With a Final Fantasy VII remake in the works, a semi-steady stream of Dragon Quest remakes, and an admittedly lackluster remake of Secret of Mana, there’s an emerging trend of classic RPGs getting remade for modern hardware. Remakes like these offer a terrific opportunity for gamers to replay or discover classic titles and gives developers a chance to recreate games with the affordances of more advanced technology. Whether it’s because they haven’t aged particularly well or because they were less than financially successful, these five RPGs deserve remakes and time to shine at the forefront of the video game industry.
Earthbound (Mother 2)
Earthbound — titled Mother 2 in Japan — is a cult classic and easily one of the best games to appear on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. However, when the game first launched it was a critical and financial failure. While much of the game’s subpar sales are due to its infamously poor marketing campaign, many reviewers back then failed to appreciate the charm and style that it’s known for today.
Now that we’re more than two decades out from Earthbound’s initial release and it’s clear that it is one of the best RPGs ever made, this is the perfect time for an Earthbound remake. With games like Undertale and South Park: The Stick of Truth taking substantial inspiration from this classic title, plenty of people would enjoy a remake of this classic title. While it may not be the Mother 3 port that many are clambering for, an Earthbound remake would make a terrific addition to the Switch’s roster of games.
Final Fantasy Tactics
It’s not often that a spin-off title is one of the best in a series, but many argue that Final Fantasy Tactics is the greatest entry in the long-running franchise. Released in 1998 for the original PlayStation, this title captured the hearts of millions with its complex and innovative gameplay, Game of Thrones-style story, and a general departure from some of the stagnating tropes of the mainline Final Fantasy games. Subpar translation aside, Final Fantasy Tactics is a terrific made game that’s widely and deservedly celebrated.
So why should Final Fantasy Tactics receive a remake? Well, there really aren’t any great ways to play this gem anymore. While it did see a remake for the PlayStation portable in 2007 – titled Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions – few people today own this more nice hardware, and even fewer places sell it. The mobile port of Tactics is also less than welcoming if you’re new to the game. Final Fantasy Tactics desperately needs a full-fledged remake for consoles so that newer fans of the franchise can finally experience this title in its full glory.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Before Square become Square-Enix, and before the company had a major falling out with Nintendo, the two companies worked together to create a fantastic and bizarre RPG. Centering on Mario, some well-known inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom, and some brand new faces, this games takes the player on an adventure to stop the evil Smithy from removing the power of wishes from Mario’s world. Super Mario RPG combines the fun and eccentricity of a Super Mario title with the challenging turn-based combat of early Final Fantasy games, for a fun and rewarding experience.
While this game does have spiritual successors in the Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi series, it’s unlikely that this title will ever receive the remake that it desperately deserves. The split development of this game makes its ownership a bit dubious, and neither Square nor Nintendo have expressed much interest in a remake. This is a shame as the only thing keeping this game from being a hit by modern standards are the limited graphics and somewhat clunky mechanics born from limited hardware capabilities.
It is tough to imagine what exactly a remake of the original 1997 Fallout game would look like, but it’s worth pursuing regardless. The series has evolved so much since its inception that the only thing really connecting the games are their shared setting. While Fallout 76 is sure to be a fun time, it’s pretty clear that series is no longer a cautionary tale of the horrors of nuclear war and humanity’s foolish desire to control every element of the world around them.
To fit with the current direction of the series, a Fallout remake would more than likely have to be a shooter with RPG mechanics and some element of online play. However, the specific mechanics of a Fallout remake aren’t quite as important as making sure the tone is in line with the original game. The original Fallout is a dark and nihilistic experience in comparison to more recent titles and offers a compelling look where nationalist ideologies can send civilization. If Fallout 76 lets players use massive nuclear weapons on a whim, a Fallout remake can serve as a grim reminder of the weight these weapons actually carry.
Persona 1, 2, and 3 – which is technically four games as Persona 2 is broken up into two games – are all fascinating games with unique premises and compelling stories. All of them are also incredibly difficult to play today for a variety of reasons. Persona 1 and 2 never saw proper English translations that didn’t also feature massive edits to the content of the game. All of them, though, feature pretty arcane game design such as not having control over all of the party members Persona 3’s battles.
With the tremendous success of Persona 5, now is the perfect time for these games to receive remakes. These games could be some of the best RPGs ever made if given their own spin on Persona 5’s visual style and quality of life features. Combining the unique ideas of Persona 1, and 2, and the incredible story of Persona 3, with the modern designs of Persona 5 is a recipe for some fantastic remakes.