As a media property larger than 10 Jabba the Hutts, it’s no great surprise there have been a lot of Star Wars video games over the years. And much like the films a big chunk of them are inspired by, their quality varies greatly. But from third-person to first, platformers to pinball, and so much Lego, you’ll struggle to find a more eclectic selection.
Given Star Wars games have been around for nearly as long as George Lucas’s movies, spanning numerous console, handheld and PC generations, trying to rank the best of the bunch initially seemed about as good an idea as building sandcastles near a Sarlacc.
But with the launch of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the latest Star Wars games to arrive, we were in a reflective mood.
We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane, and you can let us know how we’ve got on by upvoting your favourites. Think we’ve missed something? Let us know in the box at the bottom. Alternatively, we’ll happily receive any strongly worded letters. Address: a galaxy far, far away….
The best Star Wars games of all time
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicView now on Steam
The best Star Wars game ever made has nothing to do with Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader or even Babu Frik. BioWare’s legendary RPG is set thousands of years before the movies that made Star Wars a household name, although it’s still very much concerned with Jedi vs. Sith, and light vs. the dark side of the Force.
What’s so brilliant about Knights of the Old Republic (often referred to as KotOR) is the freedom it affords the player, allowing them to mould their character into a righteous Jedi or a wicked Sith lord ol’ Palpatine himself would approve of. But in typical BioWare fashion, the choices you make are rarely easy ones. The semi turn-based combat won’t be to everyone’s taste these days, but KotOR remains one of the best Star Wars stories ever told, and we’re holding out for that remake.
2. Star Wars Jedi: SurvivorView now on Amazon
The newest Star Wars game on this list is also one of the best. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is an epic, emotional game which expands the tale of Cal Kestis. While we are big fans of Fallen Order, this is simply a bigger, better game - one that improves on visuals and gameplay, while also adding some really nice touches to Star Wars lore. Essential stuff.
3. Star Wars: Battlefront IIView now on Steam
Not to be confused with the controversial 2017 game of the same game, 2005’s Star Wars: Battlefront II arrived on the scene long before the era of microtransactions and loot boxes that we live in now. Anyone who played it at the time will probably have only good memories of the large scale - up to 64 players could play on PC - objective-based skirmishes, which let you take control of iconic Star Wars heroes for the first time. Away from the multiplayer, Battlefront II also featured a surprisingly engaging single-player campaign, centered around a veteran clone trooper reflecting on the battles of the 501st Legion. It was quite the package.
4. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaView now on Steam
It might not be the best Star Wars game ever made, but Traveller’s Tales’s biggest Lego Star Wars game is almost certainly the ultimate video game celebration of George Lucas’s beloved space opera.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga lets you play through all nine mainline films as slapstick Lego homages, and when you’re not following the main story, each unlocked planet also serves as an open-world hub you can explore using any of the game’s 400 playable characters. As rammed with content as it is daft gags, this is the definitive Lego Star Wars experience.
5. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen OrderView now on Steam
Good single-player Star Wars games are a rarer thing than they probably should be, but EA’s Respawn studio, best known for the Titanfall series, got an awful lot right with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
It is set in the years that followed Order 66, when the emperor ordered the death of all Jedi. You play as the red-headed Cal Kestis, a former Padawan and survivor of the purge, who embarks upon a mission to rebuild the Jedi Order. Fallen Order can be described as an ambitious cocktail of Uncharted, Dark Souls and Metroid, but with lightsabers and Force powers, and while we didn’t love everything about the game (the map was truly terrible), there was more than enough here to make us very excited about the imminent sequel.
6. Star Wars Jedi Knight II - Jedi OutcastView now on Steam
Don’t be fooled by its decidedly less than catchy title, this 2002 classic features some of the best lightsaber and Force-based combat ever committed to code, and it speaks to its confidence that none of it is present at the start of the game.
In Jedi Outcast you play as the aforementioned Kyle Katarn, a former Jedi-turned-mercenary who regains his powers over the course of the campaign. By its end, you’re chucking Stormtroopers about like soft toys, aided by some very familiar faces. With a generous suite of multiplayer modes accompanying the single-player campaign, Jedi Outcast is a standout Star Wars power fantasy, over 20 years on.
7. Star Wars: Dark ForcesView now on Steam
The 90s was a formative decade for first-person shooters, it being the era of Doomand Quake. Inevitably, the former in particular inspired a number of other games looking to build on its high-octane gameplay and freedom of movement, and Star Wars: Dark Forceswas one of the better examples.
Dark Forces introduced Star Wars fans to Kyle Katarn, who was as handy with a blaster as he would eventually be with a lightsaber in the various games he’d go on to star in. It felt great to play on PC (a PlayStation version arrived later but was plagued by serious performance issues) and was praised at the time for its inventive level design.
8. Super Star WarsGet from the PlayStation Store
Super Star Wars on the SNES is based on A New Hope but takes a lot of liberties with the storyline, upping the ante so that there is a lot more fighting and peppering in lots of iconography from all three movies (the Sarlacc pit is in one of the early levels. For the time, the graphics were ace and the gameplay of this side scroller was decent, too, if a tad frustrating.
9. Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue LeaderView now on Amazon
The GameCube is mainly remembered for classics like Resident Evil 4, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Metroid Prime 4, but it also launched with one hell of a Star Wars game in Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader. As well as being a technical showcase for Nintendo’s newest console, it was a breathtaking space combat simulator, letting you pilot a range of starfighters and recreate some of the most famous Star Warsmoments in history, including the Battle of Hoth and, of course, the Death Star trench run.
10. Star Wars Episode I: RacerView now on Steam
There are plenty of Star Wars fans out there who would argue the prequel trilogy did a lot more harm than good to the series, but one thing it did give us was podracing, which was the inspiration for this still very playable retro racer.
You get to choose from 25 playable racers that include Anakin Skywalker (obviously) and Sebulba, as well as a selection of less well-known characters, and pilot a high-speed podracer on tracks spanning a variety of planets. It might look a bit ropey nowadays, but Episode I: Racer still does a great job of recreating the thrills of that iconic scene on Tatooine.
11. Star Wars: Republic CommandoView now on Steam
Originally an Xbox exclusive, this 2005 LucasArts FPS focuses on four special ops clone troopers. You play the leader of the squad. Each trooper has their own specific skillset, and you issue commands to the three NPCs, which makes for a compelling campaign that still holds up today. The Clone Wars is a fascinating Star Wars era that most people discovered via the acclaimed animated series that also kicked off in the mid 2000s, but if you’re after a video game take on the conflict that fleshed out the events depicted in the prequel trilogy, look no further than Republic Commando.
12. Star Wars: SquadronsView now on Steam
Star Wars and virtual reality were made for one another, and while there have been countless Star Wars space combat games over the years, Squadronswas the one that actually put you in the (customisable) cockpit of an X-Wing and let you live your Skywalker fantasy (if your stomach could tolerate all those barrel rolls, that is). The single-player game has you fighting for both the New Republic and the Empire, so you get to be the baddie too, but it’s in the multiplayer dogfights that the game really sings. You don’t need a VR headset for this one, but with one on it’s truly transportive.
- Next up, have your say on the best Star Wars movies