Throughout the years, fans have rallied around games of all types. There is one series that started back in the sixties and wasn’t met with an extensive fan base, so it was canceled after only three seasons. Then we got the team back together for some new movies, and it kicked off over thirty years of space fun for everyone—the series in question, Star Trek. I have played a lot of the titles, and these are the best ones by far.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek: 25th Anniversary
In the beginning, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary graced our ancient CRT televisions on the Nintendo Entertainment System. In it, we see the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise trapped in a spatial tear that sends them to an unknown planet. In the meantime, the dilithium crystals used to power warp speed have been fused and are useless. It is up to you to take your three-man away team down to the planet to find a replacement and then venture back to the spatial tear and try to fix everything.
Released in 1992, this was one of the first AAA titles made for the series. It showed what could be done on an early console of the time. With team-based AI, puzzles to make you think, and good level design, this one is towards the top of my list for a reason. I love this version of the 25th Anniversary, though there was a second version made for PC a little later on, also.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek: Judgement Rites
The follow-up to the adventures of the crew of the Enterprise follows Kirk, Spock, and all of the rest as they navigate the galaxy through an episodic adventure. The ship is trying to get to shore leave when another Federation vessel pops up out of nowhere, warns the crew that the Federation will be destroyed in eight days, and then blows up due to its own damage. Kirk and crew have to set out to save the Federation.
Star Trek: Judgment Rites was specific to the PC and Mac systems. It ran out of MS-DOS (do we feel old yet?), changing how the game was played. Instead of directing your character around with a control pad, you now had to point and click to get them to walk. You could also click on different items and people in the game to open up other menus like inventory, phasers, tricorder, and more. GOG versions are out there, as well as Steam, for you to get relatively cheap and experience the good old days of Trek.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online is up there as one of the best Star Trek games for me for several reasons. These reasons are what happened a year after the game launched originally. When it switched hands, we saw a change to a more episodic feeling with old Star Trek labels for each mission. This alone gives you a sense of immersion into the universe. Character creation for normal Trek aliens and then the alien creator itself is a fantastic feature in and of itself. Starships. Between travel, space combat, and being able to change how your ship looks is something that lets us see how different Star Trek can be for every single person.
Star Trek Online was initially launched only on PC in 2010. Its first year was not all it was cracked up to be as it changed hands and had to go in a different direction. After the pickup, it really skyrocketed for me and others, and now we have a title with lots of ships to play with, multiple expansions, actors who have reprised their roles inside of this universe, and more. It is iconic to hear the late-great Leonard Nimoy voicing a lot of the sector explorations, and having Kate Mulgrew and other high-level cast included is just amazing.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force is one of those first-person shooters you didn’t expect to like, but then you fall in love with it immediately. An FPS made with the Star Trek IP was something I wanted, but I didn’t think the studio would go in the direction they did. It worked in how they brought all of the alien races into this one area where no one could escape and send you up against all of these races. Ultimately, you are armed to the teeth as one of Voyager’s Elite Response members, and you have to escape the void.
Released in September of 2000, Elite Force shows its age today but is still a solid title to play. It is fun to run around and shoot the Borg and other races with Photon Torpedo Cannons and use your wits to figure out how to get from one place to another. It was released on PC, PlayStation 2, and Mac, and it was great for its time. I feel like a remake or remaster would do this game such a good service. Star Trek could use a few more games like this.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek: Starfleet Academy
Starfleet Academy takes place in San Francisco, and it is filled with cameos from famous actors. William Shatner and George Takei specifically were cast in this game to give their mission scenarios to you. They are basically guest instructors who are trying to help you learn about your command style. As a Cadet, you are placed in command of a bridge crew. You have to lead your team through the nuances of starship command and uncover a hidden plot to take down Starfleet.
Starfleet Academy was released in 1997 for the PC only. It came with a pack of discs because of how big it was for a game of the day—a true cinematic experience mixed with excellent simulator gaming ahead of its time.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek: Armada
Star Trek: Armada is a Command and Conquer style RTS where you are tasked with building up your forces to defeat the likes of the Klingons, Romulans, and even the Borg. Activision developed it for Microsoft Windows, and it is one of the first titles to give Trek fans the experience of fleet building. Armada was based on The Next Generation, and it also had some voice-over work from TNG characters too.
With some campaign missions to play through across several different races and an instant-action mode, this title will give you plenty to play through. The maps are all based in space, where you will build up your various stations and research technologies to upgrade your fleet. Colonize planets to earn more minerals and workers for your fleets to protect the Federation.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek: Starfleet Command
Star Trek: Fleet Command is a different take on fleet action. It puts you in command of one ship at a time to go through your missions. As Captain, you start with a low-level frigate to complete your missions. The more you earn through your travels, the better the ships that you can buy will be.
Choose to be a Captain in one of six groups. The Federation, Klingons, Romulans, Gorn Confederacy, Lyran Star Empire, and the Hydran Empire are the groups to pick from. From start to finish, the game spans a 30-year career where you start as a Lieutenant Commander on a small frigate and can be promoted up to Rear Admiral in command of a battle cruiser. It is a fun time for any starship captain.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Empires at War
Like the last entry, Empires at War brings us back into a similar war-torn galaxy where the Organians have departed. Enter the Interstellar Concordium and pirate forces to try and make a bid for the Alpha quadrant. Combat is similar to the first Starfleet Command game with some definite upgrades.
Story wise, the new groups want to disrupt the region and have been looking for ways to do that. They have been trying to introduce drugs into the systems of people, which would help to reeducate them by force. Ranking and leveling up ships is much the same, with graphical updates to make everything look nicer. This tabletop-style RTS improves on the former game.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek: Armada II
Another RTS title in the style of Command and Conquer in space, Armada II brings back the Borg to fight against the Federation. This also introduces Species 8472 from fluidic space. In the ultimate battle for the galaxy, help the Federation. You will fight in the Alpha quadrant, Borg space in the Delta quadrant, and even in fluidic space.
Ships and weapons have been upgraded for this sequel title. Enemies have been added and upgraded as well. It is up to you to once again build a Starbase and defend it from the enemy while wiping out all enemy forces from the area. It is fun once again to hear Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc Picard as he captains the Enterprise E through several missions.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force II
Elite Force II is the second iteration of Voyager’s Hazard team. In this first-person shooter, alien invaders are attacking the Federation. You have to fight your way through derelict ships, through a volcanic planetoid, and more. Utilize your training in heavy weapons that are Federation and alien in origin. The Federation needs good soldiers to defend its borders.
Retake control of Munroe as he and his team face off against the Borg and other aliens on their way to saving the day. It is still all about making it through the hard parts and doing what you can to figure out the puzzles and other hard points of the game. It was released in 2003 and is one of the last good Star Trek games from that time forward until Bridge Crew came out. That was 2017, if that tells you anything about the quality of Star Trek games in recent years.
Best Star Trek Games – Star Trek: Resurgence
A fresh take on the Star Trek franchise, Resurgence is an adventure title by Dramatic Labs set around the U.S.S. Resolute and her crew. You travel through the game as two crew members. The First Officer, brand new to the ship and a young engineer, also new to the ship. It lets you live the story of both officers as you try to complete your mission. Choices matter in this interactive story, and you will be able to see where your choices will lead you.
Take control of Jara Rydek, Carter Diaz, and the crew of the Resolute as they try to protect the galaxy from a strange power that is trying to engulf everything it sees. In true Telltale games fashion, the previous workers from that company bring us a genuinely interactive Star Trek experience that allows us to feel like we are actually in the game. It brings in new characters and old ones to fully merge every part of Star Trek together. We see the likes of Captain Will Riker and Ambassador Spock. It brings our childhood and our adulthood together in one place.
There are clearly a lot more Star Trek titles that have been released over the years. These are some of the best ones I have played. Game mechanics, graphics, story, and immersion are some categories I looked at while determining which games have had the best feeling for me. If you haven’t had a chance to play many or any of these titles, then I would recommend them to you.