When a game developer decides to take on a beloved franchise, gamers generally have two feelings: excitement and apprehension. The thought of living out something you’ve seen play out on the silver screen or on the pages of a book is something that is easy to get a little gleeful over. At the same time, it’s easy to be concerned over all the multitude of ways the developers can screw it up.
Star Wars is the very definition of a beloved franchise, and one with some rather downtrodden fans after the most recent movie releases. Over the years, this particular franchise has seen a practically never-ending supply of video game adaptations. Some of them are terrible (I’m looking at you Star Wars: Yoda Stories), and some are absolutely incredible. Today, we are going to focus on the latter, with three of the best Star Wars video games you can get your hands on.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (or KOTOR) is not only one of the best Star Wars games ever made, it’s up there in the top echelon of western roleplaying games. Instead of directly following the movie, this game takes place 4000 years before the rise of the empire. It tells its own self-contained story, and it does it in a way that is absolutely fantastic.
Perhaps you’ve heard of a little game series called Mass Effect from BioWare. Well, many of the conversation systems and choices in that game got their start here. BioWare really proved to the gaming public at large that it is a top-tier developer and one that innovates while still making games that are incredibly fun to play. Even if you don’t like Star Wars as a franchise, this game is so good that it’s still worth playing.
Star Wars: TIE Fighter (PC)
Without question, this is one of the most beloved games in the history of the franchise. It’s one of the best flight simulator games you can find, even though the crafts you are controlling are not those of the real world. The game was released in 1994 as a sequel to X-Wing, which was a fantastic game as well. TIE Fighter made some critical changes that went a long way towards improving the gameplay.
This game is a little tough to go back to now, as it’s 20 years old, but that doesn’t change where it stood at the time it came out. It blew everyone away, whether fans of Star Wars or just fans of flying around blowing stuff up. If you can get by the fact that many of the things we expect from games today are not included, playing TIE Fighter is an interesting trip down memory lane, and it will always be remembered as one of the best Star Wars games ever made. If you can get it run, of course.
Star Wars: Starfighter (PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC)
Many of the best Star Wars experiences see you flying some of the spacecraft of the series, and this one is no exception. It takes place right before the famed Battle of Naboo, and it puts you in control of a N-1 Naboo Starfighter for much of the game. The game shifts between deep space combat and closer surface flying. It makes some for interesting shifts when you change scenery, and it adds some cool variety to the game.
This game is not without flaws, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. It looks a little dated, seeing as this is a PS2 and Xbox game, but it’s still completely playable today. The story is interesting, the gameplay feels very satisfying, and it’s just a downright good game. If you are a Star Wars fan that felt let down by the most recent movies, this game from the same time period should help get the sour taste out of your mouth.
When people talk about licensed games, it’s usually done with a negative tone, but as these Star Wars games prove, it’s quite possible to take a beloved license and do right by it.
What more licensed games? Check out this list of the best licensed games ever made.
What are your favorite Star Wars games? Hit the comments section below and let us know!