After praying to the 8-bit gods for years, we’re finally getting a Final Fantasy VII HD remake!
This bit of great gaming news got us thinking: Which '90s video games from our snot-nosed youth would we want to play as adults on our next-gen consoles and desktops and in HD glory?
Our nostalgia-powered brains went to work and produced the list below.
1) Bust A Groove series
"Cool! Chillin'! Freeze!" These are the words you wanted to say while you did complicated button sequences so your character can unleash slick dance moves in the game. Before Dance, Dance, Revolution and Just Dance, there was Bust A Groove (Bust A Move in Japan). With colorful characters like the disco-dancing Hiro and Kitty N (a ballet dancer in a cat-inspired spandex suit), it was the quirky kind of game you’d play over and over again.
And admit it, Hiro’s "The Natural Playboy" was totally your pa-pogi theme song. Plus, the sequel had stripdancing cop Kelly, who gave guys the weirdest boner. (Hello, puberty.)
HD remake plus: The HD remake will have motion capture tech and a dance camera to record your wacky moves. So, instead of pressing buttons, you’ll be dancing and casting attack spells by doing a series of gestures. Oh, and you can dodge by actually moving around. Obviously, so that your millennial self can get his butt off the couch and perform an actual physical activity.
Battletoads was known for its high level of difficulty and clunky co-op compatibility (you can hit your partner, depleting his HP). But hey, we still played it because the frogs had cool names like Rash, Zitz, and Pimple which totally appeals to our gross-loving younger selves.
HD remake plus: If they ever have a remake, we’re hoping they take a page from Super Mario’s handbook and allow a four-player co-op multiplayer. Imagine the chaos consisting of four players going through the Turbo Tunnel.
3) PaRappa The Rapper
The hip-hoppin’, rappin’ dog PaRappa was a hit with '90s kids because of his slick rhymes, boss beats, and cool attitude. By pressing a specific button sequence, you were able to make PaRappa rap. It’s one of the more memorable games because we wanted to cheer this dope dog (dawg?) on as he overcomes one challenge after another by the power of rap.
And who could forget Chop Chop Master Onion who taught PaRappa how to kick ass by dropping his own rhymes? Think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll get that remake? To paraphrase the wise words of PaRappa himself, "You gotta believe!"
HD remake plus: The HD remake will have a cross-promotional smartphone app called "PaRappa The Appa" where users can make their own rap mixes and share it with fellow gamers in the community and on social media.
4) Suikoden II
This 2D RPG game is known for having a ridiculously huge amount of characters—108 Stars of Destiny, to be exact. Plus a memorable batshit insane villain named Luca Blight who makes villagers squeal like a pig (WTF?). And don't forget the loads and loads of mini games that will keep you sidetracked for hours.
HD remake plus: The HD version will include high-def cinematic scenes of key events such as the Neclord encounter, the Luca Blight ambush, and many more. The remake will also have a special expansion pack for Hai Yo’s Cooking Competition and it plays much like Cooking Mama. Because who doesn’t love food?
Way before games like Heavy Rain, there was Shenmue, which popularized the "Quick Time Event" mechanic (wherein a player presses buttons in a sequence and a short cinematic of the resulting act will be shown after). We like how easygoing the atmosphere was—one minute you were asking questions to villagers, the next you’re caught in a gang fight. We wouldn’t be surprised if they make one anytime soon since the Kickstarter campaign for the third installment is up and running.
HD remake plus: DLCs (downloadable content) to flesh out the narrative so that we can get to know the people surrounding Ryo, the game's protagonist.
What made this game stand out from the slew of other RPGs during its time was that it revolved around a bunch of regular kids placed in extraordinary circumstances. No medieval ages. Just a plain ol’ alien invasion in the neighborhood. Well okay, save for Ness, the protagonist, who has psychic powers, the rest of them were pretty normal.
HD remake plus: HD Ness will acquire the special moves of his Super Smash Bros counterpart (like PK Fire, a lightning bolt-shaped projectile). There will be more movement in battle rather than confrontations being a mere point-and-clicker.
7) Legend of Mana
The great thing about LoM is that you weren’t forced into a linear path. You’re free to pick and choose which missions you’ll accomplish or which companions you’ll recruit to fight alongside you.
HD remake plus: Because the PS1 version of the game was of the sandbox genre, it could easily be adapted into an MMORPG. Players can interact with each other in a sort of virtual open world. Maybe they can even trade in their animal sidekicks like in Pokémon.
8) Chrono Cross
Not just your ordinary RPG, this one deals with Alternate Dimensions. One world where the protagonist Serge is alive and another one where he’s dead. And the game shifts depending on Serge’s decisions, who he’ll meet or ignore. And also some existential crisis when he gets stuck in the antagonist’s body. It’s a reaaally trippy game.
HD remake plus: No need to switch from Disc 1 to 2. The whole story will be jam-packed into one disc. Also could be a cross-platform deal where you can continue the game on a handheld device.
9) Dino Crisis
This is what happens when you cross Resident Evil with Jurassic Park and it is glorious. The game succeeds in making you feel that bone-chilling dread of wandering alone and getting jump scares from every corner. And main girl Regina was one badass gal that took down a T-Rex on her own. Our kind of woman.
HD remake plus: The next-gen edition of Dino Crisis would enable VR compatibility to truly immerse you in this survival horror game. And you’ll most likely shit your pants in the process.
10) Crash Bandicoot
Crash was the hero of 90s kids who found Mario’s squeaky-clean image lame. He may be clumsy, lazy, and a glutton but when needed, he would rise to the occasion and save the world from the likes of N. Cortex. Its fans would definitely remember the Indiana Jones-inspired sequence where Crash had to outrun a boulder lest he be flattened into a pancake. (And yes, the game wasn’t afraid to show cartoon violence.)
HD remake plus: Crash Bandicoot HD also comes with the use of video game peripherals much like the Disney Infinity and Skylanders titles. This means, you’ll get toy figures of Crash and his squad that you can upload into the game.