Unless you live on a desert planet and/or an internet free zone, you may be vaguely aware that Star Wars stuff is happening, something about an awakening Force. This writer's only pretending to play it cool, though, as in reality he's gorging on trailers for the new movie, listening to soundtracks and generally having a constant lightsaber fight on the brain at all times. If you're actually irritated by all of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens hype then, well, why did you click on this article?
In any case, Nintendo fans have been left out of the recent gaming hype around the IP due to Star Wars Battlefront only coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC. Darn. Yet do not fear, as the power of nostalgia and the weight of history is on our side, and if you really want there's some Star Wars stuff for Disney Infinity 3.0. But, back to nostalgia - plenty of fun and interesting Star Wars games have graced Nintendo hardware, and as lists are all the rage we've picked five. Well, eight games in five entries, because we cheat a bit.
So, without further ado, with the list begin we shall.
Unlike the Indiana Jones 'Super' release on SNES that combined the original three movies together, the Star Wars equivalents were actually released separately; rather than hog three slots we've brought them together. This was in the era when LucasArts turned some of its greatest franchises into action platformers with arcade twists, recreating iconic movies with chaotic 16-bit action.
The Super Star Wars games are tough, of course, and aren't entirely perfect, but in the hands of a willing gamer they can bring some thrilling nostalgia, with chunky visuals and brilliant music to keep you going. Though the first game has recently been released in an enhanced form on PS4 and Vita, all three emulated originals can still be bought for 800 Points each on the Wii Shop; if you're rocking a Wii U just fire up 'Wii Mode'.
Many gamers of a certain age will look back on this first Rogue Squadron title fondly - its campaign gives a spin-off story in which you whoosh around in a range of Rebel craft and blow the Empire forces away. At the time it was a real showcase on the N64, with gorgeous visuals and sound that were even better with an Expansion Pak boosting the presentation further.
This one would have a GameCube successor that set new standards, of course, in addition to the Battle for Naboo not-really-a-sequel on N64 that tied into The Phantom Menace, but nevertheless as the first in the series it deserves a look.
Oh boy, we can hear you sharpening the pitchforks. Yes, this was based on the most derided film entry in the franchise, but let's move on from that - let's just think about the game.
In the N64 era imagination was still important, especially with muddy visuals and character heads that were always square-shaped. This racer, even with its shonky performance in the PAL version, gives a fun sense of speed and has Star Wars music; if there was one stand-out moment in the film it was arguably the pod racing. This entry looked great with the Expansion Pak, too, and even outsold F-Zero X, even if it wasn't actually as good as the Nintendo game.
Oh, and if you can find the arcade with the pod-style controls be sure to play it - despite being a coin guzzler it's glorious.
This is probably the stand-out on this list, the GameCube title that blew minds and set new standards for any game that involved Star Wars and flying. What it also has, beyond exceptional presentation values, are scenarios from the original films, which were exciting to play through at the time and remain so today.
Despite its brevity this is often held up as one of the finest offerings on GameCube; completionists can also keep themselves busy for a while once the credits have rolled in earning medals and accessing bonus levels. For fans of the original film trilogy this is one of the premier video game recreations / experiences to be found.
We also recently did an extensive feature on the making of the game; you should probably check that out.
The Wii had a few Star Wars options, and we've bundled the two Force Unleashed games together - better than that The Clone Wars' one, anyway - mainly because each has strengths and weaknesses to consider. In both cases the Wii Remote / Nunchuk and motion controls are used for lightsaber and Force attacks; though the implementation is hardly 1:1, it's a fun concept.
The first game has a decent storyline but wonky presentation on Wii, while the second game was a bit of a lazy cash-in at the time but does have a whole extra mode on Nintendo's home console. As this is a four-player melee mode that feels a bit like Smash Bros., it naturally has its fans. In both cases there are moments to enjoy around some iffy areas, and these games may be worth checking out if they can be spotted in a bargain bucket.
Of course, we've left out plenty of games. Star Wars Pinball can probably feel hard done by, and the LEGO Star Wars games are iconic in themselves; in the end some nostalgia and a focus on recreating nerdy fantasy won out, but those are some games that could easily have been included.
In any case let us know which Star Wars games are your favourites in the comments, and may the Force be with you.