There are plenty of brand-new games to enjoy in 2022, but sometimes you just want to revisit an old classic. Game companies are keenly aware of this, so the plethora of original titles that release each year always comes with a heaping helping of remasters and remakes that update old games for a new console. Some of these updates can feel superfluous, but oftentimes they ensure that loads of people who can’t play the original now have access to old standbys.
From full-on remakes to fleshed-out remasters, 2022 was full of great remasters and remakes across every platform. These seven games, in particular, stood out as the best to us. They are rereleases worth checking out, whether you’ve never played them before or want to experience a classic again.
The Last of Us Part I earned backlash when it was announced due its $70 pricing and how readily available the PS4 remaster of this PS3 classic is, but that doesn’t mean The Last of Us Part I isn’t a good remake. This is the best that The Last of Us has ever looked, with that extremely polished and graphically impressive detail that we’ve come to expect from PlayStation’s big AAA exclusives. Its chilling tale about the lengths people will go to so they don’t feel loss again is as poignant as ever, and experiencing it again may get you hyped for the upcoming HBO Max show. Most importantly, The Last of Us Part I features a massive and thorough amount of accessibility options, so players with disabilities finally have to tools to experience this masterpiece of a game for the first time. It might feel unnecessary, but The Last of Us Part I sets a standard that other remasters should follow.
I hesitate to include The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe here, as it might lead you to believe you can skip it if you’ve played the original. Sure, the new version of the 2013 PC classic is a standard remaster in some ways. It looks a bit better overall and you can finally play it on consoles. However, it also comes loaded with new content — and that’s the understatement of the year. Without giving away too many of its surprises, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is an almost entirely new experience housed within the original game. It’s one that reflects on the series’ legacy and tries to connect it back to 2022, a year where we’re more obsessed with consuming IP-driven media than ever. If you think you’ve played this one before already, trust me, you haven’t. ~ Giovanni Colantonio
Bandai Namco Entertainment’s Klonoa gsmes never got their due as the truly unique and emotional 2.5D platformers that they were. Thankfully, the clunkily titled Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series gives Klonoa: Door the Phantomile and its sequel, Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil, a second shot at life on modern platforms. While this remaster doesn’t do a lot to change either game, both look great on modern hardware and hold up despite years of innovation in the platforming genre. If you like a good platformer and aren’t afraid of a game that might make you cry, check out Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series.
Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration took what could have been a stale batch of rereleases and made it one of the most impressive game collections since Rare Replay. This collection bundles 100 classics, but spreads them across multiple Interactive Timelines that also feature information about the game’s development history, as well as documents, marketing materials, and more from the game’s development. On top of all that, developer Digital Eclipse made six brand-new arcade-style games based on the Atari classics and included them in the game. If playing and learning about any games from the Atari 2600 to the Atari Jaguar interests you, give Atari 50: The Anniversary Collection a shot.
If you didn’t get enough of Breakout from its various versions included in Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, then you’ll want to try Shatter Remastered, which is included in Netflix’s gaming library. This PS3 remaster takes the classic brick-breaking formula and builds upon it with sci-fi visuals, stages with unique shapes, and even boss battles. Shatter Remastered is a great mobile game to boot up and play for a couple of minutes when you need to kill time, and it works well with a controller too. Shatter Remastered demonstrates that consoles aren’t necessarily the only home for good remasters.
One unique task remasters and remakes are uniquely suited for is giving games that were only limited to one region at the time of their initial release another shot worldwide. That’s the case with Live A Live, a strategy RPG remake of a Super Famicom game that was only ever released in Japan. Made in the HD-2D style popularized by Octopath Traveler, Live A Live looks gorgeous with its HD-2D videos, and its setup of having eight different playable characters with wildly different adventures and playstyles is just as novel today as it was in 1994. The Nintendo Switch remake of Live A Live exposed an amazing SNES-era RPG to a whole new generation of players and gave us one of the year’s best rereleases.
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition is simply a case of a much-needed remaster finally happening. This amazing Square Enix RPG was limited to the original PlayStation, but now people on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch can experience it with HD character models and illustrations, the ability to turn enemy encounters on and off, an auto-battle function, and more. Plus, this remaster includes Radical Dreamers – Le Trésor Interdit -, a prequel for the Japanese-only Satellaview title that’s been officially rereleased and translated into English for the first time. Now, where’s our Chrono Trigger H2-2D remake?
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