All right, already. We all know that Knights of the Old Republic is great.
Today, May the Fourth, is Star Wars today. Many publications will be telling you about the best Star Wars games of all times. You’ll hear about the heavy-hitters, like Knights of the Old Republic, TIE Fighter, and Republic Commando.
But we’ve seen a lot of Star Wars games over the decades. Sure, not all of them are fantastic, but even a flawed digital adventure in a galaxy far, far away can leave us with precious memories. That’s why a couple of us decided to highlight our favorite Star Wars games that you’re unlikely to hear anyone else talk about on May the Fourth.
GamesBeat community manager Mike Minotti
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith for the Nintendo DS
We have a lot of Star Wars games, but not many of them actually launched as promotional tools along with a movie. And history has shown us that rushing a game to launch with a film isn’t exactly a recipe for quality.
So you wouldn’t have much hope for the Revenge of the Sith game, let alone for DS. The home console versions for PlayStation 2 and Xbox sport fancy 3D graphics, but the portable Revenge of the Sith games for Game Boy Advance and the DS has 2D, sprite-based graphics. Basically, it looks like a Super Nintendo game.
Revenge of the Sith for portables is a sidescrolling beat-em-up, like the Final Fight or Streets of Rage series. You play as either Obi Wan or Anakin and fight your way through droids and bosses in a simplified retelling of the movie’s (bad) story. It is simple. It is short. But it’s fun! And it looks great. The animations are fluid, and it uses all of the classic Star Wars music. Sometimes, you just want a game where you can spend a little time relentlessly whacking things with a lightsaber.
And the DS version is superior to the GBA one. It features 3D space battles, which was an impressive feat for a portable system back in 2005. You can even play dogfights with your friends!
I easily had more fun playing this game than actually watching Revenge of the Sith.
GamesBeat PC gaming editor, Jeffrey Grubb
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter for the Nintendo GameCube
I still find it difficult to believe that anything good at all came out of Revenge of the Sith, which is easily the most miserable Star Wars movie. But I shouldn’t be too skeptical of Mike’s pick because mine is from the Attack of the Clones era.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter puts you in the Mandalorian boots of papa Fett, Boba Fett’s father Jango. And instead of forcing you into a cheap shooter or platformer, developer LucasArts instead tried to replicate Jango Fett’s job. It was up to you to chase down bounties. To accomplish this, you had to explore alien worlds, use Jango Fett’s tools, and get into gun fights.
And sure, the game is fairly linear, but it has a nice illusion of freedom. A big part of that is that you have a scanner, and you could potentially come across a random, non-story bounty at any moment. And catching them and turning them in for credits is simple, but it’s also satisfying.
Disney recently re-released Bounty Hunter on PS4, and I think it still holds up visually. A lot of the textures are muddy and brown, but there’s still something living about the animation of Jango using his blow torch to knock down a sewer grate. And the cutscenes, like when Jango Fett walks into a cantina to capture a bounty, have a rather cinematic quality about them.
With a million Star Wars games out there, I can understand you not wanting to return to one from the Prequels, but I think Bounty Hunter stands out even if it didn’t have the license. It has fun worlds to explore, and lots of interesting bounties to disintegrate.