Star Wars is a franchise that has spawned some iconic spin-offs, but has also given birth to its fair share of sub-par experiences. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the video game world - where the Star Wars license has been both honoured and abused in equal measure. Take, for example, the Star Wars Kinect’s ‘I’m Han Solo’ to the tune of ‘I’m Riding Solo’. Cringe.
All that aside, the license has still resulted in some incredible experiences that have pleased fans and respected the epic grandiosity of the franchise itself. Here are our picks for the 10 best Star Wars games ever made…
10. Star Wars Battlefront (2004)
Released in 2004, the original Battlefront was a fantastic third-person shooter that felt so grand in scale for the year it was released that it truly felt like you were in a real war alongside the rebels or empire. While many sequels have since been released including the most recent Star Wars: Battlefront II, this original game was such a breath of fresh air that it helped define the direction of Star Wars games for years to come.
9. Star Wars Galaxies
This is somewhat of a personal one for the writer. When I was young, I loved MMORPG’s and none have ever really scratched the scale and epicness of Star Wars Galaxies before the dreaded ‘combat upgrade’ patch ruined the game. Galaxies was a game that almost defies description - you could dabble in a range of classes, build a unique character, adventure your own way and even make a career performing music or dance in a cantina. My computer could barely run the game, but I adored it anyway.
We’re not alone in the love of this game - a full emulator project designed to recreate the game in full has been active for decades.
8. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Playing as Starkiller, Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, is cool on its own. Playing as Starkiller in an action-rpg style game that gave you more exciting force powers than had been available in previous games is even cooler. This was a great game when the consoles needed it most, released in 2008 for the Xbox 360 and PS3. However, it showed its age even then and had some clunky elements - but it remains to this day one of the best ways to play as a saber-wielding badass.
7. Lego Star Wars - All Of Them
While there have been a few different editions of Lego Star Wars, it’s safe to say that all of the games share similar mechanics and aesthetics. They are, however, a lot of fun - playing on the cheesiness of the franchise but also providing a good balance of platforming and combat. An upcoming 2021 release of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, may push this entry up our list but for now we’re putting it here as safe, family-friendly fun.
6. Star Wars: The Old Republic
A failed MMORPG no.4 on the list!? I know what you’re thinking - but hear us out. The free version of Bioware’s MMO is actually a great single-player game when played for the narrative. It’s still a great replication of the Star Wars universe and lets you play a range of different character types that suit your tastes.
5. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Still available on Steam today with a perfect 10/10 rating, this 2003 release was and remains beloved by the majority of fans around the world. Powered by the famous Quake 3 engine, there is both a single and multiplayer mode and players get to craft their own lightsabers. The actual lightsaber combat remains arguably the best across any video game - permanently cementing its importance in your video game library.
4. Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005)
We discussed Battlefront earlier, but the sequel was the true standout that has yet to be eclipsed by any subsequent versions. Battlefront II was everything the first game was and more, delivering more excitement and action than the first with the addition of space combat.
Need proof of how great it is? It’s still scoring overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam.
3. Star Wars: Vader Immortal
The first virtual reality Star Wars game, Vader Immortal, was an episodic title released with the revolutionary Oculus Quest. It has now been ported to PSVR and is well-regarded as the best possible way to see Darth Vader’s khulking menace up-close. Despite the short length of the game, the first time you ignite a saber in VR is almost as tangibly awesome as igniting your first Power Battle Saber. An epic, must-have experience for fans.
2. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
Perhaps the most anticipated Star Wars game of all time, Jedi Fallen Order launched in 2019 to great acclaim. Despite some snags and limitations, this single-player action RPG was notable for its great storyline, quintessential cast of supporting characters and stellar soundtrack. While the level design and lack of planets to explore was a little disappointing, playing as Cal Kestis and slicing through hordes of monsters, troopers and Sith Inquisitors is still perhaps the most fun you can have in a Star Wars game.
1. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (KOTOR)
This 2003-era game stands at the top of every Star Wars video game list and for good reason - it’s one of the best stories in any video game and has writing that would be more at home in a big-budget Hollywood studio. It’s an RPG of great depth and strategy, with a story that will blow your mind. Honestly, if you’re a fan and haven’t played KOTOR, you are missing out. It’s even available on smartphones via Google Play Store - so you’ve got no excuse. Get playing and experience the best Star Wars video game ever made.
There are many more exciting games on the horizon for the franchise. Sadly there is no sign of a Dark Souls-esque, Witcher 3-scale game like our writer wishes. However, there is the Star Wars Squadrons game due soon for VR fans, as well as the new Lego Star Wars Skywalker Saga game in 2021. Perhaps this list will be updated more regularly than we first thought...stay tuned!