"May the force be you. Always.” – and today, May 4th, especially: It's Star Wars Day again! Fans usually celebrate their day appropriately: they watch films and series or take the day as an opportunity to rummage through their favorite Star Wars game from the shelf. There are many good games – analogue and digital. However, some stand out with particularly good stories. These are our favourites.

If there's one thing that Star Wars stands for, it's cool stories. It contains everything you need for an entertaining evening - or Star Wars day -: Heroes and villains wielding lightsaber; the flat humor that makes you smile and the weird characters that nobody could even remotely imagine, but did. Storytelling works wonderfully, especially when it comes to games.

The stories of these Star Wars video games rock

Anyone who recently played Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, the first solo game in a long time, and celebrated the actually rather solid backstory, should definitely check out some of the Star Wars classics. They were really good storytellers decades ago - and still are today.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

Hands up, who can remember Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire after? Players followed in Dash Rendar's footsteps in 1997 to help Luke Skywalker eradicate one of those menaces that were literarily fleshed out even in the expanded universe. The Dark Prince Xizor, head of the legendary Black Sun crime syndicate, planned to supplant Darth Vader and become the Emperor's right-hand man himself.

By the standards of the time, Shadow of the Empire was a real hit. The Star Wars game had everything that a good player needed: exciting battles, flight sequences, travel to well-known locations from George Lucas' sci-fantasy universe and a pretty cool main character, for which one wished for many more appearances. But it should - at least depending on the selected level of difficulty - turn out differently.

Shadows of the Empire

Rendar meets Wampa: Just one of those cool scenes that you can experience in Shadows of the Empire. Image: GOG

Yes, the game design had its ups and downs, not everything went smoothly - especially the controls. Nevertheless: Shadows of the Empire convinced with an outstanding game entry, graphics and sound were great - this game was pure Star Wars. And it's still one of those Star Wars games that play alongside the movies. In this case at the beginning of episode V. The classic is still convincing today, if you as a player have some ability to suffer.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic doesn't really have to be recommended anymore. Anyone who is even remotely interested in Star Wars or, alternatively, is into role-playing games with a good story, knows this title. However, the other way around applies: To make a list of the Star Wars games with the best backstories without going into Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic would be pretty negligent.

Even today, Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic - more precisely both parts - is considered the Star Wars game par excellence.

The story: sensational. The presentation: gigantic. The scope: huge. The Star Warsyness: unsurpassed. In conclusion, there is no better Star Wars video game than these two. In addition, Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic illuminates an era that takes place thousands of years before the film events.

What Obsidian Entertainment has created is a massive RPG playground with countless quests, exciting stories and character development that really lives up to its name. As the game progressed, the "hero" grew into a real power monster.

The later MMO offshoot of Bioware, Star Wars: The Old Republic, picks up on the basic framework of the era, but does not come close to the narrative quality of Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic. Nevertheless, in the same breath applies: Biowares The Old Republic is also worthwhile as a solo player, because for an MMORPG this title offers great stories and, thanks to the class stories, many of them.

Republic Commando

Anyone who expected Jedi Outcast here is wrong. Sure, the Jedi Knight series offers great Star Wars entertainment, gameplay that's still competitive today, loads of Star Wars and trips to fantastical worlds, but Star Wars: Republic Commando brings the stories from a completely different angle.

The most dangerous weapon in the galaxy is your elite squad. Image: GOG

The most dangerous weapon in the galaxy is your elite squad. Image: GOG

The partially tough first-person shooter from 2005 lets players finally slip into the boots of normal soldiers. There are no lightsabers and power skills, but heated shooting and the opportunity to command your own elite squad.

The chaotic conditions in the galaxy provide the ideal setting for crisp fights and atmospheric missions that create the feeling of actually being able to change the war. Also exciting: Republic Commandos fills gaps in the story in the time before episode 3 - through the eyes of those characters who are otherwise only perceived as cannon fodder.

And Star Wars board games? Which tell good stories?

Board games can also tell stories. However, it takes a minimum of imagination on the part of the player so that one can really immerse himself in the worlds. Star Wars board games are more captivating because of their interactions embedded in rough background plots than because of their crass storytelling. Nevertheless: at least two Star Wars board games manage to cast a spell over fans - albeit not with new stories. And then there is an alternative.

Star Wars: The Outer Rim

Star Wars: Outer Rim is a often underrated storyteller. For the bring-and-buy title, Fantasy Flight Games relies on innumerable snippets of stories that unfold in tandem. Everything that the Star Wars universe has to offer is used: the encounter of iconic characters, the journey to known planets and the quest strands that develop step by step - measured by the playful success of the actor.

You have to give yourself and your fellow players reading time in Star Wars: Outer Rim. Photo: André Volkmann

You have to give yourself and your fellow players reading time in Star Wars: Outer Rim. Photo: André Volkmann

Outer Rim is a sandbox board game that doesn't really stand out for its repetitive actions, but only for its text-heavy passages. Sure, the concept doesn't work in the long run - at some point you've seen and read everything. Fortunately, FFG has at least indicated that new content and thus presumably a Expansion for Star Wars: Outer Rim will appear.

There is a lot of discussion about whether Outer Rim works well enough as a board game. As far as the pure Star Wars factor is concerned, this title from Fantasy Flight Games is unbeatable. The German version is also available from Asmodee.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Star Wars: Imperial Assault will still be available even after the miniatures game lifecycle has actually expired. In addition to a simple battle mode, there is a variant with the campaign game in which you get a lot of story for a board game. In narrative terms, the short scraps of the story only scratch the surface, but the tactical and therefore playful side of the Star Wars board game is convincing.


Modular game plans ensure long-term motivation. Photo: Asmodee

Modular game plans ensure long-term motivation. Photo: Asmodee

Countless large and small extensions ensure constant replenishment. There is even an app now that can be used to build additional “stories”, i.e. missions. More than 30 missions are already available at the beginning of the miniatures game journey. The highlight: Players build their unique squad from the available characters.

Star Wars: Pen and Paper

Not a board game, but an enormous amount of Star Wars, the pen-and-paper rounds in the popular sci-fantasy universe offer. There are numerous sets for beginners, while advanced learners can use special class or mission books - or think up their own stories. Everything is possible: typically pen and paper.

There are plenty of accessories and aids - this is not necessary for creative professionals, but makes sense. Image: FFG

There are plenty of accessories and aids - this is not necessary for creative professionals, but makes sense. Image: FFG

Anyone who gets involved in this type of role-playing will experience Star Wars with an intensity that is second to none. You can build your own character to your heart's content and experience countless adventures with him. In contrast to board games or video games, there is only an end here if the game master allows it or the group "runs into the wall", intentionally or by mistake.

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