The best remakes and remasters on Nintendo Switch

Best Switch Remakes
Image: Nintendo Life

It used to be that if you missed a certain game, you could only buy the original console and game. Thanks to services like Virtual Console, you can then emulate those old games without having to own old consoles, and at much cheaper prices than used car sales.

Then came the era of remasters with updated graphics, controls, and sometimes even new content, and being able to play old games on new hardware was pretty exciting. But the riskiest re-release of all is the remake, which requires completely overhauling a beloved game and hoping the end product isn’t an insult to players’ precious memories. Very few game developers have taken that risk… but when it pays off, it pays off big.

Many of the very best remakes and remasters can be found on the Nintendo Switch, and while we don’t have the incredible Final Fantasy VII Remake or the sexy PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls, we’re certainly not short of awesome, polished games.

In fact, we’ve made a list of some of our favorites, and while our criteria have gotten a bit unclear (does a port count as a remaster? Does “HD” in the title actually mean anything?), we think we’ve got a pretty solid one going list of those that we like the most.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo

Release date: 09/20/2019 (United States of America) / 09/20/2019 (UK/EU)

Link’s Awakening on Switch is a highest Revision, not only in terms of the stunning new graphics and new art style, but also in the revised score that accompanies it, with the old Plinky Plonk Game Boy instruments – which were quite special for their time – through the majesty of an almost fully orchestrated re-recording of familiar old tunes. It is often surprisingly emotional to revisit those magical places you had long forgotten, to rediscover one or the other hidden passageway; Latent memories are suddenly awakened as this music, so familiar but now also so new and grandiose, flies away in the background.

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Grim Fandango Remastered (Switch eShop)Grim Fandango Remastered (Switch eShop)

Publisher: double fine / Developer: double fine

Release date: November 1, 2018 (United States of America) / November 1, 2018 (UK/EU)

The fact that you’ve been able to play Grim Fandango Remastered on your television and in handheld form elsewhere for years doesn’t matter, because this gem of a game is still as enchanting and immersive as it was the first time you played it it opened That Oversized Cardboard Box in 1998 on PC. Here and now on Nintendo Switch, thanks to Double Fine’s clever adjustments, this port looks and runs noticeably smoother than its portable versions, so whether you’ve already accompanied Manny on his afterlife odyssey or this is your first time among the dead , Switch is 100 percent better for its inclusion.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon Trap (Switch eShop)Wonder Boy: The Dragon Trap (Switch eShop)

Publisher: dotemu / Developer: lizard cube

Release date: April 18, 2017 (United States of America) / April 18, 2017 (UK/EU)

The Dragon’s Trap is remembered with such fondness today that its popularity arguably eclipsed the two 16-bit sequels that followed. Wonder Boy in the monster world and Monster World IV. It’s now been reimagined by French studio Lizardcube, a team of developers who openly describe themselves as hardcore fans of the original. The core gameplay is identical, but the graphics and sound have been extensively improved and a few small touches have been added to bring things up to modern standards. This is a remake treated with the care and attention of true fans, and it shows.

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind (Switch eShop)Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo

Release date: May 14, 2021 (UK/EU)

Famicom Detective Club consists of two parts: The Lost Heir, which was first released in Japan in 1988 and is almost as old as Mario; and The girl behind ita sequel that followed in 1989. The two games have never been released in English until now, apart from unofficial fan translations – and the remake with new graphics, localization and voice acting (available only in Japanese) was a surprise nobody expected.

The visual improvements made to these games go well beyond what you would expect from an under-the-radar remake of two 30+ year old Japanese titles. The animation technology used to make characters move and talk is reminiscent of the way the TV show Archer does it – a lot goes with little, and the characters will tilt their heads, smile and change their hair throw with convincing personality. As a nice little bonus, you can even change the soundtrack to the original Famicom bleeps and bloops – although the modern orchestral version is much nicer.

Katamari Damacy REROLL (Switch eShop)Katamari Damacy REROLL (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Bandai Namco

Release date: Dec 7, 2018 (United States of America) / Dec 7, 2018 (UK/EU)

In a cynical era where nostalgia is pumped to the max with endless soulless remasters, Katamari Damacy Reroll offers an immersive and rewarding game that hasn’t lost any of its original charm or personality as it transitions from one platform to another. With support for gyro control and multiplayer – not to mention a level of performance that runs smoothly in both handheld and docked modes – this Switch edition is easily the best way to play it without dusting off your old PS2 blow.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town (Switch)Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town (Switch)

Publisher: Wonderful (XSEED) / Developer: Wonderful (XSEED)

Release date: 07/14/2020 (United States of America) / July 10, 2020 (UK/EU)

While the remastered artwork of the original GBA Friends of Mineral Town might be a bit divisive, it’s still a beautiful, loving remake of the game for Switch that’s a lot more accessible and satisfying than digging up an old Game Boy. Resolution both docked and handheld looks nice and crisp, while frame-rate stays at a rock-solid 60fps throughout. This is accompanied by an upbeat soundtrack packed with accordions, synths and steel drums, providing a beautiful accompaniment to the visuals.

Although its roots as a handheld game occasionally resurface and not much new content has been added for this remake, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is more than a quality game that deserves a place in your Switch library.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (Switch eShop)Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom

Release date: 04/09/2019 (United States of America) / 04/09/2019 (UK/EU)

The Ace Attorney series has been ported many times before, so it was only a matter of time before Mr. Wright made his way to Switch. Luckily these new versions fared much better than the ones that surfaced on the Wii, with sufficient tweaking – including resizing and cleaning up every frame to make them look better than ever in both docked and handheld/TV modes . HD Rumble helps add that extra bit of vibrant ferocity to those shaky moments of exclamation—including, of course, Wright’s classic linework.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Switch)Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Switch)

Publisher: activity / Developer: Toys for Bob

Release date: 09/03/2019 (United States of America) / 09/03/2019 (UK/EU)

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a beautiful love letter to a classic series that retains everything that made the original games what they were, but gives it a fresh coat of paint for the HD era. There are a few creaky bones here and there that show their age, but that’s only due to the developers’ desire to keep things as accurate as possible. The Switch version looks absolutely stunning and performs surprisingly well. So if you’re looking for a classic 3D platforming experience, you should definitely check this out.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (Switch)Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (Switch)

Publisher: activity / Developer: Toys for Bob

Release date: June 29, 2018 (United States of America) / June 29, 2018 (UK/EU)

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a ruthlessly faithful recreation of some of the earliest successes in 3D platform gaming. The levels are smooth, beautiful to look at and do a great job of recreating the feel of the originals. Newcomers to the series might be put off by the steep difficulty spikes and little to no explanation of some of the finer mechanics, but it still manages to be a really enjoyable tweak of some old classics, warts and all. This is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of 3D platformers.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 (Switch)Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 (Switch)

Publisher: activity / Developer: Vicarious Visions

Release date: June 25, 2021 (United States of America) / June 25, 2021 (UK/EU)

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 for Nintendo Switch is a rock solid port of two really awesome remakes. These are truly two of the very best arcade sports titles of all time, reimagined, remastered and reimagined for the modern audience, with all the graphical bells and whistles, collectibles and game modes we’ve come to expect these days. With pristine performance in both docked and handheld modes, and graphics that still look good after a few necessary tweaks here and there, this is a collection we highly recommend you kickflip into ASAP. The best remakes and remasters on Nintendo Switch

Fry Electronics Team

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