8 April 2022

by Glenn Kaonang

10 Classic Games That Deserve a Remake or Remaster

From Metal Gear Solid to Bully, here are 10 classic masterpieces that deserve to be experienced again, whether through a remake or remaster

The trend of remaking or remastering old games isn't going anywhere. In fact, publishers aren't shy to spend a massive amount of money to make these remake/remaster projects happen. Just recently, Remedy Entertainment announced that it's remaking Max Payne and Max Payne 2. Rockstar Games will once again serve as the publisher, and it will also finance the development budget, of which the size is said to be in line with a typical AAA-game production done by Remedy.

The fact that there are many classic games worth to play doesn't help. Sometimes, it's just easier and less risky for developers and publishers to repurpose old content into something new. Other times, they can just redo an old masterpiece into something that would attract all generations of players;; both players who enjoyed the original game and players who were too young or even hadn't been born yet when the original game became a hit.

With that in mind, I would really like to see these 10 classic games getting the proper remake/remaster treatment, and I believe most of you would agree as well.

1. Metal Gear Solid

Back in October 2021, there was this rumor that Konami is set to remake some of its biggest franchises, one of them being Metal Gear Solid. What seems conflicting to me is the game of choice, which is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and not Metal Gear Solid that was originally released for PlayStation in 1998, which is clearly the better game of the two.

While I understand that this is a very subjective matter, for me Metal Gear Solid is the one that gracefully balances all the important elements it has: the intense action, the adrenaline-pumping stealth mechanics, and the memorable story with incredible voice acting. This was the game that helped propel the original PlayStation to the forefront of the console wars, so I think it should be redone with greater care than the one we got with the GameCube remake in 2004, which was bad in many aspects.

In any case, a Metal Gear Solid remake is long overdue, whether or not Hideo Kojima will be involved.

2. Silent Hill

Another legendary franchise from Konami that deserves to get a remake is Silent Hill, particularly the first one. The original Silent Hill was supposed to be Konami's answer to Capcom's Resident Evil, but it turned out to be a very different horror game that was superior in terms of atmosphere. Seeing how advanced modern game engines have grown into, as well as graphical enhancements such as ray tracing, it's easy to imagine how good a Silent Hill remake would be for today's consoles.

Now that Capcom's attempts in remaking multiple Resident Evil entries have been very successful, I think it's time for Konami to consider giving the same treatment to Silent Hill — a proper remake, and not a somewhat disappointing 'reimagination' like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

3. Dino Crisis

Speaking of Capcom and remakes, I still don't get why it hasn't considered doing a remake of Dino Crisis. Playing the original game in 1999 was such a memorable experience, especially given the popularity of the Resident Evil series at that time. While it's easy to label Dino Crisis as "Resident Evil with dinosaurs", the game was able to deliver a different and arguably more frightening experience to players with its dynamic camera positioning.

Sure, the graphics look very dated today, and that's why a remake is what Dino Crisis needs — or maybe even a third sequel, for that matter. Capcom does have an upcoming game called Exoprimal that also features aggressive dinosaurs, but it's definitely not Dino Crisis.

4. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Before Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi took off as the go-to role-playing games for Mario fans, there was Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Developed by Square, it was the final Mario game that was published for the SNES in 1996, and it's easily one of the best games ever made for the fourth generation console.

At the time, graphics were one aspect that really stood out from Super Mario RPG, and surprisingly, it still holds up pretty well to this day. Thus, if doing a total remake of Super Mario RPG proved to be too daunting, I think a remaster would suffice.

Gameplay-wise, Super Mario RPG was complex enough to challenge diehard RPG fans, yet also simple enough for players who were new to the genre. A remaster of Super Mario RPG would be a very welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch.

5. The Legend of Dragoon

Ah, The Legend of Dragoon, a game that was often compared unfavorably to the Final Fantasy series, yet is able to gain a dedicated, cult following that is still patiently waiting for a remake to happen. What made The Legend of Dragoon unique among many other JRPGs at the time was its combat. Instead of adopting the traditional turn-based format, it also incorporates time-based combo chain mechanics that are able to spice things up a bit, not to mention the sleek animation that's presented when the combo is successfully executed.

The Legend of Dragoon was developed in-house by Sony for the original PlayStation. Now that Sony owns Bluepoint Studios — which has proven to be an expert in remaking classic masterpieces such as Shadow of the Colossus and Demon's Souls — I think it's about time that Sony considers doing a remake of The Legend of Dragoon.

6. Legend of Legaia

Speaking of JRPGs with unusual turn-based combat system, another underappreciated title immediately came into mind: Legend of Legaia. Instead of just showing the traditional selection of "Attack", "Magic", and "Items", Legend of Legaia uses an input style that is commonly found in fighting games. Each turn, player can mix a combination of up, down, left, and right, and the different combinations may result in characters executing special attacks, magic attacks, etc.

Surely this quirky battle system can be made into something even more interesting with today's technology, which is why I think a remake of Legend of Legaia would do very well. The original game did spawn a sequel that was released for PlayStation 2, but sadly that was it. This game deserves a second chance.

7. The Getaway

Another Sony's property that I think deserves a remake is The Getaway. Originally released for the PlayStation 2, The Getaway was Sony's take on the open-world, crime-filled, action-adventure formula, which made it very likely to be compared directly to Grand Theft Auto III. It didn't help that The Getaway was launched in December 2002, just nearly two months after Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released.

However, unlike Rockstar's creation, The Getaway put a greater emphasis on authenticity and immersion, even going so far as to not including a typical HUD, as well as licensing vehicle models from real automobile manufacturers. The Getaway did well enough to lead to a sequel, but its third game was eventually cancelled shortly after the departure of the then-PlayStation's boss, Phil Harrison.

But seeing as Mafia: Definitive Edition — a remake of another open-world game that is often compared to the Grand Theft Auto Series — has done quite well recently, I think The Getaway is going to be the perfect candidate in case Sony wants to do another remake — or maybe even a reboot — of its back catalog.

8. Jade Empire

A lot of the best RPGs ever made came from the genius minds of BioWare developers, from Baldur's Gate and Star Wars: Knights of the Republic, to Mass Effect and Dragon Age, but one that really stood out from the rest was Jade Empire. This is a game that is very unique, even by BioWare's own standards. At the time, Jade Empire was the first original IP that BioWare ever developed. It was an action RPG set in a world based on Chinese mythology, which is something that's still pretty rare among today's standards.

Playing Jade Empire felt really immersive and imaginative, especially with its remarkable presentation and engrossing storyline. In true BioWare's fashion, one of Jade Empire's strengths relies on its interactivity. The story is heavily influenced by player's choice, so much so that you'll need to play though the game more than once in order to see everything it has to offer.

There was supposed to be a sequel planned for Jade Empire, but it ultimately got cancelled because EA was pushing BioWare to focus on Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Hopefully EA might change its mind now that Star Wars: Knights of the Republic is getting a remake.

9. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Here's an idea I would genuinely like to pitch to Bethesda: instead of rereleasing Skyrim for every console generation, why didn't Bethesda make a remastered version of Morrowind? While Skyrim is indeed a great game, Morrowind is more of an extraordinary experience. Exploring the landscape in Morrowind felt like exploring another world, and choice really mattered in this game: if players want to be regarded as a hero, they will have to earn it.

Sure, the game has its flaws, but it's nothing Bethesda can't rectify. Considering that The Elder Scrolls VI is still a long way to go, a remastered version of Morrowind should be a great way to fill the void. For now, our best hope is for Skywind — a fan-made recreation of Morrowind in the Skyrim - Special Edition game engine — to be completed soon.

10. Bully

Among many games that Rockstar have developed, the GTA and Red Dead series will always come on top as being the best. But then there was Bully. Even though it applies the same open-world formula as those two hugely popular game series, Bully is definitely something else, with story that feels very involving, and characters that are quite relatable in many aspects. It's also boisterously fun, too, especially with its selection of side missions and minigames.

Despite the controversies, Bully did quite well both critically and commercially. Its success even warranted a sequel, but sadly it never came into fruition. If it were up to me, I'd remake the original Bully instead. This game deserves to be experienced again in a truly next-gen presentation.