Consider this an apology. We often make fun of the Star Wars franchise here at Rock Paper Shotgun, with posts that belittle and ignore its impact on culture, especially videogames. With something as ubiquitous and admired, it’s easy to be dismissive of this star-hopping saga. But it is undeniably an adventure that has made millions of people widen their eyes in interstellar wonder. With that in mind, we have collected the best Star Wars games in one handy list. May the 4th be with you.
When George Lucas appeared in a nationwide address to announce the completion of a new and fully operational MMO, the world was stunned. Since then we have all been playing Star Trek Online. I am level 80. And the rest of the RPS staff meet me on the bridge every evening at 6pm, on the dot. We take turns being Darth Vader, and we laugh together, happy and satisfied and free. There’s no doubt about it, Star Trek Online is a classic.
A rollicking, wondrous journey across the lesser-known planet of Ivalice. It sticks closely to the formula (a puzzled orphan, a dashing captain, a hideous animal co-pilot, and an exciting princess). But the ability to ‘program’ your heroes and use the force to create “fire” and “blizzard” makes this officially licensed and sanctioned Star Wars game a classic.
Farscape: The Game
While initially panned by critics for being “a motley grouping of meaningless quests” and “a bad game”, it was actually ahead of its time actually. And many famous Star Wars names made an appearance – Ben Browder, Gigi Edgely, Claudia Black. Today, we can look back this so-called “throwaway licensing opportunity” for what it really is. A classic.
While the tun-tuns look very different in this instalment of the beloved franchise [It’s tantans – Editor], it remains an excellent survival game. Many were skeptical that the exotic wildlife of our favourite fictional galaxy could be recreated in such a loving way. But Ark is full of Slitheen, Sycorax and Sontarans, all of whom you can tame and ride with a saddle, just like in the popular television show, Star Wars. Classic.
At first, our Alec didn’t like BattleTech. “Its vision of droids does not match my own or that of the collective psychological canon,” he said in his review. But in later articles, he revealed that his fondness for it had grown considerably, noting that the attention to detail was incredible. “General Grievous in particular is reproduced in spectacular form, 60 feet tall and covered in gauss cannons,” he said. “I think this might be my new favourite classic.”
An excellent prequel. Kerbal Space Program charts the ambitions and desires of three bald Ewoks as they try their hardest to produce the first hyperspace-capable starship. There are many failures, and the game completely neglects the most interesting character in the franchise, Rocket Raccoon. But if this star-reaching sim isn’t a classic, I don’t know what is.
What a Classic. Rarely has Lucasfilm’s vision of alien life been so adroitly brought to life. Drazi, Borg, Goa’uld, every race of note is given at least 29 hours of stage time in this theatre of bullets. Who can forget the classic moment when the ship’s philosophy student, a Protoss, listens to classical music in her quarters while reading the classics and talking to her classmates about class in a classical accent. That’s Star Wars for you. There’s no other word for it but classic.