With the rapid advancement of technology comes a dated line-up of video games. Unlike classic movies that can be enjoyed at any time, a video game is primarily dependant on the era in which it was created. For example, Resident Evil was a groundbreaking release back in 1996, but it is borderline unplayable today. That’s why it’s been remade and remastered about a hundred times.
Video games - unlike other forms of entertainment like books, movies, and music – have the unfortunate distinction of aging within a very short window. What was revolutionary and amazing five years ago may now seem dated, and while its fans may hold on and go back to it every now again, new players are likely to scrunch their noses at its archaic gameplay mechanics and graphics. This is why the late 2010s seem to be the age of the remaster and the remake.
There have been a swarm of remasters and remakes in recent years, and they all vary in complexity. Some are slight touch-ups like the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. Some are complete visual overhauls, like Shadow of the Colossus. And some are complete, top-to-bottom remakes like the recent Resident Evil 2. Regardless of the work involved, it’s safe to say that we are currently in a golden age of… old video games.
And there are even more on the horizon due to insistent and relentless fan demand. These are fifteen more remasters and remakes that are actually happening, plus ten that we wish were coming.
The Assassin’s Creed series is no stranger to remasters. In 2016, we saw The Ezio Collection, which consisted of remastered versions of II, Brotherhood, and Revelations (you know, the Ezio games). And now, come March, we will see a completely remastered Assassin’s Creed III. The release is set to contain a ton of upgrades, including new character models, higher resolution textures, and significantly-improved graphics (including 4K upscaling). Is it only a matter of time before we see Black Flag again?
Seriously, where is our Hit & Run remaster already!? This is arguably the greatest Simpsons video game in existence, a beautiful and wild blend of Grand Theft Auto and that signature Simpsons wackiness. Not only was it the most fun and faithful Simpsons experience, but it was a legitimately great game in its own right thanks to the engaging gameplay and expansive map. We think a remaster of this classic would be just the thing to satiate the appetite of both PS2 and Simpsons devotees.
The current System Shock remake is also being undertaken by Nightdive Studios, the same team behind the Blood remaster. However, unlike that game, System Shock is going to be a whole new experience remade from the ground-up. And it’s going to be fantastic. While the game was originally scheduled for 2018, the team had to basically start over after the project became too ambitious (and expensive). It is now scheduled for a 2020 release. So, you know, mark your 2020 calendars.
Everyone seems to have forgotten about the Legacy of Kain series, which is a darned shame. The second entry, Soul Reaver, received unanimous praise and was quickly labeled one of the PlayStation’s best action-adventure titles. And then everyone just kind of forgot about it. No remasters, no remake, no nothing. Yeah, there were sequels, but none matched the glorious heights of Soul Reaver. This is not the legacy that this masterpiece deserves. That said, Crystal Dynamics has teased a possible remaster, so fingers crossed.
Do you guys remember that PlayStation game Fear Effect? No? Exactly. Fear Effect was a game primarily known for its cinematic and distinctive graphics, as it featured cel-shaded characters within full-motion video backgrounds. The project was so ambitious and technologically progressive that it was released in four discs, which was basically unheard of at the time. A remake, titled Fear Effect Reinvented, is currently in the works, although it has abandoned its signature cel-shaded visual style. Needless to say, some fans aren’t very happy…
Sure, we may have gotten Dark Souls: Remastered, but what about poor, forgotten Demon’s Souls? No one ever cares about Demon’s Souls. It would be a good idea to reinvigorate this game, not only because no one seems to know about it (outside of From’s loyal fan-base that is), but because its mechanics and graphics have been vastly overshadowed by the Dark Souls series. And while Hidetaka Miyazaki claims that a remaster IS possible, he will have no part of it. Womp womp.
Serving as the third game in the Warcraft universe, Reign of Chaos introduced 3D, the Night Elves, and the Undead to the Warcraft series. It was a huge success upon release and served as a major inspiration for future real-time strategy titles, and many of its concepts carried over to the enormously popular World of Warcraft. And now the classic is coming back in the form of Warcraft III: Reforged, which will feature completely remodeled graphics and the cherished World Editor tool.
Fallout 3 would certainly be nice as well, but many Fallout fans think that New Vegas is the series’ crowning jewel. But despite the brilliant gameplay, even the most ardent devotees admit that it’s a bit of a graphical and technological mess. It’s buggy, it’s prone to crashes, and the models and animations are downright ugly. With the right care - including updated graphics and a smoother, polished performance - this could be the masterpiece it always had the potential to be.
The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was a mega success for Activision, so of course they would be exploring other options within the Crash Bandicoot canon. EVERYONE was clamoring for a remaster of Crash Team Racing, which is arguably the best and most popular kart racing game outside of the Mario Kart series. Their wishes were granted, as Nitro-Fueled, a complete remake featuring new content and online play, was unveiled at the 2018 Game Awards. It will be released on all major consoles on June 21.
The Elder Scrolls series is like Fallout – the highest-selling entry isn’t necessarily the most beloved. Enter Oblivion, which is often considered to be a much better and more expansive game than Skyrim. That said, it came out in 2006, so it’s in need of a face lift. We would absolutely love to see a remastered Oblivion, if only so new fans can experience its majesty, but it doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. There’s just too much work involved.
MediEvil is another great PlayStation game that has fallen by the wayside. It follows Sir Daniel Fortesque, a charlatan who attempts to defend the Kingdom of Gallowmere from the invading Zarok. It’s essentially The Nightmare Before Christmas in video game form, and it was similarly praised for its visuals, atmosphere, and unique sense of humor. It is currently being remade by Other Ocean, the team behind the 3DS version of Minecraft, and will be published by Sony for the PS4.
Yes, we know about Conker: Live & Reloaded. But does that really count as a remake? Not only was it egregiously censored (which took away from the hilarity and controversial impact of the original), but it featured an all-new multiplayer component that paled in comparison to the original’s. As such, the game received a somewhat lukewarm response from Conker’s hardcore fans. What we need is a true remaster/remake, one which not only retains the original’s gaudy soul, but its amazing multiplayer component as well.
Crystal Chronicles is a relatively little-known entry in the Final Fantasy series, released for the GameCube back in 2003 (2004 in NA and Europe). It was praised for its multiplayer component and was successful enough to spawn a series of spin-off games, including Ring of Fates and the most recent title, The Crystal Bearers. Luckily for those who yearn for a little nostalgia, the OG Crystal Chronicles is being remastered and will be released for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 sometime in 2019.
Like The Simpsons: Hit & Run, Knights of the Old Republic (or KOTOR to you fans) is often considered to be the quintessential Star Wars video game. Not only does it perfectly capture the tone and bravado of the movie series, but its story and plot twist are endlessly commended. It’s a true testament to BioWare’s talents. But not only is there no remaster on the horizon, LucasArts is actively squashing fan made attempts with cease and desist letters (not that we blame them).
Crystal Chronicles isn’t the only Final Fantasy remaster on the horizon. The much beefier (and probably much more demanded) Final Fantasy VII is finally getting the updated treatment it so desperately deserves. Some time in the near future we are getting the Final Fantasy VII Remake, a complete overhaul consisting of polygonal graphics (rather than the original’s pre-rendered environments). Many of the original developers are also returning, including character designer Tetsuya Nomura, writer Kazushige Nojima, and composer Nobuo Uematsu.
Yeah, GTA VI would be nice and all, but how about an updated San Andreas? Seeing as how San Andreas marked the end of the classic “3D Universe,” it’s currently at an awkward junction between “technological marvel” and “outdated mess.” And while the game is available on the PS4, it’s the lame, emulated PS2 version. Yes, we would love a remastered version of this classic, but if we’re being really gluttonous, we wouldn’t mind a complete overhaul with the GTA V engine… Please, Rockstar?
Catherine was a video game developed by Persona’s Atlus. It followed Vincent Brooks (voiced by the always-great Troy Baker), a man plagued by strange nightmares and stuck between his girlfriend and a new lover, both named Katherine/Catherine. The game was successful enough to warrant a substantial remaster, Catherine: Full Body, which will be released in Japan on February 14 (and sometime later in NA). It will contain upgraded graphics (duh), a brand-new online component, and even a new love interest named Rin.
We can assume that few have played Romancing SaGa 3. Not only was it released exclusively in Japan, but it came out way back in the ancient days of 1995. Unfortunately, it may be a while before it comes to the west. Japan will receive a remastered version for phones and consoles in 2019, but there are few concrete plans regarding an English version. All we have to go on is a tweet stating, “We will make western version of RS3.”
Pathologic is a brilliant but niche psychological horror game developed by the Russian company Ice-Pick Lodge. While the English version of the game was praised for its unnerving atmosphere, it received criticism for its less than stellar graphics and the poor English translations. Luckily, Ice-Pick launched a Kickstarter that raised over $300,000, and they are using this money to completely overhaul the game’s visuals, gameplay, and English script. Western audiences can finally experience Pathologic as it was meant to be played.
Yes, we already got the Silent Hill HD Collection, but A) that did not contain the original game, and B) it was terrible. What we need is a good overhaul of these horror classics, similar to what Capcom did with Resident Evil 2. Regardless of their legacy, many modern players will never experience these titles thanks to their outdated graphics and design. In order for the Silent Hill brand to regain its popularity and rightful place within the horror canon, it’s going to need a major overhaul.
Blood is an old-school first-person shooter developed by Monolith Productions, the team behind F.E.A.R. and the Middle-earth series. It was one of many Doom clones in the vein of Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem, and while not a lot of people played it, it is now regarded as one of the best FPS games of its time. It is now being lovingly remastered by Nightdive Studios, but don’t expect a major restoration. As producer Daniel Grayshon says, “it really only needs minor updates.”
Max Payne is an all-time classic that raised the bar for the possibilities of video games. Its story was dark, its themes mature, and its gameplay revolutionary. But that was back in 2001, and while its story is still impacting, its graphics and physics have taken a real hit. Can you imagine how oppressive and ambient this game would be with modern graphics? And better yet, how fun it would be to roll and dive around the map with a modern physics engine?
EA isn’t exactly the most beloved of game developers right now, and they didn’t do themselves any favors with that horrible Command & Conquer: Rivals reveal. Perhaps not wanting to burn all their bridges, they also announced remasters of Command & Conquer and Red Alert, both of which will be packaged with their respective (and remastered) expansion packs. The remaster is being overseen by Petroglyph Games, a company consisting of many developers from Westwood Studios. And the best part? No microtransactions!
Sometimes you have to wonder if these remasters are getting out of hand. Yakuza 5 came out in 2012 in Japan and 2015 in NA, so it’s not like the game is old-fashioned. Regardless, a remaster of Yakuza 5 is currently scheduled for release in Japan in the spring of 2019. The game will now run at the much smoother sixty frames per second and will feature graphics in 1080p. However, the actual content of the game will remain untouched.
Is it possible that we are finally getting the fabled Metroid Prime Trilogy remaster? Maybe. Rumors have been circulating for a long time, but they recently gained some fresh momentum when a Swedish website “leaked” the existence of Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Switch. To make the rumors even meatier, Game Informer’s Imran Khan recently stated on Twitter that “It’s been long done” and that “initial announcement was supposed to be [in December].” We must take this with a grain of salt, but it is convincing…