|Tachyon is the be all and end all of Space Combat Flight Simulators.
It is far and away my favorite of this game genre.
You assume the role of Jake Logan, a Star Pilot who's been exiled to the "Fringe" of civilized space. Left alone to fend for yourself in a lawless region, it's up to you whether Jake chooses a career that might lead him back home and out of exile, or make a new life in the Fringe with the Freedom Fighters.
The game's graphics are superb, with smooth animation and several ship views. I find the story line fascinating, and it truly branches so that there are two completely different story lines based on Jake's choices. The concepts of space are brought to life and open for you to fly through. The physics are more arcade-like than realistic, but there are realistic elements thrown in that make for some clever manuvering. As you might expect, there's a wide variety of ships and weapons available to choose from as well, limited only by your budget.
The multiplayer version of this game is also better than most. Unlike others, which require you to know an opponents IP address or require you to establish a team before starting a game, Tachyon's multiplayer is hosted on a central server provided by NovaLogic. Also, you can join or leave a multiplayer game at any time without affecting game play for anyone else. Tachyon offers an additional ship add-on in multiplayer that isn't available in single player and two different types of multiplayer game. All this together has made it an enduring game that inspires fierce loyalty from suckers like me.