It’s that time of year, where the anticipation and excitement of the holiday season reaches gamers like a well-built wave. No matter what holiday you celebrate at this time of the year, chances are you’re ready to give and receive some very cool gifts. But what exactly should you focus on and what should you add to your holiday buy list? That’s where I come in and help you out. In this series, I’ve got plenty of recommendations and interesting suggestions to make your holiday season amazing and EPIC.
For those who have been gaming for a very long time, you can’t go wrong with the classics. Whether it’s the games we grew up with after school or the ones we reminisce about with a warm memory, sometimes we just love to relive the golden times of gaming’s past. Who doesn’t love going back and playing some of those iconic first appearances by our favorite gaming heroes and heroines, or jumping back into the fray for another set of matches, or maybe even seeing our favorite stories told to us once again. Nostalgia is a powerful thing for all of us at any time of the year, but the holidays can be great for it.
So in the spirit of the (Christmas or otherwise) past, let’s look at some rereleases of games this year that may speak to the nostalgic gamer this season.
Onimusha: Warlords and Devil May Cry HD
Capcom might appear a few times in this edition, because they seem to really love bringing back some of our favorite games from console generations past. This year saw the rerelease of two classic games from separate franchises across different platforms, Onimusha: Warlords and Devil May Cry. The former is a series we’ve hardly seen in a long time, with the last entry of the series being released during the Wii era.
However, the original hero of the Onimusha series Samanosuke has been absent for a very long time. So it was very interesting to see Capcom randomly revive the original PS2 game for multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Switch that added portability to the classic title. If you or someone you know loves samurai stories, has an affinity for games like Capcom’s Resident Evil series, or just likes hunting demons; then this might be a fun add-on to anything you get this year.
Speaking of demon hunters, you can’t get any more stylish with the latter game about everyone’s favorite stylish son of Sparda. The original Devil May Cry has been released multiple times between the PS3 and PS4 generations, but the first game also had a release on Nintendo Switch earlier this year.
While lacking some of the innovations that came from later entries of the franchise, Devil May Cry still has the charm and appeal of older Resident Evil titles, as well as the cool nature of its series hero Dante. Demon hunting never looked so good (until it did later) and being able to fight the forces of the netherworld on the go was never this fun before. Both titles are great and will bring back those fun times anyone had on the PlayStation 2, but in a different way.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King
Who doesn’t love a good Disney classic? Who doesn’t love two great Disney games from the SEGA Genesis and Super Nintendo? But why not have all of that and more with this collection of Disney games that includes a ton of extra content that Disney fans will enjoy? The Disney Classic Games collection with Aladdin and The Lion King has multiple versions of these two games, including ones that were never before released and updated since their initial run. Who remembers running through the rooftops of Agrabah with a sword in hand and apples to throw? This release has a Final Cut version of Aladdin that fixes certain parts of the gameplay to make a more enjoyable experience. And while The Lion King might not get the same thing, you do have all of the original music and video featurettes that appeal to those who were around back then.
In addition, many behind the scenes videos and special performances related to the games give fans a new look at games that really spoke to a generation. No matter what platform you play on (PS4, Xbox One, Switch), there will be a lot of Disney magic happening in your household.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Just because there’s a few friendly ghost around, doesn’t mean you can’t bust a few bad ones too! With a lot of talk about a new film in the works, seeing Ghostbusters: The Video Game get rereleased on multiple platforms is a fun sight. Any fan of the films or cartoons over the years will appreciate being able to see their favorite characters back again for a new adventure done in the same spirit as the first film. Those playing on Nintendo Switch will be able to take the ghost busting with them anywhere, but even if you’re home enjoying the toastiness of your PS4 and Xbox One, busting will still make you feel good.
The entire original cast returns to voice their characters from the films, which is a great thing for long time Ghostbuster fans. The graphics from the original PS3 release have been polished up, though the rest of the story and gameplay remains the same. While we may never get another live action adventure with this cast again (rest in peace Egon), we can all still enjoy a fun and heartfelt story with the original Ghostbusters this holiday. Just don’t forget to NEVER cross the streams!
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered and Collection of Mana
For the JRPG people out there, there’s many different classics for you to choose from. But if we’re going to limit our selection (we’d be here all day if we didn’t!) then you should definitely look into picking up some of Square Enix’s latest rereleases. Final Fantasy VIII is a classic role-playing game from the original PlayStation era, with a story about love and coming of age that has some of the best musical pieces in the franchise.
For the release of Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, Square Enix polished up the character models and a few other aspects to give the game a fresh new appeal. If you never played the original game on PS1, or just want to relive the classic tale of Squall and Rinoa’s story, then there’s plenty of ways to do so now. This is the best version of Final Fantasy VIII released to date, and you’d be silly not to see what about it has touched the hearts of generations of gamers over the years.
And then there’s the Collection of Mana, a bundle of classic SNES and Super Famicom titles from Square’s long running Mana series. Secret of Mana is the game that took a new direction for the Japanese role-playing genre, implementing real-time combat and other interesting elements that stood unique among other iconic games of the era. At the same time, this bundle features Trials of Mana, a never-before released game outside of Japan for the first time.
It not only improves upon the formula established in Secret of Mana, but adds so many new elements for JRPG enthusiasts to sink their teeth into. But if that wasn’t enough, the last title in the collection, The Final Fantasy Adventure, provides one more tale related to the Mana series. There’s a ton of JRPG goodness in here that will keep anyone busy for hours, but both games are great choices for those who love their games filled with epic stories of good vs evil, as well as plenty of EXP grinding.
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Maybe somebody you know just loves to shoot things. Not necessarily other people online, but maybe they enjoy saving the world with the biggest guns they can holster. And luckily this year, two classic games were released again that fit the criteria. Turok and Turok 2 were classics on both the Nintendo 64 and Windows PC back in the day, which focused on the titular Native American hunter who protects our world from many mystical evils. Night Dive Studios did their best to blend both versions of each game into one, creating a definitive edition for new gamers who own a Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One.
Turok 1 features both the Nintendo 64 and PC version soundtracks, along with polished visuals and revamped controls for the new consoles. While Turok 2 takes away the multiplayer features of the N64 version, it greatly improves the single player campaign and adjusts the controls for the best experience. The explosions and prehistoric enemies you encounter have never looked or sounded this good before.
All the Other Classic Game Goodies
There were many games released this year that fit the criteria I’m going by, but here’s a few more extra suggestions for you to check out for your holiday list. We can’t get into each of them now (because we’d be here all day again!), but the nostalgic gamer in you or someone you know will definitely enjoy all of these classic games released this year.
- Resident Evil 4 (NS)
- Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition (NS, XB1)
- SNK 40th Anniversary Collection (PS4/XB1)
- Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD (NS)
- Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen (NS)
- Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition (NS)
- Castlevania Anniversary Collection (NS, PS4, XB1)
Did you enjoy this holiday gift guide list? Got suggestions or something you want to see this holiday? Leave us a comment down below and let your voice be heard!