5 Video Game Franchises that Need New-Gen Ports
Since the launch of the new console generation, we've seen some classic (and even more contemporary) games receive beautiful HD rereleases. Tomb Raider may have only been a year old before its rerelease on Xbox One and PS4, but the leap forward in quality was still breathtaking. This week marks the release of the eagerly-awaited The Last of Us: Remastered Edition for the PS4 and, as you might expect, new-gen owners around the world are already replaying the survival horror masterpiece to see what kind of improvements the new console can bring to the multiple 2013 game of the year award winner.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection arrives next month and will offer an anniversary edition of our favorite installment in the sci-fi franchise, Halo 2. With so many great games making the leap to the the new consoles, we've started our own wishlist of franchises and games that deserve some beautiful HD remasters. For the most part, we stuck with games that we thought might actually be real candidates for a port (but we had to sneak at least one long shot in there). Have a look below and let us know what we missed...
5. Assassin's Creed
It may seem like one Assassin's Creed game per year is plenty, but can you really have too much of a good thing? Although the franchise has reached superstar levels of popularity at this point, many gamers skipped over the first installment or two before Assassin's fever had really taken hold of us. At this point, revisiting the original games on dated consoles is certainly still possible, but it would be a hell of a lot cooler to take them for a spin with the power of the Xbox One or the PS4 under the hood.
With the series preparing to take the present day narrative in a brand new direction starting with this fall's Assassin's Creed Unity, it seems like bundling up the previous games, in a similar fashion to the Master Chief Collection, would be a great way to get new fans caught up on the Xbox 360 and PS3 era of the Assassin versus Templar war.
4. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Sure, The Witcher 3 is already on its way to new-gen consoles, but just hear us out. 2011's punishingly difficult installment in The Witcher franchise did receive an Xbox 360 release, but the game found its real audience thanks to the superior PC version. Console gamers were able to experience The Witcher 2, but it lacked the gorgeous visuals that high-end PCs were able to deliver. In the three years since its release, not only have PCs come a long way, but we now have two cutting-edge consoles more than capable of delivering a superb visual experience.
With a new-gen remake of The Witcher 2, console gamers would have a second chance to get hooked on The Witcher magic. Obviously, it seems close to impossible that we would receive this port before The Witcher 3 makes it to Xbox One and PS4, but if we did, it would give the console scene a chance to catch up on the events preceding The Witcher 3 and gain some emotional investment in the franchise. This one is a long shot, but we'll be keeping our fingers crossed.
3. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
Although there are enough subscribers and micro-transaction customers to keep BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic above water, many fans considered the MMO a failed attempt to recapture the magic of the KOTOR era. Swinging light sabers and building up light side and dark side points was definitely a good time, but somehow the gigantic world of SWTOR lacked the immersive nature and lore of its predesecers. Within a few months of the game's release, many once hopeful fans had already gone back to longing for the old KOTOR days.
It's hard to say that the most logical BioWare HD remake should be anything that isn't the Mass Effect trilogy, but KOTOR would throw back to what many gamers consider the beginning of the real BioWare reign. That nostalgia, combined with the Star Wars hype that is currently in full force thanks to the anticipation of the upcoming films, would make KOTOR releases an incredible hit.
It's hard to imagine a remastered edition that would sell more consoles to currently on-the-fence shoppers than Uncharted. For gamers that never owned a PS3, Uncharted is up there with The Last of Us and inFamous as the major missing pieces of their previous console-gen experience. Although the upcoming installment in the Uncharted franchise will likely make for a good jumping on point for new players, completionists out there would go crazy over the opportunity to get their hands on the original games for the first time.
The absense of backwards compatibility on new consoles makes it harder than ever to catch up on decade old franchises and although the PlayStation Now service may offer a solution eventually, at this point all we can do is hope that Naughty Dog takes away some inspiration from The Master Chief Collection's inevitable success.
1. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Rereleasing the entire Elder Scrolls saga for new consoles seems just a bit ambitious, so we've limited this one to a single installment in the epic RPG franchise. Obviously, we were tempted to say that Skyrim should make an appearance this console gen, but thanks to dedicated modders, the PC experience is already offering the opportunity to play Skyrim in the most beautiful quality possible. Instead, we think the fan-favorite third installment in The Elder Scrolls series should make the leap to PS4 and Xbox One.
Although Elder Scrolls fans who are dedicated enough to shell out $15 per month are already experiencing a new adventure in Tamriel, the rest of are are left pouring more hours into Skyrim or waiting around for Bethesda to deliver another high-fantasy RPG product. Not only would a remastered version of Morrowind give nostalgic fans the chance to see one of their favorites with a fresh coat of paint, but a new-gen release (that doesn't require a subscription fee) could also give console gamers another chance to see what the Elder Scrolls magic is all about.
This list easily could have stretched up to ten, fifteen, or twenty games; but for the sake of brevity, we cut ourselves off. Here are a few of the games and series that came the closest to cracking the top five...
- Saints Row
- Far Cry
What games did we leave off the list that you'd love to see make the jump to the PS4, Xbox One era? Let us know in the comments.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.