Highway to the danger zone
The F-22 fighter has featured in a number of flight sims over the years, from F-22 Lightning to F22 Raptor, with varying results. This one however is perhaps the best game to feature the famous plane and which is well worth digging out for airheads. It's a spiritual successor to the equally fine EF2000 and although it lacks the freedom of more dynamic games like Total Air War, it remains a first class experience. Most of the gameplay is fairly standard flight sim stuff, where you find yourself in control of up to four F-22s and must complete a varied series of missions such as air-to-ground and air-to-air assaults or flying escort duties. You can also control a flying command center, where you can issue orders to the F-22s to protect or attack, which adds in a nice strategic element. Missions are strictly defined, with routes and objectives all laid out for you, so don't expect the changing narratives of later more sophisticated games, but this isn't really a bad thing. There are also plenty of training missions to get you used to taking off, flying, shooting and dealing with things like electrical fires, and it's definitely worth trying these out before you go for the heavy stuff. This really is a top notch flight sim that packs in just about everything you could want in such a game. The missions are varied and provide plenty of tension and excitement, while there's just about the right blend of realism and accessibility to make this interesting for veterans and newcomers alike. When you throw in the extensive options and slick visuals, you have an all-round great game.