Happy Star Wars Day! Star Wars is one of the most popular and beloved franchises of all time. Through the years it has experienced various highs and lows, including in the world of video games. While it can be true that licensed games can be horrible, Star Wars games have given us a number of gems. So with that let’s look at a few of the best Star Wars games.
A lot of fans probably ignored Republic Commando, mostly because it took a different approach to the idea of the Star Wars game. You don’t play one of the main heroes, there is a distinct lack of movie characters, and very few Jedi and Sith. Instead you play a clone during the Clone Wars, and the focus remains on that aspect of the game. You work with your squad, giving orders, and trying to get through various moments spanning a two year period. Commanding the AI troops is important, as failure to do so will make the game exceedingly difficult. The game truly shines in gameplay, but suffers in depth of story. It’s not a bad story, just not the most compelling. Perhaps my biggest complaint is that the sequel is no longer happening.
Knights of the Old Republic
Knights of the Old Republic is Bioware’s excellent RPG series. It gives players the freedom to choose their class, how they play, and even their alliance. The characters are well written and the story changes based on the choices that players make. It hasn’t aged perfectly over the years, but as far as an interactive Star Wars experience it’s one of the best. It allows the gamer to has a great deal of freedom in playing and directing the story. Solid gameplay, in depth characters, and compelling story, it has so much to offer.
Star Wars Battlefront II
I’ve chosen Battlefront II over the more recent one for one basic reason, the single player helps make the game. Like others in the series Battlefront II allows players to step into various roles over the course of the Star Wars universe. You play as a variety of characters from simple extras to heroes of the movies. It has fast action and solid gameplay. It won’t take any awards for the best story overall, but it does manage to give gamers the feel of being in a Star Wars movie. The game is fun, and has aged exceptionally well. It was well rounded and felt like a complete experience.
Rogue Squadron is fast paced and feels like a lot like an arcade flight shooter. It’s also a great deal of fun, and was considered a technological achievement when it released. You play as Luke in the events between A New Hope and Empire Strikes back. You have a choice of multiple crafts from the Star Wars universe, across the different levels. Levels also provide a variety of objectives in order to keep the gameplay fresh and fun. Technically the game was a marvel for flight action games at the time. So aside from just being enjoyable it deserves a special mention for it’s achievements in gameplay.
X-Wing is a solid flight simulator allowing gamers to control various different crafts from the Star Wars series. At the time it did an excellent job of capturing the “feel” of Star Wars, and featured seamless controls and gameplay. Going back to it now it shows it’s age a bit, feeling more simplistic than some modern flight simulators. However it’s still very fun, and just a solid simulator game.
The Old Republic
This MMO is often over looked, but if you are a Star Wars fan you might want to give it a go. It takes a lot of the great elements from KotOR series and brings them to the MMO format. The game has different stories for each of the classes, each one compelling in their own rights. A great deal of interesting characters, and a world that shapes to your gameplay style and choices. It also blends single player with multiplayer well. Some aspects of the game will require you to team up, but the game doesn’t punish those that will enjoy playing most of the game alone. It’s a solid MMO and a compelling Star Wars game.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
This might feel like a weird game to include, but the fun of this Lego game simply can’t be denied. The series has changed a bit, but honestly going back to more of the roots this game shines. It’s cute, fun to play, and just plain hilarious. The Complete Saga goes across the then six movies, and fixed a lot of the problems that the two previous Lego Star Wars games had. It is great for fans of all ages, and really a treat. It can be written off as just a kid’s game, but honestly that’s underselling the fun to be had.
Dark Forces is an FPS that puts players into the world of a Rebel hired mercenary. Throughout the game he discovers a plot to create super powered droids and troopers. While the fun of Dark Forces is worth mentioning, what is really important about this game is what it did for the FPS genre. The game builds off of what Doom has given the genre and goes much further with it. It’s one of the first FPS games that allowed players to look up and down also jump and duck. These are features that many gamers take for granted now. So a fun game that helped to shape video games as we know them? Hats off to you Dark Forces.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Jedi Academy is a third person game that gives players the ability to fight with a variety of weapons from the Star Wars Universe as well as force powers. There was also a strong emphasis on lightsaber use. It had a solid plot that players really responded to. Like many Star Wars games it included both a dark and light path. It’s gameplay was solid, and enjoyable. Multiplayer was also extremely popular, and could be done either online or with LAN. It attempted a more free form mission style, which didn’t actually go over too well, but it was still nice to see a game attempt this. While not a perfect game, it was fun, and is still fun to go back to. It also helped to develop that desire for Jedi vs Jedi multiplayer battles.
So there you have a few Star Wars games to spend time with on Star Wars day, or any day. Games that help to prove that licensed games can be something special, and help to expand our Star Wars universe on a more interactive level. Comment to let us know some of your favorite Star Wars games, and remember may the force be with you.