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The Evolution Of Star Wars Games

Star Wars and video games have gone hand-in-hand for almost four decades now. Check out just how much they've both changed since then.

As long as there is Star Wars, there will be Star Wars video games. The history of the franchise's video games is almost as long as the history of the franchise itself, and so we decided to celebrate Star Wars Day by comparing some gameplay from Star Wars games over the years. The result is a rapid-fire look at both how the series' story has changed and how video games themselves have evolved. Check it out in the video above.

The first officially licensed Star Wars game came out in 1982, and it kicks off our video. Named after the second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back is a side-scroller for Atari 2600 (and later Intellivision) that takes place entirely during the battle of Hoth. There were just two other licensed Star Wars games in the '80s.

It was the rise of PC games and Nintendo's NES which really gave birth to the Star Wars video game machine. Starting with Star Wars in 1991, the '90s were full of platformers and third-person shooters like Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, along with popular space combat games like Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Tie Fighter, and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.

Throughout the 2000s and into recent years, we've seen the Star Wars franchise take on new genres. There have been RPGs like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, strategy games like Star Wars: Empire at War, and many, many Lego Star Wars games. There are no signs of things slowing down, as well, with Star Wars Battlefront II still grabbing headlines (sometimes for the wrong reasons) and an open-world Star Wars game reportedly in the works.

GameSpot is celebrating Star Wars Day with tons of great content, including a look at the weirdest Star Wars merchandise ever, the worst things to come out of the franchise, some new Mighty Muggs figures from Hasbro. If you just want to laugh, watch our latest edition of Potato Mode, where Rob and Joey turn Star Wars Battlefront II into total graphics mush.