A Disturbance In The Force: The 10 Worst Star Wars Games

by Javy Gwaltney on Dec 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Darth Reiner has already given you the best. Now let's get ugly, like sleep-deprived Emperor Palpatine levels of ugly. Out of the mounds of Star Wars titles that have been released since 1979, we've combed the piles of cartridges and discs in our trash compactor to discover the most soulless and broken Star Wars games ever unleashed upon the galaxy.

If you've got the stomach for it, gather 'round younglings, and gaze upon the bombaddest Star Wars games one last time before we wheel them off to the Sarlacc pit and cast them into fanged, wormy oblivion.

As always, feel free to sound off in the comments below with your own arguments and personal lists and if you decide to take a dark trip down nostalgia lane and play any of these games after reading this list, may the Force be with you!

10. Obi-Wan

Obi-Wan is an awe-inspiring mess, a game that somehow manages to bungle the concept of playing one of Star Wars' coolest characters to the point  that it's an absolute slog weighed down by countless technical issues, awful stealth sections, an awkward control scheme, and voice acting so bad that you have to hear it to believe it.

Obi-Wan's combat, which should be its strongest element, requires you to use the right stick to swing the sword. And while that's a cool idea, the awkwardness of that control scheme along with the game's stiff animations makes it feel more like you're batting some space rapscallions about the head with a billy club instead of deftly using an instrument of deadly beauty to cut through swaths of helpless goons. At its best, Obi-Wan plays like a really rough and awkward early version of Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Outcast, a far better game released less than a year later. Ouch.

9. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

This top-down adaptation of The Phantom Menace essentially took every major scene in the movie and blew it out into 45 minute levels. That worked well for the first sequence, with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan aboard the Trade Federation ship, but why did anyone think that forcing players to explore The Gungan capital of Otoh Gunga or deserted Tatooine for an extended period of time was a good idea?

Even The Phantom Menace's best moments, the action set pieces, are dealt a fatal blow by just how awful the camera is. Good luck aiming at anything. The entire last fight with Darth Maul is you running around, swinging your lightsaber like a mad person and hoping you hit him before he hits you. There's no skill or rhythm to what should be an incredible showdown; it's just dull and frustrating. That the game is as hideous as Ponda Baba's cheeky visage and suffers from chugging framerate doesn't help matters either.

8.  Star Wars: Demolition

Star Wars has traversed a lot of game genres: action, RPGs, first-person shooter, strategy games, and vehicular combat for some reason. Star Wars: Demolition is essentially a Twisted Metal clone and, like most Twisted Metal clones, it's bad. In the game, the Galactic Empire makes Podracing illegal so Jabba The Hut has to devise a new sport, which apparently means sending fan favorite characters to duke it out in an arena with their vehicles in tow. Ever wondered what it might be like to see Darth Maul on a floating chair and Boba Fett go up against each other?

Me neither, but that's the sort of thing that Demolition wants to sell you on. Too bad the clunky controls,  bad combat, and just general lack of inspiration kill any fun to be had.

7. Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars: Rebellion is a bit of a tragic game because it actually had several brilliant ideas behind it. Being able to mess around with the Star Wars' timeline and kill off major characters from the movies was a neat concept as well as the notion of managing systems from across the galaxy. It's a bit of a shame then that the execution of those concepts is such a drastic misfire thanks to a convoluted user interface that just isn't worth dealing with to get to Rebellion's spare offerings.

The worst part of all of this is that this remains the sole attempt to make a proper 4x strategy game out of the Star Wars universe, with no successor to build upon the promising ideas that are buried deep within Rebellion's flawed design. Far and away one of the biggest disappointments in the series' huge catalog of video games.

6. Star Wars Card Trader

Everyone loves a good collectible trading card game, right? Magic: The Gathering. Gwent. Hearthstone. So it stands to reason that a Star Wars trading card game would be at the very least pretty entertaining, except that Star Wars Card Trader has no battles or really anything for you to do with the cards except collect, buy, and trade them.

They're not even physical cards! Completely digital. You can't sleeve them or pack them away in your attic and pull them out to admire them every once in a while. They're just little images you can pay absurd amounts of money to stare at on your phone. Luckily, there's a new, better mobile card game on the block called Star Wars: Force Collection but it still doesn't explain the strange, inexplicable existence of Star Wars Card Trader.

5.  Star Wars: Rebel Assault

Rebel Assault is an ugly rail shooter that lets you play a B-rate Luke Skywalker named Rookie One as he pilots a shuttle through pixelated canyons and shoots down asteroids in an A-Wing among other things. The game also has one of the worst control schemes ever devised, making the unfairly difficult and no fun to play at all.

Somehow Rebel Assault was followed up by a sequel titled The Hidden Empire that made our Top 30 Best Star Wars for telling a story that "is as jaw-droppingly bad as The Star Wars Holiday Special." The original game doesn't enjoy the "so bad it's good" distinction though. It's simply a blazing garbage heap from beginning to end.

4.  Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi

Masters of Teras Kasi is not just a bad Star Wars game. It's one of the worst fighting games ever made thanks to unbalanced characters, painfully slow movement, and just general stuff that made no sense within the context of the Star Wars universe. Why doesn't lightsaber contact sear off enemies' limbs? Why is Boba Fett using kung fu instead of his blasters?

Masters of Teras Kasi is inferior to Virtua Fighter and Soul Caliber, the two series it cribs so hard from, in every way. Out of all the entries on the list that seems to suggest an earnest attempt to make an honest to goodness fun game, there is none more bereft of joy than this abominable fighter.

3.  Star Wars: Jedi Arena

The vast majority of early game adaptations of films focused on making certain action-packed scenes interactive in some way. The early Bond titles of the 80s and 90s, for example, were often just a chase sequence from one of the movies expanded into a game. Jedi Arena does the same thing except that it curiously takes the lightsaber droid training sequence from The New Hope, most notable for revealing Han Solo's lack of faith in the Force, and stretched that into a really bad, simplistic game.

The only good thing to come out of Jedi Arena, which is decidedly more of a marketing product than a game, was this amusing commercial.

2.  Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing

It was Spring of 2001. Things were good. Final Fantasy IX, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and Black & White had just been released. It was a fine time to be a gamer. And then Super Bombad Racing was released and the world split in two, chaos reigning over humanity until the last heartbeat in all of existence went quiet.

Okay, it wasn't that bad, but Bombad Racing is still pretty offensive on a number of levels. It's a Kart racer with no respect for the genre, being actively terrible with its poorly designed courses and dull racing gameplay. Bombad Racing's crime isn't that it turns Star Wars into something much sillier but instead that it does it without any zest or spirit of its own, lifelessly imitating the design of Mario Kart without understanding the balance of powerups and speed that makes that game work so well. It's a hollow mockery of an entire genre, rightly deserving of the scorn it's received since its creation.

1. Star Wars Kinect

Star Wars Kinect is stunningly awful.  How could I, or anyone, possibly be up to the task to explaining to you how gargantuan of a disaster this game is if you haven't experienced the terror of its cavalcade of shoddy minigames for yourself? How cynical it is? How the entire game depended on a device that simply didn't work half the time? It's stunning that such a game, one with a key segment featuring Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine shaking their butts in a dance off, was ever released in the condition it's in. It's the sort of horror that should be sealed away from the rest of mankind forever alongside the Kinect itself. We can only hope that Star Wars will never plumb these depths again.