20. Star Wars: Battlefront II
Pandemic | LucasArts | 2005
You know all those crazy laser-infantry battles in the Star Wars movies? This game dunks you right into the middle of those skirmishes
What made it so great?
Intensity and authenticity. Those two qualities make the game in this first-and-third person shooter from a galaxy far, far away. Developer Pandemic expertly realized wargrounds near and dear to Star Wars fans, stuffed them full of heavily armed vehicles (mostly well-known), then stuffed in nicely-sized opposing armies complete with a detailed class system so that the various unit classes all felt slightly different.
That was all in the first game. This second game added compelling new game modes, titanic space battles to complement the planetside platoon action and - what's this? - playable Jedi, capable of singlehandedly turning the tide of a battle, but which somehow didn't rupture the game's balance. Topped off with a gritty story mode that chronicles the history of the 501st stormtrooper division - the ultimate fan service? - it's breathtaking.
Get ready to play
All you really need to know to enjoy Star Wars Battlefront II is which way to point your blaster and how to tell a stormtrooper from a Wookiee. However, the more time you spend learning the maps, discovering the nuances of the different character classes and getting a feel for how to survive the space skirmishes, the more depth you'll notice. Then, take it online and feel the attraction of whichever side you favor.
Been there, done that?
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat shaped up as a surprisingly hot military shooter that gives a single player command of a whole squad, but enables you to hot-swap to any character at any time. So you're a whole team of bad-asses instead of just one. Strong online support as well, for those who just don't like soldiering alone.