In just one day we got word of Dark Souls Remastered, Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition, The World Ends With You Final Remix, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for Switch, PayDay 2 for Switch, and Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered. If there was any doubt left that this generation of gaming is the generation of the remaster, let it be put to rest.
While I would prefer new ideas, it’s nice to see a game I enjoyed in the past be brought back better than ever (unless it isn’t) and open it up to a brand new batch of audiences who will love it just as much as I did.
Remasters are here to stay, so let’s give them to games that deserve it. Here are 10 (in no particular order) games we want to see remade or updated and brought to current generation systems.
1. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
While Bethesda continues to ride the gravy train rereleasing Skyrim left and right, it’s left arguably the best game in the series out in the cold. It has by far some of the most memorable moments in the entire series from the very moment you crawl out of the sewers to survey your world. All the more interesting mechanics from lock picking to persuasion add a wonderful flavor to the whole experience. It’s not as appealing to hardcore western RPG fans as Morrowind or as accessible as Skyrim, but it’s conveys the strongest sense of adventure out of both games.
However one does have to acknowledge all of the design flaws in the game, from the broken leveling system, inbalanced skills, and more. It’s going to be a huge undertaking to modernize the game for today’s audience, and considering all the years old bugs left in the remasters of Skyrim it might not be something Bethesda is willing to do. But it would be an challenge worth taking, especially if we get a version on the Switch.
2. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Nintendo had great success taking an underrated sequel and letting people rediscover it with Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS. It would be great to see it give the same treatment to Zelda II.
While the game is regarded as the “black sheep” of the franchise, it none the less brought moments and gameplay that are just as classic as the ones found in any other Zelda game, from the appearance of Error to the climatic fight with Dark Link. The gameplay was also great, taking the fun, puzzling exploration of the first Zelda and marrying it with a 2D sidescroller. The game redefined combat for the series, giving us a set of sword stabs and moves along with different enemy attack patterns to make it feel like we were actually swordfighting. It also had RPG elements before Breath of the Wild rolled in.
That being said, there are a lot of problems that need to be ironed out, and I’m not just talking about the graphical overhaul. If a remake is to happen, it would have to remove all the one hit kill traps, add more checkpoints, and give Link an actual sword rather than a butter knife. Nintendo loves remasters of relatively obscure games perhaps more than any other publisher, so we could see them giving Zelda II the Samus Returns treatment soon.
Onimusha strikes a great balance between the spectacle and fluidity of Devil May Cry and the slow-paced health management and fixed camera angles of Resident Evil. It also had excellent fights with horrific yokai in its feudal Japan setting. It’s a game series that hasn’t been replicated since. The closest thing we got was last year’s Nioh but that’s more like Dark Souls than anything. Considering publisher Capcom’s love of milking franchises, it’s surprising that they haven’t put together the three main games in a remastered package already. Hopefully that changes.
4. Ape Escape
Ape Escape was notable back in the day for taking full advantage of the original PlayStation’s new Dualshock controller, having all of its fun gadgets controlled entirely by the control sticks as well as the four face buttons. Today it’s remembered for being a charming little game with a campy story and joyful collect-a-thon elements. The coolest element was in capturing monkeys. Each one had different behaviors to take into account and had to be captured through a combination of stealth, reflexes, and smart use of gadgets. It’s a fantastic series that needs more people enjoying it.
Also my colleague Collin wouldn’t hear the end of it if I didn’t include this game in my list.
5. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
A personal favorite of mine, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is the last traditional Dragon Quest JRPG to come to the states and introduced me to the long running and fantastic Dragon Quest series. The fact that I can still remember its full name as well as many of the quests I went through is a testament to how much it means to me.
The ninth entry on the Nintendo DS added new features to the series including being able to see all the enemies in the overworld before battling them instead of just random encounters and multiplayer functionality. But I love this game because of its story. You’re tasked with collecting a certain amount of powerful items like in other RPGs, but how you obtain each item leads to different, self-contained quest within the overarching narrative. You may be solving a mystery of a lost girl in a genuinely spooky quest or helping someone cope with the loss of a loved one. Of course, in typical Dragon Quest fashion, it never takes itself too seriously and isn’t above naming every enemy after a pun. The game is also packed with content, with hundreds of quests and items to collect. There’s also dungeon crawling mechanics with maps that you can share between players by passing by them with the system in sleep mode. It’s the best use of Streetpass functionality I’ve ever used, and that was before Streetpass on the 3DS was even a thing!
You wouldn’t have to do much for a remake on the 3DS, either. All you have to do is upscale the graphics and adapt the dungeon map sharing for Streetpass and you’re good to go.
6. The Spyro Trilogy
So Crash Bandicoot got his own remastered trilogy of games. So while we’re giving a famous animal mascot of platforming games who’s fallen from grace since being given to different developers, why not remaster a trilogy of games from another famous animal mascot of platforming games who’s fallen from grace since being given to different developers?
Spyro would be perfect for a remaster for today’s gaming space. The Spyro games are not only platformers but also collect-a-thon open world games which are all the rage right now. But it isn’t just any open world, its a beautifully rendered fantasy world with fun characters and gameplay.
Since publisher Activision owns the rights to the series, I think it’s high time that they give it the same treatment they gave to Crash Bandicoot. Just don’t turn him into a pug like you did in Skylanders.
7. Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Kirby’s Epic Yarn is one of the chillest games you could ever hope to play. Whether you’re playing alone or with a friend, you can enjoy the wonderfully creative arts and crafts graphics and relaxed platforming challenges. And if you want a challenge, you can try collecting all of the objects in a level. Adding this game to the Switch would be a snap too since its shareable Joy-Con controllers make it perfect for co-op and platformers work wonders on handheld systems.
8. Super Mario Maker
Since we’re getting Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition, why not throw another classic game from the Wii U and 3DS onto the Switch?
Super Mario Maker allowed players to create their dream levels thanks to its brilliant user interface with fun secrets that were games in and of themselves. The joy of making levels for people and seeing their feedback was intoxicating and it was equally fun to play everyone else’s levels.
The Switch would be perfect for this game. It’s touch screen is perfect for arranging levels and its function as a home and handheld system would be perfect for sharing levels online and locally. Plus, you have instant co-op functionality with the shareable Joy-Con controllers if you choose to add that in. Then just add a few more level elements such as adding water wherever you want and you have a perfect port job as far as I’m concerned.
9. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is one of the best Mario RPGs ever created. The dynamic, action-based battle system felt like an actual evolution of the traditional turn-based combat system and the paper folding-based exploration options are a treat. But what really makes this game stand out is it’s comparatively dark tone and aesthetic compared to most Mario games. It made for some truly unforgettable moments.
Nintendo, if you can’t make a proper Paper Mario game anymore, at least port this one to the Switch.
10. The Pajama Sam Games
The Pajama Sam games from Humongous Entertainment were the games that introduce me to the wonder of video gaming back when I was a wee kid. The first one, Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside, gave us a beautiful environment to explore with point-and-click puzzle solving that was child-friendly but still entertaining. Add to that wonderful hand drawn animation and a brilliant cast of quirky characters and you have an instant classic. And it’s two sequels are almost as good, making a remastered collection with enhanced graphics a no brainer. Just steer clear of the terrible fourth entry.
With remasters of classic point-and-click games like Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle making waves, it’s time for Pajama Sam to take the spotlight once more.