Remakes are strange beasts. On the one hand there is a need and desire to stay true to the way the game played and felt when it was first released. But on the other hand, some conventions and themes that were present in the original may not quite hold up to modern standards. That said, a remake is pretty much always a good thing, as an older IP can be reintroduced to a newer audience. So with that in mind, here are 10 games we’d love to see get a remake, with a couple of suggestions thrown in for good measure as well as predictions for what engine the game would use.
The Legend of Dragoon
Starting us off is an obvious one. Released in 1999 in Japan, 2000 in North America and 2001 in Europe, The Legend of Dragoon was a typical RPG for the time. Turn-based combat, random encounters, a hero who looked like he was taken straight from an anime convention, it was all there.
That said, the game did have its unique draws. For starters, the game was released spread across 4 PS1 discs as it was simply too large to fit on anything smaller. The game also had two unique mechanics in regards to combat. First was the Addition system, where during an attack a player can press the X button in time with a spinning colored square. Each hit of the attack had a timed square to hit, and failing to hit all of them in sequence ended the attack early (for a demonstration of successful Additions go here). The second unique mechanic was the Dragoon Transformation. Put simply, once enough SP (Spirit Power) has been built up, a character can transform into a more powerful form with its own Additions and magical abilities, as shown here.
So why does it need a remake? Well, there aren’t many proper traditional RPGs currently on the market. Especially ones that adhere to the old turn-based combat format, and for quite a few RPG fans it is a specific part of the genre that is sorely missed. Secondly, SIE Japan Studio haven’t worked on a traditional RPG in years and it would be nice for them to get back to their roots, so to speak. Third, it could capitalize on Square-Enix‘s recent performance with Final Fantasy. As that series heads more into action RPG territory, fans of the old FF would most likely take an interest in a remade RPG in the style of old.
If I had to give any suggestions, it would be to tone down the regularity of random encounters and to increase the storage capacity. Both were irritants in the original game and changing those would benefit the title greatly. For an engine, there’s a bunch to choose from though I would probably say that the best bets would either be Unreal Engine for its ubiquity, or PhyreEngine (as used by Gravity Rush and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster).
Fallout 3 / Fallout: New Vegas
Two for the price of one for this entry, as I feel they both represent something so important they should be done together. Fallout 3 was the first Fallout game made after the franchise was bought by Bethesda Softworks and represents a massive departure from the old games developed by Interplay Entertainment. So many things were different this time around, with a shift to first-person gameplay and modern combat mechanics with guns and other weapons handling like they would in any other FPS. This, coupled with changes in how dialogue was handled and seemingly less depth to the dialogue overall, made it a polarising entry to an esteemed series for sure.
Fallout: New Vegas was even more interesting, with it being developed by Obsidian Entertainment, a company comprised of former staffers from the original Fallout games. They were approached due to Bethesda being busy with development of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Bethesda had the option to make two sequels when the IP was purchased.
So why do they need a remake? Easy, they’re so important. They represent a massive change to how Fallout is made and how it would be handled going forwards, not to mention it signified the beginning of Bethesda‘s hands on the reins. Also, the games are a mess of bugs. A remake would allow the games to be made to a higher graphical standard and also have much less bugs as well, and even include the fan-made bugfix mod that fixes a whole slew of issues. Plus a remake would allow the reintroduction of any cut content thus allowing the games to be realized like the creators initially intended.
Only suggestions I would have would be to focus much more on fixing bugs and to use an engine that’s a lot more stable. Gamebryo was problematic at best so I would recommend either the Apex Engine from Avalanche Studios, or id Tech from id Software. With both companies being close working partners it would be no issue to use one of those engines instead.
A bit of a personal one this time. MDK is a third-person action game for the PS1 and it was developed by Shiny Entertainment. Another studio under the banner of Interplay at the time, the director of the game had a desire to do something other than family friendly games which had been done since the studio’s inception. The game was Shiny‘s first foray into PC game development and presented a whole new set of challenges. While the ability to make a game with 3D graphics was a boon, Shiny decided it was necessary to write their own programming language from scratch. Frame rate was also an issue, with the team struggling to keep the game running at a steady 30fps while also keeping in as much detail as possible due to technical constraints (recommended specs here.)
Why should it be remade? Personally, I think it should because it was Shiny‘s first 3D game and it was historic for the company. Plus the release of MDK opened the door for its sequel, which was developed by a relatively unknown studio called Bioware, who at the time hadn’t even released their first major success yet, something called Baldur’s Gate. It was a game that kicked off Shiny‘s experience in the world of 3D gaming, and a game that melded third-person and first-person combat in a relatively seamless way. Also it’s just unique, you know? How many games have a man in tight leather clothing with a chain gun on his hand? And a 4-armed dog as a sidekick? Not to mention distracting enemies with the “World’s Most Interesting Bomb”.
My suggestions would be to keep the original music, and to include the originally planned 2 additional levels. A lock-on feature would be useful as well so the player can see what enemy is currently targeted.
As engines go, my bet would be Unreal Engine, as Obsidian Entertainment have experience with it and are one of the best known developers made up of previous staff members who worked under Interplay‘s banner.
Need For Speed Underground 2
One of the best racing games to come out of the Need For Speed series, and one of EA Black Box‘s best works during their time as a developer. Releasing in 2004, the game took the customisation the series was known for, and runs wild with it. Almost everything can be changed and replaced, allowing a degree of freedom not really seen in racing games up until that point. The game also featured an open world which required traveling directly to a specific place to begin a race, rather than just starting one from a menu. Need For Speed: Underground 2 also featured a greater variety of events to play, and laid the foundation for the subsequent titles Most Wanted and Carbon.
Why should it have a remake? Because it is so well-loved by fans. Ever since the series took a departure towards more realism and less car fantasy, the series has been in a bit of a decline. Bringing a fondly remembered game like this back would revitalize the fanbase and the series as well. Plus with EA Black Box no longer around, the remake would likely be helmed by Ghost Games. Given they have staff from Criterion Games the driving in the remake would be impeccable, and coupled with the level of customisation that could be given to modern vehicles it would be a definite success. Not to mention the street racer genre has pretty much died. Nearly all racers are trying to go for realistic proper racing, so it is a specific subgenre that is devoid of competition.
My suggestions would be to keep at the very least the same amount of customisation options as the original, but adding more would be nice to encourage more unique creations. The game would most likely use the Frostbite Engine courtesy of Electronic Arts, which would certainly give it the looks to compete these days, though the engine’s alleged complexity might cause performance issues due to the sheer amount of customisation on offer.
Not a very well known game, Black was a military FPS from 2006. Developed by Criterion Games, the intention was to create an FPS that had the same kind of destructive nature that Burnout had. The game featured a lot of destructable elements, as well as bullets leaving marks on surfaces like terrain and buildings. In terms of gameplay it was a pretty by-the-numbers shooter, but its detail at the time and audio quality helped it stand on its own.
Why should it get a remake? Because its successor failed miserably. After Black, the co-creator went and worked on Bodycount for Codemasters. It wasn’t received the greatest. Black getting a remake would allow the game to shine and show how much potential there was for the concept to be applied elsewhere. Plus Stuart Black‘s last game (as far as can be found online) was Enemy Front for CI Games in 2014, so it would be nice for him to have the chance to work on a game synonymous with him on new hardware.
I would suggest including a multiplayer mode, since the gameplay and levels were solid enough to support it with little to no layout changes. Also, improving the enemy AI would be a good idea as that was a concern with the original release .The engine it would use would be an issue, since the Renderware engine is no longer used for console and PC development. Criterion uses the Frostbite Engine nowadays, while Unreal Engine is used by Three Fields Entertainment, a company created by the founders of Criterion. I would put my money on Unreal being used personally, as it is more common and less difficult to use.
Golden Sun/Golden Sun: The Lost Age
I’m going to be honest, I don’t know a lot about Golden Sun. I know it’s made by Camelot Software Planning, a company perhaps best known for the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf titles. It was created to allow Nintendo to compete against Sony in the RPG market, a market in which the PS1 was dominating. The series began in 2001 with Golden Sun, then continued in 2002/3 (staggered worldwide release) with Golden Sun: The Lost Age. After 8 years the series received a third instalment called Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, which was received a little bit less warmly than the first two games. A new game in the series was suggested in 2012, but only if fans wanted it strongly enough.
So why remake the series? Because it was, at least if the constant gushing from a fellow staff member is any indication, a very good and solid RPG for a device that really didn’t have that many high-quality traditional RPGs. Plus its use of elemental magic (Psynergy) in both combat and world traversal was a pretty interesting mechanic, even if it didn’t stray too far from the conventional “you can return here with new items later” style in other RPGs.
My suggestions would be to cut down on the overly verbose dialogue, which was a criticism of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and to stay true to the old-school roots. No introduction of real-time battles like Final Fantasy did, no microtransactions for a portable game, and no shoehorned motion controls which are often placed in portable games as a gimmick. The Nintendo Switch would be the platform of choice for the remakes, of course, as it’s the main gaming product Nintendo have going for them currently. I can’t see it going across to PC though, as Nintendo are pretty protective of their property.
Another two for the price of one. Not much to say that hasn’t already been said about Diablo. Diablo and Diablo 2 are the venerable titans of the ARPG genre, beginning a legacy that continues to this day. Diablo was conceived as an attempt to blend the gameplay and action of roguelikes like NetHack with the graphics and gameplay of modern systems. The use of real-time combat was influenced by the solid performance of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans as well as The Legend of Zelda. Developed by Blizzard North, both games are considered some of the greatest games of all time. The series received a third game with Diablo 3 in 2012, though it was not quite as well received as the first two games. The latest title announced is a mobile game called Diablo Immortal, but only time will tell how that goes.
Why should Diablo/Diablo 2 get a remake? Well for one, the original games are old. They came out in 1996 and 2000 respectively, and thus they are a bit iffy when it comes to running perfectly on newer systems. A remake would allow them to be made specifically for newer systems. Additionally, the artwork and assets could be remade in high definition to really show off the art style and atmosphere the developers were going for. The games are also incredibly well loved and respected, and remaking them would be a veritable goldmine for Blizzard as high sales would be guaranteed. It would also just be awesome to have the original games with the graphics of the current era.
There’s not much that could go wrong so not much to suggest. I would think all DLC should be included rather than sold separately, as splitting the DLC would cause ill will towards the company. Also, for the love of everything, no microtransactions. Dear lord no microtransactions.
Okay, so this might be an odd choice, but hear me out. Developed by Maxis and published by EA, Spore was a God Game. That means that the player looked after and dealt with creatures, rather than controlling one specific character. Spore also offered a surprisingly robust creature creator which allowed players to make their own unique (and sometimes horrifying) creations. Sadly the gameplay wasn’t quite as stellar, with it playing as a relatively shallow experience that had hints of a better game hidden inside it. The Spore train halted after 2009 when no more Spore products were made. A game using the character creation feature called Darkspore was released in 2011, although all online services were shut down in 2016 thus ending the support for any and all Spore-based titles.
So why remake it? Because that level of customisation and making unique content has beenbeen missing for a while. No other game has given players that level of freedom with making weird and wonderful creations. And that sense of freedom is something that gamers could really do with when it comes to just relaxing and having a good time. A remake would also allow bugs to be fixed and cut content to be restored, as well as the mechanics in the game to be fleshed out to a greater degree which would increase replayability even more.
Honestly my main suggestions are to keep DRM out of the game to avoid the furore from the original release. Also, keep the servers open this time, so players can keep coming back to this game for a relaxing time and share content years into the future.
Oh look, a Souls game made the list. The lone Souls game that doesn’t tie into the overarching storyline of the now established Dark Souls canon, Demon’s Souls was both the progenitor of the entire series, and it wasn’t as well. It kicked off the modern Souls franchise, however it didn’t technically start the whole series as its roots trace back to King’s Field from the 1990s. Developed by FromSoftware, Demon’s Souls featured challenging combat, a strange and dangerous world, and NPCs that may or may not be helpful. It’s up to the player to find out and decide.
The game was an attempt to take aspects of RPGs and bring them into the modern day, as well as include a new type of multiplayer that hadn’t really been done at that point in time. Due to the poor reception from Japanese press, the game was initially not localised for the West, a decision later regretted by staff.
Why remake a PS3 game like this? Because it’s so well loved. Demon’s Souls has a fanbase that have been clamoring for a remake or a sequel, and that isn’t a small group of people by any stretch of the imagination. A remake would allow the artwork and atmosphere to be expressed a lot more clearly with new hardware and graphical power, for as effective the game was at conveying the feel of certain areas, the texture quality and detail let it down sometimes. It would also give the opportunity for Sony and Namco Bandai to collaborate and bundle all the Souls games together in one pack as a collector’s item.
A few suggestions though. One, keep the music and voice acting as it is. It’s already perfect as it is and does not need to be changed. Secondly, don’t use the in-house engine this time. Although FromSoftware‘s game engine is solid enough, it is prone to bugs and poor performance and the appeal of the game running with better graphics at a steady 60fps is too great to ignore. Third, include the ragdoll physics from Dark Souls. It might seem strange, but kicking dead bodies around is a remarkably fun part of the Souls games.
Magrunner: Dark Pulse
Finishing off with a bit of a strange one here. Magrunner: Dark Pulse is kind of what you get when you cross Portal with H.P. Lovecraft. But with magnets instead of portals.
Magrunner was developed by Frogwares, a Ukrainian studio who are best known for their Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series. Published by Focus Home Interactive, the game plays from a first-person perspective as the player solves puzzles room by room. To solve these puzzles, there is a magnetic device that changes the polarity of certain objects. Changing the polarity to make objects repel or attract each other is crucial to progressing through the game. The aesthetic is very similar to Portal, in that the game starts out with clean white testing rooms, which gradually fall apart and decay over the course of the game. Development began in 2011 and after a year half of the rooms in the game were completed, with designs for the remainder sketched out. Crowdfunding was successfully completed a year later, however a planned PvP (Player vs Player) mode was scrapped.
Why remake it? Because Portal isn’t having anything done with it and Magrunner was a solid game with some real brain-teasing puzzles. The game was originally planned to have PvP, a high-quality professional soundtrack, a level editor and additional levels. A remake would allow Frogwares to include these features as well as any other ideas they had on the cutting room floor, which would increase the overall playtime as well as foster an online community based around the level creation mechanic.
There aren’t many suggestions as the game is stable and runs well as is, so there’s no real need to change things up engine-wise. I’d just suggest not straying too far from the main thrust of the game with the additional levels that were initially planned, and include a co-operative mode.
There’re so many games to choose from that deserve the remake treatment, here’s just a few I could think of off the top of my head: Darkwatch, Ape Escape, Metal Gear Solid, Super Monkey Ball, Jet Set Radio, F-Zero, Turok, Quake, Unreal.
All of these are well loved and deserve to have a remake, or at the very least be remastered to a more modern standard and it was so hard to choose 10 to list. But at the end of the day it is a personal list, so of course there will be omissions.
Feel free to comment with your own choices for a top 10 and for more overly-long lists keep an eye on Culture of Gaming!