Who doesn't love Star Wars? Even those hardcore Trekkies have the latest releases of the original trilogy hidden in their basements. Here are the best, worst, and weirdest video games from the Star Wars universe.
TOP TEN STAR WARS GAMES
10. Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II (Gamecube, 2001) - This is a beautiful game that starts with an attack on the Death Star from Episode IV, and moves on to the battle of Hoth next. It's a dream for anyone who's wanted to experience the vehicle battles with modern graphics.
9. Star Wars (NES, 1991) - Released in the same year as Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario World on (then) next generation consoles, the NES version of Star Wars flew under the radar. That's unfortunate, because Lucasarts squeezed every bit of power out of the NES to make a fun platformer. It is a very difficult game, which was typical of the series during the 1990s.
8. The Empire Strikes Back (Arcade, 1985) - Atari followed the formula that made the original Star Wars arcade game such a success, and that's a good thing. The Battle of Hoth had massive AT-AT walkers to avoid and AT-STs to take down. The subsequent escape through the Hoth asteroid field was intense, as you couldn't shoot the asteroids down; you had to avoid them.
7. TIE Fighter (DOS/MAC, 1994) - PC gamers were treated to a graphically superior "dog fight" simulator with X-Wing in 1993, and this sequel put the cherry on top by letting gamers experience being a TIE fighter pilot. Many PC gamers sunk a lot of cash into new sound and graphics cards to make this game run in its full graphical, stereo glory.
6. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, 2007) - Developer Traveler's Tales set the video game world on fire with their carefully balanced Lego Star Wars games in the mid '00s. Everyone from hardcore gamers to non-gamer Star Wars fans flocked to play this fun, massive, hilarious series. I recommend this game to everyone, as you'd have to be a Scrooge level curmudgeon to dislike it.
5. Super Empire Strikes Back (Super Nintendo, 1993) - The cream of the crop when it comes to old school Star Wars platformers, SESB utilized the "Tech 7" rendering power of the Super Nintendo to deliver a Hoth Battle that remains at the top of many enthusiasts' lists to this day. Again, it's a very difficult game, but at least it included a password system so you didn't have to start from the beginning every time.
4. Star Wars: Battlefront (PS2, Xbox, PC, Mac, 2004) - I didn't discover this gem until 2007, but I'm glad I did. It's a wonderful mash up of Real Time Strategy and third person action. You are tasked with commanding a variety of troops to take out the enemy and secure command posts. Representing the Empire gave gamers the chance to live a dream, with help on the Battlefront from Darth Vader. The console releases featured online battles with up to 32 players, which was a blast. Battlefield 4 developer DICE has announced a reboot of the franchise for 2015. I can't wait.
3. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, PSP, 2011) - Despite the inferior source material compared to the older Lego Star Wars games, this entry gets a higher place on the list for it's beautiful HD presentation and improved gameplay. The control is tighter and the action is a bit more difficult, although it won't scare away any Lego veterans. It's also the funniest entry in the franchise, occasionally making fun of its movie namesake.
2. Knights of The Old Republic - (Xbox, PC, Mac, 2003) - Lucasarts gave RPG developer Bioware full license to create a video game set in the Star Wars universe, any way they wanted to. They made a massive action/RPG that is included in most "greatest video games of all time" lists, be they Star Wars related or not. It takes place thousands of years before the movies in the Star Wars timeline, but uses most of the character types from the movies. The story and action match the movies step for step. Bioware went on to develop the "Mass Effect" trilogy, using Knights of The Old Republic as a template.
1. Star Wars: The Arcade Game (1983). First Person assault on the Death Star. Audio clips from the movie. Released 30 years ago. Gave me repeated nerdgasms as a nine year old. The best ever.
THE WORST AND WEIRDEST
Star Wars: Rebel Assault (Sega CD, 3DO, 1993) - I was repeatedly burned by crappy Sega CD games, but I thought things would be different with a Star Wars release. Holy crap, was I ever wrong. The graphics were so muddled and pixelated, I still am not sure what was going on in that game twenty years later. Just Awful.
Star Wars (Famicom in Japan, 1987) - There were some severe localization issues with this game, none greater than Darth Vader's ability to transform into various creatures, including a giant scorpion.
Star Wars: Jar Jar's Journey Adventure Book - It's an educational Star Wars game featuring Jar Jar Binks. I fart in this game's general direction.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, 2010) - Seriously, WHAT in the F#$K were they thinking with this story?
Kinect Star Wars (Xbox 360, 2012) - Microsoft has been pushing its Kinect motion sensor peripheral onto the public for years now, and what better way could there be to show off the technology than with a Star Wars game? Light Sabre fights! Dodging laser fire with your body!Virtually piloting the Millenium Falcon! Disco dancing as Han Solo! Wait, what!? I only had a few hours of hands-on time with this Hutt excrement, but it was more than enough for me to know that it should have been aborted in early development. The Kinect picked up my movements about 25% of the time, so playing through it was an exercise in frustration. This is the video game equivalent of the "Star Wars Holiday Special."