Star Trek has just turned 50 years old, and to celebrate, we’re listing our top 10 video games of the franchise.
The list below is in chronological order, with oldest first.
Star Trek: 25th Anniversary (PC)
Developed by Interplay and released in 1992, it’s a safe bet that any Star Trek fan has booted up 25th Anniversary at one time or another.
Gameplay was split into two modes: a third-person view when controlling an away team on a planet, or a view from the bridge when taking part in space battles.
Combined with Star Trek: Judgment Rights, these two Interplay games essentially detailed the fourth and fifth years of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s five-year mission, after the original Star Trek was cancelled after its third year.
You can grab this game on Steam, right here.
Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity (PC)
This is, hands-down, my personal favourite Star Trek title.
Developed by Spectrum Holobyte and published in 1995, this point-and-click adventure remains the game that’s most like an actual episode of the series. That’s Next Generation or otherwise.
Away team missions were full of intrigue. Space battles were hard-fought. Exploration was also possible; head to the Conn station and set whatever course you felt like — the Enterprise could go there.
Sadly, it’s a bit difficult to find the game and play it today… but those of us who really want to can find a way. Or two.
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy (PC)
Developed by Interplay and available in 1997, Starfleet Academy is the first game in the franchise to let you try the infamous Kobyashi Maru scenario.
You don’t fare much better than anyone other than Kirk did, by the way.
Set in the original series timeline, the space battle simulator was one of the first to receive an expansion. “Chekov’s Lost Missions” provided seven new scenarios to play through, alongside new multiplayer modes.
You can grab Starfleet Academy on Steam here.
Star Trek: Armada (PC)
A real-time strategy title involving ship-to-ship combat, Star Trek: Armada was developed by Activision and released in 2000.
Set in the Next Generation timeline, and after the events of the Insurrection feature film, Armada let you choose to play as one of four races: The United Federation of Planets, the Romulan Star Empire, the Klingon Empire and the Borg.
I fondly recall Armada and its sequel as the first PC games I ever modded, adding in new ships and weaponry thanks to the efforts of a robust community.
Like A Final Unity, Armada‘s also a bit difficult to find and play today. Still, there are ways.
Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force (PC, PS2)
If nothing else, Elite Force was amazing because it let you walk around the U.S.S. Voyager for as long as you wished, checking out every single little detail you wanted to.
The 2000-based first-person shooter was originally developed by Raven Software, the studio who’s now working on Call of Duty and Destiny, and released on PC.
Elite Force tied into Voyager perfectly and also beat Enterprise to the punch with its own version of a MACO; the titular Elite Force was a dedicated commando unit designed to tackle tough Delta Quadrant threats. It also spawned a sequel that took place on the Enterprise-E.
Sorry about the above video — you might want to turn down the narration. Elite Force is currently on GOG’s wishlist.
Star Trek: Away Team (PC)
Another RTS from Activision and released in 2001, Away Team did away with starships and instead focused on on-planet away teams.
Set in the Next Generation timeline, Away Team played similar to something like XCOM, but with Starfleet. Things tended to be a bit more diplomatic. But not by much.
This also marks the five-thousandth time Brent Spiner lent his voice talents to a Star Trek game, once again appearing as Lt. Commander Data.
Away Team‘s another game that’s seemingly been lost to time.
Star Trek: Bridge Commander (PC)
A Final Unity might be my favourite Star Trek game, but Bridge Commander is my favourite space battle simulator.
Developed by Totally Games and released in 2002, Bridge Commander was also quite popular in the modding community.
Mods aside, it was refreshing to take command of the Galaxy-class U.S.S. Dauntless — and later, the Sovereign-class U.S.S. Sovereign — to tear sh*t up.
Bridge Commander is also on GOG’s wishlist.
Star Trek: Legacy (PC, Xbox 360)
Finally, a console game!
Legacy is a real-time space combat simulator developed by Mad Doc Software and released in 2006. Its name comes from the fact the game spans generations, featuring all television series of the franchise — Enterprise, The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. All five Captains of their respective shows lent their voices to the game.
What more could you want from a Star Trek title?
Star Trek: Legacy is not yet backwards compatible on Xbox One… but here’s hoping!
Star Trek: Timelines (Facebook, iOS, Android)
The only mobile title in our top 10 list mirrors Legacy in that it features players from all five of the franchises’ series.
Set after the Voyager finale, the game uses a temporal anomaly to basically meld everything together. What results is a strategy-based, almost cardline game where stats are key.
It falls prey to a lot of free-to-play traps — in-game purchases are rammed down your throat quite often — but if you can bypass that, Timelines isn’t a bad little romp.
Star Trek: Online (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
Recently released on Xbox One and PS4, Star Trek: Online‘s an MMO that’s been available on PC and Mac for years.
Set after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis — and incorporating elements of the newest Star Trek films, Online is a Trekkie’s dream, placing players in command of their own starships and crew.
Microtransactions slightly sour the experience, but I’m having a blast commanding the Miranda-class U.S.S. Stevivorprise and crew in the Alpha Quadrant right now.
Star Trek: Online is free to play on Windows PC and on consoles.
Honourable mention: Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Yeah, it’s not out yet, so we can’t really include it… but DAMN. This is one you’re going to want to keep an eye on. Read our preview from Gamescom here.
What do you think of our list? What’d we get right? Or wrong? Let us know in the comments below!
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