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GOTY 18: Best Remaster or Remake

These games got another bite at the cherry in 2018, and showed why they deserved another look.

  • Text: GR Staff

Remasters, remakes, and re-releases aren't uncommon, whether that be because of a new console coming out to give a game another chance to shine (Switch, we're looking at you) or because a classic is reworked to support the release of a coming sequel. Here are some of the re-appearing gems that need some love this year.

4. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze / Retro Studios

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze returned this year on Nintendo Switch, and in doing so Nintendo brought back one of the best platform games of the Wii U era and slapped it onto the hybrid console with a bunch of quality of life improvements. The most obvious tweak is the addition of Funky Kong, who makes this once demanding platformer much more accessible, lessening the difficulty level to more manageable levels so all the family can get involved.

Not only is Tropical Freeze a vibrant game to behold, but it's also an engaging and challenging experience that still stands up in 2018. We're just glad that after the Wii U flopped so hard, many of those classic old-gen games are finally starting to entertain larger audiences more befitting their quality.

3. Shadow of the Colossus / SCE Japan Studio, Team Ico, Bluepoint

Another old-gen classic that got a new lick of paint this year was Shadow of the Colossus, with SCE Japan Studio and Team Ico's PlayStation 2 masterpiece returning earlier this year. Bluepoint was once again put in charge of remastering the original, and the studio did a damn fine job too, fine-tuning the visuals to make them look absolutely stunning on modern 4K screens.

The true strength of Shadow of the Colossus is drawn from the sense of scale (that, and the power of the ending), and you're tasked with battling vast creatures that are found around the world. When you encounter these titular colossi you have to try and climb their bodies and plunge your blade into designated weak spots to take them down. When you're not engaged in these epic battles you're exploring the wider world, and the grandness of the setting can leave you feeling small and isolated. At times it can feel a little empty and there are other areas where the game feels slightly antiquated, but overall this 13-year-old game holds up rather well.