I love the incentive we have to revisit old classics that not only have a fresh coat of paint but also have the work put in to improve the actual gameplay mechanics. In this list, all of these games are still playable. Even without remaster, the games I own will still make it back onto my TV because they are in my collection and they are all fantastic. I would be more than happy, however, to pay full retail price for a fresh upgrade for them on current-gen consoles.
5. Red Dead Redemption:
Released in 2010, the triumphant Red Dead Redemption was one of the most surprising and refreshing settings for an open world game that I could’ve asked for. I remember reading Game Informer years before it was released thinking it would be incredible, or it would be seriously boring. Rockstar held nothing back in depicting the gritty brutality of the Old West, while also effectively delivering a landscape that kept you wanting to explore. There is nothing about this game that looks wildly outdated.
How it would benefit from a remaster so soon? Remember when Grand Theft Auto 5 had just barely hit the shelves, but so many of us (me included) forked out another handful of cash for the current-gen remaster because of what they accomplished with the environment alone? Usually the conversation is all about “substance before graphics”, but I would argue that in open world games that rely on the believability of your surrounding environment, graphics may be one of the most important qualities of the experience. When I couldn’t really wrap my head around how to make GTA5 on last-gen look more realistic, Rockstar showed us the comparison and I was sold immediately. So Rockstar, I implore you, give Red Dead Redemption the same treatment you gave GTA5. I bought it twice, no question I’d do the same with RDR.
4. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion:
There was a reason I camped in line in -10 F degree temperature in front of a Best Buy in 2005. Next-gen (at the time) console gaming was on its way, and I wanted in on it asap. It was later that I would discover The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion would be the first to actually give me the true “next-gen” gaming experience that I was promised. Some have argued that Skyrim should have a current console release to keep up with some of the insanely gorgeous mods that TES’s PC fan base has developed, but I say let’s take it a step back even further and give Oblivion the current-gen treatment. Once again on the same note that I mentioned in Red Dead Redemption, the environment takes a massive role in the level of immersion in a game like this. With an upgrade to the scenery, character models, combat, and possibly a more fluid inventory system, I would be one of the first in line with a wallet full of cash.
3. Mass Effect:
When BioWare had made the jump from Mass Effect to Mass Effect 2, the difference in quality was astounding. It was as if they were able to now fully gauge just how much potential this franchise had, but only after they had seen the response of the first installment. The combat was overhauled, the inventory system was completely reinvented, and all elements of the graphics between models and textures took a huge jump. When they had transitioned from ME2 to ME3, it looked as gorgeous as anyone could hope for, but there wasn’t the drastic improvement that we saw the first time. I’ve heard the conversation so many times with people who never got into Mass Effect. They dropped out of interest when they tried out ME1, andnever bothered with the sequels. If BioWare could give it a sizable upgrade, I could see that as potential to rope in a whole new batch of followers with a more playable kickoff to the epic and emotional powerhouse that is the Mass Effect series.
2. Metal Gear Solid:
Let’s take it back even further to the game that started stealth gameplay for me and so many others. I remember playing this on a big old 4:3 aspect ratio TV with my buddy Randy when he brought his PlayStation over for his weekend stay. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing (“This shit is in 3D, man!”). But by today’s standards, it would be so much more accessible with a full overhaul. And I’m not talking about just the upgrade we saw with Gamecube in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, but the full open-world Fox Engine treatment for Metal Gear Solid 1 that Hideo Kojima had briefly mentioned a long time ago. Now that Konami and Kojima have parted ways for reasons that, let’s admit, no one REALLY has the full story, we are a long distance from ever seeing this remake happen. But sometimes other very persuasive people can come along, providing some figures on what kind of money could be raked in, so I’ll never say never.
1. Crash Bandicoot:
Alright now, this one of Naughty Dog’s earliest efforts is among the most uniquely entertaining platformers ever to have existed. For some, it’s what got them into gaming in the first place. I was personally introduced to the glory of gaming with NES Mario Bros., but if I had landed on this planet some years later, Crash Bandicoot would’ve been my introductory game experience without a doubt. Revisiting it now, the game is still fun, but some of the mechanics that are clunky by today’s standards could use a revamp. The physics and animation are all based on pretty outdated tech. Not that I want some gritty reboot of Crash Bandicoot, but Uncharted 4 is already displaying Naughty Dog’s abilities to keep pushing forward with innovation in game design (the Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta kicked ass). With how far gaming has come in all these years, I think it’s time for Crash to get the reboot or remake that veteran fans as well as newcomers would appreciate. Also, the soundtrack—take notes from how they pulled off that Final Fantasy X HD Remaster Soundtrack, and it’ll be golden.