11. Mushroom Kingdom Fusion
Why have one game remake when you can have a kabillion? That’s what Mushroom Kingdom Fusion is; a fan made PC game that mashes up levels and characters from a slew of favourite console franchises.
Though the core mechanic is yoinked from Super Mario World, you’ll find levels inspired by Super Bomberman, Metal Gear Solid, Mega Man, Wolfenstein, Prince of Persia and many more. You can play as Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Link and a bunch of others. It’s mental and fantastic. Oh, and though it’s a bit of nightmare to install, it’s also free.
12. Bionic Commando Rearmed
Another 2D platformer revamped, this time the SNES side scroller Bionic Commando. A total remake for the PC, most of the original gameplay is preserved, carefully matched with screenshots from the original. Though powered by contemporary code, it retains 80s styling and the quirky physics of the original.
The real irony here is that developers Grin remade the game as marketing for a total 3D reboot, released just a few months later - but while critics and fans praised Rearmed, the Bionic Commando reboot was given a sound kicking. Result? BC Rearmed got a sequel, the super-sexy reboot didn’t.
13. Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001)
Castle Wolfenstein has, arguably, been rebooted more times than any other game in the history of rebooted games. The original was a 2D, overhead stealthy action adventure where your character has to escape from the titular castle, full of naughty Nazis.
The first reboot was Wolfenstein 3D - ID’s pre-Doom FPS. The game mechanic changed with the switch to 3D and stealth gave way to blasting your way through corridors.
There have been two subsequent “sequels” - 2001’s Return to Castle Wolfenstein and 2009’s Wolfenstein, both rebooting Wolfenstein 3D with more sophisticated execution. We pick 2001’s Return over the rather pedestrian 2009 entry. Even though it’s as long in the tooth as some of the originals in our round-up, the gameplay’s superior in every way.
More after the break...
14. Sonic the Hedgehog 2013
We probably could have filled a similar sized list with console classics that have been ported to mobile platforms. And, one day, maybe we will. Maybe we will... But, for now, let’s acknowledge that few hit the bullseye like Sonic the Hedgehog 2013.
It’s not the first attempt to transfer Sonic to iOS and Android, but it’s the best. Never departing far from the original, the graphics are deliberately retro, optimised for mobile platforms. The music is remastered rather than recreated. The load screens use assets pilfered from Sonic 2. And yet, all this is rebuilt from scratch, running directly and smoothly on new hardware. It’s an authentic Sonic experience, on your iPad.
15. Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded
Lots of people really enjoyed 1987’s Leisure Suit Larry. By “people” I mean 14 year old boys and by “enjoyed” I mean “masturbated to”. Larry was an illustrated text adventure where you’re a 40 year old software salesman trying to get shagged by a series of objectified, pneumatic tarts in seedy locales. I could be overselling it here.
In 2013, Leisure Suit Larry was given the Monkey Island treatment, with a complete remake that swapped text navigation for a point and click UI and revamped graphics. Sticking doggedly to the original’s soiled script, the superior execution simply serves to expose all of Larry’s baked-in flaws. Still, as a bona fide slice of gaming history - and inexplicably popular - it has to be played through at least once.
16. Oddworld: New n’ Tasty
We can’t wait for the final entry in our countdown - because there are few games more likely to have you chuckling one minute then screaming into a waste paper bin the next. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee was the PlayStation’s premiere platformer. Fun, beautifully animated and brimming with personality it’s difficult to imagine it being topped. But a 3D powered remake has been in the works now for 5 years... Screenshots and video suggest it’s a faithful update with scrummy HD looks. Expect it on pretty much every console and OS sometime next year.