Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. While 2020 has been a fantastic year that has closed the book on a console generation and looked to the past, it has also been a year of revivals. Of remakes and remasters, of sequels to long-forgotten games and a resurrection of time-honoured franchises. There’s a certain joy in being able to revisit the past, but to be able to do so in a manner that respects the source material and reinvigorates it for a new generation?
That’s just priceless. Before we get to the best that the past had to offer today, here’s a few honourable mentions:
Final Fantasy Remake Part 1
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Streets of Rage 4
Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon 2
And the winner is…Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 Remaster
From the very first second that you pick up speed in an abandoned warehouse and smash through a wall, you know you’ve come in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2. Neversoft may no longer be among us, but the legacy that the developer left behind is a masterclass in fun. Going back to the drawing board, developer Vicarious Visions took the very bones of the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater games and injected it with new-gen upgrades and features.
At the same time, there’s so much about the game that has been tweaked and modified, streamlined to feel, and play better than you remember it. You don’t even have to use those enhancements in case you feel like sticking to classic control schemes, but the fact that the option is there, speaks volumes about the attention and care lavished upon this hybrid remake-remaster.
But above all else, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a love letter to the past. It is layered in references and nods to what came before it, but it carries those influences forward with confident momentum and always sticks the landing. It is inviting to veterans and newcomers, a bold blast from the past that tags in one of the best-licensed soundtracks of all time to deliver over 900 hours of joy when it launches off of the half-pipe.
Last Updated: December 7, 2020