Star Wars has been captivating the hearts of boys and girls since 1977 with the release of a New Hope, that’s nearly 40 years since the beginning of the Saga. I will never forget watching the original trilogy on VHS with my brother over and over. Its a testament to the build quality of VHS tapes that those copies ever worked after the 50th time viewing them. Keep in mind this was the version without ANY computer enhancements, that’s right pretty much every space battle scene was a model on a string, attached to a fishing pole. Back in those days if kids wanted to pretend to play Star Wars you used nothing but your imagination and any action figures you might own. Of course every kid wanted to be like Luke Skywalker as he made his epic run in the Original Death Star trenches to defeat the Empire. But at the time there wasn’t exactly a good medium to simulate that experience.
It Wasn’t until 1983 that this simulation would become reality in the form of Star Wars Arcade. The game was a major success even in the wake of the 1983 video game crash. It was later ported to Atari, Commodore 64, ColecoVision and many more systems. Im a late 80’s kid but I remember playing this game after owning a NES and wondering what was so special about it. Since then we have be showered with a plethora of Star Wars video games, some amazing and some truly awful( Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi, Im looking at you!)
So I decided to focus on the last 20 years rather than pull from StarWars massive library as a whole. In the span of that time frame we have seen several game console generations and some of the best Star Wars game to choose from. I have decided to narrow the list down to some self imposed restrictions. These are games that had the best story telling, game-play and design. I think its really important when making a SW game that its easily recognizable but, stands as something that feels unique too.
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight- Jedi Academy (Xbox\PC)
Jedi Academy puts you in control of Jaden Korr, a new student at Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi Summer Camp.You must learn the ways of the force in order to stop the Dark Jedi Cult Disciples of Ragnos, a long dead Sith Lord. Along the way you get to interact with some familiar Star Wars characters and even visit locations from the movie. You start by creating a custom character and then begin the grueling Jedi trials along with some other whinny students. Eventually you are allowed to construct your own light-saber and given the rank of Jedi. This was the first game I ever played where I was given this much freedom . In games passed you were always reenacting scenes you already saw in the movie OR never getting the chance to be a Jedi.
- You had the freedom to choice your next mission. Something that was reletively unheard of in 2002.
- It had a great story to tell, it was based on the now dead Expanded Universe, but it did a good job of show casing what life as a new Jedi recruit would be like.
– Combat is a little clunky, and graphics are pretty outdated. This one unfortunately does not hold up as well as other for these reasons.
If you haven’t played it, and pick it up on PC on Steam or GOG.
2) Star Wars: Republic Commando (xbox\PC)
This game caught me off guard when it came out, You play as one of the many Clones that were created for the Republic War Effort, however even among clones there are some who stand a bit taller. You take lead of a elite squad of commandos that are sent to infiltrate and eliminate any enemies to the Republic. The game bridges the gap between Episode 2 and 3 long before the Clone Wars Animated series was released. Matter of fact there is a episode in the Clone Wars series that features a Cameo from Delta squad. This game really stood out as perfect companion to the new trilogy and deserved a sequel. The Story is relatively quick but it does a good job getting you rooted into life as an elite Clone.
- Dynamic characters each with their own particular set of skills, it was nice to see a “Human” side to the Clones that had never been seen up to that point.
- Gameplay mechanics were great, I really loved the squad based dynamic and command system.
- Good but basic story, mod community offers alot.
- Graphics hold up surprisingly well, and the UI is a nice effect.definitely check this one out.
– Linear Story and relatively no replay value.
Check it out on GOG or Steam
3) Star Wars: Empire at War (PC)
I am at heart a huge RTS fan, pair that with the Star Wars Universe and you have a recipe for success in my book. I first picked this game up well after it had been released. Matter of fact I purchased the Gold Pack that included the latest expansion “Forces of Corruption”. The game takes place during the height of the Galactic Civil War, you can play as the Rebels, Empire or the forces of Tyber Zahn a Criminal leader with his band of soldiers from the Criminal Underworld. The game had several game modes including a campaign and boardgame like mode that gave you starting planets common to your faction to conquer any planets you see fit. Battles occurred both on ground and in space with each side having ships and vehicles you would come to expect from this time era. The one thing that would make this game worth the price tag alone is the Space battles. They were epic in scope and it never got repetitive to play. The Space Skirmishes had you pick from one of the three factions each with their own set of hero’s and space stations. The Stations served as your HQ and needed to be protected and expanded at all costs in order to build some of the more advanced Ships. Victory occurred when you demolished the enemies Station.
- Epic Scope and Battles.
- Take control of some of the most Iconic ships and Hero’s.
- Did I mention Space battles are great?
– If you dont love Both Star Wars and 4X style RTS games, this one may not be for you.
– Predictable story, obvious this was not the main focus of the game.
Can be Found on Steam or GOG.
4) Star Wars: BattleFront 2 (Classic 2005, PC, PS2)
There has been alot of negativity in gaming news recently surrounding a game that happens to share the very same name but the two are separated by 12 years. I recently purchased the new BattleFront2 despite EA’s money grubbing ways. I refused to deprive myself of a Star Wars cinematic experience because of EA’s shady business model and BattleFront’s flawed progression System. And while the new version is quite good, it has not surpassed its predecessor except via graphics.
BattleFront 2(2005) was an instant classic. The game feature some of the most iconic battles throughout the Prequel and Sequel franchise’s. The game lets you assume the role of one of six classes among four different factions. You play as one of the many grunts that are part of the war effort, However it does not stop there. As you progress through the game earning points from kills or objectives you can become both Heroes and Villains of the Republic like Darth Vader and Obi-Wan. I will never forget playing this online on PC for the first time, being apart of the 64 player battles was really something to behold. I loved the space battles nothing gave me greater pleasure than loading up a troop transport and taking the fight to the enemies battle ship from the inside.
October of this year it was announced that GOG would be hosting new servers for online play and that it would feature cross platform play for those playing on GOG or Steam. This is truly a testament to how amazing this game was, and is again today.
- Short but Sweet Campaign where you play as one of the elite 501st Storm troopers.
- Beautifully realized locations spanning all six films.
- Diverse selection of both maps and Vehicles.
- Epic 64 player online battles.
- Dog Fight in space or take the fight to the enemy by boarding and sabotaging their ship.
- Graphics hold up well If you haven’t played the more recent renditions of BattleFront(DICE)
– While the recent addition of new servers and cross platform are welcome, many players have moved on to the newer versions.
Available on GOG and Steam.
5) Knights of the Old Republic
I can to this day still remember how pumped I was for this game. I had literally purchased a new Xbox at the time solely because of this game. What can be said about this series that hasn’t already been said. It stands as having one of the best Story lines not only in a Star Wars game but also in any RPG. I liken it to watching “Empire Strikes Back” for the first time. The plot twist hit me unapologetically like a freight train. I wont give any details away, but know that this is where the story lines we come to expect from Bioware got their start. I imagine its was wildly freeing to develop a Star Wars game that literally took place thousands of years before the Skywalkers were ever even thought of. You get to visit worlds that had never been explored through the films. (Exception Tatoinne) Each world could be accomplished in whatever order you see fit. The cast and crew is full of unique and troubled individuals each with their own dark past or present. It was up to you to decide which characters you would want to use, invest and investigate. I could go on and on about why this is an amazing game but instead I will just suggest that if you are a Star Wars fan or love detailed RPG’s, this is a must play.
- Fantastic story that leaves you wanting more.
- Side quests are equally enjoyable, good voice casting for the most part.
- Planets are as unique as the cast of characters you can recruit.
- Develop your Force abilities and determine your Alignment in the force.
- Combat is unique and easy to get used to.
- Game holds up surprisingly well, but graphics are quite dated.
– If your not a fan RPG’s, the combat may feel clunky at times and will take some getting used to.
- KOTOR2: Once you finish KOTOR1 this is a must play. Graphics and gameplay hold up much better than the first. The force is strong with the Mod community.
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter: Play as Jango Fett with more gadgets and weapons than you know what to do with. Hunt down bounties using whatever means necessary.
- BattleFront(Dice) This game offers on of the most well realized versions of what a Star Wars battle should look like. Very Enjoyable.
I hope that you enjoyed this Article, Like, Subscribe and Comment below with games that you think should be essential. Also be on the Look out, December is Start Wars Awareness on Gameocracy leading up the the Last Jedi!