Nostalgia in video games can be a dangerous thing. It’s all too easy to romanticize past experiences, remembering the splendor of an old-school favorite through a warm haze that may not be quite accurate. Indeed, it’s likely that many of the games you loved a few years ago aren’t even playable now.
The flip side, however, is that some games are genuinely worthy of such long-standing devotion, even if the years have revealed some of their most pronounced flaws. That’s why lovingly crafted remasters or remakes are so appealing, with Final Fantasy VII Remake indicating just how big the appetite is for revisiting old favorites with a fresh coat of paint.
Here, we’ve rounded up the eight best remakes and remasters you should be playing right now.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (PlayStation 4)
It may not be available yet (aside from the awesome demo you should definitely play now. Seriously, what are you doing?), but it’s the long-awaited remake of one of the best games ever. times, so it would be remiss of us not to include it. With blockbuster production, updated combat, and all your favorite characters brought back to life, the first part of this episodic outing is so close we can taste the smog of Midgar. However, it is still not close enough. Give us this now. Law. Now. April 10 is still too far away.
Resident Evil II (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Look, you know the drill. Hit Raccoon City, encounter the impossibly hungry undead (and the hulking, terrifying Mr. X), and desperately try to escape by exploring a sprawling and curiously hidden police station. Resident Evil II is a bona fide horror classic, and the 2019 remake does more than just offer a fresh coat of paint – passing the camera to Resi 4’s over-the-shoulder style, ramping up the action and generally delivering a whole new horror classic, which just happens to be an old horror classic. Undoubtedly the current benchmark for video game remakes.
Okami (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Capcom and Clover Studio’s weird, bold, beautiful adventure Okami may not have been given the level of spitting and polishing that some of the games on this list have been treated to, but frankly, that’s because didn’t take much more than a touch up.
Okami HD sees you take on the role of Amaterasu, the white wolf-dwelling goddess tasked with restoring a broken world. Originally appearing on the PS2 and then remastered for the PS3, Okami is one of the most visually elegant games of its generation, with a hand-drawn pictorial world still unique. The latest remaster especially sings on the Switch, where players can use touch to swipe the celestial brush and bring its stunning world even more to life. Okami was gorgeous, is gorgeous, and fully deserves your time.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC)
The painstakingly remastered version of the already jaw-dropping Wrath of the White Witch more than makes up for the slightly underwhelming sequel to the JRPG epic. With Studio Ghibli animation and a soundtrack you’ll be humming along to for years to come, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a remaster that brings the joy, wonder and beauty of this amazing game back to our screens with just what it takes care and attention. The story may seem light, but the journey is epic and fully worthy of its 80+ hours of gameplay. A stunning achievement, and one that we’re always happy to revisit.
Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Shadow of the Colossus is a masterpiece – it’s as simple as that. Team Ico’s 2006 adventure, which tasks you with battling and destroying massive creatures across a stunning world, was jaw-dropping in scale, undeniably beautiful, and had a rich undercurrent of melancholy that was deeply felt each time you felled one of the colossi. It was also, let’s be honest, a little flawed – with clunky controls and a sometimes clunky camera leading to frustration at times.
The 2018 remake was therefore welcome as a sunny day. Addressing some of the issues that plagued the original while still retaining the sense of awe and majesty every time you approached these monolithic beasts, Shadow of the Colossus is still a masterpiece – and any gamer whoever respects himself must check.
Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC)
Crash Bandicoot may never have achieved Mario’s critical acclaim or Spyro’s cult hero status, but the three platforming titles that first appeared on the PS1 are full of charm, excellent platforms and a memorable cast of characters.
Crash’s popularity has always been assured, but the N.Sane Trilogy remaster collection reminded us how wonderful those games were and still are. Offering a surprisingly tough challenge, the remasters brilliantly update the visuals of current consoles, as well as rebuild levels from the ground up to refine gameplay and introduce a whole new generation of players to our favorite spinning marsupial.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC)
Speaking of classic platformers, the original Spyro trilogy holds a special place for many people who opted for Sony’s PlayStation, rather than Nintendo and its red hat hero. All three games – Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon – were cheerfully made platformers with an adorable protagonist and glorious (hello, slide) mechanics.
The series has naturally aged, so developers Insomniac and Toys for Bob have taken the little purple dragon under their wing to revive the much-loved series, now available on multiple platforms (yes, including Switch). By redesigning the world to come to life (the grass is on fire now, obviously) and putting more emphasis on the different types of dragons you encounter along your journey, Spyro Reignited is a welcome reminder of the lasting qualities of fond remembrance. platform series.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Nintendo Switch)
Nintendo’s remake of the 1993 classic Link’s Awakening does a fantastic job of introducing a classic title to a whole new generation, showing gamers new to Link’s adventures through Breath of the Wild that there’s so much more to discover. For those who played Link’s Awakening when it arrived, the remake is so lovingly crafted, retaining all of the original’s charm, wit, and surprising toughness, that it’s easy to fall in love all over again.
With the classic top-down JRPG perspective, the Nintendo Switch version of Link’s Awakening is a 3D take on a classic format, with vibrant colors, stunning visuals, and as many weird quests as you can shake your hand at. Oh, and it’s as adorable as hell. If all that doesn’t rock your boat, we don’t know what will.