Skyrim is a definite too.
Having now released the ‘Definitive Edition’ of the eleven month old Tomb Raider on the Xbox One and the PS4, Square Enix can now rightly claim to be publishing the best game available for either system (until Rayman Legends hits, at least).
The upgrade may not be a particularly extensive reworking of the original, but during a launch period any new console will inevitably starve for content, and just as the 360 and PS3 hosted numerous cross-generation titles clearly designed with the previous consoles in mind in their first year (which eventually made way for HD collections and ports down the track) the new machines aren’t above hosting improved versions of recent gaming experiences.
With this in mind I’ve scoured over my gaming collection to see which games I’d happily replay on the new machines. This isn’t a simple question of quality – there are plenty of great games that probably wouldn’t benefit from these new consoles, but we feel like these games would be well worth replaying.
Let’s start with the obvious one, because GTA V simultaneously felt like a game that was pushing the 360 and PS3 to their absolute limits and like a game slightly constrained by their limitations. This was most notable online, where the ageing infrastructure of the older consoles made for less people and numerous little issues (not to mention hideously ugly character models, although I’m not sure who is to blame there). The campaign suffered from the occasional pop-in issues and the fact that we’d all seen footage of Watch_Dogs on next gen hardware. With DLC probably in the works, we’d love the chance to play it with new and improved controllers in hand.
This was actually rumoured to be happening for a while, and what a treat it would have been for all the PS4 owners who found themselves frustrated by the numerous problems that popped up in the PS3 port of the game. Skyrim is gorgeous on consoles, but it’s just a bit better on a good chunky modern PC, and having a big lengthy RPG to play would perhaps be good for all the early adapters who have felt as though they have nothing to play.
It was a real let-down that Team Fortress 2’s console version never got any of the PC updates, because playing it on 360 was a blast. I’d love to see the game revisited on modern consoles – I know I can play it on PC for free, but when everyone online has already plugged in so many hours it would be amazing to see a game with so much content started afresh, with a new player base who haven’t mastered the game. As for the rest of the Box – stick in Portal 2 (and Black Mesa, if that can be arranged…and maybe Left 4 Dead 2, there’s plenty of space on a Blu-Ray). Slide in a single Easter Egg into a (slightly polished) Half-Life 2 hinting at a new instalment, and boom. Honestly, any excuse to replay Half-Life 2 is a good one.
Playing PayDay 2 on the 360 was like playing most cross-platform games of the last few years on the Wii. The gap between the console and PC versions of this game felt particularly pronounced: it was a bit ugly and unwieldy and the whole interface didn’t really work. The community never really seemed to take off, but the current systems are lacking in strong co-op experiences. Stick with a $50 price-tag and really polish the game up and I think PayDay 2 could be a much better fit for these new systems than it was for the old ones.
I have a strange weakness for console-based point and click adventure games. Growing up I never had a computer capable of playing many games, but I loved the genre regardless (Broken Sword on the Game Boy Advance worked pretty well). I ended up playing Sam & Max Season 1 on the Wii, Season 2 on the 360, and Season 3 on the PS3…and none of them were ideal. Telltale have never been great at optimising their games on consoles, but their star has risen so high by now that I think slapping all the Sam & Max games, all the Back to the Futures, and the first season of The Walking Dead together on a single Blu-Ray disc and optimising them for performance could make for a lovely package. Just leave Jurassic Park off of it.
Would you happily replay touched up versions of 360/PS3 favourites, or would you rather developers focus on entirely new content, even if it makes for a slow first year? Let us know in the comments.