Since its release last week, there’s only been one question on the minds of LEGO fans: where does TT Games’ LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens rank among the studio’s best? We’ve had a few days to play through the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga and let it sink in, so it’s time to find out once and for all (well, until the next one).
10. The LEGO Movie Videogame
It’s a game of a movie of a toy, but if you could get past the cynical brand-ception of it all, the LEGO Movie Videogame was actually a lot of fun. The irreverent charm of the movie remained intact, while the hub areas captured the various locales perfectly, from Bricksburg to Cloud Cuckoo Land.
9. LEGO The Lord of the Rings
LEGO LOTR marked a couple of major turning points for the franchise. In addition to abandoning the silent, visual humour of previous games in favour of pulling voices directly from the movies, Middle Earth’s open world gameplay added a new level of depth outside the core levels.
8. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
PotC may not have been a great leap forward from its predecessors, but it did fine-tune a number of smaller details that have carried over in plenty of games since – from the combat mechanics to the method of buying new characters. The stories were great fun to play through, too.
Okay, so we’re technically rolling two games into one here, but it’s difficult to treat Years 1-4 and 5-7 as separate entities when they complement each other so perfectly. The mechanics of magic have never been so fun to explore, and wandering around Hogwarts was a blast.
This year’s LEGO Marvel’s Avengers couldn’t quite live up to the previous Super Heroes game, which drew from all corners of the Marvel-verse to come up with an original story, featuring everyone from Wolverine and Spider-Man to the Human Torch and Iron Man. Exploring New York was just a bonus.
5. LEGO Dimensions
Dimensions is a difficult beast to judge, and was even more difficult to rank on this list. There’s a lot of fun to be had in mashing dozens of properties and characters into one massive game, but it still feels lacking in content compared to traditional TT efforts. (You can’t argue with getting real minifigures, though.)
The LEGO games that kicked it all off haven’t aged well, from the unpolished graphics to the shallow gameplay. Yet they’re still a complete joy to journey through, and endlessly hilarious in their re-telling of some of the greatest stories of all time. They do say to respect your elders…
From rocketing around Gotham’s airspace in the Batwing to zooming around its streets as the Flash, the second Batman game really nailed the open world – it wasn’t painfully big, but there was still plenty to do. The original story also gave the studio room to work with a huge roster of awesome characters.
There’s something about Star Wars that really gels with TT’s LEGO formula. Maybe it’s the variety of the sci-fi world, where blasters are just as useful as lightsabers and space combat is almost as fun as gunning down waves of Stormtroopers, or maybe it’s just that the stories and worlds translate seamlessly to brick format. Either way, The Force Awakens is the most polished TT effort yet, and adding new dialogue to the movie’s original script has even brought the humour back.
Is this the most underrated LEGO game of all time? Probably, because five years after release, it’s also still the greatest. Unafraid to think outside the box, The Clone Wars packed in everything from real-time strategy battles to non-linear gameplay, giving you various paths to follow through the narrative of the show’s first two seasons. Add to that the most fun you’ll ever have with a lightsaber in a Star Wars game, and you’ve got a surefire classic on your hands. It’s just a shame more people haven’t played it…