If you count up from Spacewar, video games as we know them have existed for about 55 years. This is a crazy thing to think about. In just 55 years, we’ve moved from needing a state-of-the-art computer to play a game of blips and pixels to having nearly life-like warriors tearing through realistically rendered enemies in the comfort of our living rooms. In these 55 years, franchises have risen to the top to dominate industry sales charts and sometimes these franchises are so successful that they hit critical mass nostalgia in a phenomenon we call “The HD Remaster”. Remasters are oh so common in the modern age that the games in question only really have to exist for five years to qualify for a make-over (Metro franchise, Dragon’s Dogma, Etc.) But even rarer and more exciting is the idea of the remaster bundle. An entire saga of games rebuilt, retooled, and rereleased as a bundle package. Rare replay contained 30 games from across the companies’ history! Megaman has had two legacy collections release now, making the entire series playable from the first to the tenth, and the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is a record breaking seller on the PS4. In honor of these illusive masterpieces of nostalgia and modern tech, let’s compile ten franchises that deserve the HD collection treatment!
- Megaman: Battle Network
In the early 2000s, Capcom was, once again, trying to stretch the Blue Bomber out of video games and into the realm of corporate mascot and cartoon star. This goal involved an anime series, action figures, but most importantly, the Megaman: Battle Network series. For the unacquainted, Capcom removed the platforming that Megaman was known for and substituted in an early trading-card system in the form of battle-chips. Players could use these chips to make strategic strikes within a 6×3 grid battlefield. Every fight was incredibly tense, with high level bosses requiring the best battle-chips available. Defeating enemies, would grant the player chip versions of their attacks, and in later entries, Megaman was able to fuse with other allies to become more powerful, or activate “hub-style” to become a hyper-powered badass. This all took place in a world where everything was connected to the internet, so naturally instead of robots, Megaman and his pals are programs called “Navis”. Remastering all six of the titles would be no easy feat, but imagine the entire collection, in 2.5D graphical style available on Nintendo’s 3DS and Switch! There’s even the potential excitement of bringing the titles to Xbox, PC, and PS4 to reach new audience, or even the possibility of including the Gamecube title, Network Transmission, a platformer set in the same universe!
Before the MMO sensation World of Warcraft, the world of Azeroth existed in a series of fantasy Real-Time Strategy titles simply called “Warcraft”. They were early PC juggernauts, selling like hot cakes and offering in-depth gameplay to all who partook. The game reached a level of iconography that made quotes like “Zugg-Zugg” or “Job Done” common fodder for the community, and the packed in map-editors made sure that the fun never really stopped. With Blizzard releasing a Starcraft remaster in just two days, maybe now’s the time to whip out the old-guard and send the orcs off to war again in beautiful HD glory?
With so many entries, this franchise would be difficult to choose from as far as which games got the fresh paint. But for this article I’m going with the first three numbered entries, with Symphony of the Night packed in as well. The series is going through a lengthened renaissance, with Lords of Shadow releasing last-gen and a highly successful Netflix adaptation just having released its first, short, season. I’ve never heard quite so many friends say, “I always wondered, I just hadn’t played them.” The main problem with this release, however, would be getting Konami to do anything right. Ugh. We remember Silent Hills, you bastards, and we won’t forget the new Metal Gear title you’re trying to sneak past us without Kojima involved. We will NEVER forget. Skip the 2.5D and add a Rare Replay like rewind feature to make the more difficult bits a little more tolerable for new-age players.
- Destroy All Humans
This one would be a cakewalk for THQ Nordic, who has already made the original two games in the franchise available through PS2 emulation. Just think, blasting foolish humans in a fully remastered entry, complete with updated audio and voice acting? Yes please! The HD bundle could include the three main entries: DAH, DAH2, and DAH: Path of the Furon or if Nordic feels brave they could even try to tuck in the formerly Wii exclusive DAH: Big Willy’s Revenge. Including fun new achievements would breathe fresh life into the game, encouraging players to be as creative in their human-destruction as possible! Let’s just please make sure they release on as many platforms as possible this time?
Rayman has enjoyed a different kind of success of late, with those pesky Rabbids showing up in everything from cartoons to Mario crossovers, but the returns to form, Origins and Legends, have proven that Rayman still holds warm blood and a fresh perspective. With the new era of 3D Platformers beginning with titles like the Crash Bandicoot remasters and the upcoming Psychonauts 2 (SCREAMS) this is the time for Rayman to remind folks how it’s done. Include the first three games of course and bring the graphics up to the same standards that crash used if possible. The whimsical worlds and cleverly designed platforming should be enough to make reviewers scream “This is our generation’s Bloodborne!” Because that is unfortunately a sentence that will definitely be said before I die. Plus, the inclusion of a 2.5D Rayman 1 would definitely surprise some folks!
Alright, Disney, hear my tiny desperate pleas. Stop putting your games back in the vault. You just recently delisted Castle of Illusion from major sellers and I am afraid for the day you do it to Ducktales Remastered. So, instead, let’s make a massive Capcom Arcade Cabinet type anthology of all your best releases! They’d all get rewind features, achievements, art galleries, the usual modern pixel polish, and they’d run at 60fps at 1080. I’ve even got a list of titles if you’ll just…allow me to inhale first: Castle of Illusion, Fantasia, Land of Illusion, World of Illusion, Magical Quest, Magical Quest 2, the previously Japan only Magical Quest 3, Magical Tetris Challenge, Mickey’s Speedway USA, Quackshot, Goof Troop, Goofy’s Hysterical History Tour, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Aladdin, Ducktales, Ducktales 2, Talespin, Darkwing Duck, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Chip ‘n’ Dale 2, both Bonker’s games, Gargoyles, Toy Story, Tron, Discs of Tron. You could even get really gutsy and include Gameboy titles like the Kim Possible games or Tron 2.0! Here’s where I think you’ll see my point. Do it Capcom Arcade pricing style too, with three games coming in the base title, and the rest available as very affordable DLC to the base game. I know it’s a pipe dream, but c’mon, isn’t Disney about making dreams come true?
- Megaman X Legacy Collection
Not gonna spend long on this one, but let’s face it, the Megaman Legacy Collections have sold well, and just about every console since the PS2 has had the Megaman X anthology rereleased. Let’s actually polish it up this time, or at least add rewind and save states, and do a modern release on Xbox One, Switch, 3DS, PS4, and PC. It’s a no-brainer Capcom!
- Max Payne 1&2
Oh Remedy! Where’s Alan Wake 2? I kid, I kid, but honestly, I don’t kid about the potential for remasters of Max Payne 1 and 2! The third game in the franchise released so far after the others that tech-wise they seem like entirely different franchises! Imagine the gritty slo-mo adventures built from the ground up in Quantum Break’s engine, and the third included in the form of a backwards compatible Xbox 360 and PS2 classics title! You’d make a fortune. There’s an entire generation that’s likely missed Max Payne thanks to their impressions of the 2008 film, and now’s the perfect time to build that hype back up. Because, and first off, I enjoyed the game, but Quantum Break didn’t do so hot.
Quake is one of the grand-daddies of the shooter genre, and is respected as such. In the modern industry, Quake in tossed around as inspiration in every speedy shooter from little-known Nexuiz to the battlefields of the masterful multiplayer title Lawbreakers. But Quake has been done somewhat dirty as of late. The last numbered entry released in 2006, to very little fanfare, and the current endeavors by Bethesda to make the franchise into a champion-driven hero-shooter have left a bad taste in a few mouths, despite the high quality of the product. So, what would happen if the first two Quake games were released alongside an updated version of Quake III: Arena and the multiplayer was set up on fresh servers, with new map-making tools and the like built into the experience. I’d pay more than the industry standard $60 for that, and I know many others who would as well. Just, you know, think about it.
- Spyro the Dragon
After the Success of Crash? They are 100% already making these over at Activision. We told them for so long to cut it out with the Skylanders and to bring us back to Gen X in style, and I deeply believe that is finally happening. There are even rumors that in place of the Spyro demo that was included in Crash Bandicoot 3 has been replaced with something hidden, something locked away…only time will tell.
Do you have a series that you think needs a makeover and bundle package for the modern player? Feel free to comment down below about it! And check out the latest reviews on Tacoma and For Honor. Have a great one!