Ratchet & Clank 2016 (PS4)
Ratchet & Clank came back in 2016 in a big way, with not only a full-length feature film but a full blown remake as well. While the 2016 title is technically a remake of the original Ratchet & Clank, there’s so much new and changed that it practically feels like a new game.
All of the technical and gameplay improvements made across the various entries have been implemented like strafing and automatic upgrades, making the 2016 an absolute joy to control. In addition, many weapons not featured in the original have been included like the Groovitron, while new ones like the Pixelator add fun new twists into the game. If all that wasn’t enough for you, Ratchet & Clank is easily one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous games on PS4, and even features a new level and gameplay segments. This truly is the definitive Ratchet & Clank experience for fans both new and old.
Resident Evil (GameCube)
Resident Evil is an incredibly influential game, helping kickstart the survival horror genre years ago. The title was in desperate need of a makeover, however, as it hasn’t aged incredibly well. Luckily the GameCube remake of Resident Evil gave it that much needed graphical face-lift, while adding on a staggering amount of new features.
First and foremost, the game features an entirely rewritten script with new voice actors, and even included an entire subplot cut from the original game. Presentation and gameplay remain mostly the same with you moving your character around pre-rendered backgrounds. There are new gameplay mechanics and weapons, however, the tank controls remain to help give the game tension. On top of that many of the puzzles in Resident Evil were revised, while entirely new explorable areas were added on. The GameCube remake is truly the definitive way to experience Resident Evil both in terms of presentation and gameplay, and it shouldn’t be missed by any fan. Luckily, you don’t need to have a GameCube to play it either, as an HD version of the remake was released on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 a couples years back. Now, you have no excuse for skipping this one.
Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (Game Boy Advance)
Final Fantasy was the game that changed everything and started a new wave of JRPGs. As such, it’s been remade multiple times on multiple systems. However, the best change to the original and its sequel came in the form of Dawn of Souls on the Game Boy Advance. This compilation bundled the first two Final Fantasy games together with a host of gameplay additions and changes.
The most important change comes with the magic system, which originally operated on a number of spell uses system. The GBA version does away with this entirely, instead opting for the MP system every other game in the series would go on to use, and making the experience much smoother. On top of this items like the Phoenix Down were introduced to the original, along with some balance tweaks for classes like the Thief and Monk. Four new dungeons were even introduced to the game, each corresponding to one of the four infamous fiends. Final Fantasy II also received a handful of gameplay and system changes, although nothing as drastic as the first.
Dawn of Souls made some necessary changes to the first two Final Fantasies, making them feel less dated and bringing them to an entirely new generation of players.
Metroid Zero Mission (Game Boy Advance)
Metroid Zero Mission is one of those games that takes an all-time classic, and makes it feel like something entirely new. Technically Zero Mission is a remake of the first game, but it functions more as a reimaging. Right off the bat you’ll notice that Nintendo added in most of Samus’ powers from future entries in the series, that weren’t featured in the first Metroid. Because of this they had to alter the game’s world as well, literally making everything bigger and better.
Zero Mission has a larger world to explore, greater enemy variety, new boss battles, and more. Of course, you also get a gorgeous graphical upgrade that really makes the game pop with some incredible sprite work. Nintendo wasn’t just content to stop there, however, as they added on an entirely new section of the game where the original ended. This time around instead of just seeing the revelation that Samus is a woman, you get to play as her in her Zero Suit form. This added section has entirely different gameplay and strategies from the main game, giving you even more content to wade through. It’s a rare thing for a remake to take one of the greatest games of all time and turn it into something even better.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was already a phenomenal game, considered by many to be the best int the series. Despite that, Kojima and Konami decided to release an updated version on the PS2 that fixed some of the title’s issues, while adding on some impressive new content.
The biggest complaint about Snake Eater lied in its camera, which didn’t have the full range of motion you might be used to in a third person action game. Luckily, Subsistence did away with that entirely allowing for full 3D camera motion, and making it much easier to look around the environment and spot enemies. This dynamically changed the way the game was played, and the experience still let you keep the old camera if you wanted to. Besides some other small gameplay changes, a second disc added on a surprising amount of new features. First and foremost was the addition of an online multiplayer mode, followed by a boss rush mode, a Snake vs. Monkey minigame, and the inclusion of both original Metal Gear titles from the MSX. You really couldn’t ask for a more complete package from a Metal Gear game.
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (PSP)
Final Fantasy Tactics is one of the most beloved titles in the entire series, despite being a spinoff. The tactical RPG received an updated version on the PSP called War of the Lions that made some pretty drastic changes. The entire game’s script has been completely rewritten in a style more closely matching “Medieval” English, matching the title’s tone well.
Additionally, some pretty drastic changes had been made to difficulty, while fixing a few game breaking bugs and glitches that were present in the PlayStation version. There were also additional story scenarios and battles added, along with some lavishly animated cutscenes at key moments. You could even recruit two new characters, Luso from Tactics Advance 2 and Balthier from Final Fantasy XII. One of the best Final Fantasy games of all time was made even better.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS)
The Dragon Quest series has had a number of remakes and re-releases, but few are as drastic of a change as Dragon Quest VII on the 3DS. The 2D JRPG became a full-blown 3D one, seriously changing the overall presentation and feel of the title. Battle animations were also heavily changed to be completely seamless and fluid.
On top of the major graphical upgrade, Dragon Quest VII also received some additions and changes. The first few hours have been significantly altered to help players get into the game quicker, rather than having to solve the various puzzles that took hours to complete in the original. You also got some tweaks to things like how characters level up, how some shops work, how armor works, and more. There’s also a brand new secret dungeon and character added in for longtime fans. Dragon Quest VII almost feels like an entirely new game on the 3DS, and it certainly helps that you can take it on the go.
Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen (Game Boy Advance)
The first Pokemon games were revolutionary titles for Nintendo, launching one of their most popular series to this day. Luckily, we got a fantastic remade version of the two original games on the Game Boy Advance, with Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen. The most obvious change is the updated graphics and soundtrack, which work wonders for the games. There were also a number of gameplay changes and additions too, however.
You now had the option of choosing between a male and female character, while the power and type of certain Pokemon moves were altered. There’s also a more expanded post Elite Four storyline that features Team Rocket and the new area of the Sevii Islands. Everything about FireRed and LeafGreen was bigger and better, whether you played the originals or not.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Wii U)
Wind Waker certainly wasn’t a bad looking game by any regard, but Wind Waker HD is absolutely stunning. The HD update works wonders for the cel-shaded Zelda game, making it feel almost like a cartoon in motion. At the same time the title introduced a huge list of gameplay updates and UI changes, with Nintendo streamlining nearly everything that slowed the original down.
The biggest change comes with the addition of the Swift Sail, which doubles your sailing speed out on the ocean. Other additions like an optional Hero Mode and 500 Rupee wallet from the start of the game also helped things along. There really are a huge amount of tiny changes that help the game for the better, like faster text speed and shorter grappling cutscenes. Not all of the changes are incredibly noticeable, but Nintendo really put work into this one to make a classic that much better.
Tomb Raider: Anniversary
Tomb Raider’s legacy is unquestionable, however, the first couple of titles on PlayStation certainly haven’t aged all that well. The series set out to update the original in 2007 with Tomb Raider: Anniversary, and managed to succeed in that goal.
The story of Tomb Raider remains intact, and Lara still visits all of the places from the original. However, significant overhauls to graphics and gameplay were made in order to update the title to the feel of a modern game. The biggest change, of course, comes graphically, making the environments of the first Tomb Raider pop with a fresh coat of paint. Gameplay was also tweaked and tuned to make Lara easier to control, more closely resembling the gameplay of Tomb Raider: Legend. On top of that, the title also features a remade soundtrack and new areas within certain levels.