HD Collections are all the rage nowadays in the video game industry. We’ve seen HD Collection releases such as the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, the Silent Hill HD Collection, the Sly Cooper Collection, and more. Sony has been a huge proponent of this practice, with a few third party publishers also taking the leap. However, I’d love to see other third party publishers as well as the first-party hardware makers throw their hat in the ring as well. HD Collections are good for gaming, and these are my Top 5 Most Wanted HD Collections.
05. Kingdom Hearts HD Collection (PlayStation 3)
Fans of Kingdom Hearts have been clamoring for an HD Collection in the series for quite some time. It’s one of the most requested HD Collections that I see when browsing video game forums, and for good reason. The Kingdom Hearts games haven’t even been released as PS2 Classics or as XBLA/PSN games. They’ve been released exclusively on the PlayStation 2, and that is a crime to gaming.
Obviously, the first two Kingdom Hearts games and the PS2 remaster of Chain of Memories are musts for the collection. That goes without question. The rest of the Kingdom Hearts games have mostly been spinoffs on handheld devices, mainly the Nintendo handheld systems like 358/2 Days, re:Coded, and the very recently released Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Due to the content of these games, it’s very unlikely that they could be released as an HD Collection package (maybe on the Wii U, but that’s a big maybe).
However, there was one Kingdom Hearts game that has been severely underplayed. That game is Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, the PSP release in the franchise that has yet to be released on PSN due to licensing issues. Square Enix could remaster the game and take out the licensed music so that more people can have a chance to play it. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection includes Peace Walker, a PSP game, so I really don’t see why the PSP game Birth By Sleep couldn’t be included in a Kingdom Hearts HD Collection.
This is my dream for a Kingdom Hearts HD Collection:
Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (PS2)
Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP)
04. Final Fantasy HD Collection (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3)
Final Fantasy is one of the biggest gaming franchises of all time. The series has fallen on the downside in recent years thanks to Square Enix milking XIII and XIV being a massive MMO flop. However, the Final Fantasy series was once proud and amazing, and even if I personally didn’t like some of the games, I recognize that most people did and do, and they are incredibly important to gaming.
Ideally, the ultimate Final Fantasy HD Collection would contain entries I-X and XII. XI probably shouldn’t be included due to its status as an MMORPG, but maybe a free trial for XI could be included in the Xbox 360 version of the HD Collection, so players can try it out and see if it is right for them. Final Fantasy VII was just recently re-released on Steam with achievements, so it’s not a stretch to imagine that most, if not all of the games, could have their own set of trophy/achievements. Perhaps the older Final Fantasy games could have a lower list of achievements/trophies, akin to most PSN and all XBLA games.
So yeah, here’s what I want out of a Final Fantasy HD Collection:
Final Fantasy (NES)
Final Fantasy II (NES)
Final Fantasy III (NES)
Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
Final Fantasy V (SNES)
Final Fantasy VI (SNES)
Final Fantasy VII (PS)
Final Fantasy VIII (PS)
Final Fantasy IX (PS)
Final Fantasy X (PS2)
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
And there are a number of spinoffs of Final Fantasy that Square Enix could also potentially include in such a collection. And if releasing all these games in one collection is just too much for Square Enix, maybe they could pair them up based on different generations. Like have one collection that has an NES FF, an SNES FF, and a PS FF, with X and XII together in their own HD Collection.
03. Resident Evil HD Collection (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3)
To Capcom’s credit, they have re-released Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica X as HD remasters on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. And they are even releasing a special bundle of Resident Evil 6 that, on the PS3, will include the likes of Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, Resident Evil 2, and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
But that is not a true HD Collection, and it leaves out a few major games. The original Resident Evil has been re-released about a thousand times on every video game system imaginable. It’s run its course. On the other hand, the Resident Evil GameCube remake has only been released on GameCube and Wii, which cuts out a pretty big chunk of gamers that are non-Nintendo fans that still haven’t been able to play what is an absolute survival horror classic. The same can be said for the other GameCube Resident Evil game, Resident Evil 0.
You know what? I even want the spinoffs on this collection. If they’re going to release a Resident Evil collection, why not go all out? Why not put lesser-played games on the collection, such as Resident Evil: Dead Aim? Maybe they could release a special edition of the collection that includes the games that got a little less positive reviews, so that the diehard Resident Evil fans can finally have a complete box set of the RE franchise.
But as for essentials in a theoretical Resident Evil HD Collection, I think it’d have to include the following:
Resident Evil (GC)
Resident Evil 0 (GC)
Resident Evil 2 (PS)
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (PS)
Resident Evil 4 (PSN/XBLA)
Resident Evil: Code Veronica X (PSN/XBLA)
How much would a collection like this retail for? Knowing Capcom, at least $59.99, but I think the value here would more than make up for the price.
02. Grand Theft Auto HD Collection (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3)
Collections of the GTA games have been released in the past for last generation systems, and the games are even available as digital downloads through Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network (or at least, GTA III will be added as a PS2 Classic soon). GTA III is even available on iOS devices now! But that doesn’t mean a true HD Collection of Grand Theft Auto shouldn’t be released on current generation systems, especially with the release of GTA V imminent, such a collection could be a great marketing tool for Rockstar’s upcoming blockbuster.
Imagine the sixth generation classic Grand Theft Auto game remastered with HD visuals, online stat tracking, achievement/trophy support, and more. Just like with the MGS HD Collection, each game could have its own achievement/trophy list. GTA III could have its own, Vice City could have its own, and San Andreas could have its own.
But I don’t think a GTA HD Collection would be complete without including the spinoff games. This way players can have the full Grand Theft Auto III story as it is told across Vice City, San Andreas, and the two spinoff games that were originally released as PSP exclusives before being ported to the PS2. I am talking about Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories, of course. They would be the icing on the cake for this HD Collection. The older GTA games could even be included as a novelty, but since their quality is significantly lower than the games that came later, I’m not going to harp on that. Here’s what I think the perfect Grand Theft Auto HD Collection would include:
Grand Theft Auto III (PS2/Xbox)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2/Xbox)
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2/Xbox/PSP)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2/Xbox)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PS2/Xbox/PSP)
And like I said, Rockstar could even throw in the older GTA games just to sweeten the pot even further.
01. The Legend of Zelda HD Collection (Wii U)
Nintendo has re-released almost every entry in the main Zelda franchise once or twice. They are available on the Virtual Console service for the Wii (and presumably Wii U), and they have had remastered ports, straight ports, remakes, and more all made for them. Just recently Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D on the 3DS, and Shigeru Miyamoto is now talking about making a 3D remake of Majora’s Mask or A Link to the Past.
My point is that there has already been so many re-releases of the Zelda games that it’s time Nintendo put them together in one package. An HD Collection on Wii U containing the major Zelda games would be a major selling point for the Wii U, and if they included enough of the games, they could easily price it at $59.99, whereas I feel most Wii U games should be priced at $49.99 or somewhere between $50-$60 considering the tech is almost a generation old now (Wii U power is somewhat greater than Xbox 360 and PS3, in the same way that the Wii power was somewhat greater than the PS2 and Xbox).
What games would be included in such a package? Well, the original NES games are obvious inclusions. The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link may be vastly different games, but they are both incredibly important to the Zelda franchise. Most HD Collections don’t go back as far as to include the true classics in the franchise, but the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection included the NES games that preceded the Metal Gear franchise on PlayStation 2.
Another obvious inclusion would be A Link to the Past, the Super Nintendo classic that really put Zelda on the map for a lot of gamers. And it would be a crime not to include Ocarina of Time, the highest-rated video game of all time, and Majora’s Mask, one of the darkest Zelda games in history. The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword are all obvious inclusions as well, especially if Skyward Sword slows in the sales department when the Wii U launches this year.
Basically, my vision of a perfect Zelda HD Collection would include the following games:
The Legend of Zelda (NES)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (N64)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC/Wii)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (GC/Wii)
This is a large amount of games, but when you consider how dated some of them are, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that at least some of them could be included in such a collection. A bargain like this would surely push Wii U units as well, but if they could, Nintendo could easily split these off into separate collections, releasing them as Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, and including games in each collection based on where they stand in the overall chronological order of the series.