If a game is a classic then it’s important to keep it accessible for all as we move from one console generation to the next. Sometimes, merely upscaling will do the trick. Other times, it’s worth considering if a game needs a whole-scale remake to stay fresh.
If you’re revisiting a classic it’s all a matter of balance.
Sure, you’ve got name value and nostalgia there that means you’ve got an easier sell to fans who would happily return to their great memories with a title. However, expectation can be high. Is it better to stick as closely as possible to the source material… or to get experimental?
If you want to leave your mark, it’ll be done by doing more than a bit of spit and shine. Taking the original product and tilting it in a new direction is a risk sometimes worth taking.
The games on this list were all remakes or reboots that were built from the ground up and tried lots of new things. Some succeeded, some failed and for some the debate still rages. After all, not all risks are quite as calculated as they should be.
No matter what Square-Enix were going to do with the Final Fantasy VII Remake, it was cause for apprehension. Despite being a stone-cold classic, any revisit to the game was going to need a lot of updating to bring it to modern standards.
The combat, first and foremost, shifts dramatically from 1997’s random encounters to a more active and immersive system. Instead of being completely turn-based, players can attack enemies at will and now the ATB system is more geared towards building up special abilities and magic.
But the loudest concerns were about the fragility of the story. Over the years, FF7’s world had been grown by spin-offs. Whilst some thought the original needed to be revisited in order to better tie these in, other fans thought that the game was better as a stand-alone experience and worried that the remake would render the original obsolete.
However, in a stroke of mad genius, major story departures in FF7 Remake are part of the story.
Every time the plot deviates from the original, Cloud is attacked by strange wraiths. This waylays any concerns about the delicacy of the plot and replaces it with intrigue since FF7 Remake is designed specifically to tell players it’s going off-script.
Instead of attempting to “replace” the original, this game actually takes place alongside it and the word “remake” in the title cleverly actually means something else entirely.