What Sets Apart Rereleased Video Games: Ports, Remasters, and More

Understanding the differences among video game rereleases: ports, remasters, and more. Plus, examples of each type.

What Sets Apart Rereleased Video Games: Ports, Remasters, and More
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In the dynamic world of video games, the return of familiar titles on modern gaming consoles has become a common occurrence.

However, these rereleases come in various forms, often labeled as ports, remasters, definitive editions, or remakes.

Understanding the differences between these terms can help players make informed decisions about which versions to explore.

Port: Keeping it Classic

A video game port involves releasing the same game on different hardware with minimal alterations. The core gameplay remains unchanged, and the primary purpose is to make the game compatible with new platforms. A noteworthy example is the release of 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim' on the Nintendo Switch, where the game was adapted to the unique capabilities of the console while retaining its original content.

Remaster: Enhancing the Aesthetics

When a game undergoes a remaster, it receives an updated visual treatment, including improved graphics and effects.

This process aims to enhance the game's appearance without making substantial modifications to the gameplay or technology.

By leveraging current hardware capabilities, titles like 'The Last of Us Remastered' for the PlayStation 4 demonstrate significant visual improvements while preserving the original gameplay.

Definitive Edition: Comprehensive Inclusions

The release of a definitive edition often occurs a year or two after the original launch, consolidating the base game and all its expansions or downloadable content (DLC) into a single package, providing players with the complete experience. 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition' is a compelling example, incorporating all add-ons and updates released after the initial launch.

Remake: Reinventing the Experience

In contrast to a remaster, a remake involves rebuilding the game from the ground up using new technology.

This ambitious endeavor requires a complete overhaul of the original game, delivering a fresh experience to modern audiences. 'Resident Evil 2' stands out as a remarkable remake, reimagining the classic survival horror title with modern graphics, gameplay mechanics, and storytelling techniques.

By discerning the differences between ports, remasters, definitive editions, and remakes, players can make more informed decisions when considering revisiting their favorite titles on contemporary platforms.

Each category offers a distinct approach to revitalizing beloved games, catering to diverse preferences and expectations.