Top Ten: Star Wars Games

May these ten be with you.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 12/18/2015 09:00 4 Comments     ShareThis

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Nintendo 64 (1998)

Rogue Squadron dropped many a jaw to the floor when it hit Nintendo 64 back in 1998. When played with an Expansion Pak plugged into a Nintendo 64, in particular, this game captured the glory of Star Wars’ always captivating dogfights and space battles. Focused on piloting the various ships throughout the original Star Wars trilogy, Rogue Squadron was as much a technical marvel at it was a veritable dream-come-true flight simulator for fans. The joy of flying everything from the Millennium Falcon to a Tie Fighter was unparalleled and something that had only been glimpsed at and teased on consoles before that point. Along with an ample selection of crafts to pilot, Rogue Squadron also boasted an impressive number of secrets to discover, too, including the then-revelatory sight of a Naboo Starfighter!

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

GameCube (2002)

Star Wars is infamous for its expanded universe of story lines and characters, which go well beyond the material established in the original and prequel trilogies. While Disney has since largely jettisoned all of the expanded universe content since its acquisition of the franchise, when Jedi Outcast landed in 2002, fans were right knee-deep in the thick of it. Enter Kyle Katarn, a former Jedi who turned mercenary after coming uncomfortably close to the dark side. The game followed Kyle on his path back to becoming a Jedi, as well as his quest for revenge, and interwove a fairly mature plot with thrilling first and third-person action. From lasers to lightsabers to force powers, as well as a smattering of familiar Star Wars locales and characters to interact with, this is a beloved title among many franchise fans. Kyle might be gone, but he certainly hasn’t been forgotten.

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

GameCube (2006)

There’s currently some debate over how stale or not the Lego formula of video games has become over the years, but when Lego Star Wars II hit GameCube back in the day, the series was still making waves and shocking fans with its quality. While the original, which focused on the prequels, was a solid game in its own right, this sequel boasted refined gameplay and the advantage of playing in the sandbox of, well, the original trilogy (as it’s titled!). Though whimsical and clearly focused on a younger audience, Lego Star Wars II did a fantastic job of embodying all the traits of the first three movies that has made them so beloved for the past nearly forty years. It also offers some authentic feeling lightsaber combat that belies the building block aesthetics of the Lego toys which the game is modeled after.

Super Star Wars Series

Super Nintendo (1992, 1993, and 1994)

In an effort to bring some variety to this list, we’re clumping the Super Star Wars trilogy into its own spot in the top ten. It’s not a cop out; all three games are so good, it would’ve meant sacrificing two of the other deserving titles that we’ve highlighted here. Such is the quality of the Super Star Wars series, a trio of titles that offered a kinetic, over the top 2D platforming take on the original three films. All three titles were gorgeous, and gave a new perspective of events while fleshing out others. From A New Hope to Return of the Jedi, developer LucasArts and Sculptured Software refined and improved the gameplay with each subsequent installment. Despite being 2D, few titles have ever planted players so firmly into the world that George Lucas created.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

GameCube (2001)

Rogue Leader was everything great about the first Rogue Squadron but bigger, better, and bolder. The power of GameCube afforded the team at Factor 5 unprecedented ability to expand upon the potent gameplay of the Nintendo 64 original. The Star Wars universe came to life in ways that had never been seen before in Rogue Leader. The selection of ships was grand, the set pieces were powerful, and also like Rogue Squadron, there were tons of hidden unlockables; half the fun was finding out what secrets the development team had squirreled away for the player to discover. There hasn’t quite been a game since so capable of capturing the grandeur of the Star Wars saga in the way that Rogue Squadron II did, and that’s why it’s number one.

What is your favorite Star Wars game that you ever played on a Nintendo console? Was it Episode III on Game Boy Advance? Star Wars on NES? Sound off below!

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4 Responses to “Top Ten: Star Wars Games”

  • 745 points
    OG75 says...

    I spent so much time with numbers 10, 2, & 1 on this list.

    One Star Wars game that left an impression on me was Battle for Naboo on N64. While it was set during the prequels (not as cool), it was basically a re-skinned Rogue Squadron (very cool!). This game scratched my Star Wars itch during the twilight of the N64 while I waited for Rogue Squadron 2 and the Gamecube to come out.

    I loved the fact that it had developer commentary for every level of the game (unlocked via cheat code). This was a new concept at the time (DVD market penetration was in its early stages). In fact, according to some news outlets, the commentary is the first of its kind in any videogame.

    The commentary itself is legitimately fascinating as the developers bragged about what they were able to pull off on Nintendo’s 64 bit machine. For example, they claimed the droid control ship in the last level was the largest polygonal structure in all of the N64’s library. (This made destroying it all the more rewarding :)

  • 459 points
    Drew Ciccotelli says...

    Not on this list and not Nintendo, Dark Forces for the PC, similar to Quake, was an excellent FPS adventure that really pushed the limits of FPS’s at the time.

  • 784 points
    Marc Deschamps says...

    Nice to see Angry Birds: Star Wars on the list. Haven’t played it yet, but I did get it on Black Ftiday for Wii U for $1!

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