Pacific Stormis one of the best naval war simulation games I've encountered, while searching for these particular kind of games. It was released by Buka Entertainment, a Russian developer, back in 2006. (but have been acquired by 1C Company, yes the one who created the Men of War series!)
This games is taking place during the Second World War in the Pacific. This is the main reason why you can only play as the Americans or the Japanese (duh). This war simulation game gives you the feeling you're really fighting those famous battles that occurred during WOII. Sure the graphics aren't that great, but it's a wonderful game to play!
When you begin playing the game you'll have the option to take the tutorial. You should absolutely begin with the tutorial, because the learning curve for this game is rather steep. Especially the campaign/world map is a bit difficult to master (building bases, resupplying troops), but no need to worry, the tutorial explains everything.
Now to the battlefield! When you start off a battle, you'll have the chance to position your ships/submarines. (you could compare it to Rome Total War at the beginning of a battle.) Once you finish this, you're ready for the battle! In this naval game you don't not only have the power to control ships, but you can also control fighter planes and bomber planes. If you want, you can even choose what type of ammo/bombs those planes need to carry. As for the ships, you can control their AA-emplacements and their route of course...
Once the battle is underway, you'll see clouds of AA-barrages, which are quite spectacular. The ships will start shooting at each other and you'll have a nice fireworks display on your screen. The game really gives you the opportunity and freedom to choose your attacking strategy. Will you send a formation of planes to destroy the enemy, send your ships, or both? Will you let the computer do the work or will you lead your air/ship formations to victory? It's always a great feeling when you can critically hit a ship with your plane and destroy it with one bomb!
Sure, as I said before the graphics are pretty old school, but for me this wasn't a reason to not play this game. Hell, I grew up playing games with old school graphics!
Definitely one of the best naval war simulation games I've ever played!