In case you missed it, it was reported earlier in the week by Jason Schreier that The Last of Us, after some juggling between Bend and Naughty Dog, is up for a remake. The game, released in 2012, has received a 2013 remaster, a PS4 Pro upgrade, and then ANOTHER performance upgrade close to the release of the next-gen consoles.
As one of PlayStation’s most successful games, having sold more than 17 million copies by the time 2019 rolled around, I understand the desire to remake it. Hell, I’d absolutely buy a remake, and I’d probably enjoy said remake very much. But The Last of Us doesn’t need a remake.
It stands as one of the best games ever made, featuring a level of storytelling that had been rarely seen in video games when it was released towards the end of the PS3s lifespan. It was one of the titles that helped push the PS3 over the Xbox 360 in the end, shepherding great respect for both PlayStation and Naughty Dog. Even now, in 2021, I’d gladly replay it and have very little to complain about. You can read my Gem Vault article for a more in depth explanation of why I like the game so much, but suffice it to say that The Last of Us is one of the best games ever made.
So, I’m here today to tell you about six games that deserve a remake LONG before The Last of Us gets its mitts on one! Let’s get into it.
Developed by Criterion and published by EA, Black was more of a proof of concept than anything else. It was an action heavy FPS, with bullet time reloads, excellent audio design, good graphics, and pulsating action quite unlike anything else released around 2006. The action was quite clearly inspired by movie direction, and the game felt like an extended action film; no bad thing.
Unfortunately, any chances of a sequel were quashed by EA; the license holders for Black. An extremely short campaign and no multiplayer meant that any enjoyment was short lived, and the 2011 spiritual successor Bodycount did extremely poorly, resulting in dozens of layoffs, and meeting mixed reviews across the board.
Black is a game that was before its time in many areas, and slightly behind the curve in others. It’s a game that could be presented in stunning fashion now, and might even feature some kind of multiplayer. I’d be all for it personally.
– Jak and Daxter
Jak and Daxter is a franchise that started in 2001, and the mainline series was updated way back in 2004 with Jak 3. The first game, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, is one of the highest reviewed platformers you’re likely to find, still holding a 90/100 on Metacritic. The third, Jak 3, was also received pretty well across the board.
Looking at Naughty Dog’s game history, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why there hasn’t been any new Jak and Daxter games, and why there’s been no mention of a potential remake. Over the course of the 17 years between Jak 3 and now, Naughty Dog has developed:
- Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
- Uncharted 2
- Uncharted 3
- The Last of Us, Remaster, and DLC
- Uncharted 4
- Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
- The Last of Us Part 2
In short, Naughty Dog moved away from platformers like Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter, and rapidly set their sights on the world of cinematic blockbusters. They’ve moved themselves to the top of PlayStation’s studios, with a reputation of developing meticulously crafted video games, albeit occasionally at the cost of crunch.
But Jak and Daxter was a consistent franchise back in its heyday, and quality 3D platformers are making a comeback with the likes of Astro’s Playroom, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and It Takes Two, among others. There’s absolutely room in PlayStation’s first party lineup for a more family friendly video game.
A Jak and Daxter remake would fit that hole just fine and dandy, don’t you think?
– Half-Life & Half-Life 2
Okay okay, I know, touchy ground. Half-Life 3 does not, and likely will never exist. Fortunately, Half-Life Alyx recently released onto VR platforms, and has cemented itself at the peak of the games that the technology offers.
With the renewed interest in Valve’s franchise following the critically acclaimed VR title, it seems silly to leave the mainline franchise untouched indefinitely. In lieu of something resembling a full fledged Half-Life 3, my vote goes towards a remake of either the first or second game!
This leaves me in a bit of a bind. It’s been MANY years since I’ve touched the first game, and the same goes for the second. While the first is undoubtedly a good game, the second surpassed it in almost every way. Likewise, I think it’s a safe argument that the second game has aged better as a result.
So what’s the better choice? Remake the older game? Or remake the better, more popular game? Well I say, in classic meme form, why not both? Both. Both is good.
Valve aren’t short of a penny, and remakes are proven to be cheaper than entirely new games, so I reckon they can justify doing full campaign remakes of both existing entries in the Half-Life franchise, story expansions and all.
If I had to pick… remake Half-Life 2. Listen it’s the better game, don’t judge me.
Yes, I have put a 2015 game in here. Yes this article is about arguing against the idea of a 2013 remake. No, I don’t care about how hypocritical this sounds. This is probably cheating, because a remake of Bloodborne would likely look more like a remaster, but hey, I make the rules here!
Bloodborne is an utterly sublime game that still didn’t manage to nab GOTY over CDPR’s Witcher 3. It’s arguably FromSoftware’s strongest title from start to finish, with excellent combat, some absolutely stunning bosses and areas, and a genuinely intriguing world that isn’t ambiguous to the point of boredom like Dark Souls, and isn’t so easy to grasp as the one in Sekiro.
But it has noticeable performance and presentation issues. Despite a gorgeous art style, it’s not as graphically impressive as many modern games, and the frame rate and resolution jumps around like a damn pogo stick. Seriously, some of the boss fights can become unbearable on the hardware it was designed for, with frame rates tanking far beyond acceptable lows.
While it’s likely we’ll get a PC port eventually in some fashion or another, the chances of an outright sequel is looking…. well, pretty dire to be frank. FromSoftware have their hands full with Elden Ring, which I’m sure exists, and given that Bluepoint signed up to remake Demon’s Souls, FromSoftware clearly don’t have much interest in revisiting their older conquests.
That brings us around nicely to my pitch; Bluepoint. Their Demon’s Souls remake is one of, if not the best remake that money can buy right now. A complete graphics overhaul, streamlined UI, updated and added animations, QoL changes up the wazoo. It’s magnificent. One day I’d like Bluepoint to get their chance at a full game of their own, but if they could just remake Bloodborne first that’d be great. Cheers.
Grand Theft Auto is possibly one of the most consistent franchises on the planet. GTA V still sits in the best sellers lists, despite being eight years old at this point. The prior entry, GTA IV is one of the most critically acclaimed games in history, with a monstrous 98/100 on both PS3 and Xbox 360 on Metacritic. GTA Vice City is considered by many to be a true cult classic, harbouring great love from fans of the series everywhere.
The third game is one that I don’t see mentioned very often. It’s almost as equally loved as the games after it, with a 97/100 on Metacritic, but it seems to fall by the wayside in conversation when compared to other games in the franchise.
Considering GTA 6, whatever that looks like, seems to be a dream barely worth holding onto with GTA V still breaking records, it leaves the market open for some high quality remasters or, ideally, remakes.
While I’d personally love to see Vice City brought up to date, I feel like the least common suggestion would be GTA 3. It marked the shift to 3D third person perspectives, rather than the top down view of the games before it. This would mark a nice parallel in bringing the game to current gen systems like the PS5 and Series X, allowing a lusher more alive world, much improved visuals, and more in depth gameplay and story. It would be quite symbolic, bringing the game responsible for such a shift forward like that.
Not only that, let’s be real, it would sell absolute gangbusters. Many are starved for new Grand Theft Auto content, especially if they don’t partake in the GTA Online shenanigans (aka, me). It’s a win win for the franchise and for Take-Two.
What’s more, fan made remakes/ remasters of both Vice City and GTA 3 were DMCA’d into the ground recently, with Take-Two threatening litigation almost as soon as the remakes went public. This would, if you listen to the internet, perhaps indicate that remakes or remasters of these games are at least on the minds of the developers.
Pie in the sky? Maybe. But one can hope.
Mass Effect 1
Let’s tackle the elephant in the room shall we? Yes, I’m well aware that the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is launching next month. No, yet again, I don’t care. Bioware are going to great lengths to ensure that Mass Effect 1 doesn’t look out of place next to the ‘not as bad with age’ Mass Effect 2 and 3, and I obviously appreciate that greatly.
But, visual and QoL improvements aside, Mass Effect 1 still has the absolute worst gameplay out of the trilogy and I don’t expect that to change. Since the first entry, Bioware have made leaps and strides in crafting engaging and fun gameplay. Their two most recent titles, Anthem and Mass Effect: Andromeda, were rife with issues but still managed to offer entertaining gameplay loops. Dragon Age: Inquisition, a franchise I had zero interest in, also managed to offer in depth gameplay that managed to actually feel good – and enticed me to spend 120 hours completing the damn thing.
Mass Effect 1, RPG masterclass that it is, would benefit hugely from a full gameplay makeover. Imagine overhauled combat, abilities, class systems, melee combat, and teamwork systems. Basically, imagine Andromeda’s gameplay (one of the only things from that game that’s worth keeping), in Mass Effect 1’s world and story. I’d buy that immediately.
Of course, with a remaster trilogy right around the corner the likelihood of a full remake is basically dead and buried, but hey, that’s much the case with most of the games I’ve talked about today right?
What Did You Think?
Well there we have it. Six games that I’d much rather get a full remake before The Last of Us. Don’t get me wrong, I see the advantages. With a HBO show right around the corner, ish, interest in the franchise will be renewed immediately, prompting viewers to research the video games. Having a brand new remake of the first game for them to buy and play would be a huge win.
Likewise, The Last of Us Part 2 hosted huge improvements to Naughty Dog’s engine, crafting environments and encounters that stand above most video games in general, even the critically acclaimed Uncharted 4. Seeing the original game with those improvements? That would be majestic.
But, despite the inevitable advantages of a remake, I just don’t need one. The first game holds up incredibly well, aside from the clunky gunplay, and is still a thoroughly riveting experience start to finish. Why remake it, when it’s still almost perfect?
A quick thanks to Jason Schreier for the excellent article breaking down Sony’s shuffling of staff and studios over at PlayStation, I intend to write a more in-depth piece but need some more time to research. Without his article though, none of it would be possible. Head over to Bloomberg if you fancy having a look!
Anyway, what games would YOU like to see instead of The Last of Us Remake? Let me know in the comments! Alternatively, reach out at our Facebook or Twitter with your suggestions! Until next time, have a fantastic week!
I’ve been playing video games in some form or another for nearly two decades. My favourite campaign of all time is Halo: Combat Evolved and my favourite multiplayer of all time is Overwatch, with a dash of Halo 3. Huge lover of everything gaming, no matter the platform or source, and I enjoy a story driven campaign like nothing else!