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Giving older video games a new coat of paint is one thing. But have there been any remakes that have significantly improved on the original in every way? Here are a few games that turned out better the second time around.

Remaking games is a tricky business. On the one hand, you don’t want to deviate too far from the original’s core design; but on the other, you do want to fix problems, update controls and make the game playable on completely different hardware The 10 Best PC Games Ported To iPad The 10 Best PC Games Ported To iPad Some PC developers are filling the gaps with iPad ports, and many are a perfect fit for the tablet. Read More . Sometimes it doesn’t work very well, and sometimes the people doing the updating merely scale up the graphics and call it a day. But occasionally, a remastered release improves upon the original and is a better game overall. Here are a few examples.

Resident Evil

ResiEvil1stZombieCompareScreenshot(Original: PlayStation – Remake: GameCube)

The original Resident Evil was released for the Playstation in 1996. It was fairly popular and can be given credit for codifying survival horror. But there’s no denying that the live-action cutscenes and dialogue will make the average person cringe so hard 3 Video Games That Actually Made Me Laugh Out Loud [MUO Gaming] 3 Video Games That Actually Made Me Laugh Out Loud [MUO Gaming] Video games have come a long way in terms of telling a story. They have high grade voice actors and cutscenes that occasionally rival at least mid-grade movies. However, the one place video games always... Read More they pull half the muscles in their face.

The game was rereleased several times for different platforms and twice as a Director’s Cut before the remake was released for the Gamecube in 2002. While still not exactly Oscar-worthy, the voice-acting is much improved, and there are distinct new enemies along with more consistent environmental design.

Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

MonkeyIslandCompareScreenshot(Original: Amiga, Atari ST, CDTV, DOS, FM Towns, Mac OS, Sega CD – Remake: iOS, PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360)

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One of the classic adventure games from LucasArts, The Secret of Monkey Island, and its first sequel LeChuck’s Revenge, are games that needed an update 6 Classic Adventure Remakes That You Need To Play 6 Classic Adventure Remakes That You Need To Play Read More for preservation if nothing else.

Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition isn’t so much a new coat of paint as it is a complete reupholstering. There’s new hand-drawn artwork, new character models, voice acting from Curse of Monkey Island, and a new hint system. If, for some reason, you are overcome with nostalgia and need to see the original graphics, you can do so at the touch of a button.

Metro 2033: Redux

MetroCompareScreenshot(Original: PC, Mac, Xbox 360 – Remake: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Based on a Russian novel (a description which should really be applied to more games, if you ask me 4 Books That Need Video Game Adaptations 4 Books That Need Video Game Adaptations Where book-to-video game adaptations are concerned, the gaming industry hasn't even scratched the surface. Read More ), Metro 2033 was a dark, thrilling survival horror first-person shooter. While it was perfectly adequate by itself, it was outstripped visually by the engine of its sequel Last Light.

The Redux bundle, which also includes a slightly updated Last Light, is Metro: 2033 with the new engine. Redux also added a difficulty setting called “Spartan,” which relaxes the difficulty from 2033 to Last Light levels, along with a simplified setting for your light-detecting watch and an updated HUD.

Metroid Prime Trilogy

MetroidPrimeCompareScreenshot(Original: GameCube, Wii – Remake: Wii, Wii U)

The Metroid Prime trilogy took the world of Samus Aran into three dimensions. The first two games were released on the Gamecube 5 Of The Most Valuable Games For The Nintendo GameCube 5 Of The Most Valuable Games For The Nintendo GameCube The GameCube had a solid library with plenty of games that are both fun to play and sought after by collectors today. Read More , and the third on the Wii. The Trilogy, which was released for the Wii in 2009, packs all three games onto one disc.

All three games are now in widescreen and redone for Wii controls. These new controls make lock-on targeting easier and more precise. The unlocking system from Corruption was put into Prime and Echoes. Nintendo has also made sure that current-gen players don’t miss out either, as the Trilogy is now available for the Wii U on the Nintendo eShop.

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill Remastered

SecretsCanKillScreenshotCompare(Original: PC – Remake: PC)

In 1998, up-and-coming game makers Her Interactive published Secrets Can Kill, the first game in their Nancy Drew series. The character models were cheap, two-dimensional animation in 3D environments; and the game was technically inefficient, running on two discs that often need to be swapped at the oddest moments.

For Nancy Drew‘s 80th anniversary, Her remastered Secrets Can Kill, making new character models and a whole new character, new puzzles that play on veterans’ knowledge of the original, and some new story threads that lead to an entirely different ending.

Pokémon

Pokemon Sapphire Cutscene Comparison Screenshot(Various Nintendo handhelds)

There have been remakes of almost every Pokémon game to date, with the exception of Black and White. I expect to hear about the Ebony and Ivory versions any day now, Nintendo.

Each remake has improved on the original through graphical updates and new content. FireRed and LeafGreen added new lands and a new experience system. HeartGold and SoulSilver added new Pokémon, battles, and sidequests. Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby put in all of the Pokémon currently catchable, Mega Evolutions, and Super Training from X and Y. That’s barely scratching the surface of what changes with every update.

Final Fantasy IV: DS Remake

FFIVComparisonScreenshots(Original: SNES – Remake: Nintendo DS)

The fourth Final Fantasy has been rereleased so many times that I suspect the number of people who’ve played it on the Playstation, Game Boy Advance, and finally the Nintendo DS now outstrip the number who played it on the SNES.

The DS remake was released as part of the series’ 20th anniversary. In addition to the new 3D graphics, the remake includes voice acting, minigames, and sidequests. There’s also a New Game Plus mode that allows you to replay the game, taking on previously unseen bosses. This version was released for mobile devices and is currently available on Steam.

Are there any remastered games that you think improve on the originals? Let me know in the comments below!

  1. JoePerkins
    March 3, 2015 at 11:58 am

    The new drawings of Monkey Island better than the original? Are you insane?

  2. ptrix
    March 2, 2015 at 1:46 am

    How was it possible that you failed to include DuckTales: Remastered? :(

  3. McFuzz
    March 1, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    One would think a 'remaster' is intended to be better than the original.... Of course, it used to be, but with recent years they're just doing it to cash in on the PS4 and Xbone. Because remaking old, good games is much more financially successful than mega-hyping a new idea and half-baking the gameplay. *Cough Watch Dogs, Cough Evolve, Cough Destiny, Cough Order 1886, Cough Ryse, Cough Etcetera*

    I would probably add Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Wind Waker.

    Resident Evil on Gamecube is the bees knees though :3

    • Finnen
      March 2, 2015 at 10:03 am

      @McFuzz I really liked the idea of remastering old games, and some remasters are actually quite good (and some of them are listed here in this article) but you're right, there's a lot of remasters that are really bad and made to milk out people from their money. Personally I like when the remastered game doesn't stray away too far from the original in terms of gameplay. I'm absolutely devastated with Flashback HD. The original is one of my favorite games of all times but the remake... oh my god :X It's nothing like original game. It feels completely different. The first jungle level took me quite a while to figure out on original game - you had to carefully take out enemies and go back to few places. It felt nice when I finally finished it because I remember I couldn't do it when I was a kid. But the new Flashback is stripped from all thinking - basically it became a simple action-platformer with shooting enemies :X You can finish the first level in few minutes, like what the hell? The other fail is Super Frog - another game from my childhood that got destroyed by failed remaster.

      I'd add Another World 10-year Anniverary Edition to the list of good remasters. The game is essentialy the same as the original except for graphics - it's no longer pixelated and it looks a bit like a flash-style game, but it has the same feeling like the original (it's just a conversion to different style). Overall it's a small improvement of graphics to allow displaying it on a big screen with high resolutions without any distortions. Rest is the same as the original -as it should be. Another World is great and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't played it yet :)

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