These are, undoubtedly, Star Wars times. Recently we got a solid new game in the form of Star Wars Battlefront II, and Disney is cranking out the films these days. And whereas most other games completely or partially based on movies don't really hold up, the titles based on George Lucas' wonderful universe tend to be really quite good. With this in mind, we here at Gamereactor sought out the best of the bunch and presented them in a neat list. Enjoy!
(10) Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga PC, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360 / 2007
Lego Star Wars was, at its release in 2005, an equally bizarre and entertaining Lego adaptation of George Lucas' prequel trilogy. The successor, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, was even better and managed to amuse both old Star Wars fanatics and younger audiences alike thanks to its easy going and charming premise. Best of them all, though, was the ultimate compilation edition Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. TT Games crammed both titles on one disc, polished the graphics, threw in a couple of new levels and characters for good measure. And even though we had already played the games previously it was impossible to not get sucked in again due to the game's wonderful mix of nostalgia, humour and varied gameplay.
(9) Star Wars: Battlefront II PC, PS2, Xbox / 2005
Pandemic's Star Wars: Battlefront II set the bar for what online warfare in a Star Wars universe could, and should, be. "More" isn't always more, as we all know, but content is still important - and it was here that Battlefront II really soared. There really was something for everybody on offer; an exciting campaign for the lone player, Galactic Conquest for those that wanted to feel like they were commanders of a space fleet, and multiplayer for up to 64 players on a plethora of nicely designed maps that simply screamed Star Wars. The space battles were something of a favourite amongst fans and that isn't strange - who doesn't want to fly a laser equipped space ship in a game with Star Wars in the title? Battlefront II contained material from both the original trilogy and the prequels, which gave the developers lots and lots to build their game upon. Star Wars: Battlefront II was and remains one of the best Star Wars games that exists and we're still waiting for EA to top it.
(8) Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader Gamecube / 2002
Viewed as one of the best Star Wars games ever, the Gamecube's launch title Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader quickly became a success and managed to maintain its cult status. When flying an iconic X-wing high above the clouds in a galaxy far, far away it became clear that the developers really had captured the feeling of how it feels to be a pilot in the Star Wars universe. The player got to assume the role of Luke Skywalker himself and had the chance to shoot down Tie Fighters from the skies and AT-ATs from the surface of Hoth. Pair all this mighty fine content taken from the original trilogy with graphics which at the time of release were jawdroppingly lifelike, almost photo realistic, and you have a game that more than fits into the list of the world's greatest Star Wars games.
(7) Star Wars: Empire at War PC / 2006
After having spoiled us with Command & Conquer, Westwood Studios was, sadly, shut down by EA and the people behind the studio founded Petroglyph Games. Their first game was Star Wars: Empire at War and for this, we're eternally grateful. Here we were showered with everything we loved from the epic battles of Star Wars, with all the vehicles and equipment we've come to adore. We got to play both as the Empire and the Rebels and regardless of if we played through the story or battled our way through the multiplayer mode, it was always rewarding. The fact that several of us still, ten years later, like to come back to this classic really says it all, doesn't it? So when will we get a sequel?
(6) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed PS3, Xbox 360 / 2008
"With great power comes great responsibility" as we all know, and in George Lucas's space adventure the Force has always come with restrictions. It is the Jedi Knights that have decided that the force has its uses... and one of these is not total devastation. This was, of course, thrown out of the window when, after a year long delay, we finally got our hands on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The game begun with us getting to take on the role of the galaxy's most feared arch villain, Darth Vader, and use the full potential of the Force to tear apart both Jedi and environments alike. After that we got to play as Starkiller, who filled in the blanks in the story (as the game took place between the first two trilogies) and offered one of the most satisfying Star Wars experiences ever. As we're sure you'll agree, picking up an enemy with the Force and either slamming them into their friends or throwing them into a bottomless abyss is kind of awesome. And lets' not forget that this was on the seventh generation of consoles, which at the time were pretty new, and it took advantage of that power in impressive ways. This is a cult classic that we remember with warmth.
(5) Republic Commando PC, Xbox / 2005
Long before Disney decided to make a Star Wars film without Jedi, Sith and the Force as the main focus in the upcoming Rogue One, we got to take part of the more realistic aspects of the war amongst the stars in the tactical action game Republic Commando. Instead of showing us what Anakin, Obi-Wan and the other Jedi were occupied with during the Clone Wars, we got to follow Delta Squad through the years of war. This four man group, consisting of Boss, Scorch, Fixer and Sev, showed us a side of Star Wars that we hadn't seen before - a much darker and more raw depiction of Lucas's space wars. The tactical options you had as squad leader were really neat and the members of Delta actually felt like brothers that had gone through hell together. It may not be completely wrong to say that Republic Commando was the best thing we got out of Episode I-III.
(4) Tie Fighter PC / 1994
In most of the best Star Wars games (Dark Forces included, which sadly didn't quite make the cut) out there we've gotten to try life on the Imperial side of things, but never has it been made better than in Tie Fighter, which let us feel what it was like to be one of those cannon fodder ships that always has to bite the dust in the movies. The feeling of steering these bumblebee-like balls of badassery was amazing and the vulnerability of space was perfectly mediated. The missions were wonderfully varied in a way that flight simulators seldom are, and everything was accompanied by a sublime soundtrack. On top of all this the story was in several ways both unpredictable and memorable and even filled in blank spaces between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. More games should be made from the Empire's point of view, and Tie Fighter is the foremost example of why that is.
(3) Super Star Wars Super Nintendo / 1992
In the early '90s the Super Nintendo game Super Star Wars was released and it was based entirely on the first movie from 1977. It managed to perfectly capture the atmosphere of the famous film and despite the fact that we were challenged by an unbearable difficulty level, it was with true pleasure that we took on the role of Luke Skywalker. Later in the game we even got to play as Han Solo and Chewbacca on action-filled levels overflowing with Stormtroopers, and when we weren't bound to the ground we got to take control of a X-wing or speeder on one of several vehicle-oriented levels. Super Star Wars was one of the prettier games of its time and the John Williams score was a shining example of how the music should sound in a Star Wars game. Rarely have movie licensed games been better than this and we look back at this wonderful pixel adventure fondly.
(2) Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast PC, Mac, Xbox, Gamecube / 2002
The fact that Jedi Outcast managed to climb this high on this list can easily be explained - the game was brilliant. The atmosphere, the characters, and the worlds they inhabited felt like they all belonged in old man Lucas's beloved universe from beginning to end. The game mechanics were well polished, the lightsaber handling felt perfect and the possibility to switch between first- and third-person saw to it that everyone could find their preferred play style. The missions were varied and took us to both old, familiar places and entirely new ones, and the ability to customise Kyle's Force powers between good, neutral and evil created the will to immediately embark on a second play-through once the credits had rolled. Add to this an addictive multiplayer component and exquisite visuals and it's quickly becoming clear why this is the second best Star Wars game ever made.
(1) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Xbox, PC / 2003
If you mention the word "prequel" and Star Wars in the same breath you can rest assured that people around you will start hyperventilating and furiously throwing around furniture in blind rage. We've all been there, right? Though the key to getting Mr Hyde back into Jekyll form is to tenderly whisper in their ear: "Knights of the Old Republic". The anger will then evaporate from the soul quicker than you can say "It's a trap!".
The story of Knights of the Old Republic was set 4,000 years before the galactic empire took control through mass employment of white plastic clones (that couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat). During this new (old?) exciting era a dark, evil threat in the form of Darth Malak, the apprentice of the monstrously powerful and mysterious sith Darth Revan, appears. Together with a gang consisting of Jedi, mercenaries, pilots and smugglers, it was your mission to stop Malak and his goons. Though later it becomes clear that the mission is infinitely more complex than you first think it is.
The role-playing kings at Bioware did everything right with the Star Wars license. The studio succeeded in taking the secret formula that made the original trilogy as beloved as it is and applied it in game form. It offered an insanely rich universe, an ocean of colourful characters, excellent music, and a lovely combat system. The one aspect that stands out is the amazing story and the now famous twist. Fact is, we love the story of Knights of the Old Republic so much that we think it beats everything that George Lucas has ever written. And that's saying something...