May the 4th be with you – the best Star Wars games

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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.

Star Trek Online

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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.

Final Fantasy XII

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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

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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.

Ark: Survival Evolved

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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.

BattleTech

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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.”

Kerbal Space Program

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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.

Mass Effect 2

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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.

64 Comments

Top comments

  1. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    STOP CALLING IT STAR WARS, EVERYBODY CALLS IT "PUBG"
  1. Fry says:

    False advertising. I demand a refund.

    • ruaidhri.k says:

      So say we all !

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      I just got my refund, but it’s RPS store credit, so it may not be quite what you want.

      A recommendation if you do decide to mail in for it, though: spend it on VR army corps of space engineers simulator Star Wars: Bridge Crew. Top stuff, and an indie labour of love helmed by none other than our John Walker, who you may remember recently departing to go frolic in the relatively cushy pastures of game development. He crunched this masterwork out in three days – a far longer time in virtual reality, given, but still a impressive feat. Go buy it now before they run out of copies!

      Disclaimer: I have emailed John Walker once or twice, and I have loved some of his words. I am thus entirely trustworthy.

  2. badmothergamer says:

    Final Fantasy VIII is the best Star Wars game in the series. This list is wrong.

    • RTRubinas says:

      Spoiler: They’re all Trade Federation droids and the last 20 hours is a QTE to negotiate the terms of new tariffs.

  3. Viral Frog says:

    I love Battlewars Galactitrek.

  4. CrackedMandible says:

    I’m not sure how this classic dog fighting game styled after World War Two aerial combat missed the list.

    https://us.bsgo.com

    You get to be a good guy flying for the bad guys! Classic.

  5. pauleyc says:

    /raises hand, fingers extended at first, then slowly forming a fist

    Apology accepted, captain Caldwell.

  6. dethtoll says:

    As someone who hates Star Wars with a burning passion this post is a delight.

    • popej says:

      Life’s too short to hate a successful film franchise with a burning passion.

      • dethtoll says:

        Shit logic. There’s plenty of mega-successful franchises I don’t hate. But Star Wars is ubiquitous. Inescapable. Unrelenting. Not a day goes by that I don’t see something Star Wars-related; it’s ingrained itself into the cultural fabric, and there is no respite.

        If you like Star Wars, that’s really, really cool.

        If you hate Star Wars… well, welcome to hell.

        And don’t even get me started on “May the 4th.” The very idea of a day of earnest celebration for a mass-media corporate product may be the most dystopian thing I’ve ever heard that didn’t involve a Republican.

        • April March says:

          I am lukewarm about Star Wars and I wonder where you live/what you do for a living that you’d find it ubiquitous. I see a reference to it about once a month, and that’s because I’m a huge nerd whose entire non-family, non-work circle of acquaintances is composed of nerds.

        • icarussc says:

          Now, now, Dethtoll — wait until you have children. Then your whole family’s obeisance before our carefully calibrated corporate overlords’ cultural programming will be truly unavoidable.

          But don’t feel too bad about it — history is full of horrifically dystopian moments, and we’re still here!

  7. JPott99 says:

    Now I really want a General Grievous ‘mech…

  8. rusty says:

    Thank you.

  9. Mario says:

    Rebellion/Supremacy was a really good game. I still have the CD and I still play it from time to time.

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

  10. Darth Gangrel says:

    Lol, I had those dinosaur 3d glasses, they were pretty cool and worked well.

    For an actual Best of Star Wars games article, there’s this: link to rockpapershotgun.com

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Yeah! I’d forgotten about those glasses, but as soon as I saw that pic with the nose cutout, my mind was imagining holding it to my eyes by the tail, trying to remember more precisely what was in the book I’m pretty sure came with it.

  11. gabrielonuris says:

    This site is the internet equivalent of a spider on acid.

    Yes, that was a compliment! Actually, I come here everyday for my dose of gaming news and the good old subtle humor you guys are good at.

    • frenchy2k1 says:

      Actual webs of spiders on drugs:
      link to sciencealert.com

      • Durgendorf says:

        Wait whut

      • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

        “Dr. Witt’s detailed analyses revealed that while all orb-web spider webs look basically alike, each is unique to the spider who built it. In fact Dr. Witt was soon able to identify escapees by their webs. The webs also reflect genetic relationships; those built by sibling spiders are more alike than those constructed by cousins”

        I just know there’s a sentient arachnid in some galaxy far, far away (see what i did there?), chilling out in his hammock, watching some CSI show or soap opera and occasionally scoffing at overused trope, “Don’t lie to me, Octavius – it’s that cutie neighbor’s web in a cupboard, I know it!”

  12. caff says:

    Brilliant, Brendy :)

  13. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    STOP CALLING IT STAR WARS, EVERYBODY CALLS IT “PUBG”

  14. The Regulator Guy says:

    “Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?” — Grand Moff Tarkin

  15. Captain Narol says:

    You forgot the best Star Wars game ever : No Man’s Sky !

    In that sequel, you wander in what’s left of the galaxy after the Empire and the Rebellions mutually destroyed each other : just ruins, pirates, trade merchants and animals.

  16. LegendaryTeeth says:

    What is this sick filth? The header image is clearly from Babylon 5.

  17. Taerdin says:

    Star Wars Day is May 25th. This is the day A New Hope (the first Star Wars movie) released, and also the day Return of the Jedi released. It will also be opening day for the Solo movie.

    May 4th is bad pun day. A meme-y way of companies making money off of people.

    #truth

  18. aircool says:

    Don’t forget the recent Battlefront 2… not worthy of the name Star Wars at all.

  19. mac4 says:

    Just… LOL.

  20. Rainshine says:

    I was coming to point out that I’m not a star wars fan, and even I found KotR to be pretty fun. But KSP is the best in this list

  21. Shinard says:

    …ow.

  22. Mouse_of_Dunwall says:

    Heh heh. Well played Brendan.

  23. hfm says:

    I was like.. clicking link.. I hope The Old Republic isn’t on this li…. har har har..

  24. awrc says:

    It seems like any Star Wars title worth playing is very old. If there were a list I’m sure I’d have seen a variation of it before :)

    • mac4 says:

      It’s funny how with each sale, I keep clicking to see if there’s anything there — knowing full well everything I want or like I already have, and nothing new has come out.

      Yes I am something of a fan, guilty as charged.

  25. White Prime says:

    You’re weird, sometimes.

  26. criskywalker says:

    Star Wars died with Luke Skywalker. At least we’ll always have KOTOR.

  27. Zenicetus says:

    I’m sad that this article didn’t mention the one really good cockpit-level space fighter game from this series — Freespace 2, where the Rebel Alliance fought off the Shivan menace.

    Those Johnny-Come-Lately’s Elite:D and Star Citizen are still trying to catch up with that one.

  28. Seyda Neen says:

    I was thinking “Didn’t you guys just do this one about a year ago?” while reading the first paragraph. Then I saw the first entry and guffawed. Well played.

  29. mike69 says:

    Oh joy, RPS’ mastabatory Star Wars misunderstanding. My sides are splitting. I hate that this junk gets you views, it crushes my cynical heart.

  30. EthZee says:

    I like Star Trek Online.

  31. vorador says:

    I’m insulted. You forgot Rebel Galaxy, the only Star Trek game to ever made into Star Wars canon.

  32. Hartford688 says:

    Good gag, much appreciated!

  33. MrEvilGuy says:

    Hahaha it took me a lot of boredom before I finally decided to look at this post (mainly because I was like, “didn’t they just do a Star Wars list recently?”)

    What an excellent list.

  34. DoctorDaddy says:

    I just saw the tab title. Brilliant.

  35. Corporate Dog says:

    Dark Vadar: The Funny Book
    By Former RPS writer, Kern Gillern

  36. April March says:

    You know what’s even funnier? GOG, like everyone else, had a Star Wars sale this weekend… but they also had an unrelated Interplay sale, which includes a few Star Trek games. It’s like the universe is in on the joke.

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