This month has been an exciting one for fans of old-school Square Enix role-playing games, as two of its classic RPGs got impressive remakes. On November 2, Gemdrops and Square Enix’s Star Ocean: The Second Story R gave the PS1 cult classic the HD-2D treatment, while ArtePiazza and Nintendo’s remake of Square’s SNES classic Super Mario RPG dropped on November 17. As both games have rarely been rereleased, it’s great to see each getting the drastic modern visual overhauls they deserved.
These are far from the only retro Square Enix RPGs that deserve this treatment, though. Over the past couple of years, Square Enix has shown some love to more obscure classics like Live A Live, The World Ends With You, and Valkyrie Profile. Yet plenty of other games and series are still locked to old platforms. At the very least, they deserve to be rereleased via something like the PS Plus Game Catalog’s classic library. If this remake trend is going to continue, these five games should be next in line for the Super Mario RPG and Star Ocean: The Second Story treatment.
To get the obvious choice out of the way first, it’s still baffling that Chrono Trigger is not available on any modern game consoles. You’ll have to settle for a lackluster PC and mobile port or emulate the SNES original or DS remake if you want to give this classic a shot. An RPG that’s this influential and fantastic deserves a modern upgrade. When it comes to a remake, there are a lot of ways Square Enix could approach it. It could give Chrono Trigger a similar remaster to Chrono Cross, go the HD-2D route while updating it, or opt for a remake style akin to Trials of Mana. No matter what option it may choose, I’d be sure to play it.
Parasite Eve is a horror RPG series that started on PlayStation, but it has not seen a new entry since The 3rd Birthday on PlayStation Plus. There aren’t many other games that look or play quite like it, so it’s deserving of a rerelease, remaster, or remake to bring it to modern audiences. Parasite Eve is a bit different than all of the other games on this list because of how the original finds the midpoint between classic Resident Evil and classic Final Fantasy. A remake of the first game in the series might require something closer to Resident Evil 4’s remake — but with RPG elements — rather than the type of more straightforward overhaul that Square Enix tends to give to many of its older games.
Before NieR and NieR Automata, Yoko Taro created the cult classic Drakengard series. These games, which technically tie into NieR, are all very strange action RPGs that tell engaging stories, but can be frustrating to actually play. Over time, it’s only getting harder and harder to go back to revisit the series. A remaster or remake of the first Drakengard game that retains its charm while making it a more enjoyable experience could potentially introduce lots of new players to this thought-provoking series. In a world where NieR is now popular, I think it’s time for Drakengard to get another shot.
Square Enix still retains the rights to Xenogears, the ambitious PlayStation RPG that was Monolith Soft’s first game and the spiritual predecessor to the now-popular Xenoblade series. Unfortunately, Square Enix typically does not acknowledge this fantastic game that much outside of the occasional crossover with one of its mobile games or a reference in a game like Hi-Fi Rush. At the very least, Xenogears is intended to be rereleased on current PlayStation and Nintendo consoles this year. But I would love to see what a full-on remake, possibly done in collaboration with Nintendo and Monolith Soft, would be like.
When Enix was its own entity, it published many fascinating RPGs on the SNES, including Terranigma. While this RPG plays more like Ys or The Legend of Zelda than Final Fantasy, it’s an under-the-radar retro game that still feels enjoyable today. While rights issues have made any rerelease tough, I hope Square Enix finds a way to sort that out and bring this hidden gem to modern platforms. Terranigma is a perfect candidate to get the exact same HD-2D treatment that Live A Live received. It would be a pleasure to see Square Enix to once again pluck a great SNES game out of obscurity.