Black Mesa is a labor of love that reimagines the original Half-Life experience. The remake, which follows the original’s plot, recreates much of the game in an updated engine. While Black Mesa tries to be as faithful as possible, it does improve on the original with an all-new soundtrack and some updated levels. Honestly, this remake’s modified take on Half-Life‘s infamous Xen levels is reason enough to play it over the original The quality on display in Black Mesa is so noteworthy that it earned the official Valve seal of approval.
5. Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver
Once upon a time, Pokémon Gold and Silver were considered the best Pokémon games out there, but Diamond and Pearl‘s many innovations arguably helped that generation steal the crown. Then Game Freak got the bright idea to remake Gold and Silver with all of the improvements introduced to the series thus far. As such, HeartGold and SoulSilver soon became the new gold standard.
The original Gold and Silver were already huge games since they let players explore two different regions, but the remakes somehow improved on perfection. HeartGold and SoulSilver benefited from better graphics and audio, new story beats and elements, separated physical and special attacks, and, most important of all, the ability to let any Pokémon follow around their trainer outside their Poké Ball. Never underestimate the desire to take an Arcanine for a walk.
4. Resident Evil
The original Resident Evil solidified many of the crucial design elements of the survival horror genre, such as tank controls and limited inventory. As is the case with so many classics on this list, though, the game aged fairly quickly. So when Capcom entered into a deal to produce a series of exclusive games for the Nintendo Gamecube, Shinji Mikami, the original Resident Evil’s director, decided it was time to remake the game.
The Gamecube version of Resident Evil retained pretty much everything that made the original game special but improved absolutely everything else about the experience. The graphics and voice acting were the most obvious beneficiaries of that approach, but it was Mikami’s decision to add new monsters such as Crimson Heads and Lisa Trevor that helped make this the definitive version of one of the most impactful games ever made. The Resident Evil remake is as much a celebration of the original as it is an evolution.
3. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
When The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening launched on the Nintendo Game Boy, it proved that handheld consoles could provide the kind of epic adventures most thought were reserved for consoles. Over time, though, it simply became difficult to play Link’s Awakening in its originally intended format. Thankfully, this proved to be one case where Nintendo stepped up and rescued a classic from the past.