While EA currently holds the keys to the ship when it comes to publishing games from a galaxy far, far away (which, by the way -- the DLC for The Last Jedi, titled Resurrection, is now live, and it's amazing) LucasArts and other studios have produced some truly magnificent titles over the last few years that still influence the story of the saga today.
On the eve of The Last Jedi's debut, we've gathered our own personal rag tag crew of scoundrels together to discuss the legacy of Star Wars games, and pick their favorites. From the early beginnings of Star Wars on the SNES, to the latest entries in the Battlefront saga, here are our definitive favorites from everyone's favorite space opera.
If I have to pick a particular favorite in the line of Star Wars games, I have to go with Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II.
I remember the original Rogue Squadron on Nintendo 64 and found it to be an outstanding space shooter title. The graphics at the time were really something on the N64, and I loved the controls as well.
However, Factor 5 really took things up a notch with Rogue Leader. The graphics are probably the best you're going to see on the GameCube, and the controls are better than ever. On top of that, the variety of missions included within the game are excellent, and you can even take on a few classic Star Wars vehicles for good measure.
My hope, now that Factor 5 is back and all, is that EA teams up with them to bring a remastered Rogue Leader to Switch. It'd be a great port for the system, and proof that the Force is still strong with that series. Of course, I wouldn't kick the idea of a new Rogue Squadron aside, either...
As a huge BioWare fangirl, I feel obligated to say Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Not just out of developer loyalty either! The organic roleplaying experience is one that no matter how much time has passed, or what new games are out, I always find myself being drawn back into.
With characters that are meaningful, impactful, and inspire an immediate passion for the game; Knights of the Old Republic is a Star Wars RPG done right. Learning different facets of the Star Wars fandom through the unique narratives, getting to make my own character and thrust myself into the world that I’ve loved my entire life – it’s a gaming experience that I have always treasured and will continue to do just that.
In a setting that’s almost 4,000 years before the Galactic Empire, being able to take part in the epic tale when the Jedi were at their impressive peak was a truly engaging experience. But the best part is that you don’t have to be a die-hard Star Wars fan to get down and dirty with some of these characters. Whether you’re a Resistance veteran, or a total noob to the franchise, KOTOR will be enjoyable no matter what. Plus … the Sith fleet did NOT mess around. Coming out as the good guy never felt so good!
Gut me if you want for being predictable, but Shadows of the Empire delivers one of the most fun and interesting video game storylines in games of all time. While it does, in a way, star a Han Solo knockoff, Dash Rendar is a semi-relatable character who doesn't get too in the way of the story - and when he shines, he does it brightly.
I love it when the saga is explored through the lenses of people who aren't Force-sensitive, and I think that's why I still cling to books like Lost Stars or games like the Battlefront saga. These are the interesting stories of regular people that must live through the events of Star Wars, and through Dash, we were given one of our first early looks at how badly the Empire could effect the galaxy around it.
Most importantly, this was one of the first games that grabbed me via the gameplay, keeping the controls simple but effective the entire way through. It delivered on battles tenfold, giving you fun air- and space- battles, starting with Hoth, in one of the most recognizable levels of the game. Villains that you didn't expect would be terrifying in a blocky N64 title become extremely so when you least expect it; the assassin IG-88 says nothing during his appearance in Empire Strikes Back, but suddenly in Shadows of the Empire, he's one of the creepiest and most surprising video game villains of all time.
Toss another name in the pot for Knights of the Old Republic. I know I'm not unique in my love for this game, but what is a bit strange is the fact that I don't actually remember much about the story at all. I do remember the main twist -- my jaw still hasn't fully recovered from hitting the floor the day I beat KotOR -- but I can't recall much else, to be honest.
The reason I loved KotOR so much is because it offered such an incredibly gratifying sense of progression. I loved the fact that I began that game swinging swords and not lightsabers. I loved the fact that I had some sense of command over my gradual slide into the dark side. I loved the entire process of building my own lightsaber, and the fact that I knew that thing from the inside out. KotOR is the only reason I know that lightsabers have crystals inside of them.
You know what else I loved? I loved the fact that there was an entire button you could press while out of combat that did nothing but power on your lightsaber and brandish it with flair. I wielded dual golden lightsabers, and I would spin those puppies around more than was practical, and it never got old.
I guess when I really think about it, I just really love lightsabers...