Top Gun: Maverick continues to prove a massive hit, with soaring box office numbers and stellar ratings from moviegoers and critics. As in the original, the film offers a glimpse into the perspectives of naval aviators training to become the best of the best in graduating from the TOPGUN military program.
Evidently, there are many games out there that allow you to occupy the pilot seat and set you on your way to performing edge-of-your-seat stunts, missile strikes, enemy takedowns, and combat maneuvers no more glorious than that of a character from the films. If you enjoyed Top Gun’s adrenaline ride and are eager for more, you can step back into the thrill with these games.
10 Volleyball Unbound – Pro Beach Volleyball
Although one of the main focuses of Top Gun is the aerial sequences, some of its most iconic moments are on the ground. The film wouldn’t hold the same charm without the scenes featuring Maverick and the other pilots singing a jovial group serenade in the bar, or a montage of the beach volleyball match.
You can give beach volleyball a go in Volleyball Unbound, a 2016 game that boasts of being the most realistic game version of the sport. Volleyball Unbound offers career and party modes, and while it remains in Early Access, the developer has applied a lot of care in capturing the feeling of anticipating the ball’s trajectory, serving physics, and player moves. There’s even a replay option and character customization.
9 Tom Clancy’s HAWX
Most of you, however, are probably here for the action in the air, so either of the HAWX games is sure to curb your appetite for some fun in the danger zone. Set within the Tom Clancy universe of games and developed by Ubisoft, the two HAWX titles embed themselves in the arcade flight genre of games.
HAWX stands for High Altitude Warfare Experimental Squadron, and you’ll play the leader of said squadron. You get to interact with the Enhanced Reality System (ERS) built into your jets, as it helps you avoid missiles, guide a flight path to your targets, and issue orders to members of your squad. You can complete campaign missions in co-op or have multiplayer PvP matches with friends.
8 Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator always strives to be the most realistic and unmatched airplane piloting simulator on the market. Real-time traffic and weather systems, lifelike models of over 30 planes and 1,000 in-flight plane controls, and over 37,000 worldwide in-game airports mean the sky’s your limit.
As a bonus, you can also play the Top Gun: Maverick tie-in DLC, which added the signature F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft, three training missions, and five challenges that see you perform maneuvers only seasoned Top Guns would attempt. The best part? The DLC is completely free.
7 Call Of Duty: Vanguard
Call of Duty: Vanguard sets its story amid the backdrop of World War II. You play through various characters from Team Vanguard, an elite special forces unit tasked with gaining intel on a Nazi project codenamed Phoenix. One of those characters is bomber plane pilot Wade Jackson, and that’s where the campaign takes you to the skies in the Battle of Midway story mission.
In it, you and your tail gunner, Mateo Hernandez, maneuver your S-17 plane to dodge and lock onto enemy fighter targets to defend your squadron. In addition to the dogfighting, you’ll end up with a bomber run, nosediving your plane towards the enemy aircraft carrier and launching a bomb to destroy it.
6 Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight
Another aerial combat game set in the Second World War, Warplanes WW2: Dogfight transports you into the skyward battlefields between Germany, Japan, the USSR, the US, and Great Britain. You get to assume the role of the instructor, becoming almost like Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in training your own set of Top Guns to assist you on the most dangerous missions throughout the campaign.
You can command more than 50 different types of airplanes, all historically accurate to the period. These include P-51s, Fw 200 Condors, German Stukas, and B-17 Flying Fortresses. There are even radio transmissions in different languages, for an added sense of immersion.
5 War Thunder
War Thunder presents you with one of the most ambitious vehicular combat games, offering an array of over 2,000 playable vehicle types. These range from various fighter jets, airplanes, and helicopters in the aerial arena, to military tanks and armored vehicles on land, and to warships on the ocean front.
It’s super accessible to get started as it’s free to play, and it supports cross-platforming. So, no matter what console your friends prefer, PvP in War Thunder is always possible. All vehicles and aircraft are designed with strict attention to detail and historical accuracy. The physics may not be the most realistic when your plane is hit by enemies, but the dogfighting action is nevertheless thrilling and engaging.
4 Top Gun: Hard Lock
Many Top Gun games followed the original film’s release, starting with Ocean Software’s 1986 title. A decade before Top Gun: Maverick dropped into theaters, Top Gun: Hard Lock served as a sequel to the original film. You play as Lt. Lance “Spider” Webb, a recent graduate of the program under the mentorship of current instructor Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
This game takes place on the USS McKinley along the Persian Gulf, and its entire crew comes under attack. You play through a series of 15 missions, in which Spider has to hard-lock onto MiGs, bomb enemy ships, and fly the F-14 Tomcat above scenic water and sunsets. Another cool feature is a camera angle displayed in the upper corner of the screen when a missile fires, to show the trajectory to impact.
3 Star Wars: Squadrons
From the Indian Ocean to a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: Squadrons brings its science-fiction spin to the Top Gun experience, and is a perfect option for fans of both series. In Squadrons, you get an immersive first-person glimpse into the cockpits of TIE Fighters, X Wing Fighters, Y Wing Bombers, and many more starfighters, as you take control and engage in aerial battles.
You can choose whether you’re on the side of the Galactic Empire or the New Republic, and you have the option of playing a single-player story or a multiplayer dogfighting experience. To become even more immersed in this outer space battlefield, Squadrons is also available in VR.
2 Modern Warplanes
Modern Warplanes is not only an excellent option for fans of Top Gun, but is another that is completely free, with no console required to access the game. You can simply download Modern Warplanes on your mobile and quickly get into the PvP fighter jet action.
There are over 40 weapon types to unlock and equip for your jets, countless upgrades to modify the armor, speed, damage, and reload speed, and even skin customizations for your battle craft. Whether you want to solo campaign or challenge your friends in PvP, becoming a Top Gun has never been easier.
1 Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Microsoft Flight Simulator may be the best for its realistic graphics in piloting planes, but Ace Combat 7 is as close as it can get to Top Gun action. It’s an aerial combat simulator with stunning graphics, gorgeous 360-degree landscapes, realistic physics through in-flight controls, and midair maneuvers catered to your greatest Top Gun fantasies.
You can switch between third-person and first-person perspectives as you flip upside down and spin around to avoid enemy missile locks and successfully eliminate your targets. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown also has a supported VR version, which adds special missions that elevate the immersion factor. And another recent addition was its Top Gun: Maverick DLC, which includes aircraft like the F14-A Tomcat and F/A-18E Super Hornet — and the quintessential “Danger Zone” soundtrack.
NEXT: Best Combat Flight Simulators