Gamers (particularly the old ones like me) can 100% agree plenty of classic games need a comeback. Be it with a remaster, honest remake, or simply a re-release. Recently we had the likes of the Tomb Raider I – III Remasters from Aspyr, which I love, and plenty more which have made fans happy. And now Aspyr is at it again, with a remaster of not one, but two of the best action multiplayer games ever made. Star Wars: Battlefront I and II, both from 2004, and 2005 respectively were instant classics, and have loyal fans who love them to this day. I still have my copy of SW: BF2 for the PS2, and it’s great.

So, a remaster, from the same guys who brought back Lara Croft in amazing glory, of two of the best action, and best-ever Star Wars games ever made is a surefire hit right?

What is the Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection?

Okay so you will hear a lot of praise, recognition, and love around the original SW: BF games and their impact on gaming. I won’t bore you too much with the arguments on how they’re better than the recent EA instalments (but they most certainly are). Nor will I go into a deep dive and break down the reasoning why these games are so important.

But both original Star Wars Battlefront titles are staples of the genre and set up a grand foundation for many others to follow. Plus, they were just so good, be it simple action fun, but reliable, engaging, full of charm and creativity, and just the ease of picking up and playing solo or with your friend. I recall my brother picking up both games upon release and we would play these for hours. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a superb sequel that added so much more to become one of the best sequels in gaming. 

Both original Star Wars Battlefront games take all the epic battles and mass-scale confrontations from the films to enjoy in full glory. With plenty of character classes, weapons, vehicles, and beloved characters, you'll be bathing in all that Star Wars goodness. You’ll be fighting in the Clone Wars, battling on Hoth and Endor, and engaging in space battles around Tatooine, feeling the impact and brutality, with all the cool sound effects and epic John Williams scores. You will be part of the greatest moments, and battles in Star Wars lore. The crowning jewel is Galactic Conquest, a renowned and beloved mode that sets both original Battlefront games above and beyond anything else.

And all of this with beautiful, remastered visuals, cross-play, dedicated lobbies, and …. Oh. Okay, we have upscaling, local co-op and a somewhat functional online multiplayer service.

After seeing the results of the Tomb Raider I – III Remaster, I had high hopes for this, I had hoped there would be some epic visual improvements, quality of life changes, and cross-play, yet a lot is missing from this. A grand absence of potential and quality, results in a collection which feels quite shallow. Especially when the original versions of these games are easy to buy, and play be it via the Xbox backwards compatibility program, or just going to Steam.

Join the Dark Side

Now, there is merit in the Classic Collection as the upscaling does look nice. This version uses the original PC version as a baseline, which had better quality sprites of various landmarks, and distant landscapes, which have a tweaked resolution to look better. The water effects, dynamic lighting, and performance in general are all great, looking vastly crisper and cleaner than the original PC and console releases. And the sky boxes, oh my god, they do look incredible I won’t lie.

While I would have liked to have seen a full remaster, or even more a remake of these games, the upscaling is half-decent. However, the major issue with these visuals is how much storage space it takes to install. For PS5, the total size for installation is over 60GB, whereas both original games on Xbox are like 7. With over 50GB of extra space needed, I would assume there would be massive visual upgrades and radical changes in texture quality. Yet this is not the case, as this collection is just an HD upscale that’s on par with a high-quality visual mod you can get for the original PC version.

But that’s not to say various levels and battles don’t look objectively better, as seeing Hoth in all its crisp, clean and snowy glory is breathtaking. And the general colour balancing and removal of that strange haze effect from the original games is long gone, which I’m quite happy about. And again, the clear skyboxes, particularly when fighting in space, and down to the improved galactic map are truly welcomed improvements.

Being able to play both classic games in 4K at 60 frames per second, having much-needed clarity less haze, and a better balance of colour make this the better version out now. Yet, the originals still look fine, and with the backwards compatible option via Xbox and Steam, you can play these games just fine with some slightly toned-down visuals. It would have been great to see these games get the same treatment the Tomb Raider I – III remaster got with a nice, silky smooth visual enhancement. As this would have made the collection feel more than just a tweaked, “generic” port.

Classic Star Wars action, that never gets old

Now on the side of gameplay, both Star Wars Battlefront games are timeless classics, featuring plenty of great game modes you can jump into, with tons of weapons, classes and environments ripped straight from the Star Wars universe.

Players will be able to go into each game and pick up the core mechanics with extreme ease, as it’s all about shooting, fighting, and destroying the Empire, or the rebel scum. Both games came from a time when game design generally meant cramming as much content and features as possible, and for any Star Wars fan, this is the ultimate dream come true.

I will acknowledge that the recent incarnation of SW: BF did have some cool features, from how you could play as Darth Vader when the game was installed, to the deep class progression system. While the original games aren’t as deep mechanically, they make up a different sense of progression, with new unlockable characters, environments, and battles to play. There is so much here to see, conquer and topple over, including AT-ATs which you can take down just like in The Empire Strikes Back. It’s pure fan service, and nostalgia blasting but in the best possible way.

These games come from that era where simplicity resulted in wholesome, honest, easy-to-grip fun that is truly timeless. Like the older Halo games, or even something like Golden Eye, which never ages regarding accessibility and approachability. The depth of content is expanded as Aspyr has brilliantly included DLC from both games and certain key features which were only on PC, such as the larger battles with more AI NPCs, are truly magnificent as it does add in so much more mayhem and fun.

And being able to load up Star Wars: Battlefront II on my PS5 and play any of the single-player modes, or a co-op mode with my brother between both games without having to switch the games is awesome. And again, while these games weren’t impossible to play before, the ease of playing them and entering active servers (when it’s working at the time of this review) does warm my heart, as one of the greatest multiplayer games ever made can be played with ease once again.

And finally, being able to play the all-heroes and villains’ mode (where you can play as your fan favourite legacy characters such as Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul) on any ground map in Battlefront II is a phenomenal addition as it was limited to only a couple of maps.

But there are some letdowns, namely some annoying bugs with the camera (which hopefully will be panned out soon), and a total lack of customisation for controls and accessibility options. It’s staggering to see hardly any accessibility options available, aside from colour-blind mode and the bare minimum. And not being able to change the inverted controls for vehicles is a giant face-palm moment if I’ve ever seen one. I hate inverted controls and remember some old games didn’t have this, but as an avid PS2 collector, I can inform you many games included the option to turn this off. It’s just baffling that this isn’t an option.

And not being able to switch off adaptive controls just grinds my gears. I’m not a massive fan of adaptive controls unless there is a valid point to it, like in Returnal. It’s beyond infuriating I can’t turn it off at all, and with a game so combat-focused, it’s just a strain personally.

And I will acknowledge here at the time of launch, the online component has been quite a disaster. It’s been fine for me largely, but I have seen people not being able to connect, and it’s a shame as thousands of people want to take advantage of the 64-player battles. It doesn’t help there’s a region lock in place and no cross-play at all! However, when you do battle it out, it’s magnificent! But there are clear signs of struggle for PC players, and the bizarre limitations greatly restrict player engagement.  

And I do wish the AI was tweaked in both games, as Ally AI can be awful. I appreciate the tuning with controls (aside from not being able to change inverted controls for vehicles), and other small quality-of-life changes. But oh my lord… friendly AI is so dumb. It’s laughable and it does crack me up, as I can hold my own. But in the harder story missions, they suck and it’s infuriating when the ally death count racks up so quickly.


I love both original Star Wars: Battlefront games, they’re absolute classics, and great fun with other people. To have these fully remastered, with nice new graphics, new features and crossplay is a sure win … however, what we got is fine, but it feels underwhelming. Especially when the original versions of the games are easily playable.

The games themselves are still amazing, and I can without a shadow of a doubt, recommend them and this collection to anyone, even non-Star Wars fans. But this package is not a great celebration, but a straightforward port to modern hardware. It’s a shame as Aspyr nailed it 110% with the Tomb Raider I – III remasters, becoming one of the best gaming experiences in my recent memory.  And this could have been the same if there was just a little more to it.

While the upscaling/small graphical upgrades are nice having all the games and DLCs in one place thus making is highly accessible is grand. And playing 64-player online matches is the main highlight overall (when it worked). Aside from that there just isn’t much else here to jump up with joy about. And for the asking price, I would expect more, since the original games can still be bought, played, and enjoyed for much less of a fee. Even more daunting are the lack of accessibility options, and simple control features which are absent, making this feel somewhat shallow.

If you’ve never played both classic games before, then this is worth picking up. But for fans, this isn't very reassuring, to be honest. And with a shoddy launch of online woes, lack of accessibility (no way to change inverted controls), and no special content to celebrate this remaster, it’s not worth picking up just yet.

++ Both games are still a ton of fun.
+ Comes with all DLCs and some good additional changes.
+ Nice enough upscaling.

- Not a massive visual upgrade.
- Lacking meaningful accessibility options.
- No extra content outside of the DLCs.
- The asking price is a bit steep.

A review copy of Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection was kindly provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.