Star Wars: The Force Awakens is fast approaching, and with ticket pre-sales going through the roof, fans of the franchise are preparing by binging on some of their favorite Star Wars media. Whether you get your fix from the movies, video games or comics – there’s no denying these games have always been well-done and a great way to further explore the Star Wars universe. Due to hit theaters on December 18th, now seems like the perfect time to take a look back at some of the most awesome video games – so, here we present to you our top five list of the best Star Wars video games ever.
Cue the rolling text with some epic John Williams music…
- Star Wars: X-Wing
Under LucasArts, released in 1993, this flight simulator, for PC and Mac, lets you hop into the cockpit of some of your favorite Starfighters and become part of the Rebel Alliance. There’s not much in the way of story but the main objectives center around Starfighter battles, reconnaissance, or escorting other ships. If you’re itching for some X-wing dogfights, this will definitely be a great game for you; however, because you’re forced to micromanage everything on the cockpit’s console, it can be quite difficult to get the hang of. If you don’t manage your laser energy levels you could quickly end up vulnerable.
- Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Released in 1997 for PC, from LucasArts, JK was one of the first games where players could become a Jedi, wielding both the Force and lightsabers. A year after the second Death Star is destroyed, you play as Kyle Katarn again, a mercenary, who must protect the Valley of Jedi from the Dark Jedis. The live action cinematics feel a tad strange but the writing is good, so you get used to the corniness. It’s a great shooter with an arsenal of iconic weapons including Chewy’s Bowcaster. The best feature allows you to pick a side: Light or Dark, which actually changes the game as well as the skills you’ll have access to.
- Knights of the Old Republic I
In 2003, BioWare and LucasArts published KotOR for Xbox and PC. Set around 3,900 years before Episode IV, it plays like classic RPGs, offering linear maps and skill trees. But the best part is that you’re able to customize a character and actually choose different responses during interacts with various characters, including some old favorites – and depending on how evil you’re feeling your responses can build or destroy relationships, which can affect the outcome of your story. It’s incredibly immersive and the graphics are great for its time. It’s definitely a must play for any Star Wars fan.
Any game where I can customize at this level is an epic game in my book!
- LEGO Star Wars
LEGO Star Wars is an incredibly fun and witty addition to the Star Wars game series. It was developed by Traveler’s Tales and Giant Entertainment for Xbox, PS2, and Windows back in 2005. LSW is a family-friendly retelling of the events prior to Episode IV. But don’t be fooled, this game is both challenging and quite addictive. As you play, you’ll unlock tons of iconic characters that you can freely switch between in order to help you progress while fighting enemies and solving increasingly difficult puzzles. So, your dream to be R2-D2 can finally become a reality, sort of. It’s a refreshing twist to the franchise’s collection that anyone can enjoy.
- Star Wars: Battlefront
Released by EA in 2015 for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One, Battlefront is far more than visually stunning – the atmosphere is incredible, putting you in the fray of some of the most iconic locations, like my favorite, the frigid and barren Hoth. The only downside to this game is that it’s lacking a main story. Instead, you participate in epic reinterpretations of events and battles from the original trilogy as well as other battles, like the Siege of Inyusu Tor. At its core, it’s mainly a multiplayer shooter game with different campaigns; you’re able to choose a side, weapon set, and collect or buy different skills to assist you in battle. So, if you’ve ever wanted to tangle up a Walker or fly the Millennium Falcon, you’ll love it.
The revival of the Star Wars franchise begins anew with The Force Awakens and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. It’s been 10 years since we’ve had an epic Star Wars movie to look forward to, but from favorites like Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: Droid Tales, available through Disney XD/DTV to multiple comic book miniseries spin-offs, fans haven’t been left completely without hope all these years. With plenty of time left to prepare, it’s time to brush up on the classic movies and delve into theories of our own – in between immersing ourselves in some of these amazing games, of course.
Elizabeth Eckhart is a blogger based in Chicago, IL. When she isn’t buried underneath a mountain of SAIC grad school work you can find her catching up on her sleep or working to monetize her other passions: photography, kayaking, and bread-making. She has two cats, Guy Furry and Ravioli. Find her on Twitter @elizeckhart.