We hope the Force is strong with you today! How could it not be? In recognition of Force Day and this legendary space opera franchise, I thought I would share my five favorite Star Wars games. Keep in mind that there are a lot of great Star Wars games out there but not all of them could make it to the list. Believe me, I really struggled with having to choose between games like Tie Fighter and Republic Commando or Empire at War. If your favorite title is not on this list, don’t take it as an insult. Like the galaxy itself, the realm of Star Wars games is massive and there is something for everyone. With that said, let’s get to it.
Originally released during the height of the arcade era, this is perhaps the first truly great Star Wars game. While the vector graphics are very simplistic, Atari spared no expense in the audio department. The music really helps sell the experience of piloting an X-Wing fighter during an assault on the formidable Death Star and voice clips from the movie give you all the encouragement you need when it comes time to make that faithful shot. There was even a sit-down variant of this game to help you imagine you really were flying into the trenches.
Like many licensed games, the Star Wars titles on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System were a mixed bag. They were barely recognizable as part of the franchise if not for their graphics. That changed when we stepped up to the 16-bit SNES. This was the first game I had played on a home console that truly felt like it belonged in the Star Wars universe. Not only did you have a fantastically reproduced musical score, you also had lovingly reproduced sound effects from the high pitched shrieks of blaster pistols to the hum of your lightsaber.
So many video game genres are represented by this iconic saga. You have action games, RPGs, a tournament fighter and even real-time strategy games. Empire at War offers large scale fleet battles on land and in space. Both the Rebel Alliance and the Empire are well represented with lots of trooper and vehicle variants to deploy against your enemy while the expansion added a smuggler faction. You could even construct a Death Star in this game. As a fun bonus, the game was patched last year to restore its online multiplayer mode.
I am not referring to last year’s loot crate debacle, of course. The original Battlefront II was released way back in 2005 and told the tale of the 501st Legion – legendary stormtroopers who began their service during the Clone Wars who continue to perform their duties in the name of the new Galactic Empire. The game is still ridiculously fun to play though much of its fun lay in multiplayer action.
Years before Mass Effect was a thing, Bioware brought us a much loved entry in the Star Wars series. Knights of the Old Republic is set thousands of years before the Galactic Civil War – a time when the Jedi order was in its prime. All of the franchise staples are here from a spaceship with an infamous history to bounty hunters and a character who must choose between the path of redemption or to embrace the power of the dark side.
And there you have it. What are your favorite Star Wars games, movies and TV shows?