When a video game gets a remake, this new version is bound to be compared to the original. Much of the time, the original game is still the favorite among fans. However, the whole purpose of a remake is to improve upon the previous game with a more modern take.
As such, there are plenty of video game remakes out there that were successful in this, whether it was for refining gameplay elements, upgrading graphics and visuals, or including additions to the game that made it better overall.
This list includes games where the remake is better in more ways than one, and the best way to experience the game itself would be to play the remake. This list also spans multiple different consoles, and includes games geared towards adults as well as younger audiences. Here are some of the best video game remakes.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
One of the most popular and well-received games of all time, some saying one of the best games ever made, is Ocarina of Time. When it first came out on the Nintendo 64, it revolutionized what adventure games could look like and was extremely influential for the future of video games.
Inevitably, though, graphics and controls were bound to improve, and Ocarina of Time became stuck in the past. Eventually, when Nintendo released their 3DS handhelds, they decided to take one of their best games of all time and remake it for a new generation.
Ocarina of Time got a complete graphics update, as well as smoother controls which made playing the game more fun than frustrating, as the original could be at times. Overall, this remake made a great game even greater, so that it can continue to be remembered for its influence for years to come.
Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus was an amazing game originally released on the Playstation 2 in 2005. In 2018, the game received a complete reworking of the graphics based off the remaster that was made for the PS3 previously. This new remake was released to the Playstation 4, and along with the updated graphics, the game’s controls were also revamped. Every asset within the new game was changed, but the main gameplay is still the same as the original.
The PS4 version definitely improved upon the original, and it’s the best way to experience this game, with the beautiful art style, graphics, and better controls.
Super Mario 64 DS
There’s no doubt that Super Mario 64 is one of the most influential video games out there. Being the first 3D Mario game, and one of the earliest 3D games in general, it helped define and shape what 3D platformers would look like for years to come.
Eventually, Nintendo decided to remake this ground-breaking game for the DS, one of its most popular handheld systems. The results were fantastic, as the game simply enhanced what made the original so great. The controls were much smoother, and the graphics updated.
Some additions were also made, such as allowing you to play as Yoshi, Luigi, or Wario instead of just Mario.Nintendo also added a wireless multiplayer mode, new mini-games, and expanded on the story mode with new missions and bosses.
Final Fantasy VII
The Final Fantasy series is a well-known RPG franchise, and it’s arguably Final Fantasy VII that really made the series take off. At the time of its release, it received plenty of praise for its gameplay, plotline, and music, and became one of the most popular Playstation games. Many remember it as one of the best games in history.
However, over time, the game has definitely become dated and a remake that was up to modern standards was a dream for many fans. In 2020, Square Enix did just that and delivered a phenomenal Final Fantasy VII remake. They stayed faithful to the source material, while redesigning characters and settings from the ground up. The game was released for the PS4 and was one of the fastest-selling games for the console.
Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver
Pokemon Gold and Silver were a fan favorite when they first came out, introducing the Johto region to players. The games were released for the Gameboy Color in 1999, and eventually became the third best selling entries into the series. Nintendo had already made a foray into remaking Pokemon games with FireRed and LeafGreen, and upon Gold and Silver’s 10th anniversary decided to remake these games as well.
This culminated in the release of HeartGold and SoulSilver in 2009 for the DS. These remakes were faithful to the original games, but updated the graphics for the newer handheld and added some gameplay features that were previously included in Pokemon Crystal. These remakes were highly praised and remain one of the best games in the franchise.
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 was a horror game originally developed for the Playstation and was a pioneer of the survival horror genre. At the time of its release, it received lots of praise for its gameplay and design. Eventually, it was also ported to the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Windows, and GameCube.
Long after its first release, which has since garnered many fans of the franchise, Capcom went on to create a remake of the game for the Playstation 4, Xbox One and Windows in 2019. It also became available for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2022.
There were some big changes to the game in this remake of the original, such as switching the camera angle to third-person. Different difficulties were also added, each of which changes how the game is experienced. The graphics also got a massive overhaul. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the game or have never picked it up, the Resident Evil 2 remake is definitely worth playing.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
The Spyro games were an iconic series for the Playstation 2. The first three, which were later remade in Spyro Reignited, were Spyro the Dragon in 1998, Ripto’s Rage! in 1999, and Year of the Dragon in 2000. In 2018, developers Toys for Bob created a remake of all three games on one disc, and released it for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. In 2019 it was also released for Windows and the Nintendo Switch.
Spyro Reignited includes a complete transformation of the graphics, while still sticking as close as possible to the original designs. All the level designs and settings are the same. The music and voice acting was entirely rerecorded to better the quality. Also, features that were added on in only a couple of the games were set to be standard across them all. Whether or not you’ve played these classic games before, Spyro Reignited is worth giving a try.
Experience New and Improved Favorites
The reason most of these games compare better to their original counterparts is due mainly to technical upgrades, like controls or graphics. The core gameplay and plotlines tend to stay the same, since those basic aspects are what make these games so great in the first place.
Are there any remakes that were better than the original that we missed? Let us know in the comments.