Over the years, there have been a lot of Star Wars games, but just like the movies, some are remembered much better than others. For every Star Wars game that is as popular as “The Empire Strikes Back,” there are six that are as unpopular or controversial as “The Phantom Menace” or “The Last Jedi.”
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Then there are the all-time classics, like Knights of the Old Republic, which some fans say are better than the whole film saga. It’s a big claim, but it’s hard to beat a Star Wars experience where you get to be the hero of the story and change the galaxy as you see fit. You could even train as an apprentice and become the hero (or villain) you were always meant to be in Jedi Knight III.
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Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles
2000 | LucasArts | DC, PSX, GBA
Jedi Power Battles gives you something you might think would be more common in Star Wars games: the simple joy of using a lightsaber with a friend to cut through hundreds of enemies. It’s not the prettiest or most in-depth game, but it’s fun and has a good selection of Jedi from the Prequels. If you really get into the game, you can even unlock a lot of characters and levels. Even though the Dreamcast version is by far the best, the Game Boy Advance port is still pretty good.
Star Wars: TIE Fighter
1994 | Totally Games | PC
Star Wars: TIE Fighter is a great example of an old game that is still fun to play. Even though the graphics are old, the game is still fun to play. Even though the fights happen in space, they feel more like dogfights from World War II. Thanks to Steam and other modern PC platforms, this game is now easy to find.
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
1996 | LucasArts | N64, PC
The graphics in Shadows of the Empire haven’t held up very well over time, but that shouldn’t take away from how epic it is. The beauty of having the game take place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi is that it lets you play out so many cool moments connected to those films, like the Battle of Hoth and the confrontation with Boba Fett. When it first came out, this one was kind of hard to play, but an HD remake could smooth out the rough spots.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
2010 | LucasArts | PC, PS3, Wii, X360
The first Force Unleashed game was fun, but it had a lot of problems. Hopes were high for the sequel, but it didn’t live up to them in many ways. The story about being a clone is silly and only lasts three hours. But The Force Unleashed II is still a beautiful game to look at, and tearing into stormtroopers with Force lightning and two lightsabers is a very satisfying thing to do. It’s too bad we’ll never get to see how the planned sequel would have turned out.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
2011 | BioWare | PC
Some gamers will never get over the fact that The Old Republic is not Knights of the Old Republic III. What it is, though, is an MMO with a very serious story. MMOs aren’t for everyone because they require a lot of time and effort, but there’s no better way for gamers who really want to feel like they live in a galaxy far, far away. And you can play it for free, so there’s no reason to pass it up.
Super Star Wars
1992 | LucasArts | SNES
Compared to other Star Wars games, Super Star Wars is a bit of an odd duck. It follows the story of A New Hope pretty closely, but it also adds levels where Luke fights giant scorpions and sneaks into a Jawa Sandcrawler. It’s a little strange, but keep in mind that this is a time when even TV shows like “Home Improvement” had video games with enemies that didn’t fit. At least, Super Star Wars and its two sequels hold up better than most other video game adaptations from the early 1990s.
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
2011 | Traveller’s Tales | PS3, PC, Wii, X360
Sometimes Star Wars sequels don’t live up to the hype, just like the movies themselves. Traveller’s Tales had already made three great Lego Star Wars games at this point, so you’d think they could do even more amazing things with a game based on the popular Clone Wars cartoon. And…well, they kind of did. It’s still fun to play through episodes again and again and collect a lot of studs, but the strange RTS elements bring this one down a few notches.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
2005 | LucasArts | PS2, Xbox
In recent years, there haven’t been many video games that are direct adaptations of the Star Wars movies, besides the Lego games. Revenge of the Sith follows the movie very closely and adds a fairly deep combo system. You can play as either Anakin or Obi-wan. And if you finish the last mission as Anakin, the ending is very different from the one in the movie.
Pinball FX 3
2017 | Zen Studios | PC, PS4, Switch, XBO, Wii U
The latest version of Pinball FX has more than a dozen tables with characters from all three Star Wars trilogies. Even though the quality of each table varies a little, it’s always fun to play through scenes from Episodes 4–7 (and Rogue One!) or try to get the highest score on the Darth Vader table while listening to “The Imperial March.”
Star Wars: Dark Forces
1996| LucasArts | PC, PSX
People often think of DOOM and Quake as the best first-person shooters of the 1990s, but Dark Forces had a lot of new ideas that made it stand out. This classic game was the first to have jumping, free aiming, and puzzles with more than one step. All of these features are now standard in the genre. Because of this, it holds up better than a lot of other PC shooters from the 1990s.
Star Wars Dark Forces (1995, MS-DOS, MAC)
When people think of first-person shooters from the 1990s, Doom and Quake are often the ones that come to mind. Still, Star Wars: Dark Forces is another great first-person shooter from that decade.
Even though Dark Forces didn’t have multiplayer, it made up for it with good graphics for the time and great level design that made every level a good challenge. It also gave Star Wars fans their first look at Kyle Katarn, who will be a big part of Star Wars games for years to come.