The Holidays are up as you know, and when you open your gifts there is as much a chance of opening up an “updated” “remastered” or “definitive” version of a game you already played as there is an actual new one.

Early on I told myself I’d be happily ignoring these, fully unconcerned with what they may be like under the better circumstances provided by the new consoles. How much better could they really be right? Soon I found myself owning Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition. The difference, while not groundbreaking was quite substantial for a resolution/frames per second/gameplay geek. In the end I just wanted to have the best possible version in my collection. I think that is one reason that these remasters are flourishing, we simply must have the best of the best, but game collectors are of course on the decline.


When that Tomb Raider DE did come out there was a mad dash to tear it down despite Crystal Dynamic’s explanations for why it was still quite costly. Were the upgrades worth that cost? TR was pretty, especially for a multiplat, but was never truly amazing. Then gamers learned about The Last of Us: Remastered. One had to be curious, “How much better could they get it to look with that extra power?” Honestly, it was something all Playstation gamers kinda wanted to know and even see for themselves. No internet videos would be enough to get the true sense would they? If you have grown accustomed to the buttery smooth wonderfulness of 60 frames per second then you probably couldn’t help yourself from re-experiencing the horror under those more lifelike conditions. So is born the curious superfan who must see how the increase in power affects every possible bit of awesomeness the remember just to see how much better it is.

I’m just as guilty on the frames per second front. We recently heard of the DmC: Definitive Edition coming to next gen consoles. I had a lot of fun with that game after taking some advice from the Taylor Swift and “shaking off” the commentary from the hater’s peanut gallery. However, the game just needed better textures since the Unreal 3 engine can be a pain in processing and it also needed 60 fps because no super fast action game (and no DMC) should run in anything less than 60 fps period. At 30 it just felt wrong. Now I know I’ll get exactly what I want for my second play through. New Dante skins, classic lock-on, and new modes don’t hurt either.


Then there’s also nostalgia. I mean, it’s actually a very short time since most of these games originally came out but not all of them. If you are among those who find themselves buying the same Halo games repeatedly then how much has “reliving the old days” brought you to pledge your dollars where you hadn’t planned to yet again? I always planned to get the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster for PS3 because it was a classic and an upgrade from SD to HD. Now that it’s coming to PS4 I am once again telling myself there is just no way. Square Enix has more of my money than they deserve for all the bad games they’ve put out lately, I may not play FFX again for ten more years, and yet there’s this itch that it might just run and look a tiny bit better, so mixing that with the strength of my nostalgia for the good old days of high quality Final Fantasy games makes me certain that I can’t promise I won’t have it eventually.


We all complain about how it’s no longer the best of the best but simply every game under the big tent being sent out for remastering, but something keeps us coming back to these games. Is it one of these? All these? More? In any case I think we need to take a step out of this cross-gen period in order to get the other foot out of the remaster realm. Only then can we expect games that don’t just claim to fully utilize the power of the hardware we spent a whole bunch of money on… or that you had someone else spend a whole bunch of money on for Christmas ;)

David D. Nelson
David D. Nelson is a polymath with a BA in English working as an independent writing and editing professional. He enjoys gaming, literature, and a good hat.

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  1. “Looks over at my collection”…damn. Halo: MCC, was too enticing, Grand Theft Auto in FP..too enticing…The Last of Us…well that was the only reason I kept my PS3 and when they announced it for PS4 I had to have it cause I mean c’mon. Pretty sure those are the only remasters I’ve gone in on. I’ll crack for Gears of War if it’s done a remaster of Gears 1, but other than that I’m good on nostalgia…maybe Uncharted as well. Dammit!

    1. Boy wouldn’t it be nice to see Nintendo get it on the remake/remaster compilation package bandwagon though…? I drool at the thought of an F-Zero HD bundle…let alone so many other glorious posibilities

      1. It would be nice if Nintendo would remaster a few of their games for other consoles…I mean Super Mario 3D World is going to have completely flat sales in a couple of months, but if they were to port it to PS4 it would sell more copies than it did on WiiU.

  2. I don’t support any HD rerelease (which is what they are, stop saying their remakes) under five years old. This console generation is pointless. Graphics don’t need to be improved any further. We also still have easy access to tomb raider and every Halo game. Games like DMC, Halo CE and SH deserve it because those games were dated graphically and were harder to get your hands on after the discontinuing of PS2 and X Box.

    I do, however, support GoTY editions, or Ultimate, or Definitive, or whatever the fuck their calling it next year. I never owned Borderlands, Fall Out 3 or Dargon Age Origins, so a rerelease with all the DLC at full price was welcome.

    I’m holding high hopes for DMC:DE, because it’s a good game that they could make great and they are trying. If we’re lucky, we’ll get two simultaneous DMC serious running side by side with old and new continuities.

  3. In general, I wouldn’t repurchase, but my PS3 is reaching end-of-lifetime (one of the first models) so I really like the idea that I can still play TLOU and GTA5 on my main console which is now the PS4. At the moment only the Uncharted trilogy and RDR would qualify for a repurchase. Ok, and Brutal Legend.

    It’s nothing new either: think of the transitions from VHS to DVD to Blue-Ray or cassette to CD, before the streaming era. Definitely not everything was worth repurchasing, but there’s always a few gems that are.

  4. I went from an Xbox 360 to a PS4, so I had to have TLOU Remastered. Also, I missed a lot on my Xbox, and skipped out on certain games because I had an inkling of a thought they would come to next-gen (GTA V comes to mind). If an Uncharted collection comes out, I’ll buy it.

    For me, it’s not about graphics or framerate – I’m a console gamer, I couldn’t give two sh*ts about those. 720p vs 900p vs 1080p and 30fps vs 60fps literally means NOTHING to me. But, if I haven’t played a game, and it comes out on the system I currently have hooked up, I’ll buy it.

  5. The only reason I buy re-mastered games is that the there aren’t many good games to buy.

  6. No backwards compatibility in modern gaming. I cant play FFX on a broken PS2. I never played The Last of Us on the PS3 because like the vast majority of people on PS NETWORK, many never owned a PS3.

    This EX-XBOT threw his next gen savings onto SONYs counter the moment TLOU Remastered was announced.

  7. I don’t blame people for buying (and thus encouraging) remasters when they have switched brands and never got the chance to
    play the originals but we should be telling games developers we want
    innovation, not repetition.

    This generation is not a technology leap in what games are capable of. You think of the jump from Megadrive to SNES.. to the PS to the XBOX to the XBOX 360. Each generation allowed a new level of game playing even if it was small steps.

    But this generation? Halo 6 will play exactly the same as the games before it (just prettier and with larger levels). The biggest jump so far is literally a jump button in Dragon Age.

  8. While I agree that re-buying a game is a bad idea for what it might encourage (if you already own the game), I have to say that if I havent played a game or was too late to the party years before (as with FFX HD) then Ill buy the game so I can experience it. Okami HD is brilliant, for example, and eventually Ill get both FFX HD and Kingdom Hearts 1.5-2.5. I never played them and playing them in a better state is fine by me. Its also all about quality. If theres nothing to the re-release, Ill get the cheaper normal version instead lol.

  9. The main reason I’d buy a remake/remaster – a game that is ‘something special’ for me, that the original is only on a console that I don’t feel like keeping hooked up anymore.

    There are many games from earlier generations that are quality games, worth playing or re-visiting. Since I’ve pretty much retired my PS3 – I’d totally snag up a ‘remaster’ of Demon’s Souls for PS4 if it was to ever get done.

  10. Games that had great graphics that you know won’t have sequels for some time, especially if they are open world or have a decent to excellent multiplayer component definitely support the idea of having long-term added value when re-made.

    Any game that became so popular that the word “nostalgia” can be applied to it now is a candidate to be remade and re-popularized.

    Also, consider that especially on the PS4 there are so many 360 owners that missed out on so many Playstation exclusives that only have a PS4 Sony console now that those remasters/definitive editions represent their first opportunity to play a lot of critically acclaimed games that they haven’t had access to.

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