If you’re a fan of Top Gun’s cinematic thrill ride and its positively-reviewed sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, you’ll be thrilled to know that several video games offer similar experiences. From reliving those iconic ground moments in Microsoft Flight Simulator and even Call Of Duty: Vanguard, you’re in for a treat.
You can also find elements of Top Gun in the recently expanded content for Microsoft Flight Simulator. At the same time, Top Gun: Hard Lock offers a sequel to the original storyline spread over 9 compelling missions. Whether you’re into science fiction, war-themed games, or even free mobile game options with Modern Warplanes, there’s something out there to cater to your fighter jet action preferences.
See your passion for aerial combat combined with stunning visuals, realistic physics, and mid-air acrobatics on full display as you navigate high-risk scenarios in games like Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown and Star Wars: Squadrons. Whatever your gaming platform preference, let’s soar through the clouds exploring games with gameplay mechanics that echo Top Gun’s cinematic splendor.
Top Gun: A Classic Revived
The 1986 classic Top Gun made a significant impact globally, not only as an unforgettable film but also as a cultural phenomenon. It molded many to aspire to become valiant fighter pilots, pushing the envelope and breaking the barriers of speed.
Top Gun’s influence spread across various media, reaching beyond the film sphere, with its catchphrases, aesthetics, and adrenaline-fuelled flight sequences making their distinct marks.
A brief history of Top Gun
Top Gun, featuring Tom Cruise’s star-making performance as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, a hotshot fighter pilot, received adulation for its riveting dogfight sequences and high-tempo soundtrack. The film ruled the box office charts and became an enduring symbol of American pop culture. It further catapulted fighter jets into the realm of mainstream popularity, influencing a generation of flight simulation games.
The success of Top Gun: Maverick
After over three decades, the much-anticipated sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, did not disappoint. Maverick remained true to the spirit of the original while amplifying the thrill with modern technology. The sequel’s sterling reception from critics and audiences alike attests to the enduring legacy of the Top Gun franchise.
The continued legacy through Top Gun: Hard Lock game sequel
Top Gun: Hard Lock, a video game sequel, emerged to bolster the excitement further. The game allows players to live their fighter jet fantasies across 15 eyewitness missions. The Top Gun universe expands through these video game iterations, embodying the spirit of competitive adrenaline and medals in the world of aerial warfare.
1. Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X: The Simulator’s Perspective
Release year and developer
In 2009, Ubisoft took flight simulation to new heights with the release of Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.
Game genre and key features
The flight simulator game allows players to experience first-hand the breakneck speed and thrill of piloting an aircraft. Its primary attractions include a variety of aircraft at its disposal and dynamic weather that adds an unpredictable twist to missions.
H.A.W.X., available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, widens accessibility to a wider range of gaming enthusiasts, not to mention the game’s compatibility with joystick and gamepad assumptions.
Similarities with Top Gun
Engaging in heart-pounding dogfights and executing high-G maneuvers, players of H.A.W.X. can feel a sense of kinship with Maverick from Top Gun. The game echoes the movie’s spirit of aerial superiority and tactical precision.
2. Microsoft Flight Simulator: The Ultimate Flying Experience
Year of release and creators
As one of the long-running franchises in the gaming industry, Microsoft Flight Simulator, released in 1982 by Microsoft Corporation, has kept its charm intact over the decades.
The genre and the main appeal of the game
The best-in-class flight simulator offers an unrivaled flying experience with attention to detail and realistic presentation. The globe-trotting adventure, the dynamic weather, and the wide array of detailed aircraft make Microsoft’s Flight Simulator a compelling choice for fans of the genre.
The game’s latest version is available on Xbox Series X / Series S and PC.
Connections to Top Gun, including DLC
With the release of a DLC that includes Top Gun: Maverick tie-ins like the signature F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft, Microsoft Flight Simulator further reinforces its connection with the classic franchise.
3. Call Of Duty: Vanguard: The Battle in the Skies
Launch year and game maker
Activision, a titan in the gaming industry, released Call of Duty: Vanguard in 2021.
Game type and key characteristics
As the latest installment in the acclaimed Call of Duty franchise, Vanguard packs a punch with its robust First-Person Shooter gameplay. Notably, the game features gripping aerial combat missions besides grounded warfare.
The platforms it can be played on
Call of Duty: Vanguard is available for play on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / Series S, and PC.
Parallels with Top Gun
The aerial missions in Vanguard—with their intense dogfights, bombing runs, and escort operations—evoke the adrenaline-fueled flying sequences from Top Gun, offering players a taste of the sky-high thrill.
4. Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight: A Step Back in Time
Release date and developer
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight hit the gaming sphere in 2018, developed by Home Net Games.
Game genre and defining traits
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is an Action Simulator game transporting players back to the dramatic skies of the Second World War. The game stands out with its strategic gameplay and vivid, period-accurate visuals.
Platforms the game is on
The game is available on Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, and PC.
Link to Top Gun
While the era and aircraft differ, Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight offers a similar adrenaline rush to Top Gun with its fast-paced aerial combat and high-stakes bombing missions.
5. War Thunder: Worldwide Aerial Combat
Year of launch and developer
War Thunder, developed by Gaijin Entertainment, was launched in 2012.
The genre and unique features of the game
The MMO combat action game, brings together an array of war machines—air, land, and sea—from different periods into one massive, highly detailed warfare playground.
War Thunder is playable on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Comparison with Top Gun
Like Top Gun’s depiction of aerial warfare, War Thunder offers varied and vivid dogfights in the sky, with many aircraft options and intricate damage mechanics, engrossing players in the chaotic yet thrilling world of air combat.
6. Star Wars: Squadrons: Combining Sci-Fi with Aerial Combat
Introduction year and game maker
In 2020, EA launched Star Wars: Squadrons, adding another chapter to the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.
Game genre and defining elements
Squadrons is a first-person space combat game that immerses players deeply into the Star Wars universe. Whether it’s X-wings or TIE fighters, players get to command iconic Star Wars ships in epic space dogfights.
Available gaming platforms
Star Wars: Squadrons is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Similarities to Top Gun
While the Star Wars universe may seem galaxies apart from Top Gun’s modern jet warfare, the essence of thrilling aerial combat remains. The game’s exhilarating dogfights, tactical squad gameplay, and high-stakes missions echo the pulse-pounding intensity of Top Gun’s aerial battles.
7. Modern Warplanes: Mobile Aerial Warfare
Release year and developer
Launched in 2015, Modern Warplanes by GDCompany brings the high-speed thrill of jet combat to mobile platforms.
Genre and main highlights of the game
This aerial combat simulator stands out for its various modern aircraft, high-definition graphics, and online multiplayer mode.
Platforms it’s accessible on
Being mobile-based, Modern Warplanes is accessible on Android and iOS.
Relationship to Top Gun
Modern Warplanes seamlessly capture Top Gun’s essence—high-octane jet battles coupled with modern aircraft armed to the teeth with advanced weaponry. It offers a compact and readily accessible experience of what it feels like to be Maverick in a death-defying dogfight.
8. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown – Aerial Combat Revolutionized
Launch date and game maker
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, released by Bandai Namco Entertainment in 2019, lifts gamers to new altitudes.
Genre and unique selling points of the game
The hallmark of Ace Combat 7 is its balance between arcade action and flight simulation. Its breathtaking graphics, realistic physics, and mid-air maneuvers are nothing short of revolutionary.
Platforms for the game
Ace Combat 7 is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Links with Top Gun, including Top Gun: Maverick DLC
The game further cements its parallels with Top Gun with its Maverick DLC, which adds iconic aircraft such as the F14-A Tomcat and the F/A-18E Super Hornet.
9. Volleyball Unbound – Pro Beach Volleyball: A Ground-Level Alternative
Year of release and developer
Big Ant Studios released Volleyball Unbound – Pro Beach Volleyball in 2016.
Game type and distinguishing features
This sports game is a delightful deviation from the aerial combat games and provides a ground-level alternative. The game’s emphasis on teamwork, timing, and tactical play closely mirrors the spirit of volleyball games featured in the original Top Gun film.
Platforms it’s playable on
Volleyball Unbound is available on PC.
Alignment with iconic ground moments from Top Gun
While the game doesn’t feature hush-hush missions or jet-powered battles, it captures Top Gun’s ground moments beautifully. Like the movie’s tension-filled and iconic volleyball scene, players can immerse in their own high-stakes matches, sparking a different adrenaline rush.