Top 10 Remakes/Remasters of All Time

With the next-generation of consoles on the horizon, now is the time to dive into some old classics that have been given a new lease of life.

With the next-generation of consoles right around the corner, now is the time for reflection. A look back at the many games that have released over the years and left an impact in the world of gaming, but perhaps more importantly, those remakes and remasters that have breathed new life into classic games. 

As this generation ends a wealth of older titles are receiving a revival and a new chance to find an audience. From Destroy All Humans to Mafia: Definitive Edition, these games didn’t necessarily sell millions of copies such as The Last of Us Part II, but they made an impact on an audience, warranting the desire for a reimagining.

So, let’s look back over the top most notable remasters and remakes of all time!

10. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Admittedly on launch, The Master Chief Collection hit quite a few snags. The multiplayer was a mess and practically unplayable. It took the development team years to get it sorted, but boy, was it worth the wait.

The Master Chief Collection bundles every single one of the Master Chief’s adventures into one concise package. Perhaps one of the most wonderful things about the collection is how further adventures have been added over time.

Halo 3: ODST and Halo; Reach have both joined the fray. The game now works flawlessly, with players able to jump between the history of the Halo franchise with ease. It’s accessible, massive and a must have for fans of the series.

9. Okami

When Okami first came out, it was easy to dismiss the title as just another Zelda clone. To a certain extent it is, but Okami boasts such an impressive visual art style and unique setting that it’s hard not to fall in love with the world it’s built.

Drenched in Japanese folklore, Okami is an adventure filled with personality, character and a joyous experience to uncover as you mark your path in the world and are equipped with a magical celestial brush that acts as a means to explore the land even further.

The remaster gives players another chance, even better is the Nintendo Switch port which allows players to use the touch screen for the brush strokes. Magical.

8. Metroid: Samus Returns

The Metroid formula has been replicated hundreds of times since its incarnation. You can’t play many games without stumbling into the formula being utilised in some way or another. The term Metroidvania gets thrown around fairly often, but Metroid: Samus Returns is based on the genre's origins. 

Working as a remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, the new incarnation reworks the popular franchise and encourages a new audience to see what the fuss is about. Sporting precise controls, intricate level design and dozens of secrets to uncover, it’s easy to see why the franchise is so popular and why so many titles used the concept for their own ideas.

7. The PS3’s Platforming Remasters

The PlayStation 2 was home to the ignition of many platforming giants. Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, and Sly Cooper. All made their mark and all were able to form incredible trilogies across the generation. Sadly, those who didn’t own the console missed out on some of the most incredible platformers of our time. 

Then the PS3 released and across its lifespan each mascot was granted a new opportunity to show the world just what fantastic little gems each one was.

Each trilogy was beautifully remastered with gorgeous HD visuals and came bundled with dozens of hours worth of content. It was a wonderful chance to relive adventures with old friends and bring an entirely new audience into the magnificent worlds that each game produced.

6. Shadow of the Colossus Remake

While the murky colour palette of the original served well at the time, with age it’s become a bit of an eye sore. Even with the PS3 remaster, the world was still missing that tiny bit of life to elevate its majesty.

In comes the PS4 remake of Shadow of the Colossus, which not only takes the pitch perfect gameplay of the original, but infuses a truly stunning graphics engine to provide the world the grandeur it deserves.

Taking down these goliaths with more elaborate animations and detailed physical structures is truly breath-taking. Despite being based off an older title, it manages to modernise it to today’s standards while truly capturing the spirit of the source material. A masterpiece.

5. Yakuza Franchise

Yakuza’s rise of popularity in the west over the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. The niche franchise has garnered a huge fan base and as a result, the entire series is now playable on the PS4.

Not only that, but with each new installment ported over, many graphical upgrades and gameplay improvements have been made. Yakuza Kiwami 2 for example is a remake of the second game using the engine used in Yakuza 6.

Having the whole collection on one system is pretty neat and a fantastic way to experience Kiryu's story.

4. Black Mesa

While fans desperately claw to find any information regarding Half-Life 3, Black Mesa is a fan made remake of the original. Originating as a mod, it was quickly greenlit by Valve to receive the full remake treatment.

Black Mesa manages to modernise an already classic game with a brand new lick of paint and creating a more realised world. It’s easy to see why the Half-Life series is so well loved and how fans are desperate for a conclusion to the story when the original entry contains a fantastic story and addictive first-person gameplay.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

The Zelda series is no stranger to getting remastered. Entries have been given a new lease of life multiple times on various systems, but nothing quite like how Link’s Awakening was crafted.

As a ground-up remake, Link’s Awakening is a gorgeous recreation of a beloved game. Perhaps one of the lesser known titles in the series, the Nintendo Switch reincarnation manages to bring a beautifully realised world to life through a toy-like aesthetic. It’s a new art style for the franchise and one that works.

The open ended nature of Link’s Awakening fits perfectly in today’s standards as players can experiment, explore and uncover the mysteries of the world organically.

2. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Hype around this game circulated for years. The development cycle was long, but ultimately worth it. Final Fantasy VII Remake did something pretty unique. Instead of remaking the whole game, the first part was essentially expanded and examined for a fully fledged experience.

This gave fans the chance to explore the world they’d grown to love over the years in a new light. Simply more than a mere graphical upgrade, the remake adds dozens of hours of new content and even significantly changes up the story. So now, when part two arrives, even those who are familiar with the narrative will be privy to a few wholesome surprises.

1. Resident Evil 2 Remake

I never got the opportunity to dive into the original Resident Evil series. As a horror fan I was doing myself a massive disservice and betraying the genre as a whole. Obviously when the remake hit shelves it was an experience that begged to be delved into and unsurprisingly enough, it became one of the best horror games of all time.

The change to a third person perspective pushed players closer to the horror and the updated graphics engine made Racoon City a truly desolate environment to chip away at. The remake served as a love letter to the original game, made by fans for the fans. Oh, and I still have nightmares about Mr. X to this day.

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Whether you feel the time for remakes and remakes is over or not, it's hard to deny the power and effort that entries have attempted. Any favourites we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Contributor

Published Jul. 10th 2020

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