While Star Wars is often considered the king of sci-fi epics, there's another thing they're the king at: merchandising. When it comes to licensed video games, most of them are pretty bad. When it comes to Star Wars, though, the good games seem to outweigh the weirder ones. That may have more to do with the fact that there seem to be hundreds of Star Wars games spanning nearly every single platform known to man.
Star Wars games date all the way back to the days of the Atari 2600 to the more recent Battlefront series from EA. It only seems right that two of geekdom's most hallowed pillars—Star Wars and video games—usually lead to some of the best games ever made. While some of these games closely follow the movies, many more aren't afraid to branch off into the Expanded Universe and create their own memorable characters and stories while offering great gameplay experiences.
And sure, while there have been some less than stellar games (like Masters of Teras Kasi, Yoda Stories, and EA's Battlefront series), today we will be focusing on the greatest Star Wars games of all time. Many of these games are considered not only classics among Star Wars fans but among the video game community as a whole, while some of these titles, though great, don't seem to get as much attention as they deserve.
Now grab your lightsaber and trust the Force as we guide you through the 25 Best Star Wars Games, Officially Ranked.
25 The Clone Wars
Coming out soon after the Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars has players piloting the various Clone War ships, starfighter, and tanks seen in that movie, with a few segments as Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu thrown in to get some of that sweet lightsaber action. Critical reception was kind of mixed, and the game was forgotten soon after its release.
The vehicular combat was the most memorable part of this game, and would later be refined in Pandemic Studios' future Battlefront games.
But if you wanted to experience the battle of Raxus Prime in 2002, this game was your best bet.
24 Disney Infinity 3.0
When Skylanders proved just how profitable toys-to-life games can be, Disney soon jumped on the bandwagon with their Infinity series. In 2015 they launched their third installment which introduced the entire Star Wars franchise into their sandbox action-adventure game.
Sure, some gamers may dismiss Infinity as an easy kid's game, but I have two big counters to that: for one, we got a lot of neat Star Wars figurines out of it, and two, this is the only game that lets you pit Darth Vader against the Avengers.
23 Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Lego games are always a lot of fun, so when they decided to make a game based off the only (so far) universally loved Disney Star Wars movie, we already knew it was gonna be a great game. The game even included some content that filled in the gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
While it didn't really do anything revolutionary gameplaywise, like all Lego games, it was a hilarious parody of the original movie. Plus, you could unlock characters from the entire saga, allowing for some great intergenerational team-ups.
22 Empire At War
Most Star Wars games have you play as a single foot soldier or ace pilot, but not many let you control the entire battle. Empire at War is a real-time strategy game set between Episode III and IV that focuses on the emerging conflict between the Empire and the Rebels.
While the gameplay isn't quite as deep as StarCraft, the fact that you get to command AT-ATs, Star Destroyers, and eventually, the Death Star, makes this a memorable enough RTS for any Star Wars fan to enjoy.
21 X-Wing Alliance
The 90s had quite a few space simulators for PC gamers, and one of the more memorable ones for Star Wars fans was X-Wing Alliance. The game's hero is the fittingly named Ace Azzameen, who pilots both X-Wings for the Rebels and armed freighters for his family's trade business, who are currently in midst of a violent family feud.
Aside from the intriguing story, this game had better graphics and physics than the previous three X-Wing games.
Plus, you also get to pilot the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor, so that's pretty sweet.
20 Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Quite a few Star Wars games let you wield a lightsaber, but not many let you create your own Jedi. Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy let players do just that, as well as build their own custom lightsaber. The single-player mode had you play as a student of the titular Academy under the mentorship of Jedi Knight hero Kyle Katarn (more on him later).
Another feature that really stood this game apart was the multiplayer mode, which allowed players to pit their Jedi against other players online or via LAN in different modes such as "Capture the Flag" and "Power Duel."
19 Shadows Of The Empire
Though everyone loves lightsabers, there are actually quite a few shooters set in the Star Wars universe. One of these is Shadows of the Empire, in which mercenary and Han Solo clone Dash Rendar helps Luke Skywalker rescue Princess Leia from Prince Xizor.
The game was actually part of a multimedia project filling in the gap between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Being an N64 game, the graphics haven't aged well, but there are still plenty of great moments, from the Battle of Hoth to the clash with Boba Fett.
18 The Force Unleashed
Speaking of great games from Expanded Universe multimedia projects, The Force Unleashed bridged the first two Star Wars trilogies, introduced the start of the Galactic Civil War and "Starkiller," Darth Vader's secret apprentice. Starkiller starts hunting down the remaining Jedi, but soon starts to turn to the light side of the Force.
While some of the gameplay was admittedly frustrating, this game really made you feel just how powerful the Force could be, like that part where you pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky. Plus, the Force lightning and lightsaber combat was simply satisfying.
17 Episode I: Racer
While The Phantom Menace is easily the worst Star Wars movie, it did spawn a few good things. One of those things is Episode I: Racer, a racing game based on that awesome podracing sequence. The game features all the racers from the movie and the race course, as well as several other courses from different planets.
Though it borrows heavily from other sci-fi racers like F-Zero and Wipeout, it does a very good job of it, and almost makes you forget how unnecessary the rest of the movie was.
16 Star Wars (1983 Arcade Game)
Though Atari developed plenty of Star Wars games back in the early 80s, many of them are far too primitive for modern gamers. The one exception is their 1983 arcade cabinet which used 3D color vector graphics similar to what was seen in Battlezone. The game was a first-person space sim which reenacted the attack on the Death Star from the original movie.
Even without 80s nostalgia, the vector graphics still look great, almost like you're looking through an X-Wing targeting computer. If you're lucky enough to find a working cabinet, give it a try.
15 Bounty Hunter
Boba Fett is easily the most popular secondary character in the entire Star Wars canon, so fans were sad when his game 1313 was canceled. We still have Bounty Hunter, though, which is almost as good.
You play as Boba's father, Jango Fett, as he hunts the Dark Jedi Komari Vosa in this prequel to Attack of the Clones.
The controls were kinda poor, leading some gamers to dismiss it as a mediocre action game, but getting to hunt bounties as a Fett is an experience no fan should pass up.
14 The "Super Star Wars" Series
Most of the titles on this list are of 3D games, but that's not to say there aren't any memorable games from before the age of polygons. The SNES was home to a series of games based on the movies, starting with 1992's Super Star Wars. These titles mostly feature run and gun gameplay, along with a few cool vehicle sections.
Though the games mostly follow the movies, some of the enemies seem out of place, like the giant scorpions. Still, these titles are seen as some of the best (and toughest) early Star Wars games.
13 The Old Republic
There have been a couple of MMOs based on the Star Wars universe, but the best one is BioWare's The Old Republic. Taking place during a peace between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, players could join either side and pick from eight different classes.
The extensive customization and dialogue options are also very reminiscent of the Mass Effect series.
Though it's not really a sequel to the Knights of the Old Republic series, it still has a very good story for an MMO. Definitely worth a try, especially since it's now free-to-play.
12 Rogue Squadron
Along with the lightsaber duels, the next most memorable part of Star Wars are the X-Wing dogfights, and one of the best games to provide that was Rogue Squadron. Based on the X-Wing Rogue Squadron comics, this game took place between the first two films as Luke Skywalker commands the titular Rogues in sixteen missions across various planets.
While the X-Wing titles on the PC tried to be realistic simulators, Rogue Squadron was a fun arcade-style game. And it's still one of the best looking and sounding N64 games today.
11 Dark Forces
After the success of Doom, there was a slew of first-person shooters on the PC, and one of the best was actually a Star Wars game. Dark Forces introduced Kyle Katarn, a mercenary working for the Rebel Alliance. Players guide him as he discovers the Empire's "Dark Trooper Project," which has him fighting battle droids and power-armored stormtroopers.
Though Doom and Quake are often remembered as the best 90's PC shooters, Dark Forces was actually a lot more innovative than people remember. The game introduced jumping and free aiming, making it feel more modern than other 90's shooters.
10 Episode I: Battle For Naboo
As a spiritual successor to Rogue Squadron, Episode I: Battle for Naboo had a lot to live up to. Though the game is not as fondly remembered now, I think it might actually be better than Rogue Squadron. Along with a brand new game engine, Battle for Naboo included land and water-based combat as well as the aerial dogfights of the original.
Despite the clear improvements to controls and gameplay, critics and gamers weren't as fond of this game, mainly because it was based on Episode I. An unfairly underrated gem.
9 Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
The best of the Rogue Squadron games, though, is Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, which was a launch title for the GameCube. This game spans all three films from the original trilogy and has players controlling both Skywalker and Wedge Antilles in ten missions across various planets.
Out of all the games, this is the best when it comes to piloting an X-Wing.
The graphics are still great, and the Death Star trench run is the best out of any game. It's just a shame the third title was such a disappointment.
8 Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Badass mercenary Kyle Katarn appears again in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II to find the "Valley of the Jedi" and hunt down the Dark Jedi that killed his father. Jedi Knight had quite a few improvements over Dark Forces, including a more powerful game engine and a multiplayer mode.
Of course, ignoring the clear improvements of actual 3D acceleration and online "capture the flag," what really made this sequel so much better is that you get a lightsaber. So obviously, the game was a major success.
7 Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
The Lego video game series wouldn't be where they are today if it weren't for the success of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. While the first game set the stage for what was to follow, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is still the best in the series.
Combining the first two titles together, this the only Star Wars game to let you play through the first six movies. Not only that, but it includes an outstanding 160 playable characters! Plus, it's a Lego game, so of course, it's fun (and funny).
6 TIE Fighter
There have been plenty of games that let you play as a heroic X-Wing pilot, but how many games let you play as the villains? TIE Fighter is a sequel to the X-Wing space sim series and has players control an Imperial pilot during events between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Despite the graphics having aged, the gameplay is still as engaging as ever.
And though Rogue Leader is the best experience at piloting an X-Wing, TIE Fighter is the best at experiencing Star Wars space combat.
5 Republic Commando
There aren't many tactical first-person shooters, and there are even fewer that do it right, but Republic Commando is one of those golden examples of the subgenre. Released in 2005 for the Xbox and PC, the game put you in the shoes of an elite group of Clone Troopers at the start of the Clone Wars.
However, making a Star Wars shooter that didn't feature any Jedi may have been too risky a move, as the game actually didn't sell that well. But if you're looking for an innovative squad-based FPS, give this game a shot.
4 Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Kyle Katarn shows up on our list once again in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. This time he's fighting the Dark Jedi Desann and his followers in this third-person action game with blasters, lightsabers and the Force. Apart from the great single-player campaign, Jedi Outcast also features multiplayer modes.
While Jedi Outcast combines lightsaber and Force powers in a way no other game since has surpassed, the best part about this game is the way it completes Katarn's character arc, from Imperial officer to mercenary and, finally, a Jedi. It's such a shame Disney erased him and his adventures from existence.
3 Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
When it came time for LucasArts to produce a sequel to BioWare's masterful Knights of the Old Republic, Obsidian Entertainment was the one to step up to the plate. KOTOR II: The Sith Lords continues five years after the events of the first game and follows the story of The Exile, a Jedi Knight who was exiled from the Jedi Order.
The story doesn't quite match the original, but it's still a very captivating tale, and the characters that join your party are some of the best in the entire Expanded Universe.
2 Battlefront II (2005)
No, we're not talking about EA's lootbox-infested controversy. We are talking about Pandemic Studios' original shooter classic Battlefront II. While the first Battlefront was good, the sequel featured new characters, game mechanics, maps and a narrative-based campaign following a veteran Imperial Stormtrooper.
Even though there are better-looking games today, Battlefront II's loyal fanbase contend that the campaign and Galactic Conquest mode are finer than anything EA has to offer. And online multiplayer is available on PC again, proving that classic gameplay beats HD graphics any day. But still, the greatest Star Wars game is...
1 Knights Of The Old Republic
Was there ever any doubt? Not only is Knights of the Old Republic the best Star Wars game, but it's one of the best RPGs ever made. Everything about it, from the characters to the story to the soundtrack, push this beyond just a good licensed game about wars in space.
The story is so great, in fact, it might even be better than the movies it was based on.
And while this game would go on to influence BioWare's Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, many fans still consider KOTOR to be one of the greatest games ever made.
Any other Star Wars games you think should've made the list? Let us know in the comments.