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26 Best Space Games That Let You Explore the Unknown


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Space exploration games have only really been popular within the last few years because of the fact that games have allowed for more exploration. Some of the games that have been released have given players lasting experiences and narratives that have changed their perspectives on what video games can achieve. Check out our list of the best space games that let you explore the unknown and even take some of your friends along for the ride.

#26 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Platform: PC PS5 XSX|S
Releease Date: April 28, 2023

Steam | Playstation | Xbox

It was only a matter of time before this franchise embraced the open-world feel of numerous other games and made it their own. Star Wars Jedi Survivor will have you play Cal Kestis again, and you’ll once again explore the numerous worlds, moons, and stations of the galaxy far, far away. However, this time, you’ll get to go to places with a bit more depth.

Specifically, you’ll go to worlds where you can go off the beaten path and unlock new side missions. Or, you can return after learning new powers and abilities and see what new options you have available to you.

So don’t be afraid to take a beat and see what these worlds offer you.

# 25 Dead Space Remake

Developer: Motive Studio
Publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.
Platforms: PC PS5 XSX|S
Release: January 27, 2023

When it comes to space, the true terror is never knowing what will happen next and what you’ll encounter in the next stretch of it.

In the Dead Space Remake, one of the most horrifying space stories will unfold before your very eyes. You’ll play engineer Isaac Clarke, who was brought aboard a mining ship called the USG Ishimura to help fix what was wrong with it.

But the moment you arrive, you learn the truth. There’s more than one thing wrong here. There are monsters everywhere, the crew is dead, and your girlfriend is missing.

Explore the ship, fight anything that moves, and do your best to survive the experience.

#24 The Callisto Protocol

Developer: Striking Distance Studios
Publisher: KRAFTON
Release Date : December 02, 2022
Platfrom: PC PS4 PS5 XSX|S Xbox One

Exploring the unknown is always a dangerous task. After all, it’s the unknown. You don’t know what’s behind the next corner or in the next room. The Callisto Protocol takes that notion and amplifies it to a terrifying level.

The “unknown” in the game revolves around a prison colony on one of Jupiter’s moons. An outbreak of unknown origin has caused monsters to be born, and they’ll kill everything they see. You play one of the prisoners trying to break out. But how can you escape a place where monsters are everywhere, and weapons are few?

Venture forth and discover the answer, or die trying.

#23 Spaceflight Simulator

  • Release date: November 29, 2017
  • Developer: Moroyna Limited
  • Publisher: Moroyna Limited
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Nintendo Switch, Macintosh operating systems

Have you ever seen a rocket launch into space and wondered how it got to that stage? Spaceflight Simulator will help answer those questions while also letting you create a spacefaring craft.

You’ll start simple as you’ll make a rocket ship and send it up into space. Or at least, that’s what you’ll try to do. The making of a craft will be easy, but making it work is another matter. Learn about the parts and components needed to make spacecraft powerful enough to go into space, and then land safely back on Earth.

Once you’ve made the best ships, go bigger and launch satellites and space stations! Then explore other planets and lead your space agency into a new age of exploration.

#22 The Planet Crafter

  • Release date: July 15, 2021
  • Developer: Miju Games
  • Publisher: Miju Games
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows

The act of terraforming is one that many scientists would love to use to colonize inhospitable worlds. The problem is that it would take a lot of time, resources and in the real world is unfeasible. But in the gaming world? It’s just a matter of time to get it done. The Planet Crafter will set you out as an astronaut who has to terraform a planet to make it livable for humans. You’ll start small by gathering resources and building up the machines you’ll need to change the planet. Make the atmosphere breathable, get the ground to be fertile, the water to a state it can be drank, and so on. Just remember, you have to survive before anyone else can arrive. So keep yourself healthy, and build a better world.

#21 Star Valor

  • Release date: July 14, 2018
  • Developer: Rafael Burgos
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Publishers: Laious, Rafael Burgos

Star Valor puts you in a procedurally generated galaxy and lets you decide what person you want to be. You’ll have your ship at the start of the game and can point it in any direction you want to do whatever you want.

Will you join one of the factions of the galaxy and try to get fame by working with them? Will you stay an independent pilot and venture through the stars on adventures only meant for you?

Your destiny is in your hands. You’ll grow your character however you wish, improving your skills and craft by doing missions, bounties, mining, and so on.

Just remember that a galaxy is full of dangers.

#20 Deep Rock Galactic

  • Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Developer: Ghost Ship Games
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS5
  • Release Date: May 2020

Besides being a 4-play cooperative adventure game in space, you’ll be able to take advantage of exploring different cave and tunnel systems that are procedurally generated to be different every time you enter. As space dwarves, you will be tasked to carry on many different kinds of missions like mining for materials and stealing alien eggs with the objective of returning back alive. You can choose from four different classes, each with their own unique gameplay and weapons that you can use against the enemies that you will encounter. It spent almost two years in early access and has definitely become a fan among groups of friends.

#19 Dyson Sphere Program

  • Publisher: Gamera Game
  • Developer: Youthcat Studio
  • Platform: PC
  • Release Date: January 2021

The first game on our list that is still in early access, Dyson Sphere Program lets you explore the unknowns of space in a pretty unique way. Players will be in charge of collecting resources in order to create what is known as a Dyson sphere to sustain power to a supercomputer. You will spend most of your time constructing structures, collecting resources, and creating power systems all to help support the Dyson sphere. Eventually, you will be able to expand this sphere to other planets across the universe as you grow and sustain more and more power. If you’re a fan of factory simulation games like Satisfactory and Factorio, this will be right up your alley.

#18 Astroneer

  • Publisher: System Era Softworks
  • Developer: System Era Softworks
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
  • Release Date: February 2019

Astroneer really gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to a space adventure that really lets you explore the atmosphere around you. It is a sandbox adventure game that allows you to explore open-world planets and terraform them according to how you please. You can craft items to help make the former easier like rovers, generators, solar panels, and more and then can upgrade them according to the resources that you collect via terraforming. You can play with others to complete the objectives on every planet but don’t expect there to be any sort of overarching background storyline. Just try to unlock as many blueprints as you can!

#17 Universe Sandbox

  • Publisher: Dan Dixon
  • Developer: Dan Dixon
  • Platform: PC
  • Release Date: October 2012

While this game is here, it isn’t so much a game more than it is a simulation. You will quite literally be able to explore different galaxies and run effects on them to simulate things like gravity, asteroid collisions, and more. The project has been in development for a very long time and is used in many educational aspects. Still, it’s fun to take control of moons and planets as well as watch famous collisions that really couldn’t be experienced otherwise. Although this game is very fun in its own right, don’t really expect to be getting down with space exploration through the late hours of the night with your friends.

#16 Mass Effect Legendary Edition

  • Publisher: EA
  • Developer: Bioware
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
  • Release Date: May 2021

This choice happens to be one of my personal favorites on this list. You play as Commander Shepard through all three titles in this collection as they travel the universe in search of different objectives with their crew. Shepard can either be male or female and every game consists of a crew of characters that not only could you explore various planets with, you could also start romantic relationships with them. All three of these games focus on a morality system that affects how other characters react to you as well as how certain missions can end. Each of these games comes with their DLC which includes even more content for players to enjoy on top of the incredible storyline that connects them all together.


  • Publisher: EA
  • Developer: Maxis
  • Platform: PC, Mac
  • Release Date: September 2008

I genuinely remember when this game came out and being so excited to come home and create strange new lifeforms with my friends after school. If my memory serves me well, you quite literally develop organisms all the way from microscopic lifeforms to complex creatures. As you create more, they begin to interact with each other and with other creatures that they meet on other planets in the universe. There are different phases that the organisms go through that end up with players trying to reach the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. It was a lot of fun then and it is certainly still a lot of fun now.

#14 Star Conflict

  • Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
  • Developer: Star Gem Inc
  • Platform: PC, Linuc, Mac
  • Release Date: July 2012

Star Conflict has players controlling one of four basic ship classes combat spaceships that each have different roles. It is an MMO that requires players to establish certain skills and perfect different tactics to destroy one another in different game modes. There is also a dedicated co-op mode that allows players to fight against NPC and bosses with up to three friends. The more you play, the more available maps and ships there will be for you to play with so take advantage of learning which squads are the best and then take to the skies with your friends in this free-to-play space adventure.

#13 Empyrion – Galactic Survival

  • Publisher: Eleon Game Studios
  • Developer: Eleon Game Studios
  • Platform: PC
  • Release Date: August 2015

Another title on our list that spent a lot of time in early access, Empyrion – Galactic Survival left early access in 2020 after being compared to other titles like No Man’s Sky. Players crash land on a planet where they are forced to survive against hostile enemies. You’ll be able to forage for resources and materials in order to build objects including bases and vehicles to better help you survive. There is also a multiplayer aspect where players can interact with one another and trade items or even engage in combat. This is a fun title to play with your friends if you’d like a relaxing experience in space.

#12 Star Wars: Squadrons

  • Publisher: EA
  • Developer: Motive Studios
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox One Series X/S, PS4
  • Release Date: October 2020

Star Wars: Squadrons begins after the destruction of Alderaan with Darth Vader having ordered all Imperial forces to hunt down any refugees who managed to escape. It’s a first-person space combat game which means that you are behind the cockpit of a starfighter from either the Galactic Empire or the New Republic navy. You’ll find yourself deeply immersed in the gameplay and multiplayer combat that includes dogfighting in a team deathmatch mode called Dofight and a team battle called Fleet Battles. If you’re a fan of the Star Wars series and are looking for something to play with your friends, you’ve come to the right list.

#11 Starbound

  • Publisher: Chucklefish
  • Developer: Chucklefish
  • Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
  • Release Date: July 2016

Starbound is fun because it utilizes a pixelated graphic style that a lot of the other games on this list don’t take on. There is an overarching story but players are more expected to travel to different planets and collect resources in order to survive and explore across the universe. You’ll spend most of your time in a space shuttle that acts as your vehicle to get from place to place as well as an upgradable asset of yours. You’ll be able to customize it to your liking and join other NPCs or players on quests through different classes that you can choose from to complete different objectives.

#10 Space Engineers

  • Publisher: Keen Software House
  • Developer: Keen Software House
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One
  • Release Date: February 2019

Space Engineers is another sandbox game on our list as well as another that saw early access for a long period of its lifetime. Players start either in a specific setting with different parameters that are chosen by the players. Once you start, you can basically expect to mine for resources and materials to create structures and other items to fill out your world. It is very similar to Minecraft in the sense that you are given free rein over creation to better accentuate the type of world you are in and the kind of resources you require. Also like Minecraft, there is a creative mode where you can take control of how many resources you have and how you would like to build without having to worry about mining or searching for them yourself.

#9 FTL: Faster Than Light

  • Publisher: Subset Games
  • Developer: Subset Games
  • Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, iOS
  • Release Date: September 2012

The name of the game partly comes from the fact that players are in control of a spacecraft that has the ability to travel faster than light. Players have to use their created ship to battle against enemy ships and configurations. Different species of crewmembers can join your ship with each having their own unique set of skills and abilities that could benefit you in different ways. You’ll have to carefully maneuver through fights to come out on top as the victor while also managing to get to the Rebel Flagship to either lose or win against the Rebellion: an exclusively human and incredibly xenophobic rebel faction.

#8 Everspace 2

  • Publisher: ROCKFISH Games
  • Developer: ROCKFISH Games
  • Platform: PC
  • Release Date: June 2020

If you’re looking for a focus on energetic combat and exploration as well as looking for blueprints and graphics while you plot galactic domination, then Everspace 2 might be for you. Eversapce 2 brings RPG and shooter elements together to create a game that is rich in puzzles and loot. There is a dynamic story that will blow you away with a range of NPC and friends who will join you and create more side quests for you to complete. You’ll experience dynamic battles and immersive scenarios that will make you want to lose yourself in the discovery. Not only that, but you’ll also have access to tons of weapons for you to collect and upgrade that will definitely make the story that much more interesting.

#7 Stellaris

  • Publisher: Paradox Interactove
  • Developer: Paradox Development
  • Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • Release Date: May 2016

Stellaris is a real-time strategy game that quite literally takes you through the expanse of space, creatures, and all. Each player plays as a government of a species that are beginning their journey into the exploration of space. As you progress through the game and meet other species and the personalities that they bring, the story will change and focus on things like universal domination that rely on the ethics of your choices. There are a ton of different ways to play this game and lots of different narratives and stories to explore that will definitely have you mindlessly flying through the expanse of space. There is also a major focus on resource collecting and structural upgrades too so there is plenty for you to do either by yourself or with friends.

#6 Kerbal Space Program

  • Publisher: Private Division
  • Developer: Squad
  • Platform: PC, Linux, Xbox One, Xbox One Series X/S, PS4, PS5
  • Release Date: April 2015

Kerbal Space Program is a fun space exploration game where you play as Kerbals – green little aliens – who live on a spaceport where they can create things like rockets and rovers. There are three different game modes that let you either construct things at your leisure or follow a story mode that lets you earn funds and complete contracts. There is a lot of silly fun to be had in this game and you will soon find yourself playing through the intense physics engine offered. There have been a few DLC releases over the years that add more elements to the game as well as even more physics simulations for added fun.

#5 Endless Space 2

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Developer: Amplitude Studios
  • Platform: PC
  • Release Date: May 2017

Endless Space 2 is a turn-based strategy game that takes place in the great expanses of space. You take control of one of 12 factions after all of the added DLC each with their own unique abilities and skills to explore planets and take advantage of their resources and materials. You are also given an empire that you can expand using the materials you find to eventually fight against other empires. You can build armies of ships and troops to fight for you and take advantage of the different kinds of strategies that you can come up with. You can play this in singleplayer mode or gather your friends to battle against their empires.

#4 Homeworld Remastered Collection

  • Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
  • Developer: Gearbox Software
  • Platform: PC
  • Release Date: February 2015

Experience an intense space story with an RTS strategy that lets you build an armada of troops for more than 30 single-player missions. This collection includes the first and second Homeworld Remastered games as well as the multiplayer and the original Homeworld titles. You’ll have access to more than 100 ships with new textures that will allow you to race and join other game modes that will let you engage in space battles on an epic scale. Solidify your fleet formations and secure the unit types you want to use as you explore space in a completely new way with mod support and even in-game mod tools that you can take advantage of.

#3 Eve Online

  • Publisher: Simon &Shuster Interactive
  • Developer: CCP Games
  • Platform: PC, Mac
  • Release Date: May 2003

Eve Online has been around for almost two decades and has been just as popular the entire time. The game takes place 21,000 years in the future and has players creating ships and battle units to battle one another and collect resources in a massive MMORPG. There have been situations in the past where complete wars have broken out in the game that have involved many players and forum arguments. It is in the same vein as games like World of Warcraft where there are fandoms of players that have been with the game since its inception and would be more than happy to welcome to players to the meta. There are four playable races that you can choose from that each have their own lineages and narratives that further expand on the gameplay.

#2 No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky
  • Publisher: Hello Game
  • Developer: Hello Games
  • Platform: PS4, PC, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
  • Release Date: August 2016

No Man’s Sky is one of my favorites on this list. When it first came out, there wasn’t a whole lot that players were able to do although it offered a large expanse of universal exploration with different alien races coupled with their own languages. Now, there are tons of things for players to do including creating structures and collecting NPCs that offer different elements to your space stations. You can even purchase and upgrade ships and even travel to find large cruisers for even larger crews and resources. There isn’t an overarching story but there are a bunch of small missions and events that you can take advantage of that will let you better communicate with the aliens that you will encounter and build better ships and multitools as you progress.

#1 Elite Dangerous

  • Publisher: Frontier Developments
  • Developer: Frontier Developments
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
  • Release Date: May 2015

Elite Dangerous is another that allows you to take control of a ship in an open-galaxy where you are asked to trade, mine, and search for resources. There are other missions as well including assassinations and bounty hunting that you can play by yourself or with your friends in multiplayer and competitive arcade modes. There are three major factions that players can choose from each with their own missions and rewards for you to earn. There are rankings that players can earn as well that will grant you combat experience and shop discount prices for shop items. If you happen to have VR, you can take advantage of a first-person shooter mode alongside the first-person exploration mode.


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