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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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104 comments

  • ChrisCultista - September 17, 2010 11:31 p.m.

    "Ratchet & Clank" "Jak and Daxter" Couldnt you just make 1 HD and play it twice? Muhahahah...
  • cj12297 - September 17, 2010 11:35 p.m.

    i would so buy kingdom hearts, metal gear solid and prince of persia
  • DaveBoyle - September 17, 2010 11:35 p.m.

    The only 2 remakes I want to see are Grand Theft Auto and Crash Bandicoot 1 - 3, we can just pretend that everything that happened after Crash Team Racing never happened :)
  • Ampatent - September 17, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    Yes, but all this "Only on Playstation" bullshit does not fly. The GTA series was ported to the 360 as well, why can't it be HD'd for it? I would definitely want to see a Silent Hill 2 redone in HD though, regardless of the console it's on.
  • Stabby_Joe - September 17, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    Timesplitters? Unlikely but I'm still wishfully hoping for an online version.
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - September 17, 2010 11:47 p.m.

    @Ampatent: Actually, that's a really good point - the GTA Trilogy box shouldn't have the "Only on PlayStation" wing at all. Fixed!
  • Raiden145 - September 17, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    FF HD's OMG PLZ COME TRUE!!!!! also the metal gear and kingdom hearts...also GTA CRAP I WANT ALL OF THEM !!!! X_BOX FANBOYS SUCK OUR HD DICKS!
  • AnonymouZ - September 18, 2010 12:14 a.m.

    hell, the first three i thought were the only ones that matter... but ima agree with the whole damn list... especially cuz shadowhearts was something i wanted to buy at sometime... and couldn't. an HD version would rock.
  • Schnipke - September 18, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    I would get the majority of these, though I'd go for Shadow Hearts first since I soooooo want to play the first two
  • jimsmells - September 18, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    Um, where's spyro?
  • FelNaRj - September 18, 2010 12:34 a.m.

    Shadowhearts HELL YEAH!! my favorite JRPG form PS2 days!!
  • thefreakysurgeon - September 18, 2010 12:42 a.m.

    Jak and Daxter would be pretty fun. I've never played any of the games in the series, but yeah they'd be pretty cool. Ratchet and Clank would also be alright.
  • Broken360 - September 18, 2010 12:42 a.m.

    @Ampatent- "Only on Playstation" because its only Playstation doing it! Write a #u@k!n6 letter to Microsoft and see how badly they'll rip off their consumers price wise, just how they do every time.
  • onewingedantista - September 18, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    Where's Battlefront/Battlefront II?
  • onewingedantista - September 18, 2010 1 a.m.

    @JimSmells On the PS1
  • justinbanda - September 18, 2010 1:01 a.m.

    I would be a day-one buyer of the Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry, and Prince of Persia sets. Having Metal Gear and Grand Theft Auto collections would be nice, too. The rest are pretty 'meh' to me, especially on the last page. As for Kingdom Hearts, I think I'll wait for the 3DS version. But great mock-ups, GR!
  • admjwt - September 18, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    id get every single one of those remakes excpet for allthe ones on page 3. never heard of any of those. adn also MGS i never really got into the seriesi so i probably wouldnt buy that one either
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - September 18, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    @admjwt: You've never heard of Silent Hill? I don't believe you.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - September 18, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    I love this article. I would buy most of these collections. I've never played a Ratchet and Clank game or a Devil May Cry game So those collections would be a good way to get into those series. I don't own the Jak & Daxter games anymore so I really want that to happen.
  • garnsr - September 18, 2010 4:07 a.m.

    I want a Castlevania collection more than anything, especially if it had the Gameboy ones and everything. And I'd love a compilation of Compile shooters. But those are much older, and they don't seem to be making those kinds of compilations any more. But trophies are a real incentive to play these old games, I just got 100% on GTA IV, which would have seemed absolutely pointless without getting a trophy, but was only modestly crazy when I got a gold trophy (and this summer's dearth of games was the only reason I took the time.) Getting 100% on the earlier ones would be totally insane.

Showing 1-20 of 104 comments

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