Much like in film and television, reboots have become increasingly popular in the video game industry in recent years and given the nature of the gaming landscape, this trend makes a lot of sense. As a medium, video games have evolved at a much more rapid pace in the last few decades than film or television have over the same period, to the point where anyone making video games in the 1980s or even the 90s could have scarcely imagined how far technology would advance. This step up in graphical horsepower has resulted in a number of ambitious reboots over the series, as developers have taken retro series and transitioned them from 2D into 3D. However, this is only one type of video game reboot and really, any series installment that represents a “refresh” arguably earns the label.
With that in mind, it’s important that I mention that I’m playing a bit fast and loose with the term “reboot” in this article, as a handful of the games below are technically sequels and not a full retooling of their respective franchises. That being said, I feel like they represent enough of a departure from their predecessors to qualify as reboots, even if they don’t really fit the standard definition. Now that that disclaimer is out of the way, here are the 15 greatest video game reboots ever made!
15. Resident Evil 7
I debated whether to put Resident Evil 4 here instead but while that 2005 classic did indeed represent a pretty significant shuffling of the deck for Capcom’s iconic survival horror series, I feel like Resident Evil 7 was more of a refresh overall. Although there is a number in its title, Resident Evil 7 has very little connection to prior Resident Evil games. Gone are the campy villains and action-packed gameplay of the post RE4 era and in their place is a disturbing, claustrophobic haunted house experience that returns the series firmly to its survival horror roots.
The switch to a first-person perspective helps add to the creep factor, as the horrific nature of the backwoods Baker family reveals itself and gets under your skin (and it all gets even wilder if you play in VR). Stripping away almost every familiar franchise character and changing up the gameplay to such a significant degree was a risky gamble on Capcom’s part, but one that wound up paying off. RE7 was critically-acclaimed and sold well, which suggests that Capcom will continue with its new vision for Resident Evil when it comes time to release Resident Evil 8.