Old games getting remade is a bit of a trigger point among gamers, because watching a video game franchise you love get remade poorly is like a kick directly in the childhood.
But for every bad reboot, there’s also a fantastic one that breathes new life into a franchise years later. For every Bionic Commando reboot, there is a Resident Evil 2: REmake to balance out the world. While many games have been rebooted in modern generations to various degrees of success, there are still many old-school classics that really deserve to be modernized.
Here are the top six.
1. Condemned (2005)
The great Monolith Productions made this game way back in 2005, and it still holds rank as a cult favorite for many. While Condemned may look like a horror-themed FPS upon first glance, it wasn’t, and that’s what set it apart.
It was actually a first person brawler game that focused on ultraviolent melee attacks. You would find old pipes and planks of wood with nails in them and use those rather than guns to defend yourself from the hordes of violent transients. The graphics are really dated now and the combat is a one button mash fest lacking in depth.
Rebooted for this generation, Condemned would ooze atmosphere and oppression from the rainy city blocks and old abandoned storefronts, now filled up with psychos.
First person melee combat has also come a long way since 2005 thanks to games like Dishonored, and with proper parrying and dodging a remake would make you really feel that struggle to survive, while driving home those grimy horror themes.
2. Jak and Daxter (2001)
Naughty Dog created Jak and Daxter series a looong time ago, but we’d recognize the studio’s trademark charm anywhere. A 3D platformer that turned into an open-world game that then turned into a racing game, Jak and Daxter was ambitious and fun, while also being a joy to look at.
Now let’s take time to realize how great this would work in current gen hardware. The worlds and the levels within those worlds could be all encompassing in scope and beauty. The original games looked gorgeous and their worlds and levels looked like something of of a CG movie, try to imagine what those worlds could look like on current gen hardware? Stunning would be an understatement.
And imagine if they added a two player aspect to this game with a new addition where someone could pick up a controller and drop in as whichever of the two? That would take this series to new heights. And if Naughty Dog’s track record since abandoning this series is any indication (they turned their focus to Uncharted initially and then Last of Us), this game would be both gorgeous and transfixing.
3. Tenchu (1998)
Tenchu was a third-person stealth action game (with a major emphasis on the stealth part) on the PS1, and it was a game unlike any other. You would be dropped into large open maps and look for specific targets to kill (silently, ninja-style). The game was known for its gruelling difficulty, which was the beginning of a trend for developer From Software, who you now know of because of the Dark Souls series.
But sadly, as popular as Tenchu was, they haven’t touched the Tenchu brand in years. A lot of people thought Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was going to end up being revealed as a Tenchu game, but alas, that never happened. Tenchu was a slow-paced stealth game that relied on hiding in the shadows and going unseen. And while Sekiro also focuses on Eastern myth and setting, it was more of a straight-up action game that relied more on perfect timing and reflex reactions. They may look similar, but that is all they have in common.
Imagine for a moment some modern gaming designs that would make Tenchu truly shine. How about instead of forcing players down on specific path, you make the reboot more open-ended with multiple ways to assassinate your target, kind of like the modern Hitman games.
4. Jade Empire (2005)
Jade Empire was an action-RPG with difficult dialog options and many different outcomes. What set it apart from all other RPGs was the fact that it was heavily inspired by Eastern mythology and legend. You play an aspiring martial artist who learns a series of different styles of combat throughout the game. You could actively change between them in real-time, which was still pretty novel for RPGs back then.
The game had a morality system some people still talk about to this day. You had a “closed fist” approach and a “open palmed” approach to every decision. In one mission for example, you have a simple moment when you can either help some monks not get beaten up or help encourage the people beating them up. What about something more ambiguous?
The choices in Jade Empire are mainly black and white, and a reboot could make those decisions more layered and less binary. Two paths are fun in gaming, but real life has grey areas and it would be fun to explore them in a rebooted version of this game.
5. Nightmare Creatures (1997)
Many believe that Nightmare Creatures crawled so Bloodborne could walk, with huge similarities between the games. Very creepy and unique demon creatures inhabit ye olde England (at night), and you, dressed up like Marilyn Manson, methodically kill them all. Nightmare Creatures wasn’t a button masher either. It took precise timing to dodge and counter attack, and you had to plan your attacks and defense as you went.
There just aren’t enough games set in Victorian London either. The game made it feel like you were in a gothic horror film, and the setting drove home a true feeling of helpless. The spiky architecture jutting out from every building. The damp, grey sky always taunting you overhead. Give us this, but make it look so real our clothes feel damp from the fog after a playthrough.
6. Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995)
One game many people still pine for is another entry in the Dark Forces series. This FPS took place in the Star Wars universe, and though we seem to have plenty of Star Wars games now, it was far less common way back in 1995. Truth is, the first game just looked and played like a Doom clone in a Star Wars skin, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there’s obviously a lot of room to improve on that.
What fans of this series truly want is something more akin to the amazing second game, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2. It took most of what was good about the core game and just amped it all up. The graphics were fantastic at the time, people like the story enough to consider it canon, and above all that, it had a multiplayer you could modify any way you liked. Want a match with just guns and no sabers? They got you. want a match with all sabers and no guns. Yup, they got you there, too.
Make us look like a Dathomirian (same race as Darth Maul) and basically place the game during Order 66 (where Jedis were seen as criminals and systematically killed off, one by one). You could planet hop getting into first person battles with some (possibly well know) Jedi, taking a trophy from each kill that you eventually turn into a gun/saber combo so you can melee with. Just please, for the love of God, don’t let Electronic Arts touch it. They had their chance.
From reboots to bosses, why not come over here and check out our list of all the Far Cry Bosses, ranked from worst to best. Then feel free to check out the best third party controllers for the Nintendo Switch!