Anyone looking for the best Star Wars games available on consoles has a virtual cornucopia of intergalactic games to choose from on several different systems. I expected the Star Wars hype to die down now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has made the hyperspeed journey from film to video, but I was wrong.
With the upcoming movies—Star Wars Episode VIII, Star Wars Episode IX, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Saga—as well as rumors of a young Han Solo and Boba Fett movie, the popularity continues to grow. While there aren't nearly as many Star Wars games in the works, here is a list of ten of the best Star Wars games (in no certain order) that were released for consoles. These games will not only help players catch up on their space-faring canon, but they're also a blast to play!
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003) [Xbox]
Even though players never got to control any of the infamous characters from the Star Wars universe, Knights of the Old Republic is still considered to be one of the best RPGs available. This isn't surprising considering that the game was developed by BioWare. Players create their own original character and then embark on a deep journey to become a Jedi or Sith, depending on their choices. While this game has a familiar feel, most of what players encounter is new and exciting because it takes place thousands of years before any of the movies.
Star Wars Battlefront (2004) [PS2, Xbox]
As a big fan of DICE's Battlefield series, I was overjoyed when LucasArts decided to let Pandemic Studios make a Star Wars version titled Star Wars Battlefront. Despite the fact that the characters and locations only covered the first three movies, it was still fun to participate in unscripted scenarios in the Star Wars universe. These hectic battles were much more exciting than the movies and the added bonus of playing as different classes added much-needed variety. Even though the ability to pilot vehicles was added to the sequel, SW Battlefront II didn't deliver as much fun as the original.
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) [PS4, Xbox One]
Developers DICE have blended their extensive Battlefield experience with the Star Wars universe to create a reboot of Star Wars Battlefront, oddly with the same name. Similar to the original, this game eschews a single-player adventure in favor of online battles between small armies in a wide variety of environments. Unlike the original, however, this title offers players a chance to battle in famous scenes from the first six movies and also lets them control iconic characters such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. While Star Wars Battlefront looks fantastic in action, the lack of depth becomes apparent as soon as the novelty of playing a Battlefield game in the Star Wars universe wears off.
LEGO Star Wars The Complete Saga (2007) [PS3, Xbox 360]
Not content to churn out another LEGO Star Wars sequel, Traveler's Tales decided to combine the content from LEGO Star Wars 1 and 2 with a galaxy's worth of new content to create LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga. This huge game spans the first six movies and offers 36 story missions, 20 bounty hunter levels, and over 120 characters to choose from. When this is all added to enhanced visuals and the charming LEGO gameplay the series is know for, the result is the definitive LEGO Star Wars game that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
Star Wars Republic Commando (2005) [Xbox]
At first glance this may not look like a Star Wars game, and maybe not at second or third glance either. Even though it may look like a standard futuristic FPS, Star Wars Republic Commando is anything but. This breakout game surprised players with the ability to literally command a squad of clones. For example, players could send a hacker to open doors while their sniper takes out enemies from hidden perches and the weapons expert confronts enemies head-on. The constant action takes place during The Clone Wars and tasks players with splattering deadly bugs of all kinds. It would be nice to have a wider variety of Trade Federation enemies to decimate, but the easy-to-use squad controls help make up for it.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron (1998) [Nintendo 64]
This game was another surprise hit as I had no idea how much fun it could be to pilot spaceships from the Star Wars universe. Most of this fun can be attributed to the arcade controls that made it easy to fly while blasting Tie Fighters and other Imperial craft to smithereens. A majority of the missions take place on planets between Star Wars Episodes 3 and 4, which forces players to fly each ship like a floaty airplane. Each level's starting ship (X-wing, Y-wing, A-wing, V-wing, and Snowspeeder) is pre-determined, but the ability to unlock additional ships to play on each level is a great reward system that helps motivate players to fly onward and upward.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) [PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii]
If there is one game that captures the essence of what it's like to wield the unimaginable power of The Dark Side, it is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. In this third-person action game, players take on the role of Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Starkiller, as he goes rogue and unleashes his fury upon the Galactic Empire. Combining force powers like slamming enemies into walls with force push or yanking them close with force pull before slicing them in half with a lightsaber are just a small example of what can be accomplished in this game. Eventually players can learn both light and dark powers, which only adds to the force palette that players can use to paint, or destroy, the universe.
Star Wars Rogue Leader (2001) [GameCube]
Star Wars Rogue Leader was one of, if not the best, launch title for the Nintendo GameCube. Not only did this game introduce realistic space-based Star Wars combat to consoles, but it also wowed players with its incredible visuals and fun-filled space combat. Seeing the amount of detail on Star Destroyers was reminiscent of the awe-inspiring opening scene of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and flying a variety of ships in space and over land was an impressive sight to behold. Advanced A.I. helped make enemies unpredictable, which is another reason that this is still my favorite GameCube title to date.
Star Wars Jedi Knight II – Jedi Outcast (2002) [PS2, Xbox, GameCube]
Players take on the role of Kyle Katarn as he undergoes a transformation from someone who has forsaken the Force into a full-fledged Jedi Master. In the first couple of levels he utilizes familiar projectile weapons, but the game really opens up when he starts learning the ways of the Force. Eventually, powerful abilities like Force Lightning can be combined with other Force abilities, as well as nimble lightsaber maneuvers, to create a…ahem…force to be reckoned with. In addition to the single-player adventure, there's also a multiplayer mode. Sadly, the console version limits this mode to two players.
Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer (1999) [Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast]
Like most people, I found the pod races to be the most exciting aspect of Star Wars Episode 1, so I was really happy when Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer ended up being better than the movie (and much better than the generic name). Despite the use of fog to hide objects in the distance, this game still managed to capture the intense speed of these incredible makeshift machines. It's a blast to zip through the desert of Tatooine and other familiar planets in the Star Wars universe with other competitors hot on my tail! I also really appreciate the ability to play as Anakin's nemesis, Sebulba, and many other non-human pod pilots. One of my favorite details is how the Sand People would shoot their rifles at my pod whenever I'm on the Tatooine level.