Only the best video game remakes live on as legends, as inferior examples fall to the wayside.
Remakes can be a truly terrifying thing for a company to tackle, and they’re hardly the straightforward affair they superficially appear to be. Will it live up to the original title? Will fans accept it as warmly? Should we stay completely true to the formula or add some well-placed tweaks? These are just a few of the questions that must be buzzing through the head of a developer diving head-first in the treacherous waters known as “the remake”.
However shark-infested those waters may be, when a game company pulls it off, we are blessed with magnificent remakes. Today, TGN partner Moxness is going to take you through our top 10 list of the best video game remakes ever released.
Best Video Game Remakes: TGN’s Top 10
10. Resident Evil (GameCube)
Bestowing a new coat of paint on one of gaming’s hallmark classics, the GameCube remake for the original Resident Evil gave its horror legacy a frightful encore. This game featured all of the slow-paced, methodical, and thoughtful action of its source material, but renovated it with all-new areas just as claustrophobic as the originals. There were even fresh gameplay elements like the ability to set zombies on fire.
If you found yourself loving the original, you can’t afford to miss out one of the best video game remakes. Maybe play it with the lights on this time, though, as those new graphics aren’t to be messed with.
9. Punch-Out!! (Wii)
One of the most ruthless and difficult video games of all time, and it’s one of our best video game remakes. Anybody that played the original Punch-Out will know that difficulty level, but rest easy, because the Wii remake doesn’t feature the Tyson fight. What it does feature, however, is an expanded vocabulary of zany characters that fit perfectly within the context Nintendo sets up for its games, and 3D graphics that properly capture the moment you rattle the contents of your foe’s skull. Thanks Nintendo for one of the best video game remakes!
8. Mortal Kombat (2011)
Though graphical improvements are merely a superficial improvement, they’re not to be scoffed at when one of the series’ primary selling points is the close-up shot of an opponents’ jaw shattering, or his ribs cracking one-by-one.
Working as kind of a “cluster remake” for all three original games, Mortal Kombat reboots the original series, picking up during the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Praised highly for its fluid and sleek gameplay, and even chastised for its gratuitous hyper-violence to the point of controversy in Australia, Mortal Kombat still achieved rave reviews and became one of the best video game remakes for fighting fans.
7. Tomb Raider Anniversary
Some of the best video game remakes achieve their true potential when playing up similarities to the original game, by sticking closely to the tried and tested formula. That’s just what the Anniversary of Tomb Raider did.
Made 11 years after the original (meaning the characters no longer looked like Lego) this game retained many memorable sequences and sections from it, and still managed to spice up the formula with a new control scheme and some entirely new parts. Most impressively of all, though, it even managed to work with the Wii-mote.
6. Mega Man: The Wily Wars
Who doesn’t love a bundle of multiple games packed tightly into one cartridge or disc? When those games are the best video game remakes of Megaman 1, Megaman 2, and Megaman 3 (three of the most iconic and definitive sidescrollers of all time) that bundle becomes all the sweeter.
The developers made a few changes to the games, through some tweaks to the overall formula, so the level of nostalgic experience is kept in check as you embark upon a buster-charging, robot-master destroying adventure once again. Just be sure not to make the same mistakes you did as a child and leave Quick Man until last.
5. Doom 3
Despite the 3 in its name, Doom 3 is a full-on remake of the original shooter staple that helped propel the format to dizzying new heights. Placing you right back into the familiar boots of Doomguy, Doom 3 places more emphasis on the chilling atmosphere in this game. It removes you from the hectic action and aiming, to instead chill you to the bone with its more frightening sound effects and visuals.
Don’t worry, though, despite this you’ll still be blowing up much more than your fair share of ghouls into itty-bitty pieces. Combining the old with the new is why this is one of the best video game remakes out there.
4. Double Dragon Advance
A 2003 remake of the 1987 beat ‘em up stalwart Double Dragon, this game incorporated not only what made the original what it was, but elements of its sequels to pay full homage to the entire series in one of the best video game remakes.
Despite suffering a notoriously short length, which was a by-product of attempting to remake an arcade game from that era, Advanced makes good use of its new-found technological capabilities. It counteracted this natural shortness by adding new modes and retaining the good old Double Dragon replayability. And boy, cracking sprite skulls never gets old. Definitely one of the best video game remakes.
3. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Granting fans the choice between playing Halo with its untouched original graphics, or its revamped new look, grants this games a spot on our best video game remakes list. It was even packaged with new maps for Bungie’s current shooter, so as far as crowd-pleasing remakes goes, Combat Evolved: Anniversary was one of the best.
Giving the game that helped launch the Xbox as a console a much deserved pat on the back, the entire thing becomes just that much more emotional when you realize this homage was the first game from 343 industries, Bungie’s spiritual successor and the current holders of their brainchild franchise. What better way to kick off your professional life-span than remaking the game that started it all for you?
2. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Created as a remake of the original Metal Gear Solid, though the gap between MGS and it was fairly brief in the time-frame of remakes, Konami still put the time to good use when developing one of the best video game remakes, Twin Snakes.
It added a whole plethora of new features, the most obvious of which being the addition of one of the most prominent features for the MGS franchise – the ability to swap between first and third person viewpoints. These improvements came alongside a slew of major and minor changes too numerous to count, and even included an abrupt color change for Snake’s hair.
1. Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire
The Pokémon series is often painted with the same brush that condemns it for having same gameplay throughout its many games. Ironically, with the remake of a generation of games, fans of the franchise would get a ready-made retort to these accusations.
Taking the innovations X/Y made and running with them, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire improved upon the Pokémon Amie features, as well as performing neat new tricks with the newly three-dimensional graphics, and making movement truly omni-directional for the first time in the series.
Add all that onto two features that proved, with finality, that Pokémon could freshen up a time-tested formula – the ability to actually take to Hoenn’s skies in third-person on a Latias’ or Latios’ back and the first ever post-campaign story arc – and you have a game that rightfully endeared itself to many Pokéfans and proved to be the best of the best video game remakes.
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While there are tons of video game remakes out there, so many of them fall so flat that the word remake has become synonymous with failure. However, there are the best video game remakes that shine above the rest, and we’ve included them here on our top 10 best video game remakes list. Let us know in the comments below if we missed any of your best video game remakes! Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time gamers.