It's a sad thing to admit, but the glory days were over at LucasArts long before Disney pulled the plug on them. If you're nostalgic for the good old days when LucasArts made the best adventure games in the business and Star Wars games didn't suck, there are still ways you can play the LucasArts classics of yesteryear. Just use GEEK's handy dandy guide to LucasArts classics.
For your convenience, we’ve listed every game we consider to be among LucasArts’ greatest, most-loved games from years gone by, in alphabetical order. The exceptions to this rule are sequels, which are listed chronologically. There are likely other places you can score the older, boxed editions of these games on CD-ROM, such as a random eBay auction, but we consider the sources below to be the most consistent and reliable. And it’s worth pointing out that those editions are far more costly, and intended for collectors more than players, since most modern computers won’t run those old games, anyway. Also, for the most part we’re not including games published by LucasArts but created by someone else, though there are a few exceptions.
This was one of the few adventure games from LucasArts that neither Tim Schafer nor Ron Gilbert were involved with, and yet it was still really good. The Dig is based on an original idea by Steven Spielberg.
- Digital download: available from Steam for $5 (current-gen PC/Mac compatible).
- Original CD-ROM: available from Amazon in both PC and Mac versions for $15 – $20.
Tim Schafer created this one back in 1995 to rave reviews. Time has only increased our love for this motorcycle-gang-in-the-future adventure starring antihero Ben and his nemesis, who was voiced by Mark Hamill. After Schafer left LucasArts, the company tried to get one sequel (Full Throttle: Payback) after another (Full Throttle: Hell On Wheels) off the ground, but neither ever materialized.
- Prices for the PC jewel case edition on Amazon are all over the map, ranging from $7ish for used copies up to $200+ for new ones.
- Amazon also has a full-sized box, Mac version of Full Throttle from a variety of sellers for $8 to $400+, used or new.
One of the greatest adventure games Tim Schafer ever made, this highly original tale was set in a Limbo world influenced by Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and starred protagonist Manny Calavera, a living skeleton. More than any other LucasArts property that’s not based on a Harrison Ford movie, Grim Fandango inspired a fiercely loyal cult following that’s still alive to this day. I’m surprised and sad that this one isn’t available on Steam. It would be perfect for iPad, too.
- Amazon carries the original CD-ROM-in-a-big-box version for PC only, but given this one’s cult status, vintage discs carry a hefty price tag, ranging from $50 all the way up to $400 or even higher.
- Non-purists can get the jewel case edition (again, PC only) for considerably cheaper. Buying it used from an Amazon dealer will run you between $25 and $50. New, unopened discs will stretch your purse strings up to $200 or even $400.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Quite possibly still the best Indiana Jones game ever made, this triumphant point-and-click adventure found Indy searching for Atlantis while once again facing down those wicked Nazis. Most fans probably don’t remember that it was originally conceived as a sequel to the tie-in game for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- Just $5 will get you a copy of this classic on Steam, and it’s compatible with current PCs and Macs alike.
- Amazon carries the original boxed edition in both PC and Mac flavors. The former mostly ranges between $10 and $30, while the latter is currently priced at a whopping $94.
Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
Largely the same team that created Fate of Atlantis was responsible for this one, but they updated the concept to give it a heavier emphasis on action in answer to the rise of Lara Croft. Which is also probably why Infernal Machine is the first Indy game built on a 3D graphics engine — the same one, in fact, created for Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight.
- Various Amazon sellers carry the original boxed edition for PC with prices ranging from $2 up to $250+.
- Amazon also has dealers who sell the old Nintendo64 version, but you’ll want to go with the $20ish used copies. You’d need a second mortgage to afford a copy marked “new,” since those run upwards of $2,000!
One of the earliest graphics-based LucasArts adventures (most adventures were text-based prior to this), Loom was a fantasy game where all of the gameplay is based on musical notes. Today, we’d call this an “experimental game,” though it was a pretty big deal back then, too.
- Like its other LucasArts classic adventures, Steam sells a digital download of this for $5. It works on modern PCs and Macs, both.
- Amazon’s sellers have only used versions of the original boxed edition of Loom, with prices ranging between $25 and $50.
Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle
Alas, we couldn’t turn up any retailers who sell the original Maniac Mansion, another Ron Gilbert/Gary Winnick creation. It’s not like it would even be playable — it was made for Apple II and Commodore 64! The sequel however, released six years later, was made for PC and Mac on both floppy disc and CD-ROM. Day of the Tentacle marked the first time Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman were given the reigns on a LucasArts game as primary producers/developers.
- Don’t get your hopes up too high about revisiting this one. It’s only available in its original form, as a PC game for DOS, at $30 – $80.
Sam & Max Hit the Road
This screwball/oddball comedy starring the titular duo was based on a comic strip by Steve Purcell, who became a LucasArts employee after creating the strip. It’s now regarded as one of LucasArts’ best titles of all time, and spawned an entire franchise of serialized titles over at Telltale Games (itself largely a haven for former LucasArts adventure game designers).
- Yet another classic that’s only ownable in its original CD-ROM format for Windows PCs. It’ll run collectors a modest amount in the $30 neighborhood.
The Secret of Monkey Island
Ron Gilbert created this venerable series with help from Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman. The humorous pirate adventures of Guybrush Threepwood went on to inspire three sequels at LucasArts, and a fourth that jumped ship over to Telltale Games (while holding onto Gilbert).
- An upgraded-for-modern-devices “Special Edition” was released in 2009, and is still available for numerous platforms, including:
- Secret of Monkey Island and its sequel, Monkey Island 2 (see below) are available together in a special package for Xbox 360 ($39) and PlayStation 3 ($65). Steam has it too (PC only), for just $15.
- Collectors can get the original DOS edition from Amazon starting at $65 for new, $2 used.
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
Star Wars: Dark Forces
LucasArts took advantage of the Doom frenzy of the mid-90s to produce the first 3D shooter ever set in the Star Wars universe. Dark Forces introduced merc-for-hire Kyle Katarn, whose services are acquired by the Rebellion as he’s sent on a series of missions to take down a covert Imperial project to create “Dark Storm Troopers.” Plot aside, all that really mattered was that we were in the Star Wars universe, shooting blasters that sounded just like the real thing, traversing that galaxy far, far away, and exploring alien worlds. And it was awesome.
- Snatch this classic as a digital download from Steam for just $5. Runs on PC only. (Sorry, Mac users.)
- Jewel case copies of the original DOS game, rather surprisingly, start at just $15 at Amazon.
Star Wars: Dark Forces II – Jedi Knight
The one thing missing from the first Dark Forces was the main thing emphasized in the sequel. Kyle Katarn learned he was a potential Jedi, and we players gained the power to use the Force, as well as our very own lightsaber. It improved on the original in every way, and is remembered for offering players the ability to choose the light side or the dark side of the Force, each of which leads to a different ending. It also had actors starring in full motion video for its cutscenes.
- You can nab this still-great-after-all-these-years game from Steam for $5. It only runs on PCs.
- Amazon has used and new copies of the PC-only jewel case edition starting at $16.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Jedi Knight II (technically Dark Forces III, but whatever) upped the ante once again by emphasizing lightsaber combat above all else and letting you play alongside major Star Wars characters like Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian. It still stands as many a fan’s favorite in the series.
- Steam has it for both PC and Mac for $10.
- The Mac App Store is offering an “enhanced” version, also for $10.
- Amazon currently has the Windows PC jewelery case version for about $8.
Star Wars Jedi Knight III: Jedi Academy
Jedi Academy (aka Jedi Knight III, aka Dark Forces IV) for the first time has the player controlling someone other than Kyle Katarn. Instead, you play a brand new student of the Force, whose appearance you get to customize, along with their lightsaber.
- Steam offers PC and Mac versions for $10.
- The Mac App Store sells it for $10.
- Amazon has a jewel case PC edition in the $15 neighborhood.
Star Wars: Pit Droids
I wouldn’t even include this little “Lucas Learning” puzzle game on this list — it’s hardly what I’d consider a “classic” — except that LucasArts ported it to iOS last year and it’s enjoyed a bit of a new life there.
- This $2 iOS game works on both iPhone and iPad.
- It’s also still available in its original PC/Mac form over at Amazon, but for a much higher price tag: $36.
Star Wars: Rebel Assault
Spaceflight geeks went nuts over this one and its sequel, which put you in the shoes of a Luke Skywalker-like fighter pilot on a number of flying-on-rails missions that matched the best-loved battle scenes from the Original Trilogy. It’s archaic by today’s standards, of course, but its production values were ahead of their time back in the day.
- Sadly, these two games have never been updated or ported to newer devices. The only way to get your hands on it now is by buying the original on Amazon. They’re selling the PC version for $30 and the Mac version for $25.
Star Wars: Rebel Assault II- The Hidden Empire
Serious fans know this game’s claim to fame: for the first time since Return of the Jedi, Lucasfilm commissioned the filming of live-action footage set in the Star Wars universe. These cutscenes even featured the real costumes and props from the Original Trilogy, removed from storage in the Lucasfilm archives. The second game improved on the original in every way imaginable, incorporating an original storyline (as opposed to recreating scenes from the film).
- Mac users are out of luck on this one. Amazon has PC versions available in both the original boxed edition ($30) and a jewel case ($35).
Star Wars: Republic Commando
Answering the rising popularity of newer shooters like Halo and Rainbow 6, Republic Commando was made specifically with consoles in mind. This tactical shooter gave you command of Delta Squad, an elite unit of clone troopers sent to hot spots around the galaxy. Fans generally loved it for its authentic representation of the Star Wars universe and high production values.
- Once again, Steam comes through with a downloadable PC version for $10.
- The Xbox version is still compatible with Xbox 360; Amazon has used copies for $13 – $15. You don’t even want to know how much the new copies are.
- The PC version over at Amazon, by contrast is available in jewel case form for less than $6.
Star Wars: X-Wing
- Amazon: used for $3 – $8, new for $40 – $70. PC only.
Star Wars: TIE Fighter
- Amazon: used $10 – $16, new $20 – $50. PC.
Star Wars X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
Basically a multiplayer version of the last two games, LucasArts misfired with this one by assuming players were more interested in online dogfights than a story-driven campaign. They were forced to address this oversight with an add-on pack that put singleplayer back in. Woopsie.
- Amazon: used $8 – $10, new $45 – $90. PC.
Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
Determined to go out on a high, LucasArts rallied for one last X-Wing adventure. This one included a long, satisfying singleplayer mission, more ships than ever before, and loads of major advancements. There was even a recreation of the finale from Return of the Jedi where you pilot the Millennium Falcon into the heart of the second Death Star.
- Amazon: $20 – $45. PC.