PlayStation One games we want to reboot - and how we'd do it
Xbox One gamers have something to be smug about this week: Rise of the Tomb Raider hits the shelves exclusively on Microsoft's console (though we expect it will be coming to the PS4 when Microsoft's brown envelope to Square Enix is emptied of money).
The game is a sequel to the critically acclaimed 2013 reboot of the series, known as the simply-titled Tomb Raider. It was a game that showed that, with a bit of care, and the writing of Rhianna Pratchett, even stale franchises could become fresh and new again.
Though she's now a star player on Team Xbox, Lara Croft started life on the original Playstation, and her original, much more angular appearance is essentially synonymous with that era for gaming.
That got us thinking: What other games and franchises are in need of a reboot? Let's dive back into the early-modern period of gaming and imagine what digital corpses we could reanimate.
1. Crash Bandicoot
Poor Crash. It all started out so well with three of the best platform games ever made, and even a half-decent kart racing game. Then developer Naughty Dog got all serious and started making Uncharted instead. The Bandicoot brand was beaten about as the IP shuffled between publishers and now it appears to have been left for dead in the hands of Activision.
But we think it is about time for a revival. The original three games still play great - and like Mario, there's nothing that fundamentally needs to change. So why not go all New Super Mario Bros on it? Don't go open world - keep the fun, linear challenges.
We wouldn't mind a Mario Maker style level designer as there is surely a lot of potential for user-friendly level creations. And heck, as it wouldn't be a Nintendo game there wouldn't be awful friend-code sharing of levels and we could just use PSN like adults instead.
2) Dino Crisis
How do you improve Resident Evil? Add Dinosaurs, of course. That's why in 1999 Capcom released Dino Crisis, and later followed it with two sequels (which also made their way to the Dreamcast and original Xbox).
Fast-forward to 2015 and, inexplicably, we're still lacking a really good dinosaur game. Perhaps now is the time to bring it back and have another go?
Given the horsepower inside the PS4 and Xbox One, surely the Dinos could be made even scarier, and following the likes of The Last of Us, the game could hit the sorts of cinematic highs which PS1 gamers could only have dreamed of.
The game might also be a good candidate for VR. Assuming a reboot would stay true to its survival horror origins, imagine nervously pacing through a dark corridor only to literally turn your head and find a raptor breathing down your neck.
Or just make Jurassic Park in VR. You know it makes sense.
3) Die Hard Trilogy
There have been a number of attempts at turning the Die Hard films into a video game, but for some reason they stopped making films after a third instalment (and I'll claim this, no matter what you tell me), there hasn't been a new attempt since Die Hard: Vendetta on the Gamecube.
Back on the PlayStation there was Die Hard Trilogy, which was essentially three different games, each loosely based on the films. Weirdly, they all took different styles: One was a third person shooter, one an on-rails first person shooter and the last was a driving game.
So what to do for the modern era? The obvious thing to do would be reimagine Die Hard as a sandbox game - perhaps something similar to Sleeping Dogs. Drive around as John McClane on duty solving inexplicable water jug puzzles - and stumble upon the occasion tower block hostage situation. Get Bruce Willis to drop some wisecracks and surely we've got a hit?
Imagine Grand Theft Auto but where you're unable to get out of the car and you're half-way to understanding Driver.
Sure, it looked terrible on the PS1 but it was an interesting building block on the way to the future as it was one of the first games to offer an open world.
The game has spawned a couple of sequels since but it now appears to have been left for dead. So perhaps now is the time to bring it back?
Heck, as it is owned by Ubisoft why not build it as a Blood Dragon style downloadable remix of Watch Dogs' Chicago? Developers could simply take the virtual Chicago that already exists, and rather than populate it with CCTV cameras, focus on fast-paced driving challenges and not being so damn serious.
It'd be an easy way to add value to existing gaming assets - and could revive a classic gaming brand in the process.
5) Time Crisis 2
That's right - Time Crisis 2 isn't just found hidden at the back of just about every grubby seaside amusement arcade, it actually received a console release appearing on the PS1 in 1997 (as well as the PS2 a few years later).
Since then, light gun games have fallen out of fashion but there's surely an even better technology out there to replace it: How about a reboot for VR? Not only would it obviously be more immersive, but it could make use of the spatial tracking beacons that are being developed for the likes of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive so that the player can point their arms as though they were aiming a real gun.
The on-rails aspect would also mean that it gets around the slightly awkward VR problem of needing to simulate player movement too - so the player can concentrate on aiming in the right direction instead.
Perhaps it could bring back Richard Miller as a now-washed-up ex-agent who's too old for this s**t, but gets dragged back into action to fight an old nemesis: Wild Dog.
6) Ghost in the Shell
Based on the Japanese animé movie of the same name, the Ghost in the Shell game was a surprisingly competent shooter.
In the game you took control of a Fuchikoma robot, a tank that can crawl up the sides of buildings as well as jump.
It is easy to imagine the game being re-made today and making use of dual-thumbstick controls to create a shooter that is more multidimensional than usual.
Make some tight, skyscraper packed deathmatch arenas and there's an original shooter. How will players cope when enemies can come at you from practically 360 degrees?
7) Marvel vs Capcom
Every gamer knows that licensed titles are almost, by definition, terrible. And the games tangentially linked to the Avengers films have been no different with Captain America's Arkham Asylum knock-off disappointing, and Iron Man only putting in an appearance in crappy phone games.
But cast your mind back to Marvel vs Capcom on PS1, which pitted Marvel's greatest heroes against the cast of the Street Fighter games. Impressively, it still looks pretty great even today owing to its 2D stylings, which time has been much kinder to than its 3D brethren.
The game has appeared in a number of iterations since but let's get real here: Nobody cares about who would win between Ryu and Tony Stark - but everyone wants to know who would win between Hulk and Thor.
So why doesn't Marvel should pay Capcom to make a new Avengers fighting game? Hey, it would even fit in with the themes of Captain America 3: Civil War, which is due out next year and sees two rival team of Avengers go head to head with each other.
8) Bloody Roar
Bloody Roar was twist on the standard beat 'em up. This time around, your character could turn into an animal. Though the game itself turned out somewhat mediocre, this is a nice concept - so why not use it to take something like Far Cry 3 to its natural extent.
Not only is the tropical island populated by animals to fight… but now you can fight like them too. Perhaps different transformations could allow the player to access different types of terrain or enable different interactions?
9) Rampage World Tour
The original Rampage World Tour saw the player take control of giant Godzilla-style monsters in a side-scrolling smash-em-up.What if Rampage 2015 took its cues from either Titanfall or Evolve?
Both deployed asymmetric gameplay to create some unique gameplay experiences. What about online multiplayer where one player takes control of George, Lizzie or Ralph (yep, that's what the monsters were called) while the others play the role of human-sized Scumlabs employees trying to stop the destruction?
What would make it really great would be if developers could build the 3D world in such a way that buildings could be destroyed in non-fixed ways, so that the debris from destroying a tower creates new challenges for the human-sized players that are different every time.
10) PaRappa the Rapper
It's a dog-eat-dog world on the mean streets of Detroit, and in this gritty remake of the classic rhythm game the player must help 2D cartoon dog PaRappa earn respect in the hip-hop community and launch his rap career - otherwise he's doomed to a life of slaving away in an auto plant whilst living in a trailer with his mom.
There's violence, guns, and bad language as PaRappa navigates a complex personal life to find redemption behind the mic. But can PaRappa meet the expectations of his friend and mentor Chop Chop Master Onion? Only you can help him. Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind! We'd call it: PaRappa Begins.