If there’s one thing that we can rely on in the entertainment industry, it’s that remakes and remasters of our favorite old media will continue to be made, whether or not we want them. Luckily, the majority of game remakes in 2023 were a blast, dosing us in nostalgic glee via major overhauls or a simple coat of polish.
This time, as we continue our Best of 2023 awards, we’re highlighting the titles that added the modern touch to beloved classics. When handled correctly, a remake or remaster can take an aged game and give it new life, revitalizing a classic experience for audiences both old and new. The best game remakes and remasters of 2023 performed that task admirably, reminding us why we fell in love with these titles in the first place. Listed in no particular order, here are the best game remakes and remasters of 2023!
The Best Video Game Remakes and Remasters of 2023
5. Quake II Remastered
Quake II was first released all the way back in 1997, and in 2023, fans of this groundbreaking FPS sequel finally got the remaster they deserved. Developed in partnership with NightDive Studios and MachineGames, Quake II Remastered delivers a huge visual upgrade, addictive multiplayer, and so much more.
Updated to modern standards both visually and with slight gameplay tweaks, Quake II Remastered goes above and beyond with its content offerings. Not only do you get the main campaign, but this fantastic 2023 remake also includes both official expansion packs, the Nintendo 64 version of Quake II, and a brand new campaign developed by MachineGames. For fans of retro FPS, Quake II Remastered is undoubtedly one of the best video game remasters of 2023.
4. We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie
There’s something about playing Katamari Damacy that always puts a smile on my face. Between the vibe-heavy tunes, psychedelic colors, and cathartic gameplay of rolling everything into a massive ball, We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie deserved a spot on our list. When everything else seemed too big-brain to play, We Love Katamari REROLL helped keep things pleasantly chill with its absurdity and whimsical charm.
Despite the addition of five new levels via the “Royal Reverie” bonus content, this is really just a remaster of We Love Katamari, a sequel that took the original Katamari Damacy and helped the concept reach its full potential. The new control scheme and quality-of-life features are nice, but We Love Katamari REROLL is a must-play 2023 remaster based on fun-factor alone.
3. Dead Space (2023)
Dead Space has been one of the scariest games in existence since it was released in 2008, and this epic 2023 remake only amplifies the fear factor. With a sprinkling of modern game design and a beautiful new coat of paint, this sci-fi third-person survival game has only gotten better with time.
This isn’t your average 2023 video game remake either, as Dead Space has been entirely remade from the ground up, sprucing up old areas, changing a few moments, and generally keeping the experience fresh. Gorgeous visuals, gripping atmospheric tension, and visceral displays of sci-fi body horror are just a few reasons Dead Space makes our list of the best video game remakes of 2023.
2. Metroid Prime Remastered
Metroid Prime is a certified GameCube classic, wherein developer Retro Studios somehow took a sidescrolling action game and successfully transferred it into a first-person shooter. Like Ocarina of Time was to the original Legend of Zelda, Metroid Prime is a testament to the immersive nature of first-person gameplay, especially when you’re battling fearsome space pirates in the deep reaches of space.
Obtaining the unofficial “Chad Move of the Month” award in February, Nintendo shadow-dropped this exquisite remaster of Metroid Prime during a Direct presentation, warming up our winter with sweet GameCube nostalgia. Childhood bias aside, Metroid Prime Remastered is a graphical achievement on the Nintendo Switch, plays better thanks to modern controls, and is just as fun now as it was two decades ago.
1. Resident Evil 4 (2023)
Let’s be clear, Capcom has been delivering absolutely flawless remakes of their landmark survival horror franchise for decades, starting back in 2002 with the GameCube remake of the original Resident Evil. In my opinion, they haven’t missed yet, and the 2023 version of Resident Evil 4 is yet another example of their expert approach to remakes. Instead of an exact replica, this remake offers modernized controls, new areas, better companion AI, and so much more.
To be fair, purists might be put off by some of the more blatant changes, but I found the switches to be satisfying. All told, when considering the technical improvements, new gameplay features, and overall quality of the game, it’s easy to look past the bumps and see why Resident Evil 4 is easily one of the best remakes of 2023.
We didn’t get a ton of time with any of these games, but we’d like to shout out Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Super Mario RPG (2023), Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, and Like a Dragon: Ishin for also being amazing game remakes from 2023!
If you liked reading about the best video game remakes and remasters of 2023, you might also enjoy reading about The Best Multiplayer Games of 2023 or the Funniest Games of 2023! More lists will be added throughout the month, so feel free to check back or join our weekly newsletter (sign up on the side bar) to never miss a post!
What was your favorite game remake or remaster of 2023? Let your voice be heard in the comments or on our social media! Until next time, happy gaming!