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Best space games that show you how massive the universe is

Space games have to fill the vast emptiness of our universe with something alive and meaningful, these games do it the best.

To borrow a phrase from the late great Douglas Adams, space is big. Really big. That’s why video games set in space need to feel huge in terms of scale. The stories need to be epic, the worlds need to be rich and alive, and the planets need to be numerous. We’ve picked out the best space games that make you feel the vastness of the infinite expanse.

This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re picking the games with the biggest maps though. Even if a game only takes place between a couple of planets, it can still make you feel part of a massive universe through the use of great world-building, all sorts of different alien species, or even the existential horror of the unknown.

If you want some slightly more grounded worlds to explore, then take a look at the best sandbox games instead.

Mass Effect key art showing several characters.
Outer Wilds
No Man's Sky
Alien Isolation
Dead Space
Elite Dangerous
A top down view of two spaceships in FTL.
Destiny 2