I was born in the late 70’s so the original Star Wars trilogy had a major impact on my life growing up. As practically all my friends, I watched the movies countless times and still remember all of them to a silly detail. Lucas’ new trilogy was unable to capture the same magic for the much older me when they came out, so I didn’t have my expectations high for the new Force Awakens. If it were to suck, not a big deal. If it happened to be good, great!
We went to watch the new film with the Umbra crew and boy were we in for a treat! This post is not a review for the movie, but all I’m going to say is that I bought a ticket for another screening already. So yeah, I liked it.
As with any major IP, there are always lots of video games made to cash in on the fandom. My growing up coincided with the emergence of video games so obviously I have consumed a lot of Star Wars content in the interactive digital format too. As Umbra has been used to optimize the 3D graphics performance in a few of them, I’ve also been able to contribute my small part into this wonderful franchise. If you want to know what Umbra is, please read how it works.
This is my personal list of the top 5 best Star Wars video games.
5. Star Wars: The Old Republic
The 2011 game “Star Wars: the old Republic” is still the most expensive video game ever made, with development cost running at staggering $200M. I’ve always been big into MMO’s so a story driven Star Wars massively multiplayer game was right up my alley. I never made it to the end game unfortunately as it’s been getting increasingly difficult to get a group of friends to commit into a single video game for an extended period of time.
This game uses Umbra to implement occlusion culling.
4. Star Wars: Battlefront
The most recent addition to the Star Wars video game family, Star Wars Battlefront, is one of the prettiest games ever made, hands down. I’m not super into first person shooters personally, but this one kept me entertained for a good while.
3. Star Wars Galaxies
Star Wars Galaxies from 2003 was another MMO that was powered by Umbra. This one has a special place in my heart and it is easily my favorite MMO ever. The depth of the character development, crafting and material harvesting is unparalleled to this day. Unfortunately the popularity of the game fell after the infamous “Combat Upgrade” and “New Game Enhancement” patches in 2005, which John Smedley, then president of SOE, later apologized for in a Reddit AMA.
2. Tie Fighter
Oh man, I was such a sucker for space flight simulators in the early 90’s. The 1994 game Tie Fighter is a very special game as it for the first time puts the protagonist in the shoes of the bad guys. So unlike every other game where you fly the various X, Y and B-wings, this game lets you fly all the different varieties of the Tie Fighter. Being able to get a feel what it’s like to be an imperial pilot adds shades of grey to the black and white way how the rebellion and the empire are portrayed in the films.
I really love how the new Force Awakens film has this same vibe by having one of the lead roles being a stormtrooper. And the heroes actually steal a Tie Fighter and use it in their daring escape, which immediately reminded me of this game.
1. Knights of the Old Republic
For anyone who has played Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic from 2003 understand that it is the only possible choice for the number one spot. From storytelling perspective it is on par with the movies of the original trilogy and man the plot twists! After KoTOR Bioware went on to create the wildly popular games of the Mass Effect series, which I personally count as sequels to KoTOR – they share so much in structure and style. And as Umbra was used in ME 2 and 3, we can take some pride for the entire series as well, right? Right?
While doing background checks for this post I noticed that KoTOR is out on iOS. Maybe I should give iPad gaming another chance…
So there it is, my list of the best Star Wars games!
If you are making a Star Wars game of your own (or any game for that matter) do check out what Umbra can do for you by signing up for an evaluation: