To many, Star Wars is the single most iconic film series of all-time. Spanning over 40 years, the film series shows no sign of ending any time soon. A report in 2015 valued the brand ‘Star Wars’ at $41.979 billion. One of the most iconic mediums through which we have experienced Star Wars is through video games. Since the release of the very first Star Wars game in 1978, we have seen the release of over 100 different Star Wars games spanning from PC to mobile, to home and handheld consoles. For one series to cast such a wide net is an astounding achievement and shows the strength of the brand, and there is no doubt in my mind but that we have all been drawn in by at least one of the games discussed in this list, the best and worst Star Wars Games of All-Time.
Star Wars Battlefront I & II (not those ones)
In 2004, LucasArts released a Third/First person shooter based in the Star Wars Universe and it was met by positive reviews. The game included vast landscapes and encompassed much of what was key to the Star Wars Universe, but the game’s campaign was criticised for its fluctuating story-line and poor AI. A lack of coherence close to sums up the issues with the game but, the game still achieved what had never been done before in allowing to player to take a smaller part of the larger story through Star Wars’ most famous battles.
A sequel was released the following year as a tie-in for what was, at the time, the final Star Wars film. This game included so much more than its predecessor, such as playable Jedi Characters, space battles and an iconic Story Campaign. The game perfectly added what was missing from the first game, and a much more coherent campaign. Perhaps the best remembered part of this game was Galactic Conquest, a mode which allowed the player to command their fleet through the galaxy, conquering planets from a top-down perspective similar to a table-top board game. The game was not without its issues, but perfectly encompasses the franchise from which it is based.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
The story of Knights of the Old Republic takes place almost 4000 years before the first Star Wars film, and it was the first time anything this historic had been seen by the fans in such a mainstream means. The game is akin to traditional role-playing games, focused more upon the story being told and the development of characters than gameplay itself. When it released, it became the fastest-selling game for the Xbox, and received huge acclaim from both the fans, and critics alike. The ending of the game features a famous twist, which was later ranked second in the top 10 video game twists of all time. The game was praised for its ingenuity, elegance and accessibility for players. Since its release, it has regularly been listed as one of the best games of all-time.
Just over a year and a half later, a sequel was released, set 5 years after its predecessor, but the short development time led to criticism of over similarity between it and the original. It’s story was once again given huge praise and remains to this day a fan-favourite story, with many hoping for greater expansion either through sequels or films. A third game was cancelled and instead replaced by an MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Kinect Star Wars
The Kinect was a motion peripheral released for the Xbox 360, and later the Xbox One. It was not very widely adopted and was perhaps best seen in Paranormal Activity 4! Perhaps most famously, the game featured a ‘Galactic Dance-Off’, where players could dance to various Star Wars song parodies such as ‘Hologram Girl’ to the tune of Hollaback Girl, or ‘Empire Today’, to the tune of Y.M.C.A with the results as expected. The game was widely panned as a cash-grab and received reviews as low as 30%, but still managed to make its way to the top of the charts.
With the Star Wars licence currently in EA’s control, the future is dark for good games, expect more Kinect Star Wars and less KOTOR in the near future if the last few years is anything to go by.