You wouldn't want to play these unnecessarily gritty reboots or would you?

Reboots, reboots everywhere

Im confused. The term "Gritty" seems to be our default answer when arguing over how franchises could be better, and--roughly translated--this means brown. Lots of brown. And maybe cursing. From what I can tell, gritty is gaming shorthand for "cool." Still, do we know exactly what were asking for? While theres plenty of room for such an approach, the assumption that our best games are those with lashings of darkness isnt always true. Is it such a bad thing to be family-friendly?

Of course it is. To show you how much better things turn out when injected of misery, here are IPs which totally and one-hundred percent need grim reboots--according to, well, me. As I think youll agree, the results are a vast improvement

Resident Pikmin

After a lab-accident in which his trusty Pikpik soup gains sentience, things have gone to hell for Captain Olimar and then kept going. Stalked by a truly appetizing foe, he must use all of his culinary expertise if he hopes to survive. Theres no way out, the enemy is hungry, and youre running out of time.

Petrifying gamers everywhere with a concoction of savory madness, Olimar has no choice but to match wits with a creature who is intelligent, resourceful, and mildly delicious. Although theres an arsenal of powerful side-dishes at your disposal (including the deadly crouton gun), things are sure to get worse before they get better. Bringing together the best this genre has to offer, prepare to wet yourself with a tale of quick-time events, loud noises, gore and clumsy enemies who always seem to knock stuff over. Grab your knife and fork; the only option left is to eat it before it eats you.

The Elder Scrolls VI: Spyro

Evil rises like bread in the east, threatening to cover the world in darkness and death-metal. Because no-one else was around, our fate lies in the hands of one simple farm-dragon...

Forced to unite his kingdom even though practically anyone else would be better qualified for the job, Spyro must become the lands worst-paid errand boy if hes to avert disaster. Re-enact your favourite scenes from The Lord of the Rings and fight your way through hordes of totally-not-Orcs, on the quest to become the first fantasy Fed-Ex employee and embark on thrilling fetch-quests. Read history books via best-in-class exposition mechanics. Marvel at a universe in which breasts and metal bikinis are hardier than plate-steel. Become a weird stalker as you attempt to seduce party members. Walk to lots of places. And remember; even the smallest of dirty great dragons can make a difference

Mario is Killing

You can take away his princess. You can steal every last star he owns. But if you come between Mario and the cake Peach baked him, youre declaring all-out war. Sucker-punched by fate, Marios ready to punch right back.

Featuring explosive third-person action, blood-stained multiplayer and other adjectives so masculine they've grown stubble, Mario has nothing left to live for aside from the sweet taste of vengeance. Decades of action movies have reminded us that real men dont get upset. Real men dont have existential crises. Real men dont talk it out. Real men get even, which means firing a machine gun one-handed with your top off. The plumber now goes by one rule alone: kick the enemy into next week by any means necessary, and then do it again to show them whos boss. Hes outgunned. Hes outnumbered. Theyre gonna need more Koopas.


The countrys greatest cities fell in days. The rest followed mere weeks later. It cant be stopped. It cant be reasoned with. The end of days has arrived, and his only weakness is dressing up.

Humanity made a terrible mistake when it didnt play Sackboys user-created levels. Sending this hundred-foot goliath of burlap and rage into a frenzy, life as we know it is about to be accessorised. Upset the establishment by slapping stickers on everything. Create mayhem by gumming downtown to death. With the ability to customise your Sackboy however you choose, you can also look damn fine doing it. With revolutionary blowing-up mechanics, explosions have never been this exciting. Sharings had its day; now its destructions turn.

The Legend of Zelda: America's Hero of Time

Ganondorf has the Triforce nuclear reactor. Hes now in possession of a 100 megaton bomb. My God.

This is it, folks. The realistic Legend of Zelda game youve been asking for has arrived at last, and Link thunders onto our screens with the most grounded approach of them all--the modern military shooter. Thats right; boring exploration has been jettisoned in favour of intense corridor firefights. Freed from babyish puzzles, gamers can lose themselves in global leaderboards which are the only good indication of how cool you are. Better still, you wont have to put up with childish nonsense like magic this time around. Instead, the series is brought bang up to date with mature themes such as boobs, blood, and cuss-words. You demanded it, so we listened. Explore a world with an unprecedented range of grays. Call upon exciting, grounded items like rope. Kill lots of bad men. Get ready for the myth to be reborn in a hail of bullets.

Donkey Kong's Last Dance

Donkey Kong thought hed retired. He thought hed escaped. He thought wrong. Hunted down by his old dance partners Funky Kong and Lanky Kong, DK is forced out of retirement one last time when a new gang threatens to take over the streets with their fancy Zumba moves.

Struggling to balance hardcore jiving and a banana addiction which threatens everything, this battle-scarred Kong will have to rediscover the true meaning of homeboy friendship if hes to snatch victory. Providing hours of remote-waggling fun that requires no actual dancing whatsoever, the stakes have never been higher. If you fail, therell be nothing left for Kong but the terrifying prospect of middle-age and the realisation that hes completely lame. This is a dance-off for the ages; shake that booty and show the neighbourhood that youve still got what it takes. The ape will make them pay with interpretive dance.

Viva the Dead

The apocalypse is here, and its cuddly. After a virus breaks out in the sugary world of Viva Piata, society crumbled within hours; borders were left untended, everyone walked on the grass and zombies with a taste for sweets consumed all in their path. With millions dead and diabetes soaring out of control, the survivors must take up their trowels to defend the last garden on earth... and win the best-kept garden award.

Take part in difficult moral choices over whose vegetable patch is best and which flowers would go best with your box-hedge. Go on edgy supply-runs for a variety of different roses. Grab your spade and engage in gory third-person gardening. Become a legend in the horticultural world. We will win the best-kept garden award... or we will die trying.

Call of Birdies

Our worst fear has come to pass; Piggies have taken the White House. With America left in complete disarray, theres only one thing left to do. Its time to call in the feathery cavalry. Its time for Angry Birds Squadron.

Hurling you into a patriotic road-trip of male-bonding that will cost millions in property damage, gamers square up against dangerous foreign terrorists, in a reminder that anyone who isnt American sucks. Sporting best-in-class action sequences and the ability to toss squad-mates at enemy towers, a three-star rating at the end of each stage will tell you how good a murderer you are. Backing up your suspicion that everyone is out to get the USA, micro-transactions are the only thing which stand between us and annihilation. Its up to you and your wallet now, soldier.

The horror, the horror

Are your eyeballs forever scarred by these gritty re-designs? Sorry about that. While were on the subject, are there any franchises youd like to see given the reboot treatment? Should we leave well enough alone? Let us know in the comments below!

And if you're looking for more, check out the strangest misuses of religion in video games and ways that horror games use psychology to scare the crap out of us.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to lists of the very best Lego. I've also been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.