Star Wars: Overview
When the first Star Wars movie got released on May 25, 1977, no one expected the magnitude of this epic space opera in terms of fan following and ticket sales. The first film gained huge popularity, which set off two sequels within three years. After the release of the final sequel, three more prequels were unleashed with the final blockbuster released on May 19, 2005. Overall, the Star Wars movie series is one of the highest grossing series after Harry Potter and 007 movies.
The success of the movie series initiated a variety of Star Wars comic books, novels, and a TV series. Video games are still one of the integral parts of the Star Wars franchise’s success. Many Star Wars games were launched and received excellent reviews. From the space sim X-wing to the innovative RTS Empire at War, there was always something new for every Star Wars fan. Here are ten best Star Wars computer games that encompass every genre, be it RPG, FPS or real-time strategy games.
10. Star Wars: Dark Forces
Dark Forces was one of few FPS games that touched the magnificence of Doom. With a detail level design, good two–dimensional graphics and storyline, Dark Forces was an engaging title. The game has a variety of AI-controlled enemy NPCs including characters and creatures from the Star Wars movies. The game is basically mission-based, with briefings and cut scenes being presented before each mission.
Star Wars: Dark Forces had all the elements of conventional Doom-styled FPS games. Players could jump, look up and down and wield a variety weapons, shields and ammunition. There were also many environmental puzzles and dangers associated with the game. The game is still revered as one of the best Star Wars games of the Doom-era.
9. Star Wars: Dark Forces II
This sequel to Dark Forces has a more polished gameplay and graphics with the choice to switch from first person to third person perspective. You have to play through 21 different levels fighting stormtroopers and many other Star Wars characters. Once you reach the third level, you can have access to the lightsaber and also can use The Force. The levels are filled with enemy and friendly NPCs that you can interact with. Puzzles are one of the internal parts of Dark Forces 2 and are fairly challenging. There may be other FPS games based on the Star Wars theme, but this one clearly is the winner.
8. Star Wars: X-Wing
The game is the first Star Wars game released by Lucasarts for the DOS platform. It is the first of the X-Wing series of sim space combat games released in February 1993. The game did not use sprites or bitmaps, but used a 3D engine for flight simulation. The same engine was also used for other flight sim games of the 90s including Battlehawks 1942.
Star Wars: X-Wing lets you pilot the X-Wing fighter to battle against the evil forces of the Galactic Empire. The game focuses on the battles between A-Wing, Y-Wing and X-wing starfighters of the Rebel Alliance. The game is very engaging and immersive and one of the best Star Wars computer games with a space sim tag.
7. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords:
The super success of first Knights of the Old Republic game initiated a sequel—The Sith Lords, which has all the key aspects of the first RPG plus more re-playable quests and a good storyline. The game focuses on the struggles between the evil Sith and Jedi Knights. You can create your own Jedi Knight character and play through more complex quests to defeat your enemies. The game does have some graphical glitches compared to the original, but is still one of the best Star Wars RPGs (I really hated this one, it was buggy, had a rush job feel, particularly towards the end, and was just such a disappointment compared to its predecessor. It is worth noting, particularly to fans of Bioware, that this game was not made by Bioware, who made the first game, but was farmed out to Obsidian. - Ed)
6. Star Wars: TIE Fighter
A true Star Wars game has to be a sim space combat and TIE fighter is certainly one of those. The first video game of the Star Wars franchise—X-Wing—was a space sim and TIE Fighter is regarded as its best sequel because of engaging gameplay, good graphics and interesting storyline. The game revolves around the events and battles on planet Hoth and makes you play as the bad guys.
There’s also a Collector’s CD-ROM which has completely revamped graphics and can be played in 640x480 resolutions unlike the original TIE fighter. The collector’s edition has over 100 missions and a good number of ships. If you have a taste for retro Star Wars games, then this can be a great addition to your collection.
5. Lego Star Wars:
The game attained instant success because of its clever style of retelling the entire Star Wars Episodes using Lego play blocks. It was mainly created for kids, but soon gained a huge adult fan following due to its unique cute-looking Lego Star Wars characters and action adventure elements. There are tons of puzzles and numerous boss levels creating a good blend of combat and puzzles.
The puzzles and the combat are pretty simple and uncomplicated and the game can be easily completed within 5-6 hours. But, the uniqueness of the game is its presentation. The Star Wars characters look as if they constructed using Lego building blocks. You will enjoy pieces crumbling when any Lego Star Wars character gets destroyed. The PC version of the game is extremely impressive and seems best at higher resolutions. It is probably one of the best Star Wars computer games with a Lego theme.
4. Star Wars Rouge Squadron:
The game is basically an arcade flight combat with all the elements of arcade games, including extra lives, power ups and pure button-mashing fun. Rogue Squadron allows you to pilot five different ships including the snowspeeder, and also boasts many bonus ships. You can fight AT-ATs, AT-ST walkers and imperial droids and travel to many environments such the Hoth, Mon Calmari and the desert of Tatooine. The ships are detailed to the core and the environments are beautifully rendered all with special effects and lighting. The game is a typical shooter, but can surely be included in your Star Wars games collection.
3. Star Wars: Empire At War
We have got an RPG, a FPS, so what’s next? Well, a good RTS was certainly missing on the cards until Empire At War was released. That doesn’t mean EAW is the only Star Wars themed real time strategy game. There were a few games like Galactic Battlegrounds and Force Commander with an RTS tag, but were not as successful as this one.
Empire At War is certainly one of the best RTS Star Wars games in terms of expansive campaigns, C&C styled strategy and excellent land and space battles. Players can play full fledged campaigns from both Empire and Rebellion perspectives. The campaign objectives are similar to any real time strategy game, but the most entertaining part is the skirmish mode where you can play on space or land against AI controlled enemies. You can also play online skirmish battles against 7 more players. Star Wars: Empire At War is a good game for strategy lovers.
2. Star Wars: Republic Commando:
The best part of Star Wars games is that they can easily be molded into different genres. Take the example of Republic Commando, which is a tactical squad-based first person shooter complete with stealth and team play. You can command your own team in three campaigns and lead them to fight the enemies. Republic Commando’s storyline revolves between the events that took place in Episode I and II movies. The overall game is based on strategy and has good graphics, courtesy of the Unreal Engine.
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic:
This is one of few RPGs with a Star Wars theme. Knights of the Old Republic has an open ended gameplay with several mini-quests. Although, the main missions are a bit linear, the variety in quests will surprise you. The game borrows character creation and combat rules from Dungeons and Dragons game. One of the best features of the game is its voice-acting. Knights of the Old Republic has no text interactions, all the dialogues between you and the NPCs are spoken. No two NPCs response will be the same and you will be surprised by the sheer magnitude of the quests. Knights of the Old Republic is certainly one of the best Star Wars computer games with all RPG elements you have dreamt of.
This post is part of the series: Best of Star Wars
A collection of reviews of the best Star Wars games.