Gaming Greats – Red Baron 3D (1998)

 “Chocks away, Badger! Don't tell Bunty I've gone boshwise with his Camel.” If I could have sat in front of my PC wearing a flying c

“Chocks away, Badger! Don't tell Bunty I've gone boshwise with his Camel.”

If I could have sat in front of my PC wearing a flying cap and goggles, I would. In fact, I don't know why I didn't.

Red Baron 3D might be the only game that could rival Championship Manager for ruining my education and inflating my arse. It was, for a while, my life.

Some might argue that Knights of the Sky was the definitive WWI flight simulator. To them I say, “Yeah, and a Sopwith Pup could outclimb a Fokker Dr1!”

The sounds, the sensations of taking a fragile contraption of wood and canvas into the skies and exposing it to flak and machine guns... The first time you realise there's someone sat behind you taking potshots, the first time you stall and almost end up in the ground, the first time you get a vulnerable bomber in your sights – it was all thrilling.

Depending on what month and year you decide to start your campaign, there was a selection of date-correct aircraft available and real-life aces to duel in the sky.

Missions ranged from simple air patrols to barrage-balloon hunts. Whatever the mission, though, there was always the chance for a mass dogfight, with six or more planes twisting, pirouetting and spitting lead until one side was victorious (or ran away).

Your rewards for success were medals, promotion, being moved to the finest squadrons with the best planes and, of course, seeing your name moving up through the list of aces. On several occasions I rewrote history to see off Manfred von Richtofen as the leading pilot of the Great War, for both the Allies and the Gerries.

There were probably irritating things about Red Baron 3D, but I honestly don't remember any.

Forget dull modern flight sims, where you get a missile lock on a distant speck and can bank turn without losing altitude; this is proper flying.

Download Red Baron 3D now and join the online campaign. Ooh, and give your plane a new paintjob!

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OTHER GAMING GREATS

Road Rash (1991)

Elite (1984)

Metal Gear Solid (1998)

Stunt Car Racer (1989)

Speedball 2 (1990)

Sid Meier's Pirates! (1987)

Sensible Soccer (1992)

Final Fantasy VII (1997)

John Madden Football (1990)