Every Star Wars Game Ever, From Worst to Best

Every Star Wars Game Ever, From Worst to Best

It turns out that Star Wars is a popular franchise on which to base a video game. This might be something to do with the fact that you can stick the name Star Wars on pretty much any old rubbish and it will still sell like hotcakes. Hello Kinect Star Wars, I’m looking at you.

But among the dire shovelware that stinks up the Star Wars game library there are a handful that constitute some of the most pioneering games of their age. And so, for your entertainment, here is every Star Wars game ever*, starting with the dog’s dinners and ending with the dog’s bollocks.

This story has been updated since its original publication.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1982, Atari 2600)

“But, but, this is a classic of the 8-bit era! How can this be bottom of the list?” Well, just try playing this game now and see whether you still think it should be in the top ten. Go on, try it. It’s the gaming equivalent of banging a plastic drum with a bread knife.

Star Wars: Jedi Arena (1983, Atari 2600)

Just rubbish, frankly. A game based on the bit in Star Wars when Luke swipes his lightsaber at a floaty beach ball – a part of the film that absolutely no one wanted to see turned into a video game. Think of all the amazing scenes in Star Wars – the cantina fight, the Death Star escape, the trench run – and then wonder why on earth they chose to make a game about electric beach balls.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Death Star Battle (1983, Atari 2600)

“Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station! That’s made entirely out of destructible grey bricks a bit like Atari’s Breakout game from seven years earlier! But it’s not Breakout because it’s got the Millennium Falcon in it!” WARNING: DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, THE SOUND EFFECTS WILL DRIVE YOU TO MADNESS IN MINUTES.

Star Wars: Droids (1988, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum)

I’ll be honest with you – I’d never even heard of this game before starting this article. According to CPC Game Reviews, it involves a “Simon-like memory game where you must memorise two sequences and repeat them correctly”. Sounds like utter balls. The Droids cartoon, on the other hand, was ace (at the time).

Star Wars Millennium Falcon CD-Rom Playset (1998, Windows)

An on-rails shooter/interactive movie that is most notable for the toy version of the Millennium Falcon cockpit that comes with it, which you have to strap to the keyboard. Kind of naff and gimmicky… but the Star Wars nerd in me still wants it for the toy alone.

Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi (1997, PlayStation)

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha rubbish.

Kinect Star Wars (2012, Xbox 360)

Granted, there may well have been several other mini games in this package, and the podracing bit was mildly good fun, but all anyone ever remembers this game for is the horrifying ‘Galactic Dance-Off’, featuring Han Solo, Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian debasing themselves on the dance floor to the tune of Aguilera and her ilk.

Bedraggled Star Wars fans, already forced to suffer through the prequels [hoik, spit], often simply keeled over and died of shame after seeing this game for the first time, realising that their lifelong dedication to the high altar of Lucas fandom was naught but a hollow lie.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Lightsaber Duels (2008, Wii)

Ah, so now we’re properly getting onto the prequels [hoik, spit]. I’m looking with despair at the utterly enormous list of Star Wars prequel games ahead of me, most of which are instantly forgettable – but Lightsaber Duels stands out simply because of its awfulness. If you ever dreamed of using the Wii Remote as a lightsaber, this game will teach you never, ever to have foolish hopes or dreams, and really we are all simply dying from the day we were born, sputtering dimly before being absorbed back into the uncaring blackness of the universe.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes (2009, Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)

A game from deep into the ‘lost decade’ of Star Wars games after the relative highs of the 1990s. Simon Parkin sums this one up pithily in his review: “Republic Heroes is the very worst sort of licensed video game: functionally inadequate, creatively redundant and artistically bankrupt. Marketed to parents as a safe Christmas option and aimed at children in the hope of drawing them into a 30-year-old IP in order to secure the next decade’s worth of dead-eyed spin-offs”.

Star Wars: Yoda Stories (1997, Windows)

A game with no plot, goal or any real reason to play it. Unless you want to run around ugly, randomly generated levels collecting pointless things.

Star Wars: Rebel Assault (1993, DOS, Mac, Sega CD, 3DO)

The on-rails shooter that looked sort-of amazing at the time, but was was actually dull as hell. Well, it looked amazing if you could squint past the grainy visuals and muffled dialogue. Notable for being one of the first full-motion video (FMV) games and the first CD-ROM released by LucasArts.

Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire (1995, DOS, PlayStation, Mac)

Slightly better visuals than the first game. Still dull as hell though. And those controls…

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999, Windows, PlayStation)

Like The Phantom Menace, this game saw huge sales. Also like The Phantom Menace, it is painfully dull. It’s not necessarily bad, it’s just that it’s the kind of game you forget while you’re still playing it. Weirdly, despite it selling approximately a gajillion copies, I don’t know anyone who actually played it.

Star Wars: Demolition (2000, PlayStation)

Twisted Metal with Star Wars vehicles. So basically a slightly rubbish version of Twisted Metal.

Death Star Interceptor (1985, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64)

It had a ludicrously tricky opening level, where to launch your X-Wing you had to wobble it towards a sort of hole in the sky. But after that bum note the game gets a bit better, as the Death Star looms out of the distance until you finally get the chance to tuck into its belly cleft and drop a proton torpedo down its navel. Still insanely difficult and frustrating though.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan (2001, Xbox)

Yet another game based on The Phantom Menace, and the period when LucasArts was churning out Star Wars video games like they were going out of fashion. This one replicates that bit from the film where Obi-Wan runs around slashing his lightsaber for 8 hours at anything and everything that moves.

Clone Wars Adventures (2010, Windows)

A free-to-play MMO based on mini games and microtransactions. As awful as that sounds. Now safely dead after the servers were switched off in 2014.

Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles (2000, PlayStation)

The game based on The Phantom Menace that was slightly better than the earlier Phantom Menace game. Still boring though – I mean, it’s based on The Phantom Menace, a film about a tax dispute.

Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing (2001, PlayStation 2)

Yes, this actually happened – bobble-headed versions of your favourite Star Wars characters got together and went karting. The creaking, groaning sound of a bandwagon being leapt upon until it broke was almost deafening. Bombad was roundly mocked, although it was actually a fairly decent karting game if you could look past the tweeness (many couldn’t).

Star Wars: Starfighter (2001, Windows, PlayStation 2)

How to make flying a Star Wars spaceship feel incredibly tedious. A massive disappointment when compared to Factor 5’s games, although it garnered mostly favourable reviews on release. I never quite made it through to the end owing to sheer boredom on my part – perhaps it’s the cloying glossy sheen of the prequel movies, but I found it impossible to care about any of the missions or characters.

Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (2002, Xbox, PlayStation 2)

This confusingly named sequel to Star Wars: Starfighter was slightly better – only slightly, mind.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (2002, GameCube, PlayStation 2)

After the disappointments of the early games based on the prequels [hoik, spit], hopes were high for this game, based on the keeerazy adventures of Jango Fett. It turned out it was sort of OK. Talk about damned with faint praise.

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005, PlayStation 2, Xbox)

Marginally better than the other slashy-lightsaber prequel games, but still mostly forgettable.

Star Wars: Force Commander (2000, Windows)

The weakest Star Wars RTS. Dull, slow and looks horrible compared to the 2D beauty of Galactic Battlegrounds. But commanding columns of AT-ATs is still pretty cool.

Star Wars Arcade (1993, Arcade)

Not to be confused with the 1983 Star Wars arcade game, this 1993 version (later ported to the Sega 32X) initially excited with its fancy filled-in polygons, but the adrenaline quickly subsided with the realisation that it’s really, really repetitive. And to think, this was one of the best games on the 32X, that shapely little mushroom of buyer’s remorse.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1984, Arcade)

Confusingly, this second Star Wars arcade game by Atari came out before their version of The Empire Strikes Back, and out of the three classic Atari arcade games, it’s by far the weakest. For a start, it uses crappy old raster graphics rather than super-smooth vectors, and the isometric perspective on the speeder bike level makes it almost impossible to play – like Paper Boy with Ewoks.

Star Wars: Rebellion (1998, Windows)

The second-weakest Star Wars RTS. All you need to know are that there are two other ones that are much, much better than this.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer (1999, Windows, Mac, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64)

Remember that bit in the Phantom Menace when a nine-year-old with a bowl cut enters the Wacky Races? Well, they made a game of it, and it was actually quite good. Not Wipeout good, but not bad, nonetheless.

Star Wars: Racer Arcade (2000, Arcade)

The beefier, fancier-looking version of Episode I: Racer. Better than the home version, but still nowhere near as good as Daytona USA. Then again, what arcade racer is?

Star Wars Racer Revenge (2002, PlayStation 2)

An all-round improvement on Episode I: Racer, with fancier graphics and greater urgency – but still not a patch on Wipeout.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2002, GameCube)

An early effort from Pandemic Studios, who later went on to develop Star Wars: Battlefront I and II. Focusing on vehicular combat, it was notably better than the Phantom Menace games, but still hardly anything to set the world alight.

Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo (2000, Nintendo 64)

A game by the now sadly defunct Factor 5. This N64 sequel to Rogue Squadron showed a few improvements, but in the end it lacked some of the fun of Rogue Squadron – mostly because it was based on, yes, the prequels.

Star Wars Trilogy Arcade (1998, Arcade)


The first time I saw this machine, I was gobsmacked by the fancy graphics and the brazen way it cherry-picked only the best bits from the three good Star Wars movies (now four). A first-person lightsaber duel with Darth Vader? Childhood fantasy fulfilled. But then you begin to realise that in actual fact it’s nothing more than a series of mini games with minimal input from whoever’s playing, and you think perhaps just having the best bits of the films means you miss out on some of the depth. Like opening a box of Cadbury’s Roses and finding out it’s just full of strawberry cremes: initial delight, followed by a nagging longing for almond noisettes.

Star Wars: Battle Pod (2015, Arcade)

Like Star Wars Trilogy Arcade, it’s an on-rails shooter without too much interaction… but it looks and sounds glorious. Shallow, but so, so beautiful.

Disney Infinity 3.0 (2015. Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U)


As a parent, I’m putting this a long way down the list on principle. Disney’s latest toy advert comes with an obscene amount of all-too-desirable, and expensive, Star Wars figures… my wallet is hurting already.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1992, NES)

This sequel to Star Wars on the NES plopped out long after the SNES appeared on the scene, and it was somewhat overshadowed by the release of the bombastic Super Star Wars a few months later. It’s a decent game, if not quite as fun as its predecessor – although the addition of Force powers is a nice touch, along with merrily prancing tauntauns. But I think we could all do without the slippy-slidey ice worlds, thank you very much.

Super Return of the Jedi (1994, SNES)

Widely regarded as the weakest of the Super Star Wars trilogy (much like the film it was based on), Super Return of the Jedi still stands out for its ending – a stomach-churning ride into the guts of Death Star II. I guarantee it will make your eyes go funny.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (1996, Nintendo 64)

This slightly ropey N64 third-person action game is notable for its opening snowspeeder level and for featuring a protagonist called Dash Rendar. It’s up there with Sio Bibble and Porkins in the shortlist of stupid Star Wars names.

Super Star Wars (1992, SNES)

If you’re wondering why Super Star Wars is so far down this list, I urge you to play it again and see whether your memories match up to the reality. Unavoidable enemies, ludicrously spaced restart points, terrible bosses, leaps of faith across insta-kill lava – it’s like a textbook example of how not to make a video game. And don’t get me started on that accursed sandcrawler level. But having said that, the scrappy gameplay, searing 16-bit graphics and speaker-trembling explosions make it a helluva lot more fun to play than some of the hellishly tedious games based on the prequels [hoik, spit].

Super Empire Strikes Back (1993, SNES)

It was criticised at the time for being too similar to Super Star Wars, but for my money, Super Empire Strikes Back is the better game – even though the name hardly trips off the tongue. For a start, you can use force powers and deflect laser bolts with a lightsaber, a highly welcome addition. And that snowspeeder level…

Star Wars (1991, NES, Master System)

Eeeeeeeeee, this is more like it. This 8-bit classic features a beguiling mix of gameplay styles to keep things interesting – the blasting segment aboard the Millennium Falcon stands out as a highlight. Granted, there are a few too many platforms teetering above spikes (that old chestnut), and the game is Geoff Capes hard, but it still looks and plays well today. Interestingly, it was published by headphone-makers JVC at the eye-watering price of £50 (the equivalent of more than £100 today).

Star Wars Galaxies (2003, Windows)

Galaxies bumbled along for about eight years in the 2000s – an MMO that began with ambitions of being a World of Warcraft killer and that ended up, after years of updates and controversial fixes, as simply being ‘kind of OK’. But to be fair, balancing a whole universe of Jedis and Siths, along with the ambitious 32 job classes the game started with, was always going to be a tall order.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (2010, Windows, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

Widely criticised for having a much weaker storyline in comparison to its highly praised predecessor, The Force Unleashed II also galloped across the good-taste boundary with its DLC, which saw the player callously murder dozens of Ewoks, snap Chewbacca’s neck and then butcher Han Solo and Princess Leia. Not one for the kiddywinks, then.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2017, PC, PS4, XBO)

Every Star Wars Game Ever, From Worst to Best

Hard to place this one: the fury over loot boxes and the multiplayer design is well justified, but the singleplayer campaign – as much as it loses steam in the final two hours – still starts well. All in all, it’s a better singleplayer campaign than the neck-snapping of Force Unleashed 2, but not a better overall product than the games that follow.

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (2001, Windows, Mac)

Basically Age of Empires But With Star Wars. Kind of fun, if slightly ludicrous – and sure to raise the hackles of Star Wars devotees. TIE Fighters with shields? Wookiees in tanks? Tch.

Star Wars: Empire at War (2006, Windows, Mac)

Another Star Wars real-time strategy game, but this time with fancier graphics. Fun, but a bit repetitive, and not a patch on the Total War games.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1985, Arcade)

This game was offered as a conversion kit for Atari’s 1983 Star Wars arcade game, and it features the same trippy vector graphics as the original. Piloting a snowspeeder around neon green AT-ATs as they glide silkily across the screen is strangely hypnotising. Nice sampled speech, too. “Go for the legs, it might be our only chance to stop it!” as Luke so wisely pronounces – a lesson we can all take back into our everyday lives, I think.

Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011, Windows)


The game that attempted to forge the amazing single-player stories of the Knights of the Old Republic games with the trappings of an MMO world – and kind of succeeded. Sort of. Although too often the MMO bits got in the way of the story, and vice versa. Still, the recent Knights Of The Fallen Empire story expansion put things back on track. Sort of.

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (2011, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Windows, Mac)

The weakest Lego Star Wars game is the one based on the naff animated Star Wars film. Makes sense, really.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike (2003, GameCube)

Rebel Strike expanded on the previous Rogue Squadron game by allowing you to leave your spacecraft and run around on foot but unfortunately these parts proved to be rubbish additions, making it overall much weaker. But still a hell of a lot better than most of the tat on this list.

Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (1997, Windows)

The third instalment of the X-Wing games – and this time around the focus was on multiplayer. The lack of storyline (later fixed by an expansion) hurt it in comparison to TIE Fighter, but it’s still a great game.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (1998, Windows, Nintendo 64)

One of the best games on the N64, Factor 5’s Rogue Squadron looked fantastic and played brilliantly. It was bettered by its sequels, and it was a far more arcadey version of flying than the more realistic X-Wing games on the PC – but it FELT like Star Wars, and the Beggar’s Canyon secret mission was a nice touch.

Star Wars: Battlefront (2004, PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox, Mac)

The original Battlefront game looked gorgeous and was a blast to play, but it was heavily criticised for its poor single-player campaign.

Star Wars Battlefront (2015, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One)

Every Star Wars Game Ever, From Worst to Best

The recent Battlefront remake looked gorgeous and was a blast to play, but it was heavily criticised for its poor single-player campaign. Hold on, is there an echo in here?

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002, Windows)

Generally not quite as well received as the previous game in the series (see later), but far prettier and still leagues ahead of pretty much all of the games based on the prequels [hoik, spit].

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (2003, Windows)

Like Jedi Outcast, except now you can build your own lightsaber. And be a girl.

Star Wars: Republic Commando (2005, Xbox, Windows)

Every Star Wars Game Ever, From Worst to Best

Also known as “the somehow quite good game based on the prequels [hoik, spit]”. Against all odds, especially considering their previous output in the 2000s, Lucasarts managed to deliver a game based on (nearly) identical clones that actually had decent and interesting characters, along with decent gameplay. (We also did a recap of Republic Commando last year for Tribute Thursday, which you can can re-read here.)

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game (2005, Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox)

The game that kick-started the Lego video game empire. It managed to rise above the meagre storyline of the source movies by injecting a healthy dose of humour, something the actual films notably lacked. (NB. Jar Jar Binks does not count as humour, and nor does the comical dismemberment of C-3PO).

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (2006, Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube)

Like Lego Star Wars, but better – not least because it features the original trilogy. The two-player mode remains as hilarious and frustrating as ever, and the amount of collectibles and secret characters is astonishing.

X-Wing (1993, DOS, Mac)

It looked incredible at the time, and the graphics still have a pixelly charm today – plus the jaunty 16-bit version of the Star Wars soundtrack is a personal favourite, sounding a bit like it’s being played on a Hammond organ. The sequels bettered the gameplay, but it’s still a cracking game.

Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005, PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox)

It’s Star Wars: Battlefront – but this time with a decent single-player campaign! And space combat! Hoozah!

X-Wing Alliance (1999, Windows)

The fourth X-Wing game saw a return to form – including the reinstatement of a storyline along with fancier graphics and physics. Plus it gave you the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor, including its flight into the belly of the Death Star.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii)

The story was possibly the best thing about The Force Unleashed – set between Episode III and IV, the game casts you as Starkiller, Darth Vader’s secret Sith apprentice, with hilarious results. OK, perhaps not hilarious, more awesome in a bringing-down-a-Star-Destroyer-with-just-the-power-of-your-mind kind of a way.

Star Wars (1983, Arcade)

I was tempted to put this at number one, but I figured that it’s probably the nostalgia getting the better of me. But even with the rose-tinted glasses off, the vector graphics of Atari’s 1983 game retain a hypnotic beauty, and the cabinet was gorgeous. Blowing up the Death Star again and again (and again) has never been so much fun.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (2001, GameCube)

Rogue Leader looked astonishing at the time, and the graphics still look pretty special today. Battles were frantic and exciting, none more so than the climactic Battle of Endor with what felt like a million TIE fighters buzzing around you. A blast from start to finish.

Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995, Windows, Mac)

Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett recently singled this out as the best ever Star Wars game, and you can see why. It may look a bit ropey to modern eyes, but it was hugely innovative (you can actually look up and down, something that blew people’s minds back in 1995), and the ongoing story of Kyle Katarn is engrossing with lots of fascinating insight into bits of the Star Wars universe you don’t see in the films.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997, Windows)

It was like Dark Forces, but with lightsabers. Do I have to say more?

TIE Fighter (1994, DOS, Mac)

Finally, the chance to give those Rebel scum what for as a TIE fighter pilot. This sequel looked even better than the already lovely X-Wing, and it made a whole host of improvements – not least providing the opportunity to kick ass as the bad guys, and get an insight into what life inside the Empire might be like.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (2005, Windows, Xbox)

It was criticised for being perhaps too similar to the previous game, but when the previous game is the best Star Wars game of all time (see below), that hardly ranks as criticism…

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003, Windows, Xbox)

The twist still stands out as utterly brilliant all these years later. But it’s the brilliant supporting cast that really stick in the memory, from poor, naive Mission Vao to the hilariously ruthless assassin droid HK-47: “It is my primary function to burn holes through meatbags that you wish removed from the galaxy.” KOTOR gave you the Star Wars universe to explore, and the story and characters were engaging and well written enough to make you feel part of it and believe that it was worth saving – something that precious few Star Wars games have achieved.

*OK, not quite EVERY Star Wars game ever. For the sake of my sanity (and your precious time), handheld and mobile games are out, along with pinball, browser games, TV games, expansion packs (remember those?), that Star Wars game that was only ever released in Japan, and anything branded as ‘edutainment’. I’ve also just given the first system (or systems) that a game appeared on, rather than list various conversions. If you think I’ve left out anything that’s particularly worth mentioning, let me know.


  • Played Dark Forces 1 and 2 on my dads old pc back in the 90s but my fav was Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy using the Q3 TA Engine 😛

    • I said below, it’s got to be one of the top 5 games of its generation across all platforms.
      How many better console exclusives has MS had across all the Xbox’s? Maybe one or two?

      • Yeah, it was that good a game that like a few others of their respective eras (Elite, Civilization 2, etc) they feel like they transcend these sorts of lists to something else. Games that change the medium end up on a pedestal that even time struggles to effect.

        The game wasnt perfect, but what made it good was so damn good you instantly forgave any flaws. The fact its still ranking so high up on lists is testimony to that.

        I was only half joking when I said #1 seemed wrong 🙂

  • Republic Commando should be higher.

    SW:G belongs above SW:TOR. People love SW:G. They play SW:TOR because it’s the closest thing to a recent SW:KOTOR.

    Personally, I think there’s currently too much negativity behind SW:Battlefront. The fact we’ve been given such a high quality, viscerally appealing FPS from such a skilled team, set in the SW universe is nothing to sneeze at.
    All it needs is a couple of minor tweeks, a few more content packs, a server browser, and the ability for people to rent their own servers. Then it’ll be absolutely golden.
    Personally, I’m still having a blast with it on PS4. The trick it to switch up modes regularly.

  • Someone played a sick joke and put the top 3 in reverse order.

    Also, Dark Forces wasn’t the first FPS to give you the ability to look up and down. Marathon had that over a year beforehand and I imagine there’s older examples.

    Also also, I had the Star Wars Episode 1 game on PS1. Played the whole thing. It wasn’t great but it certainly wasn’t terrible – there are far worse games sitting much higher in this list. Jedi Power Battles and Republic Commando are both too low as well.

      • It’s definitely hard to separate that top three but KotOR’s actual gameplay has dated quite a bit, while TIE Fighter still feels amazing, just the graphics have dated it. You could take that game, give it a HD graphics engine and not touch anything else and it’d be fantastic. TIE Fighter was a technical showpiece back in the day too. It might not look like much now but back in 1994 it was one of the first games with a full poly-based 3D rendering engine, and the dynamic music system it had based on iMUSE is something that hardly anything out there has nailed as well since (I think Red Dead Redemption was the first to really improve on it). Also one of the peak Star Wars games from a pretty special era when Star Wars was just coming back as a franchise – the Expanded Universe had kicked off, Lucas was working on a rad project to revisit the trilogy and update some of the scenes and there were hushed-tone rumors of a new trilogy (how naive we were).

        Also personally I think the plot and writing in KotOR II is leaps and bounds better than the first game, even unfinished. So for me, I’d flip the order of those three. However that might be because I grew up with TIE Fighter. Nostalgia is strong.

        • yeah, i understand. nostalgia does have big sway.
          ive been replaying KOTOR recently and i love the story better then the 2nd KOTOR, it had a way bigger wow factor for me.
          while the KOTOR games are a bit dated, they still used the same system in Mass Effect essentially, but due to graphical advancements and bigger budgets and better more refined systems, its kind of unfair to compare the two.

          i never played tie fighter, but i know it is hailed as one of the greatest out there.

      • There’s next to no one left at Bungie from the Marathon days, sadly. They basically bought it back already anyway – Halo.

  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer should be WAY higher on the list, it’s up there as one of the better Star Wars games. To have it below Shadows of the Empire (probably the best comparison since I played them both on the N64 first) is ridiculous.

    “Podracer” is still fun to play today, I’d imagine that 90% of Shadows of the Empire has aged terribly. I did love the train level for some reason though.

    Also how good was the original KOTOR? It’s got to be one of the top 5 games of its generation across all platforms.

  • Might be my rose tinted glasses but I was massively disappointed to see Star Wars Episode I: Racer so far down the list (I actually preferred it over Wipeout but to each their own I guess)

  • I’d probably put Outcast at the top. Easily the best game in the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series and almost certainly my most played and favourite Star Wars game. Definitely Dark Forces/Dark Forces 2 were more groundbreaking but that doesn’t make them better games today.

    I guess it’s classified as edutainment, but did anyone else play Droidworks? It was janky as hell but I remember thinking it was pretty cool when I was a kid.

    I did actually play that Episode 1 game on PC. The controls were awful and it was buggy as hell but I still thought it was really cool. I was younger then, with a higher tolerance for things being awful…

    I actually thought the PS2/Xbox Revenge of the Sith game was quite good. The combat in it was a lot of fun. I’d probably rank it higher, but obviously not above any of the actual classics.

    Mostly I agree with this list though, aside from the order and position of the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight games.

  • As a parent, I’m putting this a long way down the list on principle.

    No offense, but noone cares about your perspective as a parent. As a GAME Disney Infinity 3.0 plays bloody well. It’s a damn sight more fun than a lot of the games ranked higher. Your bias influenced your decision there, and a lot of the readers who aren’t parents, or who enjoy collecting figures won’t agree with that stance either. I mean, especially given you can buy some sweet Star Wars figures for it 😛 The Kylo Ren figure is great and comes without the mopey emo attitude 😀

    • Even though I fundamentally hate the skylanders game model, I’m sure Disney Infinity should be a lot higher on the list just due to polish and basic playability of a 2015 game vs some of those older ones.

      Even though modern Battlefront has its issues, if I was to pickup these games TODAY, I would rather play it than a huge amount on this list.

      Also, Podracing still rules… should be higher.

      • Im ok with the DI model, only because its so limited compared to Skylanders. We dumped Skylanders this year, havent bought many of them at all. My boy told me he’s done with them (YES!). He still gets the occasional amiibo and I myself collect the infinity star wars figs. I love the look of them. I can shop and get each figure for 9 bucks. For 9 bucks thats frikkin awesome value. Also now they sell the discs in clear sets, that’s so much better, no more random wasteage of money.

        It should also be respected that they brough in Ninja Theory after the incredibly flawed DI 1.0 to fix the combat for 2.0 and went even further, making it such a better game for 3.0.

        • No offense to you, but I have to seriously question a world where a glorified piece of plastic and circuitry is considered good value at 9 bucks.
          Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal of the game and the figures, they do look stunning, but isn’t it really just DLC you can hold in your hand? I would not pay $9 for an extra character.
          I’d consider maybe $5, 3 for the character and 2 for the physical object.

          • Because people pay far more for Star Wars figures than 9 dollars for figures of a lot lower quality made from cheaper plastic substances and quite frankly, 9 bucks for a figure is a good deal if it’s in the pop culture area you happen to be obsessed with or like a lot. Check the toy section of your Target or wherever next time. 9 bucks is practically pocket change these days. That’s the world we live in. You can call it DLC or whatnot, that isn’t the question we all know what they are, but you do get a figure itself, not just the data and the figures themselves are rather cool. So that’s where 9 dollars comes in.

            I mean compare the two:

            Sure it’s more comic like, but it’s got a dynamic pose, if the kids want they *can* play with them (god knows my son does with his mates and has for ages now)


            As opposed to this static, standard pose we’ve had for over 25 years with the Star Wars figures:


            Incidentally, that 2nd figure is smaller, and costs almost twice what the Disney one does (if you buy it at 9 dollars for the DI figure, which is a constant price atm at Target and other places).

          • Yep absolutely. The figures are really nice and worth the price of admission alone, but as a bonus they can be used in a game. Good stuff.

  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1982, Atari 2600)
    Almost stopped reading here. Of course it is dull now, almost every atari game is if you revisit and compare to modern titles

    I actually quite enjoyed this game

    Star Wars: Force Commander
    Cool soundtrack though. Still have the imperial march version on playlists

    Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
    This is a personal fav of mine

  • Can’t argue the ins and outs but….

    – Kinect should be the lowest, I bet it’s a complete POS
    – Podracing should be higher
    – Shadows of the empire should be higher


    Somehow I have fond memories of the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace game. I remember it being totally frustrating to navigate around in, but nostalgia dammit! Same with the Podracer game.

    I also believe the Starfighter games as well as the Revenge of the Sith game reserve a bit more praise, or at least to be scored higher than the 2D side scrollers.

    Oh and yes, both KOTOR’s deserve the top spot.

    • The Phantom Menace game is actually quite good. I think it gets a bad rap purely because of its association with TPM. It’s actually more Star Wars than many other SW video games.

      AFAIK it’s the only Star Wars video game that closely follows the plot of its respective movie. There are some deviations here and there but it largely sticks to the course. The directional controls and fixed third person camera angle are a little janky (blame it on the late 90s) but I just cannot fault this game in all other areas.

      • Yeah, Phantom Menace was a good game, it was just that the mid-to-late 90’s was a horrible time for video games. Everyone wanted 3D games but one console only had one stick and the other didn’t have the power to do anything properly with it and couldn’t count on it’s players having the controller with two sticks. Developers had no idea what to do with the camera either. I love a ton of games from that era but only about five of them are actually playable today because all of them had insane control schemes.

        • I’m glad I’m not alone in this view – I have fond memories of playing The Phantom Menace. Yes the navigation was a bit of a pain, but for the time it was quite good and does suffer from association with the movie.

          Top 3 are on point though. KOTOR was the first game that really convinced me games could be a storytelling medium to rival books and movies.

  • The fact you put KOTOR 1 and 2, 1st and 2nd means i acknowledge you and couldnt agree more.
    while they are older games now, they stories are amazing and so rich with detail. not too mention great characters.
    if you havnt played them, you can grab them on steam, KOTOR 2 just had a update recently to make it more friendly for steam usage.
    KOTOR 1 needs an .ini file tweak to stop it from crashing, but afterwards is nice and solid.

    • dude I still play them. grabbed them off steam along with a save file editor since i’ve played them to death. 0 regrets playing through them again. two of the best rpgs of all time, easy.

  • im glad the 83 arcade is up near the top of the list. there was nothing like it at the time, actually having samples from the movie, actually being able to sit in and fly an x-wing.. it was one of the most incredible experiences ever

  • Heh i still Remember reviews marking down Dark Forces because it didnt have a light sabre and was also a “doom clone” because there was no FPS genre back then.

  • Rebel Assault II was on rails but it felt like a really good Star Wars game. I would have placed it higher on the list.

  • Would really love to see a new RTS done in the series. I always get a bit misty eyed thinking about Empires At War, until I fire it up again and remember why I don’t play it any more. I wish they would do another.. it’s 10 years now since the last one, seems about the right time to bring another out.

    • Agreed. As a strategy fan I really only looked at the article to see what they thought of the strat games. I gotta say I don’t think the author really played much of the strategy games at all. Empires at War just doesn’t hold up at all. I remember losing interest quickly even back in the day. Just a carbon copy of other RTS’s except executed much more poorly. Honestly I’m probably the only one who will say this but actually Star Wars Rebellion was my favorite star wars game ever(never played KOTOR). So a year back I bought it on GOG for nostalgia value. To my shock I really enjoyed playing it again. It holds up ok. At first its a little overwhelming but once you organize things in a way you can remember its a lot fun. I got many hours of enjoyment out of this game whereas the Empires games were boring after a few hours and are even worse when you come back to them. If you want to train Luke to jedi Knight then train a new crop of Jedi’s once he becomes a master you can. If you want to use said Jedi’s to plant bombs on every Star Destroyer in the galaxy and win the war without having to build up a huge fleet you can. If you want to finance and build your own Death Star and blow up the whole Galaxy you can. If you want to play a Star Wars game with all the aspects of a 4x strategy game, this is the only one that exists. To put Rebellion so low and Empire at War much higher I just don’t get. Did they play them for more than an hour?

  • How is Star Wars Galaxies a World of Warcraft killer when Galaxies was released first? And had quite different gameplay from what I’ve read…

    • The NGE patch was basically a rewrite of the game systems from the ground up to be like World of Warcraft (as in, it was specifically done because of WoW’s initial success). It introduced colourful ability icons, a class-based leveling system with comparatively simplified combat and a few other disastrous changes.

      • Such a shame. The game was sort of brilliant in a janky way. Even with NGE it was a decent game. I miss the pre-World of Warcraft days. Back when developers had no idea what to do with the MMORPG concept. The framework was there but it was loose. It wasn’t set it stone that you had to have clearly defined end-game content with content updates adding new small group and large group dungeons every few months.

        Not that I hate World of Warcraft or anything. I just wish the people who worked in the genre could have retained some of their cluelessness instead of knowing what worked.

  • A small correction. Shadows of the Empire wasn’t a N64 exclusive as it was also available on PC. I happened to play the PC version.

      • Good to see NES Star Wars get a high rank. It’s so under-rated and features several game including platforming, exploration, shooting, and even minor RPG elements. The first-person Millennium Falcon asteroid bit, and shooting the tie fighters, was so awesome at the time. The death star run was an overhead view and worked well. I sense people just gave up after the early stages of Luke exploring caves and thought the was mostly this sort of stuff. Personally it’s in my top 5. Rogue Leader on GC is the best, with Rogue Squadron, Super ESB, Ep1 Racer and Shadows of the Empire up there. Not being a fan of FPS shooters, I never played those games at the time. The X-Wing and Tie Fighter series were also great.

  • Surely the Lemmingsy fun of Pit Droids isn’t shunted to the ‘edutainment’ pile, is it? – nobody ever remembers the game based on pod racing that didn’t involve pod racing…

  • The trash that was KotOR2 should be far far far further down the list. That was such a terrible game, and a sign of the scourge that Obsidian would come to half assed sequels to games by better studios.

  • The complaints about the original Atari “Empire Strikes Back” game playing poorly today add a criterion that largely absent elsewhere in the list. For its time, ESB was a great play, requiring some basic strategic play, careful targeting (for the walkers’ exhaust port) and the occasional rush when “The Force” kicked in. Putting it way down at the bottom of the list is extraordinarily harsh.

    I recently made the mistake of getting the Super Star Wars port on the PS4 and deleted it after about three plays. Pure twitch gameplay; no fun at all. I also have some pretty dire memories of Star Wars: Rebellion.

    Please either judge games by the standards of the time when they were released or by today’s standards; don’t be selective about it.

  • I found the Episode 1 platform game on PC quite cathartic. If you didn’t feel like following the tiresome gameplay, you could just start huge fights with the NPCs. Battling the entire population of Tatooine as Obi-Wan while baby Anakin whined “You’re a murderer!” helped work out some of that pent up prequel rage.

  • @Lewis – although it does count as one of LucasArts’ “edutainment”, The Gungan Frontier actually wasn’t a bad game. It’s hard to compare to a modern game except maybe Spore, but creation of a creature that can be used in gameplay and trying to maintain a balanced eco-system with a significant amount of variation (e.g. entirely plant life, or mostly fauna) was pretty rad.

  • 40 years old, been playing games since I could wipe my own nose with my sleeve and I honestly didn’t realize there were so many bad Star Wars games. There were some really good ones, but geez there were some shite ones as well. Pretty sure I played all but 6 of them

  • Uhhh how exactly could SW Galaxies bill itself as a WoW killer when it came out 2 years before WoW? I think you are a bit confused… Everquest killer perhaps but not WoW

    • I think the over haul they did was supposed to compete with wow but it ended up killing the character the game had. One of my big regrets in gaming was not playing the original galaxies. I baulked at paying a sub, then after wow i tried with the over haul and it wasn’t very good.

    • What @outbreak said is basically it. I did play the game before the NGE (I had the good luck to have been in the beta as well) and the NGE patch was a complete game system overhaul to make it more like WoW, made in response to WoW’s success. It was widely regarded as a disaster.

  • I played the phantom menace on the ps one. Was actually a really cool game if you played it at the time it came out.

    i also think jedi academy is the second best game behind KOTOR, the online play in academy was great

  • I loved Star Wars Rebellion (Also released as SW Supremacy). Nothing better than taking over the galaxy one system at a time. My Fleets of Super Star Destroyers spewing hordes of TIE Defenders at the rebel scum.
    Got it again from GOG just recently, still great, but there were a few modern staples of UI design that were missing.

    • I don’t tend to get worked up over list rankings, but it’s a travesty that Rebellion is so far down the list. The description he gave it suggests to me he never actually played it at the time, because it was great fun, and easily the best of the Star Wars strategy games.

  • I thought rebellion could have gotten higher on the list.

    Oh and Tie fighter is the best Star Wars game ever

  • I agree, The Force Unleashed should be a lot lower on the list. That was such a horribly disappointing game. Seeing X-Wing: Alliance lower then The Force Unleashed is a harsh blow, man.

    Bounty Hunter should be a bit higher. For its time, it wasn’t that bad of a mindless action game.

  • Anyone who thinks bad Mary Sue fanfic is better than the real relstionshi and cool action with Qui Gonn and Obi-wan and the manipulative power play with Palatine controlling both factions and playing them to size control really only cares more about sizzle than substance.
    There is no relationships in TFA. There is no attention to detail or world building that every other Star Wars movie has. I mean the rebels set the galaxy so far back that no technology has hanged in 30 years.

  • I know it’s terrible but dang hearing/seeing Masters of Teras Kasi in action hit the nostalgia centre hard.

  • I really think ‘Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike’ should’ve been just a tad higher on the list for one simple fact. And that is that it came with a multiplayer version of ‘Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader’. I remember playing that with my friend that had introduced me to the series on the N64 and achieving at least a silver medal for each mission. So much fun.

  • Agree that Kotor is the best but that screengrab is all sorts of wrong.

    1. Juhani should be DEAD by now. “I will be your doom!”, the feeling is mutual.

    2. Jolee Bindo. His name says it all, in the bin.

        • firstly! HUH? YOU WOT M8? GET REKT!!!
          secondly! you have to admit the story for the first game was better than the second. i mean wholly holy fuck! who would have know that you were playing as Revan?
          that shit blew my mind and i had no idea, didnt see it coming, blind sided my ass and i loved every moment of it.
          the second one may have been a bit better gameplay wise, but i thought the story wasnt anywhere near as good.

          • Oh man that revelation blew me away, lol.
            KOTOR2 fell down in the rushed as hell ending. If you haven’t already, grab it off Steam with the Sith Lords restored content and texture mods. Totally worth it.

          • yeah, ive got both on steam, i better see if i have the restored content stuff though, not sure about that one.

  • How, in this age of remasters, can we still have no KOTOR for current gen cosoles? If Bioware is too busy keeping the Old Republic on PC, they could at least give us a remaster of the original.

    • I’m sure either Obsidian or BioWare would love to, but it’s probably because EA don’t want to distract from Mass Effect. Mass Effect is now EA’s flagship Sci-Fi RPG. Star Wars notwithstanding, the KOTOR games are perhaps the pinnacle of western RPGs – I rate them higher than Mass Effect 1 & 2.

      There was a fan project to place KOTOR2 into the Unreal engine, but I think that was met with a C&D order pretty quickly.

      • wow, thats a big call, Both KOTOR and the ME Trilogy are in my top 5 games of all time, its hard to compare because of the distance between them in terms of technological advances, if ME lacked in story in comparison (which i dont think it did, i was engaged heavily for ME), it made up for it in atmosphere and gameplay.

        i feel they are kind of even though.

  • This articleThis article is so nostalgic! I also remember when I didn’t play 20 games, but ranked them anyway! is so nostalgic! I also remember when I didn’t play 20 games, but ranked them anyway!

  • Agree on #1. So how about more 3rd person sci-fi RPG’s with epic stories? Why aren’t games like that being made anymore? Because F me that’s why and I cant have nice things?

  • Just a different opinion have enjoyed lots of these over the years but KOTOR is the most overated rpgs of all time. I remember when it first came out. I did enjoy some parts of it and finished it but i just felt disappointed, it felt like the dumbing down of rpgs at the time. It was not untill the witcher 3 that I felt like rpgs had become smarter again. KOTOR is one of those games that some people say they genuinly love and do but a lot of people just say they like it to be in. It was the beginning of the process that led to the social tree hot mess of mass efffect 3(more science fiction/interesting adventure less days of our lives please) Of course taste is subjective. Tie fighter should be probably number 1 and battlefront 2 is actually a really good multiplayer and single player game regardless of the hipster fury outrage. Although someones got to do it i guess.

  • Original Arcade is the best. I remember walking past Orbit on Elizabeth St and hearing Obi-Wan and Vader and R2’s bleeps for the first time and was mesmerised.

    • Wasn’t it. I remember walking into a bowling alley/arcade near me and it was close to the door.. hearing that and actually sitting in an x-wing during the death star run? precious 😀

  • I don’t undertstand how Tie Fighter, which was an incredible game when first released, is listed much lower than KOTOR 2, which is buggy unfinished mess.

    I bought KOTOR 2 for $5 from a pawn shop, even then I still felt ripped off!

  • Still happy that Yoda Stories isnt the worst game on the list. I enjoyed it (and the Indy Jones equiv) back in the day as a simple 5 minute time waster. Sometimes games dont need to last for hours, and you really only want a quick distraction, and Yoda Stories filled that niche.

    Wasnt really Star Wars-y though, and any franchise could easily have been used. Was kinda the equiv of the LEGO model for that year.

    On the flipside, still holding out for a KOTOR remaster to be made. That shit would sell. And #1 is still too low a ranking for KOTOR.

  • I clicked this just to make sure Rogue Leader was at least in the top handful of good games.

    It is. because sometimes this world is actually ok.

  • Dear Kotaku MODS, please insert a “skip to comments” button on the articles so we can streamline past all the bloat.

  • Who’s the necromancer that dug this article up from 4 years ago… Published date is 2020 but the comments stretch back to 2016….

  • “Still, the recent Knights Of The Fallen Empire story expansion put things back on track. Sort of.” – Not to nitpick but “Keeping up with the Valkorians” aka Knights Of The Fallen Empire was released back in 2015 for SWTOR. And that expansion didn’t put anything back on track as it drove a massive chunk of subs away when they made the expansion about the Valkorians, moved away from the whole Sith/Imperial Vs Jedi/Republic Star Wars story and took the focus off your character and made you a bit player in the DLC. As for recent expansion, it’s called “Onslaught” (Released last year) and it’s Bioware’s half feeble attempt at trying to bring the game back to its Star Wars roots and hoping the lost subs return (Not many have thus far). THAT is the DLC that could qualify with your assessment of “sort of” putting things back on track.

    • This article was originally penned in 2016. My belief would be that it simply hasn’t had each entry updated, despite having been reposted multiple times since that initial run.

  • The Battle of Endor (by Bruno R.Marcos) was also a great Star Wars game. Very simple, only lasting 15 minutes or so, but loved it, especially because it was made by a one-man band.
    He also made Battle of Yavin, but it wasn’t as replayable as Endor IMO.

  • I remember there was a PC SW game where you could build your own droids and solve physics-based environmental puzzles. I guess it was edutainment so that’s why it’s not here. Shame, it was pretty sick.

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