Over the past few years, it has become apparent that a new fad has come into fruition. Dressing up our old beloved games in a new high definition gloss, and releasing it out to the world once more. Today’s gamers have accepted these releases at a huge scale. Accepting them rather then scorning them. It’s a great idea, take something everyone loves, repackage it with more content, make it better looking, let people relive their past loves. Here at ThisisXbox, we have painstakingly gone through the list of HD re-releases and picked the best ten of the bunch to share with you.
Let’s not dwindle, on with the list!
At number 10, we have NBA Jam: On Fire Edition. I’m sure many of us remember running up and down the courts with are shoes blinking red and white whilst hearing incoherent shouts of “HE’S ON FIRE” and “BOOOOOOOM-SHAKALAKA”. After a failed attempt at re-launching the franchise in 2010, EA Sports went back to their grass roots. The made NBA Jam: On Fire Edition. The game has all the charm of the original Megadrive/Genesis title along with hilariously updated cartoony HD graphics. Plus, when else will you ever get a chance to play as Bill Clinton?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time – Re-Shelled swoops in at number 9. Damn, that was a mouthful. I remember playing this game loosely based on the third turtles movie on my Super Nintendo back in the day. Roll on 2009 and the game has been completely remade from top to bottom in beautiful HD graphics. It’s exactly as you remembered it, only now with four-player online co-op support. That is a win in my book. Unfortunately, due to licensing issues the game has been removed from the Xbox Live Arcade for now. But if you are one of the lucky ones who had already purchased it, cowabunga, man.
Now here’s a game that makes the memories flood in like an unwanted alien probe. Sonic Adventure 2 hit the Xbox Live Marketplace in 2012 to much reverence. The follow up to smash-hit title Sonic Adventure. Both were titans on the SEGA Dreamcast and were the first of the Sonic games that would have taken longer than an hour to complete. The free-roaming open world aspect was a breath of fresh air in the land of the blue hedgehog. It was said for many, many, many years that no Sonic game has ever compared to ‘the Adventures’. Since then a new HD sheen brings new life to Sonic ‘n pals and makes them a mainstay for years to come. Also, the amount of hours you will put into raising the Chaos in your Chao garden will do nothing for your social life, but damn will you be proud of them.
Fighting games had something of a revival in 2009. That is of course solely down to the return of Street Fighter. When Street Fighter IV released in 09, the market became quite frankly over saturated with fighting games. But the game that started it all in 1992, was Street Fighter II. The game saw many expansions until it became Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which many still see today as the most superior fighter of that gen. What with Street Fighter IV inspiring the revival of fighting games, and the uprising of HD remakes, it only made sense for Capcom to make Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Wow, another mouthful). The game sees each character sprite replaced with hand-drawn HD sprites, stages were overhauled and online play added. SSFIITHDR (That’s better) is a welcome edition into the fighting game foray.
Capcom entry number two. Coming in at number six, it’s the Devil May Cry HD Collection. If there’s one thing Capcom can do, it’s cement a legacy. Whether it be introducing the beautiful ‘blue bomber’ Megaman into our lives, ensuring that they are king of all fighters with Street Fighter, or dominating the world of hack-and-sash with Devil May Cry. In 2001, Devil May Cry changed the lives of many gamers. For thousands, it was the introduction of ‘hardcore’ gaming. Overcoming near enough impossible odds to finally triumph. Sprinkle in some cheesy voice acting, and you have the wonderful Devil May Cry series. An amazing HD overhaul was made for the entire trilogy and pumped out onto disc for our pleasure. Rather than complaining about giving Capcom money, we should be throwing our wallets at them in praise. This game includes the amazing Devil May Cry, the (not so) good Devil May Cry II, and the astonishing Devil May Cry 3.
One of those games that just had to be played to be believed. It’s amazing how linear games today are when in the days of yore, games such as Jet Set Radio (or Jet Grind Radio depending on your locale) were making waves of innovation using silly premises such as ‘skater kids who do graffiti’. Jet Set Radio was one of those cult hits that transcended gaming. A bit of a controversial game during its time due to it’s criminal nature. You play as Beat, a kid who loves to tag walls with his art, and make the local cops look stupid while he does it. This Dreamcast hit was re-released on Xbox Live Arcade in 2012 with (once again) a glossy HD finish. I would recommend this game to any and every one.
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost twelve years since I first found my love for Halo. When Halo: Combat Evolved was released for the original Xbox, it spurned not only a new love for first person shooters, but also gave birth to the console fanboy in me. It is the reason I purchased an Xbox in the first place, and the reason I enjoy an abundance of great titles now on the Xbox 360. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary was released in 2011 and it is the most exquisite HD remake to date. It wasn’t just given a fresh HD filter over the top like so many. It was completely remade, every texture beautifully recapped to today’s standards. The only reason this isn’t number one, is because the top three win solely on the merit of gameplay and quite frankly, love. This is exactly what a remake should be, and it sets the standard for so many to come. Halo 2 Anniversary anyone? Please?
Relaxing in its well earned spot at number three is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD. The Tony Hawk games are something of a legend. I myself owned eight of them that I truly loved. Since then however, they did suffer from ‘Sonic The Hedgehog syndrome’ for a little while. Being stuck in a rut without being able to make a good quality game. Enter Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD. An amalgamation of the first two Tony Hawk games, completely redone by today’s graphical standards. Re-using the levels and whatever of the soundtrack they could was an absolute coup. I played this for hours on end with a huge nostalgic smile on my face. Grab the game on Xbox Live Arcade, relive some of your fondest memories.
Oh look, it’s Capcom again. Remember what I said about Capcom being able to cement legacies? Well, not only were they the kings of fighting games and hack and slash games, but they also had a grasp on survival horror that only one game could ever come close to. Whether Resident Evil or Silent Hill were the top dog was debated upon for several years, and still is today depending on who you ask. But without a doubt, Resident Evil 4 trumps every other survival horror on gameplay alone. Resi 4 was a complete overhaul of the way the series would be played forever. It was a trendsetter in survival horror, and action. It was also the first Resident Evil not to feature zombies, if that’s not a drastic change, I don’t know what is. This amazing game was given the old 720p makeover and released as an Xbox Live On Demand game. Hell, even if this wasn’t HD it would probably be one of the best things you could download from Xbox Live. If you didn’t know, or if you haven’t bought this already, what’s your deal?
If you weren’t aware of this HD collection already, I have to warn you right now, it doesn’t include the first. This does however include Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker. It seems sad that I’ve had to start the number one on such a negative note. But have you played Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3? Do I even need to explain why this is at the top spot? I’m completely disregarding the fact that Peacewalker is a part of this disc and solely talking about MGS 2 and 3. Surely that shows how much merit just those two titles deserve. Having completed Metal Gear Solid 2 an uncountable amount of times in my past, and having not completed Metal Gear Solid 3 once i my past, this purchase was a no-brainer. Metal Gear Solid is one of the most infamous names in gaming, and reliving the events of these amazing games will give you the filthiest smile on your face. From the first time you get in that locker and call Otacon again, to the time you’ll drag Fatman and pick up his dog tags, to ‘that battle’ on the roof. This HD collection grabs number one based on gameplay, graphics, and love. Metal Gear Solid is a name that will live as long as game consoles are a part of life, and the two games involved in this set are one of the prime reasons. This was released as disc-based content, but is now downloadable as an Xbox Live On Demand game. There are very few games that would make me say “everyone should own this”, this is one of those games.