Now Loading has teamed up with Super News to produce livestreams every day this week about the greatest #StarWars video games of all time, so check out the accompanying video with each entry to hear more about our picks!
5. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008)
While its gameplay mostly consists of rote hacking and slashing, The Force Unleashed houses what I consider to be the best Star Wars story ever told outside the films. Taking place between the original and prequel trilogies, #TheForceUnleashed follows Darth Vader's secret apprentice as he hunts down the Empire's remaining political targets. The main character, codenamed 'Starkiller,' is played with just the right pathos-charisma balance by sci-fi vet Sam Witwer, and when he's together with his robot sidekick Proxy and transport pilot Juno Eclipse, we get one of the most compelling teams in the Star Wars universe.
Anyone who followed its development might also remember The Force Unleashed as a technical showpiece for #LucasArts' then-new physics-driven animation system, which made enemies react naturally to being thrown around and allowed them to navigate environments in dynamic ways. Playing the game today, this seminal technology mostly makes stormtroopers trip over themselves in ways best suited to Benny Hill music mashups, but at the time this was mind blowing stuff!
4. Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995)
Here's one for the older fans out there - Dark Forces was one of the earliest first-person shooters, released only two years after the original #DOOM. It follows Kyle Katarn, a mercenary employed by the Rebel Alliance to take down a secret Empire black project. This takes you to all sorts of familiar Star Wars locations as you fight repurposed background characters from the films like Gammorrean Guards and Imperial Probe Droids- not exactly thrilling concept design, but it makes one heck of a fun shooter, especially for its time!
Plus, what #DarkForces lacks in originality it mades up for in innovation - it added several mechanics on top of the DOOM toolset that we now take for granted. You might not think of ducking or jumping as a fresh new idea for an FPS, but in 1995 it totally was! Dark Forces also added the ability to look up and down (in DOOM you could only look left and right), which obviously paved the way for how we interact with first-person games to this day. Dark Forces was followed by several sequels, eventually turning into the better-known Jedi Knight series, but I'll always have a soft spot for the original!
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003)
Knights of the Old Republic is one of the most-loved Star Wars games of all time, and for good reason. It introduced an entire new time period to Star Wars, set thousands of years before any of the movies, and that separation freed up the game to take its story wherever it wanted. #KOTOR comes from #MassEffect developer BioWare, and fans of that series would appreciate the myriad of dialogue choices, alternative paths and ways to influence the narrative.
This is a sprawling RPG which spans all sorts of planets and huge cities to roam around in, and there's definitely no shortage of stuff to do in this game. If you're a Mass Effect fan and don't mind the dated graphics, this 2003 classic might be able to scratch that #BioWare itch while you wait for the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda!
2. Star Wars: Battlefront (2015)
This might be a controversial opinion, but I think Battlefield developer DICE's reimagining of Star Wars #Battlefront is actually better than the original games. While the first two Battlefront titles depicted the large scale battles we all wanted to see from a Star Wars shooter in the early 2000's, those games were still trapped by the paradigms of the era.
Taking the visceral, down-in-the-dirt fighting and shaky first-person shooter perspective of the Battlefield games and laying the Star Wars characters and locations on top feels like the true embodiment of Pandemic Studios' original concept - it brings to life all those epic battles we had in our heads as kids and lets us live out our Star Wars fantasies!
1. Star Wars: Republic Commando (2005)
The all-time greatest Star Wars video game doesn't even involve Jedi powers! Republic Commando is a gritty war story told through the lens of a clone trooper fighting in the battles of Episode II. You control an elite soldier with three specialists at his disposal, which are capable of demolishing walls, hacking computers or sniping long-range targets.
But the fun of the game is really in how you choose to lead them- you're able to bark out orders and execute a surprising number of context sensitive tactical commands to your squadmates. It plays like a Star Wars universe take on Rainbow Six, something I didn't know I wanted until I got my hands on this game.
Like Battlefront earlier on the list, Republic Commando could do with a Battlefield or Call of Duty style remake, but as it stands this is the best experience you can have in a Star Wars video game!
What's your favorite Star Wars video game? Comment below!