Are video game companies running out of new ideas? Or do we just love nostalgia too much?
For whatever reason, it seems 2018 has been the year of rereleases. There’s been some extraordinarily great ones – Crash Bandicoot landing on Xbox One, PC and Switch, for example – and some more questionable ones – Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 springs to mind – but for the most part, we lap them up.
With stellar new releases like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 making their way to consoles in 2018, it’s clear that lack of inspiration isn’t an issue. New games just keep getting better and better – but for some reason, we just can’t let go of the old. Whether it’s a collection of retro games from our childhood or a rerelease of something we loved 10 years ago, gamers are lapping them up. Here’s our year of the lord 2018, as told by videogame rereleases, remakes and HD remasters.
Street Fighter V only released in February 2016 but that doesn’t mean we don’t need new versions of it already, right? January 2018 saw the release of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, which tweaked the single player offerings of the game. This is unsurprising, and if other Street Fighter releases are anything to go by, we can expect several more versions of Street Fighter V to materialise before we can even think about getting Street Fighter VI. Street Fighter II, for instance, had at least seven releases with various names.
Hohoh, now we get into the good stuff. The oldest of the remakes from February was Secret of Mana, a full 3D remake of the 1993 SNES game that released on PS4, PS Vita and PC. Also on PS4 was a remake of Shadow of the Colossus, originally released in 2005 on PS2.
We also got Bayonetta 1 + 2 on Switch – not entirely surprising as there are a lot of games rereleased on Switch that I’ve had to omit from this list otherwise I’d be here forever. But since Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 are not available on other current gen consoles, they warrant mentioning.
More a repackaging than a re-release, Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition bundled up Final Fantasy XV with additional DLC less than 18 months after its original release. Should it count? I’m not sure, but I’ve written it down now so it can stay.
More obvious was Devil May Cry HD Collection, which bundled up HD remasters of Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2 and Devil May Cry 3. We also saw Burnout Paradise Remastered, and Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered, both of which were pretty nicely polished rereleases.
And originally released on PC in 2006, popular action RPG Titan Quest finally made its way to consoles with a bit of a facelift.
Originally a Super Nintendo game from 1994, Wild Guns Reloaded was first remastered for PS4 in 2016. However, April 2018 saw it come to Switch.
We got two retro collections in May: Sega Mega Drive Classics (or Sega Genesis Classics, depending which side of the Atlantic you’re on) brought over 50 iconic Sega games to Xbox One and PS4 (and it’s just released on Switch too); and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection compiled 12 classic Street Fighter titles into one collection.
PlayStation 4 owners got Dragon’s Crown Pro, an enhanced version of the game that originally released on PS3/PS Vita in 2013.
The big one in May, though, was of course Dark Souls Remastered, bringing everyone’s favourite hard game onto current gen hardware.
Bundled with Far Cry 5’s season pass and later available separately was Far Cry 3 Classic Edition, a remastered version of last generation’s Far Cry 3 – minus its online elements. June also saw Lumines Remastered, which added a bit of a lick of paint to Lumines, which has had a few releases since it originally launched back in 2004. PC, Xbox One and Switch owners finally got to play Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy after its year-long exclusivity on PS4. So technically that one was a re-release of a remaster.
July brought two more retro games collections in the form of Mega Man X Legacy Collection and Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2. Together, both collections delivered the Mega Man X series to our modern consoles, complete with some cool ‘museum’ goodies for fans.
Xbox One players finally got to enjoy No Man’s Sky in the form of No Man’s Sky Next.
August saw the much-loved Shenmue I & II land on Xbox One and PS4. Originally released in 1999 and 2001 on Sega Dreamcast (remember that?), they haven’t aged so well in the last 16/18 years, but we still loved ’em anyway. We also got Okami HD on Nintendo Switch.
Yet another collection landed in September in the form of Capcom Beat ’em up Bundle, which brought seven classic fighting games to PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. It’s the first time that two of the games – Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit – have been available on consoles.
Disgaea 1 Complete landed on Nintendo Switch in October, bringing 2003’s Disgaea: Hour of Darkness to the modern age.
Had enough yet? November was a big month for rereleases. We got Diablo III Eternal Collection on Switch; the sixth format to receive the game since it launched in 2012. Xbox One and Switch owners also got World of Final Fantasy in the form of World of Final Fantasy Maxima, following its PS4 launch in 2016.
The long-awaited Spyro remaster finally launched, too. Spyro Reignited Trilogy brought the purple dragon’s adventures to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Less impressive was Asterix and Obelix XXL 2 that landed across all formats; a remaster of a 2006 PS2 game that we’re not sure anyone actually asked for.
We also got SNK 40th Anniversary Collection on Switch, with a smattering of SNK arcade games. Not all were available at launch, but new titles have been added since.
And finally, not exactly a rerelease, but Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns were made backwards compatible on Xbox One. With Xbox One X enhancements though, the games play better than ever – especially its cutscenes which are massively improved. They may as well be remasters!
Finally, December brought perhaps my favourite game of them all: Katamari Damacy Reroll landed on PC and Nintendo Switch; a remaster of 2004’s Katamari Damacy. It looks a little rough around the edges but it plays just as good as it ever did, and that’s all that matters.
I’m pretty sure this list isn’t definitive – there’s bound to be a few that I’ve missed – but even so, that’s still over thirty games that we’ve seen remade or remastered – or simply rereleased – in the last 12 months. And for the most part, we’ve lapped them all up. Just how many will we see in 2019, I wonder?