Games of the Year

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator Screenshot 1
Microsoft Flight Simulator Screenshot 2
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From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and accurate aircraft in the next generation of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Test your piloting skills against the challenges of night flying, real-time atmospheric simulation and live weather in a dynamic and living world. Create your flight plan to anywhere on the planet. Microsoft Flight Simulator includes 20 highly detailed planes with unique flight models and 30 hand-crafted airports. Vivid and Detailed Landscapes – Immerse yourself in the vast and beautiful world that is our planet with over 37 thousand airports, 1.5 billion buildings, 2 trillion trees, mountains, roads, rivers and more. Living World – Earth is vibrant and ever-changing and so is the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator which includes live traffic, real-time weather and animals.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

born too late to explore the world, born too early to explore the galaxy, born at just the right time to nose dive into my ex's house with a boeing 747

Review from Steam

Fun to travel to your house, maybe a friends house but the magic gets pretty old.
Flying different planes helps the game from getting old but man is this game beautiful.
I'd only suggest it if you wanna become a pilot or you wanna listen to music while zoning out while thinking about the one that got away or broke your heart. LMAO
No one will ever read this review. It's an alright game/sim.

Review from Steam

I am an older gentleman (b1938) who really has found lots of enjoyment with this game.

Review from Steam

I figure at the 1200hr mark, I feel It's only reasonable to leave my remarks and squawk my experience so far.
As a game, MSFS is a work in progress. It's much, Much better than it was at launch, and with each Sim Update you have a bit of frustration depending if they focus on PC, or on Xbox as for reasons, when they attempt to focus on patches for one, it breaks the other, but coming past SU9, I feel they are continuing to be on the right track and little by little, the game continues to get better and better.
You have read it all before, the Graphics are between good and downright fantastic. This is at the moment, the only game on my system that is the main push for me to build a new PC just to play it. Sim Update Performance improvements have helped quite a bit, but the draw of VR/4K gaming even with a 3090, demands a better CPU and my pretty much ancient X79 based system just isn't enough for this game alone. Even the most recent chip from AMD, the 5800X3D showed that the game Loves CPU Cache, and will use as much as you can get it. Zen 4 is on my radar to be the next big step for getting that bottleneck off the CPU.
Sound is another thing that MSFS does really well at times. Most of the stock planes sound great, and most of the time, a quality 3rd party plane does put some fantastic effort into their audio as well. (PMDG's DC-6 and the Wing42 Boeing 247D are two of my absolute favorites for Radial Relaxation.) When the planes sound good, it really helps nail the experience more than just pretty graphics alone.
VR finally came to the game, and with one of the best implementation using the OpenXR system. Being able to hot swap between 2D and VR on the fly is something many other games should adopt. And if your system is powerful enough for it (Hah, like one truly exist yet with current CPU tech) the game looks amazing maxed out while in VR. The first time I loaded up in the Just Flight Arrow in VR, I could swear I could smell the plane as it was exactly as I would be in a real one many times before. There is still plenty of work to be done for VR. The VR Controls continue to need work and adjustment as well as 3rd party support, but when they can finally get to the point that you can just click, rotate, pull, etc all the cockpit buttons, dials, and levers in VR, it will be an absolutely amazing experience. For now, it is still extremely good, and will continue to get better as technology and the systems improve.
Flight Model is something that some people may love, some may hate, some may like for some plane and not others, some may say X-Plane/P3D/etc does better. For a Sim and a Game, MSFS has nailed a pretty solid representation of how it feels to fly most planes. They are continuing to improve it immensely with added physics and aerodynamic model improvements and again, the game continues to grow and improve over time where the physics will inevitably follow. On the smaller planes, things are quite close to real life comparing to my real world experience, larger birds seem to be pretty close as well depending on the ones you are flying and how much you trust the Weather systems effects on the plane as well. Is it Perfect, no, but I do feel that over time it can be made as simple, or as true to life as one may want and has the CPU performance to emulate down the road.
Weather is another thing that while its had it's fair share of bugs and goofy issues, when it does work correct, it really does add to the immersion factor of the game and gives you the true sense of flying in something other than a clear calm blue sky. Hopefully it can be expanded to truly emulate hurricanes and other more extreme weather, but for now, being able to fly a little Cessna into a Hurricane during the season is kind of fun for something you would never want to do in the real world.
Gameplay is something that at the present system, is possibly lacking to those that are either a little unfamiliar with Flight Sims of this type, but also a lack of implementation ingame that at least for the time being, is being somewhat provided by third party services to add a form of "Campaign" or "Career" mode. My personal favorite is Flight Sim Economy (FSEconomy), and The Skypark from Orbx. The Skypark gives you some fun and adventurous routes to fly in all sorts of interesting parts of the world, and has a extremely slick app and interface design that works really well. FSE is a much more dated interface and system, but has a lot more depth for things like the world economy, the ability to own and rent/lease planes, maintain and service them, and even run your own FBO network. It too will take you to many different parts of the world but you do have to make your own goals for what you want in the long run, like any open world career sim would. It would be nice if MSFS eventually adds its own sort of Career/Campaign mode that interacts directly and deeply within its own systems, and eventually I believe it will happen, but for now, outside of the lack of marketing/exposure for many of these alternate 3rd party solutions, the ones that are out there do scratch the itch pretty well at least for now.
The Download System many have complained about, and it sounds like Steam actually dodged the bullet compared to the Windows Store version that has even harder times getting patches to apply on Sim Update day sometimes, but I personally, spread between multiple completely separate PC's in my house, have had no issues whatsoever downloading/reinstalling the game or updating when patches are released. Good internet is a must but you will never max out your bandwidth as even with Gigabit, the game does seem to top out at around 200-300Mbit and then since it does handle one file at a time, is at the limit of downloading that file, extracting and processing it, and going onto the next which is a very slow and linear process, and being the game is near 200G at this point, does take time no matter how fast your PC/Internet/etc is. When it all works though, it does eventually finish and works fine at least for me. One big thing that I think even a few Xbox users are missing is when you do download an update or even after first install, you do have to go to the Package Manager under your profile tab, and "Select All" and download all those updates as well, especially after every patch, to update all the other packages not part of the main core game. If you don't do that, you will be missing a lot of content and fixes that could cause the game to crash if it's not updated after a Sim Update. The whole separate system like this is very silly I completely agree, but once you grasp it, it works, just very clunky and slowly, but it does, work...
Controller support for the game is very good, one thing I do hope to return in due time would be Force Feedback support as when you have that working, flying a plane really does feel real as you feel the resistance of the air against the control surfaces. And the game supports many of the current, past, and probably future sticks, yokes, gamepads, etc and has customization options galore. One of my favorite devices to use however for quick flights without having to swap in/out the whole Joystick/Throttle/Peddle setup, is using the Steam Controller. The Gyro on the Steam Controller works fantastic as a virtual yoke and allows for near pinpoint precision control over everything except the Yaw access. The triggers though that control yaw, do have finer control than say the same triggers on an Xbox One controller so even that is an improvement over just a conventional gamepad. This does give me great excitement for playing MSFS on the Steam Deck as you will pretty much have the sim, in a portable system combined with a Steam Controller. Fantastic and I cannot wait for mine for quick couch FSE hops.
TLDR. If you like Aviation and Flight, MSFS is a love letter to the skies.

Review from Steam

Crashed into my house. 10/10

Review from Steam

Backstory: In 1987, I began using MS Flight sim on an amber-screened IBM clone. It took several 'disks' to load, and I'd go make coffee and drink the majority of it before it was loaded and ready to play. In retrospect, it was simply atrocious. It had no graphics, ran at less than 5 frames per second, and took input from the keyboard. In a nutshell, it was like flying a very stubborn turkey.
But I was sucked in. "One day, I thought, this will be real. One day, places will appear as they do in the real world. One day, planes will actually feel like planes, rather than just an illusion of something clearly tortured on a screen.
'One day,' 37 years later, has arrived.
I can find minor flaws in this game, such as the fact that the frame rate is inconsistent and slows significantly around densely populated areas, or that the drone camera system is somewhat cumbersome, and flight planning could be a lot more user friendly when adding or re-ordering waypoints. However, these are minor issues. And, while I'm sure they'll be fixed, I could live with the game as is because everything else is so far ahead of anything else I've ever seen. It's not just good; it's phenomenal.
I've been a hopeless pilot for years, doing my best and still failing miserably. However, this simulator is a quantum leap beyond the previous ones. When realism is set to maximum, I can land every time without crashing. The simulation of flight systems and avionics has vastly improved, making hand flying aircraft far easier than in previous iterations. It feels like you're flying a real plane, not a simulation. Flying over your hometown gives you the impression that you are actually there. (And no, the house you're flying into is nothing like your actual home. It could even be mine.)
Sometimes a product comes along that completely changes the genre. This will forever alter flight simulation. This is revolutionary.
So seeing this delivered before I get to go to that big refrigerator in the sky makes me ecstatic. It gives me great pleasure to say, "It's finally here, and it's better than I could have imagined possible."
I'm not going to complain about anything when I can fly anywhere in a faithfully recreated virtual copy of the world for $60. Fly over a location and exclaim, "This looks exactly like it does in real life!" What an ungrateful person I would be. If I complained about the hours and hours it took to download when, at the end of it, the entire world exists on a small setup in the corner of my living room. Some people, to be honest.
Today I am a very happy gamer. This day was bound to come. It did, and it's mind-boggling.

Review from Steam

I have always wanted to fly from an early age, but could not see my way to pay for flight school ;esspms and rental of airplanes. Well, I now I am flying at age 76, and MSFS 2020 could not be more realistic. Yes, I do crash very expensive aircraft as I continue to learn, but at least I walk away and fly another day without my wife complaining of the risks of flying at my age. Haha!!!!

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