Riding on the coattails of Scrooge McDuck and the HD remake of the NES classic DuckTales, I’ve been reminiscing about a lot of games from my childhood. And while yesteryear is strangely something I think about far more than a normal person should, this time I was beginning to wonder what some of my other favorite titles growing up would look like in glorious high definition. Though it’s strictly speculation and quite literally most of these will never be possible, it was fun to think of what could be. What should be, perhaps? But nonetheless, here are the top ten games that need HD remakes!
The Battletoads series just missed the cut on my Worth Playing article about the best brawlers and beat-em ups, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. In fact, it was one of the best in the genre! I can recall playing the first game and the crossover Battletoads & Double Dragon games with my older brothers many a time. Though Tradewest is a thing of the past, that didn’t stop WayForward from remaking the Double Dragon series! I think it’s the right time to bring back Rash, Zitz, and Pimple for a new generation of gamers to enjoy. Wait, that doesn’t sound right…
9. Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage
Completely transcending the comic book arc that inspired it, Maximum Carnage on the SNES/Genesis is by far my favorite Spider-Man video game. Beating up bad guys, playing as Spider-Man and Venom, stopping the maniacal Carnage before he destroys Manhattan! Oh man, it was the best. And don’t get me started on the music. The only aspect the game was missing was co-operative multiplayer. Add that in with some remade stages, possibly new levels, and hopefully another totally kick-ass soundtrack and you’ve got a definite winner. And with the new series of Spider-Man movies coming out, the timing couldn’t be better!
Now wait, wait, wait… hear me out. Bubsy might not be anywhere near the top of anyone’s favorite games list, but he has an interesting place in gaming history. Maybe it’s time we give the hugely annoying cat another shot at stardom, no? In all honesty, his first game on the Genesis and SNES, Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, wasn’t all that bad, but there were plenty of other platformers out there worth your time more than this. And then Bubsy 3D came out and wasted any chance we had of seeing that oddly Metal Gear Solid themed shirt. But now, thanks to digital downloads and gamers’ willingness to try new things, Bubsy could shine again with a touch of HD! What could possibly go wrong?
7. Cool Spot
This is by far one of the most underrated games I have ever played. I am sure many players turned away from this SNES classic thinking it nothing more than product placement and shovelware for 7-Up cola. But man, did they miss out! Wonderful visuals, totally phenomenal music, and a variety of levels with challenging-yet-fun platforming helped launch Cool Spot into the upper echelon of SNES greatness. Yeah, 7-Up doesn’t use the guy for it’s products anymore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t see him again! It cannot be that hard to turn a red dot with sunglasses straight out of the 90s into an HD red dot with sunglasses straight out of the 90s. Just don’t make it like the boring PS1 sequel, ugh.
6. The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda series is in no short supply of awesome games and, coincidentally, a handful or remakes. While we’ve found the Ocarina of Time more than once, and we’re about to voyage across the great sea once again, we haven’t taken a sword with us because it was dangerous to go alone more than once. I’m talking about the original Legend of Zelda on the NES. There have been ports a plenty for the title, but not an HD remake. Hell, even making the game in the Link to the Past style would be great, but think about reimagining the game as a 3D Zelda title on the Wii U or 3DS? Pair it up with a redone Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and you’ve got a winning package through and through!
5. Mega Man III
Mega Man Fanboyism aside, this is a great game in the series along with MM2 and plenty of others. There have been re-releases and collections porting the game with as well as its sequels to just about every system imaginable, but no true remake. The closest we got was 2006’s Mega Man Powered Up for the PSP, an enhanced remake of the very first game. Capcom needs to continue that trend and start re-making subsequent Mega Man games in the same fashion, with extra levels, Master Robots, online modes, and all. Oh, and they can just skip over MM2 if they’d like, no hard feelings.
4. Gauntlet: Dark Legacy
There is absolutely no way this game CAN’T work as a downloadable online multiplayer game. I mean, there’s just no way! You run around as one of 12+ characters, killing thousands of bad guys, gaining levels and precious special items, and all the while eating food and casting spells as an omnipresent voice narrates the highlights of your journey. Touching up the graphics would be a very welcome addition, and possibly support to allow more than 4 players would make the game even better! But for the sake of my time/life, perhaps it’s best they don’t remake this one.
3. Final Fantasy IX
Just look at that shot and tell me it wouldn’t be amazing to experience that story one more time with improved visuals? Screw Final Fantasy VII and it’s dark, boring color palette, give me Final Fantasy IX and it’s wide array of characters, locales, and glorious worlds full of vibrant shades of hues and light. The biggest benefit FF9 would gain from an HD remake however would be a new fan following: being caught between FF8 and FF10 (not to mention releasing late in the PS1’s life) likely made some gamers completely forget about the awesomeness that FF9 contains. Easily the best of the PS1 Final Fantasy’s. Easily.
2. Sonic the Fighters
Oh my word, have you seen this game? The polygon count on this must be in the teens! I’m exaggerating of course, but you cannot deny the unique fighting game Sonic the Fighters is rough around the edges (to put it lightly). Sega is wholly capable of producing quality fighting games: Virtua Fighter has been their series since its inception. So why this game (which is available as a download on Xbox Live) has awful gameplay is beyond me. But touching up the graphics, adding a few more characters, drastically tuning up the gameplay, and throwing in an online mode would actually make this game way better. But then I feel like it wouldn’t even qualify as an HD remake, it’d just be a sequel!
1. Killer Instinct
While making this list I had a few criteria in mind: updating the graphics would benefit the game, adding extra features like an online mode would be a grand improvement, and the game should come out as a digital release. Killer Instinct for the arcade/SNES is the perfect example of all of these. With the added bonus of a new entry being released soon on the Xbox One, re-releasing an updated version of the first KI just makes sense. Smoothing out the already impressive visuals, updating the music to perfect audio quality, adding online matchmaking, and selling the game over Xbox Live would be an instant winner to both gamers and Microsoft! I’ve heard rumors that a special version of Killer Instinct on Xbox One will come with a downloadable version of the original game as well. Time will tell if that means we’re just one step closer to a true KI HD remake.
I realize that many of these games are never going to get ported, let alone redone completely, but in a perfect world these would be the games I’d want to see. What about you? What games would you want to see as a pretty new XBLA, PSN, or WiiWare title? There were some more I had to leave on the cutting room floor for this article *cough*Clayfighter!*cough*, so I’m interested to hear your thought as well!