There has been a resurgence in remastered games over the past few years and it has proven to be an effective way to revive an old classic to allow old and new gamers to play some of the genre-defining games on modern hardware. Games such as Halo: Master Chief Collection, Mass Effect Legendary Edition and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Remastered have created a lot of excitement.
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With its upcoming platform called RTX Remix, Nvidia is doing something interesting in this space by offering tools that can help remaster old games. This technology allows modders to harness the power of RTX GPUs to automatically enhance games with ray tracing and DLSS, allowing one to create quick remasters of games with much higher levels of visual fidelity than would ever be possible with a simple asset and resolution upscaling.
There are already a few impressive examples of RTX Remix, such as the Half-Life 2 RTX and Portal: Prelude RTX projects that showcase how RTX Remix can not only improve the lighting and shadow works of a game but also improve texture resolution and quality without requiring hours of manual work and asset building.
Of course, some level of modding and game development skills is still required – it is not a filter that anyone on any game can apply, but the AI tools provided by RTX Remix could mean that more modders could take up remastering old games without dedicating their entire lives to it.
10 Games we would love to see remastered
This technology is very exciting, and here are the ten games that I would love to see remastered using the NVIDIA RTX Remix technology. Can game modders please oblige?
Developed by Ion Storm using the Unreal Engine 2 way back in 2004, Thief was a crafty stealth action-adventure of the likes that aren’t getting made any more.
Players assume the role of Garret, the titular thief with an unrivalled set of skills, as he snakes through the shadows of the City, taking down guards, shooting moss arrows, and plundering valuable loot while getting embroiled in layers of rising conflict.
Stealth games aren’t hot property these days, with the likes of Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell falling by the wayside, so a Thief remaster of any kind would be a breath of fresh air. It’s a shame that Square Enix never bothered to relive this old classic after buying its publisher Eidos Interactive all those years back.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind occupies a special place in the Hall of Fame for role-playing games. When it was released in 2002, its complex story, player freedom, and a vast unrestricted open world were nothing short of revolutionary.
It arguably kickstarted the entire Elder Scrolls franchise and put it on the map, paving the way for other classics like Oblivion and Skyrim. A remaster to refurbish its outdated graphics would only do justice to preserve this all-time great, allowing a new generation of gamers to see what the franchise was all about.
Fallout: New Vegas (2010)
With Bethesda wrapping up Starfield, pumping content for Fallout 76, and focusing on The Elder Scrolls 6, and the original developers Obsidian busy with Avowed, a remaster for one of the best Fallout games may not happen (or even a sequel for that matter). And considering how quickly Bethesda games look outdated, a bit of RTX Remix magic wouldn’t hurt.
In New Vegas, players are entrusted with the role of a Courier who gets entangled in a large political conflict along the Las Vegas Strip. Appreciated for its zany and unique setting, as well as some sharp and witty dialogues, Fallout: New Vegas is highly acclaimed and even considered better than Fallout 3, which it spawned from.
Chrono Trigger (1995)
This might be a controversial pick as a ‘remaster’ of sorts was released in 2018 by Square Enix, which upscaled the visuals and audio of the game for modern hardware. However, a fresh lick of paint with beautiful ray tracing wouldn’t hurt as long as the gorgeous retro 16-bit graphics are well preserved.
Chrono Trigger was released back in 1995 and marked itself with its impeccable storytelling and a combat system that many would argue was ahead of its time. A time-travelling story, which had a bunch of characters travel through prehistoric and post-apocalyptic times to prevent a global catastrophe, was presented in a non-linear fashion and offered multiple endings, giving heft and depth to each and every decision a player made. It was a unique concept back then, and the game still holds up extremely well even now.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999)
With Crystal Dynamics busy preparing for the next Tomb Raider franchise and lending a helping hand to Xbox for Perfect Dark while dodging an imminent closure from their quickly failing overlords at Embracer Group, its old Legacy of Kain series won’t be getting much love for quite some time (or at all, really).
So, modders, here’s your chance! The 1999 classic had players explore the dark and bewitching lands of Nosgoth as Raziel, a once noble vampire turned vengeful wraith. By improving its seriously outdated visuals, maybe tweaking the combat system and physics, and introducing modern controls, it would go a long way in reviving the franchise and renewing interest.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003)
With the KOTOR Remake seemingly canceled by PlayStation (we were so close!), now would be the perfect time for modders to band together and use the NVIDIA RTX Remix technology to bring this old classic back to form.
Arguably, it is the greatest Star Wars game ever made (and maybe the best Star Wars story ever told). Knights of the Republic takes place four thousand years before the Galactic Empire, where hundreds of Jedi Knights fell in battle against the ruthless Sith.
The game provides players complete freedom to forge their own path, where they can master the power of the Force to do good or become the villain they have always wanted. With a vast open world, over 40 different powers, the ability to build your lightsaber, and nine customizable party characters, KOTOR offers it all. It’s all the more surprising that we haven’t had a Star Wars game of this calibre for so long.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (2005)
Look, the entire Splinter Cell franchise could do with a remaster right now, and despite Ubisoft announcing a remake of the original Splinter Cell in **checks notes** 2021…we haven’t heard about that for nearly three years.
Knowing Ubisoft and their penchant for announcing exciting projects and keeping them on the backburner for nearly decades (see Beyond Good and Evil 2), it’s time for modders to take up arms and do the deed.
Let’s start with 2005’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, which became the quintessential Splinter Cell experience when it was released. The game doesn’t even look that bad even now, thanks to its robust use of shadows, but a fresh lick of paint, gorgeous ray tracing effects and updated textures would go a long way to revive this old classic and introduce new players to the world of Sam Fisher and his gravelly voice.
With Rockstar Games cancelling Bully 2 in favour of supporting GTA V Online (among other projects), a remaster or anything related to Bully doesn’t seem to be on the cards. And in today’s times, a game like Bully wouldn’t exactly set the world on fire (at least positively) either.
As such, fans of the game are stuck with the 2006 version of the game, which feels outdated and plays even worse. An RTX Remix remaster would go a long way in keeping the game alive, which has remarkably sustained its popularity even after so many years. The experience of playing a teenage troublemaker in an open-world setting akin to GTA games is quite unique and unparalleled, and we would definitely love to see an updated version of the game with all the bells and whistles of a next-gen title.
The Simpsons: Hit and Run (2003)
Equal parts Grand Theft Auto and with a brand of humour The Simpsons is known for, The Simpsons: Hit and Run was a blast to explore Springfield and uncover a strange conspiracy that threatened the town. It’s an all-time-classic and could definitely do with a remaster!
Yes, Bioshock has already received an official remaster with 4K resolution and high-resolution texture support, but does it have DLSS? Does it have ray tracing? No. And for a game with an art style as phenomenal as this, it would be absolutely criminal not to have modders have a go at RTX Remix. And I reckon it wouldn’t take much time either.
Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.