The 11 Best ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Video Games Of All Time

Yu-Gi-Oh! has had a long and storied history. There’s the manga that started it all, the anime that captured our hearts, and the trading card game—which made us question our playground friendships at least a few times. Ultimately came the final frontier: Video Games. And lo and behold, fans got treated to a memorable lineup of the best Yu-Gi-Oh! games ever made.

Though a *relatively* new concept in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rise in popularity of PC and console gaming thrust Konami into expanding the domain that the already hugely popular franchise had amassed in a short span of time. Most of the games that were originally released in the first few years were exclusive to Japan, so in this piece, we’ll only be covering those that were available in North America as well.

After over 20 years and 50+ game editions, some of these games have immersive storylines that pay homage to the original plot from the manga and anime, and others fall flat on their faces, are boring, and just overall stink. We’re here to help you save time and energy by giving you the best of what the series truly has to offer. So with that said, it’s time to d-d-d-d-duel.

RELATED: The 15 Most Powerful ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Characters

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11. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Wheelie Breakers’

Do you like Yu-Gi-Oh!? I think we know the answer to that, seeing as you’re reading this currently. Do you also like Mario Kart?!? If you answered yes, then I have the game for you! Kicking off the list is Yu-Gi-Oh! Wheelie Breakers—a game based on the 5Ds series, which takes place in a futuristic world where the traditional dueling mechanics that the series is known for has been combined with the high speed and intensity of motorcycle racing. A unique concept indeed, but one that seems to really work in the wide world of Yu-Gi-Oh!

In the game, you take on the role of a new “Turbo Duelist,” straddling your own “Duel Runner” motorcycle and racing for the finish. This part of the game is pretty cut and dry, you win by being the first to reach the finish line just like any other racing game—the rest is where it gets interesting. The obstacles along the way are your enemy’s entire deck full of annoying monsters, spells, and traps all working to make sure that your race is anything but easy. Each player has 4,000 Life Points, though a player does not lose if they reach zero, they just spin out.

All in all, this a very unconventional game that puts a real twist into the series unlike any other game offering available, and is frustrating at first, but rewarding once you are able to figure out how to play!

Buy Now, $18.99
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10. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! The Eternal Duelist Soul’

This game is a Game Boy Advance exclusive and was released in 2002, however even after 18 years, the game still holds up to some of the best names in the series. Although the card list is only ~800 in size, the game presents a real feel of dueling against your friends back in the day and still manages to be a lot of fun because of its tier-based duelists and decks.

One of the best features of the game was the ability to import real cards from the actual TCG into the game via the unique card ID codes, which was an amazing way to merge the real-world card game with the virtual one!

You are also able to (via a physical cable) link up with and battle against friends, making the game all the more versatile for its time (pre-wifi connectivity; what a time). Boasting a score of 81 on Metacritic, this game is arguably one of the truest representations of the TCG in virtual form and provides an incredible feeling of nostalgia when playing through.

Buy Now, $29.20
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9. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour’

Yu-Gi-Oh!’s first title on the Nintendo DS did not disappoint! The game is a pretty straightforward duel monsters game as you role-play as a novice duelist participating in the “Battle City Tournament” featuring many members of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! cast. The original “Battle City” storyline has been altered quite a bit however in order to extend gameplay and include duelists such as Maximillion Pegasus and the Paradox Brothers. The “Virtual World” story arc is also included as well, which I absolutely love (who doesn’t love a good “Five-Headed Dragon??”). 

For fans of the card game, Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour is a dream come true. The game takes everything that has made the card game so popular for years and faithfully puts it all together in one convenient handheld package. The 3-D summoning was a great feature never before experienced on a hand-held device, but that’s not the only dual-screened feature that was added! There’s competition all over the place, however, you’ll have to use your duelist radar in order to be able to locate them, which requires you to drag a cursor around a city map with your stylus until the cursor starts to beep and flash red.

This would have a more immersive effect if not for the fact that the choice of your potential opponents is limited by your current in-game experience level. In addition to the traditional duels, the game also incorporated a series of puzzle matches, where the player is presented with a scenario in which you’ll have to use a specific strategy to complete successfully.

Whether you’re a beginner or not, these puzzle matches are a good way to hone your skills. At the end of both puzzle matches and regular duels, you’re rewarded with points that can be spent on booster packs at the local card shop in order to continue to build out and improve upon your deck throughout the game.

Buy Now, $70
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8. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! Dungeon Dice Monsters’

Like that of our previous title in the list, this game departs from the traditional Yu-Gi-Oh! card game style of play and introduces some completely new elements. Originally introduced via three episodes in the anime, Dungeon Dice Monsters incorporates many elements of the original game such as familiar monsters as well as having to deplete your enemy of a certain amount of starting points in order to win the game. The difference here is that we’re playing with Dice and Heart Points rather than Cards and Life Points. The goal is similar – deplete your opponent’s heart points from three to zero by attacking them directly. 

The premise is that you begin your turn by rolling a set of die and, if you are able to roll two of the same image then you’re able to summon a specific kind of monster on your side of the board, building out your paths in order to approach your opponent’s side of the playing field. Once you’ve “summoned” some monsters, you have to build a route to your opponent in order to attack them and deplete their heart points to zero before they do so to you. It may not be the deepest or most complex game, but having so many familiar monsters to use in a completely new format was a great mix of nostalgia and new experiences all wrapped up into one!

Buy Now, $57.50
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7. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards’

This game is amazing for the nostalgia factor of it all, if for nothing else. The game essentially takes you through the second arc of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime, that being the “Battle City Tournament” (which happens to be my favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! story arc of all time). 

The game allows you to take control of the main character of the game and play through the events as they unfold in the anime. You’ll run into all of your favorite characters from the show, from the prominent figures such as Seto Kaiba and Mai Valentine to more tertiary characters such as Rex Raptor, Mako Tsunami, and yes, of course even Marik Ishtar. The game gives you an extensive experience of what it would have been like if you were to have entered and competed in the tournament yourself! 

The gameplay is fun in that it allows you to walk back and forth from different distinct areas and even talk to and interact with all of the NPCs that are scattered throughout the game, giving it more of an adventurous type feel than many other Yu-Gi-Oh! games that have been released. There are some actual gameplay-related tweaks that have been made to the game as well that give it its own character in the series, such as the addition of the elemental system, which means that monsters with certain attributes will automatically destroy monsters with other, specific attributes regardless of the differential in attack/defense points. All in all, this game is a great way to relive one of the best storylines in the anime, with a few additional twists and turns along the way.

Buy Now, $28.30
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6. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Of The Roses’

Released exclusively for PlayStation 2, this installation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! video game series is unlike any other! The game and gameplay are a reference to the 15th Century War of the Roses in both name and game setting, but the similarities don’t stop there. 

Arguably the most interesting storyline of any game (as it doesn’t have anything to do with the manga/anime storylines), the story begins with the battle between the houses of “Lancaster” and “York,” allowing you, the duelist who was summoned from another time, to choose which house to support at the beginning of the game in order to tip the scale in one direction or the other. 

The gameplay itself is the main characteristic that separates Duelist Of The Roses from other Yu-Gi-Oh! Games, in that it basically plays like Dungeon Dice Monsters, however instead of using dice and heart-points, you’re using the actual cards, and life points similar to legacy games. Other defining characteristics are that you will have a “Deck Master” who will provide certain power-ups and bonuses to you during a duel, having to navigate a labyrinth-like game board, and utilize different field power bonuses that change depending on what kind of terrain you are playing on. All of these elements combine to provide a truly unique and immersive gameplay experience in the world of Duel Monsters!

Buy Now, $49.99
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5. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Duel Academy’

The number four pick on here is from the second saga in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX focuses on the journey of a new generation of duelists attending the “Duel Academy.” Kind of like Yu-Gi-Oh!’s version of Harry Potter’s “Hogwarts.” This 2006 Game Boy Advance title operates similarly to the majority of the other games from this era, you play a digital version of the card game against characters from the show. To advance, you must beat each character a certain amount of times. GX Duel Academy adds in some extra elements that further immerse you into the story, such as periodic tests to determine if you will advance up the ranks as a duelist. There are three dorms at the Duel Academy: “Slifer Red,” “Ra Yellow,” and “Obelisk Blue” (in order of most prestigious). Much like the “Falsebound Kingdom,” I have recently made another playthrough of this title and could not stop playing until I was at the top of my class.

Buy Now, $89.99
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4. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom’

The number four spot on this list goes to a classic that breaks the mold of the typical Yu-Gi-Oh! game. Instead of a digital simulation of the card game, this real-time strategy/RPG takes the characters from the television series and gives you a whole new storyline to play through. 

While the plot of the game is reminiscent of one of the early story arcs of the series, it puts a new spin on the concept of the characters THEMSELVES being trapped in a video game. At the beginning of the game you choose between Yugi or Kaiba (then eventually Joey Wheeler) and then guide their respective armies of duel monsters through an epic crusade to defeat the emperor. While not a very complex game in terms of RPGs, this 2002 GameCube exclusive makes up for it with a rich storyline that you get to experience from three different points of view. It also adds a very Pokémon-like random monster encounter element on some levels.

Having played this game as a child, I recently played through it again on my computer via an emulator and couldn’t pull myself away. There is something magical about fusing three “Blue-Eyes-White Dragons” together and obliterating a squad of opposing monsters. The game puts you in the shoes of the main characters in a way I haven’t experienced anywhere else, and for this reason, it earns the number three spot.

Buy Now, $44.90
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3. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links’

This game burst onto the scene initially back in November of 2016 in a unique way; being released as a free-to-play game on mobile devices. Konami saw the state of the world for what it was and quickly pivoted to make sure that it remained relevant in the market, as well as appealing to a younger demographic that’s becoming more and more tech-savvy/reliant. Traditional ways of playing the game are becoming more and more outdated with considerations such as cost of entry to play in regards to buying all the cards you need, traveling to tournaments, and all the accessories needed as well (card sleeves, deck boxes, dice, etc). The dollar amounts can pile up quickly, and virtually being able to connect and play with friends at a moment’s notice is invaluable in today’s day and age.

What I appreciated most about this game is that it made things extremely easy for new players to pick up and get involved, while also keeping enough of the traditional rules intact to satisfy experienced players. Duel Links is not only a great homage to the series but also a good starting point for gamers who don’t already know its mechanics. The game limited the field to 3 monster card zones and 3 spell/trap card zones, simplifying the game overall. If new players got interested enough they would then look to the full TCG to scratch the itch that Duel Links started, acting as a gateway into the wonderful world that is Yu-Gi-Oh! 

I think the biggest drawback to duel links is that at a certain point after farming for tokens is a virtually unreliable way to build enough of a resource pool to continually be able to buy new cards in-game, players must start to buy virtual tokens with real money to be able to keep their decks relevant at high levels. The pay-to-win type of game formats can start to wither a player’s excitement and interest in a game, and quickly, which is what I saw happen to a lot of the newer players after a relatively short amount of hours spent playing.

Download Now, Free-to-Play
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2. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy Of The Duelist Link Evolution’

Coming in at number one on the list is Legacy Of The Duelist: Link Evolution. Not only is this the newest game released by Konami, but it’s arguably the game that most closely resembles playing the trading card game as you would with the actual cards, and with actual people. 

Released on August 20th, 2019, this title is a remaster of the 2015 game with all the DLC included, and can be played on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Legend of the Duelist lets you choose from a robust 9,000-card library as you relive epic battles from every Yu-Gi-Oh! series to date, up through the ARC-V series. Opening booster packs to build the best deck out of the cards you pull is the perfect simulation of actually playing the trading card game, which has been desperately missed after the local scenes have practically been brought to a halt due to the spread of the coronavirus worldwide in 2020. 

Konami’s choice to not include real-money purchases whatsoever within the game helps mitigate the cost-sink that has kept many away from the physical card game in the past as well (*chef’s kiss*). This was one of the biggest problems that I had in one of the games previously mentioned on this list, that being Duel Links. Collecting cards from any TCG series is both nostalgic and rewarding, but realistically not everyone can afford to participate in such a hobby. Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution gives players a way to access over 9,000 cards by simply playing and earning them as they go along. 

There very well may never be a Yu-Gi-Oh! game that is quite the same as simply playing with real cards (at least one that’s developed and sold by Konami, which would kind of make sense seeing as that the card game is a massive revenue driver), but Legacy of the Duelist is the closest that we have ever gotten to the real thing so far, as is more than worth the time investment!

Buy Now, $28.40
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1. ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel’

You gotta commend Konami for doing right by the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise in physical and digital form. This definitive version of the collectible card game’s most recent ruleset is a joy to play in both its dedicated single-player and multiplayer modes of play. What this game does amazingly is present newbies with playable tutorials that act as story chapters and, upon full completion, equip them with enough in-game currency from achievements to obtain new cards.

And after completing every one of those solo challenges, you’ll walk away with enough rare cards and the advanced knowledge needed to compete against fellow expert players. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is also pretty easy on the eyes, so it’s always nice watching all the action unfold across varied battlefields. Free-to-play games tend to feel like a job as you’re pushed to log in every day and fulfill all your daily objectives in order to stay strong with the rest of the game’s healthy community. With how generous this game can be when it comes to rewards, you’ll never feel like you’re not getting properly reimbursed for your efforts.

With Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, emerging victorious after a 30-minute long match thanks to careful deck building and proper strategy never feels like busywork.

Download Now, Free-to-Play

35 Best Multiplayer PS4 Games to Play with Friends

One of the best ways to enjoy video games is with a friend. Whether that entails joining them in an effort to complete a co-op campaign or handing them a few devastating losses in a competitive multiplayer environment, playing a game with your closest chums is always a good time. And one of the best ways to engage in that activity is through the enjoyment of the best multiplayer PS4 games.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 console has been around for a long time now and has amassed an impressive slate of must-play titles. And several of the best ones just so happen to be the types of games that allow for two players or more to enjoy some fun times together. There’s a wealth of genres to find a great multiplayer experience within—fighters, racers, sports games, third- and first-person shooters, puzzlers, etc. Digging into the PS4’s massive library of games and making an effort to find the best ones with multiplayer features can be a long, arduous task. But it doesn’t have to be if you want our expert gaming assistance.

Since we’re always here to help (you’re welcome for putting you onto a bunch of games that are like Overwatch, by the way), we’ve decided to lend PS4 owners a hand in finding 35 of the top multiplayer games that need to be on their playlists. Prepare to laugh, shed a few tears, and scream uncontrollably as you play each and every one of these awesome PS4 multiplayer experiences.

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1. ‘Overcooked! 2’

A game that’s all about preparing and cooking food is more fun than you’d think. Overcooked! 2 presents this seemingly regular activity and turns it on its head with some whacky elements. Up to four players have to work together and produce a number of delicious meals while trying to brave the elements across a variety of stages. One minute, you’ll be asked to cook up baked goods in a frosty environment; the next minute, you’ll find yourself and your fellow cooks crafting all sorts of hot delicacies while riding atop neighboring boats. Overcooked! 2 is a fun online four-player game, but it’s even better when experienced in a local co-op setting. 

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2. ‘A Way Out’

Leo and Vincent are two convicted prison mates who want to retrieve their freedom. Both men have legit reasons as to why they want to get out of their current predicament. A Way Out lets you and another player take on the roles of both characters as they go on a dangerous trek on the road to redemption. The story told within this third-person adventure is enthralling, which is the main reason why you’ll want to see it through till the very end. A Way Out is jam-packed with all sorts of minigames that present fun co-op/competitive situations that are all worth delving into.

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3. ‘Rocket League’

The combination of soccer and rocket-powered cars has morphed into one of the hottest multiplayer games in recent memory. In Rocket League, each player hops into their favorite ride for some exciting matches in massive arenas. The moment-to-moment gameplay makes for some nail-biting player exchanges and successful plays. Cars flip all over the place, boost up to ridiculous speeds and crash into a massive ball in an effort to nab that important extra point during a heated game. Rocket League lets you link up with a team of fellow speed freaks against the AI and enjoy even more hype-inducing online matches against human players.

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4. ‘Castle Crashers Remastered’

Anyone old enough to remember the golden age of Xbox Live Arcade definitely has some love in their heart for this beat ‘em up. The Behemoth’s signature animation style was popularized once Castle Crashers landed on the Xbox 360 in 2008. The remastered rendition of this four-player medieval masher arrived on PS4 in 2019, and it’s still as addictive as it was during its last-gen run. Each color-coded knight has access to their own weapon of choice, magic spells, and an oh-so-cute pet to take with them into battle. Get the crew together so you can all run roughshod over the evil wizard’s army.

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5. ‘Fortnite’

Epic’s world-renowned battle royale extravaganza seems like it’ll never die. And that’s the perfect reason to hop online and fight for survival with your band of animated scavengers. The main pull of Fortnite is its marquee battle royale mode, which lets you squad up with your people across different gaming platforms. Battle Royale isn’t the only reason to give this third-person shooter a spin, though–you can also hop into the game’s horde mode known as “Save the World.” You can spend hours just mastering your building skills and attempting to become the last man standing or keeping those zombie “husks” from taking down your beloved fort.

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6. ‘Tekken 7’

Now what we have here is one of the best fighting games ever made. Tekken as a franchise has been going strong since 1994 and has consistently evolved into a complex yet still approachable 3D fighter. The release of Tekken 7 brought with it a bunch of evolutionary mechanics that made it as much fun to play, as it is to watch in action. There are super hype slow-motion camera shots that activate during big moves, flashy super moves to dish out, and a fast-paced combat system that will keep you for months/years to come. Tekken 7 features a massive roster full of fan favorites, series newbies, and several surprising guest characters to play around with. So there are plenty of character choices to go around when you’re ready to play an intense set of matches with your local/online rivals. Akuma from Street Fighter vs. Negan from The Walking Dead is entirely possible thanks to Tekken 7.

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7. ‘Soulcalibur VI’

It took far too long to get another entry in the Soulcalibur series after the disappointment that was Soulcalibur V. Once 2018 rolled around, Bandai Namco Entertainment revived the weapons fighter and sent fans into a frenzy. Soulcalibur VI brings the band of historical weapons masters back together again, plus the newbies lend themselves well to the long-running franchise’s legacy. The combat is as fast and fluid as ever, plus the added Reversal Edge mechanic provides a fun rock-paper-scissors maneuver that can change the tide of every battle. Soulcalibur VI has the power to make you utter the phrase “just one more” after every battle and force you to sharpen your skills before you hop online to take on the world.

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8. ‘Borderlands 3’

It’s time to go vault-hunting and planet-hopping in Borderlands 3. And for anyone who’s been attached to the series since its inception, you already know what you’re getting into with this sequel. Varied character classes, beautiful cel-shaded visuals, a wealth of main/side missions, and an overwhelming amount of guns to arm your Vault Hunter with. From a local standpoint, two players can go running and gunning together. But if you’d rather hop online and go all guns blazing, you can link up with three other players and rack up some incredible loot during your travels. The world of Pandora is home to all sorts of locales and hazardous situations. You can brave all of those dangers alongside your most trusted Vault Hunters and finally put an end to the Calypso Twins’ reign of terror. Borderlands 3’s running, gunning, and looting action make up the perfect example of the best multiplayer PS4 games.

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9. ‘Warframe’

Everyone has that one gamer friend that always sends them random invites to a game they don’t even own, right? Have you ever been knee-deep in a whole other game and spotted an invitation from your friend who’s addicted to Warframe, for instance? We have. And it was definitely annoying at first…until we finally took the plunge on Digital Extremes’ incredible third-person shooter/action RPG. Warframe is all about countless space ninjas traveling around the galaxy and eliminating anyone unlucky enough to test their mettle. Four players can group up with their leveled-up melee/ranged weapons wielders and save the day. Or you can enter the PvP Conclave and go to war with everyone else’s Tenno warriors.

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10. ‘Destiny 2’

Once Bungie’s online multiplayer first-person shooter gets its claws in you, it won’t let go. It’s actually a nice problem to have if you ask us. Destiny 2’s strong gunplay, ever-expanding sci-fi universe, and rewarding sense of exploration are just some of the best elements that make it such a pleasant experience. Tackling the game’s array of story campaign missions is accomplished by hooking up with two other Guardians. That number increases to five when you get the strength to run into tough Raids with your friends. As for the PvP portion of Destiny 2, it’s just as addictive as the co-op adventures you’ll find your Guardian in. The added campaign missions and a healthy dose of events keep the community more than satisfied. This means you and your Guardians will always be willing to take on new challenges on a daily basis.

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11. ‘Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2’

There’s going to come a moment when the younger gamer in your household may want to go gallivanting with you in a digital world. And if you’re a respectful gamer, you won’t leave them out in the cold with a controller that’s not even working and make them think that they’re really playing with you. One of the safest multiplayer games you and a child can enjoy together is the Lego line of action/adventure games. If that kid happens to be addicted to the MCU, then this choice should please them. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 lets you and a local partner hop and bop around iconic Marvel destinations as some of your favorite superheroes. Kang the Conqueror must be stopped and the best way to do that is with your little brother/sister by your side. As far as the best multiplayer PS4 games, this one’s great for older gamers that want to enjoy something appropriate enough for their children.

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12. ‘Lego DC Super Villains’

Now if you and that kid are more inclined to go exploring the DC Universe, then this other local co-op option is a better option. Lego DC Super-Villains features the same slapstick humor, helpful offering of playable characters, and fun puzzle-solving mechanics the Lego games are known for. And the best part about this entry is that you can do all of those activities while running around with members of DC’s infamous rogue gallery. But the cool twist comes in the form of a villain creation system that feeds into the young creative minds of your little gamer buddy. The expansive world of Lego DC Super-Villains allows for plenty of anarchy and laughs, which makes it a worthy option on our list.

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13. ‘Monster Hunter: World’

Capcom’s monster-bashing series has had a high barrier of entry since its inception. Monster Hunter: World does a fantastic job of streamlining the franchise’s more difficult mechanics and makes it far more approachable than ever before. When the time comes for you to take down an enormous beast, you can choose to go it alone or align yourself with three other powerful hunters to do the job. Let that SOS Flare fly and you’ll be ready for anything once your four-man army goes to work. Slaying massive Elder Dragons with a squad, then heading back to base camp to build new gear from your last successful hunt is always better with a friend. The huge array of content in Monster Hunter: World makes it one of the best multiplayer PS4 games that seemingly never run out of things for players to do.

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14. ‘Overwatch 2’

Blizzard’s 6v6 online multiplayer shooter has maintained its pull of players ever since it launched in 2016. And ever since then, Overwatch has constantly been updated with new heroes, maps, and character skins. Along with those awesome updates, the game’s meta has changed significantly and given the community new methods of attaining victory. Now that the game has moved into its 2.0 phase, Overwatch 2 has changed to a 5v5 player format and incorporated a new mode called “Push” that plays like an epic version of tug of war. PvE modes are also on the way, so you can enjoy some co-op action alongside the game’s traditional competitive action soon enough.

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15. ‘Apex Legends’

Survival is the name of the game in Apex Legends. Like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, Respawn Entertainment’s FPS is purely a battle royale experience. You and two other players must choose their respective class-based characters and then rocket down onto a map filled with plenty of other competing three-person squads. Scavenging for weapons and other essential items is key as you work together with your online friends and try to claim the top spot during heated matches. The gunplay feels amazing (which comes as no surprise since it comes from the studio behind the Titanfall games) and the seasonal updates/balance adjustments keep Apex Legends alive and well.

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16. ‘Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate’

FINISH HIM! FINISH HER! Those extremely loud phrases always signal the arrival of a painful Fatality within the Mortal Kombat games. NetherRealm Studios went above and beyond on the gruesome scale with the 11th official entry in their long-running fighting game series. Mortal Kombat 11 brings back a ton of beloved roster members, throws in a few awesome newcomers, and also includes a fun collection of surprising guest characters. Hopping online to show off your custom variations of each character is just part of the fun. You can link up with other players to take on special tower challenges, get into some hard-fought King of the Hill battles and even compete in some private matches with your most competitive rivals. This definitive edition of the game comes with every bit of DLC, which is why you’ll want to add it to your collection.

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17. ‘Everybody’s Golf’

Don’t sleep on golf games, people. The simulation-based golf games may be a bore, but there are a few arcade golfing titles that are more fun than you’d initially think. One of those games is the PS4 exclusive, Everybody’s Golf. This selection should be familiar to fans of the Hot Shots Golf series since it’s inexplicably tied to those games. You can put your golfing superiority on display in local/online multiplayer matches and enjoy the game’s standout Turf War mode with a few friends. Driving golf carts around each course, picking your spot, and trying to get a hole-in-one can be replicated in a local/online setting with this addictive digital golfer. Everybody’s Golf is a pretty fun and lighter take on golfing that endears itself to gamers of all ages that want to play one of the best multiplayer PS4 games centered on sports.

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18. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

Arc System Works knows a thing or two about crafting amazing anime fighters. When Bandai Namco Entertainment approached the studio in hopes of them making one for Dragon Ball, they made sure to rise to the occasion. One of the most visually explosive fighters on the market today is none other than the 3v3 hype fest known as Dragon Ball FighterZ. Super Saiyans, androids, human martial artists, a God of Destruction, and several other Dragon Ball archetypes come together to send out beam attacks and blow up mountains. Hours upon hours of heated gaming sessions with this amazing anime fighter are to be expected. Simply put, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a manga/anime fan’s dream.

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19. ‘Street Fighter V: Champion Edition’

The Street Fighter V you see today is miles ahead of the one that launched back in 2016. This final update of the long-running fighter helped the fledgling fighter further rise from mediocrity and introduce the type of beneficial features that fans have been requesting for ages. Nowadays, the game’s roster is massive—familiar faces like Ryu and Sagat are on hand, as well as fresh faces such as Ed and Laura. The combat mechanics allow for some fun matches full of double-digit combos, epic comebacks, and flashy uses of each character’s V-Skill and V-Trigger specials. Throwing a local tournament in your basement or hopping online to increase your rank are both possible with Street Fighter V: Champion Edition.

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20. ‘Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled’

Crash Bandicoot’s comeback to modern-day gaming has been joyous, to say the least. His first three platforming adventures got the remake treatment and now his kart racing ventures have been revived with an HD coat of paint. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled acts as a best-of collection that compiles the most memorable characters and standout tracks from the original Crash Team Racing, Crash Nitro Kart, and Crash Tag Team Racing. The game’s Grand Prix updates regularly provide it with even more characters and additional tracks, so you’ll always have a wealth of content to race through with your friends. You can also hop into the game’s battle mode for some explosive mischief, which just adds to the high replay value this remake thrives on.

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21. ‘Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle’

Capcom’s library of IPs has a few dope beat ‘em ups littered among them. In an effort to showcase a few of them to a new audience and reintroduce them to longtime fans, the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle was unleashed. There’s no need to drop $20 in quarters here to continue on after getting squashed by a cheap boss—this treasure trove of brawlers allows for free drop-in/drop-out co-op play on your PS4. You can bash in the brains of Mad Gear Gang members in Final Fight, take down robotic goons in Armored Warriors, and beat up all sorts of other baddies in Capcom’s seven-game beat ‘em up compilation.

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22. ‘SEGA Genesis Classics’

If you’re an old head who came up during the days of “SEGA Does What Nintendon’t,” then you probably have an affinity for classic 16-bit games. Sitting on your living room carpet while you and your crew of neighborhood friends go wild as Sonic the Hedgehog hits top speeds brings back warm memories, doesn’t it? It’s possible to relive those retro days by copping the SEGA Genesis Classics compilation. Fifty games come included with this throwback collection, plus a number of them have co-op and competitive multiplayer modes for you to enjoy. Feel free to compete in head-to-head races in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, beat down some baddies with a friend in Streets of Rage & Golden Axe, and even pull off a few risky co-op heists in Bonanza Bros. Local and online multiplayer can be accessed here, so you can go either way if you want to step back into a bygone era of 16-bit gaming.

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23. ‘Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout’

In short, Fall Guys is amazing. Released in August of 2020, the last-man-standing style game provides gamers with a much-needed spin on the ubiquitous battle royale. Up to 60 players participate in a series of mini-games in a quest to be the last man standing. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, vividly colorful, and new, then look no further than Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

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24. ‘Grand Theft Auto Online’

We could catch a little flak for putting this game so low on the list, but the ranking is mostly due to its antiquity. That said, GTA V’s massive appeal seven years out from its release is merely a testament to the game’s unbelievable playability and Rockstar’s unwavering commitment to constantly updating and remastering the game. It’s just as fun as it was in 2013, and the online mode still provides gamers with one of the greatest outlets for playing with friends that you could ask for. Hopping into an RP (roleplay) server that gives you a ton of freedom to do whatever you want alongside tons of other players makes will convince you why this pick is one of the best multiplayer PS4 games.

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25. ‘Titanfall 2’

Titanfall 2 is one of the older games on this list but still packs a punch. Although Respawn Entertainment may be better known in 2020 for Apex Legends (number 15 on the list), the Titanfall series was previously one of their most successful titles. The game allows you to take on the role of a titan pilot, operating a dynamic exoskeleton in a fast-paced first-person shooter setting. For lovers of Apex who want to mix it up, Titanfall is definitely worth returning to.

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26. ‘Injustice 2’

Fighting games rule and everyone knows it. Injustice 2 is a great iteration of the tried and true fighting game format, employing characters from the DC Universe in the sequel to 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us. The game is more customizable than its predecessor, and the franchise’s invocation of a slew of iconic superheroes makes it a great activity for comic book aficionados and fighting-game fanatics alike. 

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27. ‘Dead by Daylight’

Although Dead by Daylight came out three years ago, it remains one of the best asymmetric survival horror video games ever released. For those who have never played, the game embraces a one versus four-online multiplayer mode, where one player takes on the role of a savage killer. The other four play as survivors, attempting to escape the killer, making it a perfect game for playing with a group of friends. If you’re looking to scare the pants off of you and your buddies, then playing Dead by Daylight is a must since it’s one of the best multiplayer PS4 games and one of the spookiest.

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28. ‘EA Sports FIFA 23’

Ultimately, all the FIFA games of the last five or so years are pretty interchangeable. Aside from minor tweaks in controls and graphics, the games have remained fairly static in their playability and massive popularity. We’d be remiss to not include such a legendary game on the list, and it is still one of the best multiplayer PS4 games of all time for gamers and soccer fans alike.

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29. ‘Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0’

Where would this list be without Warzone? Although the franchise’s Battle Royale iteration has certainly pumped new blood into the iconic series, Call of Duty has long been one of the most played, most culturally relevant games across all platforms. PS4 is no different. Touting a massive battle royale mode (and constant updates and tweaks, with new modes to keep you busy), Call of Duty: Warzone is a must-play for those looking for a good PS4 game to jump into with friends.

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30. ‘Diablo III: Eternal Collection’

Four local/online players can engage in some top-down dungeon exploring in the legendary action RPG series’ third entry, Diablo III. The Eternal Collection features seven classes to choose from -Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, Witch Doctor, or Wizard. And once you get accustomed to mastering your chosen class, you’ll have a blast combining your skills with three other players to do some real damage. This definitive edition of Diablo III is definitely one of the best multiplayer PS4 games to get sucked into.

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31. ‘Resident Evil: Revelations 2’

Navigating the deformed horrors of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is a must if you have someone that’s confident enough to brave them alongside you. One-half of this episodic survival horror experience focuses on Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, while the other half brings Barry Burton and Natalia Korda to the forefront. You can expect to get into some harrowing situations involving gunplay, puzzle-solving, and intense chase sequences. This two-player co-op horror romp is definitely one of the best multiplayer PS4 games.

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32. ‘Cuphead’

Whoever you choose to accompany you on the punishing local co-op journey Cuphead is all about better be the most reliable friend you know. This gorgeously animated side-scrolling shooter challenges two players to overcome the toughest boss fights of all time and also navigate obstacle-filled stages that truly test both players’ mettle. Cuphead is one of the best-playing, best-looking, and best-sounding picks on this selection of the best multiplayer PS4 games.

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33. ‘Hot Wheels Unleashed’

Publisher/developer Milestone took a childhood toy favorite and finally did right by it in video game form. This arcade racer is pretty much a multiplayer thrill ride across those famous orange race tracks that Hot Wheels collectors have become all too familiar with. Competing with your friends in a local/online setting with a wide array of toy cars that you can take control of is always a hype experience. And that’s thanks to Hot Wheels Unleashed’s topsy-turvy loop de loops and exhilarating sense of speed.

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34. ‘Gran Turismo 7’

Only the most hardcore sim racing game fans know all about the amazingly lifelike look, feel, and sound of everything the Gran Turismo games have to offer. The latest entry in the series will take hold of you and your fellow sim racing fanatics, then proceed to scratch the competitive itch of everyone involved as you you all hit the track during local/online circuit competitions. Gran Turismo 7 is home to a garage full of hundreds of cars and real-world track layouts that will easily grab hold of you. When it comes to outstanding racers, Gran Turismo 7 deserves high praise as one of the best multiplayer PS4 games.

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35. ‘Minecraft Dungeons’

On the local and online multiplayer front, Minecraft Dungeons is worth taking a chance on since it appeals to dungeon-crawling fans young and old. Just imagine Diablo for kids and you have a clear idea of what’s being offered here. The blocky textures popularized by the Minecraft universe mesh so well with your typical top-down, action RPG mechanics. Up to four players can run headlong into battle and band together to beat down the evil hordes of the wicked Arch-Illager.

Popular Culture

The Best ‘Star Wars’ Fight Scenes: Ranking the 15 Most Iconic Duels

Compiling a list of the best Star Wars fight scenes is an arduous task for any lover of the franchise. A good lightsaber fight is at the heart of any piece of the Star Wars puzzle, and with so many great showdowns along the way, it can be challenging to pick one that stands above all the rest.

As the sabers clash and emotions rage, we get caught up in the moment and the spectacle of what we are witnessing. Whether it’s Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan, Kylo Ren vs. Rey, or anything in between, nothing beats a great lightsaber duel.

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16. Obi Wan vs. General Grievous

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

With the conclusion of this fight in mind, it might be a funny selection for best lightsaber fights, but it is certainly one of the best Star Wars fight scenes from the entirety of the franchise. This scene really has it all; there’s an epic chase sequence featuring Obi Wan riding a brave lizard (named “Boga”), the incredible reveal of Grievous’ extra arms, and an unbelievably expansive sequence unraveling the world of Utapau.

While this might not rival some of the other fights on this list in terms of narrative gravity, it is a sensational fight with numerous memorable moments and an instantly recognizable aesthetic.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed15. Kylo Ren vs. Rey and Finn</code>
15. Kylo Ren vs. Rey and Finn

Appears in: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Now many people, myself included, don’t care for the Sequel trilogy. It’s almost the inverse of the prequel trilogy, which was planned properly with a coherent story but executed poorly in terms of dialog, structure, and pacing. The sequel trilogy suffers from many similar problems but also lacks a story that has the cohesion of the prequels.

All that being said, the sequels have worthwhile moments, and this lightsaber fight is among them. This duel felt like it really was a “changing of the guard” and that we’d be following these three characters, and they’d be our new heroes.

Fresh off murdering his father, Han Solo, Kylo Ren battles Rey and Finn on a crumbling snow planet with a giant space laser at its center. Can’t get much more Star Wars than that.

Whether or not you like the sequels, you can’t deny that this duel was pretty damn cool.

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14. Mace Windu vs. Darth Sidious

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Goofy CGI and prequel memes aside, the importance of this duel to the overall Star Wars canon cannot be understated. The Jedi have just discovered that Palpatine (the most obvious Sith Lord ever) is actually Darth Sidious and has been secretly manipulating the Clone Wars.

When Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin go to arrest him, Sidious fights back, declaring, “It’s treason then,” and does his now-famous “screeching through the air while doing a spin” maneuver.

After quickly dispatching Tiin, Kolar, and Fisto, Mace Windu fights him and eventually takes him down. When Anakin Skywalker arrives, he saves Palpatine and helps him kill Mace Windu in order to save his wife Padmé Amidala (or so Anakin thinks.)

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13. Count Dooku vs. Obi Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Much like the Palpatine vs. Mace Windu battle, this lightsaber fight’s importance to Anakin’s eventual fall is crucial. Obi-Wan quickly takes out some super battle droids that came with Dooku.

After that, he is tossed aside, leaving it to Anakin to defeat Dooku.
After cutting off Dooku’s hands, Palpatine demands Dooku be executed, leaving him in shock. Here, he realizes that he’s been a pawn since the beginning, used only to help Palpatine enact his grand plan to cause Anakin’s fall to the dark side.

Anakin kills him but immediately recognizes that he shouldn’t have done that, the conflict within him raging on.

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12. Jango Fett vs. Obi Wan Kenobi

Appears in: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

Alright, I’m cheating with this one, as it’s not really a lightsaber fight but more just a duel with a lightsaber in it. Obi-Wan is on Kamino getting to the bottom of a conspiracy that involves cloning and a mysterious bounty hunter named Jango Fett. He discovers that the Kaminoans are building a clone army for the Republic, and when he goes to take Jango into custody, they do battle.

It’s on the list because it’s really one of the first times we see a non-force user hold their own against an experienced Jedi Knight.

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11. Obi Wan Kenobi and Adi Gallia vs. Maul and Savage Oppress

Appears in: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

If you haven’t watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars and are a fan of the franchise, you should make a point to check it out because there is some excellent Star Wars content in the series. While it is animated and parts are more aimed toward kids, it’s lightsaber fights like this one that show just how dark the show could get.

To set the stage, Maul (yes, he survived The Phantom Menace) and his brother Savage Oppress are forced into a duel with Obi-Wan and fellow Jedi Adi Galla. Driven by his hatred for Obi-Wan, Maul ferociously duels him. At the same time, Oppress and Galla do battle, with Oppress violently becoming the victor, ruthlessly executing the Jedi Knight (see, I told you, it could get dark.)

Using two lightsabers, Obi-Wan fights off both Maul and Oppress by himself—even cutting off one of Savage’s arms—before a tunnel collapse forces all the combatants to flee.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed10. Maul vs. Pre Vizsla</code>
10. Maul vs. Pre Vizsla

Appears in: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Another fantastic lightsaber fight from The Clone Wars, this duel takes place after Pre Vizla, leader of a group of Mandalorians known as Death Watch and owner of the Darksaber, fights with Maul for control of Mandalore.

They had been temporary allies but once realizing that their goals no longer aligned, turned on one another with Maul emerging the victor. Upon his victory, Maul becomes the owner of the Darksaber and Ruler of Mandalore.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed9. Darth Sidious vs. Yoda</code>
9. Darth Sidious vs. Yoda

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Lightsaber fights like this one are why the prequel trilogy is incredibly goofy but, at the same time, so charming. The CGI is over-the-top in all the right ways, with Yoda, our favorite little green Jedi Master, and Darth Sidious, the cackling Sith Lord, doing battle in the Senate chambers.

After lightsabers do not settle the score, the two foes turn to use the force against one another. Palpatine tosses massive Senate seats at Yoda, who barely manages to dodge them before throwing them back at the Sith Lord.

Yoda is able to force Palpatine to a stalemate and escape, where he heads into exile on Dagobah.

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8. Kylo Ren and Rey vs. Snoke’s Guards

Appears in: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Similar to the duel from The Force Awakens, this scene is one of the best moments from the sequel trilogy. In a moment where we think he has been turned away from the Dark Side, Kylo Ren kills Supreme Leader Snoke and saves Rey.

They both battle Snoke’s elite guards, who are all armed with lightsaber weapons. It is a struggle (the guards are elite, after all), but eventually, Kylo and Rey are able to subdue their enemies.

Kylo then takes up the mantle of Supreme Leader himself, asking Rey to join him. Kylo makes his argument for letting the past die, but Rey refuses.

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7. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (2nd Duel)

Appears in: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

It is the penultimate duel of the original Star Wars trilogy, with Luke Skywalker making one last effort to save his father from the dark side. In the throne room of the Death Star, Luke nearly succumbs to his anger by killing Palpatine but is stopped by Vader, who proceeds to fight him.

When Vader senses that he has a sister who could potentially be corrupted, Luke embraces his anger and defeats Vader, but he refuses to turn from the light and saves his father from the dark side.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed6. Ahsoka Tano vs. Darth Vader</code>
6. Ahsoka Tano vs. Darth Vader

Appears in: Star Wars: Rebels

One of the most emotional lightsaber fights in Star Wars is a duel that many people might not be aware of but most definitely should be.

Ahsoka Tano, who is now gaining more mainstream recognition thanks to her live-action appearance in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, finally engages her former master Darth Vader. She made her first appearance when she was a padawan to Anakin Skywalker. After leaving the Jedi Order, their relationship fell apart, and after a brief reunion before Revenge of the Sith, they never spoke again.

It is here that Ahsoka, much like Luke, attempts to reason with Vader before realizing that her former friend and mentor is no longer there. He has fully embraced the dark side, forcing her to duel him.

She nearly defeats him, cutting off half of his mask. He calls her out by name, possibly hinting that he still cares for Ahsoka to some degree, but it’s only a brief moment. He then switches back to Vader and continues his onslaught.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed5. Ahsoka Tano vs. Maul</code>
5. Ahsoka Tano vs. Maul

Appears in: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The best duel in The Clone Wars series, the lightsaber fight between Maul and Ahsoka, is some of the best Star Wars content you’ll ever see.

Ahsoka, leading the Republic forces in taking back Mandalore, fights with Maul, who wants to lure Obi-Wan and Anakin there. While they went to Coruscant to save Palpatine, Ahsoka went to take down Maul.

After Maul divulges that he’s seen what Palpatine is planning and that Anakin will fall, Ahsoka refuses to join him. The two then engage in combat, and you can almost immediately tell that this fight is perfectly choreographed, and the motion capture is incredibly sleek and fun to watch.

Ray Park, who played Maul in The Phantom Menace, returned to motion capture him for this fight, and it immediately shows. The fight ends with Maul’s capture at the hands of the Republic, as he screams for them to let him die to avoid what is come.

It’s an incredibly chilling moment and one that sticks with you for a while.

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4. Obi Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader (Second Duel)

Appears in: Star Wars: A New Hope

You come for the importance of this lightsaber fight and not its action.

The influence of the Samurai films by Akira Kurosawa is on full display in the very first duel of the Star Wars franchise, with Obi-Wan and Darth Vader having their last showdown.

“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine,” Obi-Wan utters the famous line before he is “killed” by Vader. He becomes one with the Force as his master did before him and guides Luke in his growth from learned to one of the greatest Jedi in history.

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3. Obi Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader (First Duel)

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

(You can watch the second part of the duel here)

In the climactic fight of the prequel trilogy, Obi-Wan must face the fact that his best friend and apprentice had indeed been lost and is forced to fight him to the death. It’s genuinely tragic, with Anakin turning on not just Obi-Wan but also his wife Padmé, nearly killing her.

Writing dialogue that feels natural and is, you know, good has never been George Lucas’ strong suit, hence why we get “From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!” It’s lines like that nearly take you out of the moment, but once you can get past that, you can fully embrace the gravity of the scene.

Especially when Vader is cut down, and Obi-Wan leaves him to die on the banks of the Mustafar lava river; you know just how much this means to the Star Wars story.

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2. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Maul

Appears in: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

(You can watch the second part of the duel here)

This duel is one thing that makes The Phantom Menace a decent Star Wars film. Before this, we’d only ever seen what the original trilogy had to offer when it came to lightsaber fights. Those duels were somewhat limited by the visual effects of the time, but here, we can see what lightsabers and Jedi can truly do.

Everyone knows the stakes: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan face off with Darth Maul, and the now famous John Williams’ score kicks in. Maul ignites his dual lightsaber, and we’re off to the races.

Maybe one of the highlights of this duel is that Maul does not say a single word during it; he silently moves through the fight looking to murder both of these Jedi.

It’s an epic showdown of the light and the dark side, with much of the galaxy’s future on the line. You know the rest, but it’s safe to say this would be the greatest of all time if not for the final duel on this list.

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1. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (First Duel)

Appears in: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

You already knew what would be number one on a best lightsaber fight ranking.

Luke Skywalker rushes to Cloud City to try and save his friends, not realizing that it’s a trap set by Darth Vader to capture him. They meet in the freezing chamber where Han Solo had just met his demise, and their fight begins.

It’s a David vs. Goliath type of fight, with Luke never really standing a chance against the Dark Lord of the Sith. Luke doesn’t give in, though. Even if he falls, he will do what he believes is necessary to save his friends and the Rebellion.

The duel ends with Vader admitting that he is Luke’s father, much to the dismay of our hero, who tries to escape by falling down an air shaft. Leia and Lando Calrissian rescue him as they head off into the unknown to consider their mission to stop the Empire.


23 Games Like ‘The Last of Us’ Everyone Needs to Play

It’s wintertime, ladies and gentlemen. Not only does that mean people have to hunker down inside to avoid the cold (and the virus this year), but it also means millions of people are about to receive and start playing brand-new video games. With Sony’s PlayStation 5 being one of the hottest and rarest commodities in the world right now, it seems that numerous new gamers are about to have access to developer Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. For those who aren’t lucky enough to get a PS5, or potentially not even own a PS4 in some cases, there are a lot of other games out there that scratch similar itches to The Last of Us. Whether it’s other Naughty Dog games or something based on recognizable IPs like the Batman Arkham series, there are a lot of action-adventure options for console and PC gamers alike. Read more to discover 23 games like The Last of Us.

RELATED: Everything We Know About ‘The Last of Us’ TV Series

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1. ‘Uncharted’ series
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, PS5, PC – Steam

The Last of Us may be all the rave right now, but the series that cemented Naughty Dog as a Playstation-exclusive powerhouse is Uncharted. Influenced heavily by Indiana Jones, Uncharted sees the adventure-seeking Nathan Drake travel around the world on various treasure-seeking adventures. Each game is filled with exciting action sequences and fantastic characterization, but what really makes them so addictive are their immersive stories and the personal dilemmas they lay out in front of the main character. More humorous than The Last of Us, the Uncharted games are a nice balance of cheery discovery and emotional manipulation.

Buy Now, $18.95
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2. ‘God of War’ (2018)
  • Developer: Santa Monica Studio
  • Platforms: PS4, PC – Steam

The God of War franchise has been around since 2005, but it hit new highs in 2018. Instead of following Kratos as a lonely and vengeful God of War, this game expands the story-telling scope by including Atreus, Kratos’ son. An action-packed, bloody good time, God of War sees Kratos leave his Greek-pantheon surroundings and enter the territory of the Norse Gods in order to fulfill his deceased wife’s last wish. Like The Last of Us, God of War makes players partake in intense action and withhold important secrets from their loved ones to “defend” them in a tough world. Chances are you gonna love this game enough to head into the epic sequel God of War Ragnarök.

Buy Now, $19.86
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3. ‘Resident Evil 2’ (2019)
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

Like The Last of Us, the Resident Evil franchise includes a virus-spurred zombie infestation that throws society completely out of whack. Tense and incredibly spooky, the Resident Evil 2 remake, released in 2019, is a must-play for any gamers looking for a creepy, zombie-filled experience. Players control cop Leon Kennedy and student Claire Redfield as they do everything they can to survive and escape the infested Raccoon City. While the story matches the original, Capcom ditched some of the stiffer mechanics for more familiar and comfortable third-person controls that allow players to navigate crowded action sequences.

Buy Now, $19.89
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4. ‘Control’
  • Developer: Remedy Entertainment
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam, Google Stadia

Remedy Entertainment has been making games for a while, but it’s 2019’s Control that seemingly had the biggest splash upon landing in the market. Gamers take control of Jesse Faden, the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control, a secret government agency that handles reality-warping problems, as she utilizes her own reality-warping abilities to handle a mysterious and deadly threat. A title that takes full advantage of the outgoing console generations’ spectacular graphic capabilities, Control is an adventure and twist-filled game unlike anything else currently available.

Buy Now, $26.93
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5. ‘The Evil Within’
  • Developer: Tango Gameworks
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC – Steam

Directed by horror legend and Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within is a 2014 title published by Bethesda that sees players take control of Detective Sebastian Castellanos as he tries to survive in a horrific world overrun by demonic creatures. After Sebastian and his partners arrive at the scene of a mass murder, he is suddenly pulled into a nightmarish world full of puzzles and traps. Like The Last of Us, this game also utilizes third-person action mechanics and forces players to make tense decisions as they determine the best way to progress. Make sure you check out the sequel to this one for an even darker and creepier take on this survival horror gem.

Buy Now, $19.40
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6. ‘Batman: Arkham’ series
  • Developer: Rocksteady Studios
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

Batman doesn’t fight zombies per se, but he is constantly defending the citizens of Gotham City from mindless criminals. In Rocksteady’s Batman series, starting with 2009’s Arkham Asylum and continuing on to 2015’s Arkham Knight, players control the “Caped Crusader” as he embarks on dark, fight-filled adventures to defend his city. While none of the games showcase Batman focusing solely on protecting one of his child partners from dark truths, each one includes interesting puzzles and third-person mechanics that are reminiscent of The Last of Us.

Buy Now, $19.97
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7. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’
  • Developer: Insomniac Games
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC – Steam

If feeling like Batman isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps feeling like Spider-Man is more up your alley. In Insomniac’s 2018 Playstation-exclusive Spider-Man game, players get to swing through the sky as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and participate in an adventure-filled story set in a massive open world. Since the game is based on existing IP, the large ensemble is welcome and helps players feel more engrossed in the Marvel Universe instead of making things feel cluttered or overstuffed.

Buy Now, $34.88
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8. ‘Metro Exodus’
  • Developer: 4A Games
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Google Stadia

Based on the post-apocalyptic Metro 2033 novel written by Dmitry Glukhovsky, the Metro video game series drops players in the middle of a Soviet wasteland filled with deadly mutants. It’s up to players to navigate the harsh surroundings and embark on a series of missions in order to help humanity rebuild society in this new world. The most recent iteration, Metro Exodus, came out in 2019 and is a frighteningly good title that is a perfect mixture of horror and stealth elements. Despite its AAA quality, the series has somehow avoided the level of coverage other big releases have received over the years, so Metro 2033 and its follow-ups are a surprisingly good time for anyone in need of exciting virtual adventures at the moment.

Buy Now, $24.49
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9. ‘Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order’
  • Developer: Respawn Entertainment
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Google Stadia

2019’s Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order drops players right in the middle of the most classic Star Wars conflict of all: The rebellion versus the empire. Players take control of the new character Cal Kestis, a former Jedi who had to hide his powers after the Empire took down the Jedi Order. After a string of events causes him to come out into the open, he is quickly sprung into a galaxy-spanning adventure that sees him do everything from rescue imprisoned Wookies to fight strange creatures, all to help the Jedi dent the Empire’s power. Reminiscent of Dark Souls in the way players lose their skill progress whenever they die, the game’s tense action mechanics and intricate puzzles make it a must-play for anyone feeling one with the Force.

Buy Now, $23.49
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10. ‘A Plague Tale: Innocence’
  • Developer: Asobo Studio
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam, Amazon Luna

Perhaps a game about a deadly plague isn’t the most appealing thing right now, but Asobo Studios’ A Plague Tale: Innocence is an incredibly captivating, grim game. Released in 2019, the game follows a young noblewoman named Amicia de Rune as she tries to protect her sickly brother from a horrific environment in the 14th century. Rather than focus on action, A Plague Tale utilizes its third-person mechanics to make players stealthily avoid detection and conflict or they’ll typically face sudden death. Be sure to seek out A Plague Tale: Requiem as soon as you’re done with this one.

Buy Now, $29.99
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11. ‘Telltale’s The Walking Dead’
  • Developer: Telltale Games, Skybound Games
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS Vita, PS3, Xbox 360, PC – Steam, iOS, Android

Fans of The Walking Dead comic or TV show may be surprised to hear that Telltale’s games don’t feature characters like Rick or Carl Grimes, but Telltale manages to tell a completely original, equally entertaining story set in the same world. Each iteration of the now successful series is enjoyable and follows the same episodic format, but it’s the original “season” that is the most entertaining and like The Last of Us. Telltale doesn’t give players as much control as Naughty Dog does in an exploratory sense, but the developer still knows how to deliver emotionally gripping narratives and create situations where the protagonist is making tough, consequential decisions.

Buy Now, $17.87
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12. ‘Alan Wake Remastered’
  • Developer: Remedy Entertainment
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

Originally released back in 2010, Alan Wake feels like the best multimedia adaptation of a Stephen King story, but it’s actually an original idea from the team over at Remedy Entertainment. The game follows writer Alan Wake as he tries to overcome his long stretch of writer’s block while living with his wife away from the hustle and bustle of the city in a small, forested town. Things aren’t quite what they seem in the small town, though, as supernatural elements start popping up and haunting Alan. Alan Wake has a gripping story that keeps players hooked, but its unique fighting mechanics – utilizing a flashlight to weaken shadow creatures as well as more traditional firearms- separates it from other creepy adventure games. This remastered edition is a must-play.

Buy Now, $25.99
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13. ‘Ghost of Tsushima’
  • Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4

First and third-person shooting games are a dime a dozen, but samurai titles are much rarer. Sucher Punch Productions’ Ghost of Tsushima, released in 2020, is set against the backdrop of a late 13th-century Mongolian invasion. Jin Sakai is on a quest to protect Tsushima Island during the carnage but his life turns upside down when all of his compatriots in the samurai army are brutally murdered. Once Jin is healed up, he has to assemble a unique crew and learn new skills to best clear the way for his Lord to reassert his authority. The game features a massive open world that is ripe for exploration, but it’s the balance between a dramatic story and careful action sequences that help it hit a similar note to The Last of Us.

Buy Now, $51.95
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14. ‘Dying Light’
  • Developer: Techland
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

A 2015 survival horror game, Dying Light is an open-world zombie game that puts the player in charge of their own survival. Developed by Techland, the game has an intriguing plot driving things forward, but the variety in zombie types and the day-night cycle make timing an important factor for a player’s success. While Dying Light doesn’t give players an emotionally charged relationship like Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us, the game’s scavenge mechanics and its focus on different survival methods make it a unique game in a cluttered zombie landscape. Dying Light 2 is also worth getting into for another batch of zombie-filled parkour action.

Buy Now, $36.99
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15. ‘Gears of War’ series
  • Developers: Epic Games, The Coalition, People Can Fly, Splash Damage, Mediatonic
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC – Steam

So you’re saying you want an action-packed, third-person game filled with an extensive cover system and terrifying creatures? Well, if The Last of Us isn’t what you’re looking for, it HAS to be one of Epic Games’ Gears of War titles. It’s up to Coalition soldier Marcus Fenix to combat the Locust Horde and save humanity from their monstrous forces. Full of action, the Gears games are both fast-paced and full of world-building lore, making them the ultimate action-adventure experience.

Buy Now, $36.17
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16. ‘Tomb Raider’ series (Reboot)
  • Developer: Crystal Dynamics
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC – Steam, Google Stadia, Nvidia Shield TV

Lara Croft is one of the most iconic characters in video games, but the reboot series that started in 2013 displays her in the most grounded light. Rather than present a pre-established Lara Croft, Tomb Raider lets fans see how the treasure hunter and ass-kicker got her start. The action-adventure title focuses on stealth and survival more than any of its predecessor titles, giving it a unique edge compared to her past experiences. Tense and action-packed, Tomb Raider is a must-play for any gamer who doesn’t mind some blood in their eye as they solve puzzles.

Buy Now, $23.54
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17. ‘Red Dead Redemption’ series
  • Developers: Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar Studios
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC – Steam, Google Stadia

Naughty Dog and Rockstar may have different ways of displaying and allowing players to explore massive in-game worlds, but that doesn’t mean they both don’t appreciate emotional stories and exciting action mechanics. In the Red Dead Redemption series, in particular, Rockstar excels at giving players an exciting game filled with interesting, unique characters who all serve a larger, adventure-filled story. Whether you want to invest in the story or just ride around and cause havoc in the west for a few minutes, this game is the perfect pick-me-up. For anyone looking to fuse this sense of adventure with The Last Of Us’ creepy atmosphere, The Undead Nightmare DLC for the original game is a hilarious and action-packed expansion that is worth every penny.

Buy Now, $27.93
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18. ‘Horizon’ series
  • Developer: Guerrilla Games
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC – Steam

Part Jurassic Park and part Transformers, Horizon: Zero Dawn is a unique mixture of prehistoric vibes and cyberpunk aesthetics filled with mechanized dinosaurs. Released by Guerilla Games in 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn has players control the aptly named Aloy, an effective hunter who seeks more information about her own mysterious path. Customize and lean into your own fight-style thanks to the game’s skill tree system. Unique and highly entertaining, the open-world and story-driven game was such a success that a sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, arrived to equal acclaim from critics and fans alike.

Buy Now, $27.50
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19. ‘Bioshock Infinite’
  • Developer: Irrational Games
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox, PS3, Xbox 360, PC – Steam

The Bioshock franchise was already thriving when 2K Games’ Bioshock Infinite hit in 2013 and pulled it into a completely new direction. Rather than explore the underwater city of Rapture, the 3rd game in the series is set in the airborne city of Columbia. Players control former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt as he tries to rescue the mysterious Elizabeth and settle certain disputes going on in Columbia. Like the other games in the series, Infinite also features a unique blend of dystopian and utopian symbols that helps draw players deeper into the action-packed world as they uncover its mysteries. Check out BioShock: The Collection to experience this and its equally amazing predecessors.

Buy Now, $21.45
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20. ‘The Last of Us Part II’
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC – Steam

Maybe this is an obvious decision, but if you played and enjoyed The Last of Us, the next game you should play is the Ellie-driven sequel, The Last of Us Part II. Released in 2020, the sequel picks up five years after the original and also includes breathtaking graphics as well as tense, bloody action sequences. The game’s unique story structure, fiddling with time and player perspective in really interesting ways, distinguishes it enough from the original to make it a fresh experience for anyone concerned it would be a carbon copy of its successful predecessor. You might want to play the remake of the first game in the series before you take a stab at this one.

Buy Now, $26.99
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21. ‘World War Z: Aftermath’
  • Developer: Saber Interactive
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam, Google Stadia

The fully-transformed shambling foes and the diseases humans that run at you are terrifying enough. If you like the thrill of having to confront even bigger hordes of the undead, then you’re going to love the insane amount of zombies you’ll be able to gun down with your friends in World War Z: Aftermath. As a part of a four-player squad (either controlled by the AI or your online buddies), you’ll navigate parts of New York, Jerusalem, Moscow, Tokyo, Marseille, Rome, and Kamchatka during the zombie apocalypse. Try not to get overwhelmed by the undead masses in this one.

Buy Now, $22.38
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22. ‘Days Gone’
  • Developer: Bend Studio
  • Platforms: PS4, PC – Steam

Like The Last of Us, Days Gone is a single-player narrative-driven experience that takes place within a post-apocalyptic world. Exploring the Pacific Northwest on a motorcycle makes up the majority of this game’s exploratory elements. And once you hop off to handle some random tasks, many of those tasks will entail taking down hordes of shockingly fast “Freakers.” You can tackle those Freaker nest missions in a stealthy manner or go in all guns blazing if you truly want to test your skill. Days Gone is a pretty lengthy game, so prepare yourself for an emotional journey all the while.

Buy Now, $30.99
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23. ‘State of Decay 2’
  • Developer: Undead Labs
  • Platforms: Xbox One, PC – Steam

If you’re looking to live out the day-to-day operations that come with keeping a fort and your friends/family in top form as much as possible around the undead, seek out the second game in the State of Decay franchise. There’s a lot that comes with maintaining your community/resources and leaving with your fellow survivors to brave the dangers that exist outside your front door. The zombies in this game are just as ruthless as you’d expect, so stay on your toes and be ready to defend yourself from all angles.

Buy Now, $64.99

ONE37pm may receive affiliate revenue from some of the links in this article.


What You Need to Know About Gas, the New Social App That’s Been Acquired by Discord

UPDATE (January 17th, 2023): Discord has acquired the Gas social app. Discord hasn’t disclosed the terms nor the price tag, though we can infer that Discord is aiming to reach new audiences outside of gaming, their main audience (aside from web3 communities.) Gas will continue as its own standalone app for now. The Gas team (which reportedly consisted of 4 people) will be joining Discord to help Discord’s “efforts to continue to grow across new and core audiences.”

Social media applications have been shown to be highly harmful to teens, who are spending more time increasingly online. The leaked Facebook Files revealed that 38% of teen girls spending five hours online are clinically depressed. The New York Times reported the average daily screen time of teens (ages 13 to 18) to be 8 hours 39 minutes.

Overthrowing YouTube, teens spend more time watching TikTok than anything else. Do we need more social media platforms in the age of anxiety, depression, body image issues, and addiction? I ask you, can there be a better social media platform? Gas says yes.

Self-proclaimed an app “to compliment your friends,” the anonymous question-and-answer app Gas was first launched in August 2022. While it’s currently only available in 12 states (not including California), it’s still topping the App Store charts (the App is not available for Android yet.) 

Gas (previously named Crush) was mainly created for teens—users can only interact with people they accepted as friends through polls. Polls are like year-book superlatives, all positive, with people voting anonymously. You collect coins as you answer polls and can use coins to see who answered specific questions. Unless you buy the pro version, “God Mode,” you can only know the gender and grade of voters.

Gas App

The app hopes to foster positivity in a smaller social network. After BeReal’s success over the last couple of months, ‘genuine’ apps are getting more popular. In Gas, users can only answer and ask questions about their classmates, meaning the people they know. 

Since the early days of the internet, the negativity was kindled by one main thing: Not knowing who the person across you is. When cursing on threads, you see the account across you as non-human, less than, without feelings. The person across is irrelevant to your argument and needs to be correct. In theory, that aspect of Gas could help with the toxicity of social media. 

The founders are not new to tech. Nikita Bier founded tbh (a very similar app to Gas) about five years ago and sold it to Facebook. The other founders include Isaiah Turner (software engineer since early age, co-founder of Monkey) and Dave Schatz (prev. FB, part of Proof collective).

With no free-form messaging feature, Gas got 500,000 downloads since its launch date in August. The app says they will never sell or share personal information (and that they don’t even store it)

With all the questions on the app being positive, will it really produce good results and increase positivity among students? Will teens use the app for its intended use, to ‘gas each other up,’ or find a way to do what they want to do with the features they got? Difficult to say. 

The concept reminds me of we used in elementary/high school. It was mainly used to spread gossip or reveal crushes (and sometimes self-crushes to make it seem like you’re cool, lol.) You could write whatever in, whereas Gas prompts and allows only for votes. 

Instagram and TikTok have already unveiled their BeReal copies—“Dual camera” and “Time is Now,” respectively. It won’t be late until the market leaders also grab what they can from Gas.

Who do you think will implement this idea first? 

Popular Culture

‘Tales of the Jedi’ Proves that ‘Star Wars’ Will Always Have a Place in Animation

Most recently, the world of Star Wars has perhaps become best known for its live-action adventures, with shows like AndorThe Mandalorian, and Obi-Wan Kenobi lighting up the Disney+ service. However, it is in animation that Star Wars may have found its best storytelling platform. Tales of the Jedi, the most recent animated limited series from Star Wars, is not only great, but it explores just how vital these shows are to the overall canon.

Spoilers for Tales of the Jedi follow

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Per the Wikipedia description, “Each episode of Tales of the Jedi tells a short story featuring Jedi from the Star Wars prequel trilogy era. The six episodes are split into two ‘paths’: the first following Ahsoka Tano across various points in her life, and the other depicting a young Count Dooku before his fall to the dark side of the Force.”

Created by Star Wars expert Dave Filoni, Tales of the Jedi was made in the same vein as Filoni’s other animated juggernaut, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Ahsoka Tano has become one of the most beloved characters in all of Star Wars and, after getting her start in animation, made the jump to live-action in season two of The Mandalorian. In the three episodes of this series where we follow her, we look at the beginning of her life until she joins the Rebel Alliance while in hiding post-Order 66.

For anyone unfamiliar with Tano, she was the Padawan learner to Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. Eventually leaving the Jedi after being falsely accused of a crime, she was nevertheless hunted during Order 66 but managed to escape. Across the entire series of The Clone WarsStar Wars: RebelsThe Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett, we’ve seen Ahsoka at her highest and lowest.

Ashley Eckstein voiced Ahsoka in her animated appearances, with Rosario Dawson taking over as her in live-action. Eckstein makes a welcome appearance here, voicing Ahsoka in two of her shorts.

Elsewhere, Count Dooku is the central figure of the limited series’ other three episodes. Dooku’s shorts are the far more interesting ones; as his backstory we’ve never seen too much of before. We knew that he had once been a Jedi Master and taught Qui-Gon Jinn, but now we get an idea of what he was like during his time with the Order.

We encounter Dooku as his fall to the dark side begins, as his anger gets the better of him during a mission with a young Qui-Gon, and another where the Republic’s corruption has become all too apparent, but the Jedi refuse to see it.


While Ahsoka’s episodes, especially the latter two, are fantastic watches, it is the Dooku stories where Tales of the Jedi really shines. Looking at the fall of the Jedi and the Republic through the eyes of the man who tried, time and time again, to warn everyone, only for it to fall on deaf ears, is incredibly fascinating.

They add depth to a character whose failures and shortcomings had yet to be seen on screen. For those only familiar with the movies, he was a surface-level villain that offered very little besides being an opponent to the good guys. Even if you’d seen The Clone Wars, you could make a similar argument.

Here, Dooku is a tragic figure, one who was the canary in the coal mine in the twilight of the Republic. Here, he believed that he could have stopped the downfall of democracy and the Jedi, but no one was willing to listen. Instead, he listens to Darth Sidious, who corrupts him and, in the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, becomes the very thing he swore to destroy.


The stories of Ahsoka and Dooku do not connect directly. Still, the narrative threads of betrayal, losing one’s faith, and adjusting to a rapidly changing world are felt throughout all six episodes. Ahsoka must learn to survive without a support system, and Dooku is forced to adapt to a world that has left him behind.

It’s here where Star Wars has done so well with animation. At first glance, shows like The Clone Wars and Rebels appear like “kids’ shows,” but thanks to writers like Dave Filoni, they succeed in telling much deeper and more complicated stories. Arcs like “The Siege of Mandalore,” which provides one of the best looks at the events of Order 66, is a story that is only told in The Clone Wars series.

Animation lends itself perfectly to the bright visuals of Star Wars and isn’t a replacement for live-action content. Rather it is the perfect way for people to expand on what makes the galaxy far, far away, so appealing, and so beloved.

All six episodes of “Tales of the Jedi” are now streaming on Disney+.

Popular Culture

16 Batman Villains We’d Love to See In a Potential ‘The Batman’ Sequel

When it comes to comic book villains, one could argue that no one has a better or more iconic rogues gallery than Batman. After all, The Joker is one of, if not the greatest comic book villain ever, so even just having him alone makes Batman’s group of evildoers stand above many other heroes.


Even though the Riddler has been locked up in Arkham Asylum and Carmine Falcone has been killed, it’s clear by the end of The Batman that Bruce Wayne’s work is far from done. Despite the heroics of Batman, Catwoman, and James Gordon, Gotham City is still rotten to the core. In a very noir-like narration—also present throughout the film—Batman says that, after the flooding caused by Riddler, the city is now a breeding ground for criminals and supervillains alike.

A few breadcrumbs sprinkled throughout The Batman allude to future villains that will show up, including a cameo at the end that sets up something major for another entry.

So who should Batman go up against in the next movie? Here are 11 villains that would be ideal picks for a Batman sequel.

1. Court of Owls
DC Comics

For those unfamiliar with the group, the Court of Owls is essentially Gotham City’s version of the Illuminati. Since its founding, they have existed in Gotham City and secretly control much of what goes on there.

They regularly kidnap children from the circus to train them as assassins, known as Talons, to serve their mission and enforce their rule.

Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time,

Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime.

They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed.

Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head,” reads a nursery rhyme that refers to the Court, echoing the ruthlessness of the group.

Robert Pattinson also might have already spoiled their appearance, saying in a video for Vanity Fair, “I was definitely thinking Court of Owls is probably gonna be in the sequel. It definitely seems like– I mean, I am literally just guessing, I just keep saying it.”

If this is confirmation of their future involvement, we say bring it on.

2. The Penguin
Warner Brothers

This one is a no-brainer as Colin Farrell already made his debut in The Batman and is set to reprise the role in a Penguin-centric spin-off series.

As the movie heads to its finale, Carmine Falcone is gunned down outside the Iceberg Lounge by the Riddler. In this film, Penguin served as Falcone’s second-in-command and is now primed to step in and lead the new crime family.

Batman and Penguin interact multiple times, with Penguin even helping him a bit along the way. Given these films’ new, more grounded aspect, Penguin could be a very formidable opponent for Batman in the future.

3. Hush
DC Comics

Another villain teased in The Batman was Hush, aka Doctor Thomas Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne and whose upbringing was very similar to Wayne’s. He grew up in wealth but suffered abuse from his father, who also grew to hate his mother for not sticking up for herself and him.

Driven by an insatiable desire for his inheritance, he kills his father and severely injures his mother by causing them to crash their car. He eventually murders his mother after she cuts him off from his inheritance but is able to make it looks like an accident in order to not arouse suspicion.

He grew up resenting Bruce Wayne, and in an effort to sabotage his life, Hush gives himself plastic surgery to turn himself into an exact look-alike of Bruce.

While something along those lines could be difficult to pull off in live-action, the possibility of Batman facing off against someone like Hush is exciting.

4. Calendar Man
DC Comics

When you first hear of the villain named Calendar Man, he might not sound all that scary. After all, a serial killer that only strikes on holidays would make him kind of predictable, no?

While Calendar Man might not work as the film’s central villain, the idea of him being the “Hannibal Lecter” type of character that Batman visits is interesting.

If someone like Calendar Man wouldn’t fit into a future Batman movie, he’d be perfect for the upcoming spin-off series in Arkham Asylum.

5. A Night in Arkham Asylum

Speaking of Arkham Asylum, a film inspired by the storyline of the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum would be a fantastic idea for this new universe.

For those unfamiliar, in Arkham Asylum, Batman gets trapped inside the institution by the Joker. The inmates then run amok, and Batman must contend with his most infamous supervillains while he tries to stop the Joker. The game isn’t as grounded as these new Batman films will be, but the Dark Knight being surrounded by all of his greatest villains as they run loose across the Asylum could make for a fantastic movie.

6. Two-Face
DC Comics

Batman’s one-time ally, who eventually became one of his greatest villains, Two-Face, would make for a perfect foil for Robert Pattinson in a future installment. Given that the Riddler murdered Gotham’s District Attorney in The Batman, someone needs to step into the role.

Harvey Dent was hideously scarred by a mobster who threw acid into his face, and it broke his psyche, causing him to adopt a good and evil persona, becoming Two-Face.

In a storyline that would mirror the villain’s journey in The Dark Knight, Batman would have to fight his former friend as he descends into madness. 

7. Deadshot, Deathstroke, Bane, and Other Assassins
WB Games

While the storyline of Arkham Origins wouldn’t need to be precisely followed, you can’t tell me that the idea of “multiple assassins hired to kill the Batman on Christmas Eve” doesn’t sound awesome.

In the game, the assassins are hired by Black Mask (later revealed to be the Joker) but in the film version, the Penguin could easily fill this role. It would also be a great introduction for classic Batman villains like Deathstroke, Deadshot, and Bane.

The substance Bane uses in the comics to “hulk up” is known as Venom, which was teased in The Batman. When he is overwhelmed in the final fight against the Riddler’s goons, Batman uses a green liquid that serves as an adrenaline shot of sorts to get back in the game. It wasn’t confirmed to be Venom, but it could easily be written into the sequel that this was the deadly substance.

8. Mr. Freeze
DC Comics

One of Batman’s most tragic enemies, Mr. Freeze, whose real name is Victor Fries, was a cryogenic scientist attempting to cure his terminally ill wife, Nora. He places her in suspended animation, freezing her in a block of ice until he can find a cure. After an accident causes his body temperature to drop to sub-zero levels, he creates a suit to keep himself alive and turns to a life of crime to raise funds for his research.

Matt Reeves has expressed interest in bringing the villain into his Batman universe in a grounded way. How he’d be able to tackle this sort of storyline remains to be seen. Still, Batman going up against a morally ambiguous supervillain is a story opportunity too good to pass up.

9. Hugo Strange
DC Comics

Dr. Hugo Strange became a recurring villain and frequent foe for the Caped Crusader and was also one of the first people to discover that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Able to match Batman on an intellectual level (a trait not many Batman villains share), Hugo Strange’s plots often involve him attempting to outsmart Bruce Wayne at every time.

It should come as no surprise that he often fails to do so. While The Riddler attempts to match Batman in terms of intelligence because of his own insecurities, Strange sees it as a competition and wants to prove that he is better than the Dark Knight no matter the cost.

10. Poison Ivy
DC Comics

Poison Ivy is an eco-terrorist who often comes into conflict with Batman and other supervillains. Given the state of the world and the issue of climate change, a supervillain trying to save the environment, albeit through destructive means, makes Poison Ivy a very socially relevant enemy for Batman to fight.

Formerly known as Dr. Pamela Isley, she was a botanist who, after being injected with various toxins and poisons, is transformed into the supervillain known as Poison Ivy.

She possesses power over almost all plant life, with an inane ability to use them to create life or destroy it. She also uses the power of pheromones to control people, primarily men, and use them to further her own goals.

A version of Poison Ivy could undoubtedly be introduced into this Batman continuity. While she wouldn’t have superpowers like in the comics, her role as an eco-terrorist would provide an attractive gray area for her to operate in, similar to Mr. Freeze.

11. The Joker
DC Comics

As one of the most infamous Batman villains of all time, there is no Batman without the Joker.

While credited as “Unnamed Arkham Prisoner” in The Batman, Matt Reeves confirmed that this person whom The Riddler talks to was, in fact, this universe’s Joker. Played by Barry Keoghan, he is in the cell next to The Riddler and says, “One day you’re on top, the next day you’re a clown.” Following it up with a riddle of his own, “Riddle me this…the less of these you have, the more one is worth.” Riddler answers this riddle fairly quickly, providing the correct response: “A friend.”

You can only sort of make out his scarred face, but once he breaks out into his maniacal laughter, you know who we are dealing with.

It’s not a guarantee that we’ll be seeing the Joker in the next Batman film, or even in any future movie, as Matt Reeves hasn’t ruled out locking him up in Arkham and throwing away the key.

I’d love if Batman movies took a break from iterations of the Joker for a time, as the hero has such a great collection of supervillains to choose from that deserve their time on the big screen. However, as mentioned above, there is no Batman without the Joker, and a conflict between them is inevitable.

12. Clayface
DC Comics

Sure, he might look a little like Gloppy from Candy Land, but Clayface is a major force to be reckoned with given that he literally can’t be killed. He’s a bit of a two-faced (no pun intended) sort of character, as he’s known to both be on Batman’s side and to wreak havoc on Gotham City.

His ability to constantly shapeshift serves his personality well, as he’s never quite firmly on one side or the other: in a constant struggle for good or evil, Clayface is always at odds with himself.

13. Scarecrow
DC Comics

Sure, we got to see our beloved Scarecrow in Batman Begins, but the character was grossly underused in the film, even though Cillian Murphy’s performance as the villain was beyond incredible. Given the Scarecrow’s destructive powers, he seems like the perfect fit for another dark tale opposite Robert Pattinson’s Batman—and he just happens to be one of the most iconic Batman villains of all time.

Using the human brain’s capacity for fear as he way into terrorizing Gotham City, the Scarecrow uses a powerful concoction of toxins that he’s created to send the citizens of Gotham into a paralyzing state of fear—including Batman himself.

14. Professor Pyg
DC Comics

Not everyone has heard of this piggly-wiggly creature, but director Matt Reeves legitimately mentioned the villain as one he was seriously considering for a sequel to The Batman. Professor Pyg is a trained surgeon who likes to casually throw on a pig mask and abduct the people of Gotham to turn them into his personal minions. And it’s no simple makeover: Professor Pyg uses drills and ice picks to transform his victims, showing just how utterly deranged he is.

His origins come directly from the old legend of Pygmalion, which comments on perfection and how one specific artist—named Pygmalion—crafted his own dream woman to be with for eternity.

15. Killer Croc
DC Comics

Need I say more about a villain named the Killer Croc? Well, maybe a little.

In the same general vein as Marvel’s the Lizard, the Killer Croc also resides in the lovely sewers below Gotham City, where he was basically relegated to by his family as they showed zero support for their half-human, half-reptile relative. However, as the years went by, he became more and more like a real crocodile, massively growing in size, shape, and anger.

16. Victor Zsasz
DC Comics

Though this serial killer is spoken about far less than the other, more classic Batman villains, there’s no mistaking it: Victor Zsasz is the ultimate villain. Covered in tallies from the people he’s killed, Zsasz is an experienced killer with zero tolerance for flashy techniques: all this man wants to do is murder, and given that logic, he’d be the perfect match for Robert Pattinson’s Batman.


The 30 Best Gifts for Sports Fans

It’s never “just a game” to the sports aficionado in your life. Between throwing out stats or plays in the midst of everyday conversations and cutting off society whenever a game is on, their life doesn’t have meaning unless there’s some form of a ball on the field.

After years of being gifted tickets and team shirts, it’s never quite enough to satisfy their obsession. This dream gift list for a sports fan takes all the thinking out of your shopping with something they can cherish beyond a single moment in time.

1. Lakeside Memento Wall Storage Boxes

Instead of rediscovering old ticket stubs crumbled up in a drawer months later, keep the collection together in this wall storage box that turns memories into an intricate collage.

BUY NOW, $21
2. Kitboys Reconstructed David Beckham Soccer Jersey

This collection of rebranded and reconstructed jerseys showcases soccer teams from around the globe. Whether the final product is a mashup between two authentic kits or an original design, the periodic new drops every few weeks keep fútbol addicts on their toes. 

BUY NOW, $30-$160
3. Sharper Image Golf Club Drink Dispenser
Sharper Image

Golf automatically gets dubbed as boring unless you’re at Topgolf and boozed up to the max. To spice up a day on the green, add this “club” that fits in any bag. The faux driver doubles as an insulated drink dispenser that holds 48 ounces of any beverage, hot or cold. 

BUY NOW, $60
4. Personalized Video Message From Your Favorite Athlete

A meet and greet with sport’s most iconic figures might not be in the cards, but a personalized video shout out is just a click away. You can request a plethora of stars like NFL legend Doug Flutie or soccer megastar Darren Bent send video messages to a loved one that legit make it feel like the recipient is their friend. 

BUY NOW, $5-$500
5. Custom Air Pods Case

Whether you want your own personal jersey number or a tribute your favorite player on this AirPods case, the crisp detail on this little memento is small but mighty. Put a name on the top of the case to ward off anyone who wants it for themselves.

BUY NOW, $20
6. Foster & Rye Polyresin Baseball Bottle Holder
Foster & Rye

For the baseball-loving, wine-o in your life, this specially crafted baseball player holds their favorite bottle.

BUY NOW, $51
7. Vintage Sports Art
Row One

Nowadays, something being vintage automatically gives it some added flair, and this vintage sports art is no different. Tickets from the biggest moments in sports are blown up into colorful art pieces that add life to any dull space.

BUY NOW, $75-$200
8. Michael Jordan Fat Head

Hear us out. We know it might be a little off-putting to most to have a giant replica of Michael Jordan in your room, but a sports fan needs it for their altar. The reusable, high-graded vinyl sticker is so HD you can even see Jordan’s sweat.

BUY NOW, $25-$100
9. Hockey Puck Chillers
Bergo Design

Ice cubes are so last year. Instead of diluting your cocktails with ice, these hockey puck chillers keep your drink extra cold without sacrificing any of the flavors. 

BUY NOW, $15
10. Football Helmet Bottle Cap Holder

It’s as if it’s scientifically impossible to focus on football without a beer in hand. This map holds 63 bottle caps of America’s favorite game-day drink in a variety of colors to match your home team.

BUY NOW, $28
11. NFL Tailgate Kit Collection
Bed Bath & Beyond

As tailgating season dawns upon us, it’s critical to let the sports world know what side you land on. The set includes one table, two chairs and four cupholders, all of which are easily transportable. 

BUY NOW, $80-$100
12. Stance Socks
Stance Socks

Repping your team from head to toe is only possible by donning the loudest, most attention calling socks. In no other instance is it acceptable to have someone’s face on your feet.

BUY NOW, $20
13. Wall Mounted Recycled Ski Bottle Opener
Uncommon Goods

In an ode to winter sports, these ski bottle openers are cracking open brews to stick in your bottle cap map. You can feel good about your purchase, knowing it’s both handmade and recycled.

BUY NOW, $45
14. NFL Denim Jacket
Sports Fan Island

This one goes out to all the leading ladies that are presumptuously left out of the “sports lover” conversation. Delicate patchwork and a bit of glitter dawn this denim jacket that’s an embodiment of football meet fashion.

BUY NOW, $65
15. Lasercut Stadium Map
The Grommet

We all know someone who casually slips in where they’re from every opportunity they get. If you put on for your city every day, you deserve this highly detailed 3D stadium art. The laser-etched birchwood includes not only the most celebrated sports arenas but the outlying city that surrounds them. 

BUY NOW, $125-$185
16. NBA TV
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Porch pirates aren’t a factor in this gift with the fastest shipping known to man. Access to exclusive interviews, never before seen angles and blacked-out games come together in what’s basically a headfirst dive into the NBA world. Prepare to be ignored while they’re immersed in their basketball bubble. 

BUY NOW, $60 Annually
17. ‘New York Times’ Baseball Book
New York Times

Discover the glory days of every MLB team in a book that compiles all the greatest New York Times headlines. Every glory-filled moment is bound together in a book that hypes up a team even if they haven’t won a series. 

BUY NOW, $72
18. 25-Layer Stadium Lighted End Table
Stadium Views

Although this little table costs some serious dough, the chances of it being donated to Goodwill after a few uses are slim. Original word artwork gleams through the tempered glass surface surrounded by LED lights that replicate a stadium’s actual lighting. They’ll be obsessed for years.

BUY NOW, $600
19. Playful Sports Mugs
Uncommon Goods

Playing with our food might be what we’re all missing from our morning routine for an extra jolt of energy. We recommend the basketball mug where you can yell “Kobe” before swishing a piece of cereal through the hoop.

BUY NOW, $25
20. Ballpark Blueprints
Ballpark Blueprints

If they’re going to spend every free moment inside a stadium, they might as well get familiar with the architecture. These high-end blueprints give a look inside every detail of their heaven on earth. The designs are all original, crafted on museum-paper for a gift that’ll last throughout the years.

BUY NOW, $60-$210
21. Customized Wilson NCAA Black and Gold Basketball Size 29.5

This customized Wilson NCAA basketball is sure to make any sports fan happy. In addition to being great for both indoor and outdoor use, the ball can also be designed to have a customized name on it, making it a great gift.

BUY NOW, $60
22. Sports Icons Pillowcase – Football
Personal Creations

This custom pillow is the perfect touch for any football coach or player. The pillow can be designed to have the names of the coach/player on there, as well as the names of their teams making it a great gift for any football household.

BUY NOW, $18
23. Playful Sports Baseball Mug
Uncommon Goods

To follow the basketball mug, this baseball mug will also get the kids excited as the mug is shaped in the form of a baseball, and has a glove built in to “catch” whatever food/drink is in the mug. It could get messy, but it still makes a cool gift for those young baseball fans out there.

BUY NOW, $25
24. Gtracing Gaming Chair

If you know somebody who will be playing a lot of games (or watching a lot of games) this holiday season, then the Oversized Gaming Chair is perfect. The chair is super comfy, and will definitely make playing NBA 2K and Madden more enjoyable.

BUY NOW, $170
25. NBA2K23

Speaking of 2K, many people are waiting for the next gen to come out before purchasing this latest edition. The hardcopy version (or the money to buy it) would make a great gift to 2K fanatics anxiously awaiting for the next updates.

BUY NOW, $60
26. Home Plate Doormat
Uncommon Goods

What better way to reach “Home” than to have a home plate doormat waiting for you after a long day? The mat is a great gift for super baseball fans everywhere.

BUY NOW, $30
27. Golf Ball Whiskey Chillers
Uncommon Goods

This gift is self explanatory. The golf whiskey chillers help make your drink better, while giving you that “golf” aesthetic.

BUY NOW, $30
28. Spalding Mini Basketball Hoop

With a good percentage of kids being homeschooled this year, a mini basketball hoop would be the perfect addition to the house, and a great option for “recess.”

BUY NOW, $30
29. Record-Breaking Baseball Glasses
Uncommon Goods

While the baseball season is now over, it’s never too late to add some baseball glasses to your cupboards. With these glasses, you can still enjoy a nice cold beverage giving you that gameday feel. 

BUY NOW, $35
30. Nike Air Max 97

You can never go wrong with a classic. The Air Max sneakers are a staple to any shoe collection, and are a stylish and fresh new piece to add to your wardrobe.

BUY NOW, $170
31. Huupe

Imagine a Peloton, but for basketball. Just as Peloton brought dynamic spinning classes to your living room, Huupe gives you access to high-level basketball training without even leaving your driveway. The backboard doubles as an LED screen, which can lay on-demand lessons as well as livestream one-on-one sessions with basketball trainers around the world. To wit, Huupe tracks every shot you take, giving you real-time feedback on how to improve as you play. And yes, don’t worry: it’s all weather-proof.

Buy Now, $3,995
32. Nettie Pickleball Paddle Set

At this point, you’re probably a pickleballer—or, at the very least, pickleball-curious. Whereas most pickleball rackets are engineered primarily for peak performance, Nettie meets the average player on their own terms, making equipment that’s stylish and fun yet still high enough quality to dink deftly.

Buy Now, $149.99
33. Roger Angell Baseball Collection

Roger Angell was the best baseball writer of all time. These three collections of essays are his best work, making it the perfect gift for any baseball fan or bibliophile
Tokens & Icons

Crafted from pieces of seats at some of college football’s most historic stadia, these bottle-openers bring piece of homecoming to your home.

Buy Now, $125
35. Adidas Ultraboost

Since you can’t really wear your Yeezys anymore.

Buy Now, $190
Popular Culture

‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 10 Recap and Review: “The Black Queen”

As usual in House of the Dragon, something is always wrong. The wrong person sits on the Iron Throne; the wrong people are angling for war, and the wrong people are dying. If you’re at all familiar with the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, you know that this is business as usual.

Related: A Guide to the Game of Thrones Houses

The entire series has led up to this point, and it was only a matter of who would actually be the first casualty of the Civil War known as the “Dance of Dragons.” Blood has been spilled, and there is no going back now.

Peace was simply Viserys’ dream.

Spoilers for House of the Dragon follow

Long Live the Queen

“The Black Queen” opens with young Lucerys, aka Luke, standing at the table map of Westeros, looking somewhat anxious. His mother finds him there, where he begins to express his fears of being the Lord of Driftmark. He’s no sailor like his grandfather Corlys was (or is?) and doesn’t believe he’s worthy of the role.

Rhaenyra reminds him that she found herself in the very same position when she was his age. Duty is of the utmost importance in this world, and she tells him she’ll always be there to help him along the way.

At a meeting with Rhaenyra and Daemon, Rhaenys arrives to inform her of the bad news: Viserys has died, and Aegon has been crowned King. The information doesn’t sit well with either of them; Daemon believes Viserys was assassinated and Rhaenyra feels betrayed that Alicent would crown her son King.

“The Greens are coming for you, Rhaenyra, you and your children,” Rhaenys ominously predicts. Rhaenyra panics, which causes her to go into premature labor.

As Daemon makes his war plans with the leaders of their side’s military, we hear Rhaenyra in the other room struggling through her labor. She calls for Jace and Luke and tells them of everything that has happened: The King is dead, and people are coming to try and kill them all. You know, normal stuff. Before they leave, she lets Jace know that now that she is the Queen, nothing will happen without her orders.

We find out that Corlys has survived his wounds and is in recovery. Daemon continues to ignore his wife’s pleas from the other room, and Jace informs everyone that nothing will happen without his mother’s permission. Daemon brings Jace to the Dragonmont, where he puts their Kingsguard to the test of loyalty, demanding they swear fealty (under threat of Dragonfire, naturally.)

Tragically, Rhaenyra miscarries, and the baby is brought out to be cremated in the Targaryen tradition. As they observe the fire, Ser Erryk Cargyll of the Kingsguard arrives and, after a brief but tense exchange, brings Rhaenyra a gift: Her father’s crown. He bends the knee and swears an oath of protection to the new Queen. Daemon places the crown on Rhaenyra’s head, and all of the funeral attendees bend the knee. Except for Rhaenys, who gives her a look of respect.

Rhaenys has yet to pick her side, so it’s naturally better not to lock yourself into a contract prematurely. That’s just good business.
At the painted table of Westeros, the Black War Council breaks down where everything stands. They do not have a ton of soldiers available, but they have declarations of loyalty from some of the smaller houses to bolster their forces. The most significant decision comes over three of the major houses: Baratheon in Storm’s End, Arryn in the Vale, and Stark in Winterfell.

We all know that a Stark is always loyal to their oaths, so Rhaenyra is confident they’ll be at their side. Rhaenyra shares blood with the Arryns; the Baratheons are the wild cards, however. The conversation shifts to where much of the power lies in this world: Dragons. Daemon believes they have a numbers advantage, 13 to 4, but Rhaenyra is less confident. Daemon being the maverick he is, thinks they’ll soon be able to surround King’s Landing and execute all of the Greens.

Let’s take a deep breath here for a minute, Daemon.

A Showdown at Dragonstone Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Otto Hightower has arrived on Dragonstone with peace terms, and he looks to treat with Rhaenyra, who arrives on her dragon much as she did back in episode two. Flying around Otto and his ensemble, she lands behind them and gives them all a good scare.

Otto continues to call Rhaenyra “Princess” and gives his terms, which are less than favorable to her. She calls Otto and his men traitors, but he reminds her that every symbol of legitimacy belongs to Aegon. The other major houses like Stark, Tully, and Baratheon are also considering terms from them.

The odds seem to be stacked against them for the moment. Rhaenyra rips the symbol of the Hand of the King off his chest and calls him a traitor again, just for good measure. Rhaenyra is given a page from a book she ripped from Alicent’s book in episode one, which she has held onto. It seems as if Alicent held out hope that their friendship may still be mended. Rhaenyra says Otto and the Greens will have her answer tomorrow.

At the next meeting of the Blacks’ war council, Rhaenya reaffirms a desire for peace and to not turn the entire Realm to the torch via Dragonfire. Daemon seems hellbent on going to war and not even entertaining any notions of negotiations with the Hightowers, but Rhaenyra wants to exercise all options.

Rhaenyra brings up the fact that getting her on the throne is not just about her ruling; the Song of Ice and Fire (Aegon’s prophecy) is what’s most important. Daemon looks at her, confused, unsure of what she means, but before she gets a chance to elaborate, Daemon grabs her by the throat.

He believes Viserys was a “slave” to the omens put forth by his ancestors, “anything to give his feckless reign some purpose,” he says. “Dreams didn’t make us kings. Dragons did.” Daemon lets her go, which is when she realizes that Viserys never told her of the prophecy. She laughs at him, and he leaves her.

At Driftmark, Corlys awakens with Rhaenys sitting at his bedside. He tries to joke with her, but she immediately shuts him down, scolding him for leaving her behind following the deaths of their children. She tells him that Vaemond is dead, causing him to finally realize that this quest for personal ambition is fruitless. “Heedless ambition has always been a Velaryon weakness,” he says. He admits Rhaenys was right and that they should declare for no one and retire to sit out the coming war.

Rhaenys, who always seems to be the most competent person in the room, tells him there will be neutral parties. Rhaenys admires that Rhaenyra is the only person still choosing peace and that she is someone worth following.

They head back to Dragonstone, with Corlys and Rhaenys meeting with Rhaenyra and the rest of the Blacks. Corlys asks about Daemon and likely wants to ask him a few questions about the fact that Daemon killed his brother. As he is nowhere to be found, they continue with more pressing matters and address the elephant in the room.

Corlys, Rhaenys, and the Velaryons declare for Rhaenyra, offering her their fleet and the forces at their command. He tells her that the Triarchy has been routed in the Stepstones, and a garrison has been placed there. Essentially, they control the Stepstones now, and he who controls the Stepstones controls the Narrow Sea.

An effective blockade of King’s Landing can now be created, with the Velaryon fleet patrolling the sea and Dragons guarding the skies. However, Rhaenyra reiterates that the first stroke of war will not come by her hand, and she still looks to garner the support of the Starks, Arryns, and Baratheons.

Rather than send slower ravens, Jace volunteers himself and Luke to ride to these houses via their dragons. Rhaenyra agrees, and Jace will go to the Starks and Arryns while Luke heads to deal with the Baratheons.

As she sees them off, she makes sure they remember that they head out as messengers, not as warriors. They must not start any fighting, simply treat with the leaders of the Houses.

Luke is clearly nervous, and Rhaenyra comforts him by saying that Borros Baratheon will be honored to host a prince of the Realm.

Surely nothing could go wrong!

An Act of War

We see Daemon walking through the caverns below Dragonstone, and he comes across another massive dragon who isn’t very excited to see him. While it’s not confirmed whose dragon this is, this is likely setting up that this beast will soon be entering the fray.

Luke arrives at Storm’s End, where he sees another dragon, the massive hulking beast Vhagar, parked in the courtyard. Aemond, on behalf of the Greens, has beaten him here, looking to secure Baratheon support as well.

In the Great Hall, Luke delivers his message to Borros Baratheon, who expresses some feigned confusion over whether Aegon is King or Rhaenyra is Queen. He summons a Maester to read Luke’s message and is insulted by its tone, which reads as if Rhaenyra is ordering him and not offering to deal with him. Aemond has been pledged to marry one of the Baratheon daughters, something Luke and the Blacks cannot match as Luke is already betrothed.

Borros dismisses Luke and tells him to return to Dragonstone, as the Baratheons will side with Aegon and the Greens.

Before Luke leaves, Aemond insults him by calling him Lord Strong, hoping to goad him into a fight. Luke reaffirms that he’s come as a messenger, not a warrior, and refuses. Aemond says that’s fine, as it wouldn’t be much of a fight anyway.

Demanding an eye for an eye (literally!) Aemond removes his eyepatch, showcasing that he now sports a sapphire in his empty eye socket. He tosses Luke a knife and gives him a chance to cut out his eye, a “request” he turns down.

Aemond calls him a traitor, and despite Borros saying that blood will not be shed under his roof, Aemond moves toward Luke. Borros shuts down the confrontation but Aemond, ever the psychopathic bully, knows this isn’t over.

Luke climbs his dragon in the middle of a massive storm and flies away but also sees that Vhagar has left the castle already. Through the rain and wind, he tries to spot where Vhagar is, but before he sees the massive beast, it sneaks up on him with Aemond on his back.

The dragon that Luke is riding, Arrax, is much smaller than Vhagar but is also quicker. He manages to elude Vhagar by flying into a canyon that forces Aemond to pull up, and Luke almost manages to lose him. As Aemond hunts him again, Luke loses control of his dragon, which hurls fire at Vhagar and Aemond, which does nothing but annoy the two of them. Despite Luke’s pleas, Arrax continues to betray Luke and rides high above the clouds. Similarly, Aemond loses control of Vhagar, who now wants blood.

Tragically, Vhagar appears out of the clouds and chomps down on Arrax, killing both the dragon and Luke. Aemond looks down at the falling corpses with an “oh shit, what did I do” look on his face.

He knows he fucked this one up.

Sometime later, Daemon informs Rhaenyra of Luke’s death. After nearly falling over, she turns to face the camera, a tear falling down her face. Peace is no longer an option, and war has begun. To quote a Roman general, she will have her vengeance in this life or the next.

“Then the storm broke, and the dragons danced.”

Final Thoughts

Amidst a massive pile of ash and pools of blood, the first season of House of the Dragon has come to a dramatic finish. Overall, I would say that the show’s first season was mostly strong, with plenty of great character moments, palace intrigue, and action set pieces that should keep any viewer invested.

Much like Game of ThronesHouse of the Dragon‘s performances from its leads were stellar; Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Millie Alcock, Olivia Cooke, Emily Carey, and Paddy Considine all stole every scene they were in. Considine’s acting in the eighth episode, “The Lord of the Tides,” was nothing short of extraordinary, and he most certainly has earned himself an Emmy nomination.

D’Arcy and Cooke taking over for fan favorites Alcock and Carey in the middle of the season had fans a little nervous, but they slipped effortlessly into those roles. Casting has always been a strength for House of the Dragons and Game of Thrones, but these four actors were perfect for the Rhaenyra and Alicent characters.

Season one was as much about politics and backstabbing as it was the action, of which there was not much. The writing was not as tight as in the earlier seasons of its parent show, Game of Thrones. Although, to be fair, those are regarded as some of the most well-written television episodes in history, so the bar is high.

House of the Dragon‘s first ten episodes made for a great watch and should quell viewers’ concerns about returning to the franchise after Game of Thrones‘ lackluster ending. If you haven’t watched it already, be sure to catch up before the second season drops. Unfortunately, that’s likely not to be until 2024 (pain.)

Until then, let our watch begin.

(Also, one last thing, I pledge my loyalty to Queen Rhaenyra and Team Black for life.)

Popular Culture

The ‘Star Wars’ Galaxy’s Biggest Bads: The 15 Most Powerful Sith Lords to Ever Exist

In the Star Wars galaxy and lore, wherever there exists Jedi, there must be those that oppose them. In most cases, those people are the Sith. The most powerful Jedi go up against the most powerful Sith in a seemingly never-ending battle for the fate of the Galaxy.

As a future Emperor would say, the Dark Side is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural. These 15 characters tapped into those abilities better than anyone else, leading them to become the most powerful Sith to ever exist.

15. Darth Sion
  • Appears In: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords

A “living” embodiment of the “man literally too angry to die” meme, Darth Sion, also known as the Lord of Pain, fought for the Sith Lord Exar Kun until Kun’s death. Despite defeating numerous Jedi, he was eventually struck down in battle but found that if he called upon the power of the Dark Side and surrendered himself to a life of pain and agony, he would never die. By doing this, he would become one of the most powerful Sith of his era.

Sion survived the fall of Kun’s Sith Empire, eventually forming the Sith Triumvirate with Darth Traya and Darth Nihilus. After he and Nihilus stripped Traya of her Force powers, they searched for the Jedi Exile, Meetra Surik, to bring about the downfall of the Jedi and the Republic.

On the world of Malachor V, Sion would eventually meet his end during combat with Surik. After a conversation with Surik, he lost their duel and surrendered himself to death.

14. Darth Malak
  • Appears In: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

The primary villain of the first game in the Knights of the Old Republic series, Darth Malak, began as the apprentice of Darth Revan. As is tradition with the Sith, he eventually betrayed Revan and took the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith for himself.

He began his life as Alek, a Jedi who followed his friend and future Master Revan into battle during the Mandalorian Wars, a decision forbidden by the Jedi council. This decision ultimately corrupted both of them, with Revan being redeemed but Malak embracing the Dark Side fully. Malak would continue his quest to try and conquer the galaxy but was stopped by his former master Revan.

13. Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku)
  • Appears In: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Despite all the chaos and destruction that he was ultimately responsible for, Count Dooku, aka Darth Tyranus, is a bit of a tragic figure. Corrupted by Palpatine to serve his own needs,

Dooku helped Darth Sidious orchestrate the Clone Wars, plunging the galaxy into chaos. Masquerading as the head of the Separatists, Dooku only worked to serve his master’s needs. However, Palpatine had no plans for Dooku post-Clone Wars, merely using him as a tool to corrupt Anakin Skywalker.

Despite all that, Dooku was an extremely powerful Sith, both in the Force and with a lightsaber. He defeated both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in combat and went toe to toe with Yoda, holding his own with the Jedi Master.

12. Exar Kun
  • Appears In: Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (mentioned only)

Although he and many of the Sith’s stories on this list are no longer canon (they’ve since started to slowly be reintroduced due to fan interest,) Exar Kun’s tale is an interesting one.

Fighting thousands of years before A New Hope takes place, Kun was a fallen Jedi Knight who went on a long journey to the Sith homeworld of Korriban to become the most powerful Dark Side user in history. After conspiring with the spirit of another Sith Lord, Freedon Nadd, he established a base on Yavin 4 and enslaved the Massassi people, forcing them to build temples for him and the Dark Side. In fact, one of these temples would become the Rebel base we see in A New Hope.

In case you needed evidence as to how he was so powerful, I feel the need to reemphasize that he used the Force to enslave an entire species.

Oh, and did I mention he also created the double-bladed lightsaber? Not too shabby.

11. Darth Maul
  • Appears In: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels

I might take a little heat for ranking Darth Maul this low but let’s face facts—Maul’s entire life was one line of taking L after L.

First, it was Obi-Wan chopping him in half; then, it was being forced to live on a junkyard planet where he became half cyborg, getting betrayed by Palpatine again, and on and on.

However, much like Darth Sion, Maul is another great example of the “man too angry to die” meme. He used his anger and hatred of Obi-Wan to fuel his power, leading him to almost as many victories as losses. He was found by his brother Savage Oppress and brought back to full strength by the Witch Sisters of Dathomir. Eventually, he became powerful enough that he took control of the planet Mandalore before his overthrow at the hands of Ahsoka Tano.

His power over the force, lightsaber skills, and talent for manipulation were almost unparalleled during that era. He learned well from his Master, Darth Sidious.

After being cut in two by Obi-Wan, he dedicated his life to hunting down his former adversary and killing him. They would fight a few times again, but Obi-Wan defeated him in one final duel on Tatooine. By the end of his life, he could certainly be named amongst the most powerful Sith ever.

10. Darth Traya
  • Appears In: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords

Another member of the Sith Triumvirate, Darth Traya, was Darth Sion’s Master, teaching him in the Dark Side along with Darth Nihilius. She began her life as a Jedi historian, but after becoming too radical and unorthodox for the Order, she was exiled. Following her ousting, she turned to the Sith teachings as a way of life.

After her betrayal at the hands of Sion and Nihilus, she turned away from the Sith entirely. She adopted the moniker of Kreia to exist outside the influence of both Jedi and Sith.

Due to this constant cycle of betrayals, she grew to hate The Force itself, attempting to literally destroy it by using the Jedi Exile, Meetra Surik. Kreia/Traya would fail, obviously, but put her full powers on display on her mission to do so.

She drained three Jedi Masters of their Force powers and severed their connection to it, killing them all. She also possessed an ability to see far into the future, predicting the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire, which would occur 3000 years after she was alive.

9. Darth Vitiate
  • Appears In: Star Wars: The Old Republic

Most Sith Lords and evildoers tend to start good or with good intentions and then turn evil; Not Vitiate.

Vitiate, who would eventually become the Emperor of the Old Sith Empire, massacred people by the thousands when he was ten years old. He was, as they say, not a great guy.

As his power grew, other Sith Lords began to see him as a threat, but he managed to lure them to a meeting on the planet Nathema to decide who would rule the Sith next. Instead of conferring, he drained their life essence and that of the entire world to increase his power.

Like many people on this list, Vitiate was as evil as it gets and desired nothing more than to dominate all life.

8. Darth Revan
LucasArts/Aspyr Studios/Sabre Interactive
  • Appears In: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: The Old Republic

The player-character of Knights of the Old Republic, Revan began as a Jedi Knight who went rogue to fight in the Mandalorian Wars alongside Malak. After the Wars, Revan fell to the Dark Side, embracing his new role as Dark Lord of the Sith. Malak betrayed him, and his memory was lost during the attack leading the Jedi to reprogram his mind as someone loyal to the Republic.

During the player’s journey as Revan, they learn to control their Force powers again, becoming an extremely powerful warrior that can destroy entire squads of troops at once and defeat even the most skilled of enemies. After vanquishing Malak and his forces during the events of Knights of the Old Republic, he journeyed into the Unknown Regions of the Galaxy. He would encounter the Sith Emperor and make it his mission to defeat him and the Sith Empire.

While Revan would return to the light side, there’s no questioning that he was one of the most powerful Sith ever to exist.

7. Marka Ragnos

Appears In: Star Wars: Legends, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (mentioned)

One of the most powerful Sith and among the most important, Marka Ragnos was a Sith (the species)-Human hybrid who wrestled control of the Sith from Darth Simus. He was able to manipulate his enemies into fighting each other rather than him, ensuring that their focus was always on the other.

He was so powerful that he could manifest himself as a Force ghost to attend his own funeral, where he would pit Naga Sadow and Ludo Kressh against one another for the right to call themselves Dark Lord of the Sith.

As a force ghost on the planet Korriban, he would interact with future Sith Lords Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma, where he could ensure the Sith Empire was in good hands.

6. Darth Tenebrous
  • Appears In: Star Wars: Legends

Master to Darth Plagueis, Tenebrous was a Bith Sith warrior who sought the means to cheat death and worked with his apprentice to try and accomplish this goal. He was an extremely powerful warrior skilled in lightsaber combat and could generate red Force lightning, a rarity amongst the Sith.

His precognitive abilities were also unparalleled in power, as he developed the ability to determine the exact moment of his death.

5. Darth Plagueis

Appears In: Star Wars: Darth Plagueis (book), Revenge of the Sith (mentioned only)

“Have you ever heard the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?” Although the tragedy has become more of a meme than a Sith Legend at this point, Plagueis was nonetheless one of the most powerful Sith ever.

Plagueis was the master of Darth Sidious and taught the future Emperor everything he knew about the Dark Side. Like his apprentice would as well, Plagueis was obsessed with finding a means to immortality. He sought to combine science with the dark mysteries of the Sith to accomplish this, but before he got a chance to learn what he needed to, Sidious killed him and took the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith.

Plageuis was powerful enough to literally create life from the Force and prevent death. Sidious would also use these techniques to influence and corrupt Anakin Skywalker, his apprentice, and the Sith Lord Darth Vader.

4. Darth Bane

Appears In: Star Wars: Legends, Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Darth Bane was not the most powerful Sith ever, but his influence over the future of the Sith order was undeniable.

One thousand years before the formation of the Galactic Empire, the Jedi-Sith fought their final war, which ended with a Jedi-Republic victory. Darth Bane was the lone Sith survivor of the final battle of that war, and he realized that there needed to change for the order to survive.

Bane established the “Rule of Two,” which stated that rather than massive armies of soldiers, the Sith would have no more than two members at any given time—a Master and an apprentice. The Master would teach the apprentice everything until they grew strong enough to defeat their Master.

This rule would continue for thousands of years, but some Sith definitely played fast and loose with it. For example, Count Dooku was Sidious’ apprentice, but Dooku also had Asajj Ventress as a learner. Ventress was a Sith in all but name, a powerful Dark Side user that went toe to toe with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker regularly during the Clone Wars.

3. Darth Vader

Appears In: Star Wars: Legends, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker

This might be a bit of a controversial pick at just number three, but Darth Vader, perhaps the best-known Dark Side user, is not the most powerful Sith ever.

Born Anakin Skywalker, Vader became an extremely powerful Jedi Knight, one who was prophesized to be the “Chosen One” who would bring balance to the Force. Instead of destroying the Sith, he would join them, becoming Darth Sidious’ apprentice to save his wife, Padme Amidala, from death.

He became corrupted by the Dark Side, dueling his former Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who defeated and nearly killed him. Vader was left without any limbs and with extensive burns across his body, leading Palpatine to fit him with cybernetics that would keep him alive, although in constant pain. Vader used his pain and anger to fuel his Dark Side powers, becoming one of the most powerful Sith ever and perhaps the most feared. He was the enforcer of the Empire, using his red lightsaber and black armor to strike fear into his enemies, becoming an instrument of terror to fight the Rebels.

Vader could take on entire companies of Rebels by himself, dispatching them with ease. For as powerful as he was, he was also a useful propaganda tool. The mere mention of his name being an effective weapon in and of itself.

2. Darth Nihilus

Appears In: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords

The last member of the Sith Triumvirate, Darth Nihilus, was one of the survivors of the Battle of Malachor V, which saw the use of a Mass Shadow generator weapon (think something similar to a space nuke.) The weapon made him crave Force energy to such a point that it ravaged his body and turned him into a shadow and a wound in the Force.

Known as the Lord of Hunger, Nihilus worked with Darth Sion to overthrow Darth Traya. They then worked together to try and exterminate the Jedi, nearly destroying the Order entirely. He was defeated by the Jedi Exile, his former apprentice Visas Marr, and Mandalore the Preserver, who managed to sever his connection to the Force long enough for him to be slain.

What made Nihilus so powerful was that he lacked any sort of humanity that he once had, becoming a creature fueled by the Force and nothing else. After he and Sion began their purge, a large gathering of Jedi met on the planet Katarr where Nihilus drained the planet of its Force energy.

The. Entire. Planet.

It devastated the planet, killed nearly everyone on it, and cemented Nihilus’ place amongst Sith legend.

1. Darth Sidious

Appears In: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The one that towers above all the others and the villain of the entire Skywalker Saga, Darth Sidious was unparalleled in his strength in the Force, talents with a lightsaber, and skills with manipulation.

He was able to orchestrate the Clone Wars, secretly controlled both sides, and successfully created the first Galactic (essentially Sith) Empire in generations. Not only was he able to accomplish this, but he also managed to keep his plan hidden from the Jedi the entire time. It wasn’t until Anakin Skywalker discovered his true identity that things nearly came unraveled, but by then, it was too late.

The rule of the Galactic Empire started and ended with Palpatine brutally controlling everything and did not possess an ounce of humanity or compassion for those living under his direction. Palpatine’s only goal was to achieve more power and, through that, immortality.

Through the years, his abilities became so strong that he could not only generate Force Lightning but use it to destroy entire fleets, as seen in Rise of Skywalker. His power also grew to such a point that, as he alluded to in Revenge of the Sith, he was able to cheat death.

When Darth Vader threw his body into the Death Star reactor, he could transfer his consciousness into a clone body on Exegol, a planet across the galaxy. From there, he used his scheming skills again, orchestrating the rise of the First Order, the creation of Supreme Leader Snoke as a puppet, and the Final Order, nearly conquering the galaxy again.

His power was seemingly incalculable, and if he were to face off against any other Sith Lord, he would likely defeat them with ease.