A good game—excuse me, a great game—will stand the test of time. It will live on through the generations because of its appeal. Whether it’s the graphics, controls, story, music, etc., everyone has their own reason for liking a game and will continue to play it. Some games are so successful and loved by players that they are remade—meaning that the developers improve the graphics and controls and re-port them to a more advanced console. Also, some games that are re-released are merely emulated (or ported) onto a newer console.
In the case of Super Mario Bros. 3, which initially released on the Famicom/NES in 1988, was given a remastered enhancement in 1993 as part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the Super Famicom/Super NES. The game was made to look and sound even better than the original. Although improved, the first release is still a hit, as many people (including myself) still play it. Many more games have also been tinkered with and improved upon for re-release.
Why are games remastered or ported? While I’m not a professional game developer, I would guess that games are re-released for a variety of reasons. For one, the success or failure of a game would determine whether or not it goes back into the market. In most cases, I don’t think a game that turned out to be bad in the eyes of the vast majority of players would have much of a chance of being re-released. Secondly, there’s the financial aspect of it. Games cost money to make, and depending on what the developers wanted to do with a particular project, the cost could be high or low. Looking at it in terms of investments, would a game really be worth the time and effort it would take to remaster it and put it back into the market? A remastered game would likely cost more as opposed to a game that was merely re-ported to a newer console.
There is yet another reason games are re-ported or remade: availability for future generations. A re-released game would give new players a chance to experience the classics. For example, a child playing Pac Man 99 would be playing a variation of a game that his or her parents grew up playing. Getting to replay the oldies, even when they’ve been radically transformed in the case of Pac Man 99, is truly a treasure in my eyes.
Some games that I would like to see remastered and ported to modern consoles are Shadowgate, Startropics, Battletoads, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Dragon Warrior 4, and Mischief Makers. The list could go on and on, but I’ll just keep it short.