Taking the multiplayer duel mode from The Force Unleashed and stretching an entire game out of it, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels also stripped out some of the complexity of its progenitor and offered fewer fighters. Anyone looking for their dream 1:1 lightsaber game would also be disappointed - this as Waggle City. Not bad, but it had the potential to be so much more.
Another Ubisoft entry, Star Wars: Lethal Alliance put a Twi'lek on the cover, which is about the most exciting thing it has going for this third-person shooter. Ditching lightsabers for blasters, the story introduces characters new and old (Kyle Katarn's in it) and features the theft of the Death Star plans before Rogue One arrived to wipe the canon clean. With obligatory touchscreen shenanigans because DS, it's not awful by any means, just generic.
Star Wars deserves better, no?
The Clone Wars suffers from having only the least desirable vehicles from the entire franchise available to pilot. Perhaps we're biased towards the classic vehicles, but AT-ETs and Republic gunships don't get the pulse racing like a good old fashioned AT-AT or an X-Wing. Still, this game offers some decent vehicular combat and a dose of clunky on-foot lightsaber-y stuff, too. There's some more colour once you get off Geonosis, but it's a very beige game in more ways than one.
n-Space is a company with a bulging portfolio of Nintendo DS ports from hallowed franchises, including Call of Duty, several James Bond games and multiple Disney titles. They were also behind the DS port of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed which provided the base engine used in Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron.
As a portable version of the Battlefront series (the original Battlefront, not the more recent, lovely-looking versions), it's not a bad interpretation, although — surprise, surprise! — the basic gameplay gets a bit repetitive. It's not the ugliest thing we've seen on DS, especially the ship-based sections which look pretty nice, but if Elite Squadron were a child asking if it were beautiful, we'd cunningly change the subject and point overhead at a passing plane. You can't hold a game of this vintage's visuals against it, we suppose, and we'd take brilliant mechanics over graphical finery any day. Mechanically this is solid, which is enough to get it edging towards the top half of this list.
Jedi Academy is a lengthy trek across the (Expanded and non-canon) Star Wars universe that acts as a nice little time capsule back to when Star Wars games were a bit blockier and a bit sillier (perhaps for the better). The multiplayer might not stand up like it used to and the game is certainly showing its age, but it's still got plenty of lightsaber-swinging and all-in-all is a decent chunk of nostalgic Star Wars gaming, even if you can't play as Kyle Katarn. Speaking of which...
Jedi Knight II released on GameCube years ago and the recent Switch release was certainly a Force hit of nostalgia. Showcasing aspects both good and bad of this particular vintage of game, poor pacing can make it a bit of a slog but it features some decent combat and characters. And Kyle Katarn. If you played the original, you'll likely be able to weather its antiquated design and enjoy the game for what it is, but new players might lack the patience.
Hold up — we're getting a Force premonition vision! We see... a mediocre third-person saber-swirler. Repetitive. A bit clunky, but not unenjoyable... and a Darth Vader voice over that isn't quite there.
Handled by developer Krome, it featured a bespoke multiplayer duel mode which was rather pleasant. In fact, the Wii version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed isn't bad at all, it's just not as smooth, polished or fun as you want it to be. The DS version scales everything back as you'd predict. Overall it's fine, but we wanted unlimited power and this just feels a bit, well, limited.
The first game to tie-in with the Clone Wars animated series, this is a solid, if simple, little game that uses the touchscreen well and really looks and sounds the part as Anakin, Obi-Wan and co. do battle against the forces of the Dark Side. A nice little bit of drop-in/drop-out wireless co-op made this an undemanding but decent offering on a par with the various LEGO Star Wars titles available across all platforms.
A sequel generally disliked on other platforms, the Wii version was arguably the pick of the bunch and its multiplayer mode wasn't bad either. Not great, but as we've seen from the Dagobah swamp of dross we've waded through to get this far, plain competency gets you a long way with a Star Wars game. We'll quietly brush the terrible DS version under the carpet, but The Force Unleashed II on Wii didn't make us want to Force-choke ourselves. Yub nub.
The 16-bit 'Super Star Wars' games might not have been the most faithful or most exciting Star Wars games ever made, and in many ways they typify the repetitive qualities of many games on this list, but they were solid platformers that gave us and many others the perfect dose of Star Wars action on our Super Nintendos back in the day. They're great-looking, let you take control of different characters and even take a stab at introducing some gameplay variety with vehicular sections. With the Game Boy versions scaling everything down to work on the monochrome handheld, they're hardly world-changing video games or high points of the medium - and perhaps nostalgia is getting the better of us — but as old-fashioned movie-licensed platformers go, we can't help but like 'em.
Angry Birds — remember them? This Star Wars crossover came out for Wii and 3DS as well, and although the comedy of the mash up might not be to everyone's tastes, it's a fun little time sink all the same. It suffered from being massively overpriced on consoles, but the core Angry Birds gameplay is as fun as it ever was, except this had TIE Fighters with pig faces. What's not to like?
Wrapping up the Super Star Wars trilogy on Super NES, you get to finish the battle against the Dark Side (well, until Palpatine somehow congeals back into existence and the New Order arrives on the scene to take everything backwards again). The difficulty of this entry is a little easier than the others, and with five playable characters (including Leia and Wicket), and the opportunity to give Jabba, Vader and Palpatine a sound thrashing, it'd be rude not to finish the fight.
Also on 3DS and DS, LEGO Star Wars III features some ingeniously designed battles, action sequences, puzzle and platforming bits in the vein of the other LEGO games. They've always been targeted at younger players, but their humour and personality is enough to keep other gamers entertained for the (admittedly short) duration if you enjoy gaming in a galaxy far, far away. The basic gameplay is, well, basic, but the opportunity to take control of virtually any character you could hope for makes up for the lack of variety somewhat, and if you're a compulsive collector of bricks, coins and trinkets, the LEGO games should be right up your alley.