Face it, good video game remasters are hard to come by. With a seemingly endless string of old video game remasters, remakes, and revamps hitting the shelves every week, it can be hard to tell which ones are actually worth picking up. Even if the game itself is good enough to merit a second buy, if it doesn't come with some extra perks it simply doesn't feel worth it. On the other hand, just because a remaster looks pretty doesn't mean you'll actually enjoy playing it again.
The best remastered video games are more than just eye-candy, they're substantial enough to leave your inner nerd as satisfied as they were when they played it the first time. Even some of the best video games of all time don't feel quite as polished over a decade after they came out - unless developers went back and added in some modern gaming conveniences like auto-saves and skippable cutscenes. From console to PC, the greatest video game remasters bring compelling game storylines to life for a new generation and help remind older gamers why they started playing in the first place.
Like a streak of fire straight from 1998, Spyro the Dragon comes to visit in a remastered, all-in-one trilogy chronicling his early years. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy takes gamers to the relics of Spyro's past, back when he was just a scaly brat trying to save the entrapped elder-dragons. However, developers included a ton of 21st century upgrades to make all three titles as good as they possibly can be. Helpful late-franchise features like maps for each level and a more powerful hover jump are now present in all three games, and the cutscenes have been completely rerecorded with new voice actors.
With over 100 levels getting remastered graphics and fluid motion controls, the Remastered Trilogy proves Spyro is capable of keeping up with some of the best 3D platformers on the market. There's also a brand new soundtrack - but don't worry, you can still access the classic tunes with the click of a button.
Resident Evil 2 is a full-on remake of the monster-riddled survival-horror game, and it gives the classic Capcom title the overhaul it deserves. The game breaks away from the original's rigid, fixed camera perspective and gives players a third-person, over the shoulder POV, much like how Leon controls in Resident Evil 4.
This fundamental pivot changes gameplay for the better, making the aiming system feel natural and modern. Characters' backstories and initial interactions have been slightly changed, but the overall storyline remains true to the original. As players pace through the horrors of Raccoon City, they'll be making bets on how long they'll survive while soaking in the awesome new mechanics and gameplay.
Packing three remastered games into a single epic adventure, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy revisits Crash in a completely upgraded world. Not only do the updated graphics make the hero look much cleaner than he did in 1996, the new game adds user perks like manual saves and pause menus - both fix issues that made Crash extremely frustrating to play in the past.
The developers of Crash Bandicoot also graced players with two new levels. The first level, Stormy Ascent, was originally set to appear in Crash Bandicoot but was taken out for being too tough. The second level, Future Tense, is totally new and gives Crash a shiny chrome environment to maneuver through.
Making its debut on PlayStation 3 in 2013, The Last of Us got a remastered version for PlayStation 4 in 2014. With just a year between their releases, it might not seem like there would be much motivation for gamers to buy another copy - except the newer edition is so much better.
The Last of Us Remastered doesn't just give the game the high definition overhaul it deserves, it adds in a photo mode to help capture and share the harrowing experiences Ellie and Joel go through. The remastered version also brings added multiplayer maps and the "Left Behind" DLC, so gamers are free to jump in and enjoy online modes and Ellie's side story. Since it's on the PlayStation 4, the game also takes advantage of upgraded controls, letting players use the touchpad to craft items more quickly.