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Best Space Exploration Games to Play in 2023

Abhimannu Das
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Here are our recommendations for seven of the best space exploration games that you can check out right now.
These can be great distractions until Bethesda’s Starfield goes live on Game Pass, Steam and Xbox.

Are you itching to get your hands on Starfield but want something else to kill time until the game officially releases? Starfield is by no means the first game to introduce space exploration, and there are plenty of fantastic games you can try until Bethesda’s new title drops. Here are our recommendations for some of the best space-themed games that you can play right now.

The Seven Best Space Exploration Games

Elite Dangerous (2014): Set in a realistic 1:1 scale Milky Way galaxy, Elite Dangerous is a space simulator that grants players the freedom to carve their own path in the universe. Whether you choose to be a trader, bounty hunter, explorer, or even a pirate, this game offers breathtakingly realistic space travel and stunning celestial bodies to explore.

No Man's Sky (2016)

No Man's Sky has undergone a remarkable transformation since its controversial launch. With numerous updates, it now provides a virtually infinite universe to explore, filled with diverse planets, creatures, and a rich crafting system. The game's sense of discovery and exploration is unparalleled.

Kerbal Space Program (2011)

While less about combat and more about the science of space travel, Kerbal Space Program offers a unique and educational experience. Players design and launch their spacecraft, managing fuel, aerodynamics, and more. It's a humorous and engaging way to learn about rocket science.

EVE Online (2003)

EVE Online is a massive multiplayer online game set in a player-driven universe. It offers intense space battles, intricate politics, and a dynamic economy. The game's steep learning curve rewards players with unparalleled depth and complexity.

Stellaris (2016)

Stellaris combines grand strategy and space exploration, allowing players to build their interstellar empire. The game offers a rich narrative, deep diplomacy options, and complex warfare, all set against a backdrop of a procedurally generated galaxy.

Interstellar Rift (2015)

For those who enjoy building and customizing their ships, Interstellar Rift offers an engaging experience. Players can construct their vessels block by block, trade, mine, and explore in a vast, open universe.

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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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