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The Best Star Wars Video Games

The games that bring the Force to life



Top 10 Star Wars Video Games

Top 10 Star Wars Video Games

Today is Star Wars Day, and what better way to celebrate than by reliving the classic movies, catching up with the latest TV shows, or better yet, losing yourself in one of the countless video games the galaxy-conquering franchise has spawned. Become a Jedi and swing a lightsaber, lead a rebellion, take to the stars, or fall to the Dark Side, these games allow players to do it all.

That being said, with so many games to the Star Wars name, there have been more than a few messes and, in recent years, microtransaction-filled nightmares. So, which games rise to the very top like Luke’s levitating stones? With it being May the fourth and Star Wars Jedi Survivor having just released, there’s no better time than to explore the best of the best.

Have fun, seek adventure, and may the Force be with you.

10. Star Wars: Squadrons

Ever since fans first saw the iconic silhouette of an X-Wing, and witnessed them in action blasting roaring TIE Fighters to dust, fans have dreamed of sitting in that cockpit themselves and soaring through the stars. While it may be missing the flashy lightsaber combat and Force powers of some of the more popular games, Star Wars: Squadrons knew its audience, and gave them exactly what they came for.

Playing on both sides of the age-old conflict, players were handed the keys to almost any starfighter they could imagine, from the Rebellion’s finest X-Wings and Y-Wings to the Empire’s experimental TIE Reaper and TIE Defender. And even better, if they owned a VR headset, players could transport themselves directly into the cockpit and live out all of their wildest dogfighting dreams as if they were actually there.

Image: Motive Studio - Star Wars: Squadrons
Image: Motive Studio – Star Wars: Squadrons

9. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

While its story and themes were more than a little convoluted, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed nailed its gameplay. This was a game that understood the true power fantasy behind Star Wars – being able to wield the Force – and turned it up to eleven. The lightsaber combat was immensely satisfying, too, as was the ability to change costumes and ‘saber colour, but they were nothing compared to the power of the Force.

Every push, every throw, every shockwave caused a terrific amount of devastation never before seen by fans, and it was all thanks to the game engines chugging away in the background. Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) added destruction by allowing metal to buckle and bend, and wood to splinter. Havok allowed multiple enemies and objects to go flying at once. And Euphoria allowed enemies to behave unpredictably, grabbing hold of railings or even each other in an attempt to save themselves. Hours of fun could be wasted simply playing with these Stormtroopers like they were toys, flinging them into each other, throwing in the air and catching them, and much more.

Image: LucasArts - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Image: LucasArts – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

8. Star Wars: Empire at War

The constantly warring galaxy of Star Wars, with its technologically advanced Empire and plucky underdog Rebellion, should be the perfect setting for a whole host of real-time strategy games. It’s a shame then that it’s a genre developers have rarely explored. The Star Wars movies and shows tend to focus on individual heroes and villains, on the more human cost of war, and relegate large-scale battles to the background – but those battles are still there, and they make for a spectacular watch. Star Wars: Empire at War puts players in direct control of these warring armies and leaves it up to them to decide the next move.

Watching and directing the action from a bird’s eye view can put the player in the mind of a giddy child playing with their toys, a director conducting the most spectacular set-pieces, or an all-powerful general, wiping away the opposition with a single gesture. The fun and variety of units, transports, and difficulty, allows every player to dictate their own fun on the battlefield.

Image: Petroglyph Games - Star Wars: Empire at War
Image: Petroglyph Games – Star Wars: Empire at War

7. Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Continuing the story of Kyle Katarn as he masters his Force powers and skills with a lightsaber, players must guide the wayward Jedi through a tale full of action, betrayal, and revenge. It’s an engaging yarn but contains just a few too many overlong cutscenes and tropey nods to the films and genre as a whole that may put some people off replaying it today.

The world and sound design feel like they’ve been lifted straight from the films, but combat is where this game truly shines. The levels may be bigger and better than the game’s predecessor’s, but its enemies are just as dull-witted. And this is a good thing, as Jedi Outcast doubles down on ways to dispatch Stormtroopers will style and ease. There may not be as much player choice when it comes to story decision, but combat is where players get to express themselves. Torturing baddies by zapping them with Force lightning, flinging them off cliffs, or taking over their minds – it never gets old, no matter how many times you go back and do it all again.

Image: Raven Software - Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Image: Raven Software – Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

6. Star Wars: Republic Commando

Stepping back from the ‘saber swinging and Jedi mind tricks, Star Wars: Republic Commando puts players in the shoes of an elite squad of Clone troopers at the height of the Clone Wars. Leaning heavily into the tactical squad shooter genre popularised by the likes of Rainbow Six Vegas, the game offered a more grounded look at the galaxy far, far away. The player and their squadmates are battle-hardened veterans, dropped behind enemy lines to do whatever needs to be done to win the war. It was a more nihilistic approach to what was typically a family-friendly affair, and it worked.

Viewed entirely through the cluttered visor of a Clone Commando, it puts players right in the middle of the action and offers a darker perspective on things with its surprisingly engaging story. Gunplay is fun and weighty, and players can put their inner tactician to work by ordering the specialist Clones in their squad to hack computer systems, snipe key targets, and set up explosive traps. All in all, it’s one of the best Star Wars shooters.

Image: Aspyr - Star Wars: Republic Commando
Image: Aspyr – Star Wars: Republic Commando

5.  Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

By far the best game to come out of EA and Disney’s game exclusivity deal and the best single-player Jedi adventure for some time, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order lets players live as a Jedi on the run. While it’s a miracle the game was released at all (with EA’s insistence that single-player games were dead and cancellation of half a dozen incredibly exciting projects), it was exactly what players wanted: a well-thought-out story with meaningful characters, a charismatic lead, plenty of locations new and old to explore, and the chance to take on the Empire with satisfying lightsaber combat.

The Dark Souls­-inspired combat was certainly a change of pace from previous Star Wars titles, but the player’s gradual mastery of these new techniques as they played mirrored protagonist Cal Kestis’ as they grew and learnt together. Perfect parries deflect blaster fire back at the shooter, last-minute dodges slow down time – it’s a very rewarding system and can make players feel like a true Jedi Master once they have the hang of it. Mix in the myriad of Force abilities and the first introduction of the Inquisitors outside of cartoons and comics, and this is one of the best Star Wars experiences out there.

Image: Respawn Entertainment - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Image: Respawn Entertainment – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

4. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Any of Traveller’s Tales’ masterful LEGO Star Wars games could have taken this spot, but LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is their most complete, most polished, most lovingly-crafted package yet. This title is the amalgamation of everything its developers have learnt over the last two decades of making LEGO games, and delves deep into the lighter side of the galaxy far, far away. Every joke, gag, easter egg, and reference is a love letter to Star Wars, and every fan can find something to love here.

It may have simplistic combat and puzzles, but that just means everyone – every fan from young to old – can enjoy playing through all nine movies (or just the ones they love the most). With literally hundreds of delightfully recreated characters to unlock, dozens upon dozens of secrets, and countless collectibles, this is a game that can be played and played for hours and hours on end.

Image: Traveller's Tales - LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Image: Traveller’s Tales – LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

3. Star Wars Battlefront II (2005)

While EA’s 2017 game of the same name has improved massively since its calamitous trainwreck of a launch, it still cannot hold a candle to the original. 2005’s Star Wars Battlefront II is the gold standard for what a first-/third-person shooter set in the Star Wars universe should look like. It took everything the original Battlefront did and polished them to near perfection. Huge, detailed, and multi-levelled maps swarming with AI bots, unique classes that added a level of strategy to combat, battles that ebbed and flowed and could change direction at any moment, and you, the player, at the centre of it all, just another cog in the machine of war – this game had it all. It even introduced Space Assault, in which teams of starfighter pilots had to destroy an enemy cruiser while defending their own.

And while its multiplayer was clearly its main draw, Star Wars Battlefront II also had a stellar single-player campaign following the exploits of the 501st Legion as they transitioned from Clone troopers fighting for the Republic, through Order 66 to becoming one of the Empire’s most elite units. This, coupled with the amazing Galactic Conquest – a mode in which the player must strategically conquer planets as their chosen fraction (Rebels/Empire, Republic/Separatists) in order to take control of the entire galaxy – and even those who prefer to play alone could lose days of their life to this game.

Image: Pandemic Studios - Star Wars Battlefront II (2005)
Image: Pandemic Studios – Star Wars Battlefront II (2005)

2. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

The newest entry by far is also one of Star Wars’ very best. While it has launched with an overwhelming number of technical problems for a number of players, the game behind the glitches (which are being patched out as we speak) is truly something special. Following on a few years after the end of the brilliant Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor continues Cal Kestis’ journey towards becoming a true Jedi Master. In keeping with this idea, players start their adventure with all of Cal’s skills from the previous game unlocked and only build on from there, becoming deadlier and more efficient with each new ability.

Similarly, the original’s already fantastic lightsaber combat has been vastly improved. New stances allow players to completely shake up combat with brand-new attacks and finishers (all of which are wonderfully animated), which really sell the dream of being an all-powerful, unstoppable badass. Improved customisation gives players the opportunity to make the game their own, revamping Cal’s look and creating their very own unique lightsaber from scratch. The story and characters are top-notch, and the whole thing feels like playing through one of the very best Star Wars movies.

Image: Respawn Entertainment - Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Image: Respawn Entertainment – Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

A Star Wars game unlike any other, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic truly lets players live out the dream of living and losing themselves in that famous galaxy far, far away. It may be one of the oldest games on this list, but there’s a reason fans still adore it. Knights of the Old Republic is a wonderfully crafted RPG that gives players the opportunity to create their own character and play them their own way. Will they be an upstanding Jedi, a devious Sith Lord, or fall somewhere in the middle?

Expansive quests and side missions, fully fleshed-out side characters, choices that affect not only certain plot points but how other characters interact with you, as well as your future options and abilities, the game has plenty of ways of keeping players invested for the long haul. Not to mention plenty of scope for replayability. But it’s in its story that Knights of the Old Republic really shines, and this complex tale full of twists and turns, heroism and betrayal, is the reason fans keep coming back for more. Often heralded as one of the best video game stories ever, the tale of Darth Revan is one all fans need to experience for themselves. The good news for those that haven’t yet given this gem a go is that a full-scale remake is in the works. The bad news is, it may not be out for some time.

Image: BioWare - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Image: BioWare – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Max Longhurst is a keen gamer, avid writer and reader, and former teacher. He first got into gaming when, at the age of 8, his parents bought him a PS2 and Kingdom Hearts for Christmas, and he’s never looked back. Primarily a PlayStation fan, he loves games with a rich single-player experience and stories with unexpected twists and turns.