Top 10 Star Wars Games Where You’re Not a Jedi

By Abby Espiritu

With the recent release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it feels like everyone wants to try their hand at being a Jedi. And sure – being a Jedi is pretty cool, especially with great elites like Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Rey to look up to. But with all the energy and focus on the Jedi, it can be easy to forget that the Star Wars universe has many different roles, each filled with just as much excitement and importance as wielding a lightsaber. 

So whether you’re looking to fly a spacecraft, take on the role of a bounty hunter, or even try your hand at podracing, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top ten Star Wars video games where you’re not a Jedi. 

10. Star Wars: Starfighter

Top 10 Star Wars Games Where You’re Not a Jedi - Star Wars: Starfighter
Star Wars: Starfighter – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

Kicking things off at number ten is Star Wars: Starfighter. Released on February 19, 2001, this flight simulation action game takes place during Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. The game was initially released for the PlayStation 2, but just a little under a year after the game’s initial release, an enhanced version entitled Star Wars: Starfighter Special Edition dropped for the Xbox with new and improved graphics, multiplayer options, and more updates. Players followed three pilots before and during the Battle of Naboo. Players could unlock new spacecrafts and pilot missions as they worked to stop the invasion of Naboo.

9. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

Top 10 Star Wars Games Where You’re Not a Jedi - Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

Next up at number nine is Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. Released on December 3, 1996, this third/first-person shooter game takes place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The game was initially released for the Nintendo 64, with a new version for Windows 95 released the following September. Just recently, in 2016, the game was re-released for 64-bit Windows systems in a compatibility update. Players controlled a mercenary named Dash Rendar as he tries to save Luke Skywalker and rescue Princess Leia from Prince Xizor. The game remains the third best-selling Nintendo 64 title of 1997. 

8. Star Wars: Empire at War

Top 10 Star Wars Games Where You’re Not a Jedi - Star Wars: Empire at War
Star Wars: Empire at War – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

Here at number eight is Star Wars: Empire at War. Released on February 16, 2006, this real-time strategy game that takes place between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. The game was originally released for Microsoft Windows, though a little over a year later a version for Mac computers dropped as well. Focusing on the conflict between the Empire and the Rebels and the Galactic Civil War, the game featured three different modes: a storyline campaign; Galactic Conquest, which was the sandbox campaign; and Skirmish mode, which featured classic RTS gameplay. The game has since received multiple awards, with Computer Games Magazine praising it as “one of the most inventive game in years.”

7. Star Wars Episode I: Racer

Top 10 Star Wars Games Where You’re Not a Jedi - Star Wars Episode I: Racer
Star Wars Episode I: Racer – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

Coming in at number seven is Star Wars Episode I: Racer. Released on May 18, 1999, this racing video game was based upon the podracing scene from Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Players could sit inside the cockpit of twenty-three different podracers and choose from twenty-five different tracks in eight completely unique worlds. The game was first released for the Nintendo 64 and Windows platforms, though eventually ports for the Game Boy Color and Mac and Dreamcast platforms were made as well. Players could compete in podracing tournaments to unlock new racers and tracks, and use prize money to buy upgrades for their pods. Many actors from the film, including Jake Lloyd (Young Anakin), Andrew Secombe (Watto), Lewis MacLeod (Sebulba), Greg Proops (Fode), and Scott Capurro (Beed) all reprised their roles in the game. 

6. Star Wars: X-Wing

Top 10 Star Wars Games Where You’re Not a Jedi - Star Wars: X-Wing
Star Wars: X-Wing – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

At number six we have yet another flight simulator game, Star Wars: X-Wing. Released in February 1993, the game was the first of the popular X-Wing video game series, with this game chronologically taking place before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The game was initially released on floppy disks for PCs running DOS, though versions Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms were also eventually made. Players controlled a Rebel pilot flying through the Galactic Empire, and the game featured three tours of duty of 12 to 14 operations each. X-Wing was a commercial and critical success, with GameSpot hailing the game as “one of the best” Star Wars video game titles. Eventually, three sequels were made, as well as a novella that elaborated and expanded upon the events of the game. 

5. Star Wars: TIE Fighter

Star Wars: TIE Fighter – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

Halfway down the list at number five is the sequel to the above mentioned game and another flight simulator, Star Wars: TIE Fighter. Released in July 1994, this sequel takes place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, with the story beginning immediately following the Empire’s victory on Hoth. Like Star Wars: X-Wing, the game was released for floppy disks for PCs running DOS, with versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms eventually ported. Players assumed the role of an Imperial Starfighter pilot and traversed through a storyline that featured thirteen tours of duty. While TIE Fighter featured many similar aspects to its predecessor, there were a few key differences, namely in adding a targeting system and the ability to view mission objective statuses. Like X-Wing, the game was a critical and commercial success, with many dubbing it as one of the greatest video games of all time. 

4. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II – Rogue Leader

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II – Rogue Leader – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

Clocking in at number four is Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II – Rogue Leader. Released on November 18, 2001, this action game is the second installment in the Rogue Squadron video game trilogy and is set during the events of all three original Star Wars films. The game was exclusively launched for the GameCube system. Players controlled either Luke Skywalker or Wedge Antilles and took on missions in an attempt to fight the Galactic Empire. The game featured ten levels (or missions) beginning with the attack on Death Star during the Battle of Yavin and ending with the bombing of the Death Star’s core during the Battle of Endor. The game received critical and commercial acclaim, even going on to win the award for Best Action Game at the E3 2001 Game Critics Awards. 

3. Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter – Credit – Lucas Arts and Disney

Next up at number three is Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (known in Japan as Star Wars: Jango Fett). Released on November 19, 2002, this third-person action-adventure game allows players to take on the role of Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett, who was first introduced in Episode II: Attack of the Clones; the video game’s events take place before the events of that movie. The game was released for PlayStation 2, but a year later it was ported for the GameCube; it was also re-released for digital download on the PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3 and 4. While playing as Jango Fett, players must hunt down the Dark Jedi Komari Vosa. Many details about Jango’s past are revealed throughout the game, including more information on how his “cloned” son, Boba Fett, was born. 

2. Star Wars: Dark Forces

Star Wars: Dark Forces – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

The penultimate entry in our list, game number two, is Star Wars: Dark Forces. Released on February 28, 1995, this first-person shooter game takes place before and after the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. The game was initially released for MS-DOS and Macintosh computers and was eventually ported to the PlayStation as well. Players take on the role of a mercenary named Kyle Katarn, who is working for the Rebel Alliance, and are taken on a journey throughout many familiar locations in the Star Wars universe, including a Star Destroyer interior, Jabba the Hutt’s space yacht, and the planet Coruscant. The game was integral in the early development of FPS games and was one of the first games to allow players to look up and down, duck, and jump – which are common features in most modern FPS’s. Though the PlayStation port received unfavorable reviews, the PC versions did very well critically and commercially. Three additional sequel games were eventually produced to create the Star Wars; Jedi Knight FPS and TPS series. 

1. Star Wars: Republic Commando 

Star Wars: Republic Commando – Credit: Lucas Arts and Disney

Finally, at number one we have Star Wars: Republic Commando. Released on February 28, 2005, this first-person shooter game takes place during the Clone Wars that takes place between the events of Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The game was released for both Xbox and Microsoft Windows. Unlike the films and novels, which focused on the perspectives of the Jedi in its storytelling, Republic Commando focused on the troops and their stories. Players take on the role of controlling a Clone commando team and follow them throughout three different missions that span the course of about two years. The game generally received favorable reviews, though some were critical of the game’s short length and average multiplayer. Republic Commando is also known for being the first Star Wars video game to feature official licensed music. 

Conclusion

The Star Wars video game cannon has got it all – action RPG’s, first- and third-person shooters, flight simulators, and even pod-racing games! Sure, playing as a Jedi is cool and all – but with so many options to choose from, why would you stick to just one role? Why not try your hand at all the different titles, spanning decades of different gaming platforms, genres, and stories? Be sure to check it all out! And may the force be with you…

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