you want and completing quests in any order you feel like.

You’ll uncover new planets, meet other space explorers, fight off enemies and more, all while shaping your character and deciding what type of explorer you’d like to be. Starfield boasts that over 1,000 planets are available for you to land on, although they won’t all be densely populated. What you discover on each one, though, is part of Starfield’s charm. If you’re a fan of The Elder Scrolls and like the idea of exploring space with a similar freedom, Starfield is for you.

9. Everspace 2

Everspace 2
Image: Rockfish Games
  • Everspace 2 is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Everspace 2 allows for a great level of freedom, too, but this time you won’t be leaving the comfort of your spaceship, You see, Everspace 2 is a space shooter, where you’ll engage in dogfight battles across the galaxy, all while exploring a group of planets known as Cluster 34. There’s plenty of opportunity to go off the beaten path here, discovering secrets, solving puzzles and discovering a rich story.

Everspace 2 tells the story of Adam, a clone pilot trying to figure out who he is. But a more pressing matter is simply trying to survive: the world here is hostile, and there are plenty of foes who simply want to see you dead.

This isn’t your typical space exploration game, but if you enjoy space shooters and the idea of piloting your own craft appeals to you, Everspace 2 is a space game well worth checking out.

10. Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Hardspace Shipbreaker
Image: Blackbird Interactive
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

It’s safe to say there are no other games set in space quite like Hardspace: Shipbreaker. Set in a dystopian future where space has been industrialised, breaking down old, ruined ships is big business. And so, you’ll take on the role of a Shipbreaker, dismantling spacecraft piece-by-piece in order to pay off a big debt you owe.

While you might not get to explore space in quite the same way you do in other games, there’s something fantastic about being up-close to ruined ships, taking them apart while in zero gravity. It can be busywork, but it’s also engrossing and moreish: finishing a job is seriously rewarding, and seeing your debt slowly decrease is enough to push forward onto the next job.

In our Hardspace: Shipbreaker review, we mentioned that one of our favourite things about the game is that you can make it as hard or as easy as you want it to be. A wealth of options allow you to choose whether you want to manage oxygen, set time limits and more. Personally, we prefer a more laid-back experience, but it’s entirely up to you.

11. No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky screenshot
Image: Hello Games
  • No Man’s Sky is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

In the eight years since it released, No Man’s Sky has been on quite a journey. From its rough state early on, developer Hello Games has committed to improving it over time, and eventually it’s become the ultimate space exploration game it was always supposed to be. The amount of free content the developer has added to the game is seriously impressive, and its current state is almost unrecognisable from how it launched.

If you like the idea of unparalleled freedom when exploring space, then No Man’s Sky is the game for you. You’ll visit an endless array of different planets, each with unique flora and fauna — and plenty of action, too. Even at launch, we could see the “diamond in the rough” in our No Man’s Sky review, calling it “nothing less than brilliant”. And with more than a dozen major updates in the game, it’s more epic than ever.

12. Broken Age

  • Broken Age is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

Double Fine’s Broken Age is rather different from the other titles on this list of games set in space. That’s because it isn’t technically based in space. Broken Age takes place over two different timelines occurring simultaneously. In one of them, you play as the adventurous Vella who runs away from home to avoid her town’s strange tradition. In the other, you take on the role of Shay, a young boy who lives completely alone aboard a spaceship. 

And while we’ve already mentioned that Broken Age isn’t technically based in space, telling you why would be far too much of a spoiler. But trust us, if you’re yet to play Broken Age, you’ll appreciate playing knowing as little possible — and exploring Shay’s home space ship has some seriously cool sci-fi vibes that we can’t get enough of. In our Broken Age review, we also praised just how well written the characters are. Uncovering the mysteries that his AI mother and father have been hiding from Shay his whole life is an adventure all of its own.

13. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is unlike any other games et in space. It’s not scary, it doesn’t pack in a deep story, there’s no real exploration to be done, and it doesn’t take itself seriously in any way. Despite all that, it’s still very much worth your time – especially if you enjoy playing in co-op. Here, you play as crew members on a neon battleship. You’ll control the ships turrets, laser, shields and thrusters in order to defend the ship from ‘Anti-Love’ forces invading the galaxy.

As you progress through Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, you’ll be able to customise your ship in new and cool ways. Collecting powerful space-gems give you a range of different abilities and, if you work hard enough, you’ll eventually be able to take down those Anti-Love forces. It’s silly and adorable, and good, clean fun.

14. Galacticare

Galacticare screenshot
Image: Brightrock Games
  • Galacticare is available on PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

How about a Theme Hospital-like game set in space? That’s what Galacticare is. This tongue-in-cheek simulation game has you run your own hospital, dealing with space maladies, treating alien species and more. In our Galacticare review, we called this game “thoroughly entertaining and rewarding”, and if you’re a fan of Two Point Hospital or the original Theme Hospital, it genuinely is a no-brainer.

Galacticare is packed with humour, and while it doesn’t always land, it’s impossible not to play this game with a smirk on your face. Some of its illnesses are hilarious (like Star Warts), and designing your hospital with a range of facilities and treatment rooms is thoroughly good fun. There’s plenty of gameplay here, and while it might not truly give you the feeling of being in space, there’s still a lot to love.

15. 60 Parsecs!

  • 60 Parsecs! is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from all the games in space that we’ve played, it’s that sometimes, being in space isn’t pretty. And that is definitely the case in 60 Parsecs!. A sequel to the post-apocalyptic title 60 Seconds!, 60 Parsecs! has players controlling the actions of a space crew who have been allotted just 60 seconds to grab everything they can off their exploding space station before launching themselves into space.

Once you’re safe, your goal in 60 Parsecs! is to try and survive as long as possible. You’ll need to manage your food and water rations, sending out your crew on space missions to try and gather more. It’s certainly not an easy task, and as we said in our 60 Parsecs! review, this can be a rather stressful endeavour. It’s still a lot of fun, though, and for players who enjoy strategising, it’s well worth trying out.

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