Welcome to the Powet Top 5, where we explore the top (and bottom) 5 items we think are relevant to any of a variety of topics that span the imagination. Sit back, read, and respond.

Screenshot from the forthcoming Rise of the Triad remake, rebuilt from the ground up using Unreal Engine 3.

It’s quite easy to remake something, be it a tv show, movie, or video game. Maybe that’s why there are so many of them. At worst, a remake can be nothing more than a simple cash grab aimed at nostalgic fans. At best however, it can bring back what fans loved about the original work while introducing it to a whole new generation of fans. It’s not hard to make a good remake either, especially in gaming. There are 4 simple steps to making one:

1. Preserve (and enhance when and where necessary) what worked the first time around
2. Fix (or get rid of) what didn’t work
3. Add in new features that enhance the original experience without diluting it
4. Give it a graphical makeover. It doesn’t have to use today’s cutting edge graphics (and in some cases, it probably shouldn’t, just so as long as it looks better than it did the first time.

Here are 5 of the best remakes in video games. They’ve gone above and beyond simply reskinning and re-releasing the original game, they’ve added to it, and in some cases changing it completely while preserving what players loved about it so many years ago. Check them out, and sound off below if there is a remake that you enjoyed or that you want to see.

1. Resident Evil (2002 Gamecube/2009 Wii)
Resident Evil didn’t invent the survival horror genre (that honor belongs to Alone in the Dark), they made some of the biggest contributions to it, including the genre’s name. Players braved it’s clunky controls and horrid dialogue for thrills that are unmatched to this day. Remember when those zombie dogs crashed through the window? This remake part of an initiative by Capcom to bring the Resident Evil series to the Gamecube (and with it, some badly needed mature content for the system), and it ended up being one of the system’s top survival horror titles next to Eternal Darkness. With redone backgrounds, cinematics, re-recorded dialogue, improved gameplay, new areas, and a new subplot, Resident Evil stood out as a gory thriller on a system stereotyped as being for kids. All your favorite moments from the original were remade along with it. Remember those dogs I mentioned? You knew they were coming, but that didn’t make things any less terrifying. Resident Evil, along with Resident Evil 0, helped tide players over until Resident Evil 4 reinvented the series again.

2. Bionic Commando Rearmed (2008 Xbox Live Arcade/Playstation Network/PC)
This game was basically designed as a promotional tie-in to a retail-based Bionic Commando sequel/reboot. This downloadable title was actually better received than the retail game that it was designed to promote. Ironically, Rearmed is a remake of the NES adaptation of the arcade game, and the NES game was even more popular than the arcade original! Rearmed kept the same basic action and plot as the original, but gave it a graphical upgrade, toned down the difficulty, added boss encounters, and new weapons. Tongue-in-cheek references to parts of the original game kept this a light hearted affair compared to its sequel, and yes, Hitler’s head still exploded at the end of the game.

3. Mega Man Powered Up (2006 PSP)
Mega Man Powered Up s more than just a remake. It represents Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune’s original vision of the game which was held back by the NES’s hardware and a tight schedule. So in otherwords, you are playing Mega Man as it was intended to be. Powered Up offers two choices to play: original mode, which is the same level layout and music as Mega Man 1 with upgraded graphics, or new mode, with all new level layouts, and two new bosses. You can also play as the bosses, and the game features a level designer in which you can create and share levels online. You can also play as Roll and Protoman. Capcom also released a PSP remake of Mega Man X, entitled Maverick Hunter X which featured upgraded graphics, a new soundtrack, voice acting, anime cinematics, new storyline elements, and an unlockable mode to play as the villain Vile. Even if you played the original versions of Mega Man 1 and Mega Man X, you still want to experience this new take on the formula.

4. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix (2009 Xbox Live Arcade/Playstation Network)

The fighting genre, Capcom fighters especially, are notorious for re-releases that add new characters, gameplay tweaks, and features. Street Fighter 2 alone had 5 different versions, and that’s not counting any special home-release versions. That said, was it necessary for them to produce a REMAKE? When it’s this good, the answer is a resounding YES! At the time of its release it seemed as if it was little more than a way to tide players over until the release of Street Fighter IV, but that didn’t make it any less special. While the base gameplay and combos you knew and loved were still a part of the game, the game featured a remixed soundtrack from Overclocked Remix, new character sprites and backgrounds which were done by Udon studios (the artists behind the Street Fighter comics), and gameplay and combo re-balancing by lead designer David Sirlin, an accomplished fighting game tournament player. In short, this was a fighting game designed by Street Fighter fans for Street Fighter fans. A comprehensive practice mode, online gameplay, and the ability to adjust individual aspects of the game make this a must play even for seasoned SFII vets. If you only play one version of Street Fighter II during your life, or even if you played every one of them, this version is a must buy.

5. Dead or Alive Ultimate (2004 Xbox)
You probably noticed that the previous 4 games mentioned were all published by Capcom. So to switch gears, here is a game published by Tecmo. Team Ninja developed this game back when Tomonobu Itagaki was still part of the crew. This package included a port of the Sega Saturn version of the original Dead or Alive (which was never released outside of Japan) and a re-worked version of DOA 2 with a new story cinema, new costumes, revamped stages, and gameplay. The game was also the second console 3D fighting game to feature online play (Mortal Kombat Deception being the first). To many fighting game players, DOA isn’t exactly the deepest fighter around. However, this package casts the series in a whole new light and gained it an all new level of respect amongst fans.