If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, it’s safe to say that a video game controller probably passed through your hands at one time or another. For many of us, video games from consoles such as the Playstation 1, Nintendo 64 and the PCs of old – we’re talking Windows 95 and dial-up AOL interweb – carry nostalgic memories that we hold dear.
And yet, when we speak to our current spouses or friends about these ancient relics of a retro world before online multiplayer and HD graphics, then boot up the ol’ Sega Saturn to show them exactly what true beauty looks like, they’re often left feeling underwhelmed. The glitchy, polygonal pixels and blurry background bits and bobs simply haven’t held up well in our ever-advancing universe of technology, and – in truth – the video games don’t even look as good as we remember them looking.
But fear not, friends. We are not alone in these longings for old skool gaming glory. In recent years, with the advent of Unreal Engine 4 and the like, avid video game fans are modernising the masterpieces of yore and presenting them as we always dreamed they could be: HD, super-sleek – and little bit sexy.
1 – Goldeneye (Nintendo 64)
You can shove your Call of Duty up your arse as far as I’m concerned, because the REAL daddy of first person shooters has final been given the Unreal Engine treatment and it’s even more beautiful than language allows us to express.
Behold the shiny tile textures! Inhale those HD stairwells!! Be tickled by the steam-spewing pipework!!!
2 – It’s-a-me, Mario! (Nintendo)
Even back in his NES days, Mario has been at the cutting edge of graphical gorgeousness, but even the man of the Mushroom Kingdom benefits from the beautifying that the Unreal Engine brings to the table. His dungarees have never looked so dapper.
With the Wii U being Nintendo‘s first foray into the HD arena, perhaps the next meaningful Mario title will be pretty on-par with this imagining?
3 – Half-Life 2 (PC)
As PC games go, the Half-Life series is one of the most beloved. And really, this one didn’t look so bad the first time around – but that hasn’t stopped 3D artist Liam Tart from tarting (sigh) Apartment 17 up a little…
There’s no denying that the level of depth and detail this overhaul offers is a giant leap from the original. This is Half-Life in Full-Life (and yes, I will see myself out…)
4 – The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo)
Nintendo have a habit of rehashing their popular old titles and re-releasing them on their more modern consoles, and, in fact, Ocarina of Time AND Majora’s Mask found their fantastic-looking feet on the 3DS.
However, the 3DS can only dream that it’d ever be capable of producing lush landscapes like the ones in this video. Sure, Link might look a bit like an emotionless robot with a disconcerting gait, but LOOK AT THOSE LANDSCAPES!!!
5 – Final Fantasy VII (Playstation 1)
Only rarely do our dreams become a reality, but in the case of arguably the best Final Fantasy title of all time, Square Enix made an exception.
No longer will the game’s gripping, heart-wrenching story be marred by the mediocre-at-best graphical capabilities of the PS1 – a game this epic should have always looked this epic. When it’s finally released, you’ll find me on Cloud Nine…
6 – Resident Evil 2 (Playstation 1)
There’s no two ways about it: the scariest part about the original Resident Evil games, when looking back, is the awful visual atmosphere. Oh, and the dialogue (obviously).
Capcom have certainly continued to raise the visual bar with their HD remakes, Resident Evil 6, and the recent Resident Evil Revelations 2, but what we really want is to see Racoon City seething and foaming at the mouth. Thank you, Reborn, for raising the dead in this delicious gameplay trailer.
7 – Pokémon (Game Boy)
I have only one question for Nintendo: why the living, breathing fuck isn’t there a 3D Pokémon RPG on the Wii U yet??! There would be no more console war. Sony would concede. Microsoft would fall flaccid and infertile. No one would go outside in real life ever again.
Aside from this Unreal Engine 4 video’s glaring disregard for causing devastating forest fires, WE WANT THIS GAME. NOW. YESTERDAY. I want my 3D, HD Magikarp, bitch…