It’s been 21 years since the launch of the PlayStation 2 — and people are still salty over the lack of remastered games in 2021. In fact, it comes as quite a surprise for many, considering a lot of once-loved games managed to amass record-breaking sales way back in the early noughties. And yet, even with the critical-acclaim and cult classic status, a lot of valued games were left to gather dust after releasing. Iconic games faded out, and new hardware rolled in — tarnishing the names of thousands in the process.
Fast-forward twenty years and we’re still clawing on to the possibility of seeing old games make a striking return to the market. And, when I say return — I don’t mean a petty rehash of the original design. I’m talking about fully-fledged remasters where no minor detail is the same. That’s what we all want in this day and age — and these five definitely make the top of our list.
5. Jak Trilogy
While Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy was an all-time favourite on the PlayStation 2, it just doesn’t seem right in excluding the follow-up chapters to the series. Although you can snag the whole collection on PS Vita and PlayStation 3 — it’s not really the remaster we’re all still hoping for, is it? After all, Naughty Dog holds the keys to something truly magnificent with the Jak franchise, and it feels like a wasted opportunity to watch it fade into nothingness.
There’s so much potential in this action-packed little bundle, and Naughty Dog truly managed to define adventure throughout its many glorious tales. Sadly, however, as time moved on and technology advanced, Jak was left in the dirt. Though, many have mentioned a possible Jak 4 in the works for PlayStation 5 — but that remains to be seen. Here’s hoping 2021 will bring us a Kingdom Hearts sort of package — with the whole collection polished and produced in stunning high-definition. But we’re not getting our hopes up on that one.
4. The Warriors
Rockstar threw together one of the darkest chapters in the library back in 2005, and to this day, millions of people have yet to discover it. Although, if you haven’t seen the movie — you’re probably going to give the video game adaptation a sharp miss. Except, you shouldn’t. In fact, The Warriors was once considered to be way ahead of its time during the rise of PlayStation 2 gems. Plus, as far as movie-based video games go — Rockstar sure hit the nail on the head with this one.
Loitering around the crooked streets of Coney Island was some of the best moments from our gaming past. Bopping our way through gang warfare, corrupt officers and endless obstacles one by one, all in search of clearing the name of your infamous gang. It was all there and more, and we can only begin to imagine how incredible a 2021 remake would look with the perfectionists that is Rockstar backing it for a second round. Gold for the taking right there, people.
3. The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Okay, so this one has been at the apex of everybody’s list for almost two decades now. Ever since it hit the PlayStation 2 and Xbox shelves back in 2003, players have been picturing what a modern-day remake would look like. Of course, there is only so much you can add to The Simpsons in terms of graphics and enhancements, but there is still so much room for minor tweaks to the base game. Boy, even a redefined character model or two wouldn’t go amiss.
The Simpsons is one of the most celebrated TV shows in the world. The video games, on the other hand, have been subject to opinion with every new entry. And, while The Simpsons Skateboarding might’ve bombed in the ratings from the get-go, Hit & Run was the ultimate redemption that everybody fell in love with from the opening credits. It was the revival that the franchise needed and, ultimately, the turning point to future Simpsons-based games. That’s sort of why we’re still crossing our fingers over a PS5 and XSX remake. Radical Entertainment — are you still there? Are you hearing us?
2. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
It doesn’t matter how much we beg Rockstar to remaster San Andreas — because they won’t tune in to any of our frequencies. Grand Theft Auto 5 is so far ahead of their priorities that, frustratingly, past works have been left out to dry — and then ultimately forgotten about. And yet, it still makes its way through to the pinnacle of our list of hopeful remasters every single year without fail.
Countless designers have since stepped up to try and remake San Andreas through modern-day hardware — though none have succeeded in the same way Rockstar would should they ever venture back to it. Evidently, the developer continues to pull the strings to the globally recognised franchise. However, San Andreas has yet to be given a second life on next-gen consoles. Perhaps in 2022, eh? Yep, we’re not getting our hopes up on that one either.
This Western gem made a remarkable imprint on the action-adventure community back in 2005. Unfortunately, with the eventual rise of Red Dead Revolver surpassing expectations, Gun became a rather short-lived success. Even still, fans of the game have been echoing the revival of the PlayStation classic for 15 long and woeful years. Neversoft, on the other hand, never devised a plan for a sequel or a reboot before the studio dissolved in 2014.
While Red Ded Redemption stole the show for the best Western-themed game post-2010, gamers have often brought up the memorable Gun on several occasions. There was a spark with it that millions would love to see ignited for a second time today. However, with Neversoft being disbanded and Activision focusing on other first-class projects, Gun will never likely see a true reincarnation through current-gen platforms. Sad times.