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Is MSFS 2004 the best PC Flight Simulator available?

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It seems that MSFS 2004 has the largest community support when compared to other Flight Simulations. From what I have read on these forums that there are better Flight Sims than MSFS 2004. Why does MSFS 2004 have the largest community following(if that's the case)? And if it doesn't, then what simulation does? Finally, what is the best PC Flight Simulation on the market?Thanks in advance,Jake

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Oh boy, this one has the potential to get ugly. Don't make me lock this thread ;)MSFS does have the largest community following. MSFS is the only civilian simulation that is being actively developed, with the exception of XPlane. MSFS is also the only simulation right now to be backed up with $$$, and lots of it.TRI FLY!, FLY! 2k, FLY! 2 were (notice the past tense) the only real and true competitors to the MSFS line of products, with the exception of future (future is intentional) XPlane releases. Outstanding sims, great visuals, in my opinion, and comparable in all respects (and winning in some) to the MSFS of the day. However, TRI FLY! 2 was the last version of this line of sims. I am not sure why, but it never made a ton of money, and it was deemed unprotifable to continue. This sim had and still has amazing potential, with a limited audience and people willing to realize that potential.XPlane is nice and getting nicer. XPlane seems to have something that MSFS fundamentally lacks: true flight modeling. Seems stange, but true. The visuals aren't the best, but are getting better. This sim has the potential to shake MSFS's position as 'king of the hill' if it continues to be developed at the rate it is.I can't forget Flight Gear! (shame on me for forgetting it until this point) This is an opensource flight simulator. I think this guy will be amazing in the future, but have a limited following.I can't speak on the Flight Unlimited, Propilot and other civilian sims, but from my experience the above holds ture.

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FS9 is certainly the best flightsim I've ever owned. I think the reason it has the huge following it does is that while their are other sims that (arguably) get some specific aspect more "right", MSFS manages to do everything fairly well. The flight modelling is good (and can be very good in the right hands), the weather is solid ftmp, the ATC works ftmp, the scenery is good, and the sim is relatively open to add-on developers.

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My personal $0.02.... (and keeping it inside the civilian sim realm)Civilian Flight Sims I own(ed)...* subLogic Flight Simulator II* Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer* MSFS 4, 5, 5.1, 95, 98* ProPilot* Flight Unlimited (1)* Fly!* MSFS 2000* Fly! 2* MSFS 2002* MSFS 2004Sim I am currently running:* Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 :) So which is best? I dunno. Best flight sim I ever wanted more from:* Fly! 2 - hands down. If TRI was given the proper time and money from the publisher, Fly! 2 could have been a MSFS *KILLER* in the flight sim world. I *so* wanted Fly2 to take off - between it's revolutionary "TerraScene" compatability, giving us "USA Roads"-like scenery years ahead of it's time, and the fantastic panels and atmospherics, Fly2 had it's legs chopped out from under it due to low budgeting and the publishers RUSH to get it out. A "sim tragedy" to say the least. Most nostalgic flight sim:* MSFS 4.0 (With the aircraft & scenery designer, of course) - I spent more time flying around on MSFS4 than I am willing to admit. It started the "addiction", and also put the bug in my head for designing scenery. While I loved the earlier subLogic entry, it was the MSFS4 version which really took the cake. In fact, I dug out my old discs (5.25") and transferred them to 3.5's so I could load it up. Biggest debacle:ProPilot. Never could get it to work right. Ick.Back to the original question:The best flight simulator currently available?! That will be a personal decision. If you are JUST getting into flight sims, then I'd say go for the latest and greatest version. If you are literally just getting into it, perhaps you'd be better off with the "bargain" basement deals on MSFS2002 - it can be had very cheap lately, and you could test the simulation waters with little investment. MSFS definately has the most active and broad community. You can't go wrong with either FS2002 -or- FS2004. Buy the former if you want to see what simming is all about. Buy the latter if you know you enjoy simming and want the best around.

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While there has alredy been good comparisons made between msfs and other civilian sims, I think we should also compare with current combat simulations just to get an impression of where msfs stands technologically. Combat sims share many elements with civilian sims, such as flight modelling, scenery and graphics. With fs2004 up against IL-2 forgotten battles or LOMAC we easily see that the two combat sims offer better graphics in many areas (especially water and lighting/shading), better cockpits (VC) with more fluid gauges and better default flight models, or at least flight modelling that feels more natural. In the case of IL-2 there is also much better frame rates. But of the civilian sims fs2004 is the best allrounder, even more so when paired with some of the superb addons we've seen recently.- Oyvind

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So you've never tried Flight Unlimited 2 & 3 ?Chris Low.

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The MSFS 2004 is proably the most popular and widely used PC flight smulator because even if you don't like something about it the community is so large and number of vendors so big that you will always manage to find something that will make it better for you.Term "best" is highy subjective but in shear numbers MSFS wins.Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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Thank you for the all your input. I really appreciate it.

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