With the excellent remake of Shadow of the Colossus hitting the PlayStation 4 next week, we got to thinking – what other games deserve to be remade from the ground up? Or, at the very least, which games could use a bit of a remaster spit-shine? Colossus is perhaps one of the best remakes ever made and its remaster will give countless players who never had the chance to play through the original masterpiece a wonderful opportunity to scratch it off their bucket lists. These following games are similarly fantastic, but many haven’t aged well and are hard to go back to considering how far technology has come. Without further ado, here are ten games that deserve a makeover.
We can’t start off a list inspired by Shadow of the Colossus without bringing up its older sibling. Ico was, naturally, the first game ever developed by the now-defunct Team Ico, and though it often gets overlooked in favor of the infinitely more marketable Shadow of the Colossus, it was praised upon its release. It also had a lot of issues that could use some ironing out, just like its younger sibling. Its controls were obtuse and unwieldy, and its graphics (though beautiful) were a bit muddled. Bluepoint Games did an excellent job of fixing these in their latest remake and considering they also remastered Ico along with Shadow of the Colossus back on the PlayStation 3, they already know the game back to front. The world’s best escort mission deserves one more shot at mass appeal – even if it does only take about six hours to beat.
Final Fantasy VIII
No, Final Fantasy VIII doesn’t need a full-on remake like Final Fantasy VII is getting (and lord knows we don’t want it turned into an action game split into multiple parts). But what it does deserve is an HD port for the PlayStation 4 – heck, an HD version with a speed-up option and battle assist has been out on Steam for nearly five years now. All we’re asking is for this version to make the hop over to consoles like the HD ports of Final Fantasy VII and IX have already done. Frankly, fans need to give its complex (but satisfying) Junction system another shot.
Okay, yes, this would technically be three games, but all the best trilogies have either been remastered or remade as a group. The PlayStation 3 had a deluge of HD ports of PlayStation 2 trilogies, including the Ratchet, Jak and Sly games. But, more importantly, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, released last year for the PlayStation 4, was a great way to remake those games – slightly touched up controls, completely redone graphics, and a few bells and whistles here and there. The same team, Vicarious Visions, would be a perfect matchup to take on this project, considering they’ve also been working on Skylander games since 2011. Time hasn’t been kind to our little purple friend, but bringing back the glory days of when Insomniac was at the series’ helm would be a wonderful reminder of how great these games used to be.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Yes, Skyward Sword only came out about six years ago, but considering Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD both got the remaster treatment on the Wii U, it’s only fair this entry gets a similar makeover for the Switch. Not only are the Switch’s JoyCon more than up to the task of replicating the Wii Motion+’s 1:1 motion controls, it could easily surpass them and make the game play even more smoothly. Sure, figuring out how to make the game playable in handheld mode would be tricky, but I’m sure Nintendo could figure it out. Many fans look down on Skyward Sword, but it received rave reviews back when it was originally released, and since it will be a while before we get a follow-up to Breath of the Wild, it would be a wonderful stop-gap while we impatiently wait.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
There was a rumor going around just before the most recent Nintendo Direct that Link’s Awakening (the best 2D Zelda game, don’t fight me on this) was being remade for the 3DS. Sure, we’d prefer a remake on the Switch, but considering how awesome Metroid: Samus Returns was (a similar 3DS remake of an old GameBoy classic), it’s hard to argue that an updated Link’s Awakening would be anything less than awesome. MercurySteam could be a great developer for this remake, but Grezzo (the team who remade Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask for the 3DS) would be even better. It’s time to go back to Koholint Island.
System Shock 1 & 2
System Shock has inspired countless developers to make amazing games – even if Bioshock were the only title it helped engender, that would be enough. It’s still considered to be one of the greatest games ever made, and its sequel is considered to be even better. We’re wary of a full-on remake, because there are just so many things that could go wrong (like, what if they turned it into a military shooter? Blasphemy). At the same time, the games are a bit archaic at this point, and a new coat of paint would be insufficient to bring the game up to modern standards – in fact, this sort of remaster already came to fruition in 2015. At this very moment, Night Dive Studios is attempting a “reimagining” of the original System Shock. If that takes off, hopefully its sequel will get a full-blown makeover as well.
Deus Ex is one of the many games influenced by System Shock, but its series is in a much different place. Eidos Montreal has kept this futuristic and gritty action role-playing stealth franchise going with prequels to the original – Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Deus Ex Mankind Divided. With the timeline inching closer and closer to the original Deus Ex, perhaps Eidos will take the opportunity to remake the game from the ground up. Of course, it would likely include a lot of the elements they’ve been including into their prequels, but the base is already there and a remake could very well be in the cards sometime down the line.
Dark Cloud 1 & 2
Before they got the chance to tackle Dragon Quest VIII (which remains the best Dragon Quest game, at least until XI hits western shores), Level-5 made two extremely unique games. Dark Cloud, for the PlayStation 2, combined action-RPG dungeon crawling with a unique town building mechanic that got gamers hooked. Dark Cloud 2 (Dark Chronicles outside North America) took everything the original did and improved upon it substantially. Though Level-5 is busy getting Ni No Kuni II out the door, they could very well help bring the games that started it all to new consoles – perhaps as remakes rather than remasters. But let’s be honest: if Level-5 ever returns to Dark Cloud, most fans would just want a sequel instead.
Fallout 1 & 2
The Fallout Series has switched hands a few times now. The first two Fallout games were published by Interplay Entertainment, but only the first game was actually developed by them – Black Isle Studios handled the sequel, though much of the original team was carried over. Then Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel hit the market, but were not nearly as well received as the originals. In 2008, after Bethesda bought the rights to Fallout from Interplay, they released Fallout 3 – it was still an open-world action role-playing game, but instead of being played from an isometric perspective, it could be played in the first or third person. Obsidian took on Fallout: New Vegas, and Bethesda most recently revisited the series with Fallout 4. The series is more popular than ever, and it’s unlikely Bethesda will revisit the original entries they didn’t make in the first place. If they did, expect them to be more in line with their recent output, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. It would be great to be able to revisit the wastelands of the original games in a modern context, and lord knows those vaults need to be explored by more gamers.
Metal Gear 1 & 2
The Metal Gear Solid series is legendary. The original on the PlayStation 1 blew everyone’s collective mind with its insane plot, intriguing stealth-action and unforgettable gameplay gimmicks. The series continued under Hideo Kojima’s vision as critical powerhouses, with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain eventually taking the series into open-world territory. Thing is, Metal Gear didn’t begin with Metal Gear Solid. It began with Metal Gear 1 and 2 (just forget about the unofficial sequel Snake’s Revenge) – a couple of 2D stealth action-adventure games for the MSX2. The games still hold up and they both have the zany storytelling from subsequent Solid games, just toned down. Still, there aren’t many options for fans who want to play through them and they are technically still 8-bit games. Remakes of these games would be fantastic, but they absolutely should keep their original top-down perspective and 2D graphics – after all, that’s what largely differentiates them from the later games. The fact of the matter is the plots of Metal Gear 1 & 2 are integral to the series’ convoluted narrative and many fans have absolutely no idea how Solid Snake and Big Boss’ relationship began (or thought it began). These games deserve a total make over, even if a Kojima-less Konami is behind it.