LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (2006)
There’s a graceful simplicity to the story and themes of the first Star Wars trilogy, due to its strict adherence to mythic storytelling structure. So it’s little surprise that a colorful collection of muttering plastic blocks somehow manages to recreate the narrative perfectly (and hilariously) in pantomime. A blast for kids and adults alike, this LEGO retelling is both fun and funny to a ridiculous degree.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008)
Unveiled for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in late 2008, The Force Unleashed provided what may still be the ultimate third-person action title in the Star Wars franchise. The brand had been flooded with first-person shooters, multiplayer mash-ups, flight sims, and RPGs, but a high-tech, story-driven slash-‘em-up was long overdue. The moral progression of Darth Vader’s secret apprentice Starkiller was at the heart of the game’s story, but at the center of its success was liquid-smooth saber combat and world-shattering physics. Using the Force to destroy the environment around you (virtually!) has never felt so satisfying.
Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011)
Launched in 2011, BioWare’s (sometimes overly) ambitious Star Wars MMO literally offered players “the world.” Expanding on the formula of Warcraft, Everquest, and other popular MMO universes -- including the aforementioned Star Wars Galaxies -- The Old Republic let an entire population of gamers loose in a single, interconnected galaxy. While the post-release road was occasionally bumpy, the in-depth mechanics and environments gave players a virtual cantina in which to meet, explore, and war between themselves.
Kinect Star Wars (2012)
Let’s be honest: Kinect Star Wars is a bad game, and quite possibly even a terrible one. But let’s also admit that, at some point in our lives, we’ve all attempted to use the Force -- in private, by ourselves, arms outstretched, and wondering if we could levitate the television remote across the room and into our hands. At the very least, the motion-sensing peripheral for the Xbox allowed us to live out that fantasy in a slightly more acceptable context.
Angry Birds Star Wars (2012)
It would be easy to dismiss this mobile release as a corporate cash-in if we hadn’t spent so much time playing it. Certainly, the Angry Birds craze had reached full zenith by the time the powers-that-be decided to slap on the ol’ Star Wars branding. But like the LEGO games before them, the cartoonish riff on our childhood nostalgia featured some legitimately inventive gameplay mechanics and made these Angry Birds significantly happier.
Star Wars Battlefront (2015)
With nearly a decade separating 2005’s Battlefront II and its newly released follow-up, the popular series has doubled-down on its multiplayer roots with this reboot. Battlefront boasts the most detailed, visually compelling Star Wars environments ever created and, taking pages from popular online shooters such as Call of Duty and Halo, combines detailed leveling and perk systems with a deeply immersive array of characters, weapons, and vehicles. If you ever wanted to take out an X-wing by Force-pushing a rebel into its blazing engines, this is the game for you.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Christopher Monfette is a longtime entertainment journalist and bounty hunter with absolutely no problems shooting first. Follow him far, far away: @cwmonfette.