Top 10 pilots in gaming

The 12-year wait is finally over. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is here, sending flying fans jetting to their game consoles and/or retail establishments. Pilots rarely get the spotlight in games, always acting as a support crew to facilitate the hero’s adventures. They carry cargo to and from the base, ship protagonists out to the battlefield and provide valuable vehicle drops. They’re usually also ready with a smooth quip to ease the situation after a tense firefight.

Of course, there are plenty of games where you take on the pilot’s seat as well. Outside of Ace Combat, there are the giant mechs of Titanfall and MechAssault. Your nameless soldier can pilot a tank or jet in any number of Battlefield titles. Vehicular-focused games aren’t common but they’re always a thrill, especially if you can master the skill and provide unique assets to your team. Having a great VTOL pilot in a game of MechAssault 2 was pretty much a  requirement.

Considering all of this, they deserve a celebration. So, we picked out 10 of the most skilled pilots in gaming history and gave them their due. Whether they’re the star of the show or the star of the support crew, they’re also the stars of this list. While you wait for Ace Combat to download, take a scroll through gaming’s ace pilots.

So, is it better to be out on the front lines calling in the dropship? Or is it better to be piloting a giant warbird in and out of danger? Gaming lets us experience both, so the preference is really up to the player. Whatever you choose, know that you have the back of plenty of signature pilots, with many more to come. After Ace Combat 7‘s stellar debut, here’s hoping for many more entries in Bandai Namco’s storied dogfighting series.