Best LucasArts Video Games Of All Time

Known as LucasArts from 1990 to 2021, Disney recently rebranded the popular video game line as Lucasfilm Games as a way to revitalize the company for a whole new generation of gamers. As such, fans can expect to see a lot more video games based on the content licensed by George Lucas’ massive production umbrella, which will no doubt feature future Star Wars and IndianaJones games.

In the meantime, it’s worth revisiting LucasArts’ most memorable, challenging, and imaginative video games ever conceived, be it the popular Monkey Island series, Maniac Mansion, Sam & Max Hit the Road or any of their other titles.

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maniac mansion

Players stand in line at the bank in Maniac Mansion

yew Labyrinth: The Computer Game helped to launch LucasArts in the mid-80s, then maniac mansion elevated the company to rarefied air. Featuring LucasArts’ game-changing Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion (SCUMM) engine, the point-and-click graphic adventure game was far ahead of its time and remains a highly enjoyable playthrough to this day. The cutscenes alone are truly cinematic.

A progenitor that laid the foundational groundwork for generations to come, maniac mansion follows Dave Miller and two of his six friends who must traverse a creepy mansion, where certain clues and puzzles can only be solved by certain characters. An absolute trailblazer!


Full Throttle

A motorcycle sits outside the Kick Stand in Full Throttle

Released in 1995 and remastered in 2017, Full Throttle marked the first game that the brilliant game designer Tim Schafer worked on following the stellar Monkey Island series. The ambitious adventure game follows a hardened biker named Ben who must prove his innocence after being framed for murder in a post-apocalyptic future.

Using LucasArts’ highly advanced, full-motion video game engine to solve puzzles, fight in hand-to-hand combat and vehicular battle, and complete missions en route to rescuing a Corely Motors employee, the game was praised for its excellent graphics and awesome voice-acting, which includes Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, who voices the villain Ripburger.


The Dig

The crew examines a blue glow in The Dig

Also released in 1995, The Dig features a plot conceived by arguably the greatest cinematic storyteller of all time, Steven Spielberg, and dialogue written by celebrated sci-fi scribe Orson Scott Card. The genuinely challenging point-and-click adventure game concerns a mysterious asteroid called Atilla headed towards Earth and the dogged mission of a space crew to redirect the asteroid before it’s too late.

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With stunning graphics by Industrial Light & Magic, a much darker tone than some of the brand’s lighter predecessors, a cinematic soundtrack for the ages, and difficult puzzles to solveThe Dig is one of the most imaginative and beautifully executed LucasArts games on record.


The Monkey Island Series

LeChuck gets his hair cut in The Curse of Monkey Island

To be fair, many of LucasArts’ best games derive from the excellent Monkey Island series. However, in the interest of variety and avoiding repetition, the whole series is lumped into one all-time iconic celebration of arguably LucasArts’ finest achievement outside of Star Wars and IndianaJones. It’s worth noting that LucasArts announced that a new entry entitled Return to Monkey Island would be released in 2022.

Of the five main Monkey Island games, the two best include 1990’s The Secret of Monkey Island and 1997’s The Curse of Monkey Island, which continues the amusing adventures of Guybrush Threepwood as he battles the evil pirate LeChuck, solves difficult puzzles, and trades insults with his sword. With superb graphics and gameplay, it’s the hilarious sense of humor that sets Monkey Island apart from the rest.


Sam & Max Hit The Road

Title card for Sam and Max Hit the Road video game

The first of several games featuring the iconic comic characters, Sam & Max Hit the Road is one of LucasArts’ most entertaining and well-received adventure games. Using the SCUMM game engine and iMUSE audio, the 2D game was hailed for its superb graphics, engaging voice acting, dazzling music, and droll sense of humor.

Sam the anthropomorphic dog who wears a suit and solves crimes with his hyper rabbit friend Max gets into a series of wildly amusing misadventures that really captures the tone and tenor of the Steve Purcell comic series. With off-the-wall humor, bizarre settings, and one of the first games to feature full voice talent as a way to immerse gamers, Sam & Max Hit the Road is now considered one of the best and funniest video games of all time.

Star Wars: TIE Fighter

A pilot POV of the cosmos in Star Wars TIE Fighter

While a whole other topic could be devoted to the best Star Wars video games, it’s hard to discount the important prescience of TIE-Fighter to the overall success of LucasArts. Far ahead of its time in terms of visceral gameplay and cinematic graphics, the stellar 1994 Star Wars flight simulator still holds up as one of the best space fighters ever made.

With enhanced mechanics over predecessor Star Wars X-Wing, TIE-Fighter allows players to fly through the galaxy far, far away as a member of the Empire and take on several hardcore missions and battles en route to thwarting Emperor Palpatine’s coup attempt. The game was so revolutionary that IGN named it the 2nd-best PC game of all time in 2009.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

An X-wing flies toward a planet in Star Wars Rogue Squadron II Rogue Leader

Winner of the Best Action Game at the E3 2001 Game Critics Awards, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader is one of the best action titles ever made and definitely one of LucasArts’ crowning achievements. Spanning all three original trilogy films, the kinetic and immersive flight-combat game makes gamers feel like a genuine part of the battle between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance.

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Playing as Luke Skywalker or Wedge Antilles, players soar through the galaxy and take on countless baddies, missions, side quests, and unlock secret content (including five bonus levels), and more, doing so with the most state-of-the-art Nintendo GameCube graphics and gameplay. Truly, the graphics still impress so much to this day that they could easily rival those of a PS3 game.


Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis

Indy nears a cave in Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis

Like the Star Wars and Monkey Island series, many IndianaJones games are worthy of mentioning. But without a doubt, the best of the bunch belongs to the awesome Fate of Atlantisa supremely challenging point-and-click adventure game full of brain-busting puzzles, three different story modes, multiple outcomes, and a top-flight narrative that could be used in a feature film.

Written by longtime Steven Spielberg scribe Hal Barwood (Sugarland Express), Fate of Atlantis picks up in 1939, where Indiana Jones is tasked with finding a small statue bearing a priceless jewel, which is in stolen turn by a Nazi to power the lost city of Atlantis. Nominated for multiple awards at the time, in 2011, Fate of Atlantis was named the 11th-best adventure game of all time by Adventure Gamers.

Day Of The Tentacle

The crew gathers in a spaceship in Day of the Tentacle

Without question, the best maniac mansion sequel happens to be Day of the Tentaclean all-time beloved game released by LucasArts in 1993. Developed by Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer, the game vastly improves on its mega-popular predecessor by enhancing the SCUMM engine and using time travel as a key gameplay feature.

Story-wise, the game concerns friends Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne who unite to prevent the global takeover from the malefic Purple Tentacle, a severed, sentient octopus appendage with evil intentions. For its revolutionary mechanics and unparalleled fun, Day of the Tentacle was named by Adventure Gamers as the #1 Adventure Game of All Time.

Grim Fandango

Manny stands by a skeleton in Grim Fandango

Directed by Tim Schafer, the 1998 release of Grim Fandango marked the first LucasArts video game to incorporate 3D computer graphics. As such, the realism increased dramatically, ultimately leading to universal acclaim from critics and gamers alike.

Grim Fandango is divided into four acts, all of which are set on the annual Day of the Dead over the course of four years. Players control Manny, a skeletal travel agent hell-bent on delivering a woman named Mercedes from evil by putting her on a train to The Land of Eternal Rest. After winning several awards at the time of its release, Grim Fandango was named 20th in IGN‘s Top 25 PC Games list in 2009.

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