PlayStation Remasters We Really Need
The Last of Us Part II is getting a ‘remaster’ for PlayStation 5. At the ridiculously old age of three, it really is overdue. I mean, it’s basically unplayable at this point.
Nobody is surprised that this is something Sony is putting out with a straight face, nor that there are a sizeable amount of people who are really into it. And all the more power to everybody involved. You don’t have to be mad to be a gamer, but apparently it helps.
But the announcement made me think it was time to revisit my series-in-the-making of articles about remasters the industry actually needs. Not cash grabs, but games stuck in limbo. Classic franchises or games chucked into the PlayStation lagoon with concrete shoes.
It’s massively tempting to start this list with a remaster of The Last of Us Pt 1. But given that it’s now over a year old, I’m guessing work is already under way on that project. So we’ll focus entirely on things Sony aren’t already working on themselves.
The PS3 Classics
The PS3 has become a prison at this point. The classic console is the only place to play some of the biggest games of that generation.
For the sake of preservation, the industry needs some of these games freed from that console. On the one hand you have things like the Infamous series. Killzone and Resistance too. I mean, I know Sony has Spider-Man and its built in audience is more than Infamous ever will be, but how in the hell have they not tried to cash-in on the superhero craze of the last decade? And now it’s decidedly too late.
Killzone and Resistance seem like ideal candidates for Sony’s attempt at building live service games and for any attempts to curb their Call of Duty woes. The biggest issue is that licencing something else from Marvel or Star Wars would be more popular. Remasters would test those waters.
And a special mention for Motorstorm. Driving games are often overlo0oked, despite them being extremely popular and visually appealing. Motorstorm deserves a revival. And just imagine what the PS5 would be capable of in terms of a set of remasters.
Finally, the HD Collections from this era could use re-releases too. Straight ports – they probably wouldn’t sell a billion copies. Things like the original God of War games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, Sly Cooper, and Ratchet and Clank. Had these been PS4 releases, it wouldn’t have mattered at all. But instead, they’re freed from PS2 prison only to get stuck somewhere else. More modern systems, the presumption on backwards compatibility going forward and – dare I say it – the potential for PC releases would go a long way.
These games were hugely popular back in the day, but seem to have all but disappeared. The classics have appeared on PlayStation Plus now, but is that enough to get them a following? Probably not.
And yet there is definitely room for a stealth action series. Metal Gear Solid is effectively no more, but interest in the recent remasters and in the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake shows that there’s still people who want to play these types of games. More than that, Perfect Dark is probably going to lean into this kind of area, and if that’s big, the genre might suddenly find itself back in a positive light.
Reviving this franchise via a decent remaster would give some future proofing to a area that may well be slowly taking back off.
I take every opportunity to talk about this one. And it’s licenced, so double the amount of fun.
This wasn’t a PlayStation first party release, and obviously it’s anybody’s guess where the rights on these three games lie. But they were published by Psygnosis, which was owned by Sony at the time. The company then became Studio Liverpool before being shut down. My point is that Sony has some vague relation to this.
These are classics, with an incredible voice cast, deadly puzzles and sharp writing. It’s tragic that, unlike other big point and click titles of the time, these have remained unavailable. And it’s easy to see why. A franchise based on a hugely popular series of books, with Eric Idle in the lead role and a host of other big British names filling out the rest of the characters? It’d be a rights nightmare.
But that’s part of the reason that it deserves a remaster. If it was easy, and if it’d be profitable, it would have already been done. That makes preservation even more important.
Parappa The Rapper
This had a remaster and shouldn’t be top of the table when it comes to re-releases.
And yet it deserves a place on this list. The remaster was from the PSP port and people had some issues with it. That’s not why it’s here though. In the annals of rhythm game history this one stands supreme in many people’s memories, and I think being freed from the actual constraints of its PS1 release technically would be popular. Take out the unusual systems, update (but don’t change) the graphical style and release at a budget price.
Characters like this would be an important part of any push back towards low or mid-level releases, if (a big if) Sony have any interest in doing so.
PlayStation Remasters – Conclusion
It’s nice that Sony are doing their best to preserve The Last of Us Pt 2. That’s only half sarcastic. An inevitable PC release is vital in preserving that very important game.
But just releasing successful games time and time again does nothing to actually help the industry. It just feeds the desire for content that some people have, and guarantees a decent income source for PlayStation. Maybe the old, crappy, retro version of The Last of Us Pt 2 will finally appear on PlayStation Plus now, eh?
90 percent of old games are unavailable. Nothing in game development is simple, but Sony has a treasure trove of old games that should be relatively simple to revive via remasters. They won’t make a lot, and some will lose money. But some will make enough. And you get to preserve old games into the mix as well. There is opportunity here, and it makes business sense and sense for the industry.