The best Star Wars games to play on Star Wars Day
The Star Wars franchise is arguably at the top of its game right now (pun intended), with its newest film doing gangbusters at the box office, an animated TV show lighting up the TV charts, and the newest Battlefront game proving to be as popular as its ever been. But in honor of Star Wars Day, we thought we would take a look towards the past, and decide once and for all what stands as the best games ever made utilizing the brand. Here is our recommended list of games to play on Star Wars Day, or any other day of the year for that matter.
And May the fourth be with you!
Knights of the Old Republic
Knights of the Old Republic isn't just one of the best Star Wars game, but one of the best games of all time. KOTOR is 13 years old and remains as awesome as ever, which is a big deal considering the aged mechanics and graphics. But what Bioware was able to do with the Star Wars series truly stands the test of time, and was honestly ahead of it to begin with -- a fantastic story, great characters, wonderful twist, and fun gameplay make for an experienced head and shoulders above the rest of this list. If you need an example of what you can do in the gaming world with a well worn property, look to KOTOR -- it truly is the pinnacle of licensed gaming.
Knights of the Old Republic II
Knights of the Old Republic II was fighting an uphill battle from the very start by simply being a follow-up to the beloved first edition, but paired with losing original developer Bioware, it's frankly a miracle developer Obsidian was able to deliver such a polished, exciting game. KOTOR II might not be the high point of Star Wars in video games, but it's a clear indication that the story based Old Republic formula is very much a winning one.
Lego Star Wars II
The Lego brand of games is one of the largest in all of gaming, but it all started with this initial franchise tie in -- and still stands as the best use of the formula by far. The sequel tackled the prequel and original trilogy, retelling the saga of Star Wars with great pantomime based humor and very simple, yet super addicting gameplay. Plus it's a very co-op friendly game literally the whole family (regardless of skill level) can play. And in this climate, that's certainly worth a lot.
Shadows of the Empire
This was a weird spin-off game that was licensed from a novel of the same name, that was from the extended universe, which is now null and void canon wise. But it was one of the first games for the N64, and featured the adventures of Dash Rendar, as he made his way through the events of Empire Strikes Back to help out Han and Luke and Leia and the rebellion. It was a third person shooter and a flight game, and it was awe-inspiring stuff in 1997 to take down an AT-AT, and this game holds up incredibly well, mostly for nostalgic reasons.
Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
Very few Star Wars games focus exclusively on the dogfighting and space battles that make the film series so exciting, and the ones that do usually aren't that good. But even with the limited amount of aerial based Star Wars content, it's clear that the bar has been very much reached by Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, a fantastic flying simulator that does a wonderful job of putting you in the shoes of a Star Wars pilot. More than perhaps any other game on this list, Rogue Leader feels the most like being in a Star Wars movie, with a stellar flight system that still very much holds up.
Super Star Wars
An oldie but goodie, Super Star Wars is the earliest game on this list, but is one of the games that made the Star Wars license work best. It took liberties with the story, but had solid graphics and sound design (for the time) and gave us just a really fun game to play that had something to do with the original movie, instead of something made about the original movie that happened to be a game. There were sequels to the Super series for the SNES, that covered Empire and Jedi respectively, and we have very fond memories from our childhoods about these games.
Star Wars: Battlefront II
Battlefront II is one of five Battlefront games (if you count the PSP exclusive Elite and Renegade Squadron games), and is clearly the best one of them all. Incredibly refined combat, an excellent hero system, and the deep and addictive game mode that is Galactic Conquest make Battlefront II one of our most played games of all time, Star Wars game or otherwise. Considering the high quality of the shooter, it's no surprise how much fans were clamoring for a follow-up (which they ultimately got last year with the DICE led reboot.)
Star Wars Arcade
One of the best arcade games ever, the Star Wars arcade game put you right in the action seat of the best moments from the original trilogy. What was so great and unique about this was the controller was a flight stick that you used to control ships in space, and at low orbit, AND THEN as a lightsaber in battles AND ALSO as a blaster to shoot stormtroopers. That kind of versatility was unheard of in the '90s arcade boom, and the superior graphics and sound made it a real cinematic experience. It was challenging, you wanted to watch other people play it, and it was cool to sit in that chair playing through those movies.
And there you have it, our choices for the best Star Wars games to play on Star Wars Day. May the fourth be with you!