I'd put FC as one of my top SW games, but not top games... FC would make my top 5 SW games though I think, definitely top 10 but that's starting to dwindle in what's great, good, mediocre, and flat out bad... So I wouldn't say FC dominates my game list even if it was SW specific. It's just a GOOD game and better than you give it credit for Matt.
My list would go like this I guess:
1) X-Wing: Alliance... While I love X-Wing and TIE Fighter, the appealing qualities of Alliance are the greater detail levels, better overall engine (much better physics), one of the best EU Storylines ever (and sadly one that has yet to be finished due to Lucasarts politics
), and it encompasses my personal favorite aspect of Star Wars with its space combat simulation. XW and TIE are great games, they started the series, but XW:A is all the great things the first two games were plus a better gaming engine. It even still has a VERY active modding/editing community since their options for a new game engine to work with are basically nill. And given what they can do with the XW:A engine, the game's adaptable to higher performance machiens without really missing a beat. That's impressive.
2) Jedi Knight... I've probably logged more hours playing Jedi Knight than any other Star Wars game. The modding community for this game is as dead as I've ever seen it (a game still comes out from time to time though), but when it was at its height it was amazing. This was THE game to own for Star Wars too, and I don't think that Outcast or Academy ever improved on the Dark Forces series like Jedi Knight did. JK was an improvement on First Person gaming though, not just over Dark Forces but the genre overall, and it's still a fun game to bust into. Some of the custom levels out there for it are just fantastic and only add to Star Wars as well.
3) X-Wing & TIE Fighter... A tie for 3rd I'd give to these two games. XW was the first SW game I really had when I was REALLY getting into Star Wars as a hobby overall. I loved it so much I played it even before I could afford a joystick and had to use the mouse/keyboard. Talk about difficult!
TIE Fighter was just mindblowing as an overall improvement, and pitting you as the "bad guy" was a headtrip to say the least. The story, even moreso than X-Wing, was intricate and just added to the STar Wars universe greatly. I feel you don't truly know either game unless you read the companion Farlander Papers/Steele Chronicles that accompany the games via their strategy guides. These were the 2 games that really started it all with me even though I had the SNES trilogy and NES Triloty that I played religiously.
4) Dark Forces... Around the same time the above were just keeping me glued to my computer I was playing Dark Forces. It was great to play a game like Doom but set in Star Wars. The greatest things though were that Dark Forces put us in a great story, the game's engine was superior to Doom in most every respect, and like Jedi Knight it really advanced the first person genre and marked the kind of quality Lucasarts had earned respect for... Oh how I miss those days. Dark Forces is a game I still take a tear through now and again, and even though it's long-past its day for graphics, it's still a great story to relive and sparked what I think is the best SW gaming series ultimately.
5) Now Matt's nemesis Force Commander... Squeaking in at #5, though I think I could probably have put Bounty Hunter in here too as well as perhaps one or two of the Rogue Squadron games. Irregardless though FC earned a spot here in my view. The game's got, again, a compelling storyline which to me is paramount to ANY game but maybe moreso for Star Wars due to it being my favorite "thing". Beyond that, Force Commander was a new design Real-Time Strategy Game taking one of the first steps to going from 2-D maps with spirtes and simplistic graphics to using a 3-D terrain and 3-D combat units on the field. The game has an ingenous command point system, probably it's highest point for gameplay, and graphically it was quite nice at the time (few weak points, but that's to be expected and still have the game runnable on machines at that time). The storyline is just hardcore military action in Star Wars, and it really laid out ground combat as we had never seen done outside of the RPG community. The game's challenging, frustratingly so for many, but not unbeatable. There's multiple ways to win almost any level in the game so there's replay value. The interface is the only place people have much complaint, but it's not something that cannot be learned either. I actually quit Force Commander for about 6 months after I first got it because I too couldn't control the game. I then went and played a number of lop-sided skirmishes (lop-sided in my favor) to "learn" the game, and in about a week I was in the thick of the story. This from someone not as into RTS games at the time either. I have since beat the game several times through, and each time I've been hung up at various points due to the challenge of the game. Force Commander's greatest flaw was that it was never watered down for casual gamers, and that meant a not-so-fun experience for many. Like chess though, you just don't jump into it and master the game, so I give FC much props because it flat out deserves them.
Honorable mentions to:
-Rogue Squadron: Rebel Strike & Rogue Leader (though they're not equally good... The 3rd installment was a vast improvement in story and overall quality)
-Knights of the Old Republic (I & II, though I think 1 was better and 2 could've done more to improve)
-Jedi Academy (Outcast to a lesser extent... Academy's a nice "fix" to Outcast's shortcomings)
Bounty Hunter's probably one of the MOST underrated SW games ever. I think a lot of people didn't wanna risk another SW game after some of the recent crap.
I think Star Wars is LONG overdue for lots of games though... Like the X-Wing: Alliance story should be continued in a sequal to Alliance, built on an all-new engine preferably, since I just know they can do something incredible right now.
Kyle Katarn's story is beat to death post-jedi, but I think a pre-Jedi Knight story would go over great. A firearm-focused shooter, something that incorporates great puzzles with elements of "stealth". Screw the lightsaber crap, as it's only served to dumb the series down steadily to the point where you don't even NEED the other weapons. You should need them though to survive the game. Hopefully Katarn's series sees an update.
I'd like a Bounty Hunter II myself, focusing around Boba perhaps, and the Jedi Purge/hunt between E3 and E4.
A squad-based combat game, one far superior to the lacking effort of Commando, would be nice. Something less cartoony, and more of a clone of either Conflict Desert Storm or (preferably) Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon series. I'd like that myself since their realism's fantastic and that type of gameplay in Star Wars seems ideal for the Spec. Forces units EU has established such as the Imp. Commando's, or Alliance Infiltrators. Fun Fun Fun!
I would DEFINITELY not put Battlefront high on the list. That's not to say I disliked the game by any means, and it'd maybe make my top 10, I'm not sure. I'm not a multi-player fan, and the single-player for Battlefront was lame. Battlefield 1942 was actually a BETTER game and Battlefront's merely a copy-cat of that gaming engine so how they lost a step in that, I do not know. I like Battlefront for what it is, but to me it's the type of game that shouldn't cost as much because it just doesn't give you as much as a game with a single-player storyline as its focus and a multi-player gaming feature secondary.
I think BF only is the #1 selling game because if I'm not mistaken KOTOR isn't available anywhere but the PC and X-Box while BF was on PS2 as well as XB and PC, not to mention the PC release of KOTOR was very late coming. It's still a good enough game, but I think there's MANY SW games that are far superior, much less many other games in general that blow it away. It's fun to play through and have in the library but loses its luster over time. Other games like Alliance don't lose that step no matter how old they seem to be.
I wish Lucasarts would live up to its old reputation but it seems like they're just fading away here and there.