The world of video game remakes has undergone a renaissance in recent years. New life has been breathed into beloved classics, introducing them to a new generation of players. From reimagined graphics to overhauled gameplay mechanics, these remakes have transcended mere nostalgia, offering an immersive experience that captivates both seasoned gamers and newcomers alike. In this article, we’ll delve into the seven best video game remakes that have set the standard for revitalising gaming classics.
What Makes the Best Video Game Remakes?
What makes for the best video game remakes experience will largely depend on your opinion of the original. Do you want the game to be 100% faithful and simply up the graphical fidelity? Or are you an expecting and entire overhaul, modernising the gameplay along with the visuals? There’s a fine line to walk to try to please everyone, and few games have managed to do so.
While we’ve endeavoured to pick the seven best video game remakes below, it was quite a touch decision. The trend of video game remakes may be in its prime at present, but it’s not new. The likes of Final Fantasy III on the Nintendo DS show just how well an old classic can be revived. While more recent titles such as last year’s Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space remakes were more about bringing beloved titles into the modern era.
Below you’ll find Chit Hot’s picks for the seven best video game remakes of all time. Be sure to let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments below!
1. Resident Evil 2 (2019): Video Game Horror Remakes Lead by Example
Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil 2 stands as a shining example of how to reimagine a classic while staying true to its roots. The game introduced modern graphics, an over-the-shoulder perspective, and revamped gameplay mechanics. It delivered a terrifying yet captivating experience. The attention to detail and the preservation of the original’s atmosphere make Resident Evil 2 a benchmark for modern survival horror.
2. Final Fantasy VII Remake (2020): Epic Fantasy Redux
Final Fantasy VII Remake brought the iconic 1997 classic into the modern era with stunning visuals, a reimagined combat system, and expanded narrative depth. Square Enix’s ambitious undertaking successfully recaptured the magic of the original while introducing new elements that surprised even long-time fans. The game’s episodic approach adds layers to the narrative, ensuring that the remake is as much a new experience as it is a homage to the original. Will it be outdone by Final Fantasy VII Rebirth later this month? You can play a demo right now to help you decide. And be sure to check out Chit Hot’s Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Demo Walkthrough Guide!
3. Shadow of the Colossus (2018): Artistry in Motion
Bluepoint Games’ remake of Shadow of the Colossus showcased the studio’s mastery in revitalising timeless classics. The remake retained the essence of Fumito Ueda’s masterpiece while introducing breathtaking visuals that took full advantage of modern hardware. The result was a poignant and visually stunning journey that introduced the iconic title to a new generation of gamers.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019): Handheld Magic on the Big Screen
Nintendo’s reimagining of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for Nintendo Switch was a delightful blend of nostalgia and innovation. The charming diorama-style visuals retained the whimsical charm of the Game Boy classic, while quality-of-life improvements and a beautiful orchestral soundtrack elevated the overall experience. Link’s Awakening proved that a timeless adventure can seamlessly transition from a handheld console to a full-fledged home console with grace.
5. Demon’s Souls (2020): From the Ground Up
Bluepoint Games struck gold again with their remake of Demon’s Souls, a title that laid the foundation for the acclaimed Soulsborne series. The remake showcased the power of the PlayStation 5, delivering awe-inspiring visuals, enhanced lighting, and meticulously reimagined environments. While staying true to the punishing difficulty of the original, Demon’s Souls introduced a new generation to the roots of a gaming phenomenon.
6. Metroid: Samus Returns (2017): Resurrecting a Galactic Icon
Nintendo’s revitalisation of the classic Game Boy title Metroid II: Return of Samus for the Nintendo 3DS was a masterclass in modernizing a beloved franchise. Metroid: Samus Returns introduced updated visuals, refined controls, and new gameplay mechanics while preserving the exploration-driven essence of the original. The remake served as a perfect reintroduction to the Metroid series, setting the stage for future installments.
7. Super Mario All-Stars (1993): Nostalgic Platforming Bliss
Super Mario All-Stars stands as one of the best video game remakes, even 30 years later. Its transformative approach revitalised the classic Super Mario Bros. titles. Originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1993, Super Mario Bros. All-Stars took the beloved NES titles – Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3 – and gave them a substantial graphical overhaul. The sprites were redesigned with enhanced detail and vibrant colours, breathing new life into the iconic characters and environments. The inclusion of updated audio, smoother controls, and the ability to save progress further polished the gaming experience. The package was more recently re-released on the Wii. Thankfully, both the SNES original and the Wii re-release outdo Nintendo’s efforts with Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
Several years ago, we picked out a number of Nintendo classics we’d like to see remade for the Nintendo Switch. How do you think we did?
The Best Video Game Remakes Preserve Legacies and Inspire New Adventures
The seven best video game remakes highlighted here demonstrate the delicate balance required to reimagine classics successfully. These remakes don’t merely rely on nostalgia; they enhance the original experience, introducing modern gamers to the magic that made these titles timeless in the first place. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, the art of remaking video game classics serves as a testament to the enduring impact of these iconic titles on the world of interactive entertainment.