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10 Beloved Video Games That Deserve A Modern Reboot


Staff member
10. Earthworm Jim

Shiny Entertainment

Earthworm Jim is from an era where games didn’t take themselves too seriously. After all, he’s a worm in a suit that swings his own body around in celebration, especially when he beats an evil crow in a space-race on rocket-powered beer kegs.

The mighty earthworm starred in two solid platformers in the 1990s that were full of charm and surreal humour. It was a huge franchise that at its peak even had its own surprisingly entertaining cartoon show.

It all went wrong for Jim when he tried to make the jump into the third dimension though, Earthworm Jim 64 was a clunky abomination of a game that destroyed everyone’s favourite worm’s reputation in one fell swoop.

Fans were lucky to get an HD version of the original Earthworm Jim a few years ago, but apart from that it’s been slim pickings all round. It’s a shame as 2D platformers are quite a rarity nowadays, but ones as laugh-out-loud funny and endearingly odd as Earthworm Jim’s adventures are even harder to come by.

There’s a market just waiting to be tapped into. A new, polished and modernised 2D platformer with a few nods to previous games (catapulting cows really are a must) in the series would undoubtedly find an audience.

9. The Strike Series


Back in the 1990s, EA made a trilogy of games (Desert Strike, Jungle Strike and Urban Strike) that put you in charge of flying a helicopter, which was of course armed to the teeth with a variety of weapons. They weren’t all about action though, as you had to carefully manage your limited supply of fuel and ammunition.

Nothing was more embarrassing than going to rescue a hostage and then suddenly falling out of the sky because you forgot to refuel. Clearly helicopter school just wasn’t worth the money.

The series went on to to release two more games in the form of Soviet Strike and Nuclear Strike before fading into obscurity. With other ’90s franchises like Road Rash recently getting the reboot treatment, what’s to stop the Strike series from making a comeback?

It’s not like helicopter-based games are everywhere, but shooting stuff today is just as popular as jumping on stuff was in the ’90s. With today’s technology, a new Strike game could use a mix of first and third-person views for controls. Maybe you could drop soldiers off at a mission location and then freely switch between controlling ground and air forces to complete objectives.

Enough time has passed to completely reinvent the series while maintaining its original strategic core. If done with the love and care it deserves, it could be a game unlike anything else around.

8. Eternal Darkness


Eternal Darkness was released in the early life of the GameCube at a time when Nintendo was keen to shed its kid-friendly image. Clearly they never do things in half-measures, which adequately explains why Eternal Darkness is one of the most unsettling games ever created.

Released way back in 2002, this iconic game developed by Silicon Knights did its best to mess with your head at every turn thanks to its infamous sanity meter. As your character saw ghastly enemies and took damage from attacks, their sanity meter would gradually deplete; taking their grip on reality with it. They would experience hallucinations, ranging from walking on ceilings, hearing creepy imaginary noises to fourth-wall breaking scares like the game ‘crashing’ or telling you that your save has been corrupted.

It was a frighteningly original concept at the time that was praised by critics, but Eternal Darkness struggled to find an audience and didn’t sell that well. It could have more success now, as horror games are huge nowadays. Better still, modern technology will give a new Eternal Darkness more ways to scare the living hell out of us than you can shake a stick at.

Just imagine an Eternal Darkness on Wii U and how it could use the GamePad to toy with you up close and personal. Creepy noises could emanate from its speakers or the game could switch to off-screen play and display on the GamePad at random just to mess with you.

The Wii U’s apps could also be used in creative ways. Imagine if the game opened up a fake version of Nintendo’s Miiverse social network and all of the posts said nothing but the word ‘die’ written hundreds of times. There aren’t many horror games on Nintendo platforms, but it’s safe to say that the potential here is huge.

Eternal Darkness 2 could prove once and for all that Wii U is capable of amazing, unique things when in the right hands.

7. Streets Of Rage


If you grew up in the ’90s and had a Mega Drive in the house, then it’s quite likely that you have fond memories of playing one of the Streets Of Rage games with a mate or a sibling.

In their era, they were some of the best co-op games around. Going from place to place and body-slamming thugs into submission, beating up porky dudes that breathed fire for some reason (too much curry, perhaps?) while humming along to Yuzo Koshiro’s phenomenal, catchy-as-hell soundtrack never got old.

It’s a shame that the last Streets Of Rage game is now 20-years-old. It had a spiritual successor in the 32-bit era in the form of Fighting Force, but like a lot of early 3D games it was held back by clunky, laggy controls.

But technology has come a long way since then. The success of games such as Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World prove that there’s still a market for side-scrolling brawlers. Streets Of Rage’s gameplay could be tweaked and refined to fit in nicely with today’s games.

An upgrade system that unlocked new moves and environmental takedowns similar to those in games like Sleeping Dogs would be neat additions, and adding a sophisticated combo system wouldn’t go amiss, either.

Sega could also add leaderboards, challenges and online co-op to round off the experience. A new Streets Of Rage has the potential to be a big hit on Steam, Xbox Live and the PSN if it’s done right. Make it over-the-top and reasonably priced (with the mighty Yuzo Koshiro returning to compose the soundtrack) and people will be throwing money at their screens in no time.

6. Metroid Prime


Team Ninja’s Metroid: Other M left a sour taste in the mouths of Metroid fans. While Retro’s seminal Prime Trilogy tasted as good as a nice glass of orange juice on a warm summer’s day, Other M tasted like someone’s shoes after a rigorous running session; it was too linear, the controls were fiddly and the story reduced Samus from a feminist icon to a woman that won’t even turn on her Varia suit to protect herself from heat without her superior’s permission.

Retro’s Prime games hold up surprisingly well today, but the thought of a new one in glorious HD is a mouth-watering prospect.

A new Metroid Prime could put the Wii U’s GamePad to good use by using the controller to navigate maps, scan objects, read logs and manage Samus’ inventory – maybe the GamePad’s screen could be used to display visors? Moving the controller around to explore the environment through the X-ray visor would be really cool.

Metroid Prime and Wii U go together like a Saturday morning and a bacon sandwich. It’d be a nice addition to Wii U’s growing library of quality exclusive titles and who knows – maybe it could prove that the GamePad has uses beyond off-screen play.

5. Condemned


Launch titles rarely set the world on fire, but Condemned in one of those rare exceptions.

It launched alongside the Xbox 360 in 2005 before shocking and surprising early adopters of the console by actually being good (and pretty scary, too). Its stunning visuals, atmospheric sound design as well as its visceral, unique take on first-person melee combat made it look like a shining beacon of hope in a sea of bland, unoriginal turds.

A sequel was released in 2008 and essentially turned everything that was great about the first game up to 11 while throwing a silly story and a somewhat redundant multiplayer mode into the mix as well. It was a decent enough game, but it wasn’t a massive commercial hit and sunk all plans for a sequel.

The popularity of games such as Slender, Amnesia and Alien: Isolation prove that the horror genre is massively popular in gaming right now. Condemned 3 could be a huge hit if it focussed on creating a desperate fight for survival, and it’d be a smart choice to make the gruesome melee combat the star of the game.

Using the power of the new consoles, Condemned’s infamous first-person finishing moves could be so brutal they actually make you feel a bit guilty. Combine fancy new graphics with a modern, intuitive control scheme similar something like Dead Island and you’re onto a winner.

With smart game design Condemned 3 could be a massively immersive, gripping and tense horror title that stands out from the crowd by actually allowing you to fight back instead of hiding in a corner and wetting your pants like most other horrors.

4. The House Of The Dead


Considering the state of arcades now, it’s no wonder that this beloved light-gun shooter has gone off the radar.

2009’s House Of The Dead: Overkill was the last proper game in the series. It was also one of the best, with its cheesy Grindhouse tone creating moments of comedy gold that made it one of the funniest and most disturbing games in years.

Overkill was originally released on Wii and has since been ported to many a platform, it even got its own Typing Of The Dead version on PC in 2013, but you can’t help but feel that Sega could do a lot more with the franchise.

HOTD would be a perfect fit for smartphones in a certain way, so why not do a Touching Of The Dead spin-off? It may sound a little random, but it could be fun. Overkill made an appearance on smartphones recently, so there may be hope for an exclusive spin-off series if it sells well.

3. Burnout


This fast-paced arcade racing series was the unrivalled king of its genre in the early 2000s thanks to its rocky soundtrack (courtesy of an annoying-as-hell DJ should have been run over repeatedly), polished visuals and its seminal risk-versus-reward gameplay that really got the adrenaline pumping.

Performing takedowns and watching the damage unfold in slow-motion was deeply satisfying, as was whizzing through traffic at a breakneck pace and coming out of it unscathed.

Burnout 3: Takedown was arguably the peak of the series, but it made it onto the next generation of consoles with the open-world Burnout: Paradise. While it was quite different from a typical Burnout game, reviews were generally positive for Criterion’s first foray into the HD era.

Apart from a few so-so mobile spin-offs, we’ve not heard much regarding a new Burnout. Criterion has apparently moved on from the series by making Need For Speed games – they’re even currently developing a sports game for the Oculus Rift.

It’d be just dandy if they decided to go back their roots and make another Burnout, making for a breath of fresh air in the current gaming climate where realism rules the roost.

2. Jak & Daxter


The Jak & Daxter games were some of the finest titles to ever release on the PS2. As you’d expect from Naughty Dog, they were massively impressive from a technical perspective, sporting highly-detailed graphics that ran at a silky-smooth frame-rate with no visible load times.

That’s not to say that eye-candy was all they had to offer.

All three games were excellent 3D action platformers in their own right with a variety in their gameplay that remains impressive to this day. Jak 3 had tons of different gameplay styles (on-rails and third-person shooting, driving, platforming etc.) and it executed every single one brilliantly.

After finishing up Uncharted 3, Naughty Dog thought long and hard about making a new Jak & Daxter but eventually decided to focus on The Last Of Us instead.

While it was probably the right choice to make, you can’t help but wonder what a new game would be like outside of the limitations of the PS2 hardware. Naughty Dog could really let their imaginations run wild, creating epic space battles, stealth missions, challenging platforming levels (or anything else, for that matter) all wrapped up in one cohesive, beautiful HD world.

The HD version of the Jak & Daxter Trilogy that released on the PS3 in 2013 was a nice gesture to fans, but an entirely new instalment in the series from Naughty Dog themselves would be even better. After all, it’s been 10 long years since Jak 3 first came out.

1. Grand Theft Auto: London


It really is hard to believe that Grand Theft Auto: London didn’t make the British capital the go-to setting for gangster-based shenanigans when it released in 1999. Apart from 2002’s graphically stunning PS2 system-seller The Getaway (that looks like it’s been covered in layers upon layers of vaseline on HDTVs), there have been very few open-world games set in blighty’s capital.

GTA: London did an admirable job of conveying the character of the city in 2D. It made clever use of cockney rhyming slang (the text “wasted” that appears when you die was hilariously replaced with “You’re brown bread”) and made several clever references to British culture.

A 3D GTA in London now would be a nice change of scenery from the usual fictional American locales we’ve come to expect from the series, but it would also open up new targets for satire and parody.

It’d just be awesome to walk around a fully-realized city full of cockney geezers. There could even be a string of cutscenes where a character talks to you in cockney rhyming slang and you have to work out what the hell they’re actually saying. That may not appeal to everyone initially, but speeding round London’s winding (and horribly congested) streets with landmarks like Big Ben and the London Eye in the background almost certainly will.