5. Elite: Dangerous
Simply put, Elite: Dangerous is the predecessor No Man’s Sky. Elite: Dangerous is one of the most fully fleshed-out experiences you will find in the space exploration genre. The game introduces you to its universe immediately as you’re given a small ship and released into the wild to do whatever you please. Elite: Dangerous includes missions, tasks, and random encounters as you traverse the galaxy. You can pick up missions from each space station that task you with either hunting down other ships, collecting cargo, purchasing items, or just taking an item from one location to the other.
All these tasks allow you to earn credits which are hugely important as upgrading your ship will become a top priority. However, it’s not as simple as upgrading your ships because there are dozens of different models, each with their own playstyle. Planning on taking a trip to the center of the galaxy? You will not want to use a fighter as they have a small jump range. If you want to become a trader you’ll want to work toward purchasing a ship with a lot of cargo space. Arguably one of the best features in Elite: Dangerous is
Space stations are densely populated with players, making the game world feel alive and full. Exploring deeper into the galaxy is one of the most rewarding, lonesome, and serene moments you will experience in a video game. Pulling up the galaxy map and selecting where to go is extremely simple, though the level of detail and what you can accomplish within the galaxy map is highly complex. You can select a path to move along, seeing exactly where you are in regards to other stars, even revisit previous stars and stations with ease.
The galaxy map includes a search function, meaning so long as you’re able to recall the name of a system or star, you can revisit it without trawling through a seemingly endless wash of lights. Out of all the games on this list, Elite: Dangerous will scratch the No Man’s Sky itch in terms of space exploration, combat, and in-ship experiences. Though there are no procedurally generated alien lifeforms and even though planets are cold, hard, and barren, any star you discover before anyone else will forever have your name written in its records.