Remakes are becoming more and more frequent in the world of video games, it feels as though the gaming world really isn’t too far behind Hollywood at this point with some of the biggest releases year on year being remakes of classics that have come before. This year is another great example of that with two of the most hyped releases being Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy VII. Unlinke cinema though, video game remakes feel a lot more genuine and less of a cash-in. It gives the player a chance to go back and relive a game they loved with modern day mechanics and even opens up the door for those people who missed the game first time round. Thinking about all this has driven me to do what I absolutely love to do whenever the opportunity arises and that’s listing and ranking games, so settle in once again as I rank my Top 10 Video Game Remakes so Far!
Note: This list will only include full on ground-up remakes. No reboots, remasters or HD collections included. Look on the bright side, at least this way The Last of Us can’t be number one this time!
Being one of the few Zelda games to not take place in Hyrule, the 1993 release of Link’s Awakening was the first in the franchise to be released on a handheld system, that of course was the Game Boy. It made perfect sense then that last year we were treated to a ground-up remake which was released in tandem with the new handheld only system – the Switch Lite. Though you can play this beautiful remake on the TV with your original Switch if you choose to, this handheld classic plays perfectly on the go and is a must have for every Switch owner.
Released in 2016, this reimagining of the 2002 original was released alongside the way less popular movie. Although this was probably intended to be nothing more than a movie tie-in, the updated visuals and gameplay was more than enough to justify its release and gave millions an excuse to jump back into Veldin for some good old nostalgia. I also believe this fun trip back in time to play an old platformer which we loved as kids was probably a big part of the reason we saw the likes of Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot also getting the big remake treatment.
This one was a no brainer for Activision. Many (including myself) will argue that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007 was the COD game which really launched the series to new and unimaginable heights. So why not pay homage to that by remaking Modern Warfare using the more modern day COD gameplay mechanics and adding an overall better online experience. It’s not like they went purely for nostalgia with this remake though, there were enough changes to make this feel fresh and could arguably be seen as a reboot more than a remake. Activision themselves even tip-toed around calling this a remake by calling it “an epic re-imagining of the iconic Modern Warfare series from the ground up.” On top of all this, the online mode introduced cross-platform multiplayer for the first time in the series making this title well worth your time and money for any fan of the series.
Hello again Activision, it’s almost like these remakes are easy money makers huh? I kid of course… well, they are easy cash grabs but we all love a good remake none-the-less and CTR is no exception. Originally developed by Naughty Dog and seen as a PlayStation classic, this remake, now in the hands of Activision, was released for the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as well as PS4. Much like the next entry in this list, this latest Crash remake was able to bring an all time PS1 favourite for people my age (old) to an entirely new generation of players across multiple platforms. CTR and the N’sane trilogy are perfect examples of what a remake should set out to achieve
Same as the above but with less karts… NEXT!
Shadow of the Colossus feels like a game which Sony really wants everyone to play, and rightfully so. This game has now managed to appear on the last three generations of PlayStation consoles which includes the original for PS2, the HD remaster for PS3 and more recently, the hugely impressive ground up remake for PS4. The latest addition is a stunning reimagining of exactly what Team Ico wanted this game to be, with the power of the PS4 they were able to really put across the enormous scale of these beautiful beasts and really show off exactly what this game could be. You’ve got three ways to play it now so no more excuses, go play it!
Tomb Raider Anniversary was doing remakes before remakes were cool! This is easily the oldest remake on this list having been released in 2007 on PS2, PSP, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii with a 2011 port being released on PS3 further down the line. Much like the Crash Bandicoot remakes in recent years, Anniversary was able to bring this 1996 PS1 classic to new players across new platforms and was arguably the point in time that Lara Croft ended her time as a PlayStation icon. Hell, in recent years the Tomb Raider games have even become timed Xbox exclusives, how times have changed! Although this remake has now aged quite a bit itself, it’s still the best way to play the first title in the series and who knows, maybe this will be the first remake to get a remake…
One of the common complaints I would always hear about the Yakuza franchise was that it was too long and complicated to get into, especially if you didn’t play the first few entries to the series. Sega’s answer to this was Yakuza 0, a game which acted as a prequel to the originals and was a great place for new players to start. After the success of Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami seemed like a natural next step for new players who had just been introduced to the series through this excellent prequel. Kiwami is a nearly faithful like for like remake of Yakuza 1 on PS2. This remake looks absolutely stunning and plays even better than the original. It’s given new players the choice of both this and Yakuza 0 as a suitable starting point to this long successful franchise. Plus if you do jump on board with this game, Kiwami 2 (that’s right you guessed it, a remake of Yakuza 2) is already available for you to continue your journey. Add to that the Yakuza 3 remaster is already out and the Yakuza 4 remaster is coming later this year and you can count yourself absolutely spoilt!
I’m in love with this remake, in fact it’s sat on pause right now while I write this. I would have never thought in a million years that a remake of Pokémon Yellow could recapture my obsession for the original like this little gem has. The nostalgia is strong with this one as the game is full of familiar music, locations and encounters which I remember so fondly from my childhood. The best thing about this remake though is the little tweaks that Game Freak have made, the best one being that Pokémon encounters are no longer random as you see them wandering around their environments, meaning that hunting for Pokémon to fill your Pokédex feels more achievable and way less frustrating than before. Pokémon from your party that you pick as your favourites will perform special one-off abilities like shaking off poison or holding on to an extra bit of life just to make you happy. Plus with modern day graphics, all the characters you know and love now look exactly how you remember them from the TV series! Of course with this being a remake of a game that’s over 20 years now, it looks beautiful in comparison in every way. Add to that the ability to transfer your Pokémon from Pokémon Go and this adds up to a remake which is more than a bit of nostalgia, it’s a great reason to reignite that childhood obsession with catching them all!
I don’t think there was any doubt that Resi 2 would be taking the top spot here. Last year’s faithful remake of the 1998 PS1 original is exactly what a remake should be, it’s instantly recognisable as it plays out almost identically to the original but changes enough to make it worth your time. The best compliment I can pay Resident Evil 2 is that unlike every other game on this list, you would never even realise that this could be a remake if you didn’t already know. It stands shoulder to shoulder with any AAA title released in 2019 and actually surpasses the majority of them. The visuals here are on another level compared to most remakes, this feels as if Capcom has slowly gone over every pixel and dragged it kicking and screaming onto a 4K screen with immaculate results. The updated visuals teamed with the more recent Resident Evil mechanics instantly makes this the best in the series for me. It shows how incredibly good the original was for it’s time as this like-for-like remake still scares the daylight out of me even if I remember what’s coming. This release wasn’t just a fun trip back in time, for many it was the game of the year for 2019 and for that reason alone, it deserves the top spot on this list. Roll on March as we get to do this all over again with the upcoming Resident Evil 3 remake!
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