Top 10 Star Trek Games
Between Star Trek Beyondꞌs debut on July 22 and the franchiseꞌs 50th anniversary in September, 2016 is a great time to be a Star Trek fan. Assuming youꞌve already binge-watched the entire series, there are still plenty of ways to get your fill of Gene Roddenberryꞌs timeless sci-fi universe. There have been dozens of Star Trek video games over the years, but like many licensed games, the ratio of wheat to chaff is not favorable. Donꞌt waste your hard-earned latinum on second-rate Star Trek titles; boldly go for the best with this handy list.
Star Trek: 25th Anniversary (1992) (PC, Mac)
Itꞌs hard to believe, but 2017 will mark the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: 25th Anniversary. This action/adventure game contains seven distinct "episodes," which aim to mimic episodes from Star Trekꞌs original series. Taking control of the original bridge crew of the Enterprise, including Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy, youꞌll alternate between the bridge of the Enterprise and dangerous away missions. As the old saying goes, youꞌll "explore strange new worlds" as you undertake a variety of morally complicated missions, including transporting a war criminal and retaking the Enterprise from pirates. A sequel, Star Trek: Judgment Rites, continued the story in 1993.
Video Credit: Scott Manley / Youtube
Star Trek 25th Anniversary
Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Final Unity (1995) (PC, Mac)
If you really liked Star Trek: The Next Generation, but feel that it could have used one more stand-alone episode, Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Final Unity is the game youꞌre looking for. This point-and-click adventure title combines investigation and conversation with a bit of space combat for a thoughtful, story-driven experience that plays out a lot like an episode of the now-classic show. Youꞌll take control of Captain Picard as he explores the Enterprise-D, delegates responsibilities to crewmembers and solves an intergalactic mystery involving the Romulans and a new alien species.
Star Trek: Starfleet Command (1999) (PC)
The Star Trek: Star Fleet Battles board game is a ton of fun, but like most hard-core board games, it requires a lot of tedious setting up, learning the rules and gathering like-minded players. If you donꞌt have time for all that, you can play its digitized version, Star Trek: Starfleet Command. The game lets you command one of six factions, including the Federation, the Klingons and the Romulans, then set off into the galaxy, searching for enemy ships and procedurally generated missions. The game spawned two sequels: Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Empires at War in 2000 and Star Trek: Starfleet Command III in 2002.
Star Trek: Armada (2000) (PC)
Suppose youꞌve never dreamed about being a Starfleet captain, but rather an admiral: Plotting and planning from behind the scenes, thinking tactically to lead entire fleets to victory. In that case, Star Trek: Armada is the game for you. A real-time strategy game set during the Next Generation era, Armada lets you take command of ships from The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Insurrection, as you go toe-to-toe with the Romulans, the Borg and the Dominion. In addition to the fast-paced strategic gameplay, youꞌll also get a creative story that mixes multiple eras of Star Trek. A sequel, Star Trek: Armada II, debuted in 2001.
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Star Trek: Armada
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen (2000) (PC, Mac)
Considering how action-packed Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was, itꞌs somewhat bizarre there are so few games associated with it. At least thereꞌs Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen to assuage fans of Star Trekꞌs darkest entry. In this third-person action game, youꞌll take control of Captain Sisko, Major Kira and Lt. Cmdr. Worf and explore a historical mystery about the longstanding conflict between the Bajorans and the Cardassians. A few actors from the show reprise their roles here, including Michael Dorn as Worf, Nana Visitor as Kira and René Auberjonois as Odo.
Video Credit: kittieshaufer / Youtube
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen
Star Trek: Elite Force (2000) (PC, Mac, Linux, PS2)
Star Trek: Voyager had its ups and downs, but thereꞌs no question that the Delta Quadrant makes a great setting for a first-person shooter. As Ensign Alex Munro, a member of Lt. Tuvokꞌs security staff, youꞌll fight your way through a story campaign full of Borg, Species 8472 and new alien enemies. Armed with phaser pistols, disruptors, pulse weapons and grenade launchers, Munro experiences an original plotline that coincides with Voyagerꞌs sixth season, complete with cameos from characters like Captain Janeway, Lt. Torres and the holographic Doctor. A sequel, Star Trek: Elite Force II (2003), was similarly fun.
Star Trek: Invasion (2000) (PlayStation)
Star Trek: Invasion definitely channels Star Trekꞌs action lineage more than its cerebral side, but if you can put that aside, youꞌll find a thoroughly entertaining space shooter. As Starfleet Ensign Ryan Cooper, youꞌll take command of a Valkyrie-class attack fighter and fight against the forces of the Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians and Borg. While the game is fun, itꞌs not necessarily what hard-core Trek fans have come to expect. Even performances from Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard and Michael Dorn as Lt. Cmdr. Worf canꞌt quite give the game a real Star Trek feel, though: intergalactic dogfights are usually the province of that other sci-fi series.
Video Credit: Alejandro Todisco / Youtube
Star Trek: Invasion
Star Trek: Klingon Academy (2000) (PC)
Remember Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and how it had the coolest villain since Khan? If you ever wanted to learn more about the Shakespeare-quoting Klingon Commander Chang, Star Trek: Klingon Academy is your chance. This game tells the story of General Changꞌs rise to power, as you take control of a new recruit to the Klingonsꞌ battle ranks. The gameꞌs 3D starship combat is both intuitive and challenging, although the real draw is the two-plus hours of full-motion video that could stand as a Star Trek movie in its own right. The gameꞌs predecessor, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy (1997), is also worth a look, but is not as polished.
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Star Trek: Klingon Academy
Star Trek: Bridge Commander (2002) (PC)
Star Trek: Bridge Commander is as close as youꞌre going to get to taking command of your own Federation starship, at least until Star Trek: Bridge Crew comes out. As the captain of the USS Dauntless, you must issue commands to your bridge officers to have them carry out scientific surveys, allocate power and do battle with enemy ships. With the help of Captain Picard and Lt. Cmdr. Data (voiced by the real Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner), youꞌll explore the galaxy and unravel a Cardassian conspiracy, all without ever leaving your comfy captainꞌs chair.
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Star Trek Bridge Commander
Star Trek Online (2010) (PC, Mac)
While Star Trek movies are still coming out, fans haven’t seen a new episode since 2005 — unless, of course, they’ve been playing Star Trek Online. This massively multiplayer online role-playing game picks up many years after Star Trek: Nemesis and continues the story of the Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans and the various threats they face in episodic missions. You create your own captain from scratch (you can even make your own species, if you want), then set off to explore the galaxy in a personalized starship. The missions each take about 45 minutes and fit into discrete story arcs, so playing the game is like watching a season of the show. While PC- and Mac-exclusive for now, the game will be on PS4 and Xbox One this fall.
Video Credit: Playstation / Youtube
Star Trek Online
Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.