For those who don’t really play video games, or haven’t played one seriously since they were a kid, one of the current trends in the business is the practice of remastering and/or remaking old titles for high-definition systems. Hell, even NES games got remastered by way of the NES Classic.
It’s been happening with legendary games like Final Fantasy VII (and the rest of the old Final Fantasy games), but this trend became front and center once again following the news that popular real-time strategy game StarCraft (and its expansion Brood War) is getting a 4K HD remaster for the modern era—a piece of news that we never really knew we wanted until we heard it. So we decided to take a look back at our childhoods and dug up the titles we’d really love to play again on our modern AF HD screens and all.
Rules are simple—the game shouldn’t have a remaster or remake, whether HD or otherwise. (Square Enix, the company behind Final Fantasy, has been remaking their old NES and Super Nintendo games for like a decade now.)
The Sims (2000)
Before mobile games like Candy Crush were even a thing, casual gamers had The Sims, arguably the most perfect casual video game ever invented. While there was death, there was no winning, no competition; the objective was merely to live a life other than your own as a virtual Sim. You know what we’re talking about.
We could have chosen The Sims 2, the sequel that expounded on the original premise by making it even more realistic, but the first game had a certain kind of charm all its own that seemingly went away as the series got bigger and better, and that players who grew up on that game miss a lot.
Chrono Trigger (1995) and Chrono Cross (1999)
From the same people who bring you all the Final Fantasy games. Square Enix believes that their most popular franchise is the only moneymaker they have, forgetting that the same generation that played those role-playing games also grew up on a host of similar games, including their own Chrono series. We’ve included a two-for-one here just because both games have been popular in their own right, and have long been deserving of a remake.
Warcraft III (2002)
Can you believe that this game is turning 15 years old in July? But like Starcraft, people still sort of play Warcraft III around here simply for the original incarnation of DotA, although the Dota 2 adoption rate is pretty much universal now thanks to its free-to-play model.
Despite that, though, Warcraft III either needs a remake/remastering or a sequel. Blizzard’s kept the franchise’s story progression exclusive to its equally-popular MMORPG World of Warcraft and its long line of expansions, so if we’re never getting a new RTS in the Warcraft universe, then it would do Blizzard well to remaster the old game for an upcoming huge anniversary. We do actually miss playing the strategy game, especially those of us who did actually get into it before there was a DotA.
Time Crisis II (1997)
You know what it is. Time Crisis II never had the right to be popular for as long as it was, but it was (and still is in some places) a Timezone staple for our generation, even when Time Crisis 3, 4, and 5 became a thing eventually. Since we’re always going to remember shooting our ways through Paris (or Rome, or Madrid, we can’t even remember what city it was) we’d rather have a remastered TC2 over a new sequel.
Battle Realms (2001)
Here’s the thing about Battle Realms: this locally-popular real-time strategy game needs a complete reboot, not just a remaster. Our generation loved the original game just for how novel its take on the genre was, but looking back, it’s pretty clear to all of us that the game was ridiculously unbalanced and difficult. All people had to do if they wanted to win was pick the Lotus Clan. The good thing is that the guys who made the game were well aware of how broken it was, so if we ever got a total overhaul we’re sure to have a better-made title.
Most of the online games that were popular here in the last decade
Sometime in the middle of the past 10 years, the online game industry sprouted by a lot thanks to internet cafes and their sheer accessibility. That means there’s a whole generation of young, working adults now who owe the entertainment of their teenage years to all the online games that lived and died in netshops.
Even though Ragnarok Online got a sequel, the sheer number of people still playing the original in private servers is probably a good indication that it—as well as the most popular of this generation of massively multiplayer online games—deserves a remaster.