13 PlayStation 2 HD remakes we’d like to see

Sony seems to be on something of an HD remake kick lately. This week finally brought us long-awaited confirmation that the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection will head our way sometime next year; with last year’s God of War Collection and the upcoming Sly Collection, that brings to three the number of classic PS2 series Sony’s retrofitting with 1080p visuals and Trophies, before re-releasing as budget-priced PS3 games.

This is a trend we can really get behind; as much as we love our old PS2 games, we can barely stand to look at them anymore. Give them a makeover so they don’t look crap on our new TVs, though, and we’re all over them. With that in mind, here are a few other series from the last generation we’d love to see resurrected for the modern age of HD consoles.


Final Fantasy

Square Enix has plainly stated that creating a PS2-style Final Fantasy game (i.e., not an ongoing tunnel like XIII) is both challenging and expensive. We could be facing a sad reality in which a full-blown Final Fantasy VII remake is technically improbable, so while we all sit here waiting to see what happens with FFXV, Square might as well gussy up the PS2 offerings and give us a slight taste of how beautiful and engrossing a ‘90s and ‘00s FF could be.

Above: Like every other box in this article, this is a mockup we made. Don't go reposting it elsewhere and talking about how it's "confirmed"

FFX was stunning back in 2001, and while it’s aged fairly well, a new coat of 1080p sheen would make it a bit more bearable. The same goes for series outcast X-2, which was, in all honesty, a pretty fun departure from the usual “so serious” Final Fantasy fare. Then there’s XII, which should have just waited a year and helped launch the PS3 in the first place. But, if you missed XII due to PS3/Wii launch hype, getting it as part of a new bundle would bring you up to speed. And no, we don’t want FFXI in there. Not even for free.


Grand Theft Auto III/Vice City/San Andreas

Out of all the awesome games that debuted on the PS2, it’s hard to think of any we’d like to revisit more than Grand Theft Auto III and its two sequels – especially if it means they no longer look like blocky ass (and also that we can pick up a few Trophies along the way). These games practically invented sandbox gameplay as we know it today, and while GTA IV is fun enough, sometimes we miss the simple joys of jumping motorbikes over rooftops while listening to Flock of Seagulls, or of fighting rival street gangs from the safety of a Vortex fighter jet.

True, the three PS2-era GTA titles have technically already had multiple “HD remakes.” The Xbox version of the original Trilogy set was 720p-enabled, the PC versions have always looked considerably sharper than anything a console could pump out, and a Mac version – unusually late to the party, even by the historically sluggish standards of Mac ports – has finally been confirmed for release later this year. If anything, though, that only means an HD remake for PS3 (and 360, sure) is long overdue. And if Rockstar could maybe modernize the aiming to be more like GTA IV’s, or at least bring III and Vice City up to par with San Andreas, that’d practically make the set a must-buy on its own.


Ratchet & Clank

That Sly Cooper would get an HD collection before Sony’s other mascot games is a surprise; much as we loved the gentleman-thief raccoon and his acrobatic stealth adventures, he was always sort of a C-list character, lagging behind Sony’s other, more recognizable mascots. Like Ratchet & Clank, for example. The Lombax-and-little-robot duo were, and continue to be, one of Sony’s flagship franchises. Combining  wildly enjoyable platforming with a real flair for weird, original weaponry, the first three games in the series are still regarded as must-haves for anyone who’s serious about games.

While their cartoony graphics have aged better than most of the titles on this list, though, they don’t look so hot next to the more recent Ratchet sequels. Smoothing them out for HD wouldn’t put them on par, of course, but it’d certainly make them easier to look at. Any sort of high-profile re-release would also inject tons of new blood into Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal’s multiplayer, which – believe it or not – appears to still be online, kept alive by hardcore fans who haven’t yet moved on. Clearly, they could use some company.


Jak and Daxter

The other series that probably should have gotten the HD treatment before Sly, Jak and Daxter started off as a bright, relatively innocent action-platformer, and then took a turn for the weirdly gritty when the sequels rocketed the heroes into the future for a cyberpunk GTA clone with hovercars and a strange wasteland-barbarian adventure. While the shift in tone turned some players off, the games themselves remained a lot of fun, incorporating free roaming and shooting into what had previously been a relatively straightforward platformer.

Now that developer Naughty Dog has apparently abandoned Jak and moved on to Uncharted, however, the Jak entries that are freshest in our memories are the combat-racer Jak X and the so-so platformer/air-combat game Lost Frontier. Clearly, we’re due for a reminder of why we liked the series so much in the first place, and if we’re not going to get a Naughty Dog-developed sequel, an HD collection would be a great excuse to delve back in.

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  • tim-lewis 3 hours ago

    What the actual Fuck. I came across this when googling Shadow Hearts characters on google and I thought it was legit. I almost shit a brick, then promptly threw a tantrum when I found out it wasnt.
  • jordan-ryan-campbell - August 24, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    honestly, i think def jam fight for new york was incredible, and if they put that out for ps3 i would ditch icon, well i already have anyways because icon sucked!
  • Oblivion2500 - March 25, 2011 6 p.m.

    Why Silent Hill 4!?!? Why can't company remaster PSone games!?! I would love to have Silent Hill 1 along with 2 and 3, but not 4...Silent Hill 1 would look cool in High def and better texture + models + sounds... Now that something I would buy...
  • Fabian313 - February 21, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    IS THIS FOR REAL:O?! Can someone mail em or something? is this just some ideas or real news?
  • classicsnes - October 22, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    I would get Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, GTA, Kingdom Hearts, and Silent Hill definetly, and maybe Devil May Cry and Metal Gear. I can't wait for Sly Collection next month and Ico and Shadow of the Colosus next year, I also want God of War Collection.
  • duanejensen - October 18, 2010 8:14 p.m.

    star wars battlefront
  • VercettisShirt - October 18, 2010 6:50 p.m.

    The Kingdom Hearts re-release MUST include the Final Mix content.
  • seabassuk - October 18, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    Include the original Metal Gear Games (even Snake's Revenge) in HD along with the Metal Gear Solid games and you got yourself a deal :D
  • sokolske - October 1, 2010 7:59 p.m.

    oh shit not to mention time splitters that game was amazing. and they should have the cartoony crap just make it better like borderlands.
  • sokolske - October 1, 2010 7:54 p.m.

    i think they are coming out with a sly copper hd edition for ps3 and ssx saga in hd??? cmon it wood be amazing.
  • Darkmessiah24 - September 22, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    If they're making a 3rd Zone of the Enders, they need to re-release the originals from the PS2 on the PS3.
  • DVTC - September 21, 2010 2:52 p.m.

    ahhhh,, I never thought of that,, silent hill.
  • lincc289 - September 21, 2010 1:42 p.m.

    go!go! About you, fashionable tide Story will start from here!
  • SeattleSound - September 21, 2010 12:31 p.m.

    Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2 would be awesome.
  • chrisbarker1980 - September 21, 2010 9:55 a.m.

    Bushido Blade. Simply the best fighter ever made.
  • blynd_cyte - September 21, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    I'm probably one of maybe 17 people world wide who even remembers Naval Ops: Warship Gunner and may be the only one looking for a re-make, but that game was a lot of fun. The story was a bit thin (think Ace Combat - cheesy dialogue and dramatization), but the level of customization for your ships was one of the most comprehensive examples of customization in a console game I've seen (and very easy to use). Fewer things are more satisfying than decking out a massive catamaran battleship with ridiculous amounts of firepower and sailing it off to conquer the seas. But I guess I'll have to keep dreaming on that one...
  • db1331 - September 20, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    To this day I still don't see the difference between Ratchet & Clank and Jak & Daxter.
  • NightCrawler_358 - September 19, 2010 12:50 p.m.

    man this is a great article! I would buy all of these if i could! PS2 had so many great games!
  • PiTzI - September 19, 2010 6:39 a.m.

    Zomg, I would get the "Jak & Daxter", "Kingdom Hearts", "Ratchet & Clank", and the "GTA" collections as I've played the majority of those games on the PS2 and they're definitely worth playing again! I'd also get the "Silent Hill", "Metal Gear" and "DMC" collections as I've never tried any of those. Great list! Hopefully, most of these will show up in a couple of years