Square Enix has taken an incredibly ambitious approach to remaking Final Fantasy 7. Instead of just updating the visuals, tweaking the gameplay, adding in some quality-of-life improvements, and calling it a day, the developers have completely reimagined the game. Final Fantasy 7 Remake offers an entire overhaul of the original's design, battle system, and certain narrative elements, over multiple installments.
All of this begs the question: what other classic RPGs deserve a remake in the same vein as Final Fantasy 7? Many older genre entries are swimming in ambition and great ideas, but could really benefit from having a comprehensive rebuild for modern gaming systems, with those hypothetical remakes potentially even being split across multiple entries. Here are some great examples.
- Final Fantasy 9: A Final Fantasy Fan Favorite Deserving Of Another Chance To Shine
A recent remaster left the game's potentially stunning backdrops unchanged, improving only character models. There's a lot of scope to develop areas such as the battle system. This list wouldn't be complete without another Final Fantasy game, and what better entry to push forward for a remake than a fellow original PlayStation alumni. Final Fantasy 9 was the culmination of the dream that Hironobu Sakaguchi began on the Famicom and remains one of the most beloved games in the series.
The vibrant world of Gaia demands a reimagining in high-definition, and while the original game was already large enough to warrant being printed across four discs, a multi-entry remake would allow its colorful story and characters to breathe even more. It would be fascinating to see more of the aftermath of such emotional moments as the attack on Alexandria or dive deeper into Zidane's feelings upon learning of his true origins. The classic turn-based battle system of the game is fondly remembered, too, but it does have its detractors for its very slow pace (even on the 'fastest' setting). It would be interesting to see what Square Enix could do to expand on and improve these factors if allowed a second go at this timeless game.
- Wild Arms: Unleashing the Power of Filgaia Once Again
One of the benefits of a Final Fantasy 7-esque remake is that it allows the developers to fully expand on the world and setting of the original game. The world of Filgaia in Wild Arms is already one of the best settings in JRPGs, seamlessly blending together steampunk and more historical aesthetics, making it prime material for a remake. Titles don't need to be the biggest and most iconic blockbusters to warrant a remake, after all. A cult favorite like Wild Arms would truly appreciate another opportunity on contemporary systems.
Thankfully, the story and gameplay of Wild Arms would also be a great fit for a full-scale remake. The adventures of the Dream Chasers could be made even more gripping, and the battle system adapted to lean more into the character-specific moves that made the original so engaging.
- Terranigma: Unleashing an Underrated Classic
of the reason the name Terranigma doesn't get mentioned as much around RPG circles is that this 16-bit game only ever released in Japan and Europe. It's truly a shame that more people haven't played this classic from Quintet, as it is arguably one of the most underrated action RPGs ever released.
As such, it would be a worthy candidate for a big-budget remake. The original was a top-down game that still managed to utilize verticality and dynamic movement to enhance its fast-paced battle system. It was a very creative approach to working around the limitations of the Super Nintendo and could become a new favorite among genre fans if given the chance.
- Phantasy Star: A Nostalgic Space Odyssey
The adventures of Alis Landale and her party on the Master System may seem fairly outdated by today's standards, but it's important to remember that the original Phantasy Star was a technical powerhouse for its time. This planet-hopping space odyssey featured some of the most advanced visuals and gameplay that 8-bit gamers had ever experienced in the late 1980s, and it would be wonderful to see Sega try and replicate that on current systems.
Naturally, as Phantasy Star was an early JRPG, the story and characters could also benefit from more fleshing out in a remake. If nothing else, a remake would give Sega a good excuse to return to the classic Phantasy Star series after seemingly leaving it forgotten for the past three decades.
- Dragon Quest 4: A Timeless Tale Reborn
Dragon Quest 4 is unique in the series for splitting its first half across multiple chapters, each focusing on different characters, before bringing all the heroes together Avengers-style for one big adventure in the second act. It was a narrative structure that was wholly unique back on the NES and subsequently reappeared in other games like Live A Live and OctopathTraveler. A remake of Dragon Quest 4 with the Final Fantasy 7 Remake treatment could truly elevate this timeless tale to new heights.
Imagine experiencing the individual stories of each character in stunning detail, with beautifully redesigned environments and intricate character development. The ability to explore each character's story more deeply would enhance the emotional impact of their eventual reunion and shared journey.
Additionally, the iconic turn-based battle system of Dragon Quest could be expanded upon, adding more strategic elements and modernizing the mechanics while staying true to the series' roots. The game's charming visuals and memorable soundtrack could also be enhanced, immersing players in a world that feels both nostalgic and fresh.
- Chrono Trigger: A Legend Reborn
Chrono Trigger is widely regarded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Its time-traveling narrative, unforgettable characters, and innovative gameplay mechanics captivated players upon its original release. However, despite numerous re-releases and ports, a full-fledged remake has yet to grace our screens.
A remake of Chrono Trigger would be a dream come true for fans. The game's rich story and diverse cast of characters could be explored in even greater detail, with enhanced visuals and voice acting breathing new life into the beloved cast. The iconic time-traveling aspect could be further expanded upon, allowing players to witness the consequences of their actions across different eras.
Moreover, an updated battle system could add more depth and strategy to the already engaging combat. The opportunity to experience the unforgettable moments of Chrono Trigger with modern technology and design would undoubtedly be a monumental gaming experience.
- Suikoden II: Uniting an Epic Saga
Suikoden II, the second installment in the Suikoden series, is often hailed as one of the greatest RPGs ever made. Its epic story, political intrigue, and massive cast of characters set it apart from other games of its time.
A remake of Suikoden II would be a chance to reintroduce this hidden gem to a new generation of gamers. The game's intricate plot and character relationships could be further expanded upon, delving deeper into the complex world of politics and war. The stunning visuals and art style could be enhanced, bringing the game's vibrant world to life like never before.
Additionally, a remake could introduce quality-of-life improvements and refine the gameplay mechanics, making it even more accessible and enjoyable for modern audiences. With the potential for multiple entries, a Suikoden II remake could also pave the way for remakes of other games in the series, allowing players to experience the entire saga in all its glory.
The success of Final Fantasy 7 Remake has shown that there is immense potential in reimagining classic RPGs with a comprehensive remake. By rebuilding these beloved games from the ground up, developers can breathe new life into their stories, characters, and gameplay mechanics, while staying true to the essence that made them so beloved in the first place.
From Final Fantasy 9's colorful world to Wild Arms' unique setting, Terranigma's underrated charm to Phantasy Star's nostalgic appeal, Dragon Quest 4's timeless tale to Chrono Trigger's legendary status, and Suikoden II's epic saga, these classic RPGs are ripe for a chance to shine once again.
As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it's exciting to imagine the possibilities that lie ahead for these and other RPG classics. A remake can serve not only as a tribute to the past but also as a way to introduce these timeless experiences to a new generation of players, ensuring that their impact and legacy endure for years to come.