In Defense of HD Remastered Games

Yup… HD Remasters. While there are many who don’t like the idea of these type of games, I personally love them. You could even say that I’m “part of the problem” when it comes to supporting the sheer amount of remasters that release a year. I buy them all and I make no apologies for that. Why do I like HD remastered games so much and why do I feel that they are important to this industry we love? Read on to find out.

Nostalgia is a big part of this community and remastered games provide us with a perfect way to replay our favorite titles. Some titles hold a special meaning to me and I like to revisit them from time to time. However, some titles are for systems that I currently don’t own or don’t feel like taking out of my closet. This is where HD remasters come in handy. My favorites are there for me to easily access at any time without the need to go through much (if any) hassle.

Metal Gear Solid HD Screenshots

As vain as this may sound, having an HD remaster to play versus the original is definitely more pleasing to the eye. Older games that may have looked great when they were initially released may not stand the test of time visually. I always like to say that HD remastered games “look the way I remember them.” Our mind remembers games a certain way but when we go back to play them, they don’t look the way we thought they did. With an HD remaster however, a game can look the way it does in your mind’s eye.

Unlike books, older video games can’t easily be accessed at anytime. Like I said, a lot of these games are for systems people may not own anymore. For the younger people out there, remasters prove to be the only way they can play classics from the past. The historical value of remastered games cannot be overstated as they provide a great window into past game design logic, which has either been vastly updated or discarded entirely. It also shows us how certain games in a franchises have evolved over the years.

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Some newer titles, particularly those on handhelds, benefit from HD remasters as well. Not everyone owned a PSP but would have wanted to play some of the games that were on it. Now games like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and the God of War, Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta can make it into more homes with their remastered versions.

Speaking of newer titles that get remastered, there is a new trend that’s emerging which many find disturbing or upsetting. Of course I’m talking about games like Tomb Raider, The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V; games that are barely a year old. I won’t lie, I already bought Tomb Raider and will most likely buy the other two as well but even I feel weird about doing so. Though these type of re-releases seems like a cheap cash grab on the surface, I’ll defend them as well.

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While these type of remasters receive little more than a 1080p resolution facelift and a smoother frame rate, they still deserve to be released. Let’s face it, the current-gen consoles are still somewhat lacking in big AAA titles so re-releasing recent hits from the last-gen is a good way to beef up our collections. Also, these games were created very close to the beginning of the current-gen. The higher resolution and framerate assets already existed and were never used because of the technical limitations of the last-gen hardware. In a way, these releases are showing us the games as they were intended to be — had they been released as current-gen titles.

HD Remastered games aren’t going anywhere. It’s clear that people still want them. The vocal minority may bemoan them but the fact that people keep buying them and genuinely get excited when they are announced speaks volumes. This is a medium that is heavily reliant on technology and as that technology evolves, we need a way to keep classic games available for people to play. This is ultimately the main reason why HD games are important: to keep older and important games from fading into obscurity.

Everyone should be thankful that HD remasters exist. I know I’ll keep supporting them.

Join the Discussion

  • Gamist

    “While there are many who don’t like the idea of these type of games…”

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, many? Says who? I think trolls and some haters are against it. And trolls don’t count.

    • Антон Иванов

      Haters don’t count either:)

  • They Call Me Senpai

    All I want is an HD remaster of Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, PaRappa, Uncharted 1-3 and a few others for PS4 or Vita (preferably Vita).

    • albatrosMyster

      The Uncharted games would be de-masters on the Vita!

      • They Call Me Senpai

        Not really, the Vita is easier to code for, so as long as someone like Bluepoint or Sanzaru handled it, they could optimize the games to take full advantage of the Vita’s power.

        Just look at how well Bluepoint did with PlayStation All-Stars, it looked and performed so well on the Vita, that some said they couldn’t even tell that it was a Vita game because it looked so much like the PS3 version.

        • albatrosMyster

          Yeah, but look at more complex games, like the killzone or uncharted titles, they look great, just not as good as ps3 titles… However the vita also has more RAM which could potentially let hold more active stuff, that can do a lot of tricks to compensate for other hardware deficiencies,

  • Nordu

    How about no one is being forced to buy the remastered games. It’s more incentive for people to pick up a remastered game if they haven’t played it before.

    • They Call Me Senpai

      Finally, someone else gets it! On the site that I used to frequent, this one guy would rage whenever a remaster was announced and complain about how he didn’t pay $400 to play ports – and it wasn’t just him, youtubers and facbookers as well.

      You’re not being forced to buy these remasters and they aren’t stopping new games from being made, so there’s no need to complain, but I expect nothing else from some members of the gaming community.

      • Nordu

        Gaming itself is a luxury if you think about it, thats why so many “gamers” feel so entitled. People also need to start understanding that a new generation of consoles never start off with games that are revolutionary by any means, a majority of the last gens quality games came near the end of the generation. That being said October this year and 2015 looks quite promising for next gen systems, most excited for MGS: The Phantom Pain myself.

  • junier

    All I want is Mass Effect Trilogy HD on my PS4.

    • Delsin Rowe

      it will happen my friend, it will.

      • Black Heaven

        I wasn’t able to play the trilogy when it was released, now that you mention it, I will probably wait for the remaster then.

    • oh the joy that would be. *crosses fingers*

  • Porcu Peth

    Shouldn’t even need to be defended

  • futurepixels

    As long as remasters aren’t a replacement for new games, I don’t see a problem with it.

  • MetalSpartan

    I don’t understand the hate against HD remasters they’re great!

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  • Not_true

    Why are TLOU Remastered and other PS3 exclusive remakes being made?

    1. financing for next gen projects
    2. experience on next gen hardware to better create next gen projects
    3. at least half of PS4 owners didn’t own a PS3 which is a huge brand new audience
    4. many PS3 exclusive games were critically acclaimed and sold well
    5. there are already plenty of new IPs being created

    TLOU is practically a new game to at least half (~4.3 million) of PS4 owners that never owned a PS3 and never had a chance to play it. Same with Beyond: Two Souls or any PS3 exclusive game brought to PS4.

    TLOU is one of the most critically acclaimed video games ever and sold 6+ million copies on PS3, it’s coming with DLC and multiplayer, 1080p 60 fps with better textures and visual effects, and releasing at a discount price.

  • OneFlyness

    Hello Tony, this is another topic we disagree on.

    For those who (get ready for a shameless plug) haven’t listened to the Throwdown #86, I’ll briefly explain why.

    I’m with you remastered games being a goof thing for those who missed out. Yes the bells and whistles are cool and all *cough* gray poupon edition *cough*. However the in current state they are in, they are doing more damage than good.

    To simply release a version only with updated visuals and performance is not good enough. Adding all the DLC helps but still not good enough. These developers have done little work to deserve the amount of money we (not including me) pay for them. As I said on Throwdown, I’d rather them spend the time and effort developing something akin to inFamous: Festival of Blood. It’ll allow them to use the same engine, assets and see how the new architecture works. At the same time we a ‘new’ game and it could even act as a first step to newcomers.

    I do have more to add but I said I was going to keep this brief.

    • Tony Polanco

      Most of the HD remasters are done by studios besides the developers who originally made them. They take nothing away from new games.

      • OneFlyness

        That’s fine. However my argument is that if companies are going to be remastering (which I’m against for many reasons) then they might as well do something which benefits most people.

        This remastered editions are shameless cash grabs and publishers are becoming too complacent with them

        • Tony Polanco

          I don’t see them as shameless cash grabs at all. People want them so companies keep making them. It’s better for there to be HD remasters than not. The video game industry has to show its legacy and this is the best way to do that.

          • OneFlyness

            If the industry keep pumping out ‘classics’ then it’s never going to give itself the rooms it needs to grow.

            Gaming is capable of much than what it is now and I want to help it see what it can do. Plus what ever happened to the phrase, “don’t dwell on the past”?

    • They Call Me Senpai

      “To simply release a version only with updated visuals and performance is not good enough. Adding all the DLC helps but still not good enough. These developers have done little work to deserve the amount of money we (not including me) pay for them.”

      That’s just your opinion, though. People who missed out on the games the first time they were released may feel differently because to them it’s a completely new game. So while enhanced visuals, performance and DLC may not be “good enough” for you, others may see it as a good deal.

      And if you’re a newcomer to the franchise, then a remake of the older games is a better starting point than standalone DLC which will likely be laden with references to the main story, leaving the player lost.

      So in the long run, remasters are good for everyone. They allow newcomers to become familiar with an old or current franchise and they allow developers to not only learn how the new hardware works, but also to make a little more money to fund other projects.

      • OneFlyness

        I said it’s fine for people who missed out however they could be doing much more.

        The standalone could be used to introduce newcomers, they could easily have section where the cover the major plot points in cinematic or something. TV shows have being that type of thing for years. Yes some franchises it wouldn’t work like MGS but stuff God of War, Tomb Raider (2013) and The Last of Us seem more than possible.

        It also gives the existing base something to chew on in the meantime.
        Everybody wins.

  • drzfr3shboialex

    I don’t get the hate for remasters. They give those who didn’t play certain games a chance too. People complain as if they HAVE to buy it. I don’t see anything wrong with choices.

  • MTM2

    I’d rather have the dry first year of a console’s lifespan padded with some optional remasters than not.

  • Carl

    The gaming industry has reached a point that it has a legacy, just like cinema and music. Someone may love a modern young Rock band, but there are the Rock legends from the ’60s/’70s/’80s, too. Or, someone might adore a macho movie like Expendables or a Jason Statham showpiece, but we have older action movies like Rambo, Terminator 2 or Die Hard 2, too. Older movies and music albums are being remastered due to their timeless quality, and the modern movies/album’s shortcomings. Why should the gaming business not do the same with its past jewels? Why should legendary games “rest in peace” and lay forgotten, if people love them? Thanks to the HD remasters, I had the chance to discover for the first time games like Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper, and experience again Metal Gear Solid 2/3 and Jak & Daxter after so many years. Guys, there’s room for everything. Either new or old.

  • Kamille

    I wouldn’t complain if BC were still a thing but this is clearly nothing more but a cash grab. Especially when we are talking about a single game for full price again. Now the Halo Collection is worth every penny and maybe even more but Tomb Raider and The Last of Us are the perfect examples of what is wrong with this industry.

    • They Call Me Senpai

      The Last of Us and Tomb Raider are instant classics, which makes them very good candidates for a remake. Plus, The Last of US still retais for $50 at most retailers and $60 at others, then throw the $15 Left Behind DLC on top of it and Naughty Dog is practically giving the game away – I think I’ve already made my point about the Halo collection, so I’ll just leave it alone.

      It’s biased people like you with your toxic opinions that are ruining this industry and the fanbase. Also, if you don’t like remasters, then don’t buy them. Developers aren’t putting a gun to your head and making you, so there’s no need to whine and falsely accuse them of cash grabbing.

    • superkarma

      Nearly half of PS4 owners never owned a PS3, which means they never got to play TLOU. So no, it’s not just a cash grab. It’s bringing an incredibly successful game to a platform that has a lot of people who never got to enjoy it. On top of that, it’s bringing that game with all its DLC and improvements at $10 cheaper than the PS3 version.

      Giving Halo remaster a pass, while saying the remasters for TLOU and TR are what’s wrong with the industry just makes you look idiotic.

  • Jewy McJew

    Huraah for Remasters!!

    I think one of Sony’s biggest mistakes is not having at least 6-12 remastered titles ready to go for that first dry 6 months of the PS4 console.

    • They Call Me Senpai

      There was a 6 month drought? My neighbor and coworker didn’t seem to notice.

      • Sucka Free

        Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t notice, that would have really bummed me out….

        • They Call Me Senpai

          I don’t get where this whole drought stuff comes from. Sure there aren’t very many games launching, but that’s to be expected during a launch year.

  • David Rodriguez

    Here’s the defense: Don’t like them? Don’t buy them.

    Cut and dry. That is it.

    • Johnny

      I don’t like and don’t buy the deception that is HD Remasters. That said, if they actually remade games properly, I’d be the first to support them. As it stands, they are saying only a couple people are working on them, then charging nearly $60 maybe throwing in some lazy dlc packs. Throw in our trophies not carrying over and thanks but no thanks..

  • bob

    The high frame remasters are pretty cool, but I feel like it should be a definitive version and Last of Us Remastered is supposed to have all the bells and whistles…except they’re making more bells and whistles, so why buy this one when next year there’ll be an even more complete version like the PS4/Xbone version of GTA 5 we knew about last year. You know they’re gonna go for the dip again while they’re working on the sequel.

    They’ll still get my money though, I loved the ride that is the Last of Us.

  • I totally agree with this post. HD Games are great and even we have hd flash games in

  • junguler

    i don’t mind these but i’m not gonna pay again for something i already played, even if it’s the best game of the last gen or the best open-world game out there.

  • Bobbbbby5

    A remaster of a game that’s around five or more years old?

    A remaster of a game that’s barely a year old?
    Not digging it.

  • Roger

    Shadow Hearts Trilogy HD Remaster. One I’ll never see ):

  • Mark

    I’m all for remakes if the source material was of a high enough quality.

    Great examples of HD remakes for me have been Tomb Raider DE and God of War Collection, but I’m really excited for The Last of Us: Remastered too.

    I’d like to see Skyrim, Fallout 3 and the Uncharted Trilogy remade for PS4 too.
    I really enjoyed Skyrim but it ran like crap on PS3 (Sounds like Fallout 3 was the same).

    • Stevilknievel

      And the Mass Effect Trilogy (obviously)

  • Well I never got to experience the great PS3 games so I’m happy that these HD remasters are being made.

    TLOU will be my first then hopefully the uncharted series and Heavy Rain.

  • megablast16

    Don’t like buying remasters of games I’ve already played myself, for me the joy of playing such a strong story based game like TLOU for example is experiencing it for the first time, not knowing what’s coming next. As good as TLOU Remastered will undoubtedly be it’s lost that element of surprise and purely better graphics can’t really replace that.

    Having said that they’re good for people who’ve never played them of course and if somebody does want to buy it again I’m not going to knock them, it’s their choice.

  • Darksied

    The problem is, its the mistake of the people who bought the game on previous gen thinking this is for them… this is NOT for you. This is for the 360 and Wii/Wii U owners who never got to play them.. If you have bought it previous then why would you buy it again unless you truly love the game. I have completed both GTA 5 and TLOU, but i barely touched the surface of GTA Online due to bugs and TLOU Multiplayer was the biggest surprise of the year, disc didnt leave my ps3 for months. I also do not own my ps3 anymore so they are more than welcome. I would like to see Dark Souls 2, South Park SOT and pretty much any game that got a 9/10 or higher in 2013 remastered.. but no more

  • Budgiecat

    “In a way, these releases are showing us the games as they were intended to be — had they been released as current-gen titles.”

    So where’s the advanced enemy A.I. as originally promoted by Naughty Dog in 2012 Pax demo and mirror/water reflection for the Last of Us? Despite the PS4 being 10x more powerful than the PS3?

  • blaackstarr

    I don’t mind being able to carry some of my favorite games with me to the next console. There are some games I would love an HD remaster of but it doesn’t seem like it would ever happen, like an Onimusha 1-4 HD. So I personally don’t have a problem with them. I don’t even have a PS4 yet and GTA V Remaster is already on my list of games to buy.

    Don’t like em, don’t buy em.

  • tomisthegoat

    Completely agree. As I sold my PS2, I really wanted to play MGS3 again, so I was seriously happy when MGS HD came out!!
    Anyone else thinking MGR: Revengence and Guns of the Patriots for remaster on PS4??

  • Spoonyrogdrumps

    I love HD updates and remasters too Tony Polanco. Blu-Ray has been out for some time now too, and who hasn’t purchased Blu-Ray updates to older movies. If people didn’t support them, they wouldn’t make them.