4 Reasons Knights of the Old Republic Is the Best Star Wars Game Ever Made

Darth Revan from the Knights of the Old Republic remake trailer.

There have been, conservatively, 67 Star Wars games made since the first film was released, and of those 67-ish titles, Knights of the Old Republic remains the very best. First released in 2003 for PC and Xbox and ported to Switch in 2021, the game is also considered one of the best RPGs ever made, so it was a big deal when a remake was announced last year.

But today, news broke that the Knights of the Old Republic remake has been “delayed indefinitely”. The news hits particularly hard because, according to the developers, the remake was being built from the ground up to bring the game to a brand new audience and for next-gen consoles.

The original game is still available today, but it’s extremely dated. Obviously graphics aren’t everything, but it’s hard to recommend anyone plays the original Knights of the Old Republic in 2022. Still, the story is one of the best that’s ever been told in Star Wars, and it skillfully combined turn-based, tactical gameplay with realistic characters, a huge semi-open world to explore, plenty of character customisation — and one hell of a twist.

If the remake is ever released, it’s going to be one hell of a game. Here’s what makes Knights of the Old Republic the best Star Wars game ever made.

(Since the game is almost 20 years old, we’ll be discussing heavy spoilers below.)

A Long Time Ago…

Set 4,000 years before the Jedi were wiped out by Order 66 and Emperor Palpatine rose to power, Knights of the Old Republic told a totally unique story.

Darth Malak, the last remaining Sith lord after the mysterious disappearance of his master Revan, is leading a war against the Republic, which the Republic is quickly losing. You play as a lowly Republic soldier who’s unusually strong in the Force, and your mission to stop Malak leads to the revelation that you’re actually an amnesiac Revan.

It was a genuinely shocking twist, made better by the way it’s revealed — an old memory surfaces, and Revan takes off their helmet to reveal… your face!

The game had been foreshadowing the big reveal all along, but most of the hints can be brushed off as generic Star Wars quotes about the Jedi and the power of the Force.

“The Jedi do not believe in killing their prisoners. No one deserves execution, no matter what their crimes,” Bastila tells you early in the game. What she really means is that not even the most powerful Sith Lord deserves to be executed.

No Star Wars game, movie or show since has pulled off a more surprising twist than the Knights of the Old Republic Revan reveal — except perhaps Baby Yoda’s introduction in The Mandalorian, naturally.

Light or Dark Side?

Canonically, Revan turns to the light side of the Force and defeats his old apprentice to restore peace to the galaxy. But Knights of the Old Republic tries to seduce you with the power of the dark side, and it’s entirely possible to give into it.

Dark side Force powers are incredibly strong and can turn the tide of a difficult battle, which is tempting for even the most steadfast Jedi. Dark Jedi robes are just as powerful as their light side counterparts, and are more appealing for players who prefer an all-black wardrobe. And, of course, you can wield a red lightsaber, which is always a perverse pleasure in a game.

Besides the MMO spinoff Star Wars: The Old Republic, no game since has let you choose your side, which still feels like the ultimate choice in a Star Wars game.

Hello World, This Is Me, Life Should Be Fun For Everyone

Your quest to stop Malak takes you to iconic planets but also ones we’ve never seen before or since in Star Wars. Each planet has its own story you have to complete before you can move on, and they’re just as responsible for making Knights of the Old Republic unforgettable.

On Tatooine, you befriend the Sand People and fight a krayt dragon; you’re arrested and represent yourself in court on the oceanic world of Manaan; on Korriban, you infiltrate a Sith Academy and plunder ancient Sith Lord tombs to find a legendary blade; and you help liberate the wookiees on Kashyyyk.

The recent Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order took us back to Kashyyyk but also showed us what’s possible to create in a Star Wars game with new graphics and technology. Maybe a Knights of the Old Republic remake wouldn’t add any new planets, but it would certainly make revisiting these ones a sight for sore eyes.

Falling for You

The hallmark of a good RPG is, famously, romance. It doesn’t matter if you’re saving the world; you should be able to take time out to flirt shamelessly with other characters. In Knights of the Old Republic, your romance options are somewhat limited: Carth and Juhani can only be romanced by a light side female character and Bastila can only be romanced by a male character.

A Knights of the Old Republic remake could update the romances and make them more inclusive. Let players sweep Jolee Bindo off his feet. Let the wookiee Zaalbar sweep them off their feet. Hell, let them romance the murderous droid HK-47 if they want!

More importantly, a remake could add some much needed LGBTIQ+ representation to the Star Wars universe.

Beyond the less-than-ideal romances, Knights of the Old Republic also had barebones combat that could be downright janky at times. The morality system was extremely binary, and the graphics were edging on dated even at the time. But it’s still one of the best Star Wars games ever made, a perfect intersection of fan service and AAA prestige. If nothing else, we deserve the Knights of the Old Republic remake so we can experience the game devoid of these issues.

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