Feature Article

The 5 Best Reissued Games Of 2017

Back again.

Given the multitude of fantastic games that come out every year, we often miss out on a wealth of experiences, whether because they were on a console we didn't have or because they were simply not on our radar. 2017 was packed with re-releases, remasters, and remakes of top-quality games from the recent to far past. The best of the bunch provided not only an opportunity for both veterans and newcomers to jump into an iconic game, but went above and beyond expectations by offering an embarrassment of new content. In no particular order, here are our picks for the best reissued games of 2017.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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Thanks to a series of substantial updates, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the definitive version of Mario Kart to get. It plays beautifully on Switch in both handheld and docked mode, and its core racing is as exciting as ever. And, most notably, it revamps the original's lackluster Battle Mode, rounding out an already great racing game.

In the original version of Mario Kart 8, the balloon-popping Battle Mode repurposed tracks designed for regular racing. All of those tracks have been replaced in Deluxe, and the new Battle maps have choke points great for face-offs, built around central areas where you can mercilessly toss items at your friends.

But even if you’re not a big Battle Mode fan, the racing in Deluxe is enhanced by small updates. The ability to carry two items at once is back from Double Dash, adding another layer of things to worry about on the track, and the Joy-Cons’ HD rumble gives a stronger sense of acceleration from boosts. Your driving ability matters more in Mario Kart 8 than in previous Mario Kart games, and racing in Deluxe is as enjoyable and rewarding for skilled players as it was originally.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

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The best mainline Final Fantasy games are the ones that distinguish themselves as epic RPGs that can be appreciated on their own, apart from other installments in the series. Final Fantasy XII ranks high because of this distinction. Set in the Ivalice universe, it builds off the medieval European aesthetics and worlds previously conceived in Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, with new desert settings that add a complementary Middle Eastern flair.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age not only represents some of the best aspects of Ivalice, it also underscores the timelessness of the game's groundbreaking Gambit battle system. Its semi-automated design gives the impression that it takes away control from you; the reality is the complete opposite. By giving each character up to 12 if/then behaviors, you can tailor an active party into an efficient and organized trio. You feel a sense of accomplishment, because you know it was due to your efficient strategies and battle orders.

Along with remastered visuals, The Zodiac Age has all the key aspects from the International Zodiac Job System edition of FFXII, previously an Asia-only exclusive. The Trials mode is a challenging test of strength and wits. Yet this 100-level enemy rush is only a minor perk when compared the reissue's two standout features: The 2x/4x fast-forward is incredibly well-suited to the fluidity of the Gambit System, cutting what is normally a 100-hour playthrough by half, without dampening the overall experience. And the overhauled Job System affords you more specialized skill paths for your rebellious party of six. While this class customization change comes at the expense of the more expansive license board from the original game, being able to mold Ashe, Vaan, and the rest of their gang into a diverse squad of experts in various fields creates a greater sense of ownership.

Mario + Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions

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Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga could have simply been ported from the Game Boy Advance to the 3DS and nobody would have complained. It's a game that still looks, plays, and sounds great today in its original form. Yet, when Nintendo decided to release the game on 3DS, it saw fit to go the extra mile and revamp it in small ways from top to bottom. Thankfully, the game's original charm remains intact, and it's been improved in the process.

Graphics are the most obvious place to look for upgrades, and people familiar with the original game will notice enhanced animations and redrawn sprites, which add a dash of new personality to the already energetic game. Likewise, the soundtrack has been expanded, with tracks running a bit longer thanks to new material from legendary composer Yoko Shimomura.

Nintendo also saw fit to add a new move in combat, adopting a mechanic from more recent games in the Mario and Luigi RPG series. Traditionally, you could opt to press a button right at the moment of impact to add a little extra damage to your attacks, but you now also have the option of pressing X before an enemy hits you to help soften the blow and save a few HP. It's a small change, but one that makes the turn-based combat feel more active. And when you add all of these tweaks and improvements up, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga is the best it's ever been--another win for 3DS.

Wipeout Omega Collection

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Wipeout Omega Collection is the kind of compilation that underscores the brilliance of the original versions of the games that make up this 3-in-1 set. Experiencing this enhancement of Wipeout HD shows how visually superb the original game was nine years ago. Indeed, you would have to position both games side by side to truly appreciate the improvements, because frankly, there really wasn't a lot to improve upon. Same goes for the wholly substantial Wipeout HD Fury expansion. Whereas the tracks in Wipeout HD were taken from the Wipeout PSP games, Fury's courses are brand new, offering some of the best raceways in the series. One last notable highlight to this collection is the inclusion of Wipeout 2048. Even after racing one lap, it's hard to believe that this game originated as a PS Vita launch title.

Like practically every Wipeout sequel since the groundbreaking Wipeout XL, each has its own design spin--however minor--that gives each installment its own identity. So not only does this collection give you three distinct flavors of Wipeout, it also serves as a time capsule, representing the series' late 2000s return to form, delivering the best anti-gravity competition that this subgenre has to offer. Even if you take away the much appreciated remastered visuals, this reissue is deserving of the attention of any racing fan, even in 2017.

Yakuza Kiwami

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This year's Yakuza 0 was a fantastic entry point into Sega's long-running action game franchise. But 2017 also introduced its successor, Yakuza Kiwami. Not only is Kiwami a brilliant game in its own right, it's an impressive and well-rounded remake of the pivotal entry that started it all. The game offers the series' signature complex storytelling, while masterfully balancing its gangster drama with offbeat, absurdist comedy. It also inherits all the improvements to combat and presentation from Yakuza 0.

In a landscape populated by big-budget, open-world adventures, Kiwami is particularly refreshing in how it revels in the charm of its setting and story. Its repetitive combat sequences and backtracking may be slightly disappointing holdovers from the original game, but if you stick with it, Kiwami pulls you into the engrossing melodrama of its characters and surprises you with its unexpected shifts in tone.

There's nothing quite like Yakuza, and Kiwami doesn't hesitate to show why the series has gained such a cult following. If you haven't tried a Yakuza game before, Kiwami is a perfect a place to start, even if you missed Yakuza 0 earlier this year. Though, please do yourself a favor and play Yakuza 0 too. Afterall, it's never too late to jump on the Yakuza train.

GameSpot will be unveiling its picks for the best games of the year throughout all of December. Check out our Best of 2017 hub for even more.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for DarkGothic
DarkGothic

Final Fantasy XII is the worst game of the Final Fantasy series, deserved eternal oblivion.

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
ZmanBarzel

I'd forgotten the Mario+Luigi remake came out this year. Have to see if my local shop still has it.

Avatar image for lorddaggeroff
lorddaggeroff

https://youtu.be/2ecx0Fh2whE

That's how you reuse a game.

Avatar image for NaturallyEvil
NaturallyEvil

"The best mainline Final Fantasy games are the ones that distinguish themselves as epic RPGs that can be appreciated on their own, apart from other installments in the series."

I found this statement funny, considering there are only about 4 that have anything to do with any other game, and they are all billed as direct sequels. I guess about 80% of them are the best in the series.

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
ZmanBarzel

@NaturallyEvil: I think they're referring not specifically to FF titles without sequels, but ones that are really different when it comes to game mechanics.

Avatar image for sakaixx
sakaiXx

Sony had a stellar year. Even the remasters and remakes is actually welcomed!

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
ZmanBarzel

I picked up "Wipeout Omega" as part of last week's sale on PSN but haven't had a chance to try it yet. This write-up has me really looking forward to it when I get a chance.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

A shame that Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga had no 3D support, if they did all the work to remake it for the 3DS, it's too bad they didn't support its signature feature.

These are all great games, but I'm surprised BotW for Switch wasn't on there for the people who didn't own the Wii U and get to play it on its native platform. jk. Actually I'd like to see all the Wii U content that was ripped out and what the changes were when they decided to bring it out simultaneously with the Switch launch.

I still need to get Kiwami. Mario Kart 8 is still overcomplicated. I hope 9 brings back the simplicity and focuses on the fun, less rubber banding transforming kart modding chaos.

Avatar image for ChrisAnetkaC
ChrisAnetkaC

Love, love, love remasters. The sad part is how slowly they come along. There are so many brilliant games from the past that could use a graphical overhaul. Keep your 8-color-$300-a-piece-scratched-up-tobacco-reeking-dirt-covered original, I want the $20 HD remaster.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

How sad and creatively stagnant has gaming gotten that we even have this category.

Avatar image for sakaixx
sakaiXx

@Thanatos2k: no wipeout on ps4. This is a must buy....

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@Thanatos2k: you must have missed all the original content that released this year -- too much to keep up with in fact. if you want to keep playing ff xii on ps2 on your old tube, so be it, but some of us like seeing these remasters.

Avatar image for risingdawn
Risingdawn

@Thanatos2k:

Board games have re-releases, books get re-issues, films have re-masters, tv shows get repeats. Gaming is a form of media like any other.

Why should games be forgotten, played once and then lost to time on a dusty console nobody plays or owns anymore.

Why should a game be only available to a certain generation, always past up and left behind for something shiny and new. Does the gaming generation of today have such a limited entitled attention span that it can only appreciate and desire the shiny new trinket, that something great or defining be forgotten simply because it's not 'new'

Like it or not gaming systems change, thankfully graphics and qol improve and generations of gamers begin a hobby on new consoles. Remasters keep a game current, bring a game to a new audience or improve on something that was good enough in the first place to still be a valid gaming experience.

Your problem is you have cast your own set of values and experience on a collective of people that may never have played these games before or owned the console they run on or even been old enough to play the game in the first place, why shouldn't they get to experience something that you yourself did, why shouldn't someone enjoy something they have already played years ago. After all people still get to play chess, or watch a remastered Star Wars Return of the Jedi, it doesn't mean new films or board games aren't created.

Avatar image for siritokakyou
siritokakyou

@Thanatos2k: If you want to blame then you have to mention the current gaming generation where people don't appreciate the classic titles anymore, mainly boycott them because of graphical reasons (thanks to EA, Activision, Ubisoft with graphical train hype), plus Sony and Nintendo simply moved on from backward compatibility, therefore, remastered games exist. But that doesn't mean remastered games are holding the creativity and development of new IPs down, it is good to bring old games into newer platforms, with new styles and looks and even more: new modes and stuffs. The clear examples are Yakuza 0/Kiwami, CrashBandicoot Insane Trilogy. I'm fine with them as long as they are truely remastered, not a lazy upscaled resolution port to milk more money -> Koei, Capcom, Bandai Namco, etc

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd1e31726b43

@Thanatos2k: I wouldn't say remaking old games for current gen is stagnant. It's like we are taking our favorite games with us through the generations.... I am really really looking forward to Shadow of The Colossus and Okami HD both of which are remakes of their originals.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Legend_of_Link: They've ALREADY released Shadow of the Colossus remastered. Christ how many remastered versions do you need?

Why are people so happy to buy something they already own?

Avatar image for ChrisAnetkaC
ChrisAnetkaC

@Thanatos2k: PS3 is dead and so are the games. Sony is slowly resurrecting them for PS4. Why is that wrong? Why do you insist on worshiping the PS3 version of this game?

Avatar image for simulacraman
simulacraman

@Thanatos2k: It's their money. If they make people happy, what diff does it make? And there's no dearth of new games to play.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd1e31726b43

@Thanatos2k: Dude the newest version of Shadow of Colossus looks stunning. It is a classic game that can greatly benefit from our current technology. Most everyone I know is pumped up for this remaster. I personally only beat the first 2 colossus on PS2 a million years ago. So this remaster has great appeal to me. The footage from the game so far is incredible.... Check out this video from paris games week if you have not seen it yet. It really shows how much detail they are adding to the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-eiJHiLhOs

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Legend_of_Link: Let's get this straight - you had the game, inexplicably stopped playing one of the best games of all time just so you could wait a decade and buy not the first remastered version but the SECOND?

I....don't believe you.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd1e31726b43

@Thanatos2k: I have zero reason to lie to you. I had the game but at that time in my life I was playing a lot of games and I was also busy with school... I also was young enough to not appreciate a lot of the finer details that make the game great. Since playing way back when I have gain an appreciation for the music in games... Specifically orchestra. I have also gained an interest in Japanese made games and I really enjoyed The Last Guardian so... Yes I am very excited for this remake and i have only beaten a couple of the bosses so this will feel fresh to me. Plus from what I can see this remaster is going to be very well done. I am not trying to argue with you. Just having a conversation.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Legend_of_Link: So go back and finish it. What is stopping you.

Avatar image for poe13
poe13

@Thanatos2k: lol yeah, and he’s gonna stop after beating the 2nd colossus again like last time and then buy the remaster again when the PS6 comes out. Gamers are easy to please.

“Ooooo, shiny graphics. Shit! Game is too hard. Now I remember why i didn’t play this all the way through”

Avatar image for simulacraman
simulacraman

@poe13: Grow up.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd1e31726b43

@poe13: My taste in games since last playing this has changed tremendously. I used to be mostly FPS when I was younger. Now I only play single player games. Games like the Last Guardian, Nier Automata, Ni No Kuni, Horizon Zero Down are more my kind of game now. That is why I am fairly confident that I will play and beat this game all the way through. I also enjoy a challenge now a days and back in the day I just wanted to grind on COD which I can't stand doing anymore.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd1e31726b43

I guess Okami HD came out to late in the year to make this list.

Avatar image for xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

@Legend_of_Link: Okami HD came out on PS3 in 2012. This is just a re-release of a re-release.

Avatar image for ChrisAnetkaC
ChrisAnetkaC

@xOmniCloudx: PS3 is dead and so are the PS3 Okami HD and 720p. Why should anyone want it if they can get it on their PS4?

Avatar image for xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

@ChrisAnetkaC: Because they already played it in HD and this barely looks any different and it's more expensive to boot. Unless you never played Okami in any form before, this version is pointless. PS3 being dead also means most already had one and still do, more have one over PS4 and everything's far cheaper. Okami HD on PS4 is a redundant unnecessary release that's just a cash grab. Regardless, the point of the comment is that this isn't the first HD re-release of Okami while it is for the other games so Okami doesn't qualify.

Avatar image for ChrisAnetkaC
ChrisAnetkaC

@xOmniCloudx: But this isn't "5 best games reissued in HD for the first time" category only "5 best reissued games". Therefore PS4 Okami qualifies as it's not just the PS3 720p game in a PS4 case but an updated version that someone put hundreds of hours into making (and for that effort and sweat you'd gladly not pay him a dime). A legitimate shiny new product that someone without a PS3 can enjoy for years to come in a world where the PS3 will only be a vague bad dream. Why are you so opposed to a company trying to preserve the title they're rightly proud of for future generations? It's one thing to be wary of efforts by companies like EA or Activision but you sound like an enemy of the gaming industry as a whole. It's exactly that kind of attitude that has sank many good studios whose next projects we'll never be able to witness and enjoy.

Avatar image for tonywilson
tonywilson

@xOmniCloudx: Technically they're correct though: our cutoff was December 1 ;)

Staff
Avatar image for siritokakyou
siritokakyou

@Legend_of_Link: Even if it did, I doubt that it would make it into the list. The game released since 2006 yet it is almost 2018 now and Capcom cannot get it into 60 fps which is disappointed. I'm sure you would say that I only nitpick about the framerate with PC master beep thing or like that (and I can play fine with 30 fps too), but the port overall is not that great either according to many PC players as it still have many bugs relating to camera, controls and performance.

Avatar image for jasenj1
jasenj1

@Legend_of_Link: It's the only sane reason. At least we know one game that will be on next year's list.