Top 10 Best Video Game Remasters You Can Play Today

Tags: #TheLastOfUs ,   #TheLegendofZeldaWindWaker ,   #FinalFantasyXII ,   #Remaster

Michael Wendom

Michael Wendom

Last updated:  2021-10-05 14:36:29

The video game remasters don't have such a superb reputation. Many developers are too lazy to do more than resolution upscale and slightly improve the textures. However, there are also shining examples of how to do a proper remaster to drastically enhance the visuals for the best gaming TVs and add new content. Before we start our countdown, make sure not to confuse remasters with either reboots or remakes. A reboot is a reimagination of the original game, while a remake mostly keeps the gameplay intact, but uses new visuals. Finally, remasters are all about improving the original game without changing the engine.

10. Resident Evil HD Remaster (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Capcom did everything possible to improve GameCube version

Resident Evil remake is one of the highest-rated GameCube games, which radically improved the original. Capcom decided to upgrade this version more than a decade later and release it for modern gaming platforms. HD Remaster supports widescreen and 1080p resolution, but it also adds new lighting and elements to some areas. However, the original prerendered backgrounds haven't been updated.

Improvements range from barely noticable to huge

The developers also made a critical change to the gameplay. The game now offers intuitive controls, as the characters move according to direction pressed. Still, the traditional "tank "controls are kept, for the nostalgic players that ask for a bigger challenge. Note that Resident Evil Zero also got an HD Remaster version, which is of similar quality.

9. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch – 2017)

Square Enix finally did things right with Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

Square Enix made some horrible remasters such as Final Fantasy VII and VIII, so Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age was a pleasant surprise. Of course, the developers didn't bother with improving the low-res PS2 textures. Nonetheless, they've added support for high definition resolutions and 60 frames per second mode. Even the interface is improved, as it now features crystal-clear 2D graphics. Also, the excellent design helps the game hold pretty well.

The improvement go beyond the sharper resolution

This version modifies the gameplay by changing the progression system, meaning that the characters now have limited development options. While this removes freedom of a choice, it also makes everyone distinctive. There's also a trial mode, where you'll need to survive 100 battles against high-level enemies. Finally, you'll enjoy the remastered soundtrack, which features a few new tunes. When it comes to remastered PS2 ports, this one is the best!

8. Wipeout Omega Collection (PS4 – 2017)

Wipeout Omega Collection is the ultimate Wipeout experience

Largely forgotten, the Wipeout series got a new lease on life with the Omega Collection release. This compilation includes a remastered version of Wipeout 2048 for the PS Vita and Wipeout HD for PS3. It's almost incredible that this is only a remaster and not a remake, as the graphical improvements are astonishing. The games now support 4K resolution while doubling the frame rate. Plus, there's VR support!

Wipeout 2048 especially benefits the transition to more powerful platform

In the Omega Collection, Wipeout 2048 and Wipeout HD are combined into a single game, which is an innovative concept, although it can be confusing. Also, the developers added more content, including new and returning teams. This means that there's plenty to keep you occupied for longer than any other Wipeout game!

7. Metro Redux (PC, PS4, Xbox One - 2014)

Metro Redux - two excellent games in a single package

Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are fascinating post-apocalyptic shooters with strong elements of horror. Motivated by the release of PS4 and Xbox One, the developer 4A Games decided to put them together in a remastered Metro Redux compilation. As the older of the two, Metro 2033 received more substantial visual upgrades. Everything looks better, from the effects to shadows and the textures.

Metro 2033 received a bulk of improvements

However, Metro: Last Light is barely upgraded, so two games now look like they've been released simultaneously. You can even choose to rebalance the gameplay by making Metro 2033 function like Last Light, or vice versa. While console owners will benefit more from Metro Redux, PC gamers have no reasons to skip it too. 

6. Daytona USA (Xbox 360, PS3)

Luckily, Daytona USA is playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

When it appeared in 1993, Daytona USA looked better than any PC or console game released in the next five years! With its high resolution, texture mapping, and bilinear filtering, you had to be stunned just by looking at it. Plus, despite showing 40 cars on screen, the frame rate is locked at 60 fps. Finally, it's not only about the graphics as the gameplay is very addictive, with excellent controls and the track design.

Check the evolution of the original Daytona USA!

However, we had to wait until 2011 for Sega to produce a stunning PS3 and Xbox 360 remaster (compatible with Xbox Series consoles). We got a much higher resolution in this release, better textures, and a widescreen mode with multiplayer support! The only reason why this release isn't higher on our list is that it's lite on content. Still, we love coming back to it often for those blue, blue skies.

5. Full Throttle Remastered (PC, PS4 – 2017)

Full Throttle is a classic

Full Throttle appeared in the golden age of computer point and click adventures. It featured awesome cartoon graphics, a beautiful story, and humor that's still relevant today. All the remake assets are transferred to HD and look much sharper than the original graphics. As with Wonder Boy: Dragon's Trap, you can easily switch back to the original visuals. 

You can change to old graphics and sound anytime

As this is still a remaster, the animation stayed the same, looking somewhat limited by today's standards. Still, there are other improvements, including tighter controls, which work surprisingly well on the controller. If you like Full Throttle Remastered, don't miss Day of the Tentacle Remastered too!

4. Starcraft Remastered (PC – 2017)

Starcraft Remastered looks glorious in Ultra HD

Even decades after its release, Starcraft was still a top-rated multiplayer game. However, it was also getting harder to make it run on modern computers. Luckily, Blizzard Entertainment fixed the problem by releasing Starcraft: Remastered, which combined the original and the expansion Brood War. The visual changes are impressive as everything looks much sharper and optimized for the Ultra HD resolution.

Nothing has change apart from graphics

As the game uses the same engine, players can easily switch to the original graphics. The other improvements include much cleaner audio and modern multiplayer matchmaking. However, the gameplay was left intact. While that's what the fans wanted, it also makes it harder for newcomers.

3. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U – 2013)

Wind Waker is still among the most underrated Zelda games

The Wind Waker was probably the most controversial game in The Legend of Zelda series since players decided to skip it thanks to its cartoony visuals. Luckily, the game status improved in the following years, so Nintendo decided to remaster it on its 10th anniversary. The Wind Waker introduces significant visual improvements, including widescreen support and even high-resolution textures. Gamers can also optionally use a new lighting engine.

Nintendo made significant gameplay improvements

Still, we are even more impressed by the gameplay improvements. Nintendo managed to speed up boring sail sections and also to redefine tedious Triforce Quest. This doesn't make a game less hard, but only eliminates what looked like an artificial way to prolong the game. Finally, if you're up for the challenge, there's a hero mode where you receive twice the damage while recovering is much harder. 

2. The Last of Us Remastered (PS4 – 2014)

The Last of Remastered was often included with PS4

The Last of Us is not only one of the best games on the PlayStation 3, but also a graphical showcase for the platform. Only a year later, the game was remastered for the PS4, making it significantly better. While full HD resolution and 60 frames per second were expected, we've also got high-quality lighting and a better draw distance.

The Last of Us is the most beautiful PS3 game, but PS4 version is a strong improvement

The new photo mode was an excellent way to showcase all the improvements made, but the game also had positive gameplay changes. Shooting is now a much smoother experience thanks to the DualShock 4 controller's superiority and its concave triggers. Of course, Left Behind is also included in the package, making the PS3 version obsolete.

1. The Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Trilogy (PS4 - 2015) 

Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection is all about graphical improvements

To be honest, we didn't expect much from The Nathan Drake Collection. The developer Blueprint Games were mostly known for their remasters, which were nothing more than HD ports, barely looking better than the original releases. However, we've been wrong about it! The team took great care to drastically improve the graphics, add more details, better textures, and double the frame rate to 60. 

The first Uncharted game is improved the most

While the first game saw the biggest improvement, other trilogy parts are also a huge step forward compared to their PlayStation 3 originals. The Nathan Drake Collection almost looks like a native PlayStation 4 title, especially as it also includes a photo mode. Blueprint Games even tinkered with gameplay, but while the changes are subtle, they are all on point. The only drawback is that the multiplayer components of the Uncharted 2 and 3 are removed.

If done the right way, remasters can significantly improve original releases, and as we've seen, add more content and change the gameplay. All these games make the initial releases obsolete and are worthy of adding them to your collection!

What are some of your favorite remastered games? How often do you buy re-releases? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

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