8 Best Video Game Reboots
Since the late 1970s, games have existed, and many series have come and gone. However, some of them need a bit of polishing to be better suited for a ...
Since the late 1970s, games have existed, and many series have come and gone. However, some of them need a bit of polishing to be better suited for a modern audience. These games are typically referred to as reboots, serving as entries in a series that act as a complete restart to reintroduce the franchise. Sometimes they are referred to as "soft reboots," where the majority of the canon is retained but offer a separate adventure to make it more accessible for newcomers.
Some reboots have failed, but many have succeeded in reviving great series, and some have even created games that are better than the original. You may be wondering which reboots out there are the best? Which games have managed to not only bring back their series but also be great games in their own right?
8 Tomb Raider (2013)
Until 2013, Tomb Raider had not released a new entry since Tomb Raider: Underworld five years prior, which was considered disappointing in terms of sales. Additionally, the game had technical issues and seemed to mark the end of a trilogy that began with Tomb Raider: Legend. Fans wondered where Lara would go next.
The series was rebooted with the simply titled Tomb Raider, originally intended as a prequel. Here, Lara Croft embarks on her first adventure as she and her friends shipwreck on an island ruled by a lost Japanese queen and her cult. The game was a major success both critically and commercially, and is still fondly remembered as one of the best games in the entire history of the series.
7 Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein is mostly known as the old game where you attack Hitler's castle and one of the most iconic shooters of all time. But Wolfenstein: The New Order seems to have taken all the good aspects from modern games, such as a focus on storytelling, excellent controls, and thrilling combat, and integrated them into a new Wolfenstein game.
Wolfenstein: The New Order successfully brings back BJ Blazkowicz and tells a new and exciting story while still being an overall fantastic game that seamlessly fits into the series. This reboot is often praised for bringing the franchise into the modern era.
6 God Of War (2018)
When it was announced that there would be a God of War reboot, many were concerned about how they would portray Kratos in the new game. Would it simply be about him annihilating the Norse gods in another act of revenge? Or would they try to give him a redemption story in some way, which would be difficult to execute?
It turned out to be the latter, but along with the redemption story came a captivating world inspired by Norse mythology, a heart-wrenching narrative, and some of the best combat the series has ever seen. God of War is a love letter to the series' fans and stands as an example of a fantastic "soft reboot" for a beloved franchise.
5 Resident Evil 7
When Resident Evil 6 was released, it divided fans with its strange gameplay and even stranger story, where players took control of a duo of different characters while a new virus devastated China. But imagine the shock and surprise of people when a game that seemed to be inspired by Kojima's P.T. demo was actually announced as Resident Evil 7.
The game served as a soft reboot that returned to the horror roots of the series, taking place in a first-person perspective and featuring a new setting with an immersive atmosphere. Resident Evil 7 became a major success and is considered a savior of the once struggling Resident Evil franchise, alongside a series of impressive remakes.
4 DOOM (2016)
Doom will always be known as one of the classic and iconic shooters, but it will soon also be known for a fantastic remake. While staying true to the series' aesthetics with incredible music and fast-paced, action-packed gameplay, the reboot simply known as Doom impressed the gaming community.
Although it didn't introduce a completely new story or have to change much of its formula, the game had fun incorporating more modern elements of shooters and fantastic designs of its demonic enemies, which led to it being viewed as a great return to form for the series.
3 Tomb Raider: Legend
Yes, we can hardly believe it either, but the Tomb Raider series has actually undergone two reboots. After the critically panned Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, Eidos Interactive was let go, and Crystal Dynamics was chosen as the new developer for the Tomb Raider games. A lot was at stake, but they impressed everyone with Tomb Raider: Legend, a game that kept the classic, sassy Lara Croft intact and told a story that delved deeper into her origin tale.
It was the beginning of a brand-new trilogy and impressed with fantastic environments, from tombs beneath England to urban settings in Japan. Tomb Raider: Legend is still regarded as the pinnacle of the series, and its success ensured further games for the franchise.
2 Hitman (2016)
Hitman has always been a mysterious series that had a loyal following but also tried to break into the broader mainstream market. While it had been well-received for years, its soft reboot with the simple title Hitman also began a new trilogy. The stealth-action game leveraged advancements in stealth mechanics and gameplay, as well as significantly improved visual effects.
The game also had more storytelling, particularly to showcase the intriguing relationship between Agent 47 and Diana. This provided a framework for the missions and made them significantly more memorable as a result.
1 Grand Theft Auto 3
Perhaps the most successful reboot of all, Grand Theft Auto 3 was a soft reboot released in 2001 that significantly elevated the Grand Theft Auto series. While the first two titles had a fan base, Rockstar Games became synonymous with the series through the third main installment, which introduced an open world, an atmospheric city, and improved gameplay in a new 3D environment.
The game was controversial, creative, and ultimately commercially successful, effectively transforming Rockstar Games into the esteemed company they are today. It paved the way for Grand Theft Auto to become one of the most successful series of all time.