10 Games That Deserve A Remake Or Remaster
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Electronic Arts recently announced a remake of Dead Space, the publisher's beloved sci-fi survival horror classic. That seems like a very good idea, given the success horror remakes have brought to Capcom, which had a huge win with the remade Resident Evil 2 (and an okay one with Resident Evil 3).
Recently, more and more games have gotten the remake and remaster treatment. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. While I love seeing new intellectual properties chart new territory, and sequels add new twists to games I love, I also really like the idea of being able to share games I consider classics with a new generation of players, especially the ones that haven't aged all that gracefully, like Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, or Goldeneye 007.
Many older beloved titles are being pulled into the modern era by way of remakes and remasters, and there are plenty of other titles deserving of that attention. So here's my list of 10 games (or franchises, more aptly) that developers and publishers should consider remaking.
1. King's Field
From Software burst into mainstream gaming prominence thanks to Hidetaka Miyazaki and the Souls series. Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice were all instant classics, and some of the best games of the modern gaming generation.
But even before Miyazaki and Souls gained prominence, From Software had been around for a long time; its first game was a launch title for the Playstation 1. Since then, it has created a few properties that stood out, such as Armored Core and Shadow Tower. But what I think truly deserves the remake/remaster treatment is the King's Field series.
When the first King's Field was released in the US, many American critics dunked on it for being too slow and plodding, and not as fast-paced as Doom. Because back then, if it was a first-person game, it had to be compared to Doom. But the thing is, at their core, these games were absolutely fantastic. Leveling up and enemies were incredibly well-balanced, and exploration was always rewarding. The games did a fantastic job of managing risk and reward during exploration, with a plethora of weapons, armor, and equipment that your character could find, which genuinely helped in your progression without feeling utterly broken.
The games had an interesting and creepy vibe to their labyrinths, and with a healthy dose of imagination, many of these areas were truly haunting and spooky. But those blocky PlayStation-era graphics definitely don't hold up today, especially in the first few games of the series. While there was a far better-looking PS2 sequel in King's Field: The Ancient City, even that could use a nice boost.
With a graphical overhaul and a reworking of some of the dungeon design of the earlier games, I truly think a King's Field Remastered Collection would be an absolute gem--and there are enough From Software fans today that it would find a big audience.
2. Super Mario 64
This might be a controversial suggestion, but I'm going to stand by it.
The Mario franchise features some of the greatest platforming games ever made, and they have truly stood the test of time. And Super Mario 64 was absolutely revolutionary when it was released. It defined what a 3D platformer could be back before anyone knew how to navigate platforming in a 3D space--and it pretty much invented the 3D collect-a-thon genre.
But today, the game feels a little clunky. The camera controls are completely outdated, and the platforming itself, honestly, feels a little off. It's not nearly as tight as future entries in the Mario series.
I don't think anything really needs to change with this title in terms of its design. It's still a classic, and honestly, I actually think the smaller levels of the game are a plus when compared to the levels of similar games being released today. Sometimes 3D collect-a-thons get bogged down in worlds that are overly big and empty.
If Super Mario 64 received a graphical upgrade similar to what Super Mario All-Stars did for the NES Mario games, as well as a reworked camera and slightly less clunky controls, I think it would modernize one of gaming's biggest classics. And look, I know there was a Nintendo DS remaster back in 2004, but I'm talking about a complete graphical and control overhaul. Think about Peach's castle from Super Mario Odyssey, but for all of Super Mario 64.
3. Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger is often considered one of the greatest games of all time. In fact, it's my personal favorite game of all time. So do I think it needs a remake? No. It's perfect as-is. The music is some of the best in gaming, the graphics are charming, and the RPG gameplay is absolutely spot-on.
That said, while a version of the SNES classic saw releases on PlayStation, PC, Nintendo DS, and mobile, not much has been changed about Chrono Trigger over the years, and its status as an "old game" has the potential to eventually cause it to be lost to time--ironic, given the time travel premise of the game. And that's the great thing about remakes and remasters--they introduce these properties to an entirely new set of gamers.
Remakes with Square Enix are a bit of a gamble. On one hand, you might get the Seiken Densetsu 3 remake, which enhances the game in some ways, but is a detriment in others. You might get the Secret of Mana remake, which is, well, better left not talked about. Or, you might get the Final Fantasy VII treatment--which, while different from the 1997 release, is a fantastic game in its own right and a loving tribute to the original game.
Chrono Trigger deserves that love. And you know what? I've played Chrono Trigger for the perfect game it is. If the game received the FFVII Remake treatment, I'd still always have that original game to play, and I'd be excited to see the new ways the game could be remixed, like one of your favorite musical tracks getting a new twist to it.
4. Final Fantasy VI
While we're on the topic of Square Enix and classics that have never quite gotten the full remake or remaster treatment, FFVII has seen the love it deserves, and I cannot wait for Part 2. But another absolute classic from the Final Fantasy franchise that's slowly being forgotten is Final Fantasy VI.
FFVI was, in my opinion, the pinnacle of the 2D Final Fantasy games. Kefka is still one of gaming's greatest villains, and while the game is absolutely stunning in 2D--and I love pixel art--if it was recreated properly in 3D, it could be a visual spectacle. Just imagine that opera scene fully realized in a 3D setting.
Similar to FFVII, Final Fantasy VI could be a visual feast with a completely overhauled remake. And that's not to say there's anything wrong with the original game: there isn't. It's just that Square Enix did a fantastic job with its treatment of Final Fantasy VII and I'd love to see how that could be applied to VI.
5. Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid will never be the same without Hideo Kojima. His vision is part of what made these games, so it's a little hard to imagine any future sequels without his involvement.
But the MGS games still are classics, and while Metal Gear Solid 4 and 5 have carried the torch, I do feel like it would be great to see Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 remade for modern systems--and provided as a way for newer Metal Gear Solid fans to play the originals. While Metal Gear Solid got a remake in The Twin Snakes for the GameCube, that was still nearly 20 years ago. At the time, The Twin Snakes was a fairly impressive overhaul of an already great game, and there's no reason not to give MGS another pass.
There actually are rumors circulating that the first four titles of the Metal Gear Solid series could be getting HD remasters, and I'm all for it.
6. Mega Man Legends
Remember how I said Chrono Trigger was my favorite game of all time? Well, Mega Man is a strong competitor for my love and attention.
But I honestly don't feel there's much to improve about the classic Mega Man games. The platforming is tight, the graphics have aged surprisingly well--the pixel art for the series was just that good--and the music is still some of gaming's best. In fact, 2D platform games are one of the genres that can't really gain too much from a 3D update. If anything, it can risk destroying the charm of those pixel graphics.
But there was a 3D Mega Man game that could actually benefit from a modern remake: Mega Man Legends.
Despite being relatively obscure for the franchise, the game is charming and deserving of more attention. Thanks to its cutesy look, Mega Man Legends doesn't actually look too terrible for a Playstation 1 era game, but imagine how the game could look with modern cel-shaded graphics to enhance its anime style. And while the gameplay was good in concept, it suffered from being one of the first 3D console games. By today's standards, controlling Mega Man feels stiff, and could definitely use an upgrade. With a remake, Capcom could help elevate the already solid foundation of Mega Man Legends, helping to make it a classic on par with other entries in the franchise.
7. Silent Hill 1-4
Resident Evil and Silent Hill have long been considered two of the best survival horror franchises. Resident Evil has thrived, seeing fantastic remakes and remasters that have managed to capture the spirit of the original games, with updated sensibilities, as well as great sequels, especially lately. Sadly, Silent Hill has had the opposite fate. While Silent Hill 2 and 3 both received HD remasters in 2012, Silent Hill 2's remake was completely butchered, drawing criticisms for issues like missing the atmospheric fog that was an integral part of the game, and re-recorded dialogue. Silent Hill 3 suffered similiar technical issues as well. The less said about those remakes, the better.
But as we've seen with the Resident Evil franchise, horror games, in particular, benefit from remakes, particularly when they gain better sound and graphics. And the Silent Hill franchise truly is deserving of this. While much of the horror of these games is psychological, a true visual upgrade would only serve to enhance it. Even though it was released on the original PlayStation, Silent Hill remains a technically impressive game. While the graphics and sound could be improved thanks to technological enhancements, not much else would have to change for Silent Hill to be great for modern gaming audiences.
Ever since the madness of Abandoned, there have been constant rumors of a new Silent Hill game. Konami announced a partnership earlier this year with Bloober Team, who developed The Medium, Blair Witch, and Layers of Fear, and many have speculated that the collaboration could create a new Silent Hill game. On the other hand, there have also been rumors that a reboot is already in the works for the original Silent Hill.
8. Jet Set Radio
In the late '90s and early 2000s, teenage rebellion took the form of extreme sports, punk music, and elements of hip hop. While Tony Hawk Pro Skater excellently incorporated those elements to become a beloved franchise, there was another game that resonated with me even more: Jet Set Radio.
Jet Set Radio and its sequel, Jet Set Radio Future, see you playing as a rebel rollerblade gang, tagging the streets of Tokyo-to with graffiti and escaping from the cops. While Tony Hawk was primarily all about seeing how many tricks you could combo before a time limit expired, Jet Set Radio was unique in combining trick elements with actual objectives of tagging the neighborhoods of the game, with rival gangs and the cops acting as antagonists who could actually hurt the player. Meanwhile, its sequel, Jet Set Radio Future, increased the verticality of the level design to make every area a unique trick-fest.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 showed that updating this style of game truly does work--not only graphically but with new elements. The world of Tokyo-To deserves that kind of treatment.
9. Power Stone
Around the time the first Super Smash Bros. was released to the Nintendo 64, the Dreamcast and arcades were getting their very own unique 3D brawlers. Power Stone and Power Stone 2 were two incredibly fun takes on the fighting game genre. While fighting games had gone 3D well before these games were released, Power Stone made the entire arena a part of your arsenal, with characters able to pick up chairs, bombs, and other weapons they could toss at enemies or utilize.
Power Stone 2 took this a step further, introducing four-player matches and moving, interactive arenas. That meant these arenas weren't just background flavor, but each brought unique challenges you would have to overcome while fighting... similar to some of the arenas of Smash Brothers. There were even bosses in Power Stone 2, and an overwhelming amount of things you could unlock through playing.
Sadly, due to only being ported to the Dreamcast and eventually the PSP, the games never saw the love and attention they deserved. However, there's rumors that Capcom leaked plans to release a remake of the game, possibly even later this year.
10. Jet Moto
There are some genres that have slowly died over time, and one of those was the jet ski/wave runner/speed boat racer. Jet Moto, in particular, stood out from that ill-fated genre for its creative track designs. While the game started typically enough--you're in water and have a few ramps you'll jump off of--eventually, you'll find yourself racing in forests, along broken bridges, over snowy mountains, and through swamps. Jet Moto 2 took this even further--it had a course that literally took you through Heaven and Hell.
Part of what made these games so fun was the insane amount of air you could get with each jump, and how you'd have to deal with the consequences of landing from those extreme heights, which could result in disaster. Similarly, you also had a number of boosts that could serve to launch you into first place, or potentially send you hurtling off a cliff or slamming into a wall.
The last game in the series, Jet Moto 3, was released in 1999, and sadly, that was the end of the series. But enough realistic racers! While kart games are a load of fun, what the world needs is the return of Jet Moto!