From Dark Forces to Battlefront, we have you covered.
Out of all the licensed brands out there, Star Wars might just be the one that has the most consistently good games. Not only that, it’s a franchise that’s stretched across virtually every genre which shows just how versatile George Lucas’ world really is. But, really, there’s one genre in particular (flight sims aside) where Star Wars has shined to a classic degree: First Person Shooters. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that several of its games have set the standard in many generations going back to the early 90s.
But, really, just how many Star Wars FPS games exist? And when did they come out? Well, just in case you were looking to play some of the classics after playing Battlefront we’ve created this complete list of Star Wars first person shooters and where you can find them in case your trigger finger is feeling itchy for a blaster.
Dark Forces (1995)
The original and considered by many to still be the best. You play the mercenary for hire Kyle Katarn on a mission for the Rebel Alliance investigating a new heavy trooper being researched by the Empire. The game is cut from the same cloth as DOOM, only Dark Forces features more emphasis on story and world building. It captured the feeling of Star Wars perfectly and even has the first on screen depiction of Coruscant. It also features a major innovation for first person shooters of the era: the “jump” button.
Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire (1995)
Available on GOG
Alright, so it may not be a FPS in totality but it does feature a first person level where you’re fighting stormtroopers in the lower levels of a Super Star Destroyer. Granted, the game is a little awkward with FMV footage integrated into its gameplay (it is the 90s, after all), but it’s an interesting relic of a different time in PC gaming.
Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997)
Here’s another classic for you. Yes, the awkward FMV cutscenes are still here, but the gameplay is just plain old school fun. Kyle Katarn is back, and this time he’s becoming a Jedi in a post Battle of Endor world. This time, you have a lightsaber and Force powers. Overall, it’s a great game that really captures the feeling of the original trilogy.
Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith (1998)
Available on Steam
This expansion pack to Jedi Knight has you mostly play as Mara Jade in what is kind of a continuity quagmire (yeah, yeah, we know there’s an explanation for why she’s Kyle’s apprentice. It’s still awkward). It’s not a terrible game, but it is a somewhat disappointing add-on to Jedi Knight.
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002)
While opinions vary, this might just be the best of the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight games. At this point in the series, the emphasis on lightsaber combat and Force powers puts more attention on third person gameplay than FPS run-and-gun, but those sections are still there… though mostly at the beginning. Still, the story is a grand tale that has you venturing from Luke Skywalker‘s Jedi academy on Yavin IV to Nar Shadda, with plenty of dynamic lightsaber fights along the way.
Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (2003)
While Jedi Academy is technically a sequel to Jedi Outcast.. it really just feels like a very big expansion. It’s still a great game, but it just doesn’t feel quite as fresh as its previous installment. This time, you play as Kyle’s apprentice Jaden Kor. You get to travel the Star Wars galaxy getting into trouble with a customizable character that allows you to pick your Force powers, alignment, and even choose between a single saber, double bladed saber, or duel wielding lightsabers.
Not to be outdone by classics of the era like Battlefield 1942, Lucasarts released this gem to compete on the battlefield arena genre. Still thought of fondly to this day, it has a great single player campaign that has you capturing planets using strategy game tactics. If you have to play an older Battlefront, however, you might want to go with the second game as it features additional content and refinements.
Republic Commando (2005)
The Star Wars answer to Halo, Republic Commando has you play as the leader of an elite squad of Clones in some of the dirtiest operations in the Clone Wars. It’s a very strong game that really shows a different side of the Star Wars universe. If you like squad based first person combat, check this one out. It’s aged very well and has a very immersive Halo meets Metroid Prime approach to gameplay.
Battlefront II (2005)
While it’s only ten years old, many feel that Battlefront II is kind of the pinnacle of the Star Wars first person experience. It can’t really be compared to the Jedi Knight series as they have the same goals, but if you want the best overall Star Wars multiplayer session many see this as the game to go to. The single player is strong, the multiplayer is versatile with a ton of content, and the space battles are pretty darn novel.
Available on Origin
Amazingly, it would be ten years after Battlefront II that we’d get another Star Wars FPS. The recently released revamp of Battlefront has an amazing attention to detail and a mind blowing visual presentation… but many find the game to be disappointing. It doesn’t have the same wealth of content seen in previous entries in the series, the vehicles don’t control very well, and character customization has seen negative reactions online. Add in the lack of a single player campaign and the almost mandatory $50 season pass and it’s easy to see why many are unhappy. Still, if you want the modern Star Wars FPS experience this is the only game you have.