We live in the golden age of awful remakes, reruns, and revamps, with lots of new stuff coming out and trying to replace originals that are still awesome. The same thing is happening with video games, what with all the HD reedits and adaptation for mobiles to classic games. Luckily, there are defenders of free software out there who’ve donated their time to create brilliant projects like these 10 free remakes of classic titles.
Streets of Rage Remake [Download]
If the originals were already good, what Bombergames has done here is just inexpressible, collecting all the content of the original Mega Drive trilogy into a single game. More than 100 levels, 19 selectable characters, 64 kinds of enemies, and 83 remixes of the iconic soundtrack make this the remake that SEGA never managed (or wanted) to give us.
Knightmare Remake [Download]
The classic from the veteran MSX has recently received this gorgeous remake with its graphics completely redone from scratch. This vertical scroll shoot’em up developed by Konami in 1986 is as fun today as it ever was, and the Demon VideoGames remake of it could well pass as one of those official redos that cost a pretty penny. But no: it’s just brilliant freeware.
Sir Fred the Remake [Download]
From the hands of the developers at Made in Spain (later Zigurat) arrived this video adventure where you had to guide your pudgy protagonist on his journey to rescue his beloved, captive in a castle. This 2005 remake from Retroworks has all the grace—and hellish difficulty—of the original in a remake for Windows in 256 colors.
Endless Forms Most Beautiful [Download]
To show that a remake doesn’t have to be based on a game released when you were in diapers, here is this little tidbit: EFMB is a freeware game made in 2012 by ZX Spectrum, which in fact is still making games for 8-bit computers. The Indie Locomalito studio (developers of Maldita Castilla and Hydorah, among others) decided to do a remake for Windows of this under-underground game, with the result being this super-entertaining skills game that you should be downloading this instant.
Pokemon 3D [Download]
Pokemon Silver and Gold for the old Game Boy Color broke records for the saga at the international level, and in fact there was a remake for Nintendo DS in 2009. This Windows fangame bring back the fourth generation of Pokemon by adapting the graphics to a 3D setting and adding the option to play online in a world shared with other players.
Maniac Mansion Deluxe [Download]
You might well remember the saga of the colored tentacles for its second part, Day of the Tentacle, but may not know that the series originated with the launch of Maniac Mansion in 187 for Commodore 64 and Apple II. This remake, while staying true to the original graphics, improves them with a 256-color palette and swaps the original command system for a SCUMM interface that appeared in later LucasArts titles in the 90s. Not a necessity. AN OBLIGATION.
Super Mario Bros Odyssey [Download]
We’ve already talked about the many fangames inspired by Nintendo’s most famous hero. The one that gets closest to the idea of a remake is Super Mario Bros Odyssey, which offers a progression through levels and worlds similar to the first NES game but with graphics from the Super Nintendo remake of the original trilogy and small touches from later games.
King’s Quest I Remake [Download]
The brainchildren of Roberta Williams, the King’s Quest titles are a global reference point in the world of graphic adventures, used as they were as a trampoline by Sierra to compete seriously with LucasArts (even though the latter titles arrived much later). The first installment of the adventures of Sir Graham had the same problem in the long term as other games of their era: a control system based on writing commands. It has aged very poorly (except for those of us with an irrational love of conversational adventures). The remakes from ADG Interactive adapt to the standards of the following decade and can be downloaded for the cost of a puff of air.
The Abbey of Crime [Download]
The popular Opera Soft adventure that’s unofficially based on a book by Umberto Eco might be the most emblematic game in all of Spanish software. It was very ahead of its time, and it was crazy seeing on 8-bit computers how monastery monks had their own daily routines and walked around the monastery while you did your investigating. This remake stays faithful to the isometric view, control system, and even the internal structure of the original code, with fundamental improvements to the graphics that respect the incredible work of Paco Menéndez and Juan Delcán. There’s another remake in the works but its release date has yet to be announced.
Fighting Street [Download]
Many people don’t realize that if there was a Street Fighter II there must have been a first installment. Perhaps not as defining for what would come later in the genre, Street Fighter hasn’t aged super well in terms of its erratic control system for 1vs1 games. This remake completely transforms the original game by adding scenes typical of a beat’em up and even platformer phases.