Star Wars has a legacy of video games going all the way back to the Atari, giving players the opportunity to reenact their own trench run and destroy the Death Star.
Lucasfilm even established its own video game studio, the now defunct LucasArts, to craft many of their most memorable interactive experiences.
And though Electronic Arts now puts out most of the new Star Wars content nowadays, there is a vast library of diverse titles from a lot of different studios from over the years.
Some have been great, others not so much.
But quite a few titles have been amazing and some of the most cherished Star Wars experiences outside of the movies for fans.
Here is our list of some of the best Star Wars video games set in the Star Wars Universe from over the years.
Super Star Wars
The Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis era of gaming was dominated by difficult platformers, and so it says something that Super Star Wars series is noted for being incredibly unforgiving.
The games are extremely fun, though, as they take players through an amazing rehash of the original films storylines complete with video game logic.
Players spend the first few levels as Luke Skywalker with a blaster, until he finally meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and receives a lightsaber.
Then you get to add more players to select from as you encounter them including Chewbacca and Han Solo. The second game, Super Empire Strikes Back, gives Luke Force powers, such as the ability to control a thrown lightsaber.
Super Return of the Jedi introduces Leia and Wicket as playable characters, with Leia’s character mechanics changing based on her appearances in the film (Boushh, Jabba’s slave, and Endor soldier).
The game that introduced the world to Kyle Katarn! The mercenary turned Jedi had some humble beginnings as he helped take down the production line of new, powerful Stormtroopers.
The game itself featured a lot of improvements to the typical first-person shooter genre in the 90s. It followed up on Doom’s formula and added the ability to jump and look up or down, which wasn’t very common in that era.
Dark Forces spawned a lot of memorable sequels (including another entry on this list) but belongs here because it was the first memorable action game for the PC that wasn’t about piloting an X-Wing.
Those games are great, but this was a different flavor of Star Wars action that was long overdue.
X-Wing Vs TIE Fighter
LucasArts first made waves with Star Wars: X-Wing and its followup, Star Wars: TIE Fighter. Both games allowed players to pilot the iconic star fighters in battles against the Empire or the Rebellion, depending on which game you played.
Then this entry released and allowed players to pick which side they wanted to fight for in 8-person battles, a brand new feature for the era as most games didn’t feature co-op sections for that many players.
The flight simulator genre was already rife with imitators, but this one allowed fans the opportunity to operate some of the most iconic ships in the Star Wars canon, participating in dog fights against human and AI-controlled foes.
It was a very popular game when it was first released, despite being a cheap way to combine pre-existing models and game mechanics from the earlier series. But it was a ton of fun to play with friends.
Star Wars Battlefront
The original Battlefront was a great game that brought large scale combat to consoles. The third person viewpoint allowed players to really survey the chaos of the battlefield.
EA’s version of the game is pretty fun, but the first one lacked the heart and gameplay that made the original series addictive. Sure, you weren’t able to play as the Jedi or Sith characters, but when Darth Vader hit the field and started slicing down your allies, it was an invigorating feeling to shoot down the tyrant.
There was a fun feeling of taking down 20 Stormtroopers, dying, then hopping on a speeder bike near the spawn point to get right back into the action.
The second game expanded the scope of the fights by adding playable hero characters—unlocked after scoring enough points—and space battles. It was a ton of fun to hop in an X-Wing and fly into an enemy hangar, jump out and mow down as many enemies as possible before being inevitably overwhelmed.
Hopefully EA and DICE’s next entry in their own version of the series improves upon their first offering much like LucasArts’ games did.
The Force Unleashed
One of the most satisfying lightsaber combat games, LucasArts created an overpowered Sith Apprentice to mow down overwhelming numbers of grunts and vehicles. It was one of the most ridiculous displays of Force-wielding powers and saber combat, making for a truly satisfying play experience.
The game also provided an interesting and satisfying storyline in the Star Wars Saga, focusing on Darth Vader’s secret apprentice named Starkiller after the Sith Lord murdered his Jedi father when he was only a baby.
Vader raises the boy behind the Emperor’s back, then tasks him to foment a rebellion so they can weaken his forces and eventually overthrow him together.
The game was an alternate, darker take on Star Wars lore, giving fans a look at a character struggling with the balance between the light and the dark. This allowed the player character to wield a wide range of Force powers to combat enemies.
It was one of the better play experiences in the wide range of Star Wars universe despite having a story with branching endings that effectively “broke” the storyline. But the character was considered canon for a time, until the Disney purchase wiped away the continuity of the Extended Universe.
Hopefully Lucasfilm will decide to revisit the series with a new developer down the line.
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
The Force Unleashed probably would not exist without this game, taking Kyle Katarn’s story further into the Star Wars Universe and providing a satisfying range of abilities and weapons to employ in the fight against the Empire.
One of the sequels to the original FPS Dark Forces, Jedi Outcast continued to build on the series after two impressive main entries. Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight gave Katarn a lightsaber and put him on the path to becoming a Jedi.
The third game in the series expanded on his abilities and added greater emphasis on puzzle solving, which had always been a component of the games. Plus the multiplayer battles were a ton of fun, mixing Force powers with weapons.
There were few moments more satisfying than engaging in a lightsaber battle with a friend on a catwalk, then deciding to simply Force grab them and toss them over the side to get a point.
Shadows Of The Empire
The Star Wars game based on the popular novel came out just a few months after the Nintendo 64 was released, making it one of the earliest games on the console.
The game took fans on a tour of the Star Wars Universe with varying gameplay depending on the level. Taking control of Dash Rendar, players fought in the Battle of Hoth in a Snowspeeder before escaping the collapsing Echo Base.
Shadows Of The Empire also featured shootouts with IG-88 and Boba Fett, space battles against TIE Fighters, and even a speeder bike section where you race to find Luke Skywalker on Tatooine.
It was a fun experience and one of the first of its kind for a console, making it an impressive debut for the Nintendo 64. There were some frustrating platform elements, sure, but it was an entertaining experience when it first released over 20 years ago.
Knights Of The Old Republic
Some might say that Jade Empire put the developer BioWare on the map. But Knights Of The Old Republic really cemented their status as amazing RPG developers and storytellers.
Going back through the history of the Star Wars Universe before the time of the Galactic Republic, Clone Armies, Separatists, and the Sith “Rule of Two,” KOTOR allowed a degree of freedom that wasn’t yet realized in a Star Wars game.
Players created characters and chose different classes and skills to level up while exploring a version of the Star Wars Universe that had yet to be depicted in such a manner.
It was interesting to learn more about the Old Republic and the battles between the Sith and the Jedi, and the game introduced many interesting characters into lore such as Darth Revan.
Fans lost countless hours exploring the galaxy in the Ebon Hawk, and the game was successful enough to spawn a sequel and an MMO.
Knights Of The Old Republic remains one of the best roleplaying experiences in the Star Wars catalog of video games and is still loved by fans to this day.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017 release. The film follows-up and continues the story of the next generation of the saga as Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo Ren find their place in the galaxy and follow the legacy of Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. Daisy Ridley returns to star as Rey, with other returning stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong'o Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join the cast in as-yet-unrevealed roles.
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