With the recent success of the Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy and the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy our minds went back to the early days we shared with these memorable gaming icons. Running away from boulders. Second guessing our leaps and bounds. Charging, flaming, and collecting treasure through sandbox-like worlds. What a time to be a gamer. It comes as no surprise that the aforementioned remakes would hit close to home. What other games or series would we want to see come back through new eyes?
The prospect of remakes is varied among gamers. Is it necessarily a remake when a game’s graphical fidelity is upscaled and ported to successor consoles such as last year’s Shadow of the Colossus, or is a remake defined by the combination of a graphics overhaul, a modernized control scheme, yet still remain true to the original? Maybe you just don’t care and a remake is more akin to greeting and catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in years.
Here’s a few thoughts that could make for some fun remakes. Now it should be noted that series like Resident Evil and Ratchet Clank will be omitted from this list. The reason is that these series have standalone remakes while this list is more leaning towards the Crash and Spyro trilogies in that these games can be bundled in one package. Of course, there’s always more lists we can make for standalone remakes.
Yeah, I’ll always be about that bear and bird buddy platformer. Banjo-Kazooie oozed such charm when I first played it many years ago. I think it made for a better 3D platformer than Super Mario 64, only because I’m sure Rareware was taking notes at the time and made a game that took full advantage of its hardware. Yet here we are today. Banjo-Kazooie is a Microsoft IP and one that has laid dormant for many years. Even when Banjo-Tooie released near 20 years ago, it teased a possible third title in the series. It never came to fruition, and we instead got Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, practically a LEGO car builder-simulator. It was very disappointing. How awesome would it be to take advantage of the Xbox One X’s powerful hardware to recreate the colorful, lush, and lively worlds of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie? What if it could open the floodgates to finally cap off the series with a third game? I’m confident Grant Kirkhope, the composer of the memorable soundtracks, would be onboard to revisit his compositions as much as we would.
2. Jak and Daxter Trilogy
Ratchet & Clank got their foot out the door when the original game was remade for PS4 a few years ago, and while it would be great for that series of remakes to continue, its sister series Jak and Daxter would be prime for a reimagining. The first game in the series is a lovingly termed collect-a-thon in which you gather Precursor Orbs among other trinkets. Curiously the series would then shift into an open world, third-person shooter style of gameplay, not unlike that of Ratchet & Clank. Even more curious, the series also took a darker and mature shift in tone with Jak taking on a brooding persona. Still, it would be neat to see this series get a modern day polish. With the shooter genre also getting its sea legs since this series originally debuted, the second and third titles would be sure to handle topnotch. Plus, who wouldn’t want to hear the wise-cracking antics of Daxter once again?
3. Metal Gear Solid Quadrilogy
Okay, I could see how this one would be a huge longshot. Hideo Kojima, Konami, and even David Hayter aren’t on good terms, in some way or another. Hayter doesn’t feel inclined to work with Kojima again, after being replaced with Kiefer Sutherland as the voice of a new Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. After Kojima parted ways with Konami, Hayter thought the creative liberty might be there to return as the iconic voice of the Snakes. The original Metal Gear Solid was remade for the Nintendo Gamecube with the subtitle of The Twin Snakes, but I never had the opportunity to play it. Imagine the quadrilogy built from the ground up with the engine of The Phantom Pain? Yet, to be honest, I feel rather dirty thinking about the idea of remaking these games, what with the ugly breakup that happened a few years ago. I mean even the Fox Engine was built by Kojima Productions for use in Konami games after all. Still, would you not also take a peek if a hypothetical remake teaser trailer were to randomly appear one day? The Metal Gear Solid series is a memorable one for sure. No doubt because of the man who was behind it all.
4. Star Wars: Dark Forces/ Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight
Star Wars: Dark Forces, in its time, seemed like another game in a long list of Doom clones. That’s essentially what the game looked like, but it had the trappings of the Star Wars brand to fall back on, and it paid off in spades. Dark Forces told the story of Kyle Katarn, a mercenary for hire. In fact, long before Rogue One came out, it was Kyle Katarn who was able to steal the Death Star plans and provide them to the Rebel Alliance. The game was such a success that it lead to a number of sequels, including Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, and Jedi Outcast. These were amazing games that came out of the now-defunct LucasArts. The subsequent releases made Kyle feel more fleshed out and, heck, the sequels even gave him Force powers and the story could have either a light or dark side ending depending on your actions. In all honesty, if a remake from any Star Wars IP were to happen in the future, I’d be all for it if EA no longer had the license, but anything with Kyle Katarn has my pick.
5. Dino Crisis Trilogy
You remember Dino Crisis and its sequel don’t you? The ones that appeared on the original PlayStation? But did you also know that there was a Dino Crisis 3 that released as an Xbox exclusive and took place in the distant future? I sure didn’t. Apparently the dinosaurs in the third game weren’t even dinosaurs but genetic mutations of actual dinosaurs. It reeks of the latest Jurassic World movies. I’d be fine with reimaginings of the first two if it came to it. I remember the time clearly. Resident Evil was all the rage and Dino Crisis came from the same development team. Flesh-eating zombies were certainly scary but I remember getting shivers down my spine at the thought of being stalked by raptors in the abandoned halls of a research laboratory. There was a difference between being a random zombie’s next snack and the feeling of being prey all the time, that something was hunting you ceaselessly. Well, okay, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis did that really well but, come on, you can’t say no to a dinosaur-centric survival-horror by today’s standards.
6. Twisted Metal Quadrilogy
Twisted Metal was a fun romp in the early days of the PlayStation. If you grew tired of the kiddy and happy-go-lucky charm of Mario Kart 64 and other kart racers, Twisted Metal was there to kick the doors down with gun blazing… literally. The series made vehicular combat fun like no other with its use of missiles, machine guns, and all varieties of vehicles right down to Sweet Tooth’s ice cream truck. While a story mode can be integrated into a remake, where the game is really going to shine is in multiplayer. Think about it, Twisted Metal is in prime condition for a comeback given how popular the Battle Royale genre has grown in recent years, whether a fad or not. Huge sprawling maps with power-ups to your vehicle, weapons to equip, all while in the comfort of your monster machine. No boots on the ground for this one, just rubber on asphalt, and pedal to the metal. Why isn’t this happening yet? I’ve never played a game in this genre before, but I’d give it a try if Twisted Metal did it first.
7. Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2
Grand Theft Auto III was the first game in the series to shift into the third-person perspective, and the series hasn’t looked back since. With the change in gameplay style came dynamic storytelling and online offerings that have kept millions of people entertained throughout the years. The first two Grand Theft Auto games are drastically different from what you see today. They took on a top-down, bird’s eye view perspective. And while the original game introduced iconic fictional locales such as Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas, this could be an opportunity to reimagine them a little further. Aspects of Grand Theft Auto 2’s “Anywhere City” can be molded against the backdrop of the original game’s vision to make one huge sandbox for a repurposed story. It’s just an idea but perhaps it could be released as a standalone to tie us over until the coming of Grand Theft Auto 6, or it could be integrated into that game’s next iteration of Grand Theft Auto Online.
8. Sonic the Hedgehog Trilogy + Sonic CD
When I say Sonic the Hedgehog I’m talking about the Sega Genesis games starting with the original Sonic the Hedgehog right through Sonic 3 & Knuckles. In no way do I think these games should shift into 3D, let me be clear. Instead, I think they should be given the same love that was given to Sonic Mania by PagodaWest Games and Headcannon. Hand them the reins to classic Sonic once again because some classic zones that appear in Mania were lovingly recreated yet still managed to pay homage to their origins. A new graphics engine would also help keep things fresh. How about hand-drawn animation in lieu of uprezed 16-bit sprites? Similar to what Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends did. In fact, you should do a search for “Sonic 2 HD.” I can see it now: the fast-paced and colorful action of all three Sega Genesis classics, fixing stuff that didn’t quite work (pacing issues, Sonic 1’s bonus stages), new stage gimmicks, updated music from Tee Lopes, and more new gorgeous animation.
9. Super Mario Bros. Trilogy + Super Mario World
Of course, the world’s most iconic video game mascot had to make this list. However, unlike Sonic, I think Mario’s earliest outings would be excellent for a complete reimagination in 3D. I suppose it could be for a variety of reasons. One, I mean, who else is already tired of the New Super Mario Bros. series of games? Sure the original Mario NES games and Super Mario World could be given the “New” treatment, but we’d already be selling ourselves short. Imagine the brevity of the NES games and World with the openness and variety of Super Mario Odyssey? Instead of clearing out stage after stage without much of a reason to backtrack, how about make each world (for example: World 1, World 2, Donut Plains, etc.) a huge sandbox; bigger than the worlds of Super Mario Odyssey and pull inspiration for design and activities from the levels that made up those worlds? I’d even welcome the return of the classic 2D side-scroller Warp Pipes, except they take on the style of sprites from their respective original games and not just the original Super Mario Bros. You know Nintendo has to top Super Mario Odyssey at some point. Why not play on our nostalgia until the next original thing comes along?
10. Donkey Kong Country Trilogy
Why not? When Donkey Kong Country originally released in the 90s, its use of pre-rendered 3D graphics took the Super Nintendo Entertainment System to another level. The series sold millions of copies thanks to Rareware’s risk-taking. It was nice to see a return to form for Donkey Kong when Donkey Kong Country Returns released, followed up with its sequel Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Retro Studios developed the most recent Donkey Kong games, and now that we know that they are not developing Metroid Prime 4 this could be a fun project of sorts. Perhaps a good distraction. Who knows what the Austin, Texas-based studio has been working on the last four years in silence but if it were Donkey Kong, I’m sure we’d know by now. And if it isn’t this studio, then maybe another that can do some 2D platforming proud. After all, I always considered the DKC series to be a step above your typical platformer, especially in terms of a challenging difficulty curve. Combined with gorgeous visuals and an already fantastic soundtrack, a Donkey Kong Country Trilogy remake would sell just as it did in its heyday.
So that’s just a few ideas of games that had a lasting impact on my gaming journey— no doubt that we could compile several more lists of other games equally worthy of a big comeback. That being said, what game series would you like to see come back and be reimagined for a new generation? Thanks for taking the time to read. Be sure to check out Mammoth Gamers for even more news, reviews, and editorials!