Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. I can’t think of a more perfect product to celebrate 100 years of aviation or 20 years of simulating flight on the PC. There is so much to learn and so much to do, and you’ll have weeks, months, and even year’s worth of fun doing it.
  2. Without peer in Flight Simulators. If you only have one flight sim, this is the one!
  3. The real highlight however is the improvement to the graphics engine. The scenery is improved along with general detail enhancements but the weather system is quite remarkable.
  4. After investing hard-earned cash in add-ons for FS 2000 and FS 2002, is this new title really worth buying? The answer is “yes.”
  5. The improvements made with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century Of Flight make it a worthwhile upgrade, but don't expect photo-realism; hold out for the soon released "MS Flight Simulator X" due in early 2007.
  6. 90
    The weather, graphics, and little details really do make this a giant leap over FS 2002. But I'm disappointed that Microsoft didn't include more modern aircraft.
  7. Graphically, Flight Simulator 2004 is the most attractive yet, especially in the clouds department, though the ground scenery looks much better higher up, but objects such as skyscrapers, greenery and airport towers aren't as detailed up close.
  8. Weather effects have been vastly upgraded, with much more varied and convicing cloud layers, snow, and lightning, and even improved rain effects. [Oct 2003, p.120]
  9. 90
    The best of its genre, but there's always room for improvement with the graphics.
  10. Easily the best and most important flight simulator available. FS2004 fulfils the expectations of even the most curmudgeonly sim fanatic. For 20 years, we've been waiting for hardware that can deliver a flight simulator this good. Now Microsoft has given us the software.
  11. With enough features to fill a 747 flight manual, MSFS2004 provides a level of flying simulation on the PC that was unimaginable even a few years ago. [Oct 2003, p.116]
  12. It will take the better part of a day to get comfortable with the controls so plan on using up some of your patience. In a short while you'll be soaring with the eagles - and also dropping like flies.
  13. The challenge and entertainment comes from learning about flying, recreating historic flights, and plain old barnstorming. [Nov 2003, p.90]
  14. Does a very good job of reliving the origins and early years of powered flight, and is also a good primer for budding fixed-wing aviators and hobbyists everywhere.
  15. More planes, better graphics, and more options than ever before right out of the box, but the game will likely reach its full potential only if it receives great support from its player community.
  16. If you have any interest in flight simulation, Flight Simulator 2004 is the de facto product out there. If you're learning how to fly or you'd just like to virtually learn a bit about flight, there's no better place to start than here.
  17. It’s doubtful whether fair-weather flight sim fans will get much more out of this than they would from FS2002, but for the enthusiast, A Century of Flight is worthy of the pride and bluster that the title implies.
  18. MSF2004 does an amazing job at incorporating history into the simulation, and it sets itself aside from the other flight sims in the series, and from any flight sim for that matter.
  19. 84
    [Microsoft] has blithely improved an already great sim by giving it a new angle, bringing in some really sweet technological improvements, and making it even more accessible.
  20. Aviation enthusiasts and beginners alike will find hours of enjoyment with this title and tons of re-playability.
  21. Where the visuals come as a mixed bad, the sound is completely top notch all the way.
  22. So - here's a rating for the casual gamer. Add one point for every air show you've ever attended.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. Nov 18, 2011
    By far the best flight simulation software I have experienced. In the time this was programmed, I had very little knowledge that this would be the "game" (using the term very loosely) that made me want to become a pilot. However, despite it's gleaming report from me, there are some downsides. Due to its age, many super-realistic add-ons for the MSFS series only work on FSX which is a shame. But, even then, the add-ons that have been produced are of superb quality, significantly adding to the overall flight simulation experience. In spite of that, the lack of proper surround sound (without modifications) does slightly ruin it but the simulator gets a respectable and deserving 10. Full Review »
  2. SamF.
    Aug 1, 2006
    This Sim from MS Does honor 100 years of flight well but there are some areas I was hoping for from the 2002 version. Crashes could have added explosion/fires to be more realistic . The Buildings stil use low res and interior of plane. What MS Did do wel is the vast information on every aircraft in the game with tutorials and lessons. A good effort from MS But wanted better graphics on buildings in this version. The terrain was vastly imroved overall and enjoyed flying those older planes. Full Review »
  3. JaceN.
    Dec 6, 2005
    Yikes...what a terrible graphics engine. I reckon I could take this game back in time to 1997 and have every viewer go "eww". Dont beleive the minimum need at least 2Gz, 2048MB RAM and 4GB HD space. And even then theres a standard 7 day working week between input and action. And every helicopter feels like its got no tail rotor! Full Review »