From dogfight classics to aviation simulators, we’ve put together the best Battle of Britain games. Among them are some of the best World War Two plane games and some of our favourite historical flight sims.
The Battle of Britain took place in the summer and autumn of 1940 as fighter pilots and ground crews in Great Britain successfully defended against a German campaign for air superiority. On 15 September 1940, the Luftwaffe launched its largest attack on London. The resultant battles involved around 1,500 aircraft.
The historical aviation and plane games on our list of the best Battle of Britain games include War Thunder, IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover, Microsoft Flight Simulator, World of Warplanes, 303 Squadron: Battle of Britain and Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight. You’ll find more World War Two games in our selection of the best strategy games and shooter games.
1. War Thunder
War Thunder is a free-to-play game with a sophisticated combat simulation available on Xbox and PlayStation, as well as PC, Mac and Linux. Players can participate in aerial combat in the game while using a range of warplanes, including those used during the Battle of Britain. Meanwhile its role-playing mechanics has players investing in hardware and upgrades.
War Thunder isn’t just about aerial warfare, nor is it restricted to World War Two. However its breadth of detailed aircraft, its historical battle theatres and its atmosphere make it one of the best Battle of Britain games.
2. IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover
IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover is a World War Two combat flight simulator which represents the Battle of Britain in its basic Blitz mode. Set during the summer of 1940, the game invites players to assume the role of Spitfire or Hurricane pilots, or join formations of German and Italian airplanes.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover includes a 350 by 350 km map representing the southeast of England, London, the Channel and parts of the French and Belgian coast. A series is reputed for its robust simulation, ensure your joystick communicates with the game.
3. Microsoft Flight Simulator
While not a Battle of Britain game per se, the latest iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator deserves a mention. It’s probably the most impressive flight game available, featuring a virtual version of the entire world fed by geographical data and live weather modelling. Among its roster of airplanes is the Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX.
This is the game to play if you want the most authentic virtual experience of a warplane from the Battle of Britain. The game’s high standard of detail extends to scuffed cockpit dials and gauges, stained wheel wells and the hum of the Spitfire’s Merlin engine.
4. World of Warplanes
Published by Wargaming, World of Warplanes is a massively multiplayer online game featuring 12 vs. 12 multiplayer battles set in and around World War Two. Players can choose between over 250 aircraft from the UK, Germany, USA, USSR, France, China and Japan.
Among the British planes available are variants of the Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane, and lesser known planes not used in the Battle of Britain such as the CAC Boomerang (actually an Australian plane first built in 1942) and the Supermarine Swift (1948).
5. 303 Squadron: Battle of Britain
The No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron claimed to destroy 126 German aircraft during the Battle of Britain, the largest number shot down by any of the 66 Allied fighter squadrons. This was despite the squadron joining the battle two months after it had begun.
Incorporated into 303 Squadron: Battle of Britain are stories about the unit and its members, while the flight controls may take some getting used to. Not to be confused with the similarly titled flash game made by Channel 4 Education called Battle of Britain: 303 Squadron.
6. Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight
Available on mobile as well as PC, Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight was released in 2019 and depicts campaigns for the US, UK, USSR, Germany and Japan. A more arcade representation of aerial combat than other entries on this list, Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight nevertheless features over 50 historical planes. Note that some content is locked behind in-game transactions.