Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (often abbreviated KOTOR or KotOR) is a role-playing video game set in the Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts, the game was released for the Xbox on July 19, 2003, and for Microsoft Windows on November 19, 2003. The game was later ported to Mac OS X, iOS, and Android by Aspyr, and it is playable on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One via their respective backward compatibility features. A Nintendo Switch version was released on November 11, 2021.
The story of Knights of the Old Republic takes place almost 4,000 years before the formation of the Galactic Empire, where Darth Malak, a Dark Lord of the Sith, has unleashed a Sith armada against the Galactic Republic. The player character, as a Jedi, must venture to different planets in the galaxy to defeat Malak. Players choose from three character classes (Scout, Soldier or Scoundrel) and customize their characters at the beginning of the game, and engage in round-based combat against enemies. Through interacting with other characters and making plot decisions, players can earn Light Side and Dark Side Points, and the alignment system will determine whether the player’s character aligns with the light or dark side of the Force.
The game was directed by Casey Hudson, designed by James Ohlen, and written by Drew Karpyshyn. LucasArts proposed developing a game tied to Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, or a game set thousands of years before the prequels. The team chose the latter as they thought that they would have more creative freedom. Ed Asner, Ethan Phillips, and Jennifer Hale were hired to perform voices for the game’s characters, while Jeremy Soule composed the soundtrack. Announced in 2000, the game was delayed several times before its release in July 2003.
The game received critical acclaim upon release, with critics applauding the game’s characters, story, and sound. It was nominated for numerous awards and is considered one of the best video games ever made. A sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords, developed by Obsidian Entertainment at BioWare’s suggestion, was released in 2004. The series’ story continued with the 2011 release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by BioWare.
In September 2021, an upcoming remake of the game was announced to be in development by Aspyr for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 5.