Bioware's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic proved that making an amazing Star Wars experience could be accomplished by combining excellent storytelling and memorable characters with the franchise's fascinating alien worlds and lore. KotOR is a Star Wars nerd's dream game. You get to wield a lightsaber, play Pazaak cards, use Force powers, gather a group of unstoppable space heroes, and save the galaxy. What more could you really want? It's the ultimate Star Wars experience, and is deservedly on our 100 best games of all time.
KotOR takes place a long, long time ago (almost 4,000 years before the
Galactic Empire), back when the Jedi Knight headcount was well into the
thousands and Darth Bane’s “rule of two” chronologically did not apply
to the Dark Lords of the Sith (meaning, there are a whole lot of bad
guys running around brandishing red lightsabers). Bioware took this
fresh setting, far away from the original trilogy, and created a new
universe that longtime fans and newcomers alike won’t soon forget.
What makes KotOR earn its spot among the greatest games ever made is its engrossing, epic story. You start off the game as a nobody in search of a powerful Jedi Knight on the city-planet of Taris. After speed racing biker gangs, dodging Sith troops, and avoiding an underground Rakghoul plague, you narrowly escape the planet only to watch the surface get utterly vaporized by an orbiting Sith fleet. And all that action is just the beginning. The adventure and wonders of the Star Wars world constantly bombard your emotions with its vibrant bustling environments and gut-wrenching choices throughout the entire experience.
Eventually you’ll discover that you’re a Force-sensitive former Lord of
the Sith (in one of the most unexpected plot twists in games), the new
Sith Lord Darth Malek is hell-bent on taking control of the galaxy using
the limitless power of something called the Starforge. Naturally, it’s
up to you to stop him. Choices begin to present themselves, forcing you
to align yourself with the Light or Dark Side as you and your ragtag
crew encounter unfortunate characters to help (or blow off) in your hunt
for the Starforge’s Star maps. Many of your decisions result in life or
death situations for some of your crewmembers, affect your standing
with individual companions, and alter parts of the storyline, making you
want to pore over every dialogue option before deciding on a course of
action. The element of choice completely absorbs you into the
storytelling, and the more you dive into the lore and interact with the
characters, the more you feel rewarded for it.