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You don’t need the messy Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection to enjoy these classics

Key art for the Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection should have been a slam dunk.

The new package contains some of the best Star Wars video games ever made, which are all now widely available with multiplayer support across all modern platforms. Star Wars: Battlefront II is my favorite game of all time, so I was ecstatic about its announcement at February’s Nintendo Direct: Partner Showcase. It is gratifying to have these two Battlefront games bundled together on a platform like Nintendo Switch, where local co-op or competitive play is easy and I can easily bring them with me on the go.

Sadly, developer Aspyr’s less-than-stellar track record with remasters continues here. Multiple server issues at launch nullified players’ enjoyment of online play, and other minor problems hampered gameplay. I still believe that more people need to experience Star Wars: Battlefront II, though; thankfully, if you have a PC or Xbox, there’s a better way to play it.

A mixed collection

The main reason that Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection currently has an overwhelmingly negative review status on Steam is that it botches its online play. Only three servers were available to choose from for a brief period, a ridiculously low amount for such an anticipated release. Once in, many players also experienced poor connection, leaving a significant portion of these games nearly unplayable.

“At launch, we experienced critical errors with our network infrastructure. The result was incredibly high ping, matchmaking errors, crashes, and servers not appearing in the browser,” a message posted on Aspyr’s support site shortly after this collection’s release explained. “Since launch, we’ve been working to address these issues and increase network stability, and we will continue our efforts until our network infrastructure is stabilized to prevent further outages.”

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection multiplayer gameplay.

A couple of days after release, those initial issues are resolved, although your online experience may vary depending on the platform. The ire toward the online experience caused people to notice problems elsewhere, like the inability to invert controls, poorly remastered and missing cutscenes, local play being limited to just two players, and more. Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection costs $35, so having this many issues makes it a tough sell until it’s heavily patched and discounted.

That’s not to say the collection is all for naught. Having both Battlefront games bundled together in a single launcher is welcome, as is making the games available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation for the first time. The core of both shooters is still as enticing as ever, and I’ve enjoyed getting to experience online multiplayer in this game for the first time — when it works. An older game rarely gets an online revival like this; I just wish Aspyr did a much better job with this opportunity.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is still worth playing

Don’t let all this dissuade you from trying Star Wars: Battlefront II specifically; it’s my favorite game of all time for good reason. I consider the Battlefront games to be the ultimate Star Wars sandboxes. They offer up a multitude of different Star Wars locales to fight in, and plenty of Republic, CIS, Rebel, and Empire units to choose from. As a kid, it gave me all the action figures and playsets I needed to go wild and tell as many Star Wars stories as I wanted.

Modes like Instant Action, which lets players structure their own series of matches offline, and Galactic Conquest, a galaxy-spanning competitive campaign, add to that sandbox feel. I spent hundreds of hours playing these modes with my brother growing up, as we created our own Star Wars characters and narrative ideas emergently depending on the results of each match. Star Wars: Battlefront II’s space battles are unrivaled by any other Star Wars game.

Aalya Secura in Star Wars: Battlefront II.

The Rise of the Empire campaign is surprisingly enthralling as well if you’re looking for something more linear. Backed by a standout performance from Temuera Morrison, it tells the story of the 501st Legion, from the Clone Wars to the assault on Hoth. It addresses topics like the Clones’ thoughts of betraying the Jedi and the downfall of Kamino in ways the franchise wouldn’t thoroughly explore until The Bad Batch. It also offers a more nuanced take on how Order 66 played out, suggesting some members knew that a betrayal was imminent, but were regretfully powerless to stop it.

Star Wars: Battlefront II’s shooting might be a bit dated compared to modern games, but I don’t mind when the rest of the package is so strong. I consider it a must-play for any Star Wars or shooter game fan, so it’s disappointing that Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection isn’t a great product. Thankfully, you still have other options if you’re on Steam or Xbox.

The other ways to experience these classics

Both Star Wars: Battlefront games are available for $10 each on Steam, and while they require a little finagling to get everything working correctly on modern hardware, that effort is worth it. For an even smoother experience, the games are backward compatible on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. They’re also available for $10 on Xbox, but if you still have your original disc, you can put it in your console and play the game without paying anything.

Hoth battle in Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection

These versions of Star Wars: Battlefront even feature some remaster-like bells and whistles, as they are playable at 120Hz thanks to Microsoft’s FPS Boost feature and display at a higher resolution than the original. There’s no online multiplayer support for either title, but with all the issues the Classic Collection has in that department, that’s not such a bad thing right now.

I occasionally put my original Star Wars: Battlefront II disc in my Xbox Series X console so I can play a couple of matches, and I think that’ll still be my preferred way to experience my favorite game of all time. Although Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PS5 players are out of luck in regard to other ways to play the Battlefront games, I’d recommend going for the Steam and Xbox versions of the originals over Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection for now if you can. These are Star Wars games worth playing, so don’t let a mediocre remaster stop you from trying them out.

Editors' Recommendations

Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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