There is no shortage of Star Wars games. From the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 5, almost everyone has a portal to a galaxy far far away.
Star Wars had a massive impact on pop culture over the last 40 years. Ever since the first movie in 1977, many science fiction media have tried to follow the example of George Lucas’ magnus opum.
For years, Star Wars entered every possible medium of storytelling it could. There have been comic books, novels, animated series, plenty of movies, and of course video games.
We will look at the best Star Wars games that have graced us over the years. From consoles to PC, it’s fair game so long as it has the Star Wars name in it somewhere.Let’s get lost in a galaxy far far away for games great for hardcore fans and casual gamers.
Star Wars Games: Battlefront 2 (2017)
Electronic A’rts’ take on the Battlefront series was not exactly met with the best reactions. Between a lukewarm single-player campaign, unfair grinding, and awful micro-transactions, Battlefront 2 2017 was crowned the worst rating and disappointing video game of 2017.
That said, the game improved over the years. Nnow it’s much more fun. Electronic Arts got rid of the microtransactions and made the grinding for points much easier and much more fun. They added hero characters for those who wanted to play Anakin Skywalker or Captain Phasma, along with many different multiplayer matches. Players can even pilot TIE Fighters and the Millennium Falcon, and have space dog fights!
This might not excuse all of EA’s decisions regarding how they handled the Star Wars games or games as a whole. But at the end of the day, if you want to shoot at battle droids all day with friends, this will definitely scratch that itch.
Star Wars: Empire At War (2006)
Empire At War is a perfect example of how Star Wars games were perfect for the real-time strategy genre. Taking control of either the Rebellion or Galactic Empire, you command an army to liberate or conquer the galaxy. This is perfect for fans of Command and Conquer who want to see epic battles before them.
It may show its age from time to time, but overall, Empire At War does a great job of delivering a believable war going on. Dozens of classes and vehicles abound, and players can explore dozens of battlegrounds. The beauty of this game is that it skips on managing resources and building bases. Instead, it just jumps straight into combat.
The Gold Edition of the game also adds a pretty solid expansion pack. It examines the criminal underworld of the Galaxy. Overall, even though this game is basic in certain aspects, you won’t be disappointed.
Dark Forces (1995)
This Star Wars game takes a page from Doom. Itgive us a first-person shooter experience we never had before. Dark Forces has you playing as Kyle Katarn, the Imperial officer turned Rebel after stealing the original plans for the Death Star. Kyle, along with his partner Jan, must travel the galaxy to aid the Rebel Alliance in their fight against the Empire.
This game is available to both PC and PlayStation and is an example of a Doom clone done right. Shooting and traversal feel very satisfying, as do the comic book style cutscenes. It may not have aged as well as other games, but that’s also part of its charm.
Dark Forces eventually got a sequel and Katarn rode again in the Jedi Knight games. If you’re looking for a game that has you shooting down stormtroopers and shooting up with the coolest blasters in the galaxy, then this is the game for you.
Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011)
The Old Republic is a Star Wars game that allows players to live out their own stories. Taking place years before even the prequel trilogy, The Old Republic is a massive multiplayer online game. You and your friends can play any role you wish to be.
Honestly, it’s the closest you can get to mixing Dungeons and Dragons with Star Wars. A Jedi. A bounty hunter. A stormtrooper. A Sith Lord. You can be whomever you want and experience the Old Republic as you see fit. Not to mention there is the Sith expansion which adds in a new storyline for those curious about the Dark Side of the Force!
Republic Commando (2005)
Star Wars Republic Commando is not only the best Star Wars game of its era, it’s also the best first-person shooter game in the franchise. Taking place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, players find themselves part an elite group of Clone Troopers. Players then set out to take on the most dangerous missions for the Republic.
You will have the Clone Commandos to command at your disposal, all while shooting a wide array of battle droids and Separatist enemies. This is not like your typical FPS. It demands a more tactical approach to combat. Without your team, you will be outmatched and outgunned. If they go down, you better run to rescue them, or you are, frankly, doomed.
Republic Commando does away with the typical Star Wars game approach to presentation, giving us a darker and grittier version of the Clone Wars. It still holds up pretty well in 2023. Just make sure you watch your team before you go after those battle droids!
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (2003)
The latest installment of the Jedi Knight series is arguably the best of its series. Jedi Academy is a Star Wars game that has players as prodigy students. You construct your first lightsaber despite never being trained in the Force before. This garners the attention of Kyle Katarn and one Luke Skywalker. They then train you as a Jedi knight in the New Jedi Order.
The gameplay is highly addicting. The lightsaber mechanics are unlike any other game. The sound design and graphics are pretty appealing, along with some premier voice acting that makes the game feel like a movie. There’s even an active multiplayer community with six different modes to play around with!
Even though this game won’t let you play as Kyle Katarn, fighting alongside him proves just as satisfying. With all the lightsabers and Force powers you can acquire, players will certainly come back to this game for more!
Shadows of the Empire (1996)
The Nintendo 64 is no stranger to rare and amazing games from our childhood. Shadows of The Empire is certainly a part of it.
You play as the bounty hunter, Dash Rendar, who has been working behind the scenes during the ongoing war. Rendar targets the Black Sun Syndicate, which is planning to overthrow Darth Vadar and usher in a new age for the Empire.
This game garnered a lot of attention for being a side story. It takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, proving that games didn’t have to follow the main tales of the movies to be successful.
Although challenging, you will be feeling unstoppable as you gun down Stormtroopers, droids, giant monsters, and even Boba Fett! Despite the controls not aging well, Shadows of the Empire is a fun experience.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (2019)
Many Star Wars fans practically shouted at Electronic Arts to give them a single-player game that is worth playing. Fortunately, the powers that be actually answered and gave us a pretty good experience. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a tale that is unlike any other in the Star Wars franchise.
After surviving Order 66, former Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis joins up with a band of outcasts and misfits, hoping to rebuild the Jedi Order and defeat the Empire once and for all. During their travels, they meet up with some new and familiar faces, all while taking on a variety of Stormtroopers and the Inquisitors.
Fallen Order takes a page out of Dark Souls and gives players challenging yet rewarding gameplay. Thankfully, you won’t need to “git gud” in order to get through the game. There are plenty of Force powers to play around with and new fighting styles to explore, and through it all, the Force is strong with you.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005)
A classic game never goes out of style. The original Battlefront 2 was by far the most fun players had on PC and consoles, for good reason. It took elements from the first Battlefronts and improved them with enhanced graphics and introducing hero characters to play as. These simple improvements that really made the game that much better.
Battlefront 2 has over twenty battlefields to take over in multiple game modes. There are even space dog fights that really break the monotony of running around shooting at your enemies. With all the hero characters to play as, you could live out your dreams and become your favorite character.
To this day, fans still keep the game alive on PC with keeping access to their multiplayer servers. There are even mods that add in new characters and battlefronts to play on! If you wanted to play something that EA just couldn’t replicate, this would definitely be worth a play.
The Best Star Wars Game: Knights of the Old Republic (2003)
Bioware’s golden years were definitely at their peak when they graced the Xbox with this perfect Star Wars game. No, that isn’t an understatement. Before A New Hope and before The Phantom Menace, Knights of the Old Republic gives us a space opera that would lay the foundation for games like Mass Effect and Dragon’s Age.
Darth Malak and his legion of Dark Jedi scourge the galaxy to wipe out the Jedi Order. You awaken from your sleep, unable to remember what happened and how you got here. Then you’re found in the middle of a bloody battle. After finding out your connection to the Force, you are trained in the ways of the Jedi to take the fight against the Sith.
Your crew consists of people from different backgrounds and reasons for joining up with you. Your bond will also be key in how you choose to use your newfound power. Visiting familiar planets and meeting with new people each time, KOTOR makes you want to explore every square inch of its world.
What makes KOTOR so engaging is how it shows how easy it was to fall into the Dark Side and how the smallest of one’s actions can have a big impact. The story is fabulous, with exciting twists and poignant themes.
Suffice it to say, until we get that remake, this game will always stand the test of time for Star Wars fans for years to come.