Try to think of a franchise as successful as Star Wars. You probably can’t, because there isn’t one. Over the decades, it’s gone from being escapism for geeks to just about the biggest name in all of pop culture. Everyone’s seen at least one movie, heard an iconic line, or questioned why sand is so coarse at one point or another in their lives.
With such widespread popularity, video games are sure to follow, so it should be no surprise that Star Wars has quite possibly the most extensive catalogue of tie-ins and “expanded universe” efforts out there of any blockbuster series. Here’s the problem, though: a lot of then just aren’t very good. As a prime example of milking the cash cow, there are a lot of Star Wars video games that would have been quite comfortable next to E.T in a New Mexico landfill.
When a great Star Wars game does come along, however, it’s usually magical, transporting you back to your childhood and making you believe, even just for a fleeting moment, that you are a Jedi Master or, in the case of Super Bombad Racing, stuck with incurable Bobblehead Syndrome.
With that in mind, let’s count down some of the best Star Wars video games. If your favourite didn’t make the cut, let me know that I’m a nerf herder all you like.
10. Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
Before I started writing this, I was certain that Bounty Hunter would make the top three. Childhood memories of this game painted it as being just about the coolest thing ever, allowing you to become Jango Fett and capture some bounties with trusted jetpack in tow. After picking it up again on PS4 again, though, it’s aged quite considerably, but is still playable and, more importantly, fun.
9. Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
Why has everyone forgotten about this game? And I’m not just talking about general gamers; even Star Wars fans seem to have let Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter slip into total obscurity. Set during and shortly after finale of Attack of the Clones, Jedi Starfighter has you take to the cockpit of iconic Star Wars fighters and attacking or defending objectives. Pretty straightforward stuff, but the guys at LucasArts managed to make it riveting.
8. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Deserving a spot on a list of the best Star Wars video games purely because of its opening sequence, The Force Unleashed is a hack-and-slash game set in the expanded lore. Playing as Starkiller, a powerful Sith who is serving as Darth Vader’s apprentice, The Force Unleashed is the perfect way to throw some idiots around a screen with the Force without feeling too guilty about it. Shame about the sequel, though.
7. LEGO Star Wars
It’s Star Wars, but with LEGO. I probably don’t need to say anything else as every LEGO franchise adaptation follows the same pattern, though there’s a lot of fun to be had here for the kids and even some slightly older, twentysomething and above kids. It’s got a great sense of humor and is so simple that anyone could pick it up. There’s always been something strangely cathartic about the collectathon found in LEGO games, but being able to do it as Jar-Jar Binks? Priceless.
6. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
A game that sold many on the Gamecube as a true contender in a new generation of consoles, Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader built upon its predecessor while adding even more Star Wars authenticity. There are memories to be savoured here, from its unforgettable opening sequence attack on the Death Star to the reenactment of the closing moments of Return of the Jedi. If you’ve ever wanted to dive into the screen whenever Luke Skywalker was behind the controls of a fighter, dive into this game instead.