Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases today, and in celebration of the newest installment in Disney’s juggernaut franchise, we’ve put together the top ten Star Wars games to have ever graced a Nintendo system! Star Wars and Nintendo have had a relationship all the way back to the days of NES; read on to see which of your favorites made our list!
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Nintendo 64 (1996)
“Everything but a movie” pretty much sums up the insane multimedia juggernaut that was Shadows of the Empire. Set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, this Star Wars interquel brought with it toys, comics, a novel, and this iconic Nintendo 64 title. Released in the formative years of N64, Shadows of the Empire wasn’t the greatest game; its third-person shooter/platformer mechanics were rough, to say the least. What made this title special, though, was seeing something new from the world of Star Wars for the first time in years, rendered in 3D using the power of Nintendo’s groundbreaking console. Dash was a cool Han Solo replacement and the Hoth battle was epic, setting the stage for Rogue Squadron (more on that one, later).
Angry Birds Star Wars
Wii U (2013)
Licensed games are tricky enough to get right, but adding the extra pressure of melding two entirely disparate franchises into a single, cohesive experience is really asking for a potential disaster. Luckily, developer Rovio knew just how well its Angry Birds gameplay and characters would mesh with the Star Wars franchise, resulting in the raucous (and simply titled) Angry Birds Star Wars. The requisite slingshotting of fowl to dispatch hostile hogs was present, but was also coupled with the implementation of some spot-on Star Wars abilities like Force pushes and laser blasts. Though an admittedly odd pairing, Angry Birds Star Wars somehow worked, hitting on key elements of both franchises to create something fresh and new.
Star Wars Pinball
Wii U (2013)
Developer Zen Studio was no stranger to making masterful pinball titles by the time the company delivered Star Wars Pinball to waiting players, and its experience really shined through with this game. As fans had come to expect, the excellent ball and table physics made this title feel very nearly like the actual act of playing with a real pinball table. What Zen does arguably even better than mimicking genuine pinball action, however, is providing uncanny fan service every time it utilizes a different licensed property. In the case of Star Wars, the developer has made a number of tables based on specific movies and characters alike, and all of them are loving encapsulations of the source material. All the thrills of Star Wars from a pinball machine? Only in a Zen game.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
Who’s better than Boba Fett? Well… not Jango Fett, but with prequel-mania in full swing in 2002, the mercenary’s sort-of father was cast in the lead of Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. Despite the lesser Fett being in the title role, this was a rollicking third-person adventure/shooter game that did an admirable job of putting the player right in the bounty hunter’s boots. Jango had a wide variety of weapons at his disposal, and being able to fly around with that iconic jetpack was a real treat. Attack of the Clones might not be many fans’ favorite Star Wars movie, but Bounty Hunter showed that there was still plenty of fun to be mined from the prequel universe, nonetheless.
Star Wars Episode I: Racer
Nintendo 64 (1999)
Someone got some F-Zero into my Star Wars once, and I actually really liked it. Episode I, like the entire prequel trilogy rightly deserves, has diminished in the eyes of fans in the years since it was first released, but the movie still managed to provide some cool moments, like any of Darth Maul’s lightsaber duels, and the epic Pod Racing scene. The latter was the focus of this Nintendo 64 racing game, which brought much of the same thrilling sense of speed and action that Episode I delighted fans with. Along with Anakin, there was a large stable of vehicles and drivers to choose from, and the game looked great on Nintendo’s powerful console. The Phantom Menace hasn’t aged all that gracefully in the minds of many, but Racer remains an engaging time on Tatooine and beyond.
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