[Top 15] Games That Deserve a Remaster

Games That Deserve a Remaster

We are well and truly in the age of nostalgia gaming. With most iconic video game franchises from your childhood already getting the remaster treatment, let’s look at what games have missed out so far, and most deserve a second shot.


15) Smackdown Vs Raw Compilation (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, iOS, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS)

This one is a serious longshot, seeing as WWE have fully brought into the 2K games, and remastering these old titles might look like a step back in the eyes of some.

However, The Smackdown vs Raw titles were immensely fun arcade-style wrestling games. Fans cry out for the return of the general manager mode - wherein you run either Raw or Smackdown, competing for views, setting up match cards, establishing rivalries - every year without fail. Seeing as this series seems dead in the water, having been replaced by Universe mode, it would be a dream come true for wrestling game fans to see these titles remastered.

These titles with today’s visuals would go down a treat, but unfortunately the licensing issues for old superstars, as well as Yukes no longer being a part of the WWe games, make this call very optimistic. We can dream.


14) Viva Pinata (Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows)

With the success of simulation games such as Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley in recent times, I am surprised we don’t already have a remastered version of Viva Pinata yet.

Viva Pinata is a life simulation game, wherein you manipulate a plot of land in order to attract a wide array of bright and quirky pinatas.  This game boasts surprisingly deep mechanics, such as cross breeding certain pinatas, complex visit and habitation requirements for pinatas, and so much more.

Like Animal Crossing, Viva Pinata is an incredibly relaxing game. Yes, the Ruffians, the game’s cast of enemies, may have bad intentions for your pinatas, but this is never stress inducing as they can be easily dealt with.

When New Horizons was released, people joked about how perfectly timed its release was; a bit of solace during a pandemic. If we are in fact fated for another bleak lockdown period, a Viva Pinata remaster would provide a great, gentle form of escapism.

Plus, there seem to be some serious talks ongoing between Nintendo and Microsoft, so this shout might actually materialise sooner rather than later.


13) Alan Wake (Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Playing through Remedy Entertainment’s Control has reignited an interest in Alan Wake for some. Occuring in the same canonical universe, the various easter eggs towards the Xbox 360 cult classic have reminded fans just how good that title was.

In Alan Wake, you play as a best-selling crime fiction writer, who is in the midst of a seemingly endless period of writer’s block. To avoid spoilers, I will only say that you spend much of the game trying to uncover details about your wife’s disappearance, while playing out stories from a book you can’t remember writing. If that doesn’t hook you, then Alan Wake also throws a cast of murderous enemies known as Shadows - people, animals and things taken over by darkness - who you can only combat with a torch light and a few bullets.

The gameplay here feels really unique, and the way the story folds out, like a thriller, split up into 6 episodes (2 more including the great DLC), is a joy to behold. There is nothing like Alan Wake, and perhaps re-releasing it with updated visuals on a range of current generation consoles will finally give it all the plaudits it deserves. 

Of course, I would prefer a sequel, but that might be asking a little too much.


12) Guitar Hero: World Tour (Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, macOS, Wii, Xbox 360, Classic Mac OS)

I am reluctant to include this one. Perhaps the Guitar Hero games, as brilliant they were, were merely a sign of experimentation in the 7th generation of consoles. With Wii controllers and plastic instruments and skateboards, the 7th generation seemed to be an instance of the game industry testing the waters with certain things.

It is arguable that the lack of these props in the current console generation is an indication that games like Guitar Hero are superfluous now, for some reason or other.

And yet, they were damn good games. 

If you have been living in a cave, The Guitar Hero series spanned 6 across 5 years. Initially, the game required just a guitar shaped controller, which had you play along to famous rock songs with the five coloured frets on the neck. Although simplistic, it was a formula for success. It spawned multiple spin offs, such as a Nintendo DS title and the bizarre DJ Hero. 

Guitar Hero 3 made over $100 million over the first week of its release in North America. I have to think it would do similar numbers today, but Activison seems to believe there is less interest in the music genre. Perhaps true, but we can dream.


11) Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie (Nintendo 64, Xbox 360)

With the success of the Crash and Spyro remasters, a remaster of the first two Banjo titles is the exact thing that’s needed to ignite a new life into the series. The Crash N Sane Trilogy sparked enough fan support for a fourth title to be released, so remastering the Banjo-Kazooie games might be our only way to get Banjo Threeie. Sorry Nuts ‘n’ Bolts, you don’t count.

Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie are first and foremost bloody good platforming games. Both titles have you control both Banjo the Bear and Kazooie the bird at the same time, as you fight through the game's wonderfully unique levels and try to thwart the plans of the games antagonist, Gruntilda.

As you roam the frankly massive levels, you collect Jiggys (think stars/power moons in Mario), fight off enemies, platform, and encounter some of the most iconic characters in gaming. Without the likes of Klungo and Mumbo, we can say goodbye to Sans.

The dialogue in these games is truly hilarious, in an irreverent, sardonic sort of way that seems to be lacking from the modern gaming industry. Putting a fresh coat of paint on these games would be a breath of fresh air for gamers.


10) Dead Space (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows)

What happened to this series?

Dead Space was one of the  greatest survival horror games of the seventh console generation. This 3rd person title saw you play as Isaac Clarke, an engineer on a terrifying search for your missing girlfriend. You board an abandoned space station, bar the murderous Necromorphs that hunt you down throughout the game.

Alongside a story that is gripping throughout, Dead Space is a perfect example of a survival horror title. Resources are scarce, the environs are dimly lit, and you always feel like the weaker party against the Necromorphs.

Much like Bioshock, Dead Space boasts magnificent set pieces and a cast of unforgettable characters. 

With the recent renaissance of Resident Evil games, why shouldn’t Dead Space get a remaster? It felt revolutionary at the time, and the story still holds up well today. The third title in the series seemed like a bit of a cash grab, and perhaps this ruined the team’s ambition. 

It’s strange to think that this game was once considered one of the greatest of all time. With a remaster on the current generation, I am sure it would be back in the conversation.


9) Fable Series (Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)

With Fable 4 announced by means of a teaser trailer last year, I got to thinking that the original trilogy is an inspired series of games, one of the best the Xbox 360 had to offer. 

The Fable games take place in the fictional world of Albion. These role playing titles focus around ostracised figures who are on their way to becoming heroes. The game has a quirky sense of humor, and an amazing cast of voice actors. The third title especially boasts a cast of Ben Kingsley, Stephen King, John Cleese, Jonathan Ross, and Simon Pegg, just to name a few. 

The RPG elements are relatively light, but this is probably for the best; these games shine brightest in terms of their storytelling and world building. Bogging the player down in an RPG heavy game would take away from this experience.

The fantasy world that is built across the original trilogy is inspired. I personally remember spending hours trying out the various jobs in Bowerstone (of Fable 2), then spending my hard earned money at the bar, before investing in a property. The worlds all feel very lived in, and thus really engage the player.

We saw the original Fable title have a successful remaster. The other 2 titles haven’t aged gracefully on a visual standpoint, so a new lick of paint could be the perfect way to promote the series and build up hype for the 4th title.


8) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Classic Mac OS)

This game defined multiplayer gaming for a long time. The Call of Duty series reached its peak with this title. 

I would happily see just the multiplayer mode remastered (I can do without the campaign and spec ops mode). That in and of itself would make the gaming world stand still. 

Modern Warfare 2 has the best selection of maps from any Call of Duty game ever. There is not a duff one amongst them. Can you think of one other COD game that you could say the same about?

Replaying games of Search and Destroy and Team DeathMatch on Rust and Favela is guaranteed money for the developers. The game still holds up relatively well graphically, so a remaster surely wouldn’t be that difficult.

I don’t even need to go into reasoning with this one. You know you’d buy this and lose months on it.


7) Mario 64 ( Nintendo 64, Wii, Wii U, iQue Player)

One of the many things Nintendo got wrong with the 35th Anniversary of Mario was their refusal to do anything to the titles included in 3D All-Stars. Sure, Mario Galaxy arguably didn’t need a new coat of paint or any major gameplay fixes, but Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine really suffered from this.

Upon replaying Mario 64 recently, I was amazed at how tight the controls were. 3D Mario titles have diverted from these very little, and when they have it has usually been to the game’s detriment. 

The variety of stages is also just so impressive. It’s one of gaming’s biggest achievements that the Mario series so smoothly transitioned into 3D.

How Nintendo managed to overlook the slippery platforming and God-awful camera before rereleasing this I do not know. We know that Nintendo already remade the HUB world (it features in Mario Odyssey), so is it unlikely they rebuilt the rest?

A full remake of Mario 64 would be a mega hit. Sadly, I can’t see Nintendo doing this. 


6) Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 (Dreamcast, GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows)

Another 3D platformer that has not aged entirely gracefully, the 2 Sonic Adventure games that released for the Dreamcast were console sellers. They are their generation's equivalent of Halo and Uncharted. 

With these two games, the Sonic series was arguably the closest it ever came in terms of quality to Mario. They were edgier titles, with more level variety and way more characters to choose from (you can play as 6 characters across each title). 

I have particularly fond memories of the Knuckles and Rouge stages, where you hunted out treasures. These levels were so vast and yet carefully crafted.

If both of these titles were remastered on the current Sonic engine, perhaps with some tweaks to the gameplay (I would love to see the speed sections take after the likes of Sonic Generations), then this game would win back its plaudits.

It is not so highly thought of anymore, partly because of the Dreamcast graphics and the frankly bonkers story and laughable voice acting, but if the lines were re-recorded and the graphics improved, I think people would begin to appreciate these games a lot more.


5) Portal  2 ( PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Classic Mac OS, Linux)

Just recently, Portal Reloaded launched on Steam. A fan made Mod, this game introduces a third portal into the mix, as well as a range of other new mind boggling, physics based gameplay elements.

Initially part of the Orange Box, the first Portal game was a complete breath of fresh air. You played as a test subject (Chell), completing various challenges with the Portal gun, all whilst the robot Overseer Glados guides you through. The game ends with Chell finally annihilating Glados, who has murderous tendencies. 

The portal gun allows you to shoot two portals; one for entry, one for exit. A seemingly simple mechanic, this is one of the most ingenious gimmicks in gaming history. It makes the game so challenging, and yet so rewarding. If you somehow missed this one first time round, go back and give it a go.

The second title was big budget, whereas the first was a few hours of test chambers and a fun but barebones story. In the second game, you again play as test subject Chell, but after overcoming Glados in the first title, you eventually team up with her to fight against an even bigger robot threat in the form of Wheatley (voiced by Stephen Merchant). This game oozes charisma, and the test chambers here are just so much more intricate and rewarding. 

Although these games are readily available on Steam, it would be amazing to see them back on home consoles. Imagine being able to play the Portal titles on the Nintendo Switch, for example.

These games really felt like a massive deal when they first came out, and I think they deserve a remaster more than a lot of other games that have gotten the illustrious treatment. 


4) Red Dead Redemption (Playstation 3, Xbox 360)

I’ve been prone to wishful thinking at certain points in this list, but is there any reason Red Dead Redemption shouldn’t be remastered? Red Dead Redemption 2 had masses of the first title’s game world included (bar Mexico), and this got rumours bubbling that we were going to see the Red Dead Redemption campaign ported into the sequel as DLC.

However, as has been the case with the past 2 Rockstar titles (I’m looking at you GTA V), we never got any single player DLC, as Rockstar dedicated their efforts to creating immersive multiplayer modes. 

The original Red Dead Redemption still rightfully goes down as one of the greatest games of all time. You play as John Marston, a former outlaw, now helping the government to track down and kill his former gang members. It is a solemn, bleak story about the death of the WIld West. 

Perhaps using the game engine of the sequel would be sensible here, seeing as half of the game world is already made in it. 

The main reason I would love to see this one remade, is because playing both titles on the same game engine would make the canonical universe of Red Dead so much more immersive; Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel, meaning that going back to finish the story is jarring on the graphics of the previous generation.

Please Rockstar, listen to the fans on this one.


3) Fallout: New Vegas (Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

It is a miracle that New Vegas ended up being the game it is considering its extremely rushed release. 

In New Vegas, you play as a courier, who is intercepted and left for dead by the head of the Great Khans, Benny (Matthew Perry - a fan of the Fallout series). The game sees you side between a number of factions, whilst getting on with all the kinds of wacky quests the Fallout series is notorious for.

The engine used for Fallout 3 and New Vegas is unfortunately seriously ugly. The near empty colour palettes make this game hard to look at now. However, if this one could be ported onto the new Fallout game engine, with its vibrant colours and slick animations, New Vegas would rightfully earn the title of best in the series.

Fallout 4 took a step back with it’s overly complicated, preachy story. The story of New Vegas is genuinely engaging. It is an interesting political commentary, but fundamentally just a really good revenge story.

Can you seriously tell me you wouldn’t love to see this one remade?


2) The Simpsons: Hit and Run (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Microsoft Windows)

If there is one key reason for remastering games, it is their nostalgia value.

The otherwise seemingly random process has a preference for titles that were an important part of our childhoods. It is an extremely successful and shrewd business method, so it’s not going to stop anytime soon. 

So, where the hell is our remastered version of Simpsons Hit and Run? Can you imagine how well this one would sell? Licensed games always do well enough, regardless of the quality, but this game was genuinely quality. In essence a GTA clone, Hit and Run saw you drive and platform across an open world Springfield as Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Apu (for some reason). It was an incredibly charming game, with surprisingly tight driving mechanics. It is the closest we have gotten to a fully realised Simpsons world in the form of a game. 

Over the past few years, the Simpsons has arguably become more popular than ever with the rise of meme culture. This, with the fact that nostalgia sells, means there really is nothing holding this one back.

I would buy this one in a second, and I imagine just the thought of an HD Remaster of Hit and Run is getting you excited.


1) Wii Sports (Nintendo Wii)

Try and tell me you wouldn’t buy Wii Sports if it was remastered. 

Wii Sports was a compilation of 5 sporting mini games. That’s all. Boxing, golf, bowling, tennis and baseball. Of course, if this were to be remastered, surely Nintendo would price it as a newly released triple A title, and even though you’d be outraged, you’d still buy it.

Wii Sports had no right to be as good as it was. A console defining hit, Wii Sports provides us with some of the most addictive gameplay of all time. There is a reason it makes lists for the greatest games of all time.

Virtually everyone played it too, either because it was a family oriented game, or because it came with nearly every Wii console. 

Whether for nostalgia or the killer gameplay, Wii sports would be incredibly well received as a remastered title. Perhaps Nintendo could also throw in Wii Resorts. Now that would be something.

As a Philosophy graduate and published creative writer, I write about gaming from a fresh and original perspective. I like browsing bookstores and reading when I can get away from Hyrule.
Gamer Since: 2002
Favorite Genre: Sports
Currently Playing: Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Top 3 Favorite Games:Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 2-Maximum Edition, Grand Theft Auto V