15 Video Games That Deserve a Remake

For millions of men and women, playing video games isn’t just a hobby; it’s been an integral part of their lives since childhood. While most successful video games eventually spin off sequels, not all iconic titles deserve them. Instead, what’s more fitting is the original games being updated for a modern audience, with improved gameplay and graphics. Today, we’re looking at a handful of classic video games that desperately deserve remakes.

1. Super Mario 64 (1996)

Super Mario 64
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Regarded by countless gamers as the definitive “greatest game of all time,” Super Mario 64 is overdue for a remake. Would anyone complain if Nintendo announced a remastered, remade, better-than-ever version of this Nintendo 64 classic? I doubt it. If gamers in 1996 thought Super Mario 64‘s graphics were awe-inspiring, imagine how they’d regard them running on modern hardware. In my mind, the remade version of Super Mario 64 would feature Luigi (finally) as a playable character. Again, who says no?

2. GoldenEye 007 (1997)

GoldenEye 007
Image Credit: Nintendo.

For millions of middle-aged men and women across America, attending college in the early 2000s meant playing endless hours of the Nintendo 64 classic first-person shooter GoldenEye 007. As one of the games responsible for ushering in an entirely new gaming genre, is it too much to ask for a remake to come our way? Due to the raw power of current game consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, GoldenEye 007 could be introduced to a new generation of gamers and look breathtaking.

3. ESPN NFL 2K5 (2004)

Image Credit: Sega.

Sports fans have been clamoring for an NFL 2K5 remake for the past 20 years. Since EA Sports signed an exclusivity agreement with the NFL, Madden has been the only video game in town for millions of football fans. NFL 2K5 proved that a world-class football simulation can exist, and the game’s animation, graphics, and overall presentation were head and shoulders above anything EA Sports could offer. A full-fledged remake in 2024 could renew the digital rivalry between the two games.

4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)

The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past
Image Credit: Nintendo.

I consider The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past one of the best games ever made for the Super Nintendo and one of the handful that would benefit from a full-on remake today. It introduced gamers to an immersive 16-bit world filled with dungeons, side quests, and light role-playing aspects. As we all know, action RPGs have come a long way, and a top-to-bottom remake would serve A Link to the Past well. While more recent Zelda titles have been more than satisfying, it’s time for Nintendo to return to the early 90s and give Link another go.

5. NFL Blitz (1997)

NFL Blitz
Image Credit: Midway Games.

No game has come close to capturing the chaotic energy found in NFL Blitz (but not for lack of trying). While a full-on remake is not in the cards due to the NFL’s real-life policy toward concussions (as opposed to how they ignored them in the early 2000s) due to the game’s brutal hits and physical violence, NFL Blitz in arcades and on consoles in 2024 would be immersive. Imagine how wild a virtual reality version of the game would be. Part sports game, part fighting game, NFL Blitz deserves to be more than just a footnote in gaming history.

6. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (1987)

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Image Credit: Nintendo.

The year 1987 was an excellent time to be a gamer. The Nintendo Entertainment System dominated the market, bringing a near-endless stream of never-before-seen games to our homes. As a baby of the 80s, nothing was more fun (and frustrating) than playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! The game’s difficulty, which ramped up with each successive boxing victory, made the experience even more addictive. A remade version of this cult classic would introduce the maddening gameplay to a new generation of gamers.

7. Shenmue (1999)

Image Credit: Sega.

The Sega Dreamcast deserves more credit for revolutionizing the video game world. From its innovative console that brought internet connectivity to the masses, to its unappreciated modern classics like Shenmue, Sega is often forgotten as one of the pioneers of video games. Released in 1999, Shenmue took the action/adventure genre and turned it upside down, introducing gamers to unforgettable characters, gameplay, and a drop-dead gorgeous open world. While the title had sequels, nothing comes close to the original, and an updated version of the game would be big news in 2024.

8. San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing (1996)

San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
Image Credit: Atari Games.

Arguably, no arcade racer captured the thrill and pure adrenaline better than the coin-op version of San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing. For my money, there was no better value in arcades than tossing in two quarters for the privilege of driving at high speeds through the Bay Area in the mid-90s. The frenetic courses had hidden levels, aggressive drivers, and a soundtrack that couldn’t be beat. Although racing games have become more sim-based in recent generations, a new San Francisco Rush game, updated for modern consoles, could be game-changing.

9. Dragon Warrior (1986)

Dragon Warrior
Image Credit: Nintendo.

My first experience playing Dragon Warrior (also titled Dragon Quest) came by subscribing to Nintendo Power magazine in 1990; the physical game was included in the subscription. For a seven-year-old kid, this was like winning the lottery. As a result, Dragon Warrior was the first RPG I played. Although countless modern RPGs have been released since, I’m still quite fond of Dragon Warrior and have always secretly desired a remake. (One of these years, I’ll get my wish.)

10. Mortal Kombat (1992)

Mortal Kombat
Image Credit: Midway.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the original arcade version of Mortal Kombat (or the endless sequels that have spanned generations). I wouldn’t necessarily advocate for a straight-up remake of the original game. However, I would love to see a full-on remake of the early 90s arcade experience with Mortal Kombat front and center. So many gamers today don’t know what it was like to wait in line at an arcade with quarters in your hand just for an opportunity to knock off the reigning champion. That feeling of stress (and eventual accomplishment) should be introduced to a new generation of gamers in 2024.

11. Black & White (2001)

Black & White
Image Credit: Electronic Arts.

Sometimes, a landmark game is too ambitious for its own good. Released in 2001 for PC, Black & White was a god simulator. Yes, you read that correctly. This open-world game featured you as an all-powerful god as you created a world around you; would you be a merciful god or a spiteful god? The choice was yours. I believe Black & White was ahead of its time, and an updated version of the game being released in today’s gaming climate would shock the world. With more processing power (and artificial intelligence) at our disposal, it’s stunning to think what could be possible in 2024.

12. Maniac Mansion (1987)

Maniac Mansion
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Games.

Maniac Mansion was a complicated, stressful, and sometimes nonsensical side-scrolling puzzle game released in 1987. As a kid, I was confused by everything in the game. It was bizarre. I still don’t know much about it; I only remember the emotional pain accompanying playing it for hours. Therefore, I would love nothing more than for a remake to be released in 2024. It’s only fair that millions of kids today should have to deal with the frustrating and confusing nature of Maniac Mansion.

13. Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Sonic the Hedgehog
Image Credit: Sega.

Upon its release for Sega Genesis in 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog introduced a world defined by one characteristic: Speed. Sonic the Hedgehog was everything Super Mario Bros. wasn’t. It was a side-scroller played at a blistering pace with an aggressive attitude that Nintendo couldn’t match. If people thought the original game’s gameplay was fast, imagine what could be possible if developers re-tooled the original Sonic and reintroduced it to a modern audience. Would home consoles spontaneously combust from the processing power? It would be interesting to see how cranking the original Sonic the Hedge up to eleven would go.

14. Team Fortress Classic (1999)

Team Fortress Classic
Image Credit: Valve.

I can say without shame (well, without much shame) that I played Team Fortress Classic in high school when I probably should’ve been studying and dating more. This PC multiplayer shooter was released in 1999 and is the precursor to modern shooters like Call of Duty and Halo. I distinctly remember asking my dad to upgrade our internet speed because I was at a disadvantage when playing online. A remade version of TFC would inspire new gamers with its unparalleled balanced gameplay and hilarious quirks.

15. Mario Paint (1992)

Mario Paint
Image Credit: Nintendo.

I’ll be honest: Mario Paint blew my mind when it was released for the Super NES in 1992. It was primarily a creative tool, letting gamers allow their inner artists to shine. You could create art in many different ways, including drawing and music. Nintendo was so focused on giving gamers an entirely new experience that the title was shipped with a mouse to give users even more control over their projects. Imagine how innovative a 2024 version of Mario Paint would be. I think some artistic pieces people would create would make jaws drop worldwide.

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