When it comes to Star Wars, one of the things you can’t help but think of is an X-wing. Whether it’s in the original saga, or the most recent teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, my heart swells at the sight of those split-winged ships tearing through the air.
When the films or my imagination just isn’t enough to get me my X-wing fix, I thankfully have a few solid game options to turn to. I humbly present to you the best ways you can experience flying an X-wing right now.
1. Get the Simulator Experience With Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
I know a lot of fans prefer the original X-Wing game, but I have a soft spot for Alliance because it came out when I was just the right age to appreciate its simulator qualities. It’s a great looking game, and it not only has a full campaign, but also lets you create custom missions. So if you wanted to say, try and recreate specific battles you’ve read about in books or seen in films, you can do that and then watch the replay over and over again. It’s every bit as awesome as it sounds.
Video made by YouTube user Adalla Productions.
2. Go Way, Way Back to a Galaxy Far, Far Away With Star Wars, the 1983 Arcade Game
At this point, arcades with classic machines are hard to find, but if you can find a place that’ll let you plop a few quarters into this historic game then you definitely should. While you can’t directly control your ship, and it has weird bits such as TIE fighters firing fireballs, it’s also one of the earliest ways to become Red Five and take down the Death Star. The vector graphics may not be as pretty as the other games on this list, but for a game that’s over 30 years old it’s remarkable that it’s still fun to play to this day. If you can’t find an arcade, you can still unlock it in the GameCube game, Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike.
Video made by YouTube user cuethemix
3. Take Control With Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
You’re going to have to do a bit of questing if you want to track down a copy of this modern classic. The follow-up to the Nintendo 64 title, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Rogue Leader was one of the best launch games on any console since. While launch games often don’t showcase the system’s potential, Rogue Squadron was gorgeous and had all the sound clips music fans loved, including new lines from Denis Lawson, who played rebel pilot Wedge Antilles in the films. If you’re looking for a more forgiving experience than the X-Wing series and can track down a functional Nintendo GameCube or Nintendo Wii, then look no further than Rogue Leader.
Video made by YouTube user yarksnaw
4. Get Competitive With Star Wars: Battlefront II
While other games might give a better simulation in terms of mechanics, Battlefront stands out as one of the best multiplayer Star Wars games ever made. Only in Battlefront could you start out as an orange-clad X-wing pilot running across a hangar deck, hop into a fighter, and then tear off into space and dogfight against your friends. There’s a reason we’re so hyped for the recently revealed Star Wars: Battlefront, and it isn’t just because of that pretty new trailer.
Video made by YouTube user ty6718pe
5. Immerse Yourself in the Dynamic Star Wars: Battle Pod
While this is the most recently released option on the list, it’s still only available in limited locations. However, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself close enough to one of these 1,200-pound arcade behemoths, you’ll get a curved display that wraps around you as you glide down the trench of the Death Star. Sure, flying an X-wing only makes up a limited part of the total experience, but Battle Pod looks like the most immersive X-wing experience you can have short of building a replica cockpit inside your own home.
What are your favorite X-wing games? Let us know in the comments below!