Remasters have become a bit of a growing trend in recent years. Call of Duty, Halo, Bioshock and Uncharted have all seen their titles transferred over to the latest generation of consoles, with updated graphics and small edits to improve the overall experience.
Going one further, some titles like Resident Evil 2 underwent a total remake, with just the base story and characters remaining.
Hollywood is often accused of becoming stale with its consistent recreations of classic films in the last decade, and whilst the video game industry is not in immediate danger of this, it certainly needs to be careful in choosing which titles are worth remastering.
Many that have been given this upgrade are from much more prominent franchises, whilst standalone titles or series' long since finished have been largely ignored. This is leading to many fantastic games from the late '90s and early 2000s being lost to nostalgia.
For this list, I will be looking at games that deserve more than just wistful memories. Franchises that are still ongoing - Zelda, Mario, Final Fantasy - will not be considered.
This is purely for those video games that have long since had their heyday.
10. The Punisher
Following the unfortunate cancellation of Netflix's The Punisher in 2019, that wider pop culture fan base has been left pining for more. A remaster for this gritty title could be perfect.
Often compared to infamous titles such as Manhunt - due to the mass call for censorship and penchant for over-the-top violence - The Punisher is potentially Marvel's most violent antihero to date.
Making his first appearance in a 1974 comic issue of Spider-Man, The Punisher - otherwise known as Frank Castle - went on to have an unsteady life in the comic world of the '90s before his successful revival in 2004, spawning his own movie and video game.
The Punisher video game was a loose movie tie-in, using elements of the film and some of his dedicated comic series. In this world, Frank Castle is on a revenge mission following the death of his family at the hands of the mafia. Frank slaughters his way through dozens of henchmen, using anything at his disposal, including a wood-chipper.
Frank Castle has not had a video game feature since, but with the 2004 title featuring cameos from Marvel greats including Black Widow, Matt Murdock, Bullseye, and even Tony Stark, and just how big the MCU has become in the last decade, now may be the perfect time for a revival.
9. Jade Empire
Optional romances and choice-driven narratives are fairly common in today's market, but BioWare's Jade Empire is one of the founding fathers, and deserves greater recognition.
First released in 2005, Jade Empire saw favourable reviews across the board, but did not sell particularly well. This is suggested to be because of a busy release window, which featured the likes of Unreal Championship 2.
Jade Empire also features a fantastic open-world. Set in ancient East Asia using elements from Chinese mythology, this region and time-period is often unexplored by Western developers, relying on fictional medieval realms or obscure Nordic lands instead.
You play as a Spirit Monk. Able to harness the powers of the elements, you are tasked with retrieving your kidnapped master and stopping the Lotus Assassins from harnessing the powers of the Water Dragon.
With branching narratives, betrayals and an ending affected by your decisions, Jade Empire could help breathe life into a quite frankly decaying MMORPG marketplace.
The issues plaguing Bethesda's Fallout 76 have led many to doubt how good the upcoming Elder Scrolls 6 will be, and with the production of Dragon Age 4 looking rocky due to the failures of Anthem and Mass Effect: Andromeda, a return to the game that started the trend may not be a bad idea for BioWare.
8. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem begins with the main character Alex. After the murder of her grandfather she investigates his mansion, only to find the Tome of Eternal Darkness, which contains multiple first-hand accounts spanning centuries.
From here the game centres around multiple self-contained stories from multiple periods, including ancient Rome, the Gulf War and early Middle-Age France. The story is purposely told out of chronological order, a method not often used in many creative mediums, with even fewer success stories.
Based around artefacts of a godlike being, Alex discovers that a Roman Centurion long corrupted by the artefacts is working on resurrecting the rest of the 'Ancients', and Alex must put a stop to it.
The most intriguing feature of the game, however, is its incredible sanity meter. Should you be spotted by a monster, your sanity meter will slowly start to decrease. As it decreases, the player will start to experience subtle changes to their environments, including strange noises and warped camera angles.
Should it get too low and the game will produce glitch-like effects to give off the appearance that even your television and GameCube are being effected.
It all works fantastically well to set a haunting tone throughout. Now just imagine this beauty with a Resident Evil 2 style remaster.
7. Kung Fu Chaos
The best party game ever invented. Fight me.
With its quirky art style and hilarious fighting mechanics, Kung Fu Chaos would provide great competition for fighting games in what has become a fairly predictable marketplace.
You either have the eccentric gore-fest that is Mortal Kombat 11, the Nintendo slumber party in Super Smash Bros, or the Dragon Ball titles that have been released with monotonous regularity for well over a decade now. There is very little variety in modern-day fighting titles.
Enter: Kung Fu Chaos.
Having just passed its 17th birthday, Kung Fu Chaos is the first title ever published by Just Add Monsters; now known as Ninja Theory and boast the fantastic Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice in their release roster.
The plot centres around the player controlling these kung fu fighters whilst making an action movie, with the director acting as the final boss of the game. Capable of being played as a single-player fighting experience or as a multiplayer all-out brawl, there is nothing left to be desired with this title.
The dynamic level design keeps fighting interesting, and despite its fairly small roster (which can be easily updated), the characters are interestingly written, satirical takes on many stereotypes of the movie and video game industries.
This mix of underlying maturity with baffling stupidity is sprinkled with hours of fun.
Technically cheating as the game already has a remaster, it came in 2008, and the industry has progressed significantly in the last twelve years.
Centring around troubled youth Jimmy Hopkins, a delinquent that has caused enough trouble in the public school system that he has been sent to the punishment-heavy haven of Bullworth Academy for a form of rehabilitation.
The themes of bullying in the game stirred the media into a frenzy upon Bully's initial release. Whilst you can indulge in bullying, you can also fight against the bullies themselves. With many stereotypical factions residing in the game - including nerds, preppies, jocks and greasers - it is up to you as the player which path you want to follow.
With a genuine punishment system in place with escalating punishments for repeat infractions for players that participate in a few too many rounds of fisticuffs, Bully becomes an interesting take on surviving the toxic landscape that school can be.
There are interesting mini-games set in classrooms that award Jimmy for attending. Should you complete Chemistry classes you can obtain firecrackers and stink bombs, or if you complete English classes you can talk your way out of fights and punishments.
It has always been an interesting title, and Rockstar's pension to retain its edge should mean that recreating Bully is a no-brainer.
5. Tony Hawk's Underground
With EA seemingly throwing the Skate series in the bin - despite constant calls for a fourth instalment - there is certainly a space in the market for a new skateboarding game, and why not a return to one of the most beloved entries in the series?
Tony Hawk's Underground follows the protagonist as you, alongside long-time best friend Eric Sparrow, seek to get out of the New Jersey suburbs and rise to prominence in the skating world.
After impressing pro skater Chad Muska, earning your first sponsorship and creating a demo, you and Eric begin your journey around the USA and even reach Russia.
Whilst many skating games focus their plots solely on earning money and sponsors, Underground features quite an interesting storyline where Eric claims an insane trick you performed as his own. What follows is a sabotage of your pro career, which results in your expulsion from the skate team and the pro scene, and you must fight your way back to the top.
It's a fantastic title full of fun cameos, interesting settings, fast-paced skating and some brilliant Jackass-inspired humour.
Bring back the glory days of skateboarding in video games!
4. Freedom Fighters
Basically what the Homefront: The Revolution should have been.
Freedom Fighters is a superb third-person shooter with an interesting co-op mode in which coordinating your AI-controlled allies is the key to victory.
The plot is certainly an intriguing concept: after Russia dropped a nuclear bomb in Berlin to end the Second World War, they quickly became a superpower. After converting many countries into communist states, particularly around the USA, they begin a full-blown invasion.
You are a plumber in New York named Chris Stone who, after the Russian invaders abduct your brother, Troy, becomes a major player in the communist resistance movement.
America is quickly engulfed by the Russian invaders. After fleeing to the sewers underneath the Big Apple, it is up to you and activist leader, Isabella Angelina, to begin the resistance.
The militia slowly begins to form, with more and more Americans fleeing their Russian captors and joining the resistance movement as they use Guerrilla warfare tactics to take out key Russian facilities throughout New York.
The mechanics are interesting, adopting a recruitment policy where the play can have a squad of up to a maximum of twelve. The multiplayer feature involves a four-player free-for-all centred around capturing flags and bunkers, with the recruitment mechanic carrying over.
In what is the most obscure entry on this list, Narc started life as an arcade game first released in 1988. VIS Entertainment began working on an adaptation to sixth-generation consoles, which saw its release in 2005.
The plot follows reunited the reunited Jack Forzenski (a narcotics officer) and Marcus Hill (a DEA Agent) as they attempt to uncover the source of a new drug named Liquid Soul.
Narc is a compelling police story with an easily implemented morality system and skill tree, as you can either turn in the narcotics you recover as evidence, use them for stat boosts for mechanics like shooting or sprinting, or sell them for profit to upgrade your gear.
This is oddly paradoxical to the anti-drug messages of the original game, but in the modern-day industry, this can only make the world of Narc far more dynamic and interesting, not to mention the potential to choose whether you wish to be the good cop or the bad cop.
The game certainly saw its share of controversy, being condemned by many American politicians and outright banned by Australia before release.
When you consider games where you play as a police officer, they are few and far between, but the open-world you can inhabit and the gritty nature of the story could be brilliantly adapted for the upcoming ninth gen.
2. Urban Chaos: Riot Response
Coming in is another police title, again with a grittier approach to the subject. Instead of the dirty underworld of drug abuse seen in Narc, Urban Chaos: Riot Response certainly lives up to its name.
You operate as a riot officer named Nick Mason operating in a special branch named 'Zero Tolerance', who are only called upon when riots need to be quelled all the way. The fictional city has been run ragged by a gang named The Burners, who have a pension for molotov cocktails.
The game features many interesting mechanics, including a gory kill-cam reminiscent of Fallout 3 or the Sniper Elite franchise.
There is certainly potential for the game to implement some scarier elements too. With many tight corners weaving throughout dimly lit apartment complexes, mixed with the generally unhinged nature and intimidating look of the Burner gang members.
The themes could be particularly controversial. Sure, the Burners are all murderous criminals, but the fact that the government has installed a branch of the police that deals solely with kill-on-sight policies is unsettling, to say the least. When a game offers achievements for both non-fatal arrests and headshots, it is down to the player to know when to show restraint.
Imagine the VR: stalking through corridors just as a Jason Vorhees looking gang member charges at you with a meat cleaver.
1. The Getaway
Often drawing comparisons to the Grand Theft Auto franchise and heavily inspired by crime-comedy films such as Snatch, The Getaway immediately sets itself apart as in its setting: an open-world London.
Where the development was initially stunted due to the scale of the level design, a modern adaptation in the right hands could make this transition seamlessly.
Based around a former member of a Soho crime family, the player assumes the role of Mark Hammond. Upon your release from prison your wife is murder and your child is abducted, with Mark being forced to commit crimes for the Bethnal Green Mob to get his son back.
You venture around England's capital, driving and shooting under the strict directive of the mob. This is just the first half of the game.
In the second half, you become the recently suspended Detective Constable Frank Carter, whose task it is to undo much of the damage that Mark caused in the first half of the game. These storylines operate parallel to each other, with Frank and Mark directly meeting a few times, creating an interesting clash between two viewpoints.
Rare is it that we see an open-world game nowadays set outside of the USA or a medieval fantasy realm, so The Getaway's London would be the perfect playground for us under-represented Brits.