One of the great things about this current console generation is that there’s been much more emphasis put on remakes instead of remasters. We’ve now gotten to the point where technology has advanced enough that developers can make old games feel new again with a well-executed remake.
Ratchet & Clank, Resident Evil 2, and the upcoming Final Fantasy VII are just a few of the classic games that have received the remake treatment and we’re excited by the prospect of getting even more. The PlayStation 2, in particular, is ripe with games that could use a remake … but there are also some we’d rather not see re-imagined. Here are 5 PS2 games that still need remakes (and 5 that we hope are just left alone).
10 Needs A Remake: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
When it comes to 80s love letters, few video games can match the glitz and grime of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Although Vice City remains a fan favorite installment in Rockstar’s long-running open-world franchise, few would argue it’s aged gracefully. Between clunky controls, a frustrating checkpoint system, and ugly textures, Vice City certainly looks and feels like an early 2000s PS2 game.
However, given that Grand Theft Auto V is now the highest-earning video game ever made, Rockstar could easily bankroll a Vice City remake using the GTA V engine. We only ask that they find a way to keep the original voice cast and soundtrack, as Vice City just wouldn’t be the same without Ray Liotta or V-Rock.
9 Leave It Alone: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
In many ways, San Andreas is the best Grand Theft Auto game ever made. Free from GTA V’s online mode and its controversial microtransactions, San Andreas is arguably the last time Rockstar truly cut loose with the franchise. Featuring a full state to explore, San Andreas is simply huge and pushed the PS2 hardware to its limits.
Still, as much as we’d love to see a proper remake, it’s hard to deny how similar San Andreas is to GTA V. Both games are set in the fictional state of San Andreas, in fact, and although V lacks some of San Andreas’ more cartoonish elements, it’s a very similar game and one that looks and plays better. If given the choice between a San Andreas and Vice City remake, we’d have to choose the latter.
8 Needs A Remake: Ratchet And Clank: Going Commando
The Ratchet & Clank series has managed to maintain its quality over three generations of PlayStation consoles - no easy feat. Unfortunately, Insomniac’s sci-fi action-platformer has been relatively quiet on the PS4, with 2016’s Ratchet & Clank being the only title released this generation. The good news is that game was a full-on remake of the original Ratchet & Clank on PS2 and a critically-acclaimed one at that.
The next logical step is to give that game’s sequel - Going Commando - the same treatment, as it’s thought by many to be the best game in the series. We’d also accept a remake of 2004’s Up Your Arsenal to complete the PS2 trifecta, but we’ll be lucky to get Going Commando at this point considering Insomniac is almost certainly hard at work on a Spider-Man sequel.
7 Leave It Alone: Resident Evil 4
This year’s excellent Resident Evil 2 remake proved that Capcom’s enduring survival horror series is ripe for modern reimagining. Many fans would welcome Resident Evil 3: Nemesis getting the remake treatment next. However, Capcom should take a pass on Resident Evil 4.
Yes, RE4 is in the conversation as one of the greatest games ever made and its visuals - groundbreaking for their time - are looking a little rough these days. The thing is, Capcom has ported RE4 to just about every system imaginable and tank controls aside … the game still holds up as a masterpiece. Why mess with a great thing?
6 Needs A Remake: Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time
It’s hard to believe the Prince of Persia series has been dormant for nearly a decade, as Ubisoft hasn’t put out a new game since 2010’s The Forgotten Sands. Unfortunately, the overwhelming success of the Assassin’s Creed games has left Ubi with little reason to invest in the less popular action-adventure Prince franchise.
That being said, Assassin’s Creed has yet to produce a title as beloved as the 2003 masterpiece Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Sands is the kind of title begging for a remake, as its Arabian Nights-inspired setting would benefit from a new graphical coat of paint. A remake could arguably improve the game as a whole too, as a new development team could overhaul Sands’ simplistic combat system.
5 Leave It Alone: Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within
Warrior Within was an attempt by Ubisoft to make the Prince of Persia series edgier in the hopes of capturing an adult crowd who skipped out on The Sands of Time and its more colorful aesthetic. Unfortunately, all Warrior Within really accomplished was making us long for another Sands of Time.
Time has done no favors for Warrior Within and its in-your-face, “mature” sensibilities. To be honest, we’re not really sure why Ubisoft would bother remaking this game in the first place, but let’s hope they never do, as Warrior Within and its Godsmack soundtrack deserve sto stay in mid-2000s purgatory where it belongs.
4 Needs A Remake: Burnout 3: Takedown
The fact that EA continues to sit on the Burnout license and do nothing with it year after year is a tragedy. Can you believe we haven’t seen a proper new Burnout release since 2008’s Paradise? The thing is, even if EA never releases another installment, the ones we do have are some of the best arcade racers ever made - especially 2004’s Burnout 3: Takedown.
From the brilliant Afterburner ability to the addictive Crash Mode, Takedown is where everything clicked for this series and it’s no surprise it remains a fan favorite. A remake with the same blistering high speeds and new visuals would be the next best thing to a proper Burnout 4.
3 Leave It Alone: God Of War
The original God of War remains one of the PS2’s all-time greatest games. Developed by David Jaffe and Sony Santa Monica, God of War’s uniquely violent take on Greek mythology took the action genre to all new heights back in 2005. A technical marvel in its day, there’s no denying a modern remake would make God of War a visual stunner all over again. The thing is, 2018’s God of War reboot shined a light on all the ways in which the original game hasn’t stood the test of time.
Specifically, it would be hard to go back to series protagonist Kratos and his deeply problematic characterization after seeing his reformed self in the reboot. Besides, Sony has already released an HD remaster of this game on multiple systems, so we’d much prefer seeing resources put into a sequel to the 2018 game than a remake.
2 Needs A Remake: SSX Tricky
Remember when snowboarding games were awesome? Truth be told, the genre started to decline right around the time EA Big’s SSX series ran out of ideas. That being said, 2001’s SSX Tricky remains a highpoint not just for the series, but the genre as a whole.
An ideal sequel in many ways, Tricky improved upon pretty much every aspect of the original and brought it all together for an addictive downhill experience. SSX gameplay remains as solid as ever but update the visuals and throw some online multiplayer into the mix and you’d have maybe the greatest snowboarding game ever made on your hands.
1 Leave It Alone: Killzone
At first glance, Killzone is a game that would seem uniquely well-suited for a remake. Released in 2004, Killzone was unfairly hyped as Sony’s “Halo Killer”. While a respectable first-person shooter in its own right, Killzone suffered from less than stellar technical performance thanks to the PS2’s aging hardware and failed to make much of a splash against Microsoft's Halo 2, which would go on to be the second best-selling game of 2004.
Sure, it would be cool to see an uncompromised version of Guerilla Games’ first Killzone title, but the developer already improved upon their first release with several superior sequels.