From movies to videogames, remakes and reboots are clearly inescapable. Personally, I’d much prefer original, new content over rehashed stories, but alas-such is the world we live in today. So if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! In no particular order, here are 15 classic games that deserve to be brought back to life.
1. Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Slay the zombies. Save the neighbors. Zombies Ate My Neighbors, released in 1993 on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, was a top-down shooter that required you to rescue all the non-undead characters in a level before progressing to the next. A simple premise, and one that was the foundation of a surprisingly difficult game brimming with character and charm. It’s silly, funny, and can be seriously challenging. Make it a twin-stick shooter and grab the art team behind Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 and you’re golden.
“Now that’s what I call getting some tail!” Who doesn’t love a wise-cracking tuxedo-wearing gecko that’s obsessed with TV? If you don’t, you need to reevaluate your perspectives in life. While, admittedly, I have only ever played the 2nd of the 3 games in the series, Gex: Enter the Gecko, it was enough to fall in love with the character. Stylize the graphics, give it a better button-mash combat system, and update the TV-obsession with a social media one, and Gex could be ready for a solid comeback.
3. Wiz ‘n’ Liz
Frankly, I barely remember this game; I played it with my older siblings when I was about 6. Yet somehow, this game has managed to stand out in my mind as one of the best games my family had for Sega Genesis. It’s incredibly fast-paced, the music’s awesome, and all you have to do is collect the “wabbits” in each level. To keep things interesting, your time carries over between levels; run out of time, and it’s game over. The UbiArt Framework could be put to great use in reviving this classic hidden gem.
4. Fusion Frenzy
I’m sick of the only party games being the Mario Party series and crappy licensed games devoid of quality. While I never played its sequel on the Xbox 360, Fuzion Frenzy was definitely a worthwhile party game for the original Xbox. It wasn’t as good as Mario Party, but it still provided plenty of fun. Personally, I would love to see a new party game that isn’t from Nintendo. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Fuzion Frenzy 3, but in an era dominated by shooters, a little light-hearted fun goes a long way (plus it’s way easier to make drinking games out of).
Ah, the mech game. A painfully under-represented genre, if you ask me. From Custom Robo to Titanfall, mech games have always offered players some great robot violence and yet for some sad reason, they never seem to stick around. For me, my favorite was always MechAssault. It was fast, there was a good selection of mechs, and it was one of the first games to use Xbox Live. While I missed out on the Chromehounds era, I think the new consoles provide the perfect platform to revive the MechAssault franchise and make it into a massive multiplayer-centric mech game.
6. State of Emergency
“Kill gangs for Bonus Score!” This was my first PS2 game. My brother bought Smuggler’s Run 2: Hostile Territory for himself, and picked up State of Emergency for me with the 20 bucks I gave him. Best. Choice. Ever. Sure, it’s redundant, clunky, and often super frustrating, but for some reason all of that melts away when you mow down an entire battalion of Corporation thugs with a trash can. What this game lacked in depth it more than made up for with humor and style. I could see a new age State of Emergency being made as a cheaper digital download, maybe with an Arkham-style combat system and just oh so many weapons.
7. Jet Set Radio
Sure, we got the HD digital port of the original back in 2012, but to hell with that- I want a new game entirely. Imagine Jet Set Radio meets Sunset Overdrive. It’d be a cel-shaded spray-painting shit show, and I’d love every second of it. Maybe even include skateboards or scooters or something to give the players more aesthetic options. This series is definitely one of those classics that just not enough people have played, which is a shame since pretty much everyone who has, freaking loves it. It’s simple, it’s accessible, and above all else, it’s just plain fun. I think we’ve waited long enough for another go-around.
8. Pokemon Snap
Nintendo, I call shenanigans. I cannot believe you are about to drop a whole new console without first making a new Pokémon Snap game for the Wii U. The tablet controller is the perfect gamepad; imagine moving along rails while actually using the tablet to take actual photographs of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. No need to worry about twitchy camera controls getting in the way of the perfect shot! Maybe even include different paths the player can choose in each level. There’s so much potential for a new Pokémon Snap on the Wii U, I just wish Nintendo would recognize it.
Literally just give me Rampage 2 with updated graphics and call it a day.
10. Earthworm Jim
Shoot the things! Avoid falling old ladies!! Bounce puppies with a marshmallow!!! Seriously, I could go on for the entire blurb just naming different outrageous acts this game series has you doing. There’s been plans for a revival of this hero-worm-spaceman-thing for years now, but sadly none of those have come to fruition. With the resurgence of the 2D side-scroller genre today, now is a great time to snot-parachute through “New Junk City” again.
11. NFL Street
If you’re in America, I’m putting the chances at 92% that you at least like football. If you do, then there’s a 100% chance you’ll love NFL Street. It’s 7-on-7, there are very little rules, and you can run off walls. What the hell more do you want?! While the series definitely grew stale with NFL Street 3, I think there’s potential life for a new entry in the series. Its fast and frenetic football gameplay was addicting, and with online gaming what it is today, I can see plenty of players preferring a pickup game of NFL Street over a whole tedious game of Madden. (PS as of the time of writing, only 179 more days until the 2016 NFL season!)
12. Ecco the Dolphin
The only reason I ever played this game as a kid was because my sister wanted it, and then only because there was a dolphin on the cover. With that being said, this game is probably one of the best Genesis games I ever played. The levels are complex, the gameplay is fast, and the atmosphere and music were super creepy and dark. Who’d have thought a game about a dolphin could be so… unsettling? Oh, and also, it’s freaking difficult. You think Dark Souls is hard? You don’t even know, kid.
Easily one of my favorite FPS games ever made, this series needs a comeback. Previous sales figures pretty much stand in the way of a new installment, which is a shame considering the strong cult following this game has generated. I poured days into TimeSplitters 2, and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect had a presentation and sense of humor that most games wish for. The level designs had depth and replayability, and the gameplay was like an enhanced Goldeneye. Not to mention the multiplayer was absolutely incredible. A new installment probably won’t live up to expectations at this point, but if the right team was given the right resources and creative freedom, TimeSplitters could come back in epic fashion.
14. Fire Blade
Half-helicopter sim, half-Rogue Squadron, Fire Blade was a third-person action game where you piloted an advanced attack chopper through various scenarios against an insurgent threat. It counterbalanced its more action-oriented levels with stealth missions, where you would sneak over enemy camps using active camuflage. It’s certainly not as good as Rogue Squadron, but it still managed to provide its own unique experience. With the amount of action PCs and consoles can handle today, now would be a great time to get back in the cockpit.
15. ToeJam & Earl
One of the greatest co-op games ever, this series is in such dire need of a reboot that it pains me. LET ME GO BACK TO FUNKOTRON, I BEG YOU! *ahem* Anyways, my time was spent playing ToeJam & Earl 2: Panic on Funkotron, and I still remember it as one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s as challenging as it is simple, and the presentation is truly one-of-a-kind. The game just oozes creativity, from the hilarious game concept itself (capturing runaway Earthlings in jars and shipping them back to Earth) to the character and level design. Even the sound effects when you collect points (or Funk) are hilarious. Anyone who’s played ToeJam & Earl knows how good that series was. Funkotron beckons.
Honorable Mention: Star Trek Spaceship Simulator Games
I played one of these at my dad’s office when I was about 5 or 6 and had NO idea what was going on. Still, it was oddly addicting and the internet seems to remember these games fondly. Plus I think 24-year-old me would have a better time with it.
So there you have it! 15 classic games that deserve the royal remake treatment. What nostalgic hits do you wish would see new life? Let us know in the comments below!