In 1962, a team of MIT students led by Steve Russell developed Spacewar, which would be remembered as the first PC game. PC gaming took off from there, peaking in the 1990s with first-person shooters like Doom and Quake. Yet the graphics of those decade-old titles do not hold up today.
Remakes strive to bring past games up-to-date. Though similar, remasters improve the resolution on the latest platform without changing much else, whereas remakes build on the original’s premise while investing time and resources in fresh gameplay. PC games have already been remade, but other classics have yet to get the remake they deserve.
10 Left 4 Dead
The Left 4 Dead series had a short-lived but memorable run. The first Left 4 Dead was launched in 2008, and the second in 2009. Although fans are eager for a Left 4 Dead 3, the developer Valve has not come out with another sequel, instead allocating their resources to VR products and other projects.
Predating The Last of Us, Left 4 Dead defined the survival horror genre. When a pandemic hits, four survivors battle their way through zombie hordes in the hopes of reaching safe houses in this first-person shooter. Left 4 Dead is one of the best co-op games that encourages you to protect and fight with your teammates.
9 F1 Challenge ’99-‘02
Formula 1 has won over a record number of fans in the last five years. But before its viewership spiked, Visual Science developed F1 Career Challenge (F1C) – known as F1 Challenge ’99-’02 on Microsoft Windows – in 2003. As the name suggests, the racing game simulates cars and tracks from the 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 seasons.
Since FC1, EA Sports has published F1 2021 and F1 22. Fans might appreciate a remake of EA’s original F1 game to honor F1’s legacy and relive earlier seasons.
8 Myth: The Fallen Lords
The first in the Myth series, The Fallen Lords, is an excellent real-time tactics game. This title made waves because, unlike other strategy games, it does not require you to build a base or develop and manage your own resources. Rather, you can select a unit with its own unique size, strengths, and weaknesses and command your forces in either single or multiplayer mode.
The Fallen Lords put its developer Bungie, who would go on to create Halo, on the map and marked a turning point for real-time strategy games, so it is a shame that the 1997 tactics game has not been updated for a modern audience.
7 Thief: The Dark Project
Thief: The Dark Project launched in 1998 as a first-person stealth game and later expanded to include additional missions in the Gold edition. Thief Gold is available on Steam, and there are now four entries in the Thief series. Yet the first game has not been updated in over twenty years.
From a first-person perspective, The Dark Project differed from first-person shooters at the time because missions encouraged you to quietly take down enemies instead of jumping into loud, fast-paced action.
The Fallout franchise technically began in 1988 with the role-playing game Wasteland, which led to the setting and gameplay for Interplay’s first Fallout title. Bethesda has since acquired the Fallout series, but Fallout, which became available exclusively on PC in 1997, is remembered for introducing the iconic post-apocalyptic setting.
If remade, Fallout could appeal to RPG fans with its original turn-based system. Alternatively, a remake with real-time combat would bring the open world to life and introduce FPS elements to the quest-and-exploration-focused RPG.
5 The Operative: No One Lives Forever
Developed by Monolith, No One Lives Forever (NOLF) is a lost gem. NOLF was not only one of the best first-person shooters in 2000, but it was also a creative enterprise with a female lead. Cate Archer stars as a spy in a 1960s-inspired world that blends James Bond and Austin Powers. In the game, you can use spy gadgets, ride a snowmobile, and pick locks with a barrette.
The sequels No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.’s Way and Contract J.A.C.K followed up the original, but they did not receive the same positive reception as the first game.
Unfortunately, legal battles over the rights currently prevent a remake of NOLF. Get your best lawyers on Cate Archer’s case.
F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) was perhaps the most terrifying game of its time, borrowing inspiration from Japanese horror. Instead of bombarding you with jump scares, F.E.A.R. operates on shadows and scares you with the character Alma Wade, who often appears as a ghostly young girl during a violent scene or before radio static signaling danger and destruction.
This psychological horror doubles as a first-person shooter. You can switch between five weapons at a time and engage in melee combat. As one of the new members of F.E.A.R., you are tasked with taking down a psychic operative, and you can slow down time when you aim, due to your character’s unrivaled reflexes. A remake of F.E.A.R. would be a chilling game with modern action and display capabilities.
Like many of the games in this list, Diablo (1997) is the first installment in a longtime cult classic series. Diablo received an unofficial expansion called Hellfire the same year it launched, but today, the game has outdated graphics and controls. The dungeon crawling in the original game, however, is worth preserving.
Diablo 2 has already been remastered with the production of Diablo 2: Resurrected, so hope for a remake of Diablo can’t be too bad.
2 Grand Theft Auto (GTA 1)
Remember the first Grand Theft Auto? Since 1997, Rockstar Games has expanded the Grand Theft Auto franchise. In 2021, Rockstar finally remastered Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definite Edition. However, negative reviews criticized the trilogy for bugs, prompting Rockstar to apologize for the poorly launched game.
A 3D remake of GTA 1, which uses an aerial view, could honor the franchise’s legacy, as well as give the developers the opportunity to come up with new gameplay and enhance the original story and soundtrack. Better yet, Rockstar could also work on remakes that do Vice City and San Andreas justice.
1 Half-Life 2
From the creators of Left 4 Dead, Half-Life 2 is hailed as one of the best and most influential PC games of all time. Surpassing its predecessor Half-Life, the 2004 sequel went further with physics-based puzzles and drivable vehicles. The combat, sci-fi atmosphere, and unique story told from the protagonist’s perspective make Half-Life 2 an exceptional first-person shooter.
The graphics were revolutionary for the time, but PC games today have enhanced visuals and gameplay built on the foundation of Half-Life 2. The developer Valve does not seem to have any plans to make a sequel or remake, but fans have built a VR Mod to add VR support to the original game.
Nearly twenty years later, the fanbase stays strong, showing how deserving Half-Life 2 is of a well-done remake.
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