Remakes vs Remasters: the Best Version of Your Favorite Games

Are you a gamer? Have you ever played a game that blew you away with its graphics, gameplay, and story? These days, chances are it was either a remake or a remaster of an older game. But what’s the difference between these two terms? And how do you know which one is worth buying? Whether you’re an avid enthusiast or just a casual player, it’s important to be informed when deciding which games are worth your hard-earned money and time. So, join us as we explore the differences between game remakes and remasters – what they involve and why they differ from each other – with this guide to all things gaming related!

What Are Game Remakes and Remasters? A Simple Definition

In the gaming industry, remakes and remasters are two terms you’ve probably heard bandied about quite a bit – but what do they really mean? Well, let us fill you in!

A game remake is:

  • A fresh re-working of an existing game
  • A complete overhaul that incorporates new content and updated graphics
  • A modern version of a classic game rebuilt from scratch

A game remaster is:

  • An improved port of an existing classic title
  • A digital facelift that enhances visuals, sound, and performance
  • A faithful adaptation that preserves the core gameplay and story

Both remakes and remasters offer gamers the opportunity to continue playing their favorite games in modern times by breathing new life into old classics. Graphics aside, though, these versions of older games also often have additional levels or characters that weren’t available in previous releases, providing gamers with the added bonus of enhanced creativity! Although purchasing either one can be pricey at first, gaming aficionados will agree that these titles are wonderful investments for both moral and monetary gain in the future. Put simply: if you’re looking for an immersive experience that easily rivals modern gaming… you can always count on good ol’ remakes or remasters to give you hours upon hours of joyful entertainment!

A History of Game Remakes and Remasters – Exploring Their Origins and Evolution

The games industry has seen a resurgence in recent years of titles from the past being re-released as remakes or remasters. This process of revisiting classic titles began in the 1990s and early 2000s, with titles such as Final Fantasy VII (1997), which was reworked for PC, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, and Windows; Resident Evil (1996), which was remade for GameCube, Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows; and Metal Gear Solid (1998), which was remastered as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for GameCube. However, it was not until the late 2000s and early 2010s that game remakes and remasters became more popular and widespread.

Several factors contributed to this trend. First, the advent of downloadable game services like Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network allowed companies to sell their games at a lower price, making them more accessible and appealing to a broader audience. Second, the advancement of technology enabled developers to create more realistic graphics, sound effects, and gameplay mechanics, enhancing the immersion and enjoyment of gamers. Third, nostalgia played a significant role in attracting both old fans who wanted to relive their childhood memories and new fans who wanted to experience classic games for the first time.

While remakes differ from remasters in many regards, their overall purpose is the same – to bring classic gaming experiences to modern consoles with enhancements that take advantage of more powerful technology. By adding new features and improved graphics, it’s not just nostalgia that brings gamers back to these titles – many also enjoy experiencing them with a more up-to-date graphical style. Since the advent of remakes and remasters, countless franchises have given second (or third) lives on new platforms, bringing unforgettable experiences and beloved characters back to life. In this the case of games like Final Fantasy VII Remake, the experience and story diverts so much from the original that the work put into making this new opus in a well-known franchise is well worth the price.

Visual Enhancements – How Remakes and Remasters Update Game Graphics

In games, visuals play a huge role in how enjoyable or immersive the experience can be. Depending on which console you prefer, a remake and a remaster can offer unique visual enhancements that can make even an old game look amazing. A remake might focus more on changing up the feel of the game with new textures, models and lighting, while a remaster could opt for sharper resolution and improved framerate for near instantaneous feedback. Ultimately, both are designed to tantalize your eyes with eye-catching visuals. Whether it’s an HD remaster or a complete facelift done by a remake, these updates can do wonders in making an aged game experience something brand new again. Some of the most notable examples of game remakes and remasters that have enhanced game graphics include Shadow of the Colossus (2018), which was rebuilt from scratch with stunning visuals; The Last of Us Remastered (2014), which increased the resolution to 1080p and boosted the framerate to 60fps; and Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014), which updated all four Halo games with improved textures, lighting, models, and effects. And, of course, as you all well know, Final Fantasy VII Remake presents the game as we imagined it in our heads back in the day. The stark difference between the original and the remake is astounding. But how exactly do remakes and remasters improve game graphics? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach?

To be more precise, remakes usually involve recreating the game from scratch using a new engine or platform, which allows for more freedom and creativity in changing the game’s appearance. They can add new features such as ray tracing, dynamic lighting, or realistic physics that can make the game look more lifelike. However, remakes also require more time, money, and resources than remasters, and they may lose some of the original charm or style of the game. Remasters typically involve enhancing the existing game by increasing its resolution, framerate, texture quality, or color depth. Remasters can make the game look sharper, smoother, or more vibrant without altering its core gameplay or design. However, remasters may not be able to fix some of the underlying issues or limitations of the original game, such as bugs, glitches, or outdated mechanics. You often end up with the same issues you may have had in past game iterations. One more recent example is Like a Dragon: Ishin!, remade in Unreal Engine 4. While the graphics certainly improved and a lot of other aspects also, any issues a player may have had with the gameplay, such as the combat system initially created in 2014, will still have them because these aspects have not changed. It is very much the same game with a fresh coat of paint.

Audio Improvements – How Remakes and Remasters Make Old Games Sound New

When it comes to remakes and remasters of popular video games, one of the most exciting advancements is the audio improvements made to enhance the quality of in-game music and sounds. The sound effects and background music are very important in creating a particular atmosphere during gameplay, so using new technology in remakes and remasters allows game developers to make these enhancements in ways that weren’t possible before. Remastering can also allow gamers to experience the original game with enhanced audio quality – for example, making older games compatible with modern sound systems or Dolby Atmos surround sound technology. It’s incredible how dramatic a difference freshly updated music, and sound effects can have on an old favorite. Some of the most notable examples include Final Fantasy VII Remake (2020), which features a dynamic soundtrack that adapts to the gameplay and environment; Resident Evil 2 (2019), which uses binaural audio to create a more immersive and terrifying atmosphere; and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019), which updates the original Game Boy music with orchestral arrangements. But how exactly do remakes and remasters improve game audio? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach?

Remakes usually involve re-recording or re-composing the game’s music and sound effects using new technology or instruments, which allows for more variety and quality in the game’s audio. Remakes can add new features such as voice acting, surround sound, or adaptive music, making the game sound more realistic or expressive. However, remakes also require more time, money, and resources than remasters, and they may lose some of the original charm or style of the game. Remasters enhance the existing game’s audio by increasing its bitrate, volume, clarity, or balance. They can make the game sound sharper, louder, clearer, or more balanced without altering its core gameplay or design. However, remasters may be unable to fix some of the underlying issues or limitations of the original game, such as poor voice acting, repetitive music, or low-quality sound effects.

Online Connectivity – How Remasters Enhance Networked Play

Online connectivity has revolutionized gaming in recent years. Through online networks and platforms, players can compete or cooperate with each other in various games. But how does online connectivity affect remakes and remasters? Networked play has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the way these titles are experienced. Remasters typically include upgrades that allow for an expanded online gameplay experience. This can range from more difficult mission-based scenarios to additional maps and features like cross-play between multiple platforms. For example, the recent remake of The Last of Us allowed fans to interact with the game’s large following via its detailed Multiplayer mode. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that games made purely in the spirit of being remade (such as Crash Squad N-Sane Trilogy) will include any significant changes when it comes to online connectivity – as they usually aim to remain faithful to the original’s concept and mechanics. While remakes usually don’t change much regarding online features, remasters often include upgrades that improve the online gameplay experience.

Some of the most notable examples of remasters that have enhanced online features include Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014), which combines six Halo games into one package with cross-play and cross-progression support; Dark Souls Remastered (2018), which increases the multiplayer limit from four to six players and adds dedicated servers; and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 (2020), which adds online multiplayer modes such as Trick Attack, Graffiti, Horse, and Combo Mambo.

Expanded Content – How Remakes and Remasters Add More Fun and Variety to Games

Gamers always seek something new; a remake or remaster can offer that. Whether it’s brand new characters, levels, weapons and game modes or existing content enhanced to incorporate more detailed graphics and smoother gameplay, there is always something interesting to explore in a remake or remaster. From ultra-realistic first person shooter campaigns with multiple endings to expansive open-world role-playing games that keep the player engaged for dozens of hours, the opportunities for discovery are seemingly limitless. When you decide to invest in a remake or remaster, the possibilities are truly at your fingertips. Some of the most notable examples of remakes and remasters that have expanded content include Resident Evil 2 (2019), which adds new scenarios, modes, weapons, and costumes for the main characters; Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (2017), which introduces a new job system, a fast-forward feature, a trial mode, and improved graphics; and Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020), which collects three classic Mario games with higher resolutions, smoother frame rates, and updated controls. But why do remakes and remasters add more content to games? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of doing so?

Remakes and remasters add more content to games for various reasons. Some may want to appeal to new audiences by adding popular or expected features in modern games. Some may want to reward loyal fans by adding cut or missing content from the original game. Some may want to extend the game’s lifespan by adding content encouraging replayability or exploration. However, adding more content to games also has some challenges. Some may face technical difficulties or compatibility issues when adding new content to old games. Some may face criticism or backlash from fans who prefer the original game’s vision or design. Some may face legal or licensing issues when adding new content that involves third-party properties or rights.


From classic platformers to first-person shooters, game remakes and remasters have been a part of every genre. By revisiting our favorite releases from days gone by, we can experience them in ways we weren’t before. With visual and audio enhancements, online connectivity options, and expanded content, these versions of classics can keep us hooked for hours. They also bring back our old favorites with renewed life. What are some of your favorite game remakes and remasters? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’re looking for more gaming content, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media.


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