Shack Chat: What's your favorite Star Wars game?

The Shack Staff discusses their favorite Star Wars games in honor of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

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Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there.

Question: What's your favorite Star Wars game?


Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 2 - Rogue Leader - Asif Khan, Not the briefcase you are looking for

There are a lot of great Star Wars games that I could have listed, but I like to think about replayability when determining my favorite games. Rogue Leader was an amazing GameCube title that was super fun and allowed players to fly around more freely than the first Rogue Squadron. The game launched alongside the Nintendo GameCube console in the US, and it was in my playing rotation for months. The graphics, music, and gameplay were all great and one could argue that this was the peak of the Rogue Squadron franchise and developer Factor 5.


Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

I had to think really hard about this, just because I wanted to come at this from the perspective of my own Star Wars fandom. Rogue Squadron is arguably the better game, The Force Unleashed was arguably more fun, the Battlefront games felt cooler, Republic Commando was the higher concept, and Knights of the Old Republic is… well… it's probably the GOAT, all things considered. But as far as my personal favorite and what got me deeper into the Star Wars franchise more than anything, it's Shadows of the Empire.

This was the game that took place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, bridging together several plot points between Han Solo's abduction and Luke Skywalker completing his Jedi training. As a kid, it was the first story to show me that there was more to the Star Wars mythos than the movies. And after experiencing Dash Rendar's story, I was fully hooked on the whole Star Wars universe, to the point that less than a year later, I went hunting down the extended universe novels.

I wouldn't be the Star Wars fan that I am today without Shadows of the Empire, so I'm putting it on my list above everything else.


Star Wars (Atari Arcade) - Blake Morse, Yub Nub

It was hard not to pick KOTOR for this week’s post, but I have to give it up to the Star Wars Atari Arcade cabinet. I grew up playing this game at the local Chuck E. Cheese at probably what would be me pre-adolescent peak of Star Wars fandom (I’d have another one in my late teens/early 20s, but that’s a story for another day). The Atari Star Wars arcade cabinet is still to this day one of the best designed cabs ever made, especially the version that came with its own cockpit style seating. The controller looked just like the one in Luke Sykwalker’s X-Wing to add to the immersive effect. 

While the game used older vector graphics it somehow still caught the essence of taking on TIE fighters in space dogfights and zooming through the alleyways of the Death Star looking for a vent. I loved how bright and sparkling the chiptunes renditions of John Williams orchestrations sounded and how Obi-Wan would guide you through each level. It also gave players a lot of room to dodge and maneuver, even in the corridor areas. I will love this game for the same amount of time that the force is with: always. 


Super Empire Strikes Back - David L. Craddock, Longreads Editor

I’m dating myself, here, but the Star Wars trilogy on Super Nintendo were a blast to play. Sidescrolling action, tough-as-nails difficulty, and a stunning rendition of Star Wars leitmotifs elevated these games above their predecessors.

My favorite was Super Empire Strikes Back. Not only was it my favorite movie (and arguably still the best Star Wars flick to date; we’ll see what Episode IX brings to the table), developer Sculptured Software--considered the “Mode 7 studio” and the company that brought us the SNES ports of Mortal Kombat and MK2--chose the perfect locations for action-packed gameplay. Blasting my way across Hoth, spinning around with a lightsaber… The graphics, audio, and tight controls melded to create a Star War spectacle that still holds up today.


Star Wars Battlefront II - Bill Lavoy, Managing Editor

I’m just not a big Star Wars fan, whether it’s the movies or games. I’ve watched most of the films and enjoyed them, but I don’t rush out to see the newest one and I know I’m missing one from recently and I’m not sure which it is. They’re cool, but because I’m just not drawn to them in the same way others in this industry seem to be, I never bothered to play most of the games. 

When Star Wars Battlefront II came out, I played through it one afternoon and hit the multiplayer for a few hours. It was fine. I appreciated that I was able to dance around the maps as different heroes and thought it was beautiful. I’m certain if I had played through a bunch of Star Wars games I’d have chosen something else, but since Star Wars Battlefront II is the only game I’ve played, it wins by default. Maybe that’ll change here soon.


Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy - Chris Jarrard, Still sad about Raven

This one was a fairly easy choice. As a follow-up to the outstanding Jedi Outcast, this Raven Software-produced joint was largely the same game as its predecessor, except you didn't have to wait to get a lightsaber. Featuring wonderful level design, wonderful graphics, wonderful controls, and bonkers multiplayer, Jedi Academy was everything you would want a Star Wars game to be and more.

Running on the Quake 3 engine, Jedi Academy looked the part and ran smoothly, even on modest PC hardware. Mouse-controlled lightsaber duels were an absolute hoot and the combat has yet to be matched by any other game carrying the Star Wars license. Honorable mentions go out to X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, Dark Forces, Jedi Knight, and Rogue Leader.


Shadows of the Empire - Sam Chandler, Guides Editor

There will always be a soft spot in my heart for the Nintendo 64. It’s quirky controller, the numerous party games and multiplayer titles, and the several high profile licenced games. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire might not be the most critically acclaimed title, but much like the N64, it has a special place in my heart.

I first played Shadows of the Empire when I was but a child, years before I saw my first Star Wars movie. I was drawn in to the sci-fi universe, the story that was being told, and the action. 

Unlike most other third-person Star Wars games, you don’t play as a Jedi in Shadows. You don’t even get to lay your hands on a lightsaber. You get to play as a Han Solo bounty hunter knockoff called Dash.

Looking back on it now, I really love how the movies bleed into the experience. You get to take down AT-ATs at Hoth, ride speeder bikes through streets, and even pilot a Millenium Falcon-like spaceship. Those were some good times.


Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Donovan Erskine, Intern

I’ve already spoken about my love for Star Wars Battlefront II in a previous Shackchat. Rather than double dip, I’m gonna shine some light on another title that ruled my world as a kid. The Force Unleashed was the first piece of Star Wars Storytelling outside of the feature films to really capture me. The idea the Darth Vader secretly had his own apprentice, and that said apprentice was a backwards lightsaber duel-wielding badass was simply an unfathomable level of awesome. I loved being able to choke stormtroopers and throw them around like ragdolls, or mix and match different Kyber crystals to see what color combinations looked best on my sabers. I wake up every morning knowing I’m one day closer to the Force Unleashed IP being brought back from the dead.


Star Wars Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

I loved Star Wars games as much as the next person when I started playing Jedi Outcast. Slowly, I began to fall in love with it even more when I met Kyle Katarn. Jedi Outcast was one game I completed in a flurry of shooters and other classic titles one after the other. It was an amazing time in my life, and I had a blast getting to know the characters, figuring out the minimal puzzles, and living it up as the plucky Kyle. While I also have a soft spot, of course, for Knights of the Old Republic, this is the Star Wars mainstay I keep coming back to again and again. I think it's high time Kyle made another appearance with his own game in the Star Wars universe, but alas, I know it's never going to happen. 


Star Wars: Bounty Hunter - Josh Hawkins, Guy who writes things

Growing up, I was always an avid Star Wars fan. I can’t recall how many times I had to rewind the old VHS tapes we had of the original Trilogy. When it comes to Star Wars games, though, 2002’s Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is probably my favorite.

While the game didn’t really follow any of the mainstream characters from the movies, I was always curious to know more about Boba and Jango Fett. For me, Bounty Hunter was a great piece that allowed me to explore the Star Wars universe from a non-jedi perspective. I was able to see the gritty underbelly of the galaxy from a more neutral standpoint, and while the story did technically focus on good vs evil, it wasn’t always as clear cut and dry as many other Star Wars titles. 

I’m not sure if it was the perspective, or if I was just happy to finally be able to fulfill my dream of being a bounty hunter, but Star Wars: Bounty Hunter will always be one of my favorites.


Star Wars: Rebel Alliance 2 - The Hidden Empire - TJ Denzer, News Editor

There’s something about Rebel Alliance 2 that stands out as the definitive Star Wars game of my memories. I loved Rogue Squadron, TIE Fighter, Knights of the Old Republic, and such… but these were all very noticeably gamey to me. Rebel Alliance 2 wasn’t much more than a shooting gallery and on-rails roller coaster where you dodged obstacles, but its presentation made me feel like I was actually playing through a real Star Wars movie. 

This was, after all, the golden age of full-motion video (FMV) in video games. LucasArts took a style popularized by the likes of Night Trap and Mad Dog McCree and applied it to what was essentially a full Star Wars movie side chapter with occasional gaming sessions.

Even then, they sold the experience in gameplay too. Dare I say, it was one of the first cover-based shooters? You also had heart-pounding flying missions, fire-fights with squadrons of TIE fighters, and all-out attacks on space-stations, all set to the illustrious soundtrack of the films. It’s a bit ugly to look at the low resolution scenery now, but even then, there’s still a charm to it that feels like old cinematic nostalgia, like watching a dusty old VHS you found in an attic box. Rookie One and Ru Murleen may not be your iconic Star Wars characters, but for the part they played in my experience of Star Wars games, they are assuredly mine.


Disagree with our picks? Think there's another Star Wars game out there that totally owns? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! We can't wait to hear what you think. 

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 15, 2019 2:00 PM

    Brittany Vincent posted a new article, Shack Chat: What's your favorite Star Wars game?

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      November 15, 2019 2:10 PM

      SW:KotOR for sure at the top. X-Wing vs TIE Fighter is probably my second, with Dark Forces: Jedi Knight being #3. Nostalgia is powerful but I still don't feel like they make them like they used to.

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      November 15, 2019 2:17 PM

      Tie Fighter. It’s one of those rare games that I still think about to this day even though I haven’t played it in 25 years.

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      November 15, 2019 3:20 PM

      Star Wars Battlefront 2 for the original Xbox.

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      November 15, 2019 3:21 PM

      X-wing and TIE Fighter of course

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      November 15, 2019 3:22 PM

      Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II

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        November 15, 2019 3:44 PM

        Star Wars Arcade. It was always such a huge treat finding that sit down machine at an arcade. The back plastic window would have key-scratched initials all over it and the steering controls were usually battered and a little loose, but that thing was a joy to play.

        The green vector graphics were mind-blowing at the time and I felt like a badass blowing apart tie fighters into little green sticks. Even the audio was fantastic with digitized voice samples of Luke, Han, and Vader.

        Nothing will top that game for me, although there have been plenty of great Star Wars games over the years.

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          November 15, 2019 4:46 PM

          I really need to fix mine. :/

          That Arcade 1UP is making mini-cabinets of that game, Empire, and ROTJ. It's not a real vector screen or anything, but if the yoke control isn't terrible, it might be worth looking at.

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      November 15, 2019 3:36 PM

      Jedi Academy for sure!

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      November 15, 2019 3:45 PM

      1) Jedi Knight Dark Forces II and the expansions.
      2)KotOR
      3)Jedi Outcast/academy

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        November 15, 2019 5:31 PM

        Jedi Knight multi was nuts, such a unique multiplayer type (even now) at such a nascent time for the scene. Hella fun being a Sith dude just force choking/sabering motherfuckers. Not many games do multiplayer sword battles as well as that game did, so early. Stuff like Chivalry feels pretty close.

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      November 15, 2019 5:13 PM

      It's a tie between X-Wing and KOTOR

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      November 15, 2019 5:22 PM

      Jedi Knight II because I spent hours sandboxing in the huge hangar bay spawning different NPCs to fight each other.

      Like I discovered it takes around 30 something Landos to take down one AT-ST.

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      November 15, 2019 5:23 PM

      KOTOR

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      November 15, 2019 5:24 PM

      Fallen Order

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      November 15, 2019 5:27 PM

      TIE Fighter is #1. KOTOR and Shadows of the Empire are excellent too.

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      November 15, 2019 5:29 PM

      KOTOR is at the very top (mentally I kind of bundle both KOTOR games together though). Next is TIE Fighter simply for the ridiculous number of hours I played it as a kid. Man, I miss the days when there were multiple new awesome Star Wars games coming out all the time. :-/

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      November 15, 2019 5:32 PM

      KOTOR is far and away the best Star Wars game ever made. The Jedi Knight games are cool too.

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      November 15, 2019 5:36 PM

      Tie Fighter: Playing as the bad guys was rare; becoming a part of the Emperor's secret faction gave the evil side more depth; piloting several kinds of craft from bog-standard fighters to a missile boat that can spool up & hyper-hop across the battlespace; a decent story told through mission dialog (very few cutscenes in total) and in-game scripted & timed events.

      I played through it on GOG a couple years ago and enjoyed it again! Well, up until the point where every enemy platform fires missiles at you. I have nightmares that involve that specific alert noise.

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        November 15, 2019 5:44 PM

        Or you have to clear those mines that launch a missile at you when destroyed. Still awesome game though.

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          November 15, 2019 6:04 PM

          That's right Even the space mines have laser and missile defenses!

          I played Rebel Galaxy 2 the other day and was thankful their mines /only/ explode.

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      November 15, 2019 5:39 PM

      KOTOR

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      November 15, 2019 5:40 PM

      X-wing but major nostalgia glasses.

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      November 15, 2019 5:48 PM

      KotOR 1&2
      Republic Commando
      Lego Star Wars

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      November 15, 2019 6:06 PM

      Tie between Jedi Knight II Jedi Outcast and KotOR for me.

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      November 15, 2019 9:27 PM

      no love for X-Wing Alliance and Galactic Battlegrounds?

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      November 15, 2019 11:08 PM

      Super Star Wars for the SNES

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      November 16, 2019 5:38 AM

      YODA STORIES!!!!!

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      November 16, 2019 5:44 AM

      Monopoly Star Wars

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      November 16, 2019 5:55 AM

      Jedi Knight II Jedi Outcast. I really enjoyed how it transitions from a fps to a jedi combat game.

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      November 16, 2019 7:00 AM

      KOTOR. There was that 3rd person shooter on N64 back in the day that I think was considered kind of mediocre but I remember enjoying it.

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      November 16, 2019 1:57 PM

      Star Wars CTF, it was a quake 1 ctf mod. Failing to find any screenshots on the internet, but it 0wned

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