You may remember that last week was the first entry in a new weekly ThisisXbox top ten feature. In that, we covered the top ten HD remakes on the console. In the same vain, we’re going to run down the top ten games that are yet to be given the HD treatment that deserve it most.
These games were chosen with several anomalies in mind. Popularity, sales, lore, replayability and the test of time itself.
On with the list!
These days, BioWare are known as the creators of the fantastic Mass Effect Franchise. But back in 2005, they made a fantastic little RPG known as Jade Empire. Jade Empire was a sleeper hit in its day. A game that revolutionized the RPG genre that BioWare were already deeply immersed in. It was a game that introduced a fantastic new real time combat system. With a story that you won’t be able to let go, the improvement of BioWare’s well known morality mechanic, and combat that at the time was unrivaled in the RPG world, Jade Empire was a huge hit and a must for the HD remake treatment. The world would look no less than beautiful with even a minimal upgrade. Any fan of RPGs that haven’t played this game would clamor forth to buy this excellent title.
Before gritty ex-cop Max Payne was perusing the streets of sunny Brazil showing off his best Stone Cold Steve Austin cosplay, he was patrolling the streets of New Jersey with a tortured inner-monologue that detailed the pain and anger he feels over the death of his loving wife and his newborn daughter. Although Max Payne 3 was a good game, it never captured the neo-noir graphic novel aesthetic that made this game one of the most trailblazing storytelling coups in gaming history. It wasn’t just the excellent narrative and addictive tone that made this game one of a kind, some horrific surreal dream sequences in this game are the most memorable in history. There’s not a gamer out there that doesn’t remember following a trail of blood in pitch black darkness while listen to his deceased child’s screams. This third-person shooter also introduced Bullet Time to the world of gaming. We’ve seen it again and again since. Max Payne is truly a revolutionary game and one that I’m sure Rockstar Games is proud to call one of its catalogue titles. The dark and dreary rooftops of New Jersey would look fantastic in HD, and even Max Payne’s one hilarious facial expression would be more refined and possibly even more hilarious.
Fable was the beginning of an era, a fantastic game that shattered the RPG glass ceiling and made i accessible to all gamers. With such a grand adventure that tells great stories, and even a title theme composed by the Oscar winning Danny Elfman, the game would prove to be a grand experience. With Fable II and Fable III being such huge hits, an HD remake of Fable would definitely be plausible. This game is a truly fantastic experience that is far better than it’s successors and should be experienced by all.
Well, this certainly needs no introduction. Halo: Combat Evolved is the game that made the Xbox the colossal giant that it is today. With the huge success and the 5 million copies shifted, it was definitely time for a sequel. Halo 2 entered the fray with the same hard hitting and at the time, innovative gameplay mechanics that made this outer space first-person shooter a staple in today’s society. With the HD remake of Halo: Combat Evolved being so beautifully made and largely popular, the adventures of Master Chief in Halo 2 would be a welcome addition to the ever expanding HD catalogue.
Now here’s and HD remake that has the potential to outsell every HD remake before it. Final Fantasy VII was created by Square, who are now known as Square Enix. It is the most popular installment in a series that has lasted decades and many people would claim that this is the greatest game ever made. An HD remake has been teased for almost seven years yet it still hasn’t seen the light of day. The 100+ hours of the chronicles of Cloud Strife can only benefit Square Enix and I cannot see why it hasn’t yet been made. The folks in Japan have some serious soul searching to do for holding this gem back from the gaming community.
Hands up anyone that wouldn’t want this HD remake. Nobody? Thought so. In the world of open world sandbox, no game is more well-known, more popular, more sought after than the GTA series. Children would beg their parents to pick the game up for them, and it would be sold it for weeks after release. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas took to the mean ghettos of, well…San Andreas. The game’s protagonist this time was Carl C.J. Johnson. This game introduced some new features to the world of GTA. Such as editing your character so much to the point where the amount you exercise or eat can even affect your character’s body shape. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purposely changed C.J into the nutty professor’s stunt double just for the challenge of making him buff again. With the return of great character’s like (I can’t believe I’m about to say this) Danny Dyer’s Kent Paul, and the introduction of well known celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson and Compton based rapper The Game, San Andreas would prove to be loved for years to come. I wouldn’t be content with just having San Andreas remade, every Grand Theft Auto is worthy in its own right. There may even be another Grand Theft Auto in this list. But you’ll have to wait and see (I know it’s as obvious as can be but just humor me).
Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy is hands down, one of the greatest games ever made. Quantic Dream just might be one of the best development teams in history. Never has story and gameplay been so immersive and so unique at the same time. The game starts with Lucas Kane having paranormal visions and then regaining consciousness above a dead body in the bathroom of a diner. It thrusts you directly into action as you must move the body, destroy the evidence, clean the blood off of yourself and the floors, and leave the diner before the policeman steps into the bathroom. Hell, if you have enough time, you can even sit down and finish your meal before you go. Once you’ve left the area, you take control of the cops who are investigating the murder. From then on you’re sent into an unstoppable thrill ride as you try to evade the police as Lucas Kane, and capture Lucas Kane as the police. With so much choice and with such a ‘play it your way’ style of game, this is one that you would complete over and over again. I highly recommend this game even in its standard definition form today. By far, one of the greatest games ever made.
Well I bet you knew this was coming. Rockstar’s third entry in this little feature is one of the most well known games of all time. In the Grand Theft Auto titles that is most inspired by the movie Scarface, Tommy Vercetti arrives in the town of Miam…Vice City and as you may already know, certain things go awry. The rags to riches format that all GTA titles take are never more evident than in Vice City, and using Scarface and Carlito’s Way as a reference point gave thi game the charm that made it a . I felt that Vice City should’ve gone ahead of San Andreas not because it was better, I happen to think that the games are pretty much equal in quality and playability. But this was just a little bit more fun if you ask me. Sure it didn’t have the BMX’s that San Andreas had, but it had a more vibrant tone, and a more lovable protagonist. With Grand Theft Auto V and its impending release on the horizon, GTA will be a massive buzzword later this year. Nothing would be more advantageous than releasing both Vice City and San Andreas with a new glossy HD sheen.
Tactical Espionage Action. That was the claim that was made when Konami first announced the new entry to the Metal Gear series. The adventures of Solid Snake and Fox Hound are forever engraved in one of the most popular games in existence. This game made stealth popular. Without Metal Gear Solid, there would be no Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, Hitman, take your pick. With characters that people have never forgotten like Solid Snake, Big Boss, Gray Fox at al, this game ensured that it would live within the minds of gamers forever. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and 3: Snake Eater have already been given the HD treatment, and they’ve done nothing but give gamers a great time, and a hunger to play the original Metal Gear Solid. This is a no-brainer for number two as it influenced and inspired an entire generation to start gaming.
We’re here at number one, and the game that most deserves to be remade in the high definition format is Shenmue. It is in my opinion the greatest game ever made. The official genre for this game is RPG. However, if I had to give it a genre, I’d call it a ‘real life simulator’. With a truly living, breathing world you can just live out your days watching other people going about their routines. You get a real job, you can do school work, you then go back to the dojo at home to train and learn to fight. Aside from being the most well made free roaming game in history, the combat system was perfect. With SEGA using the Virtua Fighter engine to have a perfectly fluid combat system, everything worked to a tee with this game. You play as Ryo Hazuki, who immediately leaves his teenage years in the dirt to try to avenge his father who slain by the hands of Lan-Di. Character development is some of the best you’ve ever seen. The corny voice acting is so bad it’s perfect. Oh, and get this, the weather in the game is based on real meteorology reports from Japan in the 80s. An HD remake of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 have been rumoured to actually completed. However, SEGA and Yu Suzkuki are discussing the future of Shenmue 3 before making any decisions.
A game that was way ahead of its time, so beautiful and so well made. Shenmue is the world’s best game, and needs to be played, needs to be shared, needs to be loved.