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Monday, October 31, 2011
Top 7 Games That Should Be Ported to Modern Consoles
If this piece looks familiar to you, you've got a good eye. I wrote this for GamePro, you can see the original post here. I took out GoldenEye since the HD version comes out this week.
Feeling nostalgic for classic retro titles? You're not alone. Many gamers are clamoring to see their favorites ported to current-gen consoles. I caught the "retro game nostalgia" bug when I started reviewing the port of Soldier Blade, recently made available through PSN. To me, this aerial shooter is just as enjoyable now as it was back in 1992.
There are plenty of other great games out there that still haven't been ported to current-gen consoles. Many of them would be just as much fun to play today, especially if given basic multiplayer features, plus some Achievements or Trophies. Here are our recommendations.
1. Sunset Riders (Arcade/SNES/Sega Genesis, 1991)
Genre: Side scrolling shooter
Chances You’ll Ever Get to Download It: 80%
Red Dead Redemption proved that Westerns are an untapped genre in gaming. Sunset Riders, an addictive 4-player Contra-style arcade shooter that was in arcades before being ported to the SNES, isn’t nearly as authentic (when the cowboys in the game wear bright yellow or green pants or don a pink pancho, you just might be getting something more City Slickers than Unforgiven), but the chance to play with friends online or at home through the convenience of current consoles would be fantastic.
2. NHL 94 (SNES/Sega CD, 1993)
Genre: Sports (Hockey)
Chances You’ll Ever Get to Download It: 65%
Truth be told, there’s no reason why every EA Sports game 10 years and older shouldn’t already be cleaned up and ported to consoles right now. They could make a killing selling just old downloadable Madden games alone. But even better, EA could put all their classic sports titles as downloads on Wiiware, PSN, XBLA and even the Nintendo 3DS store, sell them for $5 and make a mint. But, if there was only one EA Sports game allowed to grace today’s consoles, NHL 94 should be it. It introduced the keeping of records and the one-timer and knocking opponents into the bench, hats being thrown on the ice after a hat trick, the bright flash of the lamp after a goal, the organ music were all beautiful to see. Best. Sports game. Ever.
3. Blasto (PlayStation, 1998)
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Chances You’ll Ever Get to Download It: 30%
It’s hard to make a funny video game. Just ask Jack Black. But it can be done and Blasto (picture in your mind a wise cracking Buzz Lightyear), a PS1 game from 1998, is proof that it can be done. The brilliant Phil Hartman, who died shortly after the game was released, voiced the titular character with hilarious one-liners that were wet-your-pants funny. Not that that ever happened to anyone I know.
4. The Simpsons Arcade Game (Arcade/Commodore 64/PC 1991)
Genre: Beat’em Up
Chances You’ll Ever Get to Download It: 50%
The Simpsons and gaming go together about as well as Keith Olbermann and MSNBC (or ESPN, take your pick). You’d think a franchise as great as The Simpsons would translate well to video games but that’s not been the case. Instead of subjecting fans to one dud after another, Groening and Company should have stopped after its first – The Simpsons Arcade Game. You can still find these standup arcades in the wild (usually in a Chuck E Cheese) but playing it at home sans pizza stained kids, and the ability to play online with your friends would be much better.
Let’s be honest, the poorly received PS2/Xbox title Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run game featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (51/100 on Metacritic) pretty much buried this franchise. Why not get it back on life support by releasing the original 1983 classic? An easy to play, yet tough to master driving game featuring a car with enough gadgets to make James Bond jealous (smoke screens, machine guns, missiles, oil slicks) and a great soundtrack (the Peter Gunn theme plays throughout) would be very attractive to gamers who enjoy driving games, yet are budget conscious.
6. Ironman Ivan Stewart’s Super Off-Road (Arcade/NES/SNES, 1989)
Chances You’ll Ever Get to Download It: 60%
Even after playing this game a thousand times I still don’t know who Ivan Stewart is. For all I know he’s the Tony Hawk of off-road racing. What I do know is that he lent his name to one hell of a racing game. This title made its way to the NES the SNES and a few other systems back in the day, but it is probably best known as a classic standup arcade racer. One of the first games to let players upgrade their vehicles and allowed for 4 drivers to compete against each other, Off-Road would be a perfect game to play with friends.
7. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox/Mac/PC, 2003)
Genre: Role Playing Game
Chances You’ll Ever Get to Download It: 50%
When most people hear the name Bioware, they typically think Mass Effect. Ahhhh, kids today. They know nothing of gaming history! Bioware cut its RPG loving teeth on one of the greatest games of all time, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The company doesn’t usually fool around with downloadable titles, but with KOTOR’s tenth anniversary coming up in 2013 and publishers and developers looking to cash in on gamer’s sense of nostalgia, maybe they’ll consider throwing fans a dialogue tree…er, I mean a bone.