Who doesn’t love video game spaceships? Science fiction has had a huge impact on video games, and, as a result, spaceships and all sorts of other interstellar vehicles can be found throughout the medium. From Spacewar all the way to Mass Effect, video games have been home to some of the most beloved spacefaring ships. We decided to make a list of our favorite video game spaceships. The rules are pretty simple: to qualify, the ship must have had its first appearance in a video game. Unfortunately, this rule will keep most ships from popular franchises like Star Trek, and Star Wars from making the list. Other than that, everything is fair game. On with the list!
Sins of a Solar Empire – Kol Battleship
Our first spaceship comes from one of the most addictive real-time strategy games we have ever played, Sins of a Solar Empire. The Kol-class Battleship is a capital ship belonging to the TEC faction and its design philosophy seems to involve being a big ship with big guns. Of all the capital ships in this game, the Kol has the best balance of hull, armor, and shields, making it incredibly tough. The story behind the class is that it was the first pure warship designed by the TEC in 700 years. So, for a bunch of merchants who spent seven centuries building trade ships, they didn’t do a bad job at all. If you need a ship to lead a fleet in holding or take a star system, then look no further than the Kol.
Halo Franchise – UNSC Infinity
The Infinity is a very impressive spaceship to say the least. This ship is giant, I mean it’s so big it has storage bays to fit other ships inside of it. It is more like a space-going city than a ship. Over the years the Halo franchise has brought us several great ships, Pillar of Autumn, In Amber Clad and Forward Unto Dawn are all legendary, but the Infinity is in a league of its own. Watching this ship ram its way through a covenant cruiser was one of the highlights of the series. Full of Forerunner technology and armed to the teeth, the UNSC Infinity is rapidly becoming one of everyone’s favorite video game spaceships. It easily earned a place on our list.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Ebon Hawk
From one of the most loved RPG series of all time (seriously who hasn’t played KoTOR at this point?) the Ebon Hawk is basically the grandfather of the Millennium Falcon. She is a Dynamic-class freighter, that has been customized for smuggling duties. The ship has been passed around to many different owners, most notably Darth Revan and the Jedi Exile. Boasting an extremely powerful hyperdrive, the ship was believed to be among the ten fastest ships in the galaxy during its time. After serving as a home base in two of our favorite PC RPGs, it is not surprise the Ebon Hawk also lands a spot on our video game spaceships list.
Wing Commander – TCS Tiger’s Claw
The TCS Tiger’s Claw has appeared in more Wing Commander related material than any other ship. This alone merits its inclusion on our list. Measuring 700 meters in length, the Tiger’s Claw was the pride of the Terran Confederation. The ship was on the forefront of the Confederation’s war with the Kilrathi and was featured heavily in the first Wing Commander game and its add-ons, before being destroyed in the sequel. The TCS Tiger’s Claw holds a special place in the hearts of Wing Commander fans everywhere.
Final Fantasy VIII – Ragnarok
The Ragnarok, a dragon-themed spaceship, was built by the finest scientific minds in Esthar. It was used as their flagship during the Sorceress War. Afterward, it and two other ships of its class transported Sorceress Adel to the Lunar Base. Then, for no apparent reason, it was abandoned after the ship’s crew was apparently eaten by horrible aliens leading it to become a possession of your party in Final Fantasy VIII. The Ragnarok come to be one of the most awesome forms of transportation in the series. It is even accompanied by its own awesome, in-game theme song called “Ride On”. This ship is probably going to end up being one of the unique entries on our list.
Galaga – Ship
One of the champions of the Golden Age of Video Arcade Games, this tough little ship was our vehicle for battling the alien masses in the legendary game Galaga. We spent countless hours -avoiding bullets and insect-like ships in this agile beauty. Single-handedly destroying an alien armada and defeating a tractor beam wielding boss have earned this spaceship a place in the hearts of gamers everywhere. Our memories of this ship and the adventures we had with it guaranteed it a spot on our list.
Ratchet & Clank Franchise – Aphelion
The Aphelion is a sentient Lombax spaceship. She was shot down over Fastoon during Percival Tachyon’s invasion, only to be found years later by Ratchet. Being a sentient ship, the Aphelion has its own unique female personality. This led to the ship being more of a team member than a simple means of transport. Over the course of the Ratchet & Clank games, she would receive several upgrades and modifications. The Aphelion’s unique personality plus the many hours we spent with her are the reasons she made the top video game spaceships list.
Metroid Franchise – Samus Aran’s Gunship
Samus Aran is one of the most prolific female characters in video games. Although her spaceships tend to play as small background elements in her adventures, they are still important. Over the course of her games she has piloted several ships, but we have chosen the “Hunter-class” ship she used in games such as Metroid Prime 2. This ship is a small but advanced craft that features many weapons and gadgets to aid Samus. The nameless ship has an iconic look borrowing heavily from Samus Aran’s armor itself.
Mass Effect Franchise – SSV Normandy SR-2
What is a list of video game spaceships without Mass Effect? Although the original SSV Normandy SR-1 holds a special place in our hearts, it is its successor that earns a spot on our list. It still possesses the cutting-edge technology of the previous ship but is now significantly larger and more accommodating. The many hours we spent on board the second Normandy fighting against the Reapers, first as Cerberus, then back with The Alliance, endeared her to us. If we could choose any ship on this list to go on space adventures with, it would probably be this one.
Asteroids – Ship
This ship is one of the most well-known vehicles in the history of video games. I mean sure it’s basically just a triangle made out of white lines, but don’t let that fool you. This is a veteran of the I don’t know… “Asteroid Wars”? Does this game even have a story line? I guess I will have to wait until the inevitable Michael Bay cinematic adaptation to find out. The main reason this ship was selected for the list is not only its importance to gaming history, but the amount of time we, our fathers, and in some cases even their fathers spent on this one. Like Galaga, this gaming classic easily earns a spot on the top video game spaceships list.
That is it for this list. It was a lot of fun, and we had a hard time narrowing it down to these ten. In the future, it is quite possible the ships that just fell short of making it will be in a follow-up entitled, “Ten More Awesome Video Game Spaceships” or something like that. If you have any thoughts or opinions about the list or our choices please feel free to let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out the rest of The Nerd Stash for other great articles and news.
Brian Cowan loves playing video games, football, Magic, and pretty much anything else that he can use as an excuse to waste time. When he is not doing the above or working, he is usually writing or reading.