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Every Nintendo 64 Star Wars Game Ranked Worst To Best

When Nintendo launched the N64 in 1996, it created a cultural phenomenon. The console introduced Nintendo fans to 3D gameplay, won critical acclaim (along with numerous awards), and gave gamers some of the most beloved titles in the history of the hobby. Even today, those who grew up in the '90s still remember gaming sessions on the N64 with reverent nostalgia.

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Among the games that the N64 offered were four "Star Wars" titles that brought the excitement of another cultural phenomenon to Nintendo fans. These games covered different genres and different eras in the "Star Wars" timeline, offering something for practically every type of fan. Not all these games were equal, however.

While all four had their diehard players and each received at least a somewhat positive reception, there's no denying that some were simply better than others. A look back at the history of "Star Wars" on the N64 provides a clear ranking of all these games.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

It will be hard for some fans to see "Shadows of the Empire" ranked so low on the list. The game did some amazing things at the time and introduced some great, new characters and plotlines into the original trilogy era.

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Set primarily between the events of "Episode 5" and "Episode 6," players took control of Dash Rendar, a smuggler and mercenary working for the Rebel Alliance. Developed along with a novel, comics, and other tie-ins, "Shadows of the Empire" was an attempt by LucasFilm to reinvigorate interest in "Star Wars" before the release of the special edition films in theaters (per Thrillist). While this story was mostly rendered non-canon after Disney acquired "Star Wars," many fans still remember it fondly.

Despite the story's strength and characters, "Shadows of the Empire" ranks so low because of its lackluster gameplay. While its opening mission, a recreation of the snow speeder scene in "Episode 5" received praise (per Gamespot), the rest of the game was an unimpressive third-person shooter and platformer that simply didn't live up to other games of the era (per IGN).

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On top of that, fans who particularly loved the snow speeder mission would ultimately get another "Star Wars" game that did this gameplay much bigger and better and which ranks much higher on this list.

Star Wars Episode 1: Racer

With all the epic battles, flashy lightsaber duels, and daring adventures in the world of "Star Wars," it's hard to imagine a simple racing game could end up being so popular. "Star Wars Episode 1: Racer" achieved just that, however, thanks to its solid gameplay, extensive customization options, and varied race tracks.

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Allowing players to recreate the thrill of the podracing scene in "Episode 1," this game is often ranked among the best N64 games of all time and among the best "Star Wars" games as well (per RockPaperShotgun). While it only offered a very limited slice of the world of "Star Wars," it was still exceptional for what it was.

It may be overshadowed today by competitors like "Mario Kart" and "Forza," but "Star Wars Episode 1: Racer" still stands out today for its sci-fi twist on the genre. Without a doubt, this is podracing.

Star Wars Episode 1: Battle for Naboo

A successor to the popular "Star Wars: Rogue Squadron," "Battle for Naboo" brought the same starship dogfighting to the prequel trilogy while improving and expanding on the gameplay. Notably, the game brought some levels out of the sky by adding ground and water vehicles to the mix.

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While it undoubtedly surpassed its predecessor in some ways, it ultimately averaged slightly lower reviews and a slightly less enthusiastic response from fans. For some, this was because the game, while improved, didn't do anything truly original (per Gamespot). For others, it was a narrative tied to the less popular "Episode 1" that held it back (per IGN).

In spite of these critiques, "Battle for Naboo" still proved to be an exciting game and a worthy follow-up to "Rogue Squadron." While being connected to what is arguably the lowest ranked "Star Wars" movie among the core trilogies held it back, it's gameplay still elevates to the top half of the list.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

"Battle for Naboo" may have been a great game but it's hard to top the original. "Star Wars: Rogue Squadron” took the best part of "Shadows of the Empire" (the popular snow speeder level) and expanded it into a whole game (per IGN). The story followed the exploits of the titular squad of Rebel Alliance pilots as they took on missions against the Empire. Like the game that inspired it, "Rogue Squadron" expanded on the lore surrounding the original trilogy, allowing players to take part in various battles that never got depicted in the movies.

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In addition to an excellent story, the gameplay also earned praise from critics. The title worked within the limitations of the N64 to give players the closest thing to a true "Star Wars" flight sim outside of the "X-Wing" and "TIE Fighter" games on the PC.

While subsequent games like "Battle for Naboo" and a direct sequel may have improved upon the formula, this N64 game pioneered it and still holds a place of honor in the hearts of fans. For these reasons, "Rogue Squadron" gets the top spot in the rankings.

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