Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Watching Top Gun at a bachelor party this weekend, I got to thinking about how cool Jane's US Navy Fighters was. It was just as in-love with American carrier aviation as Maverick and Iceman were with each other, and featured an absolute treasure trove of American combat aircraft. Not all of them were terribly realistic (and some of them had no business being on a carrier at all!) but that wasn't really the point.
US Navy Fighters 97 was about letting you feel like you were living the dream of being an ace jet pilot. Each mission, even against ground targets, is packed with exciting encounters and little details to help create the illusion that you're really there, mixing it up with MiGs. Pull high-G turns and you'll hear your Radar Intercept Officer gasping and grunting as he's jammed into his seat. He'll announce "Fox One, Fox Two" as you send a pair of Sidewinders at an enemy plane. And it was all accompanied by cutting-edge visuals and some of the best aircraft models anyone had ever seen, authentic right down to the squadron insignia. And each mission ended with the ultimate gut-check of an impossibly precise carrier landing.
Jane's US Navy Fighters, you can be my wingman anytime.