Let's face it, we all have that one special game that defined our childhood. No matter how bad the graphics are by today's standards, or how primitive the gameplay seems in contrast to the blockbuster #videogames of today, there will always be that one game that holds a special place in our hearts.
Gaming behemoths like Sony, #Microsoft and Nintendo have given us some of our fondest gaming memories, with classic consoles like the PlayStation 2, the original Xbox, and others like the Wii and GameCube. Furthermore, rekindling these memories has become a booming business, and recent remasters of games like Skyrim, BioShock and Crash Bandicoot have given classic games a new lease on life, much to the delight of many players wanting to relive the best moments from fondly remembered stellar titles.
However, many classic games haven't been lucky enough to receive the gaming equivalent of a facelift. So which classic games deserve a modern-day remaster?
1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was a genre-defining open-world game set in the sprawling US state of San Andreas, based heavily on the sunny and scenic California and Nevada. With one of the biggest open-world areas to explore at the time, #SanAndreas pushed the boundaries of gaming, immersing players in its vibrant and detailed recreation of the US West Coast.
In Rockstar Games' critically acclaimed action game, players control CJ, who's returned to his hometown of Los Santos following the murder of his mother, and is seeking to reunite his old gang, all while trying to uncover the truth about his mother's death.
But why does #GTA San Andreas deserve a remaster, you ask? Well, the sheer success of the game would be one reason enough. San Andreas sold around 17 million copies globally and sits as one of the best selling #Playstation2 titles of all time.
But the main reason this game in particular deserves to make its way back to our consoles is that it's just goddamn awesome. Few games at the time offered the freedom that San Andreas did, with a huge map and three entire cities to explore! Players could scale the intimidating Mount Chiliad, sneak into Area 69 (Area 51's dirty-minded cousin), and even soar through the skies using a jetpack (which many people have been searching tirelessly for in 2013's #GTA5, ever since its launch), flying around like a low-rent parody of Iron Man.
If #Rockstar announced that San Andreas would receive a modern remaster, fans of the franchise would undoubtedly be fighting to get their hands on a copy. Well, those who don't remember the infamous train mission woul,d anyway ("Follow the damn train, CJ!").
2. The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003)
The Simpsons: Hit & Run was a title released for the PlayStation 2, #GameCube, Xbox and PC. Based on the long-running animated series (I mean, the title kinda gave that away), Hit & Run dropped players right in the middle of lively Springfield as they sought to uncover the truth behind a number of strange occurrences happening in the town.
Hit & Run received very positive reviews, selling more than 3 million copies by 2007, and receiving the Fave Video Game award at the 2004 Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards (yes, that was a real thing, I swear).
However, the moderate success of the game actually isn't a reason why this one deserves a modern-day remaster. The game was just so much fun. I may be a little biased by adding this to the list, seeing as how I played this game for hours as a kid, but heck, I don't even care.
From the moment you start the game, you're presented with a sandbox world to mess around in, driving an array of vehicles, hitting pedestrians, and exploring the town we all know and love. Admit it, you've always wanted to explore Springfield! Essentially, this was the game you played if your parents didn't let you play #GTA.
Within Hit & Run, you could play as a number of characters from the show, including Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, and Apu. You could drive the famous Mr. Plow snow truck, take part in races, enjoy an abundance of wacky missions, and even find a rocket car. So you'd better watch out, Rocket League, because The Simpsons: Hit & Run might just steal your thunder if it ever receives a remaster!
3. Spyro The Dragon (1998)
He's lovable, he's fun, and he's everyone's favorite purple reptile. It's Barney the Dinos — sorry, it's Spyro of course!
First soaring onto PlayStation systems in 1998, #Spyro is seen as a classic title in the eyes of many dedicated Sony fans. Even those who were deprived of Spyro the Dragon as children have most likely heard about the adventures of this awesome little dragon, probably from that one friend who got the cool new #PlayStation and Spyro for Christmas, while they just got socks — thanks, Grandma.
In Spyro the Dragon, players control the titular Spyro as he ventures between worlds, finding hidden treasure, rescuing other dragons, and ultimately trying to defeat the evil Gnasty Gnorc. With two attack options at Spyro's disposal (fire breath and horn charge), the gameplay was relatively simple, comprising of platforming elements and boss battles in a vibrant, colorful world.
But who said fun needed to be anything other than simple? The ease and charm of this quirky little game made it one of the most noteworthy titles from the PlayStation One era, and the reputation of Spyro alone as a classic, fun, simple game certainly gives it the right to a remaster. C'mon, #Sony — just look how #CrashBandicoot's recent remaster announcement went down! You know that Spyro deserves one, too.
4. Assassin's Creed (2007)
Ten years ago Ubisoft introduced the world to Assassin's Creed and thus created one of the largest, most successful gaming series ever released. As of September 2016, the #AssassinsCreed franchise has sold more than 100 million copies globally, according to a blog post by #Ubisoft. And with the recent release of the Assassin's Creed movie, the franchise just keeps going from strength to strength. So I guess you could say it's pretty popular.
However, all of this started with the first game in the franchise, simply titled Assassin's Creed. In this game, protagonist Desmond Myles must use a machine knows as the Animus — basically a glorified VR experience — to relive the memories of his ancestor Altaïr, a disgraced assassin who lived in the Holy Land during the time of the Third Crusade.
As Altaïr, players attempt to rise through the ranks of the Assassin Order by carrying out a number of assassinations, using a mixture of stealth and brutality to eliminate each target. Parkour was also a core feature of the game, allowing for Altaïr to fluidly run through the world and evade capture more easily.
With a fun, fluid, and dynamic range of combat and traversal options, and a dedicated fan following to back it up, a remaster of the first Assassin's Creed game would almost certainly be a success; and having a chance to step back into the shoes of Altaïr would undoubtedly be a welcome nostalgia trip for any fan of the franchise. Dammit, Ubisoft, don't make us jump into an Animus just to play as Altaïr again!
5. Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
We all need a vacation from time to time, and #Mario is no exception (saving Princess Peach 837 times in a row must really tire a plumber out). Taking place on the sunny isle of Delfino, Super Mario Sunshine tells the story of Mario's dream vacation. Players can sunbathe, apply sunscreen to Peach's back, and even drink mojitos by the sea. Nah, I'm just kidding.
In #SuperMarioSunshine, Mario's vacation is interrupted after he's framed by Shadow Mario, who has been vandalizing the beautiful Isle Delfino, much like Banksy's evil twin. Using the Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device (FLUDD) backpack, Mario is tasked with cleaning up the isle while also — surprise, surprise — saving Princess Peach from the clutches of Shadow Mario. Seriously, Peach, just hire a bodyguard or something, it's like you want to be kidnapped.
Super Mario Sunshine was received well commercially, selling more than 5.5 million copies and becoming the 10th best-selling game of 2002 in the US. And no wonder! The game was a ton of fun, and running around the isle of Delfino with a giant water cannon was an absolute blast (y'see what I did there?).
Furthermore, a remaster of this game would definitely complement the new #NintendoSwitch, allowing players to relive their childhood memories on the go. One dedicated fan even recreated some of Super Mario Sunshine in Unreal Engine 4, and it looks phenomenal! Go on, Nintendo, you know you want to take us all on vacation to Delfino one more time.
6. Super Mario 64 (1996)
Yes, I know, you probably have déjà vu. I mean, I only just talked about a Mario game. But trust me, this one also deserves a mention.
Super Mario 64 was a landmark title in platform gaming, released 21 years ago for the Nintendo 64 console, and later released for the #Nintendo DS in 2004 as a slightly enhanced version, known as Super Mario 64 DS.
In Super Mario 64, players were free to roam around Princess Peach's Castle as they tried to rescue her from the infamous Bowser, reaffirming my point that she should definitely invest in one or two bodyguards.
As one of the first games to offer a 3D platforming experience, #SuperMario64 arguably had a definitive role in the transition from classic 2D games to more detailed and complex 3D experiences. Its dynamic camera and 360 degree analog control were huge innovations within the gaming industry, and many praise it as having a major influence on the way we play video games today.
Therefore, Super Mario 64 definitely deserves a modern-day facelift, possibly even for the new Nintendo Switch. Other games from the Super Mario franchise have borrowed numerous elements from this classic title, so what better way to pay homage than to bring it back to the players? Nintendo, make it happen, we've got a Princess to save!
7. Pokémon Emerald (2004)
Pokémon Emerald was a very popular installment in the Pokémon franchise that was released for the Game Boy Advance handheld console. Following on from its predecessors Ruby and Sapphire, Emerald included #Pokemon from both of these games, with the Legendary Pokémon Groudon and Kyogre making an appearance, as well as the newly added Rayquaza.
Emerald followed a very similar story to its predecessors, but still maintained the simple charm of a Pokémon game. Set in the Hoenn region, players battled their way through eight gyms before challenging the Elite Four; all while trying to defeat two large criminal organizations which sought to take over Hoenn.
The game was well received by critics and fans alike, selling more than six million copies by 2006. However, the reason that this game deserves a remaster isn't because of its critical reception — it's because its two older siblings already got remasters. Talk about Nintendo nepotism.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were released in 2014 for the 3DS, much to the delight of many fans of these classic #GameBoy titles, though a remaster for Emerald is nowhere to be seen as of yet.
However, with reports surfacing in 2014 that a trademark had been filed for Pokémon Delta Emerald by Nintendo in Japan, rumors are rife that Nintendo may be planning a future remaster for this brilliant installment in the Pokémon franchise. Could this be true?
8. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is an open-world roleplaying game developed by #Bethesda, set in the province of Cyrodiil. As a predecessor to the incredibly popular #Skyrim, Oblivion set the bar high for other developers to compete with, boasting a range of innovative features such as fully voiced NPC characters, impressive graphics, and an expansive game world to explore.
In the game, players were tasked with creating their own characters and embarking on a quest to stop a crazed cult from opening the gates to the hellish world of Oblivion. Players could also take part in numerous side quests, exploring vast landscapes packed with secrets to discover while losing themselves in the province of Cyrodiil for hours on end.
However, a remaster of Oblivion may be unlikely for one simple reason: Its younger brother is much more popular. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was the successor to Oblivion and was released to resounding critical acclaim and commercial success. It's even received a remaster of its own, with the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition bringing the title to current-gen systems with a variety of graphical upgrades. With the success of this installment, it's safe to say that an Oblivion remaster isn't likely to happen, though fans of the franchise would certainly cherish the chance to step back into the world of Oblivion again one day. Pretty please, Bethesda?
A Blast From The Past
So that concludes the list of classic games that definitely deserve a remaster. From simple, fun platforming experiences to more detailed and expansive open-world adventures, the list of worthy games is impressive. Of course, the future of gaming should by no means be overstuffed with remasters of classic titles, as developers have to focus on the future. But there's no harm in wanting to relive childhood memories and it would be amazing if a few of these classic games could once again absorb players into their immersive worlds.
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