A few classics that could use a fresh coat of paint…
It is now two years into the lifespan of the Xbox One and Playstation 4, and both consoles are still seeing a steady stream of HD remasters rather than brand new games. Some of these games, like Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4 are somewhat welcome upgrades of the best games of the last generation. But a lot of these HD remasters, like Activision’s Deadpool and the Prototype games are somewhat baffling, considering that they didn’t exactly set the world on fire when they first hit consoles a few years ago. But as publishers dig deeper and deeper into their libraries looking for old games to re-release, we certainly wouldn’t complain if they chose to remaster these five gems.
5. Freedom Fighters
IO Interactive released one of the best shooters of the 2000s with virtually no fanfare in 2003. Freedom Fighters was a squad-based shooter in which you led a ragtag squad through Soviet-occupied New York. It was basically Red Dawn: The Game, and its shooting, squad mechanics and even its storyline were years ahead of its time. Rumors immediately swirled about a sequel soon after its release, and a next-gen version with better graphics and online multiplayer could have truly been something special, but more than a decade later, there still hasn’t been a Freedom Fighters 2. IO Interactive has gone on to make more great Hitman games, and the not-so-great Kane & Lynch games, but those who played the original Freedom Fighters hope they’ll some day revisit it. If they ever do decide to make a sequel more than a decade after the original game’s release, it would only make sense to update it first so a new generation of gamers can fully appreciate this classic.
4. Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
Have you ever dreamed of a game that let you fly around on a piece of debris like Magneto from the X-Men while picking off enemies with assault weapons and telekinetic powers? It almost sounds too good to be true, or impossible to control, but in 2004, Midway Games pulled it off with Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy. More than a decade later, the gameplay of Psi-Ops still holds up surprisingly well, and few games have copied its gameplay. But like many games from that era, it doesn’t look very good on modern HDTVs, which makes it a prime candidate for an HD remaster. Unfortunately, since the closure of Midway Games in 2009, it’s not entirely clear who owns the rights to Psi-Ops, but the game was so much fun it would be well-worth an enterprising publisher’s time to resurrect.
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
What more can really be said about Knights of the Old Republic at this point? The game put Bioware on the map with a mix of real-time and strategic combat later seen in the Dragon Age franchise, and the galaxy-spanning tale was clearly the basis for much of the Mass Effect trilogy. But beyond those things, the story of a mysterious Jedi’s quest to stop Darth Malak just makes you feel like you’re living in the Star Wars universe, which is something few other Star Wars games have ever accomplished. KOTOR doesn’t look as rough as a lot of other games from the early 2000s, but it could still benefit quite a bit from a modern facelift. Hopefully the long-rumored remaster of KOTOR and its sequel, The Sith Lords, becomes a reality soon.
2. F-Zero GX
The last console entry in Nintendo’s F-Zero franchise came out in 2003, and it’s still stunning to watch all these years later. Nintendo teamed up with Sega to deliver a futuristic racing tour through some of the craziest tracks in the galaxy. F-Zero GX has been criticized over the years (and rightfully so) for being too difficult, but piloting anti-gravity machine through its winding courses is just so damn addictive, that you’ll want to keep playing until you master all of its nuances. Nintendo has strangely chosen to neglect the franchise since this release, but after the successful HD release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and rumored release of Twilight Princess HD, hopefully Nintendo will look to bring this Gamecube classic to the Wii U with an HD remaster.
1. Conker’s Bad Fur Day/Conker: Live & Reloaded
The welcome appearance of Conker’s Bad Fur Day in this year’s Rare Replay showed that the game is just as hilarious in 2015 as it was in 2001. Truly fart jokes are a timeless art. Unfortunately, the N64 graphics look abysmal nowadays and the old controls didn’t translate terribly well to the Xbox One controller. There is a (many say inferior) version of the game called Conker: Live & Reloaded on the original Xbox, though it can be a little pricey and hard to find complete. Conker’s appearance in Project Spark earlier this year showed that his twisted cartoon world could look beautiful on the Xbox One. Microsoft’s sparse use of Conker since purchasing Rare in 2002 borders on the criminal, but after seeing Conker in action on Xbox One, it’s clear that the time is now to remaster the game with HD graphics and sound.
Which games do you think deserve an HD remake? Tell us in the comments section.