Being forty years old, I have been gaming for a long, long time. Some of my earliest memories involve video games. From playing games on my dad’s Atari 2600 and Intellivision to finally playing games on my own Nintendo Entertainment System and Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, I have been playing games for as long as I remember. And as the years passed, as I started gaming on each new generation of gaming consoles and evolving PC generations, a lot of my memories are tied to video gaming. As such, I cannot even begin to imagine just how many video games I have played in my many years as a gamer. To say that in may be in the thousands is no exaggeration. As it is, just to give you an example of how many games I have played over the years, my PlayStation 4 library of games consist of more than two hundred games. Two hundred games just on my PS4. That’s not even taking into account my Steam library, my Nintendo Switch library, my PS Vita library, my 3DS library… you get the idea; imagine trying to guess how many games I have played in passed generations. So, yeah – saying that I have played thousands of games over my lifetime is no exaggeration.
That being said, as a long-time gamer, there are a number of games that I have played that others seemingly never have heard of. Other times, there are games that I have played that no one remembers or that have never been recognized as much as I believe that they should be. As such, often times I sit here wondering if anyone who is as fond as I am of these games will ever remake some of them to introduce them to a new generation of gamers. I mean, it seems that this current generation of games has had more remakes and remasters than I have ever seen in the history of video gaming. I guess that is why the eternal optimistic gamer in me still hopes that someone will remember these games as enthusiastically as I do and make my dreams come true. Of course, that is probably never going to happen, but I can still dream. So, I want to share with you ten of my favorite pasts, forgotten games that I would like to see remade for today’s generation.
Honorable Mentions: Chrono Trigger, Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, Dino Crisis, Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu, Lunar
Developed by: Sega
Published by: Sega
NA Release date: August 1988
Altered Beast was one of those games that I mainly remember because my friends and I would go to the corner liquor store or nearby arcade after school and just spend quarter after quarter on, trying to rescue Zeus’ daughter, Athena, from the evil clutches of the demon god, Neff. What made this side scrolling beat ‘em game so special was that if you managed to collect two spirit orbs, you could change from a regular man into a were-beast with enhanced powers to more easily take on the enemies of a certain level.
So far, the last game to be released in the series, also titled Altered Beast, was released in the EU and Japan in 2005, but it never made its way to NA shores. And, being honest, it wasn’t like the original game held up really well when it received ports on the Nintendo Virtual Console, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade – but it is the nostalgic nature of why this game was special. If a development team that cares for this game would come along and fix what needs to be fixed while still remaining true to the original, I think that this game would make for a great game for the current generation.
Battle Arena Toshinden
Developed by: Tamsoft
Published by: SCEA
NA Release date: September 1995
Very few people that I talk to nowadays remember Battle Arena Toshinden. It was an early weapon-based fighter and one of the first polygonal 3D fighting games released in arcades and home consoles. I remember that that at one point Sony used to say that Battle Arena Toshinden was “Saturn killer” even though the game was eventually released on the Saturn as well. (That, and time managed to kill the Saturn off anyway.) But for its time, Battle Arena Toshinden was a very solid fighter with very capable game mechanics.
At the time, Battle Arena Toshinden was popular enough to spawn a number of sequels, with Toshinden 4 being the last game to be released in the series back in 2000 – though this game never made it to NA markets. Other fighting games soon overtook Battle Arena Toshinden in popularity, but I contend that the game is still a solid enough fighter that if a development team were to come along and develop a new game for the series, updating everything that needs to be updated, it could be a huge success among the fighting game genre.
Developed by: Terminal Reality
Published by: Majesco Entertainment
Release date: October 2002
When BloodRayne was first released back in 2002, I was really into the dark lore and characters of this bloody hack and slash third person shooter. It wasn’t like BloodRayne was doing anything new or special, but what it did do it did exceptionally well and the aesthetics and visuals of the game helped endear it to those gamers looking for something a bit more mature than what was being presented in similar games. In short, the game’s presentation was the best thing it had going for it. And yes, the mature and sexy look of the main character, Rayne, was also a huge part of the popularity that BloodRayne enjoyed.
There were two sequels developed for BloodRayne – BloodRayne 2 in 2004 and later BloodRayne: Betrayal in 2011; but the latter game performed so poorly in terms of sales and critical acclaim that further games were soon dropped. I believe that because BloodRayne: Betrayal was such a departure from what made BloodRayne a good game was the reason that game failed. That’s why I would like to see a development team come in and return the game back to its dark, horror inspired hack and slash shooter roots and show that this series can be just as popular today as when it was first released.
Developed by: Criterion Games
Published by: Acclaim Entertainment
Release date: November 2001
While I wasn’t that big a fan of the original Burnout video game, the subsequent sequels (Burnout 2: Point of Impact & Burnout 3: Takedown) really sold me on the series. In fact, it was really over Burnout 3 in 2004 that my then girlfriend (and now wife) bonded over in terms of video games. We would play the game almost every weekend that we saw each other and some of those matches would get really competitive – trying to see who could cause the most amount of damage to opponents and in traffic. They had a great gameplay component they were easy to get into.
And while I was not a fan of the last games that the series produced, namely Burnout Paradise and Burnout Crash, I think that if the games were remade today, especially using some of the mechanics that Onrush utilized in 2018, I think that the Burnout series could return to its former glory and show today’s gamers why the Burnout series was once as popular as it used to be.
Developed by: Psygnosis
Published by: Psygnosis
Release date: October 1997
I know that there are still space combat games out there that have continued the legacy that a game like Colony Wars helped define, but I really miss the presentation and the story that the Colony Wars series brought to gamers back in the late 1990s. I was a really huge fan of the first Colony Wars series, but it was Colony Wars: Vengeance, the second game in the series, that really sold me on the story and lore that the series was presenting to fans. A war between the Earth Empire and its former colonies, now formed as the League of Free Worlds spread across the galaxy. Its story would continue on through three games, and I was fully invested in each game because of it.
The last game in the series, Colony Wars: Red Sun, was released in 2000 and since then the series has remained dormant since the closing of Psygnosis/Studio Liverpool back in 2012. I don’t know where the rights of the game series lie now, but I believe that if the game was remade and the story retold and maybe reimagined it could be the kind of game that gamers could embrace as they look for more variety in their gaming choices.
Developed by: Konami
Published by: Konami
Release date: February 1987
For all its lauded legacy, for how fondly Contra and most of its sequels have been heralded as some of the finest and most exciting games ever made, I find it hard to believe that it has been almost eight years since a game in the series has been released. Back in the day, especially when the original Contra was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System, Contra was my game. My sister and my friends and I would spend hours playing the game. And because Contra was so bloody difficult, the infamous “Konami code” that granted you thirty extra lives was almost a necessity to finish the game.
Like I said before, it’s been nearly eight years since the last game in the series, Hard Corps: Uprising, was released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and it was a well-received game if I remember correctly, so I don’t know why another game in the series hasn’t been made. But seeing as how we’re eight years removed and at the (possible) tail end of the latest generation, I don’t see why Konami has sat on their hands and not released a new game in the Contra series to appeal to its fans.
Developed by: Atari Games
Published by: Atari Games & U.S. Gold
Release date: October 1985
Oh man, if you wanna talk about quarter-guzzling games, you need look no further than this arcade classic, Gauntlet. If my friends and I were at the arcades playing games, you can be sure that Gauntlet was high on the list of games we were playing. I remember almost exclusively playing as Thyra the Valkyrie most of the time because, well, admittedly, I thought she was really attractive. And my friends used to clown me on this, saying that I liked “playing as the girl” – which, yeah, I did. But they thought it was an insult and I didn’t care because I thought that she was the best character to play as in the game.
The last game to be released under the Gauntlet banner was the 2014 game of the same name, Gauntlet, which I had fun playing on the PlayStation 4 – and it got some pretty decent reviews, but to my knowledge no other game in the series has been developed since. And as fun and challenging as the games in the Gauntlet series have been, I find it hard that no development team would like to take a shot at remaking this game for a new generation of gamers. I know it’s only been five years, but I think that Gauntlet is the kind of retro game that would be really appealing to gamers in this modern era.
Developed by: Sega
Published by: Sega
Release date: May 1989
And here is another Sega classic that I believe could use some modern-day love, Golden Axe. This was another game that I would spend hours playing at either the arcade or on my Sega Genesis. Oddly enough, I was always getting clowned by my friends because I used to like playing as another Valkyrie-type character, Tyris Flare. Either way, I used to love the side-scrolling beat ‘em up action that the game provided as me and my friends would try and defeat the villainous Death Adder and free the land of him and his minions. It was the kind of game that was easy enough to get into but challenging enough to make you sweat on certain levels, and it was this mix that had us returning again and again to this game.
The last game to be published under the Golden Axe franchise banner was 2008’s Golden Axe: Beast Rider, and it absolutely sucked. As huge of a fan as I was of the series, what they did with this game was absolutely atrocious. This was a game that was made to be a side-scrolling adventure and its foray into 3D movements was horrendous at best. And given the lack of competent story telling that Beast Rider presented, it just didn’t feel like it belonged in the series, even if it did feature Tyris Flare as the main protagonist. That’s why they need to make a new game for the series and keep it old school – side-scrolling beat ‘em up action.
Developed by: Square
Published by: Square Electronic Arts
Release date: September 1998
When Square first released Parasite Eve for the original PlayStation console, I was immediately hooked as I played the game almost non-stop for the first two days that I had it. I ended up finishing the game in less than two weeks because I was that much into the game and the main character, Aya Brea. For a JRPG game, it was decidedly action oriented thanks to its quasi real time battle components that really sped up the gameplay in comparison to other JRPG games that Square was producing at the time. And when Parasite Eve 2 rolled out about a year later, I was even more into the characters and developing story than I thought I could be. And I will even admit that I really liked the infamous shower scene as well. (Sue me.)
The last game released in the Parasite Eve franchise was Parasite Eve: The 3rd Birthday for the PlayStation Portable back in 2010 – and being on the PSP you can only imagine how many people actually got to play the actual game. And it sucks that it didn’t do better because the mix of RPG elements combined with its third-person shooter mechanics made for a fun, challenging, and exciting experience. That’s why I would love to see Square Enix return to making a new game in this series utilizing what they did for The 3rd Birthday and release it on home consoles. But seeing as how they barely got around to releasing Kingdom Hearts III just this year, I highly doubt that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Rival Schools: United by Fate
Developed by: Capcom
Published by: Capcom
Release date: November 1997
You know, if you wanna talk about a fighting game series that gets absolutely no love or respect despite how popular the original game in the series was, look no further than Rival Schools: United by Fate. Here was a game that did everything that Street Fighter did, added in a three vs three team-based combat system, and had some really killer music tracks, but hardly anyone I talk to remembers the game as fondly as I do, if at all. I remember playing this all the time on my PlayStation console. My friends and I really took a liking to this game and the team-based combat and often preferred it to playing either Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat at the time. It was a fun and exciting game that really had us playing for hours. And even when the game moved to the Dreamcast with the sequel, Rival Schools: Project Justice, we followed it there and continued the arcade fighting fun we fell in love with playing the first game.
As I said, there was a sequel released in NA around 2001 titled Project Justice, but since then there has been nothing in terms of development since 2013 when director Hideaki Itsuno expressed interest in making another game for the series, but that’s been it. And now that eighteen years have passed since the last release in the series, and the fighting game genre needing a boost in the arm in terms of something new, maybe bringing an old franchise like Rival Schools back would be that something special that Capcom has been looking for to compliment their Street Fighter series.