When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 one of the casualties of the deal was LucasArts. LucasArts was the electronic entertainment division of George Lucas’ empire. During its heyday LucasArts was one of the premier game developers, and many of the games they released have since become cult classics. Ten entries isn’t enough to truly list off all the great games released by LucasArts – some excellent titles, like Loom, are going to be left out unfortunately. Nearly all these games can be found on Steam or GOG (Good Old Games) if you wish to give one a try. Lastly, if you think there is a LucasArts game more deserving to be listed, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
10 Maniac Mansion
Maniac Mansion isn’t LucasArts’ first game, but it is the game that earned them a reputation for developing quality games. Maniac Mansion starts by letting the player select two characters from a roster of six. The third character controlled by the player is the protagonist Dave Miller. Each character has a different set of skills that will allow the player to solve certain puzzles.
This increases the game’s replay value tremendously, as selecting certain characters forces the player to finish the game via a particular path. The SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) was created for Maniac Mansion, and would be used for nearly every graphic adventure game LucasArts made.
9 X-Wing And Tie Fighter
These are two separate games, but are essentially flip sides of the same coin. X-Wing came first, and allowed players the experience of piloting an X-Wing starfighter from the Star Wars movies. The campaign mode does a really good job of making the player feel like part of the Rebellion.
Tie Fighter continues the series, but this time the player is part of the Empire. Tie Fighter expanded on the gameplay of X-Wing with secondary and secret objectives given by servants of the Emperor. These games are almost thirty years old, but they have held up well and are still a blast to play.
8 Day Of The Tentacle
This is a sequel to Maniac Mansion, and manages to surpass the original in nearly every way. Instead of choosing your characters like in Maniac Mansion, the player controls Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne as they try to stop the evil purple tentacle from taking over the world.
To accomplish this the three characters must travel through time and solve puzzles. Day of the Tentacle is full of great voice-acting and humorous well-written dialogue. If you wanted to try Maniac Mansion, get Day of the Tentacle instead as the you can play Maniac Mansion using an in-game computer.
7 The Monkey Island Series
The Monkey Island series is being combined into one entry, because it would take up half of this list otherwise. The player controls the main character, Guybrush Threepwood, as he tries to outwit and defeat the evil pirate LeChuck. As with many LucasArts games, the Monkey Island series is known for its humor and its challenging puzzles. The series spans five games, with each trying to top the previous title. One fun feature of the series is the insult sword-fighting mechanic. This is where the player trades insults with an opponent to determine the winner. Like many of the games on this list, the Monkey Island games have been remastered; complete with improved graphics and audio.
6 Full Throttle
Full Throttle was an ambitious game for the time. It blended point and click adventure gameplay with action sequences. There was still the typical adventure game puzzle solving, but the game also featured fighting and vehicular combat. The player controls the lantern-jawed protagonist simply known as Ben as he tries to save the founder of Corely Motors, a motorcycle manufacturer, and restore the good name of his gang. The voice acting is superb, and features Mark Hamill as the antagonist Adrian Ripburger. The game uses LucasArts’ INSANE engine to handle the video sequences, which allowed for impressive full motion video. Impressive for the time anyway.
5 Fate Of Atlantis
This excellent adventure game based on the Indiana Jones franchise was actually released twice. The first time was on disks and had written dialogue; the second release was on CD-ROM and had spoken dialogue and greatly improved audio. The voice acting was well-done, and the actor chosen for Indiana Jones sounds very similar to Harrison Ford. Fate of Atlantis is a devilishly hard adventure game, but also an extremely fun one.
This game received numerous awards, including adventure game of the year (1992). The game features numerous paths toward victory, which increases the replay value substantially. If you’re a fan of the Indiana Jones movies (the first three anyway) then give Fate of Atlantis a try. You will be glad you did - just be ready to consult Google for answers to some of the puzzles.
4 Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
This title was released in 2001, and was an exclusive for the Nintendo GameCube. It is a flight simulator with tons of arcade action set, of course, in the Star Wars universe. The graphics are some of the best to be found on the GameCube. Seriously, this game could easily be confused with a PS3 game the graphics are so good. The game also features the Star Wars music composed by John Williams and voice samples from the movies. The orchestral score really heightens the tension of the action. Rogue Squadron is worth hunting down a GameCube, or Wii, just to play it.
3 The Dig
The Dig is an adventure game featuring a story by Steven Spielberg, and animation by Industrial Light and Magic. The story revolves around a space shuttle crew that is on a mission to divert an asteroid on course to impact the Earth. The crew learns after landing on the asteroid, named Attila, that it is not as it appears. The puzzles in The Dig are difficult, but also extremely rewarding when you solve them. The idea for the story was from Spielberg, but renowned science fiction writer Orson Scott Card is responsible for the dialogue. Needless to say, the dialogue is beyond excellent and expertly draws the player into the story. This is definitely one of the most underrated titles in the history of video games.
2 Sam & Max Hit The Road
This is, without a doubt, one of the best adventure games ever made. It features Sam and Max from the comic book, by Steve Purcell, series of the same name. Sam is an anthropomorphic dog in a suit who works as a detective for hire. Sam’s sidekick Max is an aggressive white rabbit with an attitude that can be used as a weapon at certain times.
The two are on a job to find a missing Sasquatch that has gone missing from a circus. This game is challenging without being too difficult like some of LucasArts’ other adventure games, and it is full of hilarity that is sure to illicit quite a few laughs as you progress through the game.
1 Grim Fandango
Grim Fandango is the best game in the LucasArts’ collection. This game is set in the Land of the Dead, and puts the player in control of Manuel Calavera, a skeletal travel-agent for the recently deceased. Manuel, or Manny as he is often called, is trying to get one of his clients, Mercedes Colomar, on the train to the next level of the afterlife – the Land of Eternal Rest. He is doing this because he believes Mercedes was a virtuous person and does not deserve to be forced to spend four years walking there. Grim Fandango was praised for its colorful art style, strange and amusing characters, and witty dialogue. There is a remastered version of this game if you wish to give it a try.