Tie-Fighter remains, to date, the most well-designed and conceived space combat simulator of all time.

User Rating: 9.6 | Star Wars TIE Fighter: Collector's CD-ROM PC
While Orion’s classic Wing Commander: Privateer, in my humble opinion, still ranks atop the space combat food chain thanks to its engrossing, fully-realized universe and open-ended story structure, LucasArts' Tie Fighter stands proudly as the finest in mission and campaign design, starship controls and scope. Especially in the exquisite CD-ROM pack (also boasting fantastic voice-over work), which includes the Defender of the Empire add-on, the sheer amount of superbly crafted, challenging assignments, arranged in the form of epic, over-arching campaigns, is simply staggering.

The game’s powerful control scheme, though initially intimidatingly complicated, lends a sense of realism to the experience that so far remains unrivalled. Where else can one so precisely micromanage the distribution of engine power across vital ship systems, or so closely monitor the repair progress of said systems after barely making it out of a barrage of enemy fire?

The Star Wars universe here achieves a level of detail and depth undreamed of even in Lucas’ original films, drawing heavily on Timothy Zahn’s acclaimed Thrawn trilogy novels for content, as well as creating many new characters that fleshen out the Imperial command structure. The result is a rich and exciting campaign full of political intrigue and deception.

The graphics were, at the time of release, absolutely top notch and, even by today’s standards, hold up quite well.

I could go on and on about how amazing this game is, but perhaps it would be better simply to sum up by saying that this game is, well, amazing. If you’ve never played it, seek it out. If you have, dust off your old copy and play it again.

Nothing today compares.