The Four Greatest Reboots Of All Time
Sometimes, rather than a sequel, a series just needs a fresh start. If said reboots neglect to respect the legacy of their source material, they can be crushingly disappointing. Fortunately, there are plenty of examples of reboots that have done it right…
4. Metal Gear Solid
We don’t need to explain to you why Metal Gear Solid is such a great game, but you might be wondering why we’re classing it as a reboot. Alongside the fact that it brought Metal Gear into the 3D era, the reason we make this claim is that MGS uses many of the exact same scenarios and story beats as the first two Metal Gear games. From the fact that Metal Gear 2 opens inside a hanger with an elevator, to receiving anonymous advice from a character that turns out to be Gray Fox, there are a raft of examples of parallels that support the argument it’s basically a remake.
3. DMC: Devil May Cry
Some fans of Devil May Cry may have been unhappy that DMC’s new Dante didn’t have his floppy white hair, but that’s not something we can honestly say was a problem for us. The Devil May Cry games built their reputation on the fact that they are excellent action games and, the fact is, Ninja Theory’s DMC is exactly that. A game based around combo building, technical skill and score chasing, DMC remains faithful to Devil May Cry’s key tenents, while also showing Ninja Theory is a studio with their own ideas. The incredible Bob Barbas boss fights stands out as one example.
2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Rebooting one of the most highly regarded and influential games of all time, in the form of Deus Ex, was no easy task. Square Enix did an absolutely stellar job with Human Revolution, however. In the way that it lets you customise your character and ensures that those choices have an impact on how each mission plays out, the game retains that sense of freedom and flexibility that made the original special. It also has a similar atmosphere to the first game, its design drawing from the same cyperpunk tradition whilst also having its own identity. It only it didn’t have those boss fights…
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM tops our list by virtue of the fact that it perfectly encapsulates what a reboot should be. That is, it places the elements that made the original game successful at its core, makes it accessible to a modern audience without compromising the basic form of its gameplay and is a game that can be enjoyed equally by newcomers and fans of the series. With Enemy Unknown, the lineage of the original X-Com games lies in the way that the game responds to your mistakes. Just as in the original, errors are ruthlessly punished, with the game famously managing to create surprisingly strong bonds with your band of characters because of the fact that you know they can die easily if you screw up and that their death will be permanent. Firaxis also deserves kudos for taking a game that’s part of what’s seen as a ‘PC genre’ and showing that those kinds of games can work on console if designed correctly. XCOM is both a fantastic game in its own right and a wonderful, loyal homage to the series that it rebooted.