Off the top of their heads, I’m sure most of our readers are able to think of at least a dozen video game remakes that they have seen released in the past decade. Much like the movie industry, video game companies have recently stumbled upon this method of what appears to be a fairly easy way of generating income. Rather than take the time to create a new game from scratch (and all the logistic and marketing issues that come with it), they can merely provide some cursory fixes to an old classic, and re-release it to an already established fan base.
With the plethora of video game remakes that have been released, I thought it would make a good article to list the 7 Best Remakes and the 8 Classic Video Games Which Should Be Remade. For the purposes of this list, a video game “remake” is when a popular title (a specific game itself, or a reboot of the franchise as a whole) is debuted with somewhat noticeable changes from the classic title. This classification would, of course, exclude traditional sequels, as well as games that are slightly modified for new platforms (like how you can download many PS1 titles on the PS3 and PS4 PlayStation networks).
However, for traditional arcade-style games which are more reliant on their gameplay than storylines, their respective sequels will instead be treated like the remakes which they actually are.
15. Needs a Remake – Tekken 3
There was a time when tournament style fighting games were all the rage in gaming. While many of these games were (and continue to be) terrible, the first entry on our list is one of the best fighting games ever made, Tekken 3. The most popular of the Tekken franchise, this game debuted for the PS1 and had just enough of a story mode to adequately supplement its hugely entertaining arcade mode. The number one aspect of this game which needs to get remade? It has to be its ability to do 8 vs. 8 battles. In this mode, both you and your opponent (Computer or another Player) each pick 8 characters for your team. Then in a traditional team fighting match, you would continue until all 8 players from 1 team had been knocked out.
14. Was Remade – Pikmin
Do you ever have games that you just love to play, but you don’t exactly know why? That’s exactly what Pikmin (which first debuted on the Nintendo Gamecube) is for me. Maybe I was meant to be a farmer, but something about the cropping and nurturing these little colorful aliens just made this game good for endless fun. As such, I was part of the small group of people who highly anticipated the WII release of the game in 2009. While that game wasn’t actually very good, I have heard very good things about Pikmin 3 which was released for the Wii U in 2014. I refuse to buy a WII U, but in 2016 the game was adapted for the Nintendo 3DS, putting it on a shortlist of games that I need to own.
13. Needs a Remake – Donkey Kong 64
I played this game for the first time recently and was surprised at the strength of the gameplay in this often criticized N64 game. I think one of the larger issues of this game was that it debuted at a time when it seemed like every Nintendo game was about walking around a 3D world collecting stuff (more on this later). This, combined with the ultra-ridiculous rap the game opens with, was enough to turn away even the most ardent N64 fans. Given a break of about a dozen years, however, I found this game highly enjoyable to play and was saddened that no further versions of it were ever created. Unfortunately, this won’t be the only 3D type Nintendo game to make our list.
12. Was Remade – Pokemon Leaf Green and Fire Red
We could include several of the Pokemon games released following the success of the classic Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue games for the Gameboy Color, however, Fire Red and Leaf Green (along with Heart Gold and Soul Silver) adhere to the more traditional use of the term “remake”, so they get naming rights here. I think the problem a lot of people have with the more recent Pokemon games is that there’s simply too many Pokemon now. The diversity of the original 150 was cool as a kid, but honestly, I don’t really want to play a game where there’s potentially thousands of little monsters you have to catch. Fire Red and Leaf Green, however, were able to improve upon the mechanics of the original games (simple technical fixes, as well as new updates) while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the first generation games.
11. Needs a Remake – Pokemon Yellow
They never decided to remake Pokémon Yellow? Are you serious?!! I know I’m in the minority on this, but to me no Pokémon handheld game was more fun than the Yellow version. The biggest reason for this being that you not only got to start your game with a Pikachu (that walked beside you and had different reactions based on your gameplay), but that you were able throughout the game to collect all three of the starter Pokémon from the Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games. This created the only scenario with the first generation games (aside from numerous trades through the Gamelink cable) where you could assemble the same team of 6 Pokémon that Ash did in the TV series. This game ardently needs a Leaf Green and Fire Red style remake.
10. Was Remade – Banjo Kazooie
Before I begin this entry I should admit that I am a huge Banjo Kazooie fan. It doesn’t get as much credit as other Nintendo titans, but the fact is that if the video game market hadn’t already been oversaturated by the 3D collector gameplay by the time it came out, this game would have been an all-time classic. In regards to the recent remake for Xbox and Playstation, the new versions (both Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie) included more than image and gameplay fixes. The most notable improvement was actually a function of the original games that had to be scrapped for capability reasons. This “Stop n’ Swop” function, allowed players in the Banjo-Kazooie game to complete certain goals, and thereby activate certain bonuses in the Banjo Tooie sequel. Pretty awesome.
9. Needs a Remake – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: NES
I decided to go way back in time for the #9 video game on our list, but with the recent success of the NES Classic I thinks it’s one that could majorly benefit from a modern remake. I think the best thing about this game (and what makes it separable from the litany of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games which have since debuted) was the ability to play as a congruent team. A traditional slide by slide fighter game, this TMNT title allowed you to play as a single member of the Turtle gang battling ninjas on your way through NYC. What made this game so fun though, was that the other turtles (played by either your friends or as a computer) followed you through the stages and assisted you in fighting the assailants. Therefore, I would like to contribute all my teamwork abilities to this classic Nintendo game.
8. Was Remade – Crash Bandicoot
I have written in previous articles about my everlasting fandom for Crash Bandicoot. I actually just downloaded a remastered version of the original game on PS4 and have honestly played this $7 download more than I have $60 PS4 games. There’s just something about its simplicity that makes it good for endless fun. As such, us avid Bandicoot fans (Crash Bandicoot that is, not the weird rodent looking thing from Australia) were ecstatic this past year when it was revealed that a very new game would be made in this franchise. With any luck this will allow the PS franchise to get back to its roots, and allow it to start pumping out games that are actually playable again.
7. Needs a Remake – Spyro the Dragon
If you ask people who aren’t big video gamers what their favorite game was growing up undoubtedly a signification percentage of them will describe the original Spyro game that was released in 1998. Admittedly, this may be partly due to Spyro’s status as the top game on the PS1 demo disc, but there’s no arguing the popularity of this game for Playstation’s inaugural console. With its status in the history of Playstation, it is surprising that a version hasn’t come out since Shadow Legacy in 2005. One factor which may be good news regarding our hope for a Spyro remake is the news of the Crash Bandicoot reboot (described above). Historically, these games have been treated similarly by Sony, so don’t be surprised if a successful Crash game leads to another adventure for this purple dragon.
6. Was Remade – Resident Evil 2
The Resident Evil franchise not only led to a litany of games, but also a fairly successful movie franchise. As almost anyone will tell you, the greatest of these games was Resident Evil 2, originally released in 1998. As such, many people were excited by rumors that a remake of this game would be made. With the current zombie craze in popular culture (thanks to shows like the Walking Dead), I can only imagine that a remake of such a popular game would do extremely well in the current market. As such, the very best of the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 2, makes our list here of awesome video game remakes. At the very least, it has to be better than any of the Walking Dead video games.
5. Needs a Remake – Pitfall
I think everyone who’s had the chance to play the Atari Arcade system has their own favorite game on the platform. Mine, of course, is Pitfall. This little game is mostly notorious for basically inventing the side-scrolling platform genre. In the game, Pitfall Harry (yes that is actually the little guys name) must evade a series of obstacles (using Atari’s singular joystick and button) in an attempt to recover 32 treasures in a 20 minute time period. Though incredibly simplistic, this game is good for hours of fun and is actually challenging to a point little seen in Atari gameplay. I’m not sure what form a remake of this classic game would make, but I am sure that I would be down to give it a try.
4. Was Remade – Final Fantasy IV
While the original Final Fantasy 4 may have taught us how to create a great role playing game, the remake in 2007 taught us how to make the perfect game remake. Not only did the remake of Final Fantasy IV do all the expected video game remake jargon, but it also managed to preserve all the exciting Easter eggs and glitches that gave the original game its character. The fourth installment of this franchise won’t be the only Final Fantasy epic to make our list of great remakes (though the other entry makes our list simply because it deserves an awesome remake) but it does provide us with a perfect example of what classic video game remakes can be at their best.
3. Needs a Remake – Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 has the singular distinction of being the only game on this list that I haven’t personally played (or at least haven’t played in the past decade). However, my one friend constantly rails on the greatness of this game so I decided to include it on this list of classic games which could use a remake. By all accounts, this game was one of the true masterpieces of the N64 console. Getting away from the simplicity which made such labels as Super Smash Bros. successful, this game amounts to a true adventure worthy of the Mario franchise. I’ve heard it compares to Super Mario Galaxy making it one of my must play games, and a game certainly deserving of a proper remake.
2. Was Remade – Super Smash Bros.
Perhaps the greatest game of all time, Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 was a huge success, naturally leading to a series of sequels and sub-games. While none of the subsequent versions have quite been able to mirror the amazing gameplay of the original version, as standalone games none of them are overly disappointing. A simple melee game, Super Smash Bros. lets you play as a classic (or in the case of the later games not-so-classic) Nintendo character as you attempt to knock the other players and characters off a cliff and to their death. Pretty dramatic I know, but these games are great fun to play alone, and especially with a group of friends. Perhaps the only way in which the later games were superior to the 64 version was the ability for as many as eight players to play at once.
1. Needs a Remake – Final Fantasy Tactics
The #1 classic video game which I think could use a remake is Final Fantasy Tactics. I think the most redeeming quality of this first-generation PlayStation game was its inherent uniqueness. I may be overstepping my bounds here, but I can easily name Tactics as one of the top three games of the Final Fantasy franchise. For those of you who have never played Tactics, it’s set up almost as a strategic board game. Players of this turn based game are able to upgrade (and add additional) players, making it a very refreshing Role-Playing game (RPG). In addition to the great gameplay, this game comes with a truly compelling storyline which will have players on the edge of their seats for any of the story sequences. Come on Sony make this happen.