Listing the greatest Star Wars games of all time is no easy task. It’s like saying the Admiral Thrawn Saga is the best story in the Extended Universe. Or that Darth Bane is the greatest Sith lord and Darth Sidious is an overrated, gray raisin man. Someone is bound to disagree.
But that’s okay. So long as we don’t draw lightsabers on each other, there’s nothing wrong with having a difference in opinion. No Force Choke either, please.
My Star Wars video game adventure started with The Phantom Menace on the original PlayStation, and since then, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many other Star Wars games since. So today, I’ll be counting down my list of the 10 best Star Wars games.
This list will only include games that are up and running and available to play today, so games like Star Wars Galaxies and Star Wars Force Arena won’t be here.
10. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Years ago, whenever there was a Steam sale, I’d always tell myself that I should pick up the rest of the LEGO games one of these days. Fast-forward to 2021, and the LEGO game library is so staggeringly huge that I know that owning all of them will never happen. I’ve pretty much stuck to playing and re-playing my favorites, with my all-time favorite being LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
The Complete Saga allows you to experience the first six movies in the Star Wars franchise with a touch of playful LEGO humor thrown in. It improves upon the original formula of the first two games while adding in a little more content to enjoy.
Lots of Characters and Lots of Fun
There are three dozen story levels, about twenty Bounty Hunter missions, and six bonus missions. They’ve increased the number of moves you can pull off and added new characters for a massive 128 character roster; Including a well-known explorer also portrayed by Harrison Ford.
What I love most about LEGO games is how consistently good they are. They might not be at the top of anyone’s all-time list, but I honestly can’t think of a single LEGO game that was bad. They’re pure fun for gamers of all ages. And LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga is my favorite out of them all.
9. Star Wars: Squadrons
Let me start by saying that this is probably the most acquired taste on the list. You either love this genre, or it’s not your cup of tea. This game is pretty complex and doesn’t hold your hand, so keep that in mind before diving into it.
There are three aspects of Star Wars that are pretty much instantly recognizable to everyone. There are clone troopers and droids with PewPew blasters and Jedi and Sith with their lightsabers and Force Powers. And last but not least, there are starfighter dogfights in space. If you find that last bit to be particularly enthralling, then Star Wars: Squadrons is the game for you.
Space Combat Has Never Been Better
Squadrons’ campaign begins after the destruction of Alderaan and ends sometime after the Battle of Endor. You’ll come across familiar places while also exploring new territory. Where most of the fun comes from, however, are the multiplayer modes.
Players can choose between piloting for the Galactic Empire or the New Republic. Each side has various starfighters, each of them belonging to one of four classes: Fighter, Interceptor, Bomber, or Support.
By earning experience, you can unlock upgrades for your starfighters, like better weapons and shields. Completing challenges will unlock cosmetic upgrades that allow you to personalize your starfighters.
The two online modes in the game are Dogfight and Fleet Battle. Dogfight is your typical team deathmatch mode, and it can support up to ten players. In Fleet Battle, two teams face-off, with the objective being to take down the opposing team’s Capital Ships.
The game is played entirely from a first-person perspective, and you genuinely feel like you are piloting one of these awesome starfighters. If you are a fan of the old Starfighter titles from the 90s and early 2000s, you will fall in love with this game.
8. Star Wars: Republic Commando
TV shows like The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch do a great job shining a light on the characters underneath those clone trooper helmets. But before we had any of that, we had Star Wars: Republic Commando.
Think Star Wars mixed with SOCOM, Star Wars: Republic Commando places you in the shoes of RC-1138. Also known simply as Boss, RC-1138 is the leader of Delta Squad. The campaign will take Boss and the other three members of Delta Squad from the onset of The Clone Wars up to the Battle of Kashyyk.
Not Your Average Clones
Every Delta Squad member has a specialized skill, and it’s up to you to use the squadmate order system to command them effectively to achieve the mission objectives.
You can order your squadmates to take up a flanking position or to take cover behind some debris. You can tell them to hack computers to obtain enemy intelligence or blow something to Kingdom Come. Companion AI back in the early 2000s was usually pretty dreadful, but the members of Delta Squad are pleasantly competent. LucasArts nailed down the squad-based gameplay.
Republic Commando was just the beginning of a pleasant trend of expanding on the events of the Prequel Universe. I love seeing how those events played out from different character perspectives. It looks, plays, and feels like a mid-2000s shooter, but in all the right ways.
Playing Republic Commando in 2021/2022 is a cinch. The game was made available in the Xbox backward compatibility library back in 2018, and a port of the game is available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
7. Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Kyle Katarn is arguably the most recurring Extended Universe character in Star Wars video games. Some love him, some hate him, but if you want to see him at his best, Jedi Outcast is the game to play.
Set 8 years after Return of the Jedi, on again off again Jedi Kyle Katarn takes center stage as the protagonist in Jedi Outcast. Kyle initially doesn’t have access to his Force powers or lightsaber but regains them several levels into the game. He starts as a mercenary for the New Republic before fully accepting his identity as a Jedi and getting into the usual Jedi shenanigans across the galaxy. And that’s when the game takes off.
The Best Lightsaber Combat in History?
Lightsaber combat in the Jedi Knight series is legendary. It’s fast, it’s furious, and the limb dismemberment is glorious. When it comes to pure lightsaber combat, Jedi Outcast far surpassed its’ predecessors.
The flourishes feel so fluid in a way that other Star Wars games didn’t capture. There’s a reason that multiplayer is still popular to this day. It’s the lightsaber version of an Arena shooter like Quake or Unreal Tournament.
Along with the lightsaber combat, Jedi Outcast has a moderate amount of Force Powers to use. I love how Force Speed creates a blur of Kyle when he moves. It adds to the fantasy of being a fast-moving, hacking-n-slashing Jedi Knight. The Force Power selection is barebones compared to games that came after it, like KOTOR, but they get the job done. You’ll be spending 99% of your time swinging your lightsaber around anyway.
The graphics have seen better days, and the movement might come across as wonky to first-time players, but Jedi Outcast is fun in its’ purest form. Along with being on PC, Jedi Outcast is backward compatible with Xbox.
6. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
If someone asked me to describe The Force Unleashed with a single word, there’s only one word I could ever use: Badass.
The story campaign kicks off with Darth Vader searching for a Jedi survivor on Kashyyk. I remember playing this for the first time and being confused. Why couldn’t I make Darth Vader run?
I’m Darth Vader.
I don’t run.
If I had to make a list of the best intro levels of all time, this would be on it. It feels incredible playing as Darth Vader, strolling across Kashyyk and obliterating everything that moves. And with little effort.
As inevitable as Thanos, Darth Vader finds the rogue Jedi and destroys him. It turns out that the strong Force presence that Vader was sensing wasn’t the rogue Jedi but his son, Galen Marek. Vader quickly kills every Imperial nearby to keep Marek a secret, and so begins the story of Starkiller. After many years of training, Darth Vader tasks Starkiller with rooting out and destroying those who oppose the Empire. And boy, is Galen Marek up for the task.
Power Fantasy at Its’ best
Think of Starkiller as Darth Vader, except he runs. The Force Unleashed set the standard for over-the-top lightsaber combat and Force abilities. You were able to wreak havoc in ways that weren’t possible in previous Star Wars games. Even John Cena would be impressed by Marek’s ruthless aggression. He feels and plays like a Sith Lord. I would argue that no Star Wars game before it captured the gameplay of the Dark Side better than The Force Unleashed, and no game since has either. That’s what makes this game so endearing; if you want to feel like a badass, then play this game.
The campaign of The Force Unleashed will have Marek blitzing his way through countless troops, local wild animals, and Light Side and Dark Side Force users alike. As you would expect, you will have to choose the Light Side or the Dark Side in the game’s finale.
A Game Made in a Better Time
A bittersweet realization is how many bonus goodies this game has available. There is a staggering number of unlockable costumes for Starkiller to wear. These include legendary Jedi and Sith like Qui-Gon Jinn, Kit Fisto, and Darth Maul. But there are also some left-field picks like Darth Sion from KOTOR 2 and one of the Republic Commandos.
It’s a sure mark of a game from a bygone era, where developers put more effort into what their game delivers. By comparison, I think The Fallen Order has one extra costume. Yeah. Just one.
The Force Unleashed became the fastest-selling Star Wars game of its’ time, and I’d like to remind you that games like Battlefront 2, KOTOR, and KOTOR 2 came out before it. It deserves all the critical and commercial success it received and is a must-play for any Star Wars fan.
5. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2017)
Many gamers may have had no interest in Battlefront 2 since it’s a game made by EA. And many gamers may have lost interest in Battlefront 2 when a particularly terrible response became the most downvoted comment in Reddit history.
So I am sure some of you may be surprised to find 2017’s Battlefront 2 on this list. But I can assure you, from a pure gameplay perspective, Battlefront 2 has made a No Man Sky’s style comeback.
Yes, Battlefront 2’s story campaign is pretty crappy. And yes, EA’s trademark of flooding every game they make with microtransactions is annoying. But the meat and potatoes of this game are the multiplayer modes and gameplay. And the new and improved Battlefront 2 does it right.
Players can engage in large-scale battles across the three different eras of Star Wars movies with two dozen available maps. These maps include all the classic locales of Star Wars, like Naboo, Cloud City, and Jabba’s Palace. Every faction in the game operates on the same class-based system, with four distinct character classes and three starfighter classes: Assault, Heavy, Officer, and Support, and Fighter, Interceptor, and Bomber, respectively.
And, of course, the heroes and villains. While this roster isn’t as expansive as I would’ve liked, Disney killing off the Extended Universe limited their options significantly.
Still, the usual suspects here, like Yoda, Darth Maul, Luke Skywalker, and Boba Fett. They even have heroes and villains in starfighter form, like Boba Fett’s Slave I and the Millennium Falcon. And they all feel fantastic to play. Back in the original Battlefront 2, heroes and villains on the field were borderline unstoppable, and that hasn’t changed. Being able to experience it in 4K is just amazing.
And that pretty much sums up this game and why it made this list. Despite the well-earned criticism at launch, EA released a slew of free content in the following years. There are plenty of game modes to have fun with and custom servers if you play on PC.
Battlefront 2 is not a perfect game. But Star Wars has never looked, sounded, or felt better.
4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
I know plenty of people out there would list this as their number one Star Wars game. I can’t quite do that myself, but it’s up there all the same.
When Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order came out, it felt like Spider-Man for the PS4 or Batman Arkham Asylum. The future of Star Wars games wasn’t exactly the brightest. EA’s Battlefront and Battlefront 2 both drew heavy criticism for one reason or another, and Battlefront 2’s story was just plain terrible.
So for there to be a Star Wars game with no controversy and a genuinely good story, it became one of the greatest pleasant surprises of modern gaming.
An Original Story is a Welcome Addition
One of the things that I appreciate most about Fallen Order is its’ use of original characters rather than recycling series regulars. One of the reasons Bethesda’s interpretation of Fallout catches a lot of flak is because they re-use a lot of factions and story beats from the Interplay era of Fallout.
And in the eyes of many, give inferior portrayals of said factions and story beats. It would be so much more interesting to see them come up with ideas of their own and tell their own unique stories in the Fallout universe.
Respawn Entertainment didn’t make that mistake with Fallen Order, and it paid off big time. I don’t want to spoil too much since I highly recommend everyone experience the story for themselves, but Fallen Order places you in the shoes of one Cal Kestis. Set five years after Revenge of the Sith, Cal is a Jedi Padawan on the run from Sith Inquisitors trying to purge the galaxy of all known Jedi.
Star Wars Meets Uncharted and Tomb Raider
Fallen Order is an action-adventure game with plenty of lightsaber action and a dash of Prince of Persia like environmental freerunning. It maintains a nice balance between combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving.
Tagging along with Cal is his faithful droid companion BD-1. I don’t know if the writers of Star Wars stories all drink the same magical concoction, but it seems borderline impossible to introduce a droid companion that isn’t loveable. He’s like a fun-sized AT-AT, and I badly need a BD-1 in real life.
Anyway, Fallen Order is nearly the complete package. All the gameplay elements feel tight and satisfying to experience. The story is better than anything we’ve seen, even on the big screen, in years. But I can’t list it as number one, and the reason for that is the relative lack of content.
Is Respawn’s Game Worth Respawning Back Into?
The one common complaint that you hear about Fallen Order is that there is very little reason to go back to it. Replayability is unfortunately low.
They released Meditation Arena back in 2020, but that’s not enough. Not only that, but the unlockables are very uninspired. Just look back at The Force Unleashed and all the incredible costumes you could unlock. Here, you’ve got little more than color palette swaps, and that’s it.
Still, I don’t think these flaws are enough to knock Fallen Order off its’ pedestal. Some people debate whether The Force Unleashed or Fallen Order is the better game, but I think that debate leans towards apples and oranges territory. In The Force Unleashed, you’re the hunter, but in Fallen Order, you’re the hunted.
Every Star Wars fan should experience this game. For some, it might be a one-time ride. But it’ll be a ride they never forget.
3. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005)
We’ve reached the podium positions, and my top three are probably pretty obvious at this point. Coming in third place is the original Battlefront 2.
Battlefront 2 improved upon the framework of the original Battlefront in nearly every way and gave players a supremely satisfying experience. It introduced playable Heroes and Villains, and with them, Hero Assault. Before The Force Unleashed, playing as a hero or villain in Battlefront 2 was the best way to feel like an unstoppable Force user.
Each faction in the game has a total of six character classes. Four of them, Infantry, Heavy, Sniper, and Engineer, are standard. But the remaining two classes are unique to each faction and need to be unlocked.
These special classes allow you to play characters like the Magna Guard, Droideka, Bothan Spy, or Wookie Warrior. It’s one of the things that the original Battlefront 2 does better than the 2017 version.
Conquer or Liberate the Galaxy
Continuing that trend of discussion, let’s talk about Galactic Conquest. I don’t know who at EA decided NOT including Galactic Conquest was a good idea, but I can assure you, it wasn’t.
Galactic Conquest was by far my favorite part of Battlefront 2. It seems like a simple concept, but I loved being able to fight for control of the galaxy. I especially loved the space missions. I loved taking down a bunch of enemy starfighters before landing in the hangar of the enemy Capital ship and wreaking havoc on foot.
Battlefront 2 also has a pretty cool story, an autobiography of sorts for a clone trooper of the 501st Legion. The story takes you back to various battles from the Clone Wars and caps off with the 501st Legion’s inevitable compliance with Order 66 and becoming the personal Legion of Darth Vader.
Alongside Timesplitters 2, Battlefront 2 was one of my favorite shooters growing up, and it’s always going to hold a special place in my heart. If you want to experience it for yourself (And you should), you can easily pick it up on GOG or Steam. It also has backward compatibility with the Xbox one.
2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “Save the best for last.”, but I’ve got another one for you: “Save the most controversial opinion for last, so you have a head start for the escape tunnel.”. Coming in at number two and not number one is the original Knights of the Old Republic.
I had Knights of the Old Republic as a kid, but I’m ashamed to say that I never completed it. It wasn’t until several years ago that I did my duty and played KOTOR from start to finish. For years I had heard that KOTOR was the best Star Wars game ever made, and after playing it myself, it wasn’t hard to see why.
One of the Greatest Stories in Star Wars Mythos
KOTOR stepped away from the original trilogy and prequel trilogy and instead is set 4000 years before the Star Wars we knew. The game starts with a bang (literally). You play as a Republic soldier onboard the Endar Spire. The Endar Spire is under attack by a Sith battle fleet, and your only objective is to get to the escape pods and live to fight another day.
After successfully escaping to the planet Taris, you and another Republic soldier, Carth Onasi, need to locate the commander of the Endar Spire, who also crashed landed on Taris. The commander is a Jedi by the name of Bastila Shan. You’ll need her help to take the fight back to the Sith and their leader, Darth Malak.
On Taris is where the real story begins and where it becomes clear that things aren’t what they seem. But I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t played it. So let’s talk about the gameplay.
KOTOR is an RPG through and through. The RPG elements are what lend to the game’s replayability. I love trying out different parties to see all the possible character interactions. You might miss some events or dialogue options entirely if you don’t have the right party members to trigger them.
The cast of party members in KOTOR all have something that makes them endearing. You have Mission Vao and Zaalbar, an adorable Twi’Lek rogue and her honorable Wookie companion.
Then there’s Canderous Ordo, the original Mandolorian badass and someone who not only knows the way but invented the way. And of course, Jolee Bindo. A Grey Jedi who has triggered a discussion as to why Grey Jedi are superior to the Jedi Order in every way.
Build Your Character Wisely
There are three classes to choose from at the beginning and three Jedi classes later in the game. Along with character classes, there are six attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each starts at 8, and you have 30 attribute points to distribute how you wish.
There are also eight different skills: Computer Use, Demolitions, Stealth, Awareness, Persuade, Repair, Security, and Treat Injury. Each starts at 0, and you have 16 points to distribute.
The higher your skill levels, the more points it will cost to level them up further. Besides Persuade, every companion also operates by this same skill system. Use this to your advantage by bringing along companions that make up for your skill weaknesses.
Last but not least, you have the feats. Your starting feats will depend on which starting class you pick, but the game lets you choose an additional feat for the road. These vary from dual-wielding ranged or melee weapons to unlocking flurry attacks or sneak attacks. Once you select your Jedi class later in the game, you gain access to Force user feats.
Combat in KOTOR splits between either real-time or simulated turn-based combat. I don’t have a preference, but some might enjoy turn-based for busywork fights, as the AI can take control and handle those fights for you.
I’m intentionally being relatively vague when I describe KOTOR because I hope everyone reading this can get the entire experience of its’ glory themselves.
The story and plot twists are great, and there’s a ton of replayability as your test out different party compositions on each of the worlds. I love the individual side stories that you unlock by gaining the trust of your companions, and the customization options for player builds are no joke.
But none of this means that KOTOR is a perfect game because it’s not.
I wouldn’t call this spoiler territory, but I will be delving into some of the game mechanics and design. So if you want to go into KOTOR completely blind at what to expect, do not read the next sections. Skip the number one.
Not Everything is Perfect in the Galaxy Far, Far Away
Despite how much I love KOTOR, there are some definite issues. For starters, how the character classes work and scale. KOTOR has a hard level cap of 20, and you don’t become a Jedi until you are a considerable way into the campaign.
Until you become a Jedi, you don’t have access to Force powers when you level up. The higher the level you are when you become a Jedi, the less you can invest in being a Jedi. If you ever wondered why people post guides on YouTube of “How to beat Taris at level 2.”, this is why.
On the topic of Jedi, lightsabers are a little underwhelming in KOTOR, compared to other weapons. Specifically, vibroblades. There’s something so wrong about being a Jedi and preferring something that isn’t a lightsaber. Ranged weapons don’t fare much better. Blaster pistols are easily the best of the ranged weapons in the game, and blaster rifles are pretty much terrible.
On my first playthrough of KOTOR, I felt obligated to invest all my skill points in Persuade. Even with high Charisma and Persuade, speech checks were pretty hard. I found myself using the save scum tactic more than I would like.
Credits were pretty scarce in KOTOR, and besides one endgame vendor, pretty much all I did with them was save them for bribes. The selection of armor and weapons up until the finale isn’t as expansive or satisfying as I would’ve liked it to be.
But even with these flaws, KOTOR remains a masterpiece of a game. You’ll understand when you play it yourself.
1. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
My pick for the number one Star Wars game of all time is Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords. The debate over which KOTOR is the better game has gone on since KOTOR 2 came out, and I am in the camp that the student has surpassed the master.
Better Combat and Better Customization
KOTOR 2 fixes almost all of the problems that I had with KOTOR. You earn way more credits in this game, and there are more vendors with more exciting stock. The feats and powers are expanded upon and improved, and character-building more satisfying. KOTOR 2 has a level cap of 50, which allows for much deeper customization.
Like the first game, KOTOR 2 has a colorful cast of companions. Among them, Kreia, who you have probably heard about even if you haven’t played KOTOR 2. You can have a more direct influence on companions than you could in the first game. Be a big enough influence on them, and you can even turn them into Jedi.
Lightsabers are much better in KOTOR 2 and have more customization options with crystals. Blaster rifles haven’t overtaken blaster pistols but perform way better than in KOTOR. In general, there are way more weapons and armor sets that you can use, and I love it.
The story of KOTOR 2 takes place five years after KOTOR puts you in the shoes of a character known simply as the Jedi Exile. Bounty Hunters have captured the Jedi Exile and are looking to collect. Kreia saves the Exile, and from that point on, you begin a collision course with the Sith Lords wreaking havoc across the galaxy: Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus.
Modders are the Chosen Ones
We can’t talk about KOTOR 2 without addressing the 50-foot Rancor in the room, and that’s the technical issues that plague the game. KOTOR 2 had a rushed development cycle, and a staggering amount of content never made it into the final product.
Some questlines are outright unfinished. Some plots on certain planets never get resolved. Running into one of these pieces of incomplete content for the first time is a total bummer.
Luckily, modders and the Restored Content mod exists. The mod doesn’t restore everything cut from the vanilla game but restores a substantial amount of content. Most players in the community consider the mod a requirement for playing KOTOR 2. I played vanilla KOTOR 2 on my first run and thoroughly enjoyed it, but the Restored Content mod is the best way to play the game.
Some might argue that the need for a third-party mod should prevent KOTOR 2 from placing higher than KOTOR. A fair argument to make. But at the same time, the Restored Content mod only adds content the developers intended to put into the game. It’d be different if it were fan-made content, but that isn’t the case.
KOTOR 2 doesn’t do everything better than the original KOTOR and even takes a step back in some instances. But overall, I do find KOTOR 2 to be the more enjoyable experience. And that’s why it’s my pick for the best Star Wars game ever made.
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Episode I: Racer
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
- Star Wars: Empire at War
- Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
- Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Force II
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
- Super Star Wars
- Star Wars: TIE Fighter
Question: How Come You Didn’t Mention Star Wars: The Old Republic?
Answer: MMOs are in a category of their own. They come with unique pros and cons. Not everyone has time to dedicate to guild events like raids or wars with other guilds. Simply put, MMOs aren’t for everyone.
Also, if you like the stories of KOTOR and KOTOR 2, then you might not like some of the things that happen in The Old Republic. Just a warning.
Question: Are There Any Exciting Star Wars Games Coming Out Soon?
Answer: The KOTOR remake is the first game to come to mind. We’ll see what happens there. Star Wars: Hunters shows potential if you like mobile games. I loved Star Wars: Force Arena, so I’ll give it a shot. And while we know nothing about the gameplay, the trailer for Star Wars Eclipse looked incredible.
Question: What’s the Most Accessible Way to Play These Games?
Answer: If you aren’t already a member of PC Master Race, now’s the time to join the Dark Side. Steam and GOG both have most Star Wars games on their websites, and they are regularly on sale. For the most ancient Star Wars games, emulating them is far easier than breaking out an Atari or SNES.
Just because this list only contains ten games doesn’t mean these are only the good Star Wars games. Heck, I didn’t even include all of my favorites on this list. I’m a big fan of retro FPS games, so I love both Dark Forces games. And believe it or not, I think that Star Wars: The Clone Wars Republic Heroes is pretty fun too. But in the spirit of objectivity, I believe this is how the expansive Star Wars video game saga plays out for now as we head into 2022.
What are your favorite Star Wars games that didn’t make it onto my top ten? I’d love to know, so drop a comment in the comment section below! And may the Force be with you.
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