2021 will be remembered as a brilliant year for remakes, remasters, and enhanced PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 ports. Since a lot of these games tend to get overlooked for Game of the Year awards in favour of brand new titles, we thought it would be fitting to highlight our favourites.
As selected by the Push Square editorial team, these are the best PS5 and PS4 remakes, remasters, and re-releases of 2021.
Bronze Trophy: NieR Replicant
A poignant reminder of just how wonderfully strange the NieR series is, NieR Replicant is a thoughtfully reworked and remastered version of NieR. Or, more specifically, the Japanese version of NieR. It's a sombre, heartfelt story about an older brother who's desperate to protect his younger sister. A mishmash of gameplay genres and a unique atmosphere make Replicant a memorable, and somewhat haunting journey.
You can read our full NieR Replicant PS4 review here.
Silver Trophy: Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
The awkwardly titled Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade does quite a lot to enhance the experience on PS5. A 60 frames-per-second mode adds welcome fluidity to combat, and a number of improved textures put an end to some of the original's most embarrassing technical blemishes. But it's the INTERmission expansion that impresses most — a several hour episode starring plucky ninja Yuffie, that features some of the game's coolest boss battles. Without a doubt, this remaster is the best way to play Remake.
You can read our full Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade PS5 review here.
Gold Trophy: Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut
Ghost of Tsushima was one of 2020's best games, and now it's even better on PS5 with Director's Cut. The DualSense's haptic feedback makes combat feel even more electric, while the locked 60 frames-per-second performance at 4K resolution allows Jin's adventure to play like an absolute dream. It's the Iki Island expansion that pushes Ghost to new heights, however. A masterfully crafted addition, Iki is a beautiful setting that hosts all kinds of fresh challenges, topped off with amazing action scenarios, great story moments, and loads of gameplay-enhancing extras.
You can read our full Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut PS5 review here.
Platinum Trophy: Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Since the dawn of the PS4, we had been asking for a remastered collection of the original Mass Effect trilogy. Thankfully, our dreams finally came true in 2021, when BioWare delivered a frankly fantastic product. Mass Effect Legendary Edition is pretty much everything we could have asked for; all three games in one package, excellently remastered and reworked so that they play better than ever. This is unquestionably the definitive Mass Effect experience — and it helps that the trilogy still holds up as one of the most memorable role-playing sagas that money can buy.
You can read our full Mass Effect Legendary Edition PS4 review here.
What was your favourite remaster, remake, or re-release of 2021? Have your say in our poll, and then get all nostalgic in the comments section below.