8. True space dogfighting simulation
Star Wars gaming had existed for a solid decade by the time LucasArts released X-Wing in February 1993. But it could be said that only now had Star Wars finally arrived as a gaming force to be reckoned with. As fun as Super Star Wars may have been a few months earlier, it was basically just Star Wars Contra. As classic as Atari's arcade game was (and always will be!), you could blow up the Death Star in five minutes. X-Wing was the first Star Wars game to offer true immersion through seating you in the cockpit of its titular vehicle for a series of in-depth missions. You really felt like a Rebel pilot, and it was awesome.
A founding member of Lucasfilm Games (the original company name for LucasArts) recalls seeing the prototype for the first time: "When Larry Holland got one of the earliest mockups of the original X-Wing running – by taking the Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe engine and substituting some early artwork, and changing the physics to have zero gravity – we were kind of shocked at how good it looked right away," says Noah Falstein. "Then we remembered all the stories about how George had calibrated the space combat sequences by referring to WWII dogfights, and suddenly it all made sense. The ranges and speeds in Star Wars are just about perfect for the early WWII aerial combat."