Wow, it's already Friday, which means that today, Capcom's latest remake Resident Evil 3 is out. You can read our review of it here. It's overall a fun remake, even if it isn't as good as last year's Resident Evil 2 do-over.
With next week being the release of another hotly anticipated remake—Final Fantasy 7 Remake—we thought it would be a good time to talk about our favorite video game remakes over the years. So tell us in the comments: What's your favorite game remake?
I admit, my mind jumps directly to loving homages to past games like Dead Space. I'll be weird and choose a non-console title: The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. It's a full remake of the classic LucasArts adventure game, complete with hand-drawn art, a remastered score, and re-recorded dialog featuring the cast of the later, voiced Monkey Island games. Even better was a brand-new interface that allowed neophytes to the old adventure genre—which is like everyone—to enjoy the game for the first time. And The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition had the best feature for any remake or remaster: the ability to play the classic game. Hell, you could swap back and forth. A fantastic remake, even if it is 11 years old at this point.
Remakes and remasters are a bit odd, because a lot of them are the way I first ever play a game. In that respect, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir has to take my top spot. There was basically zero chance I was ever going to play the original Odin Sphere, and if Leifthrasir hadn't been made, I never would have found out how much I dig that game. Leifthrasir even goes further, adding new elements and a lot of quality of life fixes that smooth out the original experience, while still looking absolutely gorgeous. As more companies dig further into their back catalogs, I'm hoping some other cult classics get the treatment Odin Sphere got. (Also, can I get a Switch port?)
RPGs have some decent remakes, and I think one of the best ones is Dragon Quest 5 for the Nintendo DS. The Super Famicom version of Dragon Quest 5 never came to North America in any official capacity, but I did play a fan-translated version and enjoyed it. The DS remake is still far and away North America's best option to play the game, though. Its translation is great, its reworked sprites are lovely, and there's tons of new content... including the option to marry the acid-tongued Debora if Bianca and Nera are too tame for you. It might be hard to secure an actual DS cartridge these days, but the mobile port isn't a bad compromise. A slightly awkward UI isn't enough to sink one of the best RPGs of all time.
Last year's Resident Evil 2 is not just my favorite Resident Evil game, it's my favorite remake too. It's, to me, the perfect example of what a remake should do: it both reimagines and builds on the original material, all while making it look and play incredible. (RE Engine is one of the best-looking engines out there, in this writer's opinion.) I love the metroidvania-esque approach to its level design; I love how unpredictable every encounter is. (Do you want to shoot off all their limbs, or would you rather hope a headshot is enough to take them down?) I love how playing as Claire and Leon feels very different, despite sharing locales, because of their varied arsenals. I love how tense it is when Tyrant is stomping around. Resident Evil 2 is just a great, great game. And thinking about it now makes me wish Resident Evil 3 was better.