In honor of May the Fourth, the unofficial “Star Wars Day” for fans, I got to thinking about my favorite Star Wars games. Originally, when I envisioned writing this article, I thought it would be easy to put my top five games in a list and be done, but I soon realized that was not going to be the case. My first pass at a list of my personal favorite Star Wars games included eighteen titles, ranging from PC to console spanning decades. My second pass whittled it down to eleven, to eight on my third, until finally I was able to arrive at my personal favorite Star Wars games.
Number Five Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
I remember playing this game for hours on my Nintendo 64! This was the first time I remember playing the Battle of Hoth, and coming to really like the heretofore unknown Dash Rendar, and his awesome ship, The Outrider. From flying speeders, swoop bikes and ships to fighting through canyons with a jetpack and taking down AT-STs with a blaster, this game really captured my imagination and transported me to that Galaxy Far, Far Away….
(It’s also worth noting that they treated this like a movie release at the time, it had a comic book, novelization, musical score, and (of course) action figures! This was the first game in the Star Wars lineage to receive this treatment.)
Number Four Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
This game is kind of a cheat, since it included the first Rogue Squadron game on the disk, for multiplayer play! TWO GAMES IN ONE! I loved the first Rogue Squadron on Nintendo 64, I even got the Expansion Pack just for it, and so you know I would be excited for the sequel on the new Nintendo GameCube! This game did not disappoint, it was improved upon in every way with better control, gameplay, graphics, story, and the before mentioned multiplayer!
Number Three Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Much like Shadows of the Empire, The Force Unleashed was treated like a movie release with accompanying multimedia and figures. This was the game every Star Wars fan was waiting for, the ability to wield the Force with devastating efficiency, as well as being able to master the lightsaber. The game had a great cast of characters, and the opening level featured Darth Vader as your playable character! It was difficult not to take note of this game, even non Star Wars fans appreciated the use of the Euphoria engine, amazing cut scenes, and graphical prowess of this game.
Number Two Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
One of the great pillars of the pre-Disney EU was a fellow by the name of Kyle Katarn. This game was the first that really let you see how deadly a lightsaber is and included fantastic multiplayer. It is the third in the Dark Forces series, and in my opinion, the best. The modding community was quite vibrant with this game, designing levels, improving textures, and making it one of the best and most memorable Star Wars gaming experiences. This game actually moved me to buy an Xbox, as I could either buy a graphics card for my PC or get the Xbox to be able to play this game. (Star Wars: Obi Wan was an Xbox exclusive as well, and Star Wars: Starfighter was also on Xbox, so it was clear to me that’s where I wanted to play.)
Number One Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Speaking of Xbox, this game was exclusive to that console. It has since been ported to mobile devices, and its legacy lives on. This was my first experience with a BioWare game, having the option to provide Light or Dark Side responses, choosing my power path, and becoming a legend in the Star Ware mythos. The supporting cast was quite strong, as is the case with all BioWare games. I played this game more times than I can tell, and found new things each time I did. The lightsaber battles were cinematic, the story telling was superb, and other than the outdated graphics, the game holds up to this day. It spawned a sequel and a MMORPG, but fans are still clamoring for a proper third sequel to the game. Your character’s journey in this game is one of the best that I’ve experienced in video gaming.
You really can’t go wrong with any of these games! Each one holds a special place in my heart, and brings up fond memories. They were all formative in their own way to my gaming growth, and made me see that video games can tell profound stories, and be fun and engaging at the same time!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my list, but I’m always down to talk Star Wars, so I’d love to see your top Star Wars picks! Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @VoicedByNathan!