When it comes time for acclaimed video game franchises to release their next entry, sometimes the best move is to simply re-release a previous game, often times with updated graphics and features. It is cost effective, allows for more time to further develop subsequent games in the series, and is often welcomed by fans who get to revisit an old favorite.
Nevertheless, video game remakes can be a tricky area, as changing too little from the original game can lead to fan discontent and changing too much can be seen as an unfaithful act. Still, when a remake is done well, it brings players together and preserves classic games for new generations of gamers.
10 Better: Bully: Scholarship Edition
Rockstar is renowned for their open world games, filled with interesting characters, pop culture references, and diverse gameplay elements. Bully is one of the classic Rockstar games that isn’t Grand Theft Auto. A one-off title originally released on the PlayStation 2 in 2006 that follows a private school punk as he attends classes, beats up gangs, and gets into mischief. The Scholarship Edition was originally released in 2008 on the Wii, Xbox 360, and PC platforms and greatly expands upon the game without changing core elements. New missions, characters, dialogue, classes, and unlockable items make this remake an essential Rockstar game.
9 Worse: Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop
A shopping mall filled with zombies, a swarm of psychopathic crazies, and a touch of photojournalism. What’s not to love about the first Dead Rising? Originally released as an Xbox 360 exclusive (before being brought to next gen consoles in 2016), Dead Rising is considered one of the most unique and iconic zombie video games of the modern era.
But in 2009, the game was remade for the Nintendo Wii, under a new title. The game refocuses the attention away from survival horror, instead acting as a shooter more akin with Resident Evil 4 than the original Dead Rising. Although it adds new enemies, weapons, and minigames, the game also axes several iconic boss fights, shrinks the size of the mall, and significantly tones down the graphics for a product that is too dissimilar from the original.
8 Better: Grim Fandango Remastered
LucasArts is often recognized as the king of adventure games, which are story-oriented games that often feature point and click gameplay based around puzzle solving. Their classic 1998 adventure noir, Grim Fandango, is an artistic masterpiece, filled with iconic humor, a gripping story, fantastic characters, and some of the most difficult puzzles in video game history. Grim was introduced into the modern age in 2015 with updated graphics, an orchestrated score, and entertaining director’s commentary. A brilliant revision to an already genius game, this remastered version is an excellent jumping off point for gamers curious about the adventure genre.
7 Worse: Silent Hill HD Collection
HD collections are an increasingly common means of remaking and repackaging previous games into a singular collection, allowing for fans to revisit their old favorites with fresh graphics and features. Unfortunately for Silent Hill, the HD collection comprising of classics Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3, is a blemish on the psychological horror series. Developers had to work with an incomplete source code, which makes the HD versions of the games buggy and overall modifies the tone of the games significantly, noticeably in the fog department, which the Silent Hill series is so well known for. The lack of bonus features and changes in voice actors are still sour points for many fans.
6 Better: Resident Evil (2002)
Survival horror fans have been lucky enough to get multiple versions of some of their favorite games. Resident Evil is no stranger to updated remakes of their classic zombie games. Bringing it all the way back home to where it first started, this masterful reboot of the first game in the series is one for the books. The mansion saga is memorable for its crazy puzzles, so-bad-they’re-good one liners, and introduction to many iconic characters. The best thing about this 2002 remake is that all the cheesy goodness of the original is kept, on top of additional areas to explore, new plotlines, unique game modes, new enemies, and massively improved graphics. The game was released again on current consoles in 2015 to equal fanfare as it continues to define itself as one of the essential Resident Evil games.
5 Worse: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD
Do a kickflip! Players have been riding alongside the best skateboarders in the world in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series since 1999. So it comes as no surprise that in 2012, the series got a reboot with an HD remake of levels from the first three games.
4 Better: Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
No matter where fans stand on the 2-D vs 3-D Sonic debate, most seem to agree that Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is the definitive version of the game. Originally released on the Sega Dreamcast, Sonic Adventure 2 impresses with its deeper story, memorable characters, and nonstop action-filled gameplay. Although the initial game is notable in its own right, the Battle version improves textures, adds many key features to the multiplayer component such as additional stages and character moves, and expands upon the Chao garden element that the game is famous for.
3 Worse: Diddy Kong Racing DS
Racing games have been a beloved genre of Nintendo’s massive library for some time now. Diddy Kong Racing was originally released on the Nintendo 64 in 1997 to much excitement. It made its way onto the Nintendo DS ten years later, but couldn’t make the jump in terms of controls. Fans and critics noted the touchscreen element is just too wacky and the additional maps and characters don’t make up for this.
2 Better: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
While many HD collections get a bad rep, they can also do a lot of things right. The HD collection for Metal Gear Solid is one such compilation. This collection compiles updated versions of Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 3, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, as well as the retro original first two Metal Gear games. Perhaps a perfect example of “it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, the remakes are hardly changed from their originals, say for some control adjustments and the addition of trophies/achievements.
These versions of the game have been praised by fans and critics alike for staying true to their precursors. They are included in the Legacy Collection alongside the first and fourth game in the series as well.
1 Worse: Deus Ex: The Conspiracy
Sometimes video game remakes from one system to another just don’t work out. Deus Ex: The Conspiracy, a remake of the original PC classic for the PlayStation 2, isn’t inherently a bad game, as it does improve some of the textures from the original while keeping the story and dialogue the same. However, the playability of the game is simply designed for PC, especially when it comes to the controls and level designs. Nevertheless, many fans still enjoy this entry in the series as an overlooked remake largely overshadowed by the original.