Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

So do you feel the need? The need for … rapid forward movement at an altitude of 35,000 feet? Then you came to the right place. Flight simulation games have been around since electrical engineer Bruce Artwick introduced the prehistoric Microsoft Flight Simulator — before it was even called that — on the 8-bit Apple II back in the late-’70s, kicking off decades worth of commercial software.

As PC processing power advanced, flight simulators became increasingly realistic, letting users experience what it’s like to be a pilot from the comfort of their homes. While flight simulators can cost an inordinate amount of money, there are numerous viable options that won’t cost you a dime. Here are the seven best free flight simulators, from traditional flying sims to those that throw a bit of combat into the fray.

Old-fashioned flight sims