In 2021, around 30 remasters, remakes, and enhanced ports of classic video games were released to the market. This included Diablo II, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Mass Effect, and the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy, along with many other big names from the last few decades.
These re-released titles allow players to enjoy classic video games on modern hardware with upgraded graphics and tweaked gameplay.
For players that enjoyed them when they were first released, these new versions are a way to reminisce about games they used to spend hours playing without having to deal with the hassle of buying an old console or finding an emulator. They also allow new players who may not have been around when a game was released 20 to 30 years ago to experience it for the first time.
By upgrading the graphics, old games can be made to look almost like a completely new title or at least help to find a balance between respecting the original version while giving it a modern feel.
However, some people are beginning to question whether the sheer volume of remastered titles is proof that the video games industry has become creatively bankrupt. But is this a fair assessment, or is there value in this refreshing of old content?
Video games can often have lifespans of just a few years. They get released, see a flurry of sales, and then get replaced by a sequel. Sure, players can return to them whenever they want, but as new generations of consoles get released, fewer and fewer people have access to old titles.
Yet, just because a video game is 10 years old doesn’t mean that it is bad. The things that made it fun then will still be fun today.
Remastering old titles helps to preserve these games and allows players to enjoy them again. And with the improved backwards compatibility and digital libraries of modern consoles, it is more likely that these old games will be available for years to come.
Introducing New Players to Gaming History
Some of the remasters and remakes that were released in 2020 and 2021 were originally created in the 1980s and 1990s. That means there are two whole generations of gamers that didn’t get to enjoy them on their original hardware.
This includes gaming royalty like Final Fantasy, Command & Conquer, Half-Life, Super Mario 64, Tony Hawk’s Pro-Skater, and Doom – all titles that most players would agree are timeless classics.
Remasters and remakes give these games a fresh lick of paint to help them look better compared to newer releases, making them more appealing to newer generations so that they can enjoy them too.
Remakes Can Add New Features
Remastered games are typically the ones that stood out at the time they were originally on the market. This is usually a sign that they were well made and fun to play.
Therefore, most games don’t need to be improved, augmented, or enhanced as they are still great in their original form.
However, remakes still provide an opportunity for developers to get creative, either by editing the original or creating new modes that put a modern spin on the classic mechanics. For example, the new “Definitive Edition” of Grand Theft Auto Vice City has introduced new wayfinding features to the map, a modern aiming system, and a new weapon selection tool.
Yet players can still enjoy the original story, the 80s soundtrack that features artists like Mötley Crüe, and the same Miami-vibe.
Similarly, online casinos often create different variants of classic games like blackjack. These new versions have a slightly different dynamic to the original version and present new challenges to the player. For example, in Live Free Bet Blackjack, the player can split or double down on certain hands for free.
Some players prefer these modern remakes, but for those that don’t, the original versions are usually also available.
Overall, remasters and remakes are not necessarily a sign of creative bankruptcy. The proof that fresh ideas and concepts still exist is found through looking at the huge number of new titles that are released each year.
Sure, big publishers are leaning a little more heavily on their older IP than they once were, but this is just a sign of how good that content is. After all, if players didn’t like these games, they wouldn’t be paying to play them again.