5. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
BioWare | LucasArts | 2003
Hands-down the best damn Star Wars game ever made.
What made it so great?
Set 1,000 years before the Star Wars films, Knights of the Old Republic gives players a chance to explore a galaxy torn between the Republic and the Empire-like Sith. As an amnesiac Jedi with a terrible secret, you'll travel from planet to planet, righting wrongs (or wronging them even further), gathering followers and busting out the crazy Force powers in all-or-nothing lightsaber battles.
KOTOR is awesome on every level - it's got an engaging storyline, characters you'll actually care about and turn-based battles that move so fast, they feel more like real-time hack-and-slash. Even the branching conversations are fascinating, which is great, because you'll spend a lot of time just navigating your way through them. Add a ton of side quests, cool outfits, upgradeable Dark and Light Force powers and a smattering of never-before-revealed Star Wars trivia, and you've got an RPG masterpiece that puts to shame anything else bearing the Star Warslogo.
Get ready to play
More like "get ready to lose a significant chunk of your life;" KOTOR is lengthy, immersive and addictive, with easy-to-learn combat that gets progressively deeper and more engrossing as you become more powerful. But the real lure here is in the characters, beginning with your own. Will you travel the galaxy being nice and charitable to asshole strangers, or will you counter every setback with a polished black boot to the throat? Your decisions won't just decide the fate of the universe - they'll actually shape how your character develops as a Jedi, offering unique experiences every time you play.
Been there, done that?
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has its problems - chief among them that it was rushed to market before it was really finished, leaving huge gaps in the story - but it's still a compelling tale in its own right. If you're after more of the same conversation-driven, lightsaber-focused action that made the first one so mind-shatteringly good, then KOTOR II delivers.