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Graphics – We all love graphics. Highly detailed textures, particle effects, shadows, field of view, character models, anti-aliasing, V-sync, fluid animations – these are some of the phrases that can make many of us orgasm. And boy do we get mad when a game doesn’t give us all of that at a solid 1080p/60fps. Raging and competing with one another about which console has the most power to give us the best graphics, is nothing new. It’s actually something that’s existed since the SNES and Genesis era.

So when videos are released showcasing what some of our favourite childhood games would look like running on the latest Unreal Engine 4, we lose our sh#t. For those that don’t know what the Unreal Engine is, well…why are you here? I’m not being an a$$, I’m just curious. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with not knowing what the Unreal Engine is, I simply find it curious that you’d randomly click an article that’s based on it. Then again, I did randomly read an article the other day titled, “15 Hedgehogs With Things That Look Like Hedgehogs” …Yeah, I’m really not in a position to judge.

But I digress…Unreal Engine is, as the name says, a video game engine that has been the basis of graphical design for many of our favourite games. Developed by Epic Games (Gears of War), Unreal Engine has powered games like the Bioshock, Batman: Arkham, and Borderlands series. Unreal Engine 4 has been the company’s latest project for the past decade or so. They’ve been, in many ways, revolutionizing the way developers use engines to make all the graphical wonderment we see in games. Clearly I’m no programmer and have no idea how this stuff works (C++ in my eyes simply illustrates what I saw on every report card I got, ever) and so if you want to understand how engines, specifically Unreal, work, go check out their official page here.UE4Interface_5

Epic revealed Unreal Engine 4 initially at 2012’s GDC (Games Developers Conference) but only gave (limited) access to the engine alongside all of its tools to creators on March, 2014. The engine just recently (March 31, 2016) got a massive update (4.1.1) with many tweaks and performance stabilizations and is dubbed to be the “stable release” of this finalized engine. And we’ve been informed for quite some time as to what future games will be running on this engine. Crackdown 3 and Gears of War 4 are the two most notable ones for 2016. But because this engine has been out in the public for quite some time, fans and talented programmers have been doing some incredible things with it. Such as, remaking areas like Kakariko Village from Ocarina of Time on the engine, that looks ridiculously beautiful. So let’s take a look at the Top 10 Unreal 4 Engine Remakes made by awesome fans.

1. Super Mario

This demo comes from Aryoksini, who did a complete remastering of our classic blue-overalled plumber, placing him in various breathtakingly rendered locales. The demo is impressive on many fronts. Shadows, lighting effects, even Mario’s character model look superb. At times it’s almost a bit jarring to see our colourful mustachioed friend being so pixel perfect.

2. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

ArtistArtorias is the mastermind behind this beautiful remaster. Fans of this classic will be amazed as to how improved their beloved little town looks running on the Unreal Engine 4. Everything from the moving grass, to falling leaves, and Link himself, look stunning. And I thought the 3DS remake was already pretty damn good of a remaster. Go check out ArtistArtorias’ other remakes, which include different areas of Ocarina of Time and even a Link to the Past remake.

3. Doom 2

Next up is the classic first person shooter redone by Sahkan. Both particle and lighting effects are the clear heroes of this remake, as they truly make the game shine.

4. Ghosts n’ Goblins

This NES classic is pretty much the reason why many gamers in their 30s, are bald. And so having this beautiful remake that was done by a group of seven in under a week be reminiscent of Dark Souls, is quite fitting.

5. Sonic the Hedgehog

Although Sonic’s downward spiral of the past decade deserves a whole article to itself, we can admire this remake done by CryZENx that shows that the blue hedgehog can still look damn good. Everything from the beautiful mountain vistas, to Sonic’s yellow buckles on his shoes look fantastic.

6. Pong

That’s right, Pong. Falsely regarded as the first video game ever created, it did not stop Alexander Young from recreating it with the Unreal Engine 4. It looks polished, I’ll say that much.

7. Metal Gear Solid

The game that, for many, changed the way we saw video games; this original PlayStation One classic is regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. So it’s fitting that a super fan like Airam Hernandez would take the initiative to remake this glorious game with Epic’s latest engine.

8. Spyro the Dragon

IAmMurloc has been hard at work designing this classic area from the beloved game. And though I personally have never played the original, can still admire the beauty of what is shown in this video. The colours, lighting, grass (good looking grass always gets me), all look stunning. And when compared to the original, you really see how much work has been put in here.

9. Crash Bandicoot

Before Naughty Dog was known for heartfelt, thrilling adventure games like Uncharted and The Last of Us, they were a company that made games with weird orange creatures as their mascot. Crash Bandicoot is one of those creatures, and fans love him, and his games. And YouTube user Anisotropic has been working on a remake of the original game, running on, of course, the Unreal Engine 4.

10. Final Fantasy VII

And of course, this. I don’t need to explain what this is. Though this is obviously not a fan remake, and one that is actually happening (hopefully soon), I couldn’t resist not putting it on this list. Fans screamed when the teaser trailer for this epic remake debuted last year, and since then we’ve been treated to this epic trailer that actually shows off snippets of gameplay. I may be completely biased, but man, does it look awesome.

It looks like the Unreal Engine 4 has some serious potential in delivering breathtaking visuals. Though most of these titles are unconfirmed, fan-made, demos; it would be epic if some of them were to get an actual remake, like FFVII.

What are your thoughts on the Unreal Engine 4? Which one of these titles would you love to see get an actual remake? Let us know in the comments below!

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