A remastered video game can be a wonderful thing, so long as its developer gives it the tender loving care it so rightfully deserves. Of course, failure to give it the attention it needs can, unfortunately, lead to some pretty disastrous results, and we’d be lying if we said we haven’t stumbled across a whole bunch of them in our time on the grid. And honestly, there’s nothing worse than wanting to relive a few highlights, only to discover that the supposedly revamped world is nothing more than a buggy mess chock-full of broken mechanics.
We’ve been rifling through a number of remastered collections lately, separating the strong from the weak. To our utmost surprise, though, the latter has outweighed the former, and what we’ve actually got is a library of poorly received remakes with countless game-breaking glitches and shoddy voice work. The remasters that frustrated us the most, sadly, were these five.
5. Grand Theft Auto V: Expanded & Enhanced
When all’s said and done, if the trailer for a third remaster of a game gets an overwhelmingly negative response from OG fans, then it’s probably safe to assume that, you know, people don’t want it. And yet, Rockstar Games is as rebellious as it is ignorant, and it cares not if you’ve played the same story twice before, because when there’s still milk in the udder—then you can bet there’s always going to be another round. And guess what? You’re buying, whether you like it or not.
Needless to say, we can’t blame Rockstar for giving Grand Theft Auto V a once-over on multiple occasions. After all, as it is the best-selling game of a generation, it does make sense to keep its prominence scattered over multiple platforms. Because at the end of the day, giving a created world a bit of tender loving care will always be easier than building a whole new one from the ground up. It’s just a shame the whole remaster malarkey has become a bit of a running joke for most, and the only ones that are still laughing at the same old stale punchline, frustratingly, is Rockstar.
4. Grand Theft Auto: Definitive Trilogy
First of all, let us say that we, like most, adored the fact that Vice City and San Andreas finally had their second time to shine on modern hardware. But again, like the vast majority, we also hated the fact that each of the three games in the trilogy was absolutely butchered by inexperienced hands. And although the originals and remasters had a good twenty years between them, seeing the few details Grove Street Games had enhanced for current-gen consoles was almost laughable.
Besides the endless headaches, choppy monologues, and god-awful weather transitions, the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy also went on to feature countless game-breaking bugs, glitches, and a ludicrous amount of broken cinematics. It was all so bad that, contrary to what we once believed, the series would have been better off left back in the early noughties, before Rockstar extracted its original charm and slaughtered its axis.
3. Mafia: Definitive Trilogy
Granted, when 2K made the call to revamp and revitalize the once-loved Mafia chapter, we were head over heels in love with the idea. What we didn’t love, however, was the two cheesy cash grabs that 2K hashed out just to make up a pricey compilation. As it turned out, both Mafia 2 and Mafia 3 ended up being glitchy monstrosities, which only wound up damaging the series’ reputation in the long run.
Mafia 2 was a highlight of a console generation, as well as a beacon of light in a sea so rife with lackluster voids. Its remastered edition, on the other hand, was borderline unplayable, as was its follow-up segment, Mafia 3. And so, while Mafia: Definitive Edition was the saving grace of the trilogy, the package as a whole was a complete and utter shambles, unfortunately.
2. Warcraft 3: Reforged
When Blizzard announced the return of the highly acclaimed Warcraft 3 chapter, the whole world flocked to its side to witness its newly refurbished nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, it was rather short-lived, as the hype plummeted merely moments after launching on PC in 2020. But what went wrong, and why did Blizzard perform such a hack job on what should have been a highlight of the gaming year? Well, that’s the thing.
Reforged should have been a blast from the past, complete with a wide variety of nostalgic theatrics and voice work. Blizzard, on the other hand, had other things in mind for it, none of which were kind to the quirks the original game had. In short, it was a chest of disasters, and was very much a broken remake with zero qualities ironed to its core whatsoever. Shame, really, as it should have been game of the year material.
1. Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop
Without a shadow of a doubt, the iron photographer vet that is Frank West is an absolute beast when it comes to snapping the unknown, especially when slotted into a zombie-infested shopping mall. Shame, as the Wii remake Chop Till You Drop just removed that part altogether. And then, of course, there were features that didn’t exactly help win over older fans, either, such as having a smaller map, less psychopaths, and only a slither of freedom to explore the iconic mall.
At face value, you can clearly see that the remake was supposed to live up to the 360 original. Having three years between release dates, you would have pictured the successor as being a little more versatile. Instead, it was a watered-down clone of a classic zombie game, and one that had no right to hoist the same colors as its counterpart. All in all, one of the worst remastered copies from the ex-console era, period.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five remastered video games? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.