Star Wars Battlefront 2 has recently been released, and marks one of the most exciting new Star Wars games in years, incorporating excellent gameplay and a story that fills in important pieces of the Star Wars canon.
With so many other Star Wars games already available to gamers, how do you know which games are a must play, and which need to be avoided like The Phantom Menace? Here’s a list of five unmissable Star Wars games.
Star Wars: Republic Commando (2005)
The prequel trilogy introduced a lot of new elements to the Star Wars universe, not all of them good. One thing that it did do, however, is to explore the Clone Wars, a conflict that was mentioned in passing in A New Hope and had been intriguing fans for decades. Whilst the Clone Wars television series would go on to look into this conflict in depth, Republic Commando was the first game to use this setting, and took a unique gameplay style for the series.
Instead of playing as an established hero, piloting an iconic vehicle, or being a Jedi, you were part of a four man Clone Trooper unit taking part in the initial battle of the Clone Wars. A squad based first person shooter set within the Star Wars universe, Republic Commando is still an enjoyable and unique experience.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 (1997)
Following on from the hugely popular Doomlike Dark Forces, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 returned players to the role of heroic mercenary Kyle Katarn, though this time is added lightsabers and force powers to the first person shooter games.
With an expanded gameplay style, and a story that built upon the former expanded universe in new and interesting ways, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 became a guide for how to make a great Star Wars game for years to come, and helped to solidify Kyle Katarn as an all time fan favourite character, one that we’re still waiting to be brought back into the new extended canon.
Star Wars Battlefront (2015)
The first of the new Battlefront games, Star Wars Battlefront was an excellent example on how to make a Star Wars game that looked and felt like a part of the universe. With over a dozen online game modes to choose from, and a series of unlockable rewards to earn, Star Wars Battlefront has a lot of content in what is a fairly simple game.
Despite lacking a single player campaign, something that the sequel addresses, the game has enough content to keep gamers playing for hundreds of hours, and the very nature of online play means that even if you play the same match over and over again, you’re guaranteed to have a new experience every time.
Super Star Wars (1992)
The oldest game on this list, Super Star Wars is an excellent side scrolling run and gun adventure that puts players into the role of Luke Skywalker through the events of A New Hope; though the games does take a lot of liberties with the story.
Having Luke fight a giant Sarlaac Monster, pilot his Land Speeder around desert pirates, and jump and climb over moving platforms to get inside the Jawa’s Sandcrawler might seem like expanding the story of A New Hope too far, but they make for such fin and amazing gameplay experiences that you’ll find yourself not caring.
With the added fact that it has retro game sensibilities when it comes to difficulty curve and utilising ‘game over’ to punish struggling players, this is probably the most challenging game on the list.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003)
Before they became well known for Mass Effect and Dragon Age, Bioware made a name for itself by producing what it still the best Star Wars gaming experience, one that not only throws you deep into the Star Wars universe, but explores one of the most interesting legends of the franchise.
An RPG game set some 10,000 years before the events of the films, Knights of the Old Republic tells a tale of intrigue, betrayal, and redemption as players explore a universe incredibly familiar, yet completely different to what they have seen from the franchise before.
It’s hard to talk about Knights of the Old Republic without giving away the story, and I really don’t want to do that as it’s an amazing story, but if you haven’t played this game and love Star Wars you’ve done yourself a disservice.