Luftrausers isn't a dogfighting game. Yes, you're in a plane and you're shooting down planes (and boats and blimps), but what it really is frenetic aerial bullet hell chaos. But what makes Luftrausers so good, besides the action and stylized graphics, are the controls. Your plane is insanely maneuverable, able to turn on a dime, reach top speed in a moment. That level of control makes a difference.
It's one thing to weave between some bullets and return fire. It's another to swoop into a dive, deftly plummet through a hail storm of bullets, take out a projectile-spewing battleship, and pull up so close that the water's surface is flared up by your thrusters.
It's one thing to shoot down some planes. It's another to maneuver your enemies into a tight cluster, cut your thrusters, and shoot the planes pursuing you while your momentum carries you in the other direction. (And it helps that just activating your thrusters is so satisfying, thanks to the awesome fwhoosh sound effect)
It's fast, it's hard as hell, it's addictive. The music is great. The visuals are simple, yet suit the game perfectly, displaying all the information you need to know without cluttering the onscreen spectacle. Each new part you unlock feels different, a new tool to master, Luftrausers isn't the most complex game, but it's certainly one of the most addictive and satisfying I've played in a while. I'd say it's up there with One Finger Death Punch, in terms of a simple experience that's laser focused on delivering finely tuned fun gameplay. It's the kind of game where I'm instantly restarting upon defeat, to improve my skills, complete missions, unlock new parts.