Five RPGs That Deserve a Remake

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to completely ignore Final Fantasy VII as a remake I’d like to see because it goes without saying. There are plenty of other games deserving of a hi-def or up-to-date reimagining and some of the heavyweights have already undergone highly successful updates.

Square Enix have arguably led the way in this respect with titles like Final Fantasy III & IV both receiving beautifully realised versions on the Nintendo DS. Not content with those offerings, Star Ocean: The First Departure (a remake of Enix’s original Star Ocean and never released outside of Japan on SNES) was a defining example of how to bring previously unreleased content to a worldwide audience in creative way by using the Star Ocean 2 PS1 engine.

‘So why won’t they do FFVII!?!’ the fan boys cry, ‘stop wasting money on remakes no one cares about’. For me, the blinkered whining of the FFVII generation. It doesn’t matter if they do or they don’t. There are plenty of other retro RPGs worthy of remaking in the world and here are my top five.

5. Terranigma – Enix – SNES, 1996 to DS or 3DS
Arguably one of the greatest RPGs on the SNES, Terranigma for me is the definitive retro action RPG. Better than Zelda. Better than Secret of Mana. The story of Ark and his endeavours to resurrect a dead world is one of the most beautiful, thought provoking games on the system. While I think remaking it on a format like the PS3 or Xbox 360 would run into problems around technical constraints as Kitase has cited for the much mooted FFVII remake, perhaps a DS (or why not 3DS?) facelift would allow RPG fans to experience a game that some never will in favour of less engaging or accomplished console counterparts.

A Final Fantasy IV-esque 3D engine would complement Terranigma’s contrasting environments and the groundbreaking menu system from which Fable 3 borrowed so much, would look magnificent. Throw in updated cut-scenes and more accurately translated dialogue and I’d challenge any RPG fan not to be at the very least, curious.

Triple changing, ice throwing bosses look much better in 3D.

4. Shadowrun – FASA Interactive – SNES, 1994 to Nintendo Wii
Alright. The Wii isn’t exactly the hardcore RPG fan’s console of choice, despite it having at least seven or eight very good reasons to own one but the simple mechanics present in the FASA’s brilliant SNES game would transfer seamlessly to Nintendo’s hardware. Movement would be controlled using the Nunchuk while the Wii Remote would be used to manoeuvre Jake’s cursor over attackers before holding the trigger down to fire.

The updated hardware would bring with it a generational overhaul in graphical quality, obviously, and Seattle’s 2051, cyberpunk style vibe could be breathtakingly recreated. Imagine Gotham City mixed with elements of Blade Runner and Lord of the Rings and you’ll start to build a mental picture of how this could look. The original captured the conflicting gothic and futuristic nature of FASA’s IP and now Jordan Weissman has reclaimed creative rights from Microsoft, maybe they’ll hear my plea and do this. I’m not holding my breath though!

Imagine Jake's Karmic exploits using a control scheme surely intended for the Wii! #aheadofitstime

3. Baldur’s Gate – Bioware – PC, 1998 to PC
Forget your Xbox 360 and PS3 version straight away. I don’t want what could possibly be the greatest remake ever envisaged dumbed down for consoles. I want it high end, performance hungry, specifically for PCs and possibly in 3D. I want the whole world completely redesigned using something resembling the engine CDP are using for The Witcher 2. That probably wouldn’t happen but I can dream.

Many PC RPG fans regard Baldur’s Gate as not only genre defining but one of the most engrossing RPGs ever to be developed. I’m firmly in that camp and while in terms of WRPGs I enjoyed Planescape: Torment, Neverwinter Nights and Dragon Age: Origins as much, if not more, there’s no doubt in my mind Baldur’s Gate Unleashed (as I’m tentatively dubbing it) would show some naysaying gamers that a traditional approach to role-playing can be just as much fun (more for many) as any of its contemporaries.

Look out for the trailer's Michael Jackson moment, answers on a postcard.

2. Chrono Cross – Square – PS1, 1999 to PSN and XBLA
Honestly Square Enix, I don’t even need you to sex this one up a lot for me. Just give it a HD makeover or something and whack it up on PSN and XBLA. I will pay you twenty English pounds for it. I will recommend it to all my friends. I will wax lyrical about how it was one of the greatest RPGs of a generation and how you never released it in Europe along with it’s equally good predecessor, Chrono Trigger. I’ll tell them all about the wealth of talent involved in the development and let them draw the natural conclusion that their £20 would be well invested.

The story is timeless and while the PS1 visuals are obviously a little dated, giving the game a facelift and throwing it out to the masses to me is a more appealing prospect than simply whacking the original version up on PS1 to be downloaded on impulse at £7.99. Chrono Cross, like Chrono Trigger is one of those timeless RPGs that fans of the genre should be required to experience.

Great trailer, sadly lacking in upskirt.

1. Final Fantasy VI – Square – SNES, 1996 to Xbox 360 and PS3
Ok, so ignoring what I said about technical constraints with regards to Terranigma above, if there is any other game in the Final Fantasy pantheon more deserving of a remake than its more famous younger brother, it’s Final Fantasy VI. I think it would be less probable than a FFVII remake in terms of the game’s virtual square footage, but if it was somehow possible to squeeze the world map and world of ruin in FFVI along with the cast of wonderful player characters and mixed bag of colourful and sinister foes (of which one of the most quotable gave this blog its name) onto a couple of blu-rays, it’d be absolutely amazing.

If there is a game in the series that out steampunks FFVII, it would be FFVI. If there was a game in the series which had a storyline possibly more gut-wrenching and evocative, it would be FFVI. Imagine the glowing embers of the ruined world blowing around Locke’s feet as he comes to terms with the destruction of Narshe or the HD animations of Terra’s Magitek suit during the opening exchanges. We were teased with the possibilities way back when FFVI was rereleased onto Playstation 1 with brand new CG intro but that was the closest we’ll ever probably come. To be honest, I’d settle for the DS FFIII and FFIV treatment for this game, as long as they sandwiched FFV in somewhere too.

The opening sequence to FFVI on PSone led idiots to believe the entire game looked like this.

So, that’s my top five. It goes without saying that it won’t be everybody’s top five. Let me know if you’ve played any retro RPGs recently you’d love to see get a remake.


  1. Even when FFVII first released I imagined that a FFVI remake with the pre-rendered backgrounds would be the most amazing game. Even without playing the new FFIV Collection, though, graphically I'd settle for a remake in that vein instead of FFIII/IV for DS. I don't particularly like the sound quality of the DS, but what do I really know?

  2. That's a fair criticism of the DS but isn't FFIV Complete on PSP just a port with a couple of added dungeons? If you want that for FFVI it's available on WiiWare or PS1.