May the Fourth be with you: 4 of the best & 4 of the worst Star Wars video games

We hold forth (sorry) on the best and worst Star Wars video games

Star Wars
Star Wars video games

Star Wars, as an enormous building block of nerd culture, and one that got popular right when home computing was really taking off, has an unsurprisingly huge number of video games set in its universe. Some of them are very good, and some are the opposite of very good. Here’s a look at four of the former, and four of the latter.

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Star Wars
Best: X-Wing Alliance (1999)

No, it’s not the landmark of PC gaming that its ancestor is – more on that one later – but Alliance was the most technically sophisticated of the wonderful series of Star Wars-set space sims that began with 1993’s X-Wing. There are even mods available to push the visuals a little bit closer to modern standards. (A great writeup from RockPaperShotgun on this topic is here.)

 

Worst: Super Star Wars (1992)
Worst: Super Star Wars (1992)

A translation of some original trilogy moments into a side-scrolling platformer, Super Star Wars was fiendishly difficult and felt more like a Star Wars-themed Contra game than anything else. OK, people who love really hard platformers liked it, but those people are masochists. It doesn’t hold up well, in our opinion.

 

Best: Knights of the Old Republic 2 (2004)
Best: Knights of the Old Republic 2 (2004)

It shipped with lots of bugs and missing content, but a few fan-made and official patches later, and sprawling role-playing game KoTOR 2 was not only a successor to the classic Knights of the Old Republic, it was actually an improvement.

 

Star Wars
Worst: Star Wars: Battlefront (2015)

Fans waited a hell of a long time for this one, after 2004 and 2005’s successful Battlefront and Battlefront II. While the visuals are excellent, the experience was generally agreed to be repetitive and lacking among the more discerning critics, and the latest Battlefront game is seen as something of a flop.

Credit: YouTube.com
Best: Jedi Outcast (2002)

It’s tough to pick a favorite from the excellent Dark Forces series of first-person shooter/lightsaber games (most are very good, if in sort of disparate ways), but Outcast was the first game to get lightsaber combat to feel right, and it’s a tighter narrative experience than the later Jedi Academy.

 

Worst: Star Wars: Galaxies (2003)
Credit: WikiaFair use
Worst: Star Wars: Galaxies (2003)

Yes, it did have its moments, but that’s kind of the point – the first Star Wars MMO never quite lived up to its tantalizing potential greatness, and it’s now a bittersweet memory of what might have been. Its successor, The Old Republic, which launched in 2011, was far more polished but also much less ambitious.

Best: TIE Fighter (1994)
Credit: YouTube.com
Best: TIE Fighter (1994)

It’s tough to avoid this one as the consensus best Star Wars game ever released - TIE Fighter managed to get the feel of the Star Wars universe exactly right, while simultaneously building its own unique experience via challenging, well-designed gameplay. It’s a classic.

 

Worst: Rebel Assault II (1995)
Credit: YouTube.com
Worst: Rebel Assault II (1995)

It’s a mid-1990s half-game/half-movie, and, well, it’s very bad. The plot is clumsy and witless, the dialogue is cringe-inducing and the gameplay is ugly, simplistic and not much fun. Here’s a whole playthrough (in two parts) to get a better idea of what a clunker this was.