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Classic Retro Games That Deserve a Remake

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Video games have been a massive source of entertainment throughout my life and select older titles still prevail in my memory, due to the time passage, many of these would be considered “retro games.” Some of these deserve another pass to bring them to the forefront of gamers’ minds. Perhaps not in the form that they are now, but the ones I’ve highlighted below could truly benefit from being revamped, and rediscovered or experienced for the first time.

Experiencing some of these older games firsthand could be quite troublesome, as the barrier of accessibility to hardware & software could keep gamers from playing them. But through the work of remakes, a whole new generation of gamers could discover some of these fun retro games for themselves. 

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy & Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a series of Star Wars video games considered as one of the best. It was called Star Wars Jedi Knight. Few titles hold as much love and nostalgia as this game series. Well, there’s also Knights Of The Old Republic, but it’s the one that’s already getting its remake .

Among all those Star Wars games, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy and Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast stand out as iconic entries that captured the essence of the Star Wars universe. They did it while delivering thrilling lightsaber combat and engaging narratives for that time, especially by letting you live through that story as your own created character.

As technology advances and fans want more Star Wars content, the time has come to execute the Order “Create Remakes” for these beloved classics and relive those amazing stories again. First released in 2002, Jedi Outcast was praised for its compelling single-player campaign, which followed the adventures of Kyle Katarn, a former Jedi turned mercenary.

You may wonder why it came first when it has II in its title. It’s because it’s a sequel to Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces. But when it comes to the story of those games, Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy deserve our nostalgic attention, especially since you can play them without having played Dark Forces

Promotional graphic for 'Jedi Knight' games
Promotional graphic for Jedi Knight games (Aspyr/Lucasfilm Games)

In Jedi Outcast, players embarked on a journey as Kyle Katarn, filled with lightsaber duels, force powers, and intense battles against the dark side. The game’s innovative lightsaber combat system and dynamic level design set a new standard for Star Wars games, earning it a dedicated fanbase that remains to this day.

Kyle Katarn stopped being a Jedi, but after witnessing a personal tragedy, reconnected with the Force and returned as his true self. Jedi Academy was released in 2003, and it expanded upon its predecessor’s success by allowing players to create their own Jedi character and embark on a customizable journey through the galaxy. We play as Kyle Katarn’s Padawan, Jaden Korr, who goes on a different mission to stop evil.

With an improved combat system, diverse missions, and multiplayer modes, Jedi Academy became a multiplayer favorite, fostering communities that still organize tournaments and mods. Despite their enduring popularity, both games show their age graphically and mechanically. Assisted by current advancements in technology, a remake of Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy could revitalize these classic games for a new generation of players while offering longtime fans an opportunity to revisit their favorite adventures in stunning detail.

Even now, with the amazing popularity of Jedi: Fallen Order and Jedi: Survivor, the idea of remaking Star Wars games is easy money, but it has to be done right (unlike the recent Star Wars: Battlefront remake).

Fallout

Fallout is more than just a video game, it’s a culturally satirical critique that has shaped the gaming industry since its release. A potential remake of this beloved classic game isn’t merely about updating graphics or mechanics, it’s about honoring its legacy, preserving its lore, and introducing it to a new audience. I, who’ve never had a chance to play in it, recently decided to do it. This game is amazing, and I wonder why it has never had a remake. 

The original Fallout game, released in 1997, was a testament to the creativity of its developers, but the technology of the times prevented the game from reaching its full potential. A remake would provide an opportunity to realize the game’s original vision fully. Fallout has a trimetric perspective that shows the player where to go, and what enemies are in the immediate vicinity.

Retro Game remake article: Fallout
Promotional graphics for Fallout game (Interplay Productions)

But it’s equal parts of an RPG of chance and exploration. The best mechanics that Fallout keeps to this day are mathematical percent chances to do damage on different parts of your enemy’s body, aka V.AT.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). A remake would need modernized gameplay mechanics, specifically combat and exploration, to fit 21st-century expectations.

We could also delve deeper into the rich lore and storytelling that have made the Fallout game so captivating. Expanded content, additional quests, and deeper character development would give players reasons to explore every corner of the wasteland and uncover its secrets.

With the premiere of the new Fallout show, remaking the game would show younger players why this series is such a classic. Already, there has been an uptick in gamers trying out Fallout 4 since the trailer released for the Prime Video series.

Spider-Man 2000

It’s clear that fans still have a lot of love and nostalgia for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, with increased interest in reviving Spider-Man: The Animated Series similarly to X-Men ‘97. There’s also a chance to give fans something more to be nostalgic about: a remake of a classic Spider-Man game from 2000.

Developed by Neversoft and published by Activision, this iconic title brought the web-slinging hero to life in a way that had never been done before. In the 2000s, it was considered an incredible game and people wanted to play it repeatedly. Time wasn’t kind to this classic, but it’s still playable.

Retro Game remake article: Spider-Man 2000
Spider-Man 2000 game (Neversoft/Activision)

There are the monotonous web-swinging mechanics, diverse roster of villains, and engaging storyline penned by veteran Spider-Man writer Stan Lee. All it takes to make it a good remake are graphical updates, adding something to web-swinging mechanics, and that’s about it. It became a hit not because of its mechanics, but because of the storyline and cinematics. Let’s not forget about an amazing “What If…?” mode that lets you replay that story once again, but with changes to the story.

Despite its age, the 2000 Spider-Man game remains a standout title in the superhero genre. As technology has advanced, so have players’ expectations for what a Spider-Man game can deliver. A remake of the 2000 classic game would pay homage to the original’s legacy and introduce a new generation of players to the thrill of swinging through the streets of New York City as the iconic wall-crawler. 

GoldenEye 007

GoldenEye 007 was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1997 and holds a special place in gaming history as one of the most influential first-person shooter games of all time. As gaming technology has advanced, there are compelling reasons why a remake of GoldenEye 007 would be both timely and welcome. A remake of this game would allow a new generation of gamers to experience the magic of the original, and understand why it was recognized as a masterpiece back then.

Many players today may not have had the opportunity to play the game in its original form. By remaking it with updated graphics and mechanics, this would introduce the iconic James Bond adventure to a new audience. A remake could enhance the experience in ways not possible in 1997. New life could be breathed into the game’s iconic locations, making them more immersive and realistic.

Retro Game remake article: GoldenEye 007
GoldenEye 007 promotional graphic (L-R) Izabella Scorupco, Pierce Brosnan, Famke Janssen (Rare/Nintendo)

Advancements in game design and mechanics could refine the gameplay, offering smoother controls, more sophisticated AI, and expanded options to focus on players’ gaming preferences. While preserving the core storyline and missions that made the game a classic, developers could incorporate new features, Easter eggs, and unlockables to keep players engaged. Maybe even the option to choose which incarnation of James Bond you want to play as, could return. 

A remake of GoldenEye 007 could also pay homage to the original soundtrack as one of the most iconic in games. For example, the pause theme is one of the most used songs in gaming shots. If you’ve never had a chance to listen to it, believe me, it’s a real banger. 

Capcom Disney Games

Now we’re entering the domain of huge nostalgia. Disney Capcom Games were one of the first games that I had the pleasure to play. I don’t know how many of them I played, and how much time I’ve spent, but I remember only one thing about them. I loved them.

From classics like DuckTales to Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, The Lion King, Hercules, Aladdin, or even Darkwing Duck, these 2D platformers captured the hearts of gamers with their charming graphics, tight gameplay, and memorable soundtracks. As gaming technology continues to evolve, this time is as good as any for these beloved titles to receive the remake treatment.

Released primarily during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Capcom’s Disney games were a testament to the magic of turning beloved Disney movies into games. They took popular animated properties and transformed them into interactive experiences that appealed to children and adults alike. Whether players were bouncing on Scrooge McDuck’s cane in DuckTales, helping Simba in his adventures, or fighting monsters as Hercules, these games offered timeless entertainment that has endured for decades.

The Disney Afternoon Collection promotional graphic
The Disney Afternoon Collection promotional graphic (Digital Eclipse/Capcom)

Pixel art and chiptune music of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras hold a nostalgic charm, but modern audiences crave the immersive experiences offered by modern gaming technology. A remake of Capcom’s Disney classics would honor the legacy of these beloved titles and introduce them to a new generation of players. I know some of those games already received HD graphics re-releases and additional modes, but we need a proper remake of those games, not simply HD upscaling. The most important thing is to enhance the graphics to look more realistic, even if it means making those games 2.5D instead of proper 2D. 

One of the most compelling reasons for a remake lies in the potential to modernize and expand upon the gameplay mechanics of the original titles. While the core gameplay of games like Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers or The Lion King remains solid and easy, there’s an opportunity to introduce new features, levels, and challenges that build upon the foundation laid by the originals. Imagine exploring expanded versions of Baghdad in Aladdin or the Rescue Rangers’ treehouse, filled with secrets and surprises waiting to be discovered.

Captain Claw

Captain Claw, released in 1997, was the first game I’ve ever played and probably still a favorite. I considered it a hidden gem in the world of platform games. Captain Claw offered a unique gameplay experience that set it apart from other platformers. The game follows the adventures of Captain Nathaniel Joseph Claw, a brave pirate cat, on a quest to recover the legendary Amulet of Nine Lives. 

The story of this game is as epic as it sounds. As a kid, I had to play through it with my older sister. Sometimes we resorted to using cheat codes. It had many fun and challenging levels, inventive puzzles, and satisfying combat mechanics. A remake of Captain Claw would reintroduce this classic to a new generation of gamers. Enhanced graphics could breathe new life into Claw’s adventures, bringing the colorful world of this game to vivid, high-definition detail. 

Retro Game remake article: Captain Claw
Captain Claw promotional graphic for the game (Monolith Productions)

The boss battles with characters like Le Rauxe, Wolvington, or Aquatis would be amazing and probably even more challenging than they were. With modern technology, developers could easily enhance the game’s visuals, animations, and environments, immersing players in a vibrant pirate world. Moreover, a remake could provide an opportunity to re-use the classic soundtrack again, but in higher quality. We could also get additional levels, characters, and storylines to further flesh out Claw’s epic journey, offering new and returning players fresh challenges and surprises. 

A future for beloved older games with game remakes

These retro games I’ve listed, among many others, should be given another pass to bring them back into focus for young and old gamers. Whether it’s simply revamping visuals and controls, or expanding the story with side-content, there is a multitude of ways to revive these retro games. Hopefully, some of these games get a shot at being modernized.

What about you? Would you play these games if they were remade for today’s audience? What older games would you like to see remade? Let us know on social media @MyCosmicCircus or The Cosmic Circus Discord! 

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Wiktor Reinfuss

Big fan of all sorts of pop culture stuff. I also enjoy ambitious cinema. Games, music and graphics are all within my interests. I have a great fondness for the Arrowverse series, especially The Flash.

Wiktor Reinfuss has 116 posts and counting. See all posts by Wiktor Reinfuss