Star Wars left its mark in movie theaters across a slew of sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. They made their fair share of the money, but that’s not the only place the franchise capitalized, as it also made a name for itself with video games.
There haven’t been too many games as of late, mainly due to Disney handing out rights to Electronic Arts and a small handful of mobile developers. But the games we have gotten ended up being quite noteworthy, between the Battlefront efforts from DICE and Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Before those games, though, Star Wars built a reputable name for itself across several releases. Right, some games were forgettable (the NES Star Wars cough cough), but others were tremendous and became the stuff of legend. Ask any PC gamer that remembers the classic LucasArts games like X-Wing and TIE Fighter, and they’re likely to go on for hours on end talking about their epic space battles.
With that, we’ve compiled a list of the best Star Wars games to date. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they were popular with critics, just that it has a great amount of franchise and play value.
10 Best Star Wars Games
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Several years ago, LucasArts wowed us with the single-player Force Unleashed games, introducing us to the powerful Apprentice as he fended off Darth Vader and the Imperial Forces. And here we thought those games couldn’t be topped.
But then, along came Respawn Entertainment and the tremendously impressive Jedi: Fallen Order. Following a young Jedi on his journey across the galaxy, he comes across enemies that will, ahem, “force” him to use his abilities — along with his lightsaber — to stay alive.
The game is a wonderfully designed single-player adventure, filled with memorable characters and moments straight out of the Star Wars universe. And what it lacks in flashiness (like the Force Unleashed games possess), it more than makes up for with exciting, visceral combat. And it sounds like a sequel may not be far off, which would be fine by us. The more we see of Cal and company, the better.
Star Wars Episode 1: Racer
One of the most thrilling moments in the Star Wars franchise is the pod-racing sequence in Episode 1 and what better game to make than a racer. Although it’s not the most in-depth Star Wars experience in the gaming world, it is a fun and entertaining ride. Despite its older graphics, it’s worth a play-through.
Star Wars Classic Arcade
One of the very first Star Wars games to make its way to market came from Atari, a small but highly enjoyable affair where you could become Luke Skywalker. In this 1983 arcade classic, you’ll take on fireball-spewing TIE Fighters and turrets as you make your way to the infamous trench of the Death Star, with one golden opportunity to blast it to bits. And once you do that, you repeat the process, in the hopes of attaining a Jedi-worthy high score.
What’s great about Star Wars is that it appeals to players of all ages. Young players get caught up in the wonder of the original film’s space battles, while veterans shoot like crazy at incoming fireballs like a pro. The simple vector graphics make it an easy game on the eyes as well.
While the original arcade game is hard to find these days (save for those bar-cades), Arcade1up does have a suitable — and affordable — alternative with its home arcade cabinet. For $499, you can play the original as it was meant to be played, along with the long-lost The Empire Strikes Back game and its follow-up Return of the Jedi.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
Ever wanted to play as a bounty hunter in Mandalorian armor? Well, Bounty Hunter gave fans the chance to play as Jango Fett in his solo adventure. The entertainment value came from the ability to use the jetpack and his dual pistols against varying enemies on recognizable planets from the films. It also features other equipment, such as an ID scanner that identifies Jango’s targets, which pushed the immersion as the notorious bounty hunter. It also plays much like what we see in games like Uncharted, platforming and jumping between ledges. It was seriously ahead of its time.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Okay, so this one was never really canon, but it was an enjoyable and entertaining Star Wars experience. The game allowed for online co-op modes, customizable characters, and new gameplay not seen in previous Lego Star Wars games. It also featured the trademark Lego game humor that creatively used the Star Wars license.
Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
This one stirs up a lot of controversy due to its rocky release and loot box system, but it has improved over the last year or so in ways that almost make it a whole new game. With new unlockables, maps, and heroes/villains to choose from in the online modes, there’s plenty of entertainment and replay value in Battlefront II. Also of note, the single-player campaign has a great story that is officially in the canon post-Disney that features a former imperial commando turned rebel. Though it’s a short campaign, it’s still worth checking out for those just needing to scratch the old Star Wars itch.
Star Wars: Republic Commando
What’s better than a first-person Star Wars shooter that places you in the helmet of a Clone Commando in charge of an elite squad? That’s what Republic Commando offered. At the time, the game was innovative and fun to play. It also added a more mature story and theme to the overall arc, inviting older fans into the gaming world. Republic Commando also reinforced the fact that Star Wars is essentially about the war at its core.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Developed by the same company that did Mass Effect and the Dragon Age series, KotOR was an RPG that gave players a lot of control over how they played the game, including lightsaber types and character classes. The setting took place thousands of years before Episode 1, an era that would later be built upon with comic books and novels. The game eventually became one of the favorite periods for many Star Wars fans as it featured an array of new Sith Lords and Jedi Knights.
Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II
At a time when the GameCube was starting to grow on the market, a handful of titles stood out. Along with Super Smash Bros. Melee, there was Rogue League: Rogue Squadron II, the highly anticipated follow-up to the N64 game. And what a sequel it is.
Featuring more colorful visuals, tighter gameplay, and captivating missions to take on (including, yes, destroying the Death Star), Rogue Leader stands as a revolutionary sequel. It’s fun to play and becomes quite challenging in its later stages. More importantly, it showed off the visual strength of the GameCube at the time, making it spring to life on your TV or monitor. (Not to mention John Williams’ original theatrical store blaring through your speakers.)
The developers at Factor 5 would continue this work with a third Rogue Squadron game, Rebel Strike. But, as great as that game is, nothing can come close to Rogue Leader’s unbeatable wonder. The game is Star Wars personified, and a blast after all these years. So…HD version for Switch, Nintendo?
Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005)
Considered by many fans to be the best Star Wars game in history, Battlefront II threw players into the most epic battles from the films. It allowed them to play as the ground troopers on either side of the battlefield and experience some icon and epic moments. The reason we placed the second game and not the first on the list is the addition of space battles, which allowed players to fly into the enemy command ship and dismantle it from within. The campaign was also a solid improvement from the first game, showing the arc from clone trooper to imperial trooper through the various conflicts.