Lightsabers have been very familiar as Sith & Jedi’s main weapon in Star Wars movies and shows. It creates a powerful energy beam that sounds fun when moving around. These weapons have been around for quite some time, since the beginning of the Star Wars era. Therefore, many video games in the last 30 years featured this weapon in their Star Wars titles. That being said, let’s go through the history of lightsabers and explore their previous versions in the past.

Star Wars: Jedi Arena

First appearance: Jul 1983, on Atari 2600.

This seems to be the first one that let players use a lightsaber. However, as of early days platforms, the lightsabers in this game look quite primitive. Although, they still sound like in the movies, a great start for many subsequent versions. In Jedi Arena, we could see the Jedi using a lightsaber in red. With that being said, nonetheless, it was still too early to break down any lore or canon in the history of Star Wars at that time.

Star Wars

First appearance: Nov 1991, on NES & Master System.

Eight years after the first video game, we’ve got a big step in developing lightsaber actions. As a platformer action game, players can control Luke Skywalker and fight using a lightsaber and a blaster. This is probably among the first, if not the first game that allows lightsabers in combats.

Regardless, the combat still looks bad and somehow stiff. Surprisingly, lightsabers in Star Wars are orange, which actually is a step back from 1983’ Jedi Arena.

Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back

First appearance: Nov 1992, on the Super NES.

The developers of this title have made a huge improvement for the lightsabers in this game. The overall look is better, the sound the feels when holding one is much better. In general, weapons play a bigger role in this game and Luke can control them more effectively. Additionally, lightsabers in Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back are the best-looking ones until that point.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II

First appearance: Sep 1997, on PC.

For the first time ever, a lightsaber is available on 3D! This undoubtedly is a huge jump in the lightsaber tech. Players then can now block incoming laser shots and combats look much better than previous games. Coming in 3D, a lightsaber blade looks amazing and comes in different colors. Moreover, they sound fantastic and feel just like in the movies.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan

First appearance: Dec 2001, on Xbox.

At that time, the popular Star Wars movie series released Episode 1 on the big screens. Alongside that huge release, many Star Wars games came out but Star Wars: Obi-Wan has to be the most impressive. Although combat seem to be clunky, the lightsabers from this game look stunning.

In fact, we can see color light on the around right about where Obi-Wan was standing. Following movies didn’t do this, up until the sequel trilogy. It’s probably the Dooku fight from Attack Of The Clones that stands out the most until now.

Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast

First appearance: Mar 2002, on Xbox, PC & Gamecube.

Games with the Jedi Knight and Jedi Academy are often the best Star Wars titles according to many people. Without question, it is the lightsaber combat that makes these games unique. Combats are much smoother and diverse with many additional moves. And for the first time, you can cut limbs off the enemies with your lightsaber. Although you need to do some hacking that involves cheat codes and game files alteration, the result is clearly worth it. Last but not least, the saber can leave trace and marks wherever it makes a contact. It’s such a big step forward for the lightsaber tech.

Star Wars: Jedi Academy

First appearance: Sep 2003, on Xbox & PC.

A year after Jedi Knight II, Jedi Academy came out. In Jedi Academy, you get to make your own saber, including its colors and variants. Even cooler, you have a special ability to dual wield them.

LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game

First appearance: April 2005, on Xbox, PC, PS2 & Gamecube.

This is definitely the first time a lightsaber made it in a LEGO video game. Not just marking a huge moment in the history of lightsaber, this title lets gamers play as Kit Fisto. Well, it’s a nice bonus to add, isn’t it?

Soul Calibur IV

First appearance: Jul 2008, on Xbox 360 & PS3.

Technically, this marks the very first appearance in the HD era in video games of a lightsaber. Lightsabers look good in Soul Calibur IV, it’s just that they don’t cut people in half!

Kinect Star Wars

First appearance: Apr 2012, on the Xbox 360 Kinect.

Generally, this isn’t quite a decent game, but it shows the improvement regarding the visuals of lightsabers. In fact, this wasn’t a nice time in the Star Wars history: no new movies alongside odd releases like Angry Birds Star Wars.

Disney Infinity 3.0

First appearance: Aug 2015, on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 & WiiU.

This game marks the first appearance of a lightsaber on Xbox One and PS4. While the game clearly appeals to kids, it still features solid lightsaber combat and above all, looks wonderful. It’s a shame that this series couldn’t keep going.

Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)

First appearance: Nov 2017, on Xbox One, PS4 & PC.

Being the last Star Wars video game up until now, the lightsabers in Battlefront II look incredibly awesome. This really sets a new standard for the next generation of lightsabers. They look, sound and feel exactly like their movies counterpart.

Throughout 35 years of video game development, lightsabers have immensely improved from title to title. Players can do exactly what they see from the movies in their games. Evidently, they are only getting better and better through time, especially with VR lightsabers.

Jedi Fallen Order is the next title to watch out for later in 2019. Maybe we’ll see even better improvement regarding virtual lightsabers, who knows! Plus, there’s a lot to expect as new consoles are coming really soon. Therefore, let’s stick around to witness the next generation of lightsabers and hopefully experience it all by yourself.