With the release of BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic less than two weeks away, we decided to pick our ten favorite Star Wars video games of all time. These 10 titles are the ones that take us to a galaxy far, far away better than all the others.
If your opinion differs, let us know how wrong we are in the comments section below (you’re also welcome to praise our selections there as well). We’re hoping for more of the latter than the former, but make your voices heard either way. May the force be with you!
Super Star Wars
Systems: SNES, Wii Virtual Console
Super Star Wars was actually the first Star Wars game I ever played. In fact, it was probably one of the first great Star Wars games a lot of us played. It was, however, hard as shit. I can remember absolutely loving two major things in this game: the lightsaber and the awesome landspeeder. Other than that? Shit was rage inducing.
But, for a Star Wars loving nerd-child like myself, I was willing to blast through the game a few times. And, guess what, I adored it for abusing me.
The Force Unleashed
Systems: PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360
We’ll admit, some of the gameplay in Star Wars: Force Unleashed left us a bit underwhelmed. But for what it lacked in combat, The Force Unleashed made up for in story. The Force Unleashed is a rare bird amongst Star Wars games because the narrative fits snugly right into the main, Lucas film canon. This is no expanded universe tale. The Force Unleashed explains the birth of the Rebel Alliance. That has to count for something! The game might be linear as hell and feature repetitive combat, but we’re suckers for a good Star Wars story, and The Force Unleashed had that.
Star Wars Episode I: Racer
System: Nintendo 64
You best believe we found a way to get this racing game on the list. Episode I: Racer was amazing! We don’t even care if you disagree.
The game had a ton of tracks, characters, unlocks and gameplay to explore. It was easy to learn, but tough to master. And the soundtrack? Yeah, that shit was awesome, too. You know what, one of us (Joey) will even argue that Episode I: Racer was one the only good things to come from the prequels.
Shadows of the Empire
System: Nintendo 64, PC
This game convinced me that I needed a Nintendo 64 (this is Erik, by the way). Sure, Mario 64 was the cat’s pajamas, but as soon as I saw the Battle of Hoth level in Shadows of the Empire, I knew I needed an N64… pronto. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire might be nearly unplayable in this day and age, but at the time of its release it stood as a shining beacon for how to do a three-dimensional Star Wars game right. Also, Dash Rendar is a total badass. Respect.
Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
There are several things from the world of gaming that I, Joey, probably shouldn’t remember. Chief among them is the full list of cheat codes from both Dark Forces and Dark Forces II.
Yep, I geeked out with this series in a huge way more than (mother of god) 14 years ago. Man! That long?!
If you can get over the old graphics, these games are still fantastic to play today. Dark Forces II is one of the best in the Star Wars brand and one of the greatest licensed shooters (with lightsaber combat!) I’ve ever played.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
System: Nintendo 64
This game was so good, you had the option of using the Nintendo 64’s expansion pack to make it look better. Did it work? No idea; I couldn’t tell.
Rogue Squandron took our childhood dream of flying all of the craft in the Star Wars universe and made it a reality. Unlike any of the other flight games before it, this title placed us right in the cockpit of fantastic, pivotal moments from the Star Wars universe.
Plus, graphically, this game was a powerhouse for its time. Man, did I play it a ton…
Systems: Xbox, PC
The quality behind Star Wars: Republic Commando was definitely a surprise. Who knew a squad-based, third-person shooter set in the Star Wars universe could be so good? Republic Commando featured great, tactical gameplay, well-rounded characters and a story that hit all the right emotional notes. It’s just too bad we never saw a sequel. Maybe someday…
X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter dropped the same year as Dark Forces II. I remember that because I constantly struggled with which game I’d rather play.
In the end, though, XvT typically won out. For the same reason I loved Rogue Squadron and Rogue Leader, XvT explored the childhood fantasy of flying some of the most memorable space craft in cinema history.
Who doesn’t want to lock those god damn S-Foils into Attack Position?
System: Nintendo Gamecube
As far as we’re concerned, the follow-up to Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Rogue Leader, was the premier Nintendo Gamecube launch title. The game took the winning formula of the first Rogue Squadron and improved upon it in every way, delivering an experience that let hardcore Star Wars geeks relive classic moments from the original film trilogy, as well as all-new scenarios, with tight gameplay and incredible graphics (for its time). We honestly never got sick of that Death Star trench run level…
Knights of the Old Republic
Systems: Xbox, PC, Mac OS X
The alpha and omega Star Wars game. BioWare’s original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic stands as one of the best uses of an established license we’ve ever witnessed in gaming. The plot was incredible, the combat was enthralling, and the RPG elements — a BioWare staple — sucked us into the Star Wars universe like no other game has, whether past or present. Knights of the Old Republic is a masterpiece from top to bottom.
Plus, BioWare blessed us with HK-47, the greatest, most insensitive droid of all time.