Top Five Classic Games That HAVE Modernized Well

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It's not an easy task to take a once-popular gaming franchise and fine-tune it to appeal to a modern day audience. Games with cute graphics and simple gameplay aren't very marketable to a more blood-thirsty and online competitive modern crowd. Remember when certain NES games would cost up to $60 when they first came out? No one would buy a simple NES game for that much money these days.

Luckily, there are certain games that were popularized on the NES that have retained their classic charm and feel, yet have matured enough in order to make it a brand-new experience with present day sensibilities. The following are best examples of five classic games that do just that.

5. Castlevania

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Although a lot of fans foolishly dismissed the recent Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for being a "God of War clone," they fail to see that this most recent entry in the Castlevania series has more in common with its NES origins than the "metroidvania" titles such as Symphony of the Night. Lords of Shadow was an excellent attempt to push the Castlevania series forward. It was stuck for quite some time as a portable-only game series that played very similar to each other. The series was not growing. When Lords of Shadow was released for the XBOX360 and PS3, developer MercurySteam turned the Castlevania series into a very somber and serious game with a similar ambiance to popular fantasy movies such as Pan's Labyrinth, and brought back combat-heavy level-based gameplay that was similar to the NES and SNES Castlevania games. Since combat was the focus of the game, a very deep fighting system was integrated into the game, making it very rewarding for players with patience and skill. After playing through the refreshingly new Castlevania experience that Lords of Shadow provided, the portable games felt like nothing more than a miserable little pile of repetitive gaming.


4. Metroid

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How does one update Metroid for a modern audience? How can Metroid be introduced into 3D without turning into a horrible game like Mega Man Legends? Luckily, developer Retro Studios took a big risk that paid off. Sure, fans (especially die-hard Metroid purists) were skeptical about how their precious 3rd-person action/adventure games series can be changed into a first-person view, but all that changed when Metroid Prime for the Gamecube was released. Everything that made the original Metroid was still there-- the music, the ambiance, the ridiculous boss battles, and the joy of searching every nook and cranny for hidden power-ups. All of these components were integrated flawlessly into a modern take on the Metroid series, the only thing that truly changed was the player's perspective, and the addition of a battle system similar to the excellent "Z-targeting" system from The Legend of Zelda series.


3. Pac-Man
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Sure, you can say that Pac-Man is basically the same game that it was when it was first came out in the arcades in 1980. You're still a yellow disembodied head eating a bunch of dots and running from ghosts. More than 30 years later, however, the way you play Pac-Man has significantly changed. Thanks to Pac-Man Championship Edition DX for XBLA and PSN, many modern-day characteristics that make downloadable games popular have merged with the timeless Pac-Man formula. The game is now significantly faster. The graphics and music are simple, yet stylish. Online leaderboards have replaced the typical high score display in the arcades, keeping the game competitive with your friends from all over the world. Seriously, when was the last time anyone has cared about a high score? And lastly, the entire feel of the game has changed. No longer is the player constantly running in fear of the all the ghosts in the game. Pac-Man players have been significantly empowered, and can now destroy a whole train of ghosts within seconds. And it's so satisfying to turn the tables of them after 30 years.

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18 comments
gametruthordare
gametruthordare

Without forgetting that human evolution is a step backwards. Not that it's not funny or anything, it just does not do something new. AllGames for Adults

cuthbert51
cuthbert51

As someone else pointed out, this list is about how games have modernized. Not how well specific games aged.

Having said that:

There are such things as "opinions," but sometimes people are so wrong with their "opinions," that they can't be seen as being valid. This list falls into that trap often. None of the following are even debatable.

First, thank you for not putting Zelda on here. Series peaked with game 1.

While Castlevania's 2 and 3 were pretty good, this is a franchise that peaked with Castlevania 1. Everything after 3? Umm... hell, no.

Metroid is in even worse shape. It easily peaked with Metroid 1 and has been struggling ever since, trying to match the first game.

Super Mario Bros: see Castlevania comment above.

Most people separate "Metal Gear" from "Metal Gear Solid," since the first game (Metal Gear) was almost perfect and the Solid series redesigned it all in such a way as to make it irresponsible to group the two together.

When your list is 60 to 80% trash, it's hard to take serious.

Chaseyamato
Chaseyamato

"How can Metroid be introduced into 3D without turning into a horrible game like Mega Man Legends?"All of my hatred.

Artie Augustyn
Artie Augustyn

What a fail of a list.

METAL GEAR? Are you serious? If I can think of one game that has not aged well at all it's god damn Metal Gear.

doa766
doa766

I suspect that if a 100 gamers were asked for a series that has NOT aged well, in particular with the change to 3D about 95 would name Castlevania

Brennan Pratt
Brennan Pratt

Doesn't include Deus Ex. Therefore, the article is worthless.

Thad Boyd
Thad Boyd

Shh, he's trolling.  Don't feed him.

Thad Boyd
Thad Boyd

Yeah, why on Earth would anybody suggest that a series that hasn't seen any significant change in 15 years had not modernized well?

Ken
Ken

The list wasn't about games that aged well, it was about games that modernized well.

Vignirsson
Vignirsson

I'd throw in LoS as well, it's great to do a reboot but this just never made sense to me and I didn't care about the characters or the connection between them.  I know the sequel is supposed to tie everything together but since LoS killed my interest in gaming, I'll never see it.  Oh well.

Namesource
Namesource

Oh crap, you're right.  All the Castlevania games blew (commercially and critically) until Lord of Shadows.

Lincoln
Lincoln

Deus Ex was never on the NES.  Therefore, your comment is worthless.

Kalu Ude
Kalu Ude

not to mention that Human Revolution is a step backwards. Not that it's no fun or anything, it just doesn't do anything new. Anything at all 

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