After the news that Disney is shutting down LucasArts and licensing Star Wars games over to other developers, it seems there’s no better time than now to take a look back through the top ten LucasArts titles of all time.
In its heyday, LucasArts was among the absolute best game developers, making some truly exceptional titles, most famously with adventure games and with the numerous Star Wars titles.
LucasArts gave the gaming world many of its most cherished franchises. Here’s a look back at ten of the best.
The Top Ten LucasArts Games: Farewell LucasArts
10: Super Star Wars Series:
Okay, so technically the Super Star Wars series is three games, but they sit so nicely as a series, being the SNES’ rendition of the Star Wars trilogy. Each game in the Super Star Wars series captured perfectly the feel of the movies (at least as well as any 16 bit title ever could). Though Super Star Wars was a little too hard, and Super Return of the Jedi a lot too easy, each game truly made you feel that sense of being a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.
9: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is one of the quintessential adventure games. It’s more than just a solid Indiana Jones spin-off, too, being a truly innovative title. With truly excellent voice acting (for the time), a gripping story and innovative gameplay, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is truly one of the best games LucasArts ever created.
8: Star Wars: TIE Fighter
If you were a Star Wars fan back in 1994 (and let’s face it, who wasn’t?) the idea of flying a TIE Fighter would surely have sent you skipping with joy like a bunny on happy pills. It would have been easy for TIE Fighter to become a commercial success just by being a mediocre game based on the spaceship battle of Star Wars. But LucasArts weren’t content with the idea of that. Instead, they produced one of the very best cockpit action games, good enough to sit right besides the likes of Wing Commander. Graphically stunning and with excellent AI, TIE Fighter became one of the best PC games ever (which PC Gamer recognised when they named it u8mber one in their list of the top 50 PC games of all time).
7: Sam & Max Hit the Road
LucasArts were always known for giving their own pe rsonal flair to games and for their distinctive sense of humour. No series ever captured that sense of humour half as well as Sam and Max Hit the Road, a game that will surely whet the eyes of many an older gamer. the work of Dave Grossman, Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert and Steve Purcel, Sam and Max Hit The Road was one of the funniest games of its time and well worth a playthrough even today.
6: Full Throttle :
Full Throttle is a work of creative genius, with its own distinctive and highly unique creative vision. Full Throttle marked the beginning of Tim Schafer’s genius work in gaming. Schafer let his creative muscles loose on Full Throttle, and in doing so revolutionised the adventure game genre. Full Throttle was almost like a movie, with larger than life characters, brilliant cinematics and a gripping story. It also gave rise to a new interface for adventure games, moving away from Maniac Mansions “SCUMM” interface.
5: The Secret of Monkey Island
The Secret of Monkey Island is probably the most iconic game that LucasArts ever produced. Every game in the Monkey Island series was an absolute classic, making Monkey Island one of the best Adventure games franchises of all time. Not only did they have amazing gameplay, but they were hilarious too, with moments such as Murray the talking skull and the hypnotic island rhythms being some of the best moments in any adventure game.
4: Knights of the Old Republic
LucasArts must have sensed a great presence in the force when they decided to make Knights of the Old Republic with Bioware. Perhaps they sensed what was to come for BioWare. The resulting game was simply staggering. Star War: Knights of the Old Republic was an expansive and deep title in which you created your own Jedi and made decisions in the course of the game that changed the way your character developed. Of course, this meant you could become a Jedi Master or a Sith Lord. There’s also an absolutely stunning dramatic twist at the end of the game. Knights of the Old Republic paved the road for Mass Effect, and as such, is one of the most influential games of its genre.
3: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Jedi Knight, the sequel to the original (and also utterly sublime) Dark Forces has you playing as Kyle Katarn, the galactic soldier who is on a mission to become a master of the force. Even though by today’s standards the graphics look dated, at the time they scintillating. The cutscenes (which many younger gamers would probably laugh at now) were revolutionary, truly pulling you into the Star Wars universe. The FPS gameplay actually made you feel the power of a lightsaber, and the level design was intricate and lightyears ahead of its contemporaries.
2 : Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle
Okay, so I’m quite blatantly cheating here by including Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle as one entry on the list. I blame LucasArts for making too many good games for a top ten. But hey, at least Day of the Tentacle is the sequel to Maniac Mansion so it makes sense kinda, plus, you can play the entire of Maniac Mansion from inside Day of the Tentacle.
Anyway, what matters isn’t my inability to make a top ten list. What matters is that these two games are two of the best adventure titles in the history of gaming, and also made LucasArts the company they are today. . . or at least, the company they were before Disney closed them down.
1 Grim Fandango
Ahhhh, Grim Fandango, a game that is sure to have older gamers travelling back in time as they recall their first playthrough of this absolutely amazing and belly-achingly hilarious title. Grim Fandango is a piece of art and has one of the best stories of any game ever. It’s a dark and funny noir mystery game that is regarded today as one of the most original works the industry has ever seen. It’s impossible for words to do this game justice. Find a way to play it and play it right NOW!