At the time or writing this article, Star Wars is a 42 years old movie. In that time it became one of the greatest franchises in history, and its cultural impact almost cannot be overstated. It’s no wonder, then, that it’s always been a fertile ground for video games. And we’re here to discuss some that are still well worth the attention of Star Wars fans. But first, a little introduction for those, who may not be quite as well acquainted with SW, just in case.

Star Wars: A franchise for the ages

star wars movie

Who could have foreseen that a simple, familiar story presented in a new light and a science-fiction disguise would turn out to be such a phenomenon? If the late Carrie Fisher is to be believed, the entire crew knew, but they kept it from George Lucas to see what his face looked like when it changed expression. Either way, Star Wars can now be seen across all of culture.

The movies aren’t the only way to experience this setting, it was true only for a relatively short time after A New Hope. There are dozens, if not hundreds of comic books and novels expanding the universe, and even if some of them aren’t canon anymore, they are still a part of Star Wars history and Legends. There are TV shows, such as animated The Clone Wars, or the live-action Mandalorian, which hasn’t premiered yet at the time of writing. And, of course, there’s merch, known to be George Lucas’ master Snoke stroke, and the reason why it’s hard to escape from Star Wars even during an innocent trip to the mall.

Plushies, action figures, toy lightsabers, branded backpacks and plenty, plenty more are there for fans to purchase and show their love for the franchise to the world. On the border between the Expanded Universe (as the novels, comics etc. have come to be known) and merch come board games and role-playing games. There have been several versions of Star Wars-based RPGs, such as D20, which is important for our list of SW video games, and there’s no shortage of SW board games, such as X-Wing Miniatures Game.

The best Star Wars games of this millennium (Falcon)

The history of officially licensed SW games goes back to 1982, then a side-scrolling adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back was launched. Since then we’ve gone through space combat simulators X-Wing and TIE Fighter, racing games (stay tuned), RPGs (likewise), there were even chess and pinball video games with a Star Wars theme. Now, to the list!

Special mention – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year: 2019
Genre: Action-adventure
Developer Respawn Entertainment
Connection to the movies Characters and locations

With a few weeks still left before the launch, Fallen Order is outside of normal… order, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Despite the unimpressive first gameplay video, materials released later revealed that the game has quite a lot to offer and might well be the first true successor to the legacy of the Jedi Knight series.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

The game will follow a Padawan who survived Order 66 and is forced out of hiding by an unfortunate accident. Over the course of the game the player will visit numerous planets and meet some familiar characters, such as Saw Gerrera and his crew. The developers cite Metroidvanias, Legend of Zelda, and Dark Souls inspirations, which suggests a fairly deep combat system, as well an intricate map and world structure.

Key features
  • Map designs inspired by Metroidvanias
  • Bridges the gap between Episodes III and IV
  • Stunning locales
  • Potential worthy successor of the Jedi Knight games

15. Star Wars Episode I: Racer

PC
Release year: 1999
Genre: Racing
Developer LucasArts
Connection to the movies Based on a sequence from Episode I

One of the best things to have come from the prequels was pod racing. Fast, dangerous, and intense it was an excellent material for a video game. Launched in the same year as Episode I dropped into cinemas it turned out to be a really good game!

STAR WARS Episode I Racer

As a racing game, it’s undeniable that it had an incredible sense of speed going for it. Combined with environmental hazards and other obstacles, each track was uniquely designed to make sure you regret ever losing your focus. It obviously doesn’t look stunning today, being twenty years old and all, but it’s definitely still a great racing game in science-fictiony aesthetic.

Key features
  • A game based on one of the best things about Star Wars prequels
  • Surprising customisability of your machines
  • Amazing sense of speed
  • Many different vehicles and pilots to choose from

14. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2

PC
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release year: 2010
Genre: Action-adventure
Developer LucasArts, Aspyr Media
Connection to the movies Characters and locations

Although noticeably worse than the first The Force Unleashed, TFU2 still had good things about it. It continues the story of Starkiller, in a way. Since the canonical ending to TFU1 was pretty unambiguous, the second game stars a clone of the original protagonist, deemed a failure due to his inability to kill someone looking like a person close to OG Starkiller.

Star Wars The Force Unleashed 2

Where the first game had one reverse-grip lightsaber, the sequel has two. It also adds new Force powers, but the ragdoll physics remain the most fun way to dispose of your enemies. One of the coolest features of TFU2 is its Dark Side ending, which effectively bolts a whole new chapter onto the game through a special DLC. It is definitely fun to engage in combat with some of the most famous characters from the original trilogy.

Key features
  • Dual lightsabers make for new combat moves
  • Picks up six months after the events of the first game
  • DLC expanding upon the Dark Side ending
  • You meet a number of familiar characters

13. LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga

PC
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release year: 2007
Genre: Action-adventure
Developer Traveller’s Tales
Connection to the movies Movies recreated in LEGO form

LEGO is one of the most successful and famous toy brands in the world, and ELGO games are eager to cover popular, downright iconic, popculture franchises. And it all began in 2005. Since then several editions have come out, and until LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga launches, The Complete Saga is the most, well, complete.

It covers both the original and the prequel trilogy, presented in a single, integrated package, instead of multiple disjointed ones. Dozens of Star Wars characters are playable, including ones you probably didn’t even know had names, and you can play through Episodes I-VI without issue.

Key features
  • Two trilogies integrated in one game
  • Dozens of playable characters
  • Great in co-op
  • Wordlessly funny

12. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017)

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year: 2017
Genre: First-person shooter, third-person shooter
Developer EA DICE
Connection to the movies Characters, locations, and battles

2017’s Star Wars Battlefront II got a fair amount of heat from critics and the community, and for a while was quite a talk of the industry. But when the dust settled and the problems came closer to an acceptable level, it revealed itself to be a pretty cool game on a moment-to-moment basis.

SW BF2

BF2 corrects this with a campaign aiming to bridge the gap between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, from the POV of imperial special forces agent Iden Versio. Its multiplayer is also more expansive that its immediate predecessor’s. If not for the troubled months after the release, it would have been closer to #1 than Battlefront 1, based on the amount of available content alone.

Key features
  • Billy Dee Williams returns as Lando in the singleplayer campaign
  • Many multiplayer modes to check out
  • Individual progression for every class
  • Tonnes of post-launch content releases

11. Star Wars Battlefront (2015)

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year: 2015
Genre: First-person shooter, third-person shooter
Developer EA DICE
Connection to the movies Characters, location, and battles

The first modern Battlefront amazed with the graphical fidelity. Using a technology knows as photogrammetry it delivered assets which looked real and right. The locales looked as if you walked the scale models the movies were shot on, bringing a Star Wars game closer to the movies than ever before.

star wars battlefront 2015

BF1 was initially rather short on content, but post-launch new locations and playable characters were added to improve content diversity. Especially the tie-in for Rogue One was well received, including Director Krennic as a Hero unit.

Key features
  • Plenty of famous characters available as hero units
  • Photorealistic return to famous locations
  • Fighter Squadron mode for fans of starship combat
  • Rogue One tie-in DLC

10. Star Wars Galaxies

PC
Release year: 2003
Genre: MMORPG
Developer Sony Online Entertainment
Connection to the movies Filler between Episodes IV and V

Star Wars Galaxies was an MMORPG the world wasn’t ready for yet. It had lofty goals, and for the most part appeared to have fulfilled them. If was geared strongly towards roleplaying, so much so that two of its basic professions were ostensibly non-combatant and would feel more in place in a safe city or a cantina, than out in the wilds.

star wars galaxies

Uncharacteristically, it didn’t even allow its player to make a Force-sensitive character right away. Instead, it would only unlock a relevant character slot once a player fulfilled certain obscure requirements. Unfortunately, the final expansion and the following changes to Professions spelled the beginning of a slow death of the game despite two years of otherwise stellar MMORPG. The official servers eventually shut down in 2011.

Key features
  • An ambitious and old-school MMORPG
  • Several basic and advanced classes, both peaceful and combat-oriented
  • It took a lot of effort to unlock a Force-sensitive character slot
  • Each skill had a related experience gauge used to advance in it

09. Star Wars Republic Commando

PC
Release year: 2005
Genre: Tactical shooter, first-person shooter
Developer LucasArts
Connection to the movies Tie-in to Episode II

Here’s a rare offering: a fully FPP, singleplayer Star Wars game that does not have Jedi as protagonists. Instead, we play as the leader of a special squad of clone troopers on their roughly two-years-long tour across the galaxy. From fighting on Geonosis to engaging in conflict on the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk.

star wars republic commando

Republic Commando was very much team-based. As the squad leader, you could give orders to your squadmates, each with their own specialty, like hacking or sniping. Between presenting an interesting change of perspective and actually being a good game, RC is fondly remembered by many Star Wars fans, even if now at 14 years since release it does look long in the tooth and could use a remaster.

Key features
  • Excellent squad-based singleplayer campaign
  • A tour of several famous Star Wars planets
  • Unusual perspective
  • The leading Delta squad had a guest appearance in animated The Clone Wars

08. Star Wars: Empire at War

PC
Release year: 2006
Genre: Real-time strategy
Developer Petroglyph Games
Connection to the movies Prequel to Episode IV

One would think that a series apparently about war would have plenty of strategy games in its roster, but there have been very few of those. 2006’s Empire at War is the last of them all, not counting mobile and freemium releases. It seemingly had it all, including three basic game modes for solo players.

star wars empire at war

The playable factions were unsurprisingly limited to the Empire and the Rebels. The war played out on the grand scale on the galactic maps, as well as during ground and space skirmishes. To make battles more spicy, each side had a number of special units such as Darth Vader or Obi-Wan Kenobi they could use on the battlefield, even if they wouldn’t be enough to win a battle by themselves. It was a really fun experience, and one not yet replicated by anyone, barring maybe board games?

Key features
  • The last large scale Star Wars strategy game
  • Hero units to deploy onto battlefields
  • Both ground and space battles
  • Campaign, Galactic Conquest, and Skirmish modes

07. Star Wars: Battlefront 1 & 2 (2004 & 2005)

PC
Release year: 2004 & 2005
Genre: Third-person shooter, first-person shooter, action
Developer Pandemic Studios
Connection to the movies Characters, locations, and battles

The original Star Wars Battlefronts are two of fan-favorite SW-licensed games and have been since their release in the distant past. Notably, both of them had singleplayer campaigns: with BF1 having one for each side, and BF2 with a unified campaign detailing the rise of the Empire.

battlefront 2 2005

The hero units later used in EA DICE’s Battlefronts trace their roots directly to Pandemic’s shooters. There’s also the Galactic Conquest mode, where you play as a fleet until you encounter your enemies, at which point the game shift to the FPP camera.

Key features
  • Special classes unlockable during battles
  • Extensive story campaigns in both games
  • Galactic Conquest mode allows you to choose where to fight your next battle
  • Dynamic space battles

06. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

PC
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release year: 2008
Genre: Action-adventure, hack and slash
Developer LucasArts, Aspyr
Connection to the movies Ties into Episode IV

Before release there was much talk about The Force Unleashed’s physics engines, thanks to which using Force powers was supposed to look amazing. After release it turned out that it wasn’t actually just empty marketing. Using the protagonist’s considerable (or rather: considerably overblown) Force abilities on enemies and environment was very fun.

star wars force unleashed

The story wasn’t the deepest, but it did the job of introducing Starkiller and his powers pretty well, and actually made some effort to connect to the movies. It has quite a few impressive sequences, but none as impressive as dragging the Imperial Star Destroyer out of the sky into the ground. For the keen-eyed and the patient, there’s also plenty of various collectibles on the levels, such lightsaber crystals.

Key features
  • Powerful and brutal use of Force Powers
  • Linear singleplayer campaign with a stunning conclusion
  • Ties into Episode IV better than could be expected
  • Detailed physics engines make destruction look believable

05. Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast

PC
PlayStation 4
Nintendo Switch
Release year: 2002
Genre: First-person shooter, third-person shooter, hack and slash
Developer Raven Software, Vicarious Visions
Connection to the movies Characters and locations

Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast was, unfortunately, the last game to feature Kyle Katarn in the role of a protagonist, but it makes the best of it. For the past 16 years Jedi Outcast has been locked in deadly with Jedi Academy for the titled a game with best lightsaber combat, since both games are evenly matched.

jedi outcast

Despite Kyle having Force powers in the previous game, unfortunate events forced him to cut his connection, and it takes him some time to get them back in this one. The story is moving fast and keeps things engaging, and Kyle, thanks to having access to both Light and Dark side Force powers makes for an entertaining protagonist.

Key features
  • One of top 2 games with the best lightsaber combat
  • Kyle Katarn is a cool and interesting protagonist
  • Continues two years after Dark Forces II
  • Appearances from some of old friends from the movies

04. Star Wars: The Old Republic

PC
Release year: 2011
Genre: MMORPG
Developer BioWare Austin
Connection to the movies Minimal: set nearly 4000 years before the trilogies

The Old Republic was a pretty ambitious project from the start. Could the BioWare brand of RPG, by then leaning into cinematic cutscenes and dialogue wheels of Mass Effect, be replicated competently in an MMORPG form? With fully dubbed conversations and support for doing quests with a party? To the surprise of many, it actually worked!

star wars: the old republic mmo

What’s more, each of the games eight classes (4 per side) has a unique storyline, each planet has its own problems. And, again, all dialogues have full voice acting, and there choices to be made and, consequently, branching storylines. Sure, the gameplay is the usual MMORPG stuff, but it’s one of the very few MMOs one could sincerely play just for the plot of the base game and each of its expansions.

Key features
  • Party dialogues: roll to see whose dialogue choice is picked
  • Unique storyline for each class
  • Three customisable specialties for each class
  • Ongoing support, including new expansions

03. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

PC
PlayStation 4
Nintendo Switch
Release year: 2003
Genre: First-person shooter, third-person shooter
Developer Raven Software
Connection to the movies Characters and locations

Released but a year after Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy featured a customizable (but voiced) main character, customizable lightsabers, and a combat system expanded from the one in Jedi Knight 2. What more could you ask for? Jedi Academy was an excellent game back in 2003, and remains one of the greatest Star Wars games today.

In addition to the standard, single-bladed lightsaber, JA added dual-wielded lightsabers, as well a dual-bladed lightsaber like that of Darth Maul. Of course the new lightsabers received their own moves, including Maul’s stylish pirouettes. The missions were diverse too: a prison break, some dungeon crawling, even an entire mission without your lightsaber. There’s a lot to enjoy about this game.

Key features
  • Fantastic, intense multiplayer
  • Partially non-linear singleplayer campaign
  • Customisable lightsabers, including dual-wielded and dual-bladed
  • Customisable, but voiced protagonist

02. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2

PC
Release year: 2004
Genre: Role-playing
Developer Obsidian Entertainment
Connection to the movies Minimal: set nearly 4000 years before the trilogies

It is with an aching heart that we put KotOR2 on second place, but Obsidian-produced sequel to the phenomenal Knights of the Old Republic suffered from cut content and bugs at launch. Even so, it remains one of the finest, most insightful, and deepest Star Wars stories in general. It eagerly goes to blows with the ideas of Light and Dark sides of the Force, and puts the franchise’s constants in perspective.

KotOR2 is much more dark than its predecessor, and takes the players into the murky underbellies of massive cities, planets on the verge of civil wars, and starships holding together only by the willpower of their masters. And yet the story is captivating, companions are complex, and piecing together the scraps of your character’s past results in a fascinating backstory revealed in a dramatically satisfying manner.

IMPORTANT NOTE: before you play it make sure to install The Sith Lords Restored Content mod, handily available from Steam Workshop. It brings back a lot of content Obsidian was forced to cut due to unexpectedly shortened deadlines.

Key features
  • A grim and intriguing look at the Star Wars universe
  • Protagonist can learn several Lightsaber forms, providing situational bonuses
  • Tonnes of conversations and opportunities for roleplaying
  • You can introduce your companions to the ways of the Force

01. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

PC
Release year: 2003
Genre: Role-playing
Developer BioWare
Connection to the movies Minimal: set nearly 4000 years before the trilogies

BioWare’s Knights of the Old Republic was truly something else when it launched in 2003. To this day it remained probably the most “Star Wars” game to ever come out and it’s uncertain if any future game will ever capture the wonder, the mysticism, the tropes, and the aesthetic of Star Wars, the original trilogy, as well, as the first KotOR did.

Even though the original Xbox release meant small maps and low NPC population, the game still managed to FEEL big, and the story felt important. The plot twist was shocking and weighty, the locations were rich in atmosphere and dramatic conflicts. KotOR was both a new hope and A New Hope for Star Wars games, and its legacy lives on in the Old Republic MMO, as well as, in parts and pieces, Star Wars canon, possibly superseding even the Tales of the Jedi comic books from mid-to-late 90s.

Key features
  • The most Star Wars game made to date
  • Works on Star Wars d20 system, making it familiar to D&D players
  • Lots of dialogues giving a lot of leeway for roleplaying
  • Memorable companions, and fascinating locations

Complete your training

Thus concludes our list of the best Star Wars games out there. Of course, there are probably many more to come, especially Fallen Order, which is as good as the previews suggested it will be. There’s no telling what game genres the Star Wars license will be translated into, but when that happens, we will definitely update this article with every game worth attention and praise.