Although the Lego Group would begin making interlocking bricks way back in 1949, I’d doubt that anyone involved at the start would ever have believed what the company and toy would have become by 2022.
As of 2021, Lego was the largest toy company in the world and you’d struggle to find many people over the world that haven’t had at least some sort of interaction with either the toy, the movies, the theme parks, or their games.
Lego Group games have been about since 1995 (a random title called Lego Fun to Build for the Sega Pico, which was an educational video games console), but in this article, I’ll be looking at the more recent releases starting with 2005’s Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. From here Traveller’s Tales has produced some fantastically addictive action-adventure puzzle games and also some…..rather average ones.
There have been a huge number of properties that have been recreated in Lego, check out the list below:
- LEGO Star Wars
- LEGO Indiana Jones
- LEGO Batman
- LEGO Harry Potter
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
- LEGO The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes/Avengers
- LEGO Jurassic World
- LEGO DC Super-Villains
- LEGO The Incredibles
- LEGO Movie ties for the Lego Movie and the LEGO Ninjago Movie
As well as all of the licenced properties mentioned above there have also been another couple of titles that were a little more original with LEGO City: Undercover and LEGO Worlds, but the most random of all still has to be the Lego Rock Band game…..
Although I haven’t been able to try out the newest of the bunch in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, reviews have been generally favourable. If you’ve never played a Star Wars Lego game, it looks like it would be an ideal place to start. If that seems a little on the pricey side, most of the older games can now be picked up quite cheap, which leads me to this article.
Consider this your guide to the best of the best on console and PC (several of the games have been made available on mobile devices, but their quality varies) and I’ll even advise what one to avoid.
Lego Star Wars: The Video Game
I’ll start off with the original title that started the trend of familiar gameplay and style all the way back in 2005. Although the many sequels in years to come have been able to improve on this title, they owe it all to this game.
Although it only featured levels based on the polarizing movies from the Star Wars prequel trilogy: The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), the puzzles and fun games play were a massive hit either playing solo or in 2 player co-op with a friend.
The Lego Group games offer fantastic replayability, with secrets to be found alongside their humorous take on the Star Wars stories that players already knew. Collect brick pieces and use the character’s different abilities to explore the levels on offer and find hidden collectables. It’s simple but extremely addictive.
While I’ve maybe given the original game a little too much credit thanks to the nostalgia factor (it was a favourite of a very young Paterson), you won’t go too wrong with any of the Lego Star Wars games. The most recent release, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, lets you play moments from all 3 trilogies, so maybe that’s worth considering here instead.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2
As Lego Group looked to increase its popularity, its work with licenced properties would expand and there aren’t many bigger properties than Marvel. Marvel Super Heroes, then the Avengers game would follow but for me, the storyline in Super Heroes 2 was an enjoyable addition to Marvel’s already expansive history. The number of playable characters was huge and featured all your favourite heroes alongside a few lesser-known ones like Gwenpool and Squirrel Girl.
Although the gameplay is very similar to all the Travelers Tales Lego games, the writing here is on point and really brought to life by a large cast of voice actors. There was also a 4 player competitive battle mode which was a nice change in the formula.
Lego City Undercover
Starting as an exclusive for the mostly forgotten Wii U console, Lego City Undercover stands out among most of the other Lego Group games as an original story. Not only that, it was pretty much Lego GTA but with the roles reversed and the player being the cop rather than the criminal.
It was later re-released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows via Steam in 2017, giving more players the chance to star as lead character Chase McCain and fight crime and explore Lego City.
There were a bunch of vehicles that could be used to aid your attempts to enforce the law all alongside the normal collecting bricks and solving puzzles. The game was pretty well received by most review outlets except for the lack of cooperative multiplayer, which until now had been a staple of the previous Lego games. However, this was introduced in the rerelease, in the form of a split-screen co-op mode.
Once again, the story is genuinely funny and a great way to waste a few hours either by yourself or with the kids in tow.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Where would Marvel be without the other side of comic books and DC’s Batman?
Batman has also got the Lego Group treatment on more than one occasion. From the titles I’ve played, I’d give the second of the games the nod ahead of the rest. The open world of Gotham was a wonderful place to explore and had some great dialogue between Batman and Robin.
Once again like most games, there was a huge collection of characters to unlock and play with, and some of the alternative costumes on offer were very creative like the Ice Suit. Here Robin is immune to cold temperatures and receives an ice gun to freeze water or launch an ice ball into targets.
Stay away from the handheld versions of the game s they all scored much lower than their fully-featured console and PC release brothers. The game is the same style of adventure and puzzle game as always, and I had to laugh seeing that Wikipedia noted it’s also “in some ways similar to the Batman: Arkham series”. If you take one thing from this article, please understand that it’s nothing like those games….
Worst: The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame
When it came to the worst game Lego and Travellers’ Tales had to offer, I very nearly pulled the pin on Lego Rock Band. But then again, that wasn’t really a bad game, just a rather random and unneeded expansion to a series that had already started to get a bit bloated.
Maybe the puzzle and adventure Lego games were in a similar state, as this one decided to try and change the formula and ended up all the worse for it. Here the game would take its cues from Lego Worlds and Lego Dimensions, and neither of them was able to light a fire in the ageing styling of gameplay.
The focus moved to building objects to solve puzzles and continue the story, but it never really offered much more than this. It was hit hard by reviewers who couldn’t find much joy in the title, with it scoring in the mid-50s on Metacritic.
This one will be remembered as a movie tie in that shouldn’t have been bothered with and with so much fun to be had in their other properties and games, it could be recommended to all but the most extreme Lego fans.