Kids get their inspiration for their dream adult job from their perceived version of it in their childhood. Fireman loved big red trucks and putting on bright uniform, police officer adored teaching bad guys a lesson and doctors loved helping people. Of course, many of the harsh realities of live may have shaken these early expectations from many who once dreamt of the in the past, other things such as games however can help nurture a hobby. Because they are an engaging activity, one that becomes quickly immersive and of course increasingly realistic as computer graphics accelerate their capabilities, games have inspired kids and adults everywhere to develop their own dreams into reality. Here are some games that have no doubt planted the mental seed that has created some pilots, all the while being great fun at the same time.

After Burner Climax

This sequel in Sega’s afterburner game series was a dramatic update in graphics from its 16-bit predecessor. This high-speed combat flight simulator follows in the steps of the others in that it is designed to look great and create a high octane experience for players. With great scenery whether you are tailing bogies on sea or land this game really makes you feel like you are going fast. What’s great about these titles is that they all had an arcade version with a servo chair. This meant that movement and vibrations were enhanced and sound was projected from behind giving a 3D quality. It also meant that you immediately felt like you were in a cockpit from the get go which makes it a favourite among arcade goers.

Lylat Wars

Following the success of Starfox this game (also called Starfox 64) in other regions hit Nintendo consoles in the late 90’s. Although this isn’t a game where you fly a plane exactly, the spacecrafts that you do pilot are basically that. Here your third person view can be switched to a cockpit one leaving you feel like you are battling robots and aliens from a fighter jet. Most of the levels in Lylat Wars didn’t actually take place off-world so this really is essentially a combat flight title. Players will no doubt remember the tried and true technique that is the barrel roll thanks to it being shouted to you over and over again here.

Tom Clancy’s HAWX

Clancy games are renowned for their attention to detail when it comes to realism, known for their series of military games backed by the famous author HAWX was the first of the series to put you in the cockpit. Here players would take on the role of U.S. Air force pilot David Crenshaw as he keeps the skies clear from enemies of the state in flight. Not only were the planes here based on real models but the locations used were made from satellite imagery meaning that the views where wholly accurate for their real world locations. On top of this the game was intense, the controls had a rewarding learning curve and it looked great. This more modern release is one of the closest recreational titles to a flight simulator while retaining much of the excitement of modern games.