There’s a new hope for Star Wars games, now that Lucasfilm’s exclusivity deal with EA has expired. Up until recently, only Electronic Arts could produce Star Wars games. The results weren’t terrible, but a handful of multiplayer shooters and action games couldn’t rival the incredible diversity of Star Wars games that we used to get.
Now that Ubisoft has announced its very own open-world Star Wars adventure, it got the Tom’s Guide staff thinking: What other genres could use an infusion of Star Wars? Better still: Which classic Star Wars game series deserve another entry? Here are the Star Wars games we’d love to see, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Beat (Light) Saber
Beat Saber is the best Star Wars game that isn’t actually a Star Wars game. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the titular sabers are inspired by Star Wars, and with EA’s exclusivity out of the picture, now is a great time to make it official.
The best part is that the mechanics of the game wouldn’t even need to change, and you’d still swing your controllers around just as easily to hit those boxes in time with rhythmic music. But now you can include all the things an official Star Wars license has to offer: music, sound effects, official lightsaber hilts and plenty of Star Wars branding to push that link home. — Tom Pritchard
Bounty Hunter 2
Attack of the Clones was a very weak film, but it did give us Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. This spin-off game is set a decade before the film, and features Jango Fett travelling the galaxy in search of bounties to hunt.
We almost got a spiritual successor in the form of Star Wars 1313, which was set to follow Boba Fett on Coruscant, but now is the perfect time to revisit this idea. Not only is Boba Fett back on the scene, but there’s also a new bounty hunter in the form of The Mandalorian’s Din Djarin. Whether Bounty Hunter 2 would be a tie-in to a TV show, exploring what Boba was doing after the Clone Wars, or something else entirely, it’s definitely top of my wish list. — Tom Pritchard
Empire at War II
Empire at War, developed by Petroglyph Games in 2006, sets itself in the well-worn Galactic Civil War era of the franchise. But this game let you see the conflict play out both macro and micro levels, with both ground-based and space combat. The tech trees are impressively fleshed out, with the extended lore plundered to create a wide variety of units and heroes for the Rebels and the Empire, with little overlap. Of all the Star Wars games I’ve played, I’ve probably sunk the most time into this one.
Star Wars is well suited to strategy games, with its expansive universe and host of different species and vehicles that can easily become units. Unfortunately, that’s not a direction EA wanted to visit. But now that EA has had the reins taken away, an Empire at War-style game, be it another GCW-themed entry or one based on the prequel or sequel trilogy, would be fantastic. — Richard Priday
Jedi: Fallen Order 2
This entry may be cheating a bit, as EA is almost certainly working on Jedi: Fallen Order 2 already. Still, it’s an unannounced Star Wars game that we’d really like to see. The first Jedi: Fallen Order game was arguably the best third-person action game ever made in the Star Wars franchise, combining the exploration of Metroid Prime with the combat of Dark Souls. Now that protagonist Cal Kestis has become a Jedi Knight, defeated a Dark Jedi and evaded Darth Vader, what’s next? The setup for Jedi: Fallen Order 2 should be simple, as Cal, and his mentor Cere, are still on the run during the dangerous Jedi Purge. Give us another magical MacGuffin to chase and some more planets to explore, and the rest of the game should be just as fun as the first. — Marshall Honorof
Jedi Knight III
The Dark Forces series was another casualty of Disney’s mass “Legends” rebranding of old Expanded Universe material, and this one really stung. That series not only revolutionized early FPS gameplay, but it also gave us Kyle Katarn: an endearing mercenary-turned-Jedi, who straddled the line between light and dark. Equally handy with a blaster and a lightsaber, Katarn stole the original Death Star plans, confronted Emperor Palpatine’s squad of Dark Jedi Inquisitors and helped Luke Skywalker train new Jedi. There’s still lots of room for Katarn’s story to continue. But even a reboot in the Disney continuity would let us spend some more time with this intriguing character. The gameplay is also worth saving: an FPS that also lets you wield a lightsaber, and command a variety of Force powers. — Marshall Honorof
Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC
Star Wars was mysteriously absent from Kingdom Hearts 3, despite the fact that Kingdom Hearts is a mashup of Disney-owned franchises. It turns out rights issues were at play, with director Tetsuya Nomura confirming it couldn’t be included due to Lucasfilm having contracts with different companies. EA’s exclusivity deal was likely the main obstacle there.
Now, it seems like that contract is dead and buried, making it the perfect time to make this crossover happen. Kingdom hearts III already has the story-driven expansion Re Mind, and what better way to follow up than to send Sora, Donald and Goofy to a galaxy far far away? After all, who wouldn’t want to see Donald Duck in a lightsaber duel with a Sith Lord? — Tom Pritchard
Knights of the Old Republic III
Knights of the Old Republic III would be a big ask, since the first two games fall into the now-decanonized Star Wars Legends continuity. But given how many people absolutely adored the first two games, I don’t think that would necessarily be a dealbreaker — there’s no rule that says a game must be canonical. The first two KOTOR games were based on the Star Wars d20 tabletop RPG, and took place 4,000 years before the original movie trilogy. In it, a Jedi named Revan threatened — then saved — the Republic, before traveling beyond the Outer Rim to confront a mysterious empire of “True Sith.” What happens next? The series stopped short, so we don’t know — but we’d really like to. Since the Star Wars d20 ruleset is now defunct, a developer could adapt the breezy Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG instead. — Marshall Honorof
Knights of the Old Republic Remastered
Remastered games are trendy right now, so it’s high time that BioWare and Obsidian’s classic RPGs got a fresh coat of paint. As someone who missed them the first time around, but can’t bear returning to the old-fashioned mechanics, I’d love to see an up-to-date edition of Knights of the Old Republic.
Naturally, some fans would prefer a sequel, or a different kind of Star Wars RPG. But after Final Fantasy VII Remake showed how well you can blend old and new gameplay, as well as narrative elements, maybe there would be a way to convince those who’ve already completed KOTOR to come back to the series. — Richard Priday
Oola’s Dance Dance Revolution
How good are your dancing skills? Would you be willing to bet your life on it? This new game (from Konami, of course) could see you playing the titular Twi’lek as she dances in Jabba’s palace. Starting off with simple moves, the footwork gets increasingly complex as you strive to keep up with the music. Make too many errors and you risk incurring Jabba’s wrath — and a quick trip to the Rancor pit just below the dance floor. You can play with a regular controller, but PlayStation VR owners would get the added benefit of being able to manipulate Oola’s lekku. — Mike Prospero
Republic Commando reboot
The original Republic Commando was arguably the best first-person shooter among Star Wars games — and that’s saying something, since Dark Forces is the FPS that pioneered vertical aiming. In this ambitious game, you took control of a team of clone commandos, first supporting the Jedi during the Battle of Geonosis, then going off on their own campaign during the Clone Wars. A sequel would be tough, since Republic Commando was part of the now-defunct Legends continuity, but a reboot would be perfect. By tweaking a few story points and revamping the gameplay, Republic Commando could relaunch as an ongoing tactical FPS series, fully in line with whatever Clone Wars tales Disney sees fit to tell. — Marshall Honorof
Rock Band: Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes Edition
How do you get to the Cantina? Practice, practice, practice. Learn how to play the Dorenian Beshniquel, kloo horn, bandfill, Ommnibox and the fanfar as you and your band work your way up from seedy Outer Rim dives to the Coruscant Opera House to play in front of the Chancellor. Along the way, you’ll deal with shady managers, outsize egos, and Spice addictions. Can you keep your band together until you hit the big time? Rock Band: Fingrin D’an and the Modal Nodes would be available in both single- and multiplayer modes, naturally. — Mike Prospero
Thrawn grand strategy game
I don’t have a clever name for this one, but here’s the general pitch: You take control of Grand Admiral Thrawn as he attempts to conquer the galaxy, one system at a time. While Thrawn may not be familiar to moviegoers, both Legends and Disney Expanded Universe fans know him as a brilliant Imperial tactician who threatened the Rebellion with pure military prowess rather than Force powers. The setup for the game wouldn’t matter too much; just give Thrawn a single Star Destroyer and a remote system, then watch him build up his forces through resource management, diplomacy and strategic ship deployment. You could even work in some real-time battles, as Star Wars: Empire at War did. — Marshall Honorof