There have been dozens of Star Wars games over the years, but just like the movies themselves, some are remembered much more fondly than others. For every Star Wars game as beloved as The Empire Strikes Back, there’s a half-dozen that are as hated as much as The Phantom Menace or as divisive as The Last Jedi.
Then there are those all-time classics, like Knights of the Old Republic, which some fans claim to be better than the entire film saga. It’s a big claim, of course, but it’s hard to beat a Star Wars experience in which you get to be the hero of the story and shape the galaxy as you see fit. Jedi Knight III: Jedi Academy even let you train as an apprentice and become the hero (or villain) you were always destined to be!
So which games are strongest in the Force? Here are Den of Geek’s 25 favorite Star Wars games:
25. Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles
2000 | LucasArts | DC, PSX, GBA
Jedi Power Battles delivers something that you’d think would be more common in Star Wars games: the simple joy of using a lightsaber to slash through hundreds of enemies with a partner by your side. It’s not the prettiest or deepest game, but it’s fun, and it does feature a solid selection of Prequel-era Jedi. There are even quite a few unlockable characters and levels if you really get into the game. And while the Dreamcast version is easily the best, even the Game Boy Advance port isn’t too shabby.
24. Star Wars: TIE Fighter
1994 | Totally Games | PC
Star Wars: TIE Fighter is the very definition of an oldie but a goodie. While its graphics show their age, the gameplay is timeless. Even though the battles take place in space, they feel more like World War II dogfights. Thankfully, this game is now readily available on Steam and other modern PC platforms.
23. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
1996 | LucasArts | N64, PC
Shadows of the Empire’s graphics haven’t aged very well, but that shouldn’t make it feel any less epic. The beauty of having the game take place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi is that it lets you play out so many cool moments connected to those films, like the Battle of Hoth and the confrontation with Boba Fett. Admittedly, this one was kind of clunky to play when it first came out, but an HD remake could iron out the kinks.
22. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
2010 | LucasArts | PC, PS3, Wii, X360
The first Force Unleashed was a fun but flawed game. Hopes were high for the sequel, but unfortunately it still faltered in many ways – primarily with a silly story about being a clone that lasts all of three hours. But The Force Unleashed II is still a beautiful game to behold, and there’s something extremely satisfying about tearing into stormtroopers with Force lightning and dual-wielded lightsabers. It’s just too bad we’ll never get to see how the planned sequel would have turned out.
21. Star Wars: The Old Republic
2011 | BioWare | PC
The Old Republic is not Knights of the Old Republic III, and some gamers will never get over that. What it is, however, is an MMO that takes its story very seriously. The type of commitment required for an MMO isn’t for every gamer, but for those gamers who really want to feel like they’re living in a galaxy far, far away, there’s no better option. And it’s been free-to-play for years now, so there’s no reason to skip over it.
20. Super Star Wars
1992 | LucasArts | SNES
Super Star Wars is a bit of an oddity compared to later Star Wars games. It tracks the plot of A New Hope pretty closely, but also takes some pretty big liberties, like adding levels where Luke fights giant scorpions and infiltrates a Jawa Sandcrawler. It’s a little odd, but keep in mind this is the era when even TV shows like Home Improvement had video game adaptations with out of place enemies. Super Star Wars and its two sequels at least hold up better than most other early ‘90s game adaptations.
19. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
2011 | Traveller’s Tales | PS3, PC, Wii, X360
Just like the movies themselves, sometimes Star Wars sequels can’t quite live up to the hype. Traveller’s Tales had already cranked out three awesome Lego Star Wars games at this point, so you’d think they could do even more amazing things with a game based on the popular Clone Wars cartoon. And… they sort of did. It’s still fun replaying episodes and collecting thousands of studs, but the baffling inclusion of RTS elements brings this one down a few pegs.
18. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
2005 | LucasArts | PS2, Xbox
Aside from the Lego games, there haven’t been too many video games that directly adapt the Star Wars films in recent years. Revenge of the Sith is extremely faithful to the movie and adds in a fairly deep combo system, as you play as either Anakin or Obi-wan. And if you play through the final mission as Anakin, you get an ending very different from the film.
17. Pinball FX 3
2017 | Zen Studios | PC, PS4, Switch, XBO, Wii U
The latest version of Pinball FX contains more than a dozen tables featuring characters from all three Star Wars trilogies. And while the quality of each table varies slightly, it’s always fun to play through scenes from Episodes IV–VII (and Rogue One!) or go for the high score while listening to “The Imperial March” on the Darth Vader table.
16. Star Wars: Dark Forces
1996| LucasArts | PC, PSX
DOOM and Quake are often seen as the pinnacles of first-person shooters in the ‘90s, but Dark Forces actually deserves a lot of credit for its innovations. This classic introduced jumping, free aiming, and multi-step puzzles, which have all become cornerstones of the genre. Thanks to that depth, it holds up better than a lot of other ‘90s PC shooters.
15. Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
2002 | LucasArts | GCN, PS2
Sadly, it doesn’t look like we’ll ever get to play Star Wars 1313, the cancelled game about Boba Fett’s bounty hunting adventures in the less respectable areas of Coruscant. But we have Star Wars: Bounty Hunter at least, the story of his father/the guy he was cloned from and his own adventures during the Prequel era. It’s admittedly a little janky, and not terribly innovative, but there will always be something empowering about playing through a game as a Fett.
14. Star Wars: Empire at War
2006 | Petroglyph games | PC
Admittedly, Empire at War isn’t as deep as Starcraft II, but Starcraft II doesn’t have X-wings, AT-ATs, or Darth Vader as units. This is an above average RTS game that finally lets you plot out victory for either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance. The RTS genre is such a perfect fit for Star Wars, it’s surprising that more games haven’t gone this route.
13. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
1998 | Factor 5 | N64, PC
While several games let players pilot an X-Wing prior to Rogue Squadron, Factor 5’s masterpiece just made it piloting these starfighters more fun with its more arcadey controls and missions. And even today, the game looks and sounds phenomenal. Factor 5 pulled some real magic out of the aging N64 hardware to make a game that still holds up 20 years later. Just be warned though: the later missions are extremely challenging.
12. Star Wars Battlefront
2015 | EA DICE | PC, PS4, XBO
A lot has been said about the game Battlefront isn’t. It’s true that it’s a little light on content, and it’s even missing features that were in its predecessors, released a decade earlier. But Battlefront is still a fun multiplayer shooter to jump into for a few minutes or hours, and it captures the feel of the movies better than any other Star Wars game before it. It’s one of the best looking games of the current generation, and the inclusion of Rogue One content a year after release kept the experience fresh. Even if this revival isn’t perfect, at least it avoided the microtransaction mess that plagued its sequel.
11. Disney Infinity 3.0
2015 | Avalanche Software | PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360, XBO
Toys and Star Wars go together like George Lucas and bad dialogue. Even if you find the gameplay in Disney Infinity 3.0 to be too kiddie or easy, it’s hard for any Star Wars fan to resist the dozens of plastic toys released alongside the game. Plus, it’s the only game to date where you can see Darth Vader interact with Spider-Man and Mickey Mouse.
10. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2016 | TT Fusion | 3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360, XBO
Despite dabbling in numerous other franchises over the years, the first three Lego Star Wars games are arguably still among the very best to come out of Traveller’s Tales. It’s no surprise then that the prolific developer did justice to the Lego version of The Force Awakens. This isn’t a revolutionary title, just a perfect (and often hilarious) take on the movie, with the added bonus of canon missions set after Return of the Jedi and playable characters spanning the entire saga.
9. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
2008 | LucasArts | PC, PS3, Wii, X360
While it’s not a perfect game by any means, perhaps no other Star Wars game has better captured what it would be like to have the full powers of the Force at your disposal, whether that means engaging in extremely satisfying lightsaber and Force lightning combat, or taking down a Star Destroyer using only the ancient energy. And unlike its sequel, The Force Unleashed actually had a pretty great story that even tied into the Original Trilogy, at least until Disney bought out Lucasfilm and declared that it was no longer canon.
8. Star Wars Episode I: Racer
PC | LucasArts | DC, N64, PC
Though The Phantom Menace is often considered the most disappointing Star Wars film, it actually resulted in some of the best games. Maybe it’s because they didn’t follow the movie so closely? Racer took one of the best scenes from the movie, Anakin’s epic podrace victory, and turned it into a full-featured game heavily inspired by F-Zero and Wipeout. It’s a concept that was pretty much impossible to screw up and made for one of the very best Star Wars games.
7. Star Wars: Republic Commando
2005 | LucasArts | PC, XBOX
Republic Commando takes some big risks that end up paying off. It doesn’t feature any Jedi, and it shuns the action/adventure gameplay of most Star Wars games for tactical first-person shooting, as you lead an elite group of Clone Troopers at the beginning of the Clone Wars. More than a decade later, there still aren’t many FPS games as fun or as innovative as Republic Commando. If there’s any Star Wars game begging for a proper sequel or HD remake, it’s this one.
6. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
2004 | BioWare | PC, XBOX
The storyline of Knights of the Old Republic II may not quite match its predecessor, but the tale of the Jedi Exile restoring his or her connection to the Force is still one of the most captivating in Star Wars. Plus, the characters that join your party, like Kreia and Hanharr the Wookiee bounty hunter, are arguably even better and more fleshed out than the first game’s roster. And Darth Nihilus still stands out as one of the most badass Sith Lords to ever terrorize the galaxy. It’s too bad that LucasArts rushed Obsidian to finish the game in time for the holidays. With a few more months of polish, this sequel might have topped this list.
5. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
2001 | Factor 5 | GCN
No game has nailed the feel of what it would be like to pilot an X-wing quite like Rogue Leader. The graphics were mind-blowing when the game first came out in 2001 as a GameCube launch title, and they still look remarkable today. No X-wing game has quite capture the Death Star trench run as well as Rogue Leader, either. Unfortunately, the sequel failed to capitalize on Rogue Leader’s success, adding some ill-advised on-foot missions, and Factor 5 barely exists as a developer after the even more ill-advised Lair for PS3.
4. Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
2002 | Raven Software | GCN, PC, XBOX
The biggest issue most fans have with Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars is how many great stories were tossed aside without a second thought in order to make way for the Sequel Trilogy. One of the biggest losses was Kyle Katarn, the Imperial officer-turned Jedi who starred in the very best Star Wars action game. A lot of Star Wars games let you wield a lightsaber and Force powers, but none have mastered the combo quite as well. And few games have had such freedom to explore the post-Return of the Jedi timeline as Jedi Outcast did. Players even got to spend some time with Luke Skywalker at his new Jedi temple on Yavin IV. Unfortunately, post-Disney, we’ll probably never see Katarn again.
3. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
2007 | Traveller’s Tales | PC, PS3, Wii, X360
Surprisingly, this is the only Star Wars game to date that lets you play through the first six movies in their entirety. Don’t let the Lego veneer fool you, this is a great game with fun and varied gameplay that’s fairly true to its source material (with a few hilarious deviations). And with a ridiculous 160 playable characters, it’s likely that you’ll find all of your favorites here no matter how obscure they are.
2. Star Wars: Battlefront II
2005 | Pandemic Studios | PC, PS2, XBOX
Few games have developed rabid and loyal fanbases like Battlefront II. Even after two graphically superior spiritual sequels, many fans argue that the campaign, Galactic Conquest, and the multiplayer maps are far superior to what EA is making now. Fire up this classic on the PC, and it’s hard to argue against this title’s superiority. And as of October 2017, the previously shutdown online play for PC is back in full force with no signs of slowing down.
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
2003 | BioWare | PC, XBOX
Knights of the Old Republic accomplished what virtually no other Star Wars game has: it created a story that’s even better than anything in the movies. The tale of your character’s growth as a Jedi and the story’s big twist are still beloved today. No other Star Wars game has given you as much power over the fate of the galaxy either, allowing you to choose whether to save the Republic or rule it with an iron fist. Now if we could finally get all of the interested parties to agree to let BioWare make Knights of the Old Republic III…
Chris Freiberg is a freelance contributor. Read more of his work here.