Update (7/13/16): We’ve added some new entries to our list of remasters, including the announcements of Skyrim’s special edition and the collection of Crash Bandicoot titles.
The PS4 and Xbox One are capable of delivering new and surprising experiences, but some of the best games available for the consoles are the ones you’ve played already. New features, better performance, and improved visuals provide more than enough of a reason to revisit older games, and we’ve assembled a list of the big titles that have won a second life on new hardware.
Note that this isn’t a comprehensive list of every remaster or remake available. Right now, it covers released and upcoming games that have been touched up for new-generation platforms. Moving forward, we will expand the scope and update the list as games are released and new announcements are made. Until then, read on and relive the past.
BioShock: The Collection
Release date: September 13
Original versions (reviews here and here): BioShock is among the most critically acclaimed series and gaming, and for good reasons. Whether you’re underwater exploring Rapture or soaring through the clouds in Columbia, BioShock does a fantastic job mixing fun gameplay, interesting settings, and compelling stories with unexpected twists.
New versions: The collection includes all three single-player campaigns, plus all of the significant story-based DLC – like Minerva’s Den for BioShock 2 and Burial at Sea for BioShock Infinite. The whole package will run at 1080p and 60 frames per second on consoles.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition
Release date: October 28
Original version (review): If you’re not already familiar with Skyrim, you probably aren’t paying much attention to gaming. This is one of the best open-world RPGs ever made, combining a Norse-inspired setting with first-person combat and plenty of cool character abilities.
New version: Bethesda’s big change for the special edition is support for mods on consoles, which can greatly alter and extend your time in Skyrim. On the visual front, players will see new snow and water shaders, improved lighting, and other pretty additions.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
Release: November 4, 2016
Original Version: This influential shooter propelled the already-popular Call of Duty franchise into the stratosphere. Impressive setpieces, tight shooting mechanics, and phenomenal multiplayer set the bar for all shooters that followed.
New Version: The full original campaign and 10 multiplayer maps are available in this remaster, which also features new textures, lighting, and other visual modifications.
Resident Evil 4
Release Date: Fall 2016
Original Version: Simply put, Resident Evil 4 is often hailed as one of the best games ever made. Its disturbing narrative mixed with heart-pounding action and a tense atmosphere make it one of the greats.
New Version: Capcom hasn’t detailed specifics about its approach to this particular remake. The company already did an HD version, so we’ll have to see how the new one differs. .
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
Release Date: December 2016
Original Version (review): Don’t be fooled by the name! This isn’t a remaster of Kingdom Hearts II; fans already got that with Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix. The original version of this game is Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, which was a 3DS-exclusive title.
New Version: The main attraction is finally getting a console version Dream Drop Distance, with improved visuals and controls. As an added bonus, the package also contains a short chapter starring Aqua called Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep 0.2 – A Fragmentary Passage, which uses gameplay elements in development for Kingdom Hearts III.
Crash Bandicoot 1, 2, and Warped
Release date: 2017
Original version: An iconic platforming hero from the minds at Naughty Dog, Crash Bandicoot helped refine the genre for 3D space. Though the mascot didn’t reach Mario or Sonic levels of fame, his first three installments (which were PlayStation exclusives) won him acclaim.
New version: Apart from the news that these games will be “fully remastered from the ground up” for PS4, no additional details are currently available.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Release date: 2017
Original version: Final Fantasy XII is a unique and divisive entry in the long-running series. It has a fantastic ensemble cast, and the gameplay sheds traditional turn-based battles in favor of a Gambit system that has you programming your allies’ responses to various conditions.
New version: The expected visual improvements (like better textures) are all present, and players can even choose between English and Japanese voicework. The major draw, however, is the implementation of the Zodiac Job System, a revamped progression method that was previously available in North America.
Full Throttle Remastered
Release Date: 2017
Original Version: A classic LucasArts adventure with a mix of oddball humor and clever puzzles – the signatures of developer Tim Schafer. Players control Ben, the leader of a biker gang looking to clear his name.
New Version: A director commentary and more user-friendly control schemes augment the audio and visual improvements in this rerelease.
Release date: TBA
Original version (review): Bulletstorm is a shooter all about conducting a symphony of destruction. Using your weapons alongside various objects in the environments allows you to destroy your foes in gruesome, hilarious, and inventive ways.
New version: Technically, the remastered version of Bulletstorm hasn’t even been officially confirmed; assets for the game were distributed by Microsoft as part of a press kit during E3 2016. As a result, no concrete information is currently available.
Next: The remastered titles that have already released.