The Five Best Lego Games to Date

Why do we here at keep writing about the “Lego” games? Reviews, features, news stories. Enough, right? The fact is that they’re omnipresent. Not writing about them is like a sports writer not writing about the Yankees. For while you can’t yet buy a “Little Big Planet” or “Uncharted” game for your PS4, you can buy THREE Lego games—“Lego The Hobbit,” “Lego Marvel Super Heroes,” and “The Lego Movie Videogame”—and a fourth is coming soon in the form of “Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.” We already wrote about Lego games we’d like to see (and one has come to fruition since writing that piece) but what about how to choose the best of what’s already available. With over four dozen Lego games overall and 16 licensed Lego games in the console generation, it’s getting overwhelming. Which ones are the best? Let us count them down, in chronological order.

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game (2005-PS2)

Lego Star Wars.

The one that really started it all has held up remarkably well almost a decade later (yes, that makes me feel old too). “Lego Star Wars” tapped a generation right in its nostalgic heart, blending both the way that so many people feel about their favorite childhood toys and their favorite childhood movies. Wait, we can use the toys of our youth to recreate our favorite flicks? Where do we sign up? And the merging of Lucas concepts like The Force and building with Legos proved addictive. It actually made a degree of sense, unlike so many other nostalgic mash-ups. “Lego Star Wars” was one of those rare games that instantly heralded a multi-year franchise. You played it for an hour and you knew that someone who deserved a raise had really opened a toy box that would keep giving for years. It all started here. And it’s still so incredibly playable, unlike many games of its era. Sadly, a few of its immediate predecessors focused too heavily on gadgets in their puzzle solving and remained in the shadow of this game and the “Original Trilogy” follow-up and so “Lego Batman” and “Lego Indiana Jones” were near-misses. The series wouldn’t really connect creatively again until…

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4; (2010-PS3)


As with many of the best “Lego” games, the success of this one is ably assisted by the depth of the world that inspired its creation. J.K Rowling crafted such a fascinating universe that one could argue she did most of the work in terms of making this game a success. Just as George Lucas’ universe made a natural fit with Lego, so did the world of the boy who lived, a kid who used magic to solve problems in much the same way Lego aficionados create with their favorite toys. And another element that often distinguishes a hit Lego game was in place here as well with the deep character roster provided by the Rowling books and films. It wasn’t just a movie tie-in, it was a new way to play within the universe and stories of your favorite fictional franchise.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (2011-PS3)


Again, the depth of the universe helps and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” games offered the developers at Traveller’s Tales a chance to provide gamers with a wide array of gameplay. What I dug about “PoTC” more than most critics was the way it expanded the universe of the games by focusing on collectibles in a new way. Lego games are always about smashing things and grabbing things and pirates do a lot of both. This game also really expanded on the idea that different playable characters would have different strengths, weaknesses, and powers, resulting in more replay value than many other Lego games.

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (2011-PS3)


It all comes back around. While I’m one of the people who likes to consider the “Star Wars” universe closed as of the ‘80s and mostly can’t stand anything that has come out since the original trilogy ended, this game was shockingly fun. The folks at TT found a way to bring some of the magic of those first movies and the original Lego game into the new Lucasverse in ways that the creators of “Attack of the Clones” and the awful “The Clone Wars” movie failed to do. Is it perfect? Nah but the action-driven focus of the “Clone Wars” series made for a more action-packed Lego game than usual.  

Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013-PS3/PS4)


Arguably the best Lego game to date. Yeah, I said it. What I would call “Lego 2.0,” the new era of Lego games on the next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 4 started here and the folks at TT really delivered more so than in the too-straightforward “Lego Movie Videogame” and incomplete “Lego Hobbit.” And what “Lego Marvel” REALLY proves is that these games could exist without the source material of something like the “Star Wars” or “Harry Potter” films to drive their storytelling. New stories, beloved characters, great puzzle design, and tons of action.