Nintendo's Greatest Portable Remakes

Nintendo is arguably the best when it comes to remakes. The company does an excellent job repackaging classics and bringing them to newer systems, oftentimes with superior graphics and bonus content.

Case in point, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, launching June 19 on 3DS. Instead of shoehorning the old N64 game onto the system, the publisher enhanced the visuals, added gyroscope support, retooled the control scheme and then included the Master Quest levels, tweaks that should make this the definitive version of one of the greatest video games ever made. We hope to see the same level of detail in Star Fox 64 3D, which hits Japan July 14.

Critics argue that the company re-releases too many games, and they may have a point. Personally, we love replaying old school games to see how the classics evolved. On that note, here are some of Nintendo's greatest portable remakes.

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (Game Boy Color- 1999)

Everyone's played Super Mario Bros. on NES. Well, the Deluxe version took Shigeru Miyamoto's timeless hit to a whole other level. For starters, it features an over world map similar to the ones from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, as well as a Challenge Mode that tasks players with locating hidden objects. On top of that, the game has eight more worlds based on the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2, multiplayer and the option of switching between Mario and Luigi at the map screen. Now all we need is for Nintendo to release this celebrated game on the 3DS eShop.

Metroid: Zero Mission (Game Boy Advance- 2004)

Don't let the title fool you. Metroid: Zero Mission is an enhanced remake of the NES original, which pits bounty hunter Samus Aran against the evil Mother Brain. Core mechanics remained the same, but Nintendo upped the proverbial ante with new cut scenes, areas to explore, mini-bosses, items and of course, superior graphics that let players see the original adventure in a whole new light.

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver (DS- 2010)

The Pokemon franchise has been around so long that some gamers were too young to experience the franchise's earliest titles. Nintendo, knowing this, elected to remake Pokemon Gold and Silver for DS as HeartGold and SoulSilver. Like the originals, these games take place in the Johto region and center on becoming the greatest Pokemon trainer. Nintendo obviously enhanced the graphics. The biggest change, though, came in the form of a pedometer (included with each copy) called the Pokewalker. After uploading a single Pokemon to the device, the player can take his or her new friend for a walk. As they travel, the battle monster will gain experience and become friendlier.

Super Mario Advance series (Game Boy Advance- 2001)

The legendary GBA system played host to a variety of phenomenal games. Chief among them was Nintendo's Super Mario Advance series, which kicked off in 2001 (the GBA's launch) with a re-mastered version of Super Mario Bros. 2. Based on the 16-bit version from Super Mario All-Stars, Super Mario Advance has digital voices, point scoring, the Yoshi Challenge (the option to search for Yoshi eggs) and multiple hit combos.

Nintendo followed that with Super Mario Advance 2, AKA Super Mario World from the SNES. The game was largely the same with one major difference: it's single player only, and Luigi can jump higher than Mario.

Next up was Super Mario Advance 3, or as we prefer to call it, Yoshi's Island, another SNES hit. Players can enjoy six new levels, a secret ending and the original Mario Bros., which also appears in all Super Mario Advance games.

Nintendo ended the series on a high note with Super Mario Advance 4, or Super Mario Bros. 3. This game was compatible with the company's failed peripheral, the e-Reader, as players scanned cards to add more content to the game, like new stages, tips from the developers, projectiles from Super Mario Bros. 2 and other cool stuff.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (Game Boy Color- 1998)

Super Mario Bros. wasn't the only game to receive the DX treatment. Link's Awakening has a new dungeon to explore, color-based puzzles and the option of taking screenshots and then printing them via the Game Boy Printer.

Super Mario 64 DS (DS- 2004)

To help put the young DS on the map, Nintendo re-released one of the greatest N64 games of all time. Super Mario 64 DS features all of the content that helped make it a game of the year winner, along with new playable characters (Luigi, Yoshi, Wario), more stars to find, touch screen mini games and wireless multiplayer. The strange thumb pad was no substitute for the N64's analog stick, but this is a solid remake nonetheless.

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (Game Boy Advance- 2002)

Even the NES platformer, Kirby's Adventure, received a remake. For Nightmare in Dream Land, Nintendo improved the graphics and audio, tossed in some new mini games, co-op multiplayer and finally, the option to play as Meta Knight.

Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen (Game Boy Advance- 2004)

If you missed Pokemon Red and Blue, no worries. Nintendo has you covered with FireRed and LeafGreen for the GBA. Both games have an advanced tutorial that players can access at any point, connectivity with Pokemon Colosseum on GameCube and GBA Wireless Adapter support, which allows users to connect with fellow Poke fans and exchange data.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (GBA- 2002)

To be fair, A Link to the Past on GBA doesn't differ much from its SNES counterpart. However, we chose to include it for one simple reason: Four Swords. This multiplayer focused adventure challenges two-four players to join forces while exploring dungeons, but there's a catch. The player with the most rupees at the end wins a prize, a key point that led to backstabbing. Four Swords also differed From A Link to the Past visually, as Link retains his cartoon style from Wind Waker on GameCube.