I'll confess, I like the classics--SPI's STARFORCE: ALPHA CENTAURI, the original Avalon Hill STARSHIP TROOPERS, SPI's BATTLEFLEET MARS, FREEDOM IN THE GALAXY, and--of course--the GDW version of IMPERIUM. Sure, there are others out there that were interesting: GDW's BELTER, GODSFIRE, SPI's STARSOLDIER, OUTREACH, as well as my favorite role playing game, GDW's TRAVELLER series and enhancements (like SNAPSHOT).

I could write fairly prolifically on each one of these, but suffice it to say they had enough wrinkles and color to keep me interested. Note I didn't list STARFLEET BATTLES on this list--while that game is really good, there were just too many versions for me to keep up (kind of like WORLD IN FLAMES!).

What are your favorites? Probably more importantly, why are they your favorites?

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Big fan of the original (Conflict/GDW) version of Imperium although I have not played it in years (decades?). I should drag that game out and give it a play this weekend.

Also remember having a favorable impression of Battlefleet Mars. I recall not being impressed by most other GDW SciFi titles. I hear a lot of good things about AH Starship Troopers but as I recall, it was a pretty one-sided affair.

As my comments indicate, I have not played these games in a long, long time.
Although it's sort of an historical scifi, Skygalleons of Mars is probably one of my all-time favorite games. It's so imaginative that I just can't help but be immersed in it. Colonials on Mars. What could be better?
I bought this for a friend for Christmas when it came out, and he never liked it, or many other science fiction games when I think about it. Damn, I wish I'd kept it for myself.
I was a big fan of the sci-fi and fantasy gaming genre back in the late 70s/early 80s. I can remember awaiting my subscription issues of The Space Gamer as much as S&T.

A few favorites:

Imperium: I have the 1st GDW edition. A very simple game with a grand scope of empires in conflict. I liked the dichotomy of the Terrans who were always scraping things together versus the powerful Empire. Nice and easy combat resolution as well that reminded me a bit of War At Sea.

Triplanetary: The science and scale seemed a bit off (one day turns and the planets didn't move), but lots of fun plotting the course of your ships as they zipped around the solar system using the vector movement system. I also have the mini-game version called Mayday, but didn't find that one as engaging, although it did use counters instead of the grease pencil that marked up the mapsheet.

G.E.V.: As much as I enjoyed Ogre, this was even better. Instead of the lumbering Ogres swatting off the numerous insects buzzing around it's head, we now had opposing forces of missle tanks and hovercraft. Nice, simple combat system that allowed one to get right into things with a minimum of rules.

Many more as well, but these are just a few that popped into my head.
I'd have to rank SPI's Star Force: Alpha Centauri up there near the top. FASA's Tactical Starship Combat Simulator was a good one in my book. Graphics were great and level of detail was pretty good. Pretty fun having a Constitution Class Starship fending off a cloaked Romulan ship...oh those were the days!
I liked GDW's "Fifth Frontier War'. Similar to Imperium, it just struck a better cord with me. I need to dig in the game area and see if my copy has survived all these years.....
Web & Starship. W&S had a lot of interesting aspects : weird technologically different forces, innovative 3D system and designed for 3 players (still ok with 2 and I even managed to play is solitaire once !). Usually when people hear "tech difference" they understand tech levels, but here you couldn't say one side was more or less advanced. It was just like two unrelated civilization colliding, with earth in their way. Brilliant. I need to build a CB module for this so that people have a chance to play it pbem.
Two of my favorites that my Father and I played that got me into wargaming are TF Games Starfire (still in print, as DTP file...) and Metagaming's Warp War.  Starfire has a great tactical system very well suited for campaigns (Starfire III...) and Warp War had a perfect 'diceless' CRT conducive to PBM play (My Dad and I even played using nothing but Google Documents back in 2006 when I was deployed), as well as being an easy to learn strategic simulation that deals with tech levels and ship construction.  Best part about Warp War, is the rules are out there for free now as the copyright holders never renewed (that, and check out Winchell Chung's website http://www.projectrho.com/warpwar.html for great classic wargame art from Warp War, Ogre, and GEV!).

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