Games That Need Next-Gen Remakes

Retro gamers, it's time to admit that some of your favorite games from the past would be even better if they were made today—or at least given a next-gen makeover. While gaming at a lesser resolution will always have a place in our Saturday-morning-cereal-encrusted hearts, our teenage selves would lose our minds over what next-gen systems can do today. Let's not explore potential remakes for the nostalgic gamer you are now, but for the hopeful kid you once were before adulthood crushed your spirit. Here are a few dusty old games that would really benefit from a modern day revamp.

Earthworm Jim 3D (Nintendo 64)

The whole Earthworm Jim franchise was a powerhouse, capturing the bizarre spirit of '90s children's entertainment in one surreal package, spawning action figures and an animated series—until Earthworm Jim 3D destroyed everything. It was a game that sucked so bad that it derailed everything Jim-related, presenting difficult platforming, horrible camera angles, and a generally lazy attempt to continue the series. Earthworm Jim 3D deserves another chance today, now that we can truly embrace graphics that would make Jim's slimy, floppy face genuinely worm-like. The world is ready for Jim's return.

Battletoads (NES, Super Nintendo, Sega)

The premise of Battletoads is almost nonexistent, and the whole property isn't much more than a silly parody of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but all things considered, it's one of the more memorable and challenging games from the old school set. When Battletoads Arcade tanked in 1994, Rare gave up on creating any more games for the series, but their time has come again. The game's collection of over-the-top villains, fun fighting animations, and good-natured cartoon violence would be a welcome change for a Call of Duty-obsessed world.

Ghosts 'n Goblins (Arcade, NES)

Whether you call it Ghosts 'n Goblins, Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, or Makaimura (if you're the one owner of a Wonderswan), the series hasn't had a solid console game since 1991—and no, portable games don't count. The story of an Arthurian knight fighting undead monsters and demons to find his lost love is pretty classic, and while there have been many similar next-gen games, Ghosts 'n Goblins' characters are still recognized and beloved today, most especially by the 99 percent of all humanity who couldn't make it past the second level. Maybe Capcom can give us a second chance.

Maniac Mansion (PC, NES)

LucasArts' video game history is relatively spotless, and it all started with Maniac Mansion, a point-and-click adventure about a bunch of kids trying to rescue a girl from a mad scientist. Pointing and clicking was all we used to have before you got those fancy controllers with more buttons than you have fingers and toes. It's the kind of quirky, thoughtful game that a new generation of gamers might want to see, and it would be one more step towards getting the Maniac Mansion TV series on DVD, which was described on IMDB as having "an amiable mad scientist who moves his family into a home inhabited by a sentient meteor." Who wouldn't want to see that?

Dig Dug (Arcade, NES)

Dig Dug seems like a pretty innocuous game when you're playing it from the side and watching it like an ant farm, but imagine playing it as the game's subterranean hero. As you dig into the dark ground, you lose all sense of direction as the walls close in around you, and as weird monsters emerge from caverns, the only way you can destroy them is by over-inflating them with your grotesque air hose. Bring back Dig Dug, but as a graphic first-person horror game, because when you really get into it, that's what it's been all along.

StarTropics (NES)

One of the most gloriously weird games released for the NES, StarTropics is about a boy wandering around the tropics, searching for his alien-abducted uncle, armed with nothing but a yo-yo to defend himself. The coolest part of the game was that it came with a letter that players had to actually dip in water in order to find a code to pass a specific part. The visceral sleuthing that takes you out into the real world, or at least away from the TV for a few minutes, is the kind of thing that would refresh next-gen gaming...provided you're not some dingus who would just look up the code on YouTube.

Bonk (TurboGrafx-16)

If there's one thing that's missing from video games today, it's cavemen and dinosaurs. The early '90s were littered with dirty cave dwellers, from Joe & Mac to Big Nose, Chuck Rock, and even a game that was called Caveman Games. Any one of these guys would be great to introduce to a modern audience, but Bonk was the most fun, pretty much because he killed enemies by smashing his ginormous head into them. Imagine Super Mario Galaxy, but instead of Goombas, you have to smash your face into dinosaurs as hard as you can. Everyone wins.

Superman: The New Adventures (Nintendo 64)

Almost universally panned as the worst game ever made, Superman: The New Adventures was really only held back by the technical limitations of the Nintendo 64 (along with some godawful controls). Maybe it's the fact that there's never been a good game featuring Kal-El that inspires us to see a modern version of Superman 64 that actually plays well. It's hard to craft a game around a guy who's basically an invulnerable, godlike figure, but next-gen gaming has learned how to embrace some pretty amazing mechanics in order to replica the superhero experience. If there's a single game that needs redemption, it's this one. We've mastered Batman with the Arkham series, so now it's time to see what developers can really do with the Man of Steel.