Gene Roddenberry's original Star Trek series began in 1966 and even though that series ended after just three seasons. The Star Trek franchise has grown to immeasurably over the decades. There were the successful films which focused on the original crew with Captain Kirk and co. Then there was Star Trek: Next Generation which was a massive hit with fans, helped revitalize the series in the 90s. Since then there has been several spin-off series, novels, comics, video games and the recently rebooted movies.
Excitement for the Star Trek franchise has piqued once again with the new Star Trek: Discovery series which is due to premiere this year, and the promising looking VR game Star Trek: Bridge Crew which is due to be released on the 30th of May 2017.
While we anxiously await the new series and the upcoming VR game, let's take a look at 8 of the best Star Trek games and 7 of the worst ever released.
15 Best: Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Cryptic Studios, and is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on PC. The game is set thirty years after the events of the Star Trek: Nemesis movie, and the game's central plot revolves around the collapse of the alliance between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets.
The player gets to be the captain of his or her own ship with a choice of factions such as The Federation, The Klingons, or Romulans, while also micromanaging all the ships crew with individual duties.
Star Trek Online switches battle modes depending on the scenarios. The first is space combat using the Starship, and the second, a run gun combat system after 'beaming' down in person. The space combat and the excellent visuals definitely helped elevate this above most console iterations of the Star Trek franchise.
14 Worst: Star Trek D-A-C
Star Trek: D-A-C (Deathmatch. Assault. Conquest) is a top-down space shooter that looks like a modern day version of Asteroids with multiplayer features. The game's single player mode is a survival mode that has no actual story features with it all. The multiplayer modes have a 6 player co-op and a 6 on 6 deathmatch mode.
Despite not being a bad game, there isn't anything at all spectacular about it either. Star Trek D-A-C is a fairly basic top-down arcade shooter, that may keep some players entertained for half an hour or so, but beyond that, there's no real lasting appeal even for die-hard Star Trek fans.
13 Best: Star Trek The Next Generation Klingon Honor Guard
Star Trek The Next Generation Klingon Honor Guard is first person shooter on PC and MAC, that was based during the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation television series. As a member of the Klingon guard, the player's mission is to prevent the assassination of Chancellor Gowron. The game contains 19 missions across 26 maps which include a variety of environments and planets.
Honor Guard is a fast paced shooter that creatively used the Unreal Engine with its enjoyable level design, meaty campaign, and its inventive weapons such as the "Ding-Pach Spin Claw" a gun that fires off a blade and returns. Fans were thrilled to get a solid Star Trek based on the phenonmenal Next Generation saga.
12 Worst: Star Trek Voyager Elite Force (PlayStation 2)
The PlayStation 2 version of Star Trek Voyager Elite Force wasn't developed by the same team behind the PC and MAC version of the same game and suffered as a result.
Elite Force is a first-person shooter where the player is a member of the Hazard Team known as Ensign Alex Munro. Munro and his team are tasked with protecting the USS Voyager from attacking forces whilst repairs are being carried out.
Despite being a real classic on the PC and MAC, the PS2 version was badly ported to such a degree that the artificial intelligence was almost non-existent, the aiming system was a mess and the downgraded visuals were a glaringly obvious.
11 Best: Star Trek Starfleet Command: Orion Pirates
PC title Star Trek Starfleet Command II is a Real-Time Strategy game and, like its predecessor, was based on the tabletop war game called Starfleet Battles. The gameplay consisted of the player maneuvering their ship into battle and trying to exploit the opposing ships weaknesses. The game has a very steep learning curve, but its rewarding tactical and technical gameplay make worth the time and effort.
In addition, Starfleet Command II features three single-player campaigns that consist of two story modes and a Conquest campaign, which was a welcome feature due to the lack of a narrative in the original game. The standalone expansion known as Orion Pirates added two more single-player modes which focused on the pirate cartels.
10 Worst: Star Trek: Hidden Evil
The plot of Star Trek: Hidden Evil acted as a sequel to the ninth Star Trek movie Star Trek: Insurrection with the player assuming the role of a character called Ensign Sovok who works alongside the rest of the Next Generation crew.
Despite Patrick Stewart, and Brent Spiner reprising their roles as the characters Jean-Luc Picard and Data, Hidden Evil's campaign was both bland and far too short. The pre-rendered backgrounds looked great, but gameplay consisting of mundane puzzles and dull combat made this on Star Trek game to avoid at all costs. Of course, given the game's premise and characters, fans were devasted by the shoddy result. Star Trek fans deserve better.
9 Best: Star Trek: Armada II
Star Trek: Armada II (like its predecessor) is a Real-Time Strategy game that is set during the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and was released on the PC.
Star Trek: Armada II is far more simplistic RTS to pick up and play than the Starfleet Command series, but it was still well paced and technical enough to draw gamers into its tactical gameplay.
The story campaign only focused on The Federation in this game, but the game's plot was well developed and will definitely satisfy longtime fans of the TV and movies series. Additionally, Patrick Stewart also lends his voice to his iconic character Jean-Luc Picard further adding to the game's authenticity.
8 Worst: Star Trek: New Worlds
Released in the year 2000, Star Trek: New Worlds is a Real Time Strategy Game that plays similarly to the Command and Conquer series. Like the venerable C&C series, you must increase your defensive and offensive capabilities by mining for resources.
The game showed a lot of promise in previews, but it was as if the developers decided "the previews are decent, so that will do." Unfortunately, the game had so many silly design flaws that it dragged Star Trek: New Worlds into the realms of mediocrity. For example, if your science vehicle discovers a new area within the "Fog Of War" you would expect that area to remain visible on the map. On the contrary, when the vehicle moves on, the newly discovered area turns black again. Throw in a few more lazy design decisions, game and audio breaking bugs, and you have yourself a game to avoid at all costs.
7 Best: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen is a sci-fi third-person shooter, that made good use of themes that you would usually find in a survival-horror game. The game had a solid, focused, single-player mode, and didn't suffer without multiplayer mode (although some critics beg to differ).
The Fallen also featured non-combat based levels which just allowed the gamer to explore Deep Space 9 and the Defiant. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen is a game for true fans of the Star Trek Franchise, but is a good enough game that stands well enough on its own that even non-Trekkies will enjoy this game.
6 Worst: Star Trek: Conquest
Star Trek: Conquest was another attempt at reaching the console market with this title for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii. Unfortunately, it was just another bad console iteration for the long-running sci-fi franchise.
The game is set during the events of Star Trek: Next Generation series and featured two distinct modes of play: a turn-based strategy mode and an RTS option which could be played in the campaign, skirmish, and Admirals. The tactical aspect of this game was completely wasted because of the lack of variety in the combat, with each battle feeling and looking exactly the same as the last.
Conquest uses mostly hideous looking 2D sprites, which is unfortunate, because in the right hands 2D sprites have the capability of being quite timeless. The visuals in this game are an ugly and unimaginative use of the series universe. The audio would have been forgettable if it hadn't been so repetitive with the same call-outs repeating over and over.
5 Best: Star Trek: Invasion
Star Trek: Invasion was released on the original PlayStation and despite its dated visuals still holds up very well in 2017. The battles in the game are reminiscent of naval campaigns, which means it does a great job of recreating the battle scenes of the Star Trek series. The game implements, stealth combat, tactical evasion, and rewards the player for combat skills.
The game's sound design is still a treat to play now, helped by the real voice cast from The Next Generation reprising their roles. Additionally, the sound effects and soundtrack are a fantastic edition to the game's well-told storyline. Star Trek: Invasion proved once and for all that the console could be a good home for the franchise.
4 Worst: Star Trek Shattered Universe
Unlike Star Trek: Invasion which successfully adapted the Colony Wars space combat system on the original PlayStation, Star Trek: Shattered Universe completely "shattered" anyone's hopes that Universe's success would be repeated again a console generation later on the Xbox and PlayStation 2.
The player takes control of a completely un-Star Trek-like space fighter which quite frankly looked more like it was a rejected design found on the cutting room floor of Star Wars: Phantom Menace.
The shallow gameplay and the misuse of the Star Trek license can't be forgiven here. To make matters worse there's no recognizable music, and instead of the narrative borrowing from a near endless source of TV shows, movies, books and comics, it uses a completely throwaway story that couldn't be less Trek if it tried.
3 Best: Star Trek The Next Generation Klingon
The developers Totally Games had already made the brilliant TIE Fighter and X-Wing Star Wars space sims. So they were the natural choice to handle the Star Trek license too — and sure enough: Star Trek: Bridge Commander is still one of the best space sims available today.
The attention to detail in Bridge Commander and its faithful adaptation of the Star Trek universe is enough to keep Trek fans happy and coming back for a long time to come. Despite the game's short length, the exciting combat and their faithful recreations will draw gamers in every time.
All of the sound effects and space ship details associated with Star Trek are present, as are the likenesses from Star Trek: The Next Generation to help solidify Bridge Commander as one of the most engaging titles in the franchise.
2 Worst: Star Trek: The Video Game
Star Trek: The Video Game was the tie-in for the 2009 blockbuster J.J Abrams reboot of Star Trek. The reboot was a critical and commercial success, although fans have divided opinions on it. Some older fans didn't like the new action orientated direction, while others thought that it was the perfect way to reboot the franchise while still paying tribute to the originals.
Additionally, the reboot certainly helped Star Trek gain a lot of new fans, but where the film was divisive amongst viewers, the tie-in video game didn't have the luxury within the gaming community. It's very fair to say that Star Trek The Video Game is the worst Trek game ever made — you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would argue the point. The game was a buggy mess with zero variation, terrible graphics, and bad level design that which will frustrate as much as it will bore you.
1 Best: Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
Unlike the lazy PlayStation 2 port, Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force the PC may possibly be the best Star Trek game ever made. The game's premise is exactly the same as the PlayStation 2 version, but the execution is so much more enjoyable when the game is played exactly how it was meant to be.
The visuals were great for the time, and the sound was absolutely spot on, and again, unlike the PS2 version, the enemy AI was really well done. More importantly, for Star Trek fans it had a great twisting story that was later adapted into a graphic novel. The controls were solid and good enough that actually felt you were a member of an elite force within the Star Trek universe.