Have You Played... X-Plane?
Flight or fight disaster
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I enjoy flight simulators, but I admit I lack the patience for learning the exact purpose of each cockpit switch or the correct terminology for actual air traffic interactions. I'm in it for the sightseeing and the occasional drama, and X-Plane [official site] offers both.
My favourite feature is the ability to specify which potential faults you want to turn on. Want wear and tear on your right-hand engine? Alright, go for it. Want to guarantee that this engine will fail outright within the first 40 minutes of your flight? You can do that, too.
The entire world is included as explorable terrain, which means you can do things like spawn yourself in a Cessna above your hometown, make bird strike certain to happen within 10 minutes of starting your journey. You can then spend some tense moments sightseeing, wondering when it'll happen, then try to safely land your damaged plane at the nearest airfield with feathers in your mouth.
Flight Simulator X remains the hardcore simmers choice, for its expandability, but it's X-Plane that I find myself most comfortable within.