Top 10 Remastered Games to Play Now

Tags: #TheLastOfUs ,   #FinalFantasy ,   #Zelda ,   #videogames ,   #ResidentEvil

Michael Wendom

Michael Wendom

Last updated:  2023-05-15 18:00:07

Unfortunately, video game remasters have a poor reputation. This happens as many developers only slightly improve the textures and resolution. However, some shining examples drastically enhance the visuals for the best gaming TVs and add new content. Before beginning our top ten countdown, make sure not to confuse remasters with reboots or remakes. A reboot is a reimagination of the original game, while a remake mostly keeps the gameplay but improves visuals. Finally, remasters are about enhancing the original game without changing the engine.

10. Resident Evil HD Remaster

Resident Evil HD Remaster Xbox One cover
Capcom did everything possible to improve GameCube version
Original release: March 22, 1996 (PS)
Remaster release: November 27, 2014 (PS3, PS4, PC, X360, XBO)
Later available on: Nintendo Switch
Get it if you: Enjoy both horror games and mystery
Skip it if you: Can't handle the struggle with limited ammunition
Best remaster feature: Modern controls
Remaster improvements: 7/10
Game info

Resident Evil remake is one of the best video games of all time, radically improving the original. Hence, Capcom upgraded this version, releasing it for modern gaming platforms. HD Remaster supports widescreen and 1080p resolution while adding new lighting and elements. However, the original prerendered backgrounds are still here.

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 the direction pressed. Still, the traditional "tank" controls are present for the nostalgic players asking for a bigger challenge. Resident Evil Zero also received an HD Remaster version of similar quality.

9. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age PlayStation 4 cover
Square Enix finally did things right with Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Original release: March 16, 2006 (PS2)
Remaster release: July 11, 2017 (PS4, Worldwide)
Later available on: PC, Switch, Xbox One
Get it if you: Love complex JRPGs
Skip it if you: Can't get over the limited polygon count
Best remaster feature: Gameplay improvements
Remaster improvements: 8/10
Game info

Square Enix made some horrible remasters, such as Final Fantasy VII and VIII. However, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age was a pleasant surprise. Of course, the developers didn't bother 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 in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

This version changes the progression system, so characters now have limited development options. While this removes freedom of 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, Final Fantasy XII is the best!

8. Wipeout Omega Collection

Wipeout Omega Collection PlayStation 4 cover
Wipeout Omega Collection is the ultimate Wipeout experience
Original release: January 19, 2012
Remaster release: June 6, 2017 (PS4)
Later available on: PS4 exclusive
Get it if you: Love futuristic action 
Skip it if you: Don't have excellent reflexes
Best remaster feature: Two games in one
Remaster improvements: 9/10
Game info

Largely forgotten, the Wipeout series got a new lease on life with the Omega Collection release. This compilation includes a reworked version of Wipeout 2048 for the PS Vita and Wipeout HD for PS3. It's almost incredible that this is only a remaster, 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 might be confusing. Also, the developers added more content, including new and returning teams. This means that it will occupy you longer than any other Wipeout game!

7. The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us Remastered PS4 cover art
The Last of Remastered was often included with PS4
Original release: June 14, 2013 (PS3)
Remaster release: July 29, 2014 (PS4)
Later available on: PS4 exclusive
Get it if you: Love atmospheric, postapocalyptic settings
Skip it if you: Don't like the scary stuff
Best remaster feature: Much cleaner and smoother graphics
Remaster improvements: 7/10
Game info

The Last of Us is not only one of the best video games of all time on the PlayStation 3 but a graphical showcase for the platform. Only a year later, the game received a remaster for the PS4. While full HD resolution and 60 frames per second were expected, we've also got high-quality lighting and an improved 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. Still, the game also had positive gameplay changes. Shooting is a much smoother experience thanks to the DualShock 4 controller's superiority and concave triggers. Of course, Left Behind is also included in the package, making the PS3 version obsolete.

6. Full Throttle Remastered

Full Throttle: A Heavy Metal Adventure by Tim Schafer cover art
Full Throttle is a classic
Original release: April 30, 1995 (PC)
Remaster release: April 18, 2017 (PC, PS4, Vita)
Later available on: Xbox One
Get it if you: Want a humorous point-and-click game
Skip it if you: Don't like action sequences in adventure games
Best remaster feature: Much cleaner video and audio
Remaster improvements: 8/10
Game info

Full Throttle appeared in the golden age of point-and-click adventures. It featured excellent cartoon graphics, a beautiful story, and still relevant humor. All the remake assets are transferred to HD and look 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 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!

5. Daytona USA

Daytona USA Xbox 360 cover art
Luckily, Daytona USA is playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S
Original release: March 1994 (Arcade)
Remaster release: October 25, 2011 (PS3, NA)
Later available on: Xbox 360
Get it if you: Love arcade racing games
Skip it if you: Want lots of single-player content
Best remaster feature: Massively improved graphics
Remaster improvements: 9/10
Game info

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, one of the best video games of all time!

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 this release isn't higher on our list is its light on content. Still, we love coming back to it often for those blue, blue skies.

4. Persona 4 Golden

Vita version is excellent, but further ports are a bit better
Original release: July 10, 2008 (PS2)
Remaster release: June 14, 2012 (PSV)
Later available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch
Get it if you: Enjoy atypical JRPGs
Skip it if you: Are not looking for a prolonged experience
Best remaster feature: Grinding is finally tolerable
Remaster improvements: 9/10
Game info

Persona 4 was one of the last great games for PS2. Yet surprisingly, it was never ported to PS3 or Xbox 360! When all hope was lost, Atlus decided to spectacularly remaster it for PS Vita! Almost a decade later, the title was finally available on PC and modern consoles. The graphical improvements include 4K resolution and 60 fps, with clean 2D elements. Of course, the low polygon count still reminds us of the original release. Yet, the animation is rather impressive, as are the anime segments.

Switch version is also excellent

However, Golden also adds more content and improves gameplay. Thus, it is way easier to earn money and XP. Therefore, the leveling system is much better, and grinding is minimal. This results in excellent gameplay, which still feels fresh. Furthermore, it will take you at least 50 hours to reach the end! Whichever version you choose, you'll love it!

3. Command & Conquer Remastered Collection

Physical edition is available, but is pretty rare
Original release: September 26, 1995 (PC)
Remaster release: June 5, 2020
Later available on: PC (Windows) exclusive
Get it if you: Love fast real-time strategies and cheesy FMV
Skip it if you: Crave a more tactical approach
Best remaster feature: Massive graphics improvements
Remaster improvements: 9/10
Game info

Many legendary RTS games, including Starcraft and the Age of Empire series, got remastered. However, Command & Conquer Remastered Collection remains the best. Somehow, the developers transformed these old MS-DOS games by improving almost everything. The first thing you'll notice are the gorgeous two-dimensional graphics, which now support 4K resolution. While the objects are often small, they look incredibly sharp. Unfortunately, the original masters of full-motion video sequences were lost, but the team wouldn't give up. Instead, they did some impressive upscale of the low-res material. The music got the same treatment, with more songs, remixes, and much better audio quality.

The team improved everything it could

Thankfully, there are many other changes. Improved UI makes the navigation more accessible, and there's full online support, comparable to modern games. Furthermore, the title fully supports modding, giving it a massive replay value. As expected, all expansions are available, but there are some surprises besides the bonus section. Thus, expect exclusive missions and videos from Nintendo 64 and PlayStation versions! While the units' AI may cause some frustration, this is still an epic remaster!

2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Wii U cover art
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is still among the most underrated Zelda games
Original release: December 13, 2002 (GC)
Remaster release: September 20, 2013 (WiiU)
Later available on: Wii U exclusive
Get it if you: Love both exploration and action
Skip it if you: Don't love the childish visuals
Best remaster feature: Streamlined gameplay
Remaster improvements: 9/10
Game info

Thanks to its cartoony visuals, the Wind Waker was probably the most controversial game in The Legend of Zelda series. Luckily, it's now considered among the best video games of all time, so Nintendo decided to remaster it on its 10th anniversary. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker incorporates significant visual improvements, including widescreen support and high-resolution textures. Gamers can also optionally use a new lighting engine.

Nintendo made significant gameplay improvements to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Still, we are even more impressed by the gameplay improvements. Nintendo managed to speed up boring sail sections and redefine the tedious Triforce Quest. This doesn't make The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker easier, but it eliminates what looked like an artificial way to prolong the game. Finally, there's a hero mode where you receive twice the damage, while recovering is challenging.

1. The Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Trilogy

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 cover art
Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection is all about graphical improvements
Original release: November 19, 2007 (PS3, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune)
Remaster release: October 7, 2015 (PS4)
Later available on: PS4 exclusive
Get it if you: Love Tomb Raider but want even more action
Skip it if you: Want a non-linear experience
Best remaster feature: Three games in one
Remaster improvements: 9/10
Game info

To be honest, we didn't expect much from The Nathan Drake Collection. The developer Blueprint Games mainly were known for their basic HD ports. 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 most significant improvement, other trilogy parts are also a huge step forward compared to their PS3 originals. The Nathan Drake Collection almost looks like a native PS4 title, mainly because it 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 no more.

If done correctly, remasters can significantly improve original releases, as seen on our top ten list. All these games make the initial releases obsolete and are worth adding to your collection! While basic HD ports seem close to extinction, many remasters aren't worth your money.

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

Cover photo:



Add new Comment

Characters 0 of 1000

Thank you for comment

Dave-ofh Says:

I wish they do a proper remake of the original Resident Evil, although this remaster is still great.

May 15 at 12:29:49 PM

Georgie Says:

Daytona USA is the recipe how to remaster an old arcade game. I wish Sega would do the same with Sega Rally, SCUD Race, and tons of their titles. Remakes would be fine, but I would personally love to see them remastered this way.

October 14 at 03:15:07 PM

Similar Articles

Latest Articles

Top 5 Articles

Trending Articles

Sponsor Ads