WITH the well-received release of the Dead Space remake that came out last week, as well as a number of remakes making the list of our most anticipated releases for 2023, it’s also worth looking back at some of the best remakes in recent history.
The difference between a remake and a remaster can be confusing at times; a remake is a game built from the ground up and will mostly add quality of life improvements to the overall game whereas a remaster is just generally given a fresh coat of paint to upscale the original game.
So without further do, I present to you with my top five video game remakes in no particular order…
Resident Evil: Raccoon City Saga
Resident Evil 2 was a benchmark of survival horror when it was first released back in 1998 on the PlayStation One, and some consider it a masterpiece of its time.
Known for its jumpscares and thought provoking puzzles as you play the game as Leon S Kennedy or Claire Redfield; essentially giving you two game campaigns in one title.
Resident Evil 3 released a year later and started out with the events prior to the second entry and had you playing as Jill Valentine, one of the heroes from the first game of the series as she works to bring down the Umbrella Corporation.
While RE3 wasn’t as well received as RE2, it still featured a solid game story and combined for an overall story between the two games.
Fans rejoiced when RE2 was announced to be getting a remake, but what many people didn’t expect was the level of detail and changes that the game would make.
No longer having tank controls and static hallway views. Capcom totally remade the way we played the game with its over the shoulder camera style first seen in Resident Evil 4.
Added to this was a level of detail and gore that was impossible to recreate on the original hardware which added a higher level of dread walking down the hallways and city streets.
Though I would have loved them to remake these games and somehow combine them into one overarching game, I, as well as many others around the world often say that this is the best remake ever created.
Mafia Definitive Edition
The first Mafia game was released back in 2001 and was instantly praised for its world-building and fantastic story of a Taxi driver turned Mafia captain in the fictional setting of 1930s Lost Heaven Illinois.
Back in its day, I was obsessed with this game and its complex story of friendship, deceit, betrayal and freedom.
When the remake was announced I did head back to play this on PC and let’s say, it didn’t really hold up. The shooting was very hit and miss, while the graphics, which for its time were amazing, had become outdated.
Welcome to 2020, when the game was built from the ground up to set itself more in line with the third game of the series (which had been released in 2016),
Not only was there a huge graphic overhaul, but the voice acting had been recast. With all these amendments, the game set about adding more realism and emotion to the relationships built through the in game years you would play.
Not only was the story more intimate but the overall gameplay, shooting stages and chase sequences felt and played with much more accurately.
I feel this game doesn’t get enough credit for the work that the developers put into it making it one of the best remakes I’ve played.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
I’d never invested much time into the original Final Fantasy 7 though the years. But it speaks a lot for the game considering it was originally on the PlayStation One and had many remasters though the years on many different consoles.
It wasn’t until 2020 that Square Enix finally gave in and released a full blown remake that set the gaming world on fire.
They had abandoned the traditional JRPG mechanics that the series was well known for, instead opting for its more action based RPG system that people fell in love with after Final Fantasy 15.
While the original game was so big it required four CDs, there are talks that the remake will be a full-blown trilogy as its only way of telling the story of this legendary game.
With the game now fully voiced and the graphics showing eye-popping visuals, this re-imagining of such a beloved story will be sure to entertain for for foreseeable future as the story looks set to awe new audiences such as myself for the first time.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
More of a reimagining/remake, not many people remember that this Wii, PSP and PlayStation 2 title is actually a retelling of the first Silent Hill title that was originally released on the PlayStation One.
Silent Hill Shattered Memories re-tells the story of Harry Mason and his search for his daughter who went missing after a car crash in the town of Silent Hill.
Abandoning any form of combat and replacing it with chase sequences, the horror in this game is ramped up as you can no longer face the horrors of Silent Hill, instead your constantly looking over your shoulder and on the run.
At the start of the game and at certain points of the game you are speaking to a psychologist and depending on your answers will have the game adapt to how you are treated by the inhabitants of the town – this also means many different ways the game plays you and how you can end the game.
A much looked over remake, this is a must play for Silent Hill fans.
The most recent of the remakes on the list, this classic horror/sci-fi game was originally a huge hit for EA back in 2008. Taking inspiration from the corridor style of horror games that Resident Evil had made popular over the years but opting to put you in space.
This year’s Dead Space remake was built from the ground up and with the much-improved lighting and HDR tools at their disposal, made for a much more atmospheric tone in the game.
Additionally, the gore factor was heightened by you actually able to see the damage and layers of flesh you were shooting off of the Necromorph enemies as they attacked you in small areas and hallways, adding to the dread of the game.
The main protagonist Isaac is now fully voiced over, adding to the personality that was present in the sequels and there are additional additional quality of life changes such as added lore and new areas to explore.
Despite staying true to the source material of the game and the story remaining intact, the game made all the improvements required to make this an excellent remake of the much beloved game.
Did I miss your favourite? Head over to Game on Australia’s Twitter page (@GameOnAus) and let us know what your must play remakes are!