ByNick Buxton, writer at
A Gameboy who wants to become a Gameman!
Nick Buxton

With No Man's Sky to be released in a weeks time, the hope it's all we've dreamed it to be draws nearer. However, although No Man's Sky may be something to change gaming as we know it, the idea of a Space-Adventure game is certainly not a new concept. From The Dig in 1995 to August 9th of this year, the release date of No Man's Sky, it's easy to see that space games have come a long way.

Furthermore, through these past twenty-one years, we've had some impressive and enjoyable space battles, enjoyable exploration and superior spaceships in many different games. So here are 10 examples of Space-Adventure Games that No Man's Sky will be up against. There is no specific order to this, however all of these games are well worth playing.

Universe Sandbox²

Save us Link, save us!!
Save us Link, save us!!

If you've ever wanted to re-create Majora's Mask, create the apocalypse or just throw teapots at a galaxy, Universe Sandbox² has got you covered on all your desires. With an entire universe to destroy, re-build and interact with, you'll find endless entertainment on a scale you could never imagine. I'm mean who doesn't want to create a black-hole and watch the destruction unfold? No, just me?

With an unnecessary but brilliant number of ways to change and merge the gravity, climate and individual materials, you can realistically observe how large our universe really is and how fragile our planet is. With an excellent physics engine and spectacular simulation moments, Universe Sandbox² is for any budding astronomer or just for people who want to watch the world burn.



Starbound is what happened when Terraria got really drunk one night, met an astronomer, completely forgot Minecraft existed and had a baby, and what a beautiful baby it was. It mixed crafting and exploring brilliantly, similarly to Terraria, with gorgeous planets to explore and a large array of crafting materials to choose from. Not to mention that it's pretty bloody hard.

With multiple ways to play and a world that can be formed into whatever you want, Starbound allows for the player to survive, create and fight in their own creations. Moreover, there are a variety of rare creatures to discover. Who doesn't want to travel through space and play Minecraft at the same time?



It's said to be a small Indie game, but "small" is the last word I would use. Rodina is an exploration game enabling you to build your own ship and discover planets in the galaxy around you. It's an immersive space experience that gives you an entire, full-scale solar system. You can travel all around the system, land on any planet and get out of your ship to a first-person perspective - without any loading times.

Although Rodina is still in early access, it's still packed with content and is constantly being added to. Currently, space combat and spaceship customisation are the big features, with crafting and settlements ideas that could be integrated in the future. So from what we can see already, Rodina looks to be a similar experience to No Man's Sky, so just play both of them.

That's just one planet
That's just one planet

Kerbal Space Program

They'll be dead soon...
They'll be dead soon...

Although it's the silliest of the games, Kerbal Space Program contains the most realistic physics engine of them all. Ironic really considering the kind off things that have happened in this game. With a creative, funny and simple creation station for rockets and ships, Kerbal Space Program allows to murder your Kerbals in more ways than you can imagine.

With endless entertainment from your scared Kerbals and the ability to build and save your favourite creations, Kerbal Space Program will keep everyone around the world happy for many years. This post is in memory of all the failed missions and dead Kerbals.

R.I.P. Kerbals
R.I.P. Kerbals

FTL: Faster Than Light

This top-down indie game came out of the blue in September of 2012, but literally blew everyone away by its simplicity. It's a game that redefined the word addiction as it slowly turns your brain to Marmite. It keeps you constantly on edge and just the fact that I can't leave it alone for five seconds proves how addictive it really is.

I've never had to use a Pause button so much, but still, even when the game stops, you still feel overwhelmed. That alone is an excellent feature; even if you make the game turn-based, you still feel confused and hopeless. FTL: Faster Than Light created space fantasies and made them hate me, but I certainly love it in return.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 (Space Battles)

Being the best Star Wars game and one of the best Playstation 2 games, I couldn't leave this out. Although Star Wars Battlefront 2 is mainly based on the combat and shooting on several planets, I wanted to give special mention to their exceptional space battles. Every battle is unique and the view of the planets for PS2 is quite staggering.

With memorable planets and battles from both trilogies, the dogfights in space are great fun. The ship feel excellent when flying and the movement between main bases is also enjoyable. Using the transport ships to transfer troops was always an interesting mechanic and great fun. Star War Battlefront 2 is a game that will be remembered for a long time for many reasons, including their space battles. Just don't go against the Empire, you will lose, trust me.

Star Wars: X-Wing/TIE Fighter

Speaking of Star Wars, the other games, Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: TIE Fighter are part of a series of space combat simulation video games set in the Star Wars universe. Both games put you as the pilot of an X-wing for the Rebel Alliance and a TIE Fighter for the Empire, hence the title. Dogfights, reconnaissance and inspection tasks, escort duty for freighters or capital ships and attacks on larger opposition ships were examples of missions in the games.

The simulations were fun and addictive for the time, with a story that followed the films closely. It was a keeper for Star Wars fans and is a retro game no one will forget "anytie" soon. (Sorry, couldn't help it!)

Mass Effect 2

This classic space RPG was Bioware's second installment of the Mass Effect series. It takes place in the Milky Way galaxy during the 22nd century, where humanity is threatened and attacted by an insectoid species known as the Collectors. You assume the role of Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who must gain the loyalty of his team in order to defeat the Collectors in a suicide mission.

Along with an exceptionally gripping story and intriguing characters, Mass Effect 2 included beautiful scenery, difficult but satisfying combat and troublesome dilemmas that both majorly and minorly changed the story, which proves for multiple branching paths. Plus, there's some mature content and who doesn't want to make love to space, I mean in space?

Space Engineers

It's Minecraft in space really and who doesn't want that? This is the 3D version of Starbound where you get your own sandbox in space with planets to explore. However, blocks this time can be used to create more than wooden houses; spaceships and personal planets are some examples of possible creations in Space Engineers.

Build your own stations!
Build your own stations!

Similarly to Minecraft, there is a Survival Mode and a Creative Mode. Survival brings asteroid attacks and Permadeaths in space and Creative, well you can guess what happens there. So, if surviving in space is your thing, then play this and if you just want to make a space station or a ship, play Space Engineers and Minecraft. Both are fine.

Elite: Dangerous

Being the most similar to No Man's Sky, Elite: Dangerous gives you an entire galaxy to fly in with multiple occupations to choose from. Smuggling goods and trading are examples along with spontaneous first-person dogfights at any point that make the game even more tense. The scale of planets is insane with just small asteroids being too big to comprehend.

Quite the planet!
Quite the planet!

With an impressively large map, exceptional detail on both planets and the ships and enjoyable space combat, No Man's Sky will almost certainly have a competitor for the biggest and best space-exploration game.

What is your favourite Space Game and are you excited for No Man's Sky?


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