Early reactions to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are…troubling, so we thought that you might need a chaser to help remind you just why it is that you love Star Wars so much in the first place.
If that’s the case, then be sure to check out these five Star Wars video game stories that may be better than some of the movies and are certainly better than the rest of them.
5. Star Wars: TIE Fighter
TIE Fighter might not boast the deepest story on this list, but it’s definitely one of the most interesting.
This flight title puts you in the boots of an imperial pilot serving under Admiral Thrawn. Yes, you play as the bad guy, but this game presents the entire conflict from the Empire’s point of view and argues that they’re really just galactic peacekeepers trying to restore order during hectic times.
In a series that often features comically evil villains, it’s refreshing to see a Star Wars story argue that there are actually reasons why otherwise normal people might side with the empire. Granted, there’s an implication that everyone has been indoctrinated, but it’s still a compelling attempt at something different.
Star Wars: Tie Fighter doesn’t feature the most engaging moment to moment plot, but it’s ideas are absolutely fascinating.
4. Star Wars: Republic Commando
Sometimes, Star Wars stories are best when they move away from grand scale conflicts and focus on something more intimate. This is certainly one of those times.
Republic Commando tells the story of an elite group of clone troopers who participate in a series of high-risk missions during the Clone Wars. Its ties to the prequel trilogy and the grander plot points of the Star Wars saga are relatively thin, but that just means that it gets to focus on a pretty engaging Tom Clancy-esque military thriller plot bolstered by the strong relationship between these soldiers.
We rarely get to see war from a “boots on the ground” perspective in the Star Wars universe, but Republic Commando argues that it should focus on that side of the conflict more often.
3. Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Many fan expectations of what the Star Wars sequels should be were set by the excellent sequel stories in the expanded universe. Jedi Outcast happens to feature one of the absolute best of those sequel stories.
While it’s a continuation of the story that began in the Dark Forces series, Jedi Outcast stands tall on its own as the story of a former force user named Kyle Katarn who has abandoned the path of the Jedi and Sith in order to live a slightly quieter life as a mercenary. However, a series of circumstances force him to pick up his lightsaber once more and embrace a path he abandoned long ago.
Jedi Outcast essentially shows us what might happen if Han Solo were a Jedi. More importantly, it uses some famous Star Wars characters and locations in ways that maximize our nostalgia and feeling towards them without depending on your built-in love.
Jedi Outcast is a glimpse at what the sequels could have been.
2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Expectations were relatively high for Knights of the Old Republic upon its release in the summer of 2003, but nobody could have guessed what was coming.
Set thousands of years before the events of the first Star Wars movie, Knights of the Old Republic sees the Jedi and Sith engaging in full-on warfare. You play a soldier who wakes up on a ship without any idea about who he is, how he got there, or why so many people are looking for him. Your search for answers will soon see you form a party of mostly misfits as you tour some fascinating corners of the galaxy.
While KOTOR is infamous for its late-in-the-game twist, this title’s plot is much more than a one-trick pony. It’s a sprawling epic that takes the time to develop its characters in intelligent ways while offering an array of side stories that remind you that there are many adventures in this galaxy besides your own.
This is one of the most complete Star Wars stories told via any medium. There’s just one title that does it better…
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords
The original KOTOR may have been everything we’ve ever wanted from a Star Wars story, but its sequel delivers something most fans could have never envisioned.
KOTOR II forgoes the usual good and evil moral lines of the Star Wars stories in favor of a complicated plot where doing the “right” thing can have negative repercussions while a display of power may quell an even greater evil. It all serves a complicated story that goes so far as to suggest that the power of the force is an abomination that isn’t safe in the hands of anyone regardless of their intentions.
This is a deep and mature story that flips the Star Wars mythos on its head while celebrating many of the things that make it special. Despite an incomplete ending, it’s one of the best Star Wars stories ever told.