When we had the idea of walking through the history of Star Wars video games, we knew there would be a lot of games to sift through. We did not realize how many.
Not counting the same game reproduced for multiple platforms or games that merely slap Star Wars skins onto game mechanics that really have nothing to do with Star Wars, there have been more than 100 Star Wars video games developed since 1982.
We are hard-pressed to think of any intellectual property that has spawned as many licensed video games as Star Wars, other than perhaps the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam, which is pretty much the Japanese equivalent to Star Wars in terms of longevity and overwhelming cultural influence.
To whittle the list of games down to a manageable number, we excluded iPhone/mobile, educational, Flash games, and handheld-only titles from the list. We also excluded compilations and game expansions.
This left us with a core list of arcade, console, and PC Star Wars games, and the decision as to which of those games to highlight. We guided those choices by looking for games of undeniable cultural influence within Star Wars fandom, games that are considered important from a design standpoint outside any relationship to Star Wars subject matter, and games that received critical acclaim.
(Click here for a full-side image.)
Illustration by Max Fleishman