?Luke, I am your father.?

Even if you?ve never seen a moment of the Star Wars movies, you have probably
heard this famous line enough to pinpoint its cinematic origin. Let?s face it; Star Wars has transcended the geek
culture that carried its popularity for so many years. The cult phenomenon has
now engrained itself into normal society and is expanding its fan base at a
rapid pace. The most recent proof of this expansion came with the promise of a new
trilogy after the bombshell announcement that Disney would purchase Lucasfilm.

Even though its theme parks already allow die-hards to build
their own lightsabers, Disney isn?t alone when it comes to ?using the force?. Popular
shows like Family Guy have garnered
main stream reception through its ability to recreate the famous Star Wars stories while mixing in pop
cultural references. Other shows are finding amazingly creative ways to exploit
the cult following. Recently, the reality show Ink Master is even showcasing tattooing of permanent Star Wars images on fans, after making
the artists practice on a bunch of clone troopers first, of course.

Star Wars has also moved into the world of athletics; with
fans being able to hear the imperial march at many sporting events. Recently
the popular podcast Fantasy Football Focus (06010) adopted the phrase ?Fantasy Ackbar?
to help people avoid picking up certain players because, ?IT?S A TRAP!? There was even a
2001 census in the UK that showed 390,000 people recording their religion as
Jedi (although this was most likely due to an unfavorable response to the
question even being asked). Don?t forget about Star Wars Day either. May the
4th
be with you!

Star Wars is everywhere. The most popular iPhone game in
history has even undergone transformation with the recent release of Angry Birds Star Wars. Gaming has been a
staple in expanding the Jedi and Sith culture; providing experienced fanatics
with new endeavors into geekdom while reaching out to an extremely open and
youthful generation. Starting with the 1983 dawning of Star Wars in arcades, there have been a multitude of video game releases
that have changed the way the growing phenomena is experienced.

So what games have fans of the great series missed out on? What
game could a Star Wars fan like
yourself be playing that has magically eluded you during your gaming lifetime? With
an arsenal of over 100 games spread throughout arcade, console, and mobile
systems, here are 10 of the most entertaining games (in no particular order)
that the Star Wars franchise has given
fans over the years.

10. Jedi Star Fighter (PS2, Xbox)

     When
someone says Star Wars, most people immediately think of space in some way. Jedi Star Fighter gives players the
perfect opportunity to experience that setting. The game gives fans a way to
control a handful of space vehicles. This list includes favorites from the
movies such as the X-wing, TIE Fighter, and even Slave I – the ship belonging
to the famous bounty hunter Jango Fett. The basic concept is that players will
protect friendly ships while destroying enemy ones. Each vehicle differs in
speeds, stats, abilities and weaponry; so the game provides a handful of ways
to experience it. Fans can even share enjoyment in a unique co-op mode that
allows one player to pilot a craft while its gunners are controlled by a
friend. There have been many games before (Star
Fox 64
) and after (Halo: Reach)
that have succeeded in utilizing similar space combat. Although each game has
differed over the years, the one thing they definitely have in common is
succeeding at bringing entertaining flight simulations to space geeks
worldwide.

9. Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Xbox, PC, Mac)

     Not the
most difficult game but easily one of the most entertaining. My favorite thing
about video games is how their series tend to get better with each sequel, even
if we all have some stubborn nostalgic attachment to originality. Jedi Academy
is the final game of the Jedi Knight series and fills in all the missing pieces
missing from previous installments. In this game players embark on a journey
under the tutelage of a Jedi Master. The storyline is fantastic and gives fans
many paths to choose from, including if they want to turn to the dark side in
the end. Jedi Academy gives big fans of the series more control over their
characters appearance and outcome. The coolest and most important aspect is the
focus on lightsabers. Players will select different weapons including single,
dual, and double-sided lightsabers. Each saber includes a different combat
stance, completely changing the way the game is experienced. With the ability
to customize the color and hilt, the Jedi experience is complete. The game
utilizes the Quake III engine and provides multiplayer modes where players can
just unload their lightsaber rage on each other. Even with a dead online
multiplayer presence, the mostly third-person action game has such a wide
variety of story paths and character choices that it will always have some
level of replay value for a Star Wars fan.

8. Racer Arcade (Arcade) / Episode 1 Racer (N64)

     This is
one of the few Star Wars games not
based around killing enemies (even if you still can). It may just be a racing
game but it?s a great one, putting some of the famous Phantom Menace characters into player?s hands. The controls in the
game are extremely unique due to using hover vehicles instead of normal
grounded racing games. What could be comparably to something like F-Zero actually goes much further,
especially for true fans. The game immediately throws the player into the
famous pod race on Tatooine. The Nintendo version is rendered very well, but
the arcade system really puts you in the movie. In my life I only saw one Racer Arcade and it disappeared when the
last arcade in town did. It would be hard to ever get your hands on such a
bulky and rare machine, but don?t pass up the opportunity if you get one. It?s
just a unique experience to sit in a pod, moving the two levers, while
scrambling to cool down your sabotaged engines the way Anakin did as a boy.
Most will have to settle for the N64 version of the game to see all the
wonderful racetracks that clearly existed but went unseen in the movies. The
game may seem a bit short or limited, but that?s just because it emulates the
already successful aspect of racers that countless other games have used to
succeed.

7. Galactic Battlegrounds (PC, Mac) / Empire at War (PC, Mac)

     Star Wars made its splash in the RTS
genre by releasing these two titles. Overall the games are more about the Star Wars experience rather than a
flawless RTS.  Galactic Battlegrounds is the older game but gives players the
perfect opportunity to see their favorite alien races and characters in RTS
style scenarios. The game provides a number of campaign settings and multiple
outlets of achieving victory; ranging from using troops to forcefully destroy
all enemy units, to more passive approaches like the acquiring and protection
of artifacts (Holocrons). Galactic
Battlegrounds
is essentially a Star
Wars
themed Age of Empires. The
more original game is Empire at War,
an RTS that brings fans a mix of land and space battles that are sure to keep
gamers hooked. With a sandbox campaign that utilizes famous Star Wars characters as heroes and a
skirmish mode giving classic multiplayer feel, this is a game that can?t be
missed by RTS fans. Whether you are a hardcore gamer needing a deep campaign or
someone looking for quick fights of adjustable difficulties, these two games
are worth the look. At the very least the two creations successfully throw
players into their heavily desired universe while ensuring balance and replay
value that many other cult sci-fi adaptations lack.

6. Knights of the Old Republic (XBOX, PC, Mac)

     Although
the sequel was viewed as incomplete due to a rushed deadline, the original
paved the way enough that both are worth the buy. Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR)
is a must play for fans of the Star Wars
universe. The title was voted game of the year by IGN, PC Gamer, Xbox Magazine,
G4, and at the 2004 Game Developers Choice Awards. This is one of those games
that prove why its creator, Bioware, is a gaming giant. IGN even voted it #3 on
the best game of the decade (2000-2009). To this day the game stands as a
staple in video games; being featured on Time Magazine?s the top 100 video game
list of all time just this month. The game itself was derived originally from
the famous d20 tabletop game, Dungeons and Dragons. Choosing from different
character classes, players have free will to add stats to their character where
they see fit, along with waiting to unlock feats at specified levels. Best of
all is that players get to unlock their force powers to reenact fighting styles
specific to their favorite Jedi. KOTOR
boasts a great dialogue menu system along with an assortment of mini games and
quests to supplement an amazingly written storyline. There are so many
customizable factors in this game that fans have almost endless replay value in
character build. With the ability to control different powers based on the
decision to follow the light or dark side of the force, the storyline even
presents different replay capabilities. This is a ?game? after all though, and the
most entertaining factors usually come from the game play itself. The battle
system in KOTOR is tremendous having
built its Odyssey Engine to mirror the success of Neverwinter Nights. The game seems to play better on a console
using a controller, but both versions are sure to please avid gamers. With a
mix of RPG gameplay and balanced fighting, it shouldn?t take the Jedi mind
trick to convince Star Wars geeks
that they are missing out on one of the best experiences a fan could have.

5. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Xbox 360, Wii, Playstation 3, DS, PC, Mac)

     It may
be steered toward a younger generation, but when you combine the aspects of all
six Star Wars movies into one game,
you will succeed. The compilation exists on pretty much every platform a gamer
would own so you don?t need to search for extra machinery like you may need to
for some older games. Many past and present day children partake in the using Lego?s
so it makes sense that the Lego video games are actually becoming a staple in
today?s gaming community. You could skip what seems like a game with a simple
design, but you?d really be missing out. Sometimes simple goes a long way, and
this game is a perfect example. The key is to build a simple action game that?s
easily controllable and uniquely appealing to gamers, while delivering a
scenario that most people will flock to. Lego
Star Wars
truly brings a level of nostalgia. The game grants players the
ability the play as main characters from every movie while exploring famous
planets like Endor, Hoth, and Naboo. You don?t have to be a kid to enjoy a
recreation of such a magnificent series. Plus, where else can you see Darth
Vader?s head get chopped of like it did on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back? There are just too many favorite moments
and characters from the movies that are playable in this installment. The
biggest reason this game makes the list is because of how sure I am that many
older gamers don?t give it the chance it rightfully deserves.

4. The Force Unleashed ( Xbox 360, PC, Mac, PlayStation 2 & 3, Wii, PsP, DS, iPhone)

     For
many hardcore Star Wars fans, it?s
hard to introduce new characters that match up to the heroism of Luke Skywalker
or the intimidating villainy of Darth Vader. The Force Unleashed successfully introduces a new anti-hero
protagonist with an overwhelmingly accepted back story. Galen Marek (a.k.a.
Starkiller) is most commonly known as ?The Apprentice? for his morally
conflicting storyline as a disciple of Darth Vader. Like many newer Star Wars creations, players are given
the ability to choose their paths and decide where a love stricken, anger prone
Jedi will end up. Although the sequel to the game fails to bring the same
originality, both provide a wonderful 
hack and slash experience that give players the freedom of power
promised in the games title. The games lack replay depth, as most of it focuses
heavily on play rather than NPC interactions and cinematic entertainment. Quick
story aside, it is original and interesting. Plus, let?s be honest. People looking
for entertainment in video games are ultimately looking for something that they
can ?play?. The Force Unleashed will provide
just that. The third-person action game puts the player right into the role of
a Jedi. Players will custom build The Apprentice while trying to find the right
balance between their ability to use force powers and their proficiency using a
lightsaber. The lightsaber battling can be repetitive if you?ve mastered the
game as some enemies can be predictable and have obvious weaknesses. Overall
though, the increased volume of enemies as the game progresses present plenty
of difficulties to keep any fan occupied with the initial play through. Players
will have a difficult time mastering a game with such a high number of battle
combos, especially when needing to mix drastically saber abilities with force
powers to accomplish many. Players are even forced into being creative in each
battle as move sets can get stale with repetitive use on countless enemies. The Force Unleashed proves its
entertaining brilliance within the first minutes of playing. This game clearly
achieves something great for fans, as players get to test the full range of
Darth Vader?s abilities on an army of Wookies in the tutorial. It may be a
morally geeky faux pas, but something about force choking a bunch of Wookies as
you send them hurling off a cliff is easily one of the most disturbingly
entertaining things LucasArts has ever created. You may be one of those fans
who tend to enjoy the non-violent side of Star
Wars
, but that?s only because you haven?t had the opportunity to play this
game yet.

3. Galaxies (PC)

    Good
luck trying to experience this gem. Last December, Sony Online Entertainment
shut down the servers for Star Wars
Galaxies
, ending years of obsession and entertainment for many gamers
worldwide.  It?s a sad truth in the
gaming world but some creations have life spans, so it?s good to enjoy them
while they last. Galaxies was a Star Wars MMORPG that followed a
storyline taking place after the movies. Just like most MMORPGs, Galaxies also released expansions during
its run, presenting an even greater change throughout the universe and overall
gameplay. With all the other game releases during its run, the RPG accomplished
something unique by bringing players into the Star Wars universe instead of bringing the universe to them. What
that means is – where other games present an unchanged and replayable storyline
that is followed by general progression; Galaxies
presents a universe that continues to change whether you are logged into the
game or not. Players were finally given their own vehicles to maneuver through
space, rather than travel cut scenes like in most games. Players were also part
of a virtual Star Wars economy for the first time. Galaxies put huge emphasis on character customization and PvP
capabilities, things that now seem required in a successful RPG. These were all
true accomplishments, as Star Wars fans
could expect something different to look forward to each time they went to play
the game. The ideas were first of their kind in the Star Wars universe and fans have proven that the game would still
be alive and well if it weren?t for current competing endeavors by LucasArts.

2. Soul Calibur IV (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

     It makes sense that third person
mechanics work very well in the Star Wars
universe. With so much close combat fighting though, how can there not be a Star Wars themed arcade fighter?
LucasArts took a stab at the genre by implementing a multiplayer system that
allows lightsaber fighting between famous movie characters in their game, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The
game ultimately fails but definitely gave fans a chance to face off with their
favorite lightsaber wielding warriors. After all, how many other chances would
you have at taking a 4-saber wielding General Grievous into battle? It?s a
shame the game never took off, but luckily Namco existed to take the idea to
the right place. One of the biggest selling points in Soul Calibur IV was the ability to control three Star Wars characters. Three may seem
like a low number, but no one can really argue when those characters end up
being Darth Vader, Yoda, and the newly established protagonist Galen Marek of
all people. Soul Calibur has established
itself as a reputable fighter that focuses on the weapon each fighter is using.
Most fans of Star Wars know how
important a lightsaber is for a Jedi, so their storylines fit perfectly with
this games unique universe. This game gives a fan the perfect chance to tear
into enemies in a visually satisfying way they have always wanted. Controlling
Darth Vader does justice to how a clunky caped giant maneuvered so well in situations
that requires such dexterity. Watching Yoda jump around an enemy?s attacks
while landing blows of his own is eerily accurate to his performance in the Episode 2: Attack of the Clones movie. The Apprentice even controls similar to
the way he does in The Force Unleashed, giving gamers a rare
and almost seamless transition across game genres. If you are looking for the
best way to visualize and experience a lightsaber battle between a Jedi and
their enemy, this is undoubtedly the way to go.

1. The Old Republic (PC)

     With 1
million subscribers in its first three days of launching, Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR)
is the fastest growing MMORPG ever made, and probably the most expensive. If
you like Star Wars and have the time
to play a video game, this needs to be the one. Prior to November 15th,
players would have needed to pay a monthly subscription fee. Now people can
just purchase the game itself and play free of charge each month going forward.
With The Old Republic going free to
play, there really isn?t anything more satisfying when it comes to Star Wars in video games. Like KOTOR, players are part of a storyline
that takes place thousands of years before the movies where Jedi and Sith
openly dispute their differences. This is the most current and true of Star Wars experiences when it comes to
being part of a lifelike universe with social and economical implications. Customizing
their characters toward a Jedi or Sith lifestyle, players will experience one
of the most in depth and brilliant storylines ever created in gaming. The
MMORPG landed in the Guinness Book of
World Records
as the largest entertainment voice over project of all time.
The game features open and closed storylines that boast over 200,000 lines of
quest dialogues. There is tremendous interaction with NPC?s as players explore
a vast universe and experience missions that could each lead to a variety of
outcomes. The Old Republic provides
options of play for every type of gamer. Unlocking skills, taking down enemies,
developing companions, space combat in your very own starship ? the list goes
on. There isn?t enough time to express the hundreds of hours of content this
game provides in one article. No review site or magazine gave The Old Republic less than an 80% out of
100 score, which proves just how successful it is across all fields of gaming.
The thoroughly satisfying battle scenarios and prodigiously captivating
storyline promise to bring a one of a kind adventure to any Star Wars fan looking to indulge in
their passion entirely.

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