The first role-playing game based in the Star Wars universe finds players controlling a three-party team from a third-person perspective. The setting takes place 4,000 years before the formation of the Galactic Empire, where the Jedi and Sith number in the thousands and are embroiled in a war that could upset the balance of the Force. Players choose a male or female human character to begin the game, with three classes initially available: scoundrel, scout, and soldier. During the adventure players will meet with a wide assortment of races, including humans, droids, Wookiees, and Twil'leks, with nine additional characters able to join their party.

The journey will span seven worlds as players ultimately decide on a path of good or evil, from the confines of the Jedi Academy on Dantooine to the forests of Kashyyyk, the Sith realm of Korriban, and the desert planet of Tatooine. Developer BioWare moves away from the interface used in its Baldur's Gate series to create a new turn-based combat system using the 3D engine. Players will also be able to ride a swoop bike to earn cash rewards, fend off enemy ships from behind a gun turret, and participate in other events, such as an original card game loosely based on blackjack, that offer a diversion from the main storyline.

As players grow in ability during the course of adventuring, whether it's by completing quests or through the rigors of combat, they can return to their main vessel, the Ebon Hawk, to train, build custom weapons, or to swap members in and out of their party. The Ebon Hawk also serves as the primary means of transport between worlds. Knights of the Old Republic is exclusive to the Xbox console at the time of its release, with a PC version of the game available in November 2003. Both games feature interfaces and settings unique to the platform on which they appear. Those with an Xbox Live connection will also be able to download bonus content, including additional worlds, characters, and quests. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide