It seems like a new remaster or re-release is coming out every week, but while it’s extremely easy to be cynical about releasing the same game with a couple of new improvements, there are some fantastic remasters out there. Apart from the obvious visual overhaul, developers can also fix problems and add content which injects new life into a classic game. With that in mind, here’s a short list with some of the best remasters available.
5. Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver (Nintendo DS)
As enhanced remakes of Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal, HeartGold and SoulSilver include a variety of new features apart from improved graphics. A Pokémon follows you around, there’s a new minigame called Pokeathlon that uses the console’s touchscreen to compete in different events, there’s Voltorb Flip that combines elements from Picross and Minesweeper and you can alternate between the new soundtrack and the original, 8-bit one. Finally, you could use Wi-Fi to battle, trade and interact with other people (a feature that’s no longer available) and the game came bundled with the Pokewalker a pedometer that allowed you to level up your monsters, as well as capture exclusive Pokémon.
4. Grim Fandango (PS4, Vita, PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS)
Usually regarded as the best point-and-click adventure ever created, it was really difficult to play Grim Fandango legally until very recently. Luckily, Double Fine Productions and Sony were able to get the rights for a re-release after Disney acquired Lucas Arts. Grim Fandango Remastered comes with improved character graphics and textures, an orchestrated soundtrack, director’s commentary, the ability to switch back and forth between versions, a 16:9 ratio and an improved control scheme.
3. Final Fantasy III (Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, iOS, Android, PC)
Originally released as an enhanced remake of the 1991 role-playing game, Final Fantasy IV features 3D characters, additional sub-characters, the main protagonists were given personalities, a redesigned job system, there’s a new Freelancer class, new dungeons and the DS version of the game uses the portable console’s Wi-Fi capabilities. By the way, this remade version of the game paved the way for Final Fantasy IV getting a similar treatment on the Nintendo DS.
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Nintendo Wii U)
The Wind Waker HD is quite descriptive, since the Wii U version of the game has 1080p support and a new lighting engine that make the game prettier than ever before. But this remake goes beyond a simple HD upgrade, since the GamePad can be used as a map and inventory, some weapons can be aimed using the controller’s gyroscope, the Tingle Tuner item was replaced with the Tingle Bottle which lets you send messages via Miiverse and the list of changes goes on and on. If you’re into Zelda at all or if you want to relive this GameCube adventure, The Wind Waker HD is a must have game.
1. Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One)
This compilation features Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 in same package which already makes it worth your while if you’re into the first-person shooter series or if you’re trying to play them from scratch. Each game comes with a graphical upgrade and Halo 2 received a high-definition treatment for the first time in the series, as well as some extended scenes. Halo 3 ODST was made available for the collection later on, making this the definitive Halo compilation. Just make sure you don’t get this collection to play the multiplayer because that part of the game had its fair share of problems back when it came out.