Star Wars: Episode 1 is a name that lives on in infamy. It was the canary in the coal mine for the entire prequel trilogy. Yet, underneath all that trash, there lies one gleaming jewel — a game that has cemented itself in the hearts of Star Wars fans, Star Wars Episode 1: Racer. We thought it was lost to the annals of time, but Good Old Games has rescued it from being forgotten.
Star Wars Episode 1: Racer originally came out in 1999 for Windows, Macintosh, The Nintendo 64, and Game Boy Color. A Dreamcast version was released the following year. The game, as you might guess, centers around one of the only genuinely good aspects of the prequel trilogy: podracing, the insanely-fast racing sport (as in you have to be insane to be a podracer) where participants strap overclocked jet engines to hoversleds and pray they cross the finish line alive. Not only is Star Wars Episode 1: Racer an excellent Star Wars game, it’s an excellent game period.
Good Old Games, or GOG for short, has a habit of bringing back old and beloved games, and Star Wars Episode 1: Racer is only the latest in a long list GOG has preserved and made playable on modern PCs. This list includes beloved titles such as Baldur’s Gate, Dungeon Keeper, Wing Commander, and Rayman.
While Star Wars Episode 1: Racer does not come with any extra features like HD graphics, it still lets players race their friends in frantic multiplayer matches, albeit only through LAN parties. Online matches might be a pipe dream, as the game originally came out during the Internet’s infancy, but stranger things have happened.
I have fond memories of playing Star Wars Episode 1: Racer on the Nintendo 64 with my friends. Aside from Super Smash Bros., it was one of my favorite games to play whenever I hung out with them. It does my heart good to see this classic brought back for a new generation.