Old Video Games That Deserve A Remake

Any gamer who had their childhood shaped by Nintendo, Atari, and Sega have that one game that defined their love of their hobby. Problem is, technology evolves, but these games didn't, and now they simply look and feel obsolete. But they remake old games for new systems all the time — why not the following stone-cold classics too?

War Gods

From the same developers that brought you the neverending Mortal Kombat series, War Gods was a one-hit-wonder fighter released for the arcades, with ports available for the PlayStation, N64, and Windows in 1995 (for when you got sick of Solitaire). Based very, very, very heavily on MK's mechanics and design, the game received mixed reviews, due to clunky animation and gameplay. The plot, however, was probably what deserved more criticism — it was so slapdash, it might as well have been baby's first fanfiction.

We don't usually recap stories and plots here on Grunge, but you need to hear this one: a long, long time ago, a spaceship from some world they didn't bother to describe, carrying "precious life-giving ore" (their words, not ours), crash landed on Earth. Humanity gathered the pieces of ore and became the titular "War Gods," and now must fight each other so one can control all the ore. So, Highlander mixed with "Sixteen Tons." There can be only one company store!

The ore has no name, but the plot isn't why this game deserves a remake. We've seen more variations of Street Fighter, Tekken, Marvel v. Capcom games than we can count, and it would be nice for Midway (rebranded now as Netherrealm Studios) to remake more than MK for the hundredteenth time. Truly what made this game noteworthy were the unique character designs and powers, more than anything else. It got panned by critics during its release, but given today's tech — we now have access to VR in our own homes! — we don't think it would get trashed again. It would be nice for modern writers to rework the raggedy plot, redesign the characters, give us REAL 3-D (versus whatever this is) beef up the animation, and let it loose. And really, who wouldn't want to be a virtual War God? No one, that's who.

Crazy Taxi

Few games in the '90s offered a great soundtrack of current artists while allowing you to commit utter havoc in an open-world environment. You had Grand Theft Auto and ... another Grand Theft Auto. Oh, and Crazy Taxi!

Taxi has absolutely no discernable plot outside of getting your customer to their destination as quickly as possible. Extra cash can be earned by performing stunts, like jumps and near misses with oncoming traffic. Live your reckless endangerment and stunt-driver fantasies by playing this game, and then live out your unending disappointment as you're forced to drive the speed limit in real life, because the highway is crawling with staties who hate fun.

Crazy Taxi was one of the few games that was well and truly good fun. You drove recklessly, you performed impossible stunts, all to a soundtrack consisting of hot '90s bands like Offspring and Bad Religion. Update that soundtrack to give us today's hot acts like 21 Pilots and X Ambassadors, use today's update-heavy technology to include NEW artists once people stop giving a toss about the old ones, and let us destroy even more stuff in more places, and you've got an evergreen GTA for people sick of gangster stories.

For those wanting to hit the nostalgia button like right NOW, the PlayStation Network continues to do good work for the people. It's available for download as a the PS3, PSP, and PSVita title. So go. Be free. Run that red light. Regret nothing.

NiGHTS into Dreams

In 1996, Sega released a game that shifted the way video games could be played: NiGHTS into Dreams, the Kingdom Hearts of its time. NiGHTS, despite a capitalization scheme that gives you gas trying to get it right, has long since been praised for its narrative, gameplay, lush array of colors, and of course, the uniqueness of the NiGHTS character itself.

In an age where game technology is constantly evolving, and developers can expand gameplay enjoyability while also fleshing out storied narratives, we believe NiGHTS would not only capture new audiences with its fun and unique style of gameplay, but also touch the nostalgic heartstrings of old gamers, who remember how colorful and new it all was, flying through rings and watching the score counter go up. It deserves a remake to remind us that simple things, like a loose story and an exciting world, are all most gamers need to have a good time (well, that and pizza. All the pizza).

Plus, think of how cool the NiGHTS cosplay would be if they not only reminded the public this game exists, but let us see the details on the elaborate outfit? Not to mention how voice acting would further help gamers immerse into the NiGHTS universe, which is arguably as colorful and unique as the Sonic universe.

Thing is, Sega pulled the plug on consoles in the late '90s to become a third-party developer, so what happened to Sega-exclusive titles like NiGHTS? Well, the PlayStation Network recently made it available for download as a PS3 title, and you can get it on Steam, but A) poor PS4 people gotta pay mad bucks for the PSNow just to buy this one game, and B) poor Microsoft and Nintendo people get the shaft, and C) it's still not a remake. Come on, Sega. Do the right thing, give us all a fully overhauled remaster of the original, and give it to us yesterday. Lord knows we need that way before we need another Sonic game.


Shinobi is one of the most challenging games you'll ever suffer and cry through. Not only are you fighting other ninjas, you're fighting demon bats, dogs with swords, evil mothmen — er ... mothladies — and your own dead brother ... but you're fighting your own sword, one that kills Hotsuma (you) if he doesn't keep killing and feeding it. Negan's Lucille has absolutely nothing on that.

Now yes, Shinobi has been remade a few times since its debut in 1987, like in 2002 for the PlayStation 2, and in 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS. But PS2 might as well be Atari 2600 as far as outdated tech goes, and the 3DS version was more of a makeover than a reboot, a side-scrolling adventure with all the same frustrating difficulty of its predecessors, yet none of the emotional payoff and vindication of having finally beat that final boss.

All in all, we feel Shonobi deserves a this-gen remake, a more coherent and linear plot, and an option for "casual" difficulty, that finally allows casual gamers to play without dying five seconds into the game. Also ... Hotsuma needs to be able to swim, just saying. How are you the baddest ninja to ever do it but you can't doggie-paddle? What kind of nonsense is that? Do better, Sega.

Believe us, your blood pressure will be tested playing this game, which is why we want it back in the limelight of the gaming industry. We need to be reminded of what it feels like to sweat bullets without checkpoint saves, autosaves, and with a limited number of lives before you have to restart everything. For those looking to scratch that itch but who haven't seen a PS2 in literal years, 2002 Shinobi is available for download on the PlayStation Network (as always, only for the PS3), and the Shinboi 3DS game is on Amazon. Just don't bother if watching a man constantly drown gives you the shivers.

Space Channel 5

During the brief, fever-dream period that was the Sega Dreamcast existing, a game called Space Channel 5 enjoyed a brief flashfire of popularity, and later gained a cult following. It was a "musical adventure," predating games like Dance Dance Revolution, except you could enjoy it from the comfort of your IKEA futon, behind your mountains of empty Doritos bags and burritos from Moe's.

SC5 was released at the height of the blob-tech and Europop futurism aesthetic of the late '90s and early '00s, and it was a surefire hit. The game was so popular, in fact, there's even a character voiced by Michael Jackson, appropriately named "Space Michael" (and not just because Michael may have been actually been from space). Its unique style of gameplay, with "matchy-matchy" quicktime events, and — gasp! — a female protagonist, proved to be way ahead of its time, but it's time is now.

SC5 did get released for the PS2, but by that time, the aesthetic and interests of gamers had shifted, and the game was no longer as marketable. But now, nostalgia for funky blob-tech, platform sky-high boots, and unironically cheesy dance moves is as popular as money, so we'd love to see it remade and extended. For those who are desperate, the sequel is available in the PlayStation Store for the PS3 only. It's not as good, but it's something.

Jet Set Radio Future

Not to be confused with the original Jet Set Radio, released for the elusive entity known as the Sega Dreamcast, JSR Future was meant to be a reimaginging of its predecessor. Adhering to all the gameplay mechanics and edgy futuristic aesthetic of the original, JSRF incorporated the funky soundtrack of hip-hop and electronic dance music (EDM), along with some of the coolest animation at the time of its release.

The game itself was a celebration of late '90s and early '00s skater and graffiti culture, which is more than enough reason to bring it back — if not to bring it back in updated next-gen greatness, then to release into the gaming wilds across all platforms, so new age gamers can witness the edgy and funky comic-book style gameplay, and enjoy the soundtrack. It seems the theme for early '00s games was mostly about mixing brilliant music with a fun and addictive gameplay style, and we'll take that over Zombie WarPocalypse 619: White Scruff Edtion any day.

Also, one of the things that seems to be missing in gaming these days is a variety in art styles. It's what made games like JSRF and Okami stand apart. Not every game has to be hyper-realistic — we don't need to see the sweat on the protagonist's nose and beard stubble to know they're nervous. Sometimes good music and simple objectives are enough. Besides, the entire premise was a bunch of vigilante skater kids using graffiti to fight back against a totalitarian state. Given the current state of affairs that make a lot of people real-life nervous, wouldn't a JSRF comeback be more than a trifle symbolic?


Bust-A-Groove was a popular addition to the genre of dance sim games, that integrated music and dance with characterization and fighting mechanics. The narrative didn't matter, only the soundtrack and characters. With Bust-A-Groove, it was always about the characters and the music, and some are even recognizable today, as symbols of the bygone days of the PS1 and 8MB memory cards that couldn't store a Witcher's big toe these days.

In the theme of "choose your character" games, Bust-A-Groove allowed you to choose a character, and you danced off against one another. Successful dance moves result in funky fighting techniques and animations to accost the opponent. It's classic fighting game shenanigans set to a cool soundtrack, and getting served in place of spine-ripping fatalities.

Given the sheer power of gaming technology now, a remake of the game would boost the soundtrack and graphics something hardcore, leaving perhaps an even bigger impact on gamers than the original. In a market where all the games are plotted around grizzled, middle-aged, scruffy white guys set to the backdrop of desaturated Gothic or post-apocalyptic environments (oh goody, Call of Duty 912, can't wait), we're desperate for more color, more music, more ... fun!

MTV Music Generator

Before music channels devolved into an endless parade of reality television and only a vague recollection of their initial purpose, an amazing program slid into the collections of aspiring DJs across America.

MTV Music Generator was never intended to be a game, as there was no win-lose situation. There were no characters, no worlds to play. The only purpose this program served was to allow the user to create their own music, either by sampling available beats or creating their own. What made this program so unique was how it opened up an avenue for aspiring electronic musicians and producers to test their own mettle, using a PlayStation controller and their own ingenuity. Why this program slipped into obscurity is a mystery, but we want it back.

This program offers a wide array of musical style possibilities, including vocals, and with next-gen technology, it could really reshape the face of programs available for game consoles and PC. All that was required at the time was the disc, a memory card, and your own musicality. Now though, with the addition of Guitar Hero-style tech, not to mention WAY more memory than back in the day, imagine creating multi-layered, multi-instrumental music of your very own with naught but your system and plastic guitar, bass, drums, DJ set, and keyboard. It's like going to Guitar Center and starting a band, only without pushy salespeople working overtime to sell you a $2500 axe when all you know are three chords. Score!

Bring MTV Music Generator, if not for us, but for our musical heroes. Do it so we can finally do Prince proud, and make music creation great again!