10 Video Game Remasters That Completely Failed on Day One

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy
Photo Credits: Rockstar Games

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and that’s what happened with these video game remasters.

From graphics that were improperly scaled to entirely new glitches that made the games nearly unplayable, we’re not sure what the games’ developers were thinking when they released a product that actually detracted from the original appeal of each title.

Here are 10 video game remasters that failed at launch.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy Remaster

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy
Photo Credits: Rockstar Games

One of the latest in the line of remastered failures, we have GTA: The Trilogy remaster. When news came that this trilogy was to be remastered, a lot of the fans were partially excited and partially confused. Mainly because the main games were iconic and could still stand the test of time.  

What came of it was a devastatingly glitchy mess. The only improvement that we could all notice was the new art style and somewhat modernized graphics and lighting. And even then, there were still graphical issues, notably with the raindrops falling in an obvious pattern, non-existent draw distance, and unstable frame rates in GTA 3.

The originals of these games were a comforting reminder of the edgy and daring, with dirty jokes and violence on every corner should you crave for it. The remake toned it all down and took on a stance that feels more conservative in nature. Honestly, the remaster feels like a try-hard teenager trying to fit in.

Silent Hill HD Collection

Silent Hill HD Collection
Photo Credits: Konami

The first thing we think about when talking about Silent Hill is the game’s foggy abandoned ghost town. The atmospheric nature of the fog is what makes Silent Hill a creepy and mysterious place to visit. It gives you that claustrophobic feeling of being closed in and touched by the unknown. The remaster slaps all of that away.

The cinematics was supposed to be enhanced through obvious upscaling of the original videos rather than a complete remake or by going through the original assets and fixing things from there. The videos were expanded sideways and stretched, basically to fit the 16:9 frame they were being forced to fit within.

The only thing commendable about the remake is the parts that they didn’t touch, which is painfully ironic. Sure, if you would like a walk down memory lane with clunky controls and graphics with obvious attempts at enhancements then the HD collection would suffice.

Warcraft 3: Reforged

Warcraft 3: Reforged
Photo Credits: Blizzard

Blizzard is crashing and burning currently, so let’s bring back a memory that will fuel your anger further! Warcraft 3: Reforged was dubbed the worst-rated game on Metacritic back in 2020, which it wholeheartedly deserves. The launch itself was a mess with several promised features notably missing and evidence of false advertising.

The worst part is the state the game was launched in – it was filled with bugs and overall seemed like an unpolished product pushed out to meet its deadline. Plus, these bugs seemingly crawled over to the original Warcraft game itself and caused issues there so those who didn’t even bother to purchase the remaster had to suffer from it too.

The bugs took away certain features of the existing game as well, and although Blizzard tried to roll out updates and patches, the damage was done. The way the team kept brushing off the issues in the process just leaves a bad impression that is still evident today.

Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis

Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis
Photo Credits: Sega

As a game that was released for Sonic’s 15th Anniversary, you would think that Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis would make more of an impact. Sadly, that is not the case. This version didn’t add much to the original, literally only a Spin Dash and the ability to save. Mindblowing, right?

Even so, the game itself had its own set of glitches and downgrades, certain movements get stuck and slowed down as well as providing terrible sound design. The painful part is that we know they could have done better, they just didn’t.

It’s evident because Sonic Advance was released years prior to this and showcased that Sega was fully capable of creating a really good modernized Sonic game, or the very least, a satisfying one. But they didn’t.

Xiii Remake

XIII Remake
Photo Credits: PlayMagic

XIII was a great childhood memory for many gamers, so the remake was highly anticipated. What was released ended up being a total mess.

The gameplay was dated with all sorts of bugs and glitches filling the game. The beloved cel-shading animation and graphics had also been modernized into a 3D life-like model. The game had all sorts of issues from controls and framerates to its sound design and graphics rendering. 

The devs blamed the whole issue on the Coronavirus pandemic and resolved to fix all of the issues whilst adding new levels and features, but its fanbase has already been disappointed and appears to have moved on.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Photo Credits: 343 Industries

343 Industries is the only one on this list that managed to turn around a disastrous release into somewhat of a success. When Halo: The Master Collection was launched, it was filled with online issues that made players wait in queues forever to enter a game and some gamers were not able to join games at all.

This lasted for quite a while, with Microsoft promising that they would fix the issue. But as it turned into months, players were getting impatient and the devs had to appease their fanbase by giving out freebies that included a month of Xbox Live Gold and Halo 3: ODST. 

Eventually, the problem was fixed but it is still an annoyance that everyone continues to keep alive in the back of their minds for future releases.

Devil May Cry HD Collection

Devil May Cry HD Collection
Photo Credits: Capcom

It’s sad that this remaster is only HD in name and not evident in the port to the PS4. It had some enhancements, but it’s basically the same game from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. There’s nothing new, which makes it boring and dull. 

They didn’t even attempt to enhance any assets or textures, and the issues from the previous versions remain the same. It’s basically a reskinned version of the old game, which is annoying because… we pay for this? The absurdity of it all left a lot of players dumbfounded.

No new content or feature was added, which is a bummer. When you think of remasters, you would expect either a game that was fully enhanced or with new features added to it. We definitely did not expect this bare minimum effort that barely scratches the surface.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD

Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD
Photo Credits: Robomodo

We finally see some justice with the newest collection of Tony Hawk’s games, but the one released in 2012 was an absolute dumpster fire. Just like the Devil May Cry remaster and some of the previous remasters from the Tony Hawk franchise, this was a bare minimum effort at a remaster.

It was even delisted back in 2017 because honestly, nobody wants to play this game. There were features and parts of the original game that were missing in the remaster, which made most players decide to skip it. A lot of levels, original soundtracks, and skaters were missing and the game itself had a ton of bugs and control issues.

It’s half of the original with twice the problems. A sad disappointment for Tony Hawk fans everywhere with this one. At least we now have access to the newer and better version of the game, so the devs redeemed themselves there.

Turtles in Time: Reshelled

Turtles in Time: Reshelled
Photo Credits: Ubisoft Singapore

Turtles in Time is an absolutely class arcade and console game but this time around it was just plain weird. The game was remade into 3D which added to its overall game size, and the gameplay was changed from a linear horizontal plane of attack to a 360 range of attacks.

It made fighting and gameplay easier, sure, but the animations were awkwardly done and looked very janky. Its online multiplayer mechanic was also disappointing as most players were dropped out of games pretty fast due to unstable connections on the game’s side. 

It is a novel idea to make some of these enhancements and features, and if it was well-done players would’ve loved it. However, this looks like an entirely different game, and for those who wanted an enhanced taste of the original, this Reshelled version doesn’t really scratch that itch.

Crysis Remastered

Crysis Remastered
Photo Credits: Crytek

The token phrase ‘Can it run Crysis?’ was a popular saying for a while, mainly due to the fact that Crysis has always had high system requirements in order to run smoothly. This was in 2007, which is why Crysis had set high expectations for players eager to experience its remaster released in 2020.

But, alas, although there were some slight enhancements and refinements from its original version, the graphics and experience of the remake were poorly optimized and were quite the letdown. Sure, it’s okay, but Crysis was supposed to be breathtaking.

Probably the one part that sparked outrage amongst players is the scraped Ascension chapter of the game. The graphical issues could be overlooked, but missing a whole chapter that could showcase the graphical enhancements of the game was a sore misjudgment on Crytek’s part.

Final Notes

That’s just 10 of the video game remasters that have failed gamers at the time of release (and some of them were never fixed). It’s nice that remasters are being made to deliver us a healthy dose of improved (sometimes) nostalgia but if they are not on par with the original or better, it’s better to have not been made at all.


  • Sarah Paul

    I dip my toes in all things nerdy. I started writing and never looked back! I'll write about anything under the sun if you give me the chance, but my loyalty currently lies with nerd culture.

Sarah Paul

Written by Sarah Paul

I dip my toes in all things nerdy. I started writing and never looked back! I'll write about anything under the sun if you give me the chance, but my loyalty currently lies with nerd culture.

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