Star Wars is one of the highest-grossing franchises and arguably one of the most popular movies series of all time. Not only did it boost the popularity of the sci-fi movie genre, it also made it socially acceptable to be a nerd in public. It would only make sense that this series would evoke the production of games spanning across a number of diverse genres in gaming, from racing sim, RTS, FPS, and RPG. In most instances, these games have lived up to the movie’s success with mammoth sales, positive feedback from critics, and legions of gamers who still play them to this very day. With all of the accomplishments this series has met, and the upcoming releases of both Star Wars: Battlefront and Episode VII: The Force Awakens later this year, we here at A Gaming Website.com present our breakdown of the best Star Wars games of all-time.
10) The Force Unleashed
The Force Unleashed follows Starkiller, a rogue Jedi, on his quest to kill his former master Darth Vader. Armed with an arsenal of force powers and a lightsaber, Starkiller must take on everything that stands in his way from Stormtroopers to a Star Destroyer ship itself. What makes this game stand out was its integration of incredible physics, and its fast-paced style of gameplay reminiscent of Devil May Cry. Honestly, being able to use the force to throw Stormtroopers around is more than enough fun by itself. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed also remains the fastest-selling Star Wars game to date.
9) Episode 1: Racer
Though Star Wars Episode I: Racer seems like just another racing game, upon its release in 1999, gamers were eagerly waiting to get their hands on this title for the Nintendo 64. Though the film Episode I was tainted by the vilest, most disturbing, and sadistic creature in all of Star Wars history…, Jar-Jar Binks, Episode I had two redeeming factors in main antagonist Darth Maul and the exciting Sunday afternoon activity of pod racing. The action-packed and fast-paced pod racing scenes made everyone want to take part. With the release of Episode I: Racer, players were able to man their own Pod Racer and join in on the fun. Players were able to race in numerous tournaments on one of eight planets with their own pod racer, which could be completely customized. On the PC version of the game, online racing was supported allowing you to race up to seven others. This game had such a following that when the game’s support ended, the community made their own patches to continue on playing. While the community for the game is slim to none at this point, the fact that it survived as long as it did is an accomplishment in and of itself.
8) Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
2002 saw the release of the surprise-hit Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, which was critically-acclaimed upon its release. Developer Raven Software managed to deliver the goods yet again in 2003 with the launch of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Players take control of Jaden Korr (who players can customize to their liking), a brand-new student at the Jedi Academy. The most noticeable advantage Jedi Academy had over Jedi Outcast was granting players the lightsaber from the very start of the game. The use of force powers and lightsabers are heavily prevalent throughout the game, as players can choose various lightsaber options including single, double, or saber staff (Darth Maul’s weapon of choice). Force skills could be upgraded over the course of the single-player story. It was never a dull moment while working through the story, as freedom is given to players to complete missions as they see fit in any order they choose. The single-player experience could last up to 20 hours, but hacking-n-slashing your way through waves of Stormtroopers and Sith is a surprisingly exciting activity that never gets tedious.
7) Shadow of the Empire
Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire started as a multimedia project to fill the story gaps between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Shadow of the Empire follows Dash Rendar, a mercenary out to help rescue Princess Leia from Prince Xizor with Luke Skywaker. This third-person action title had everything from battles with the menacing Boba Fett, to recreating one of the most iconic scenes in Star Wars history in the Battle of Hoth. When compared to today’s standards, the game lacks much depth in the gameplay department, but being one of the earliest titles available on the Nintendo 64, it was phenomenal at the time.
6) LEGO Star Wars
There was a period where Star Wars games did seem to follow the same cookie-cutter mold. LEGO Star Wars was a fresh new approach to the Star Wars series allowing the player to play as miniaturized LEGO versions of their favorite Jedi Knights, rebels, Sith, and even droids. Following Episodes 1 – 3 of the series, this title was simple to play, funny, and allowed for a fun experience for players of all ages. With a long campaign, numerous unlockables, and hours of replayability, LEGO Star Wars is still one of the most entertaining Star Wars and LEGO games of all time. Not to mention, being able to build vehicles by just throwing a couple of bricks together is not only hilarious, but oh so satisfying.
5) Republic Commando
A nice deviation from the traditional Star Wars video game formula, Republic Commando was a tactical-FPS title that had players in control of “Three-Eight” who leads squad Delta RC-1138, a 4-member unit of highly-trained clone troopers, during the events of the Clone Wars. Released in 2005, an era when tactical-FPS games were not uncommon, Republic Commando let players command their 3 squadmates in order to complete various mission objectives. The gameplay is fast and things move much quicker than other tactical-shooters of the time such as SWAT 4 and Rainbow Six, but still requires plenty of awareness and patience to survive. Republic Commando was a unique and rewarding experience that strayed away from the norm, yet still gave players a satisfying Star Wars adventure from start to finish.
4) Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader
2001 marked one of the most important years in video game history. During the holiday season of 2001, Nintendo released their successor to the Nintendo 64, the Gamecube. One of the biggest gripes with the Gamecube was the lack of a rather stellar launch lineup, except for one major release; Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. The sequel to the 1998 N64 smash hit Rogue Squadron, Rogue Leader was met with critical acclaim upon its release wowing critics with beautiful visuals (that still hold up 14 years later), intense flight combat, and superb sound design. It was the closest thing to actually being in a Star Wars film. If a reason was needed to purchase at Gamecube at launch in 2001, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was it.
3) Battlefront 2
For the most part, Star Wars games have focused on the single player aspect in their games encompassing rich stories and deep character development. With the release of the Battlefront series, the focus shifted to massive multiplayer battles that closely resembled scenes from the film series. Featuring large scales of chaos, Star Wars: Battlefront gave players the ability to control one of four classes including infantry, heavy weapons, sniper, and engineering. On top of the four aforementioned classes, each faction had three unlockable classes that could be used after earning a set number of points within the game. One of those unlockable classes in Battlefront 2 was Heroes, which allowed players to choose emblematic heroes or villains in Star Wars history to use based on the faction they are playing on. With the success of Battlefront 2, we are more than anticipating the upcoming release of Star Wars: Battlefront, which managed to make our list of most anticipated games for the second half of 2015.
2) TIE Fighter
Star Wars: TIE Fighter is the sequel to the well-known, and extremely popular X-Wing title. Since its release in 1994, TIE Fighter has managed to be acknowledged by many video game publications and websites as one of the greatest PC games of all-time. What made this game such a success over its predecessor was its unique story. The game places you in the role of Maarek Stele, a rookie Imperial TIE Fighter pilot commanded to bring “order and tranquility” to the galaxy by defeating the Rebel Alliance. While the idea of the plot is skewed since the roles are reversed, players can’t help but feel sympathetic to the naïve pilot looking to avoid the wrath of Darth Vader himself. What made this title stand out compared to other Star Wars titles was the fact that you viewed the events that took place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi from the Imperial perspective. Along with viewing the Star Wars story in a way never done before, the game expanded upon X-Wing with graphical improvements, increased weaponry, and enough space combat to bring you one step closer to joining the “Dark Side”.
1) Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars games had been amazing for years, but they lacked the ability to make the player feel involved in the story because it was always predetermined stories with characters created by the developers. That concept of predetermined gameplay changed with the release of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Not only did the game do an astonishing job recreating the Star Wars universe in an open world role-playing game, it allowed for various styles of gameplay, and most importantly a different experience to every player. Every planet in KOTOR had a unique feel and look to them, with no two planets being the same. The game did an incredible job at allowing players to place themselves into the story by being able to create their characters, play how they want to play, and decide how they want to act; whether you’d like to be a tranquil and polite Jedi knight or a badass pistol-wielding rebel who shoots first, there is a style for everyone. When it comes to the story, the game adapts to the choices that you make through your progression, so your playing experience will differ every time. Throw in twists, plot shifts, and a shocking ending that had players pondering what had happened makes Knights of the Old Republic a masterpiece in the role-playing genre.