The 5 Absolute Best Star Wars Games, Ranked

"Star Wars" is one of the most popular movie franchises in history, but the series' gaming side can be equally as entertaining. The franchise first dipped its toes into the gaming waters with a tabletop adventure back in 1979. Since then, things have gotten a lot more advanced. Games based on "Star Wars" can help fans relive parts of the series, fill in the blanks between the movies, or experience new adventures that took place even longer ago in a galaxy far far away. 

We've selected five of the best, four of which are on sale at the moment, to give you some ideas of what to look for when going on a "Star Wars" shopping spree. There are full-blown adventures, a couple of RPGs, a whole heap of nostalgia, some digital plastic toys, and a chance to swing a lightsaber for real — sort of. It's May the 4th and Steam is celebrating with a huge Star Wars sale, so you can pick up many of these games at a huge discount. Other gaming outlets are also having similar sales, so today is definitely the day to pick up all of the "Star Wars" experiences you've been dying to try.

5. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

You're unlikely to have a bad time with any of the "Lego: Star Wars" games, but last year's " Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga" is one of the most complete games they've released. It follows the stories of all nine movies that involve the Skywalker family — and does so in depth. There is a staggering amount of content in this game. Over the nine movies, you can take on the roles of over 300 characters, drive over 100 vehicles, and visit 23 planets. 

You can play the trilogies in any order. Older people may want to start with the original trilogy, millennials may prefer to start from the canon "beginning" with the prequels, and the youngest may prefer to follow Rey's adventures. Gameplay ranges from saber swinging, to blaster shootouts, to starfighter battles. It's also pretty family-friendly if you want to introduce your kids to the series. Seeing a Lego hand getting cut off is far less traumatic. They pop right back on. On May the 4th, "Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga" is available at 60% off — you can pick it up for just $19.99.

4. Knights of the Old Republic II

"Knights of the Old Republic II" is the sequel to 2003's "Knights of the Old Republic" — but happens to be made by an entirely different studio. While it's hard to beat the sort of work Bioware was doing in that era, Obsidian isn't a bad studio at all — as fans of "Fallout: New Vegas" and "Pillars of Eternity" will attest. Unfortunately, fans of "New Vegas" will also identify with other parts of "Knights of the Old Republic II's" story. On launch, there was a lot of cut content and the game was pretty buggy. Modern versions have been patched, and there's a content restoration mod available, so this game is finally everything it was meant to be.

It's a shame the initial issues took some of the shine off though, as several gameplay features are an improvement over the original "Knights of the Old Republic." In terms of plot, you are an exiled Jedi traveling through space with a strange old woman who is obviously evil. As your journey goes on you meet more companions, most of whom don't like each other. You'll also take on several Sith Lords, including one who isn't anywhere near as tough as he looks and another that is irritatingly immortal. While it isn't as good as its predecessor, it is still a fantastic Star Wars RPG. You can currently nab "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II" for just $3.49 during Steam's "May the 4th" sale.

3. Jedi: Fallen Order

While the prequels get some criticism, "Order 66" is one set of scenes that sticks in the mind. Although it was a relatively small part of the movie, Anakin Skywalker slaughtering a temple full of kids really illustrates how far he managed to fall on his way to becoming Darth Vader. "Jedi: Fallen Order" takes place in the aftermath of that purge. You play a Padawan on the run from the Empire as it tries to stamp out all of the remaining Jedi.

The game is played from a third-person perspective, the lightsaber combat is smooth, and the title character Cal Kestis' status as a Padawan works well with the way both he and the player progress throughout the game. The plot is solid, and graphically it's what you would expect from a modern "Star Wars" title. It's absolutely stunning in places. If you like "Jedi: Fallen Order", its sequel "Star Wars: Jedi Survivor" has also been released, so you can continue Cal's story if you want to. Sadly, this title didn't make it into the "May the 4th" sale, so you'll be parting with $40 if you want to buy it outright. However, it is possible to play it for much less. The title is included with an EA Play subscription, so if you're confident you can complete it within a month it's only around $5.

2. Star Wars: Battlefront II

Not all "Star Wars" games involve swinging a lightsaber around while wearing a glorified bathrobe. One of the best is actually a first-person shooter. "BattleFront II" is a large part of many a millennial's formative years. Like its prequel, the game sees you take on the role of a soldier during one of the series' many iconic battles. There are different categories of troop, and if you perform well enough you can collect enough points to play as a "hero" character. 

This can be someone who uses a gun, like Han Solo, or even a Jedi like Obi-Wan Kenobi. In addition to fighting some of the original series' and prequel's most epic battles on foot, you can also pilot a number of vehicles like speeders, AT-RTs, and even an AT-AT. If you really want to get involved in a dogfight, there are also space battles you can play. All of this can either take place offline against bots, or online against other humans.

It also recently got a remake, so you can have a similar experience with far better graphics than the original Xbox-era game. "Star Wars Battlefront II: Celebration Edition" is available as part of Steam's "May the 4th" Star Wars Sale. It's currently 75% off and priced at just $9.99. There's also a bundle available, which allows you to pick up the first game in the series too for around $4 more.

1. Knights of the Old Republic

What do you get if you cross Bioware at the peak of its RPG-making powers with a wholly unique "Star Wars" story? You get "Knights of the Old Republic," (KOTOR) and it's still the best "Star Wars" game ever made. In KOTOR you start the game as a recruit aboard a Republic starship that is being attacked by the Sith. After making it to an escape pod, you crashland on an alien world. There are only two other survivors you know of: a very annoying man named Carth who is intent on accompanying you, and Bastilla, a Jedi who was also on board the ship. 

Your first major task is to find Bastilla, then escape the planet. You bump into other companions along the way, and there's a whole plot with a major twist you can follow. We won't spoil it here, on the off chance you've managed to somehow avoid KOTOR's plot details for two decades. 

While the graphics, map size, and combat may be a touch out of date, the core story is enough to keep this game at the top of the "Star Wars" totem. It's still the purest "Star Wars" RPG you'll find, despite the fact it is 20 years old. You can create a character, choose your path, make difficult decisions, and utter the odd witty one-liner. "Knights of the Old Republic" is available at 65% off during Steam's "May the 4th" sale, so you can pick it up for just $3.49.

Honorable Mention: Want to feel like a Jedi? Don't buy a Star Wars game

We can't have a list like this without mentioning something many claims is the best "Star Wars" game on the market these days. Obviously, it's VR-based. VR is highly immersive and the perfect medium for accurate lightsaber combat. Oddly enough though, it isn't "Vader Immortal" or "Tales from the Galaxy's Edge." While the official titles are worth a mention, they aren't anything special. The best VR "Star Wars" game is actually "Blade and Sorcery." The sword-fighting simulator is pretty close to "Star Wars" to begin with. Many of the spells, notably the gravity spell and lightning, are similar to force powers. Gravity in particular can be used as a force push or a force choke — if you're that way inclined.

But to really make "Blade and Sorcery" the ultimate "Star Wars" simulator you need a mod. The Outer Rim is the best one around at the moment. It adds lightsabers, blasters, and makes the spells a bit closer to actual force powers. Enemies also become "Star Wars" based, so instead of gladiators, bandits, and nights, you'll get smugglers, Jedi, and Sith. As lightsabers only weigh as much as their hilt, "Blade and Sorcery" may actually be closer to lightsaber combat than it is swordplay. Either way, this is a must-try for any "Star Wars" fans with access to a VR headset.