Classic '90s space strategy games Star Control 1 & 2 land on Steam

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The wait for Star Control: Origins (opens in new tab), the revival of the 25-year old space strategy series, is a good chance to go back and play through the originals. Star Control 1 & 2 have been on GOG for a while (opens in new tab) and this week they also landed on Steam, bundled as Star Control: The Ur-Quan Masters. The second in particular is considered a classic with fantastic writing, plenty of role-playing and real-time space combat.

However, you'd be wise to take a breath before blasting off because there's a HD fan remake that the developers recommend if you're after a more modern approach. Developer Stardock, which is creating Origins, said (opens in new tab):  "Get this [Steam] version of you want to see what the original 1992 game was like. Get the HD version if you want to see a modern remake of it."

That HD version is Ur-Quan Masters HD, which you can grab for free here (opens in new tab). It's a comprehensive remake of Star Control 2 with new artwork, dialogue, and cut-scenes. You can also play it in the original graphics if that's your bag. 

Star Control: The Ur-Quan Masters is $3.99/£2.89 on Steam (opens in new tab), compared to $5.99 on GOG. It's worth a look if you want the purest version of the original game, but definitely consider the fan-made remake first, because that might give you everything you're looking for.

As a reminder, Star Control: Origins is a prequel to the series, and a combat beta is due later this year (opens in new tab). Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, the creators of the original games, are also working on a direct sequel to Star Control 2 (opens in new tab).

Correction: I originally wrote that the fan-made remake of Star Control 2 also modded Star Control 1. That is not the case.

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.