Everything comes back eventually. Movies get remade. TV shows get new seasons decades after cancellation. Comics that few people valued 50 years ago are republished in expensive hardcover slabs. For a while the entire music industry was basically kept alive by reissues and box sets. It’s no different with videogames, where publishers regularly retool and remaster old games for current systems. Just in the last month we’ve run reviews of Grim Fandango Remastered, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix and Resident Evil HD Remaster, which isn’t even the first remake of Capcom’s crucial hit. These remakes are often smart and worthwhile decisions—it’s not just about the studios making a quick buck, or aging adults indulging in nostalgia, but about preserving gaming’s past and ensuring that current players can experience classics that were before their time. Unlike books or TV shows, old games can become effectively extinct if they aren’t remade for current technology. That’s the true strength of these HD remasters, letting today’s generation glimpse a past that would be closed off to them without buying obscure and overpriced relics.
Here’s a gallery of eleven great games that have been remade for the HD era. This isn’t necessarily an endorsement of any of the remasters, but simply an exercise in comparing the visual fidelity of today to the standards of the past. We couldn’t include every HD remaster, but this is a nice cross-section of gaming antiquities redrawn for the modern day.
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Bionic Commando, NES, 1988.
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Bionic Commando Rearmed, PS3/360/PC, 2008.
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Resident Evil, Playstation, 1996.
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Resident Evil HD Remaster, PS3/PS4/360/XB1/PC, 2015.
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Grim Fandango, PC, 1998.
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Grim Fandango Remastered, PC/PS4/Vita/Mac/Linux, 2015.
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Jet Set Radio (AKA Jet Grind Radio), Dreamcast, 2000.
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Jet Set Radio HD, 360/PS3/PC/iOS/Android, 2012.
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Ico, PS2, 2001.
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Ico from The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection, PS3, 2011.