“What If” is a familiar term in video game history. What if this game didn’t play like this? Or what if this developer worked on this game, instead of so and so? While it fuels debate and keeps the conversation going, more often than not, fans’ suggested changes just wouldn’t work. In this exclusive Old School Gamer Magazine list, we share five retro games that would benefit immensely from a few small tweaks or a complete re-do altogether. 

The Lord of the Rings: Vol One: Billed as an Action RPG with Multiplayer and real-time combat, Interplay’s take on the Tolkien epic franchise deserves a complete redo. Taking a note from Capcom’s Knights of the Round, it would be far better as a beat-em-up with upgradable characters and cut-scenes to introduce and build the story. Because as it is, it’s far too ambitious a title for the SNES and doesn’t deliver. 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Often regarded as one of the worst games of all-time, E.T. deserves two things- a decent instruction manual that teaches you how to play and better collision detection so you don’t fall into pits every five seconds. 

Primal Rage: This applies to the 16-Bit versions of the game, which suffered from extremely small character models. Once that happens, it’ll be far more comparable to the arcade classic that bears its name. 

Super Pitfall: This game needs to go back to formula entirely. The fact that it even shares the Pitfall name is a shame. After the Art was completely redone so it doesn’t look like a Mario Bros. game, finding a way to incorporate more lore from the original two games would be helpful. 

Maximum Carnage: It’s a Cult Classic and for good reason, but the thought of more playable characters and multiplayer would make the experience a complete one.


Patrick Hickey Jr. is the author of the book, “The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers,” from McFarland And Company. Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games–including Deus Ex, NHLPA 93, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam–the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (326 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com