10 Best Demakes Of Modern Games

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Welcome to MojoPlays! Today, we're looking at top 10 video game demakes. Prepare for a hearty serving of nostalgia. For this list, we're looking at mods and projects – both official and fan-made – that aim to recreate a game in an older style. Not all these demakes are playable, but they are all awesome, artistic achievements. Our list includes a PS1 "Resident Evil Village" (2020), a 1990s "BioShock" (2007), "Super Smash Land" (2011), and more!

Atari 2600 “DOOM”

It’s always been part of “DOOM’s” brand that it can run on absolutely anything – someone in 2021 got it to run on a pregnancy test, after all – but until recently, it hadn’t appeared on the Atari 2600. The 2600 was discontinued a year before “DOOM” released, so it just missed its chance to be officially ported to the console, but one Atari fan called TheMajorHavoc created and uploaded this 2600 demake online – so, you can play this if you want! Provided you have a powerful enough PC≠ to run a 1993 game emulated on a 1977 games console. So, much like E1M1, you’re going to be able to play “DOOM 2600” on anything with a screen attached.

PS1 “Resident Evil Village”

It’s no secret that the internet was set ablaze with the early trailers for 2021’s “Resident Evil Village”; it was really love at first sight for “Resi” fans and Lady Dimitrescu. Just as the game was releasing, YouTuber Hoolopee uploaded this recreation of one of the game trailers as if it was running on the PlayStation 1 – just like old school “Resident Evil” games did. If that’s not enough for you, another YouTuber made a demo of “Resident Evil 7” for the same device. You can’t download and play the demo, but it is actual gameplay of Ethan walking around the Baker House and then getting ambushed by Jack.

1990s “BioShock”

Popular YouTube channel 98DEMAKE has put out plenty of artistic reinventions of popular games over the years, including this viral version of “BioShock” in 2017. Coming around the game’s landmark 10th anniversary – a day that changed gaming forever – it’s not a strict one-to-one recreation of a certain level, but you see lots of Rapture’s commonly-used assets. There’s some creepy lighting, Jack has his shotgun, we go through an underwater tunnel and fight off a splicer. Of course, the piece de resistance is the encounter with a hypnotised, friendly Big Daddy at the end. It’s all made of those awkward, 1990s polygons many people will fondly remember.

“Soundless Mountain II” (2008)

One of the most iconic horror games ever made, “Silent Hill 2” was ahead of its time back in 2001. Graphically, it destroyed most other games on the market, with those surreal FMV cutscenes and very detailed character models. But what if you’re tired of its graphical prowess, and wish you could’ve played it on the NES instead? Then this demake is for you. It was created by Jasper Byrne and released independently online in 2008, with the name carefully tweaked to try and avoid a copyright dispute. It’s also completely playable and recreates much of the game’s early parts, clocking in at around forty minutes. It’s also totally free, so you have no reason not to check it out if you own a PC.

“Disco Elysium: Game Boy Edition” (2020)

Undoubtedly one of the best modern games and best RPGs ever created, “Disco Elysium” has never been particularly demanding on hardware. But that hasn’t stopped one dedicated fan from remaking the game in the style of the Nintendo Game Boy. Everything is that familiar, monochromatic green, while all the great music has been redone in 8-bit – but don’t worry, it still sounds just as haunting. It was made by graphic designer Colin Brannan, and it’s playable in your own web browser; you don’t even have to download it or pay a cent. The dialogue has all had to be streamlined to fit into those small text boxes and the voice acting is gone, but this is a charming demake for anyone familiar with the original.

PS1 “The Last of Us”

Naughty Dog’s games have always been pushing the envelope of what a game is capable of being both graphically and narratively, bringing more and more cinematic elements into its games as the years go on. But this demake scales back those intense graphics for something that will be familiar to anyone who played the earliest “Metal Gear” games. You’ve got a top-down perspective and a mini-map that provides detection cones for enemies, as you sneak through derelict buildings. PS1 demakes have appeared for other Naughty Dog games, too, from a reimaging of “The Last of Us Part II” to another of the PS3’s best titles, the first “Uncharted”.

“Prime 2D” (TBA)

The success of “Metroid Dread” has proven that “Metroid” is still a hugely popular Nintendo franchise and one people desperately want new content for. But if Nintendo isn’t going to deliver on finally releasing “Metroid Prime 4”, then it’s up to the fans to generate new games themselves. “Prime 2D”, a demake of “Metroid Prime” that puts it in 2D like the very first games, gained a lot of attention in 2021 when its developer Team SCU uploaded a demo and some screenshots. But unfortunately, this is one demake you’re probably not going to see completed. Only a few months after the game started to gain attention, it was predictably hit with a cease and desist by Nintendo.

“Pixel Force Halo” (2019)

Created by a developer called Eric Ruth, this is just one of many demakes of the first “Halo” game. It takes “Halo” away from its home on the original Xbox and into the world of the SNES, as a side-scrolling shooter and platformer. Master Chief journeys through many of the game’s iconic locations and defeats the Covenant, jumping around like Mega-Man – and yes, it’s playable. Another developer, Ed Fries, went back even further and made a version of “Halo” that could have appeared on the 2600, while Hoolopee – who made the “Resident Evil” trailer – recreated the first gameplay reveal for “Halo Infinite” on the N64.

“Super Smash Land” (2011)

The very first “Smash” game hit the N64 in 1999, but though we’ve had many portable “Smash” games for the 3DS and, of course, the Switch, we never got to see what it would have looked like on the original Game Boy. Well, wonder no more! “Super Smash Land” is the demake your heart desires, bringing the frenetic chaos of “Smash” into a dozen shades of green. It was made by solo developer Dan Fornace and takes the risk of using the licensed Nintendo properties that featured in the actual game, like Mario and Pikachu. Miraculously, it’s not yet been shut down by Nintendo, and is available to download for free on any Windows machine.

“Bloodborne PSX” (2022)

For years, indie developer Lilith Walther has toiled away on this viral demake of “Bloodborne”, uploading gameplay snippets to her YouTube channel. It’s not the only “Soulsborne” demake out there, “Dark Souls” itself has been reduced to the PS1 before, and the scaled-down graphics definitely suit these games well. The best part about “Bloodborne PSX”, however, is its scope. Many of the iconic bosses appear, including the infamously tricky Father Gascoigne, the boss who frequently makes new players quit.