Happy Star Wars day, May the 4th be with you!
In honor of this great holiday, I have created a list of some of the best video games from the Star Wars Universe. Take a look and let me know if I missed any of your favorites.
X-Wing vs Tie Fighter is possibly the ultimate space combat game. When the game came out in 1997 graphics obviously weren’t what they are now, but X-Wing vs Tie Fighter was the perfect game to disguise that. The ships are mostly blocky shapes and the game takes place in the black of space. Factor in the smooth gameplay feel with the use of a flight stick and X-Wing vs Tie Fighter cracks the top 8.
Jedi Knight is the first series where wielding the force makes you feel like a big time bad ass, and Jedi Outcast is the best of the series. You play as Kyle Katarn, an ex-storm trooper that turned mercanary and then Jedi in the previous Jedi Knight games. By the time you get to Jedi Outcast Kyle has forsaken his connection to the force for fear of turning to the dark side. When his partner is murdered by a couple Sith users, Kyle makes his way back to Luke at the Jedi Academy to regain his lightsaber only to be entangled in a deeper Sith plot.
If you have never played a Lego Game you are missing out. In Lego Star Wars, The Complete Saga you are able to play through all six of the first movies in a Lego setting. This is mostly a button mashing beat em up game, but there are also tons of little puzzlers and hidden blacks to find. This game is perfect for kids as well as adults. While younger kids may get stuck on a few levels and not so obvious puzzles a parent or older sibling could co-op through the game for a great 2 player experience.
Battlefront is a large scale battle game similar to the Battlefield. It is set in the Star Wars universe and has two sides doing battle through the map. Each team has a limited number of reinforcements and play until one side loses all their men. It is a pretty straight forward game that is tons of fun. You cant help but look forward to the upcoming Battlefront game being developed by Dice (of Battlefield fame).
Star Wars: Rouge Squadron was one of the best games to come out for the N64. You play as a member of Rouge Squadron the elite group of pilots headed by Wedge Antilles and know from the movie as the squad that Luke Skywalker flies with. This game is more of an arcade style game than a space sim. Great graphics and 16 excellent missions puts Rouge Squadron in the top half of Star Wars games on my list.
The Force Unleashed is often criticized for its imperfect camera angles… but remains one of my favorite Star Wars games to date. You play as Starkiller, Darth Vader’s secret apprentice. Taken from your family at a young age and trained by Vader in secret to help him take out the Emperor. The game has an excellent plot that has you infiltrating the ranks of the newly forming rebellion while jumping from planet to planet. While the story is very good, the game play options are what made this game a star. While hard to master you end up with a slew of force powers including the choke, throw, grab, and lightning. This game is the ultimate power fantasy.
Shadows of the Empire is another game that seems to be less strongly enjoyed by others, but I loved it. It was the reason I got my N64. You play as a mercenary named Dash Rendar during the time from The Empire Strikes Back leading up to Return of the Jedi. While Dash may be a second rate Han Solo rip off, this game had everything you wanted in a Star Wars game, except maybe Force powers. You start off helping out in the battle at Hoth, tying up At-AT and AT-ST’s in a snow speeder. the next mission is a third person shooter as you escape to your ship before the Empire takes over the station. Then you are making a space escape through an astroid field in more of a Space Sim type game play. There is also a swoop bike race through the cannons, encounters with favorites like IG88 Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia.
Knights of the Old Republic, or KOTOR, is probably the best game on the original Xbox as well as one of my favorite games of all time. It takes place thousands of years before the Star Wars movies. Like all great games you wake up with amnesia. In this one you are aboard a Republic ship being attacked by a Sith Lord’s ship. Through out the game you will travel around the galaxy uncovering your past and hunting down the Sith Lord Darth Malak (a former Jedi). Through out your travels you will recruit party members to help you. HK-47 is a must. He is a robot assassin who hates humans. As the story progresses you will discover your Jedi powers and play towards your final confrontation with Darth Malak.
Along with a great story, I’m pretty sure this was the first RPG set in the Star Wars universe. Bioware and Lucas Arts had the brilliant idea to combine Dungeons and Dragons style character progressions and combat (all done behind the scenes) with a Star Wars setting… and it worked out better than anyone could have hoped for.
In addition to being able to get this game easily on Steam it was recently made available on iPhones(which I may have to try).
That concludes this special MAY THE FOURTH edition of The Great Eights. As always, please let me know what you thought in the comments. I’d love to hear where you think I went wrong or which your favorites are instead.