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Nintendo’s best ports and remakes of their retro games have always been their handheld ones. It’s too bad Nintendo is ignoring them in favor of the originals.

Gamingtodaynews1g - Nintendo's best ports and remakes of their retro games have always been their handheld ones. It's too bad Nintendo is ignoring them in favor of the originals.

Something that I have realized recently is that Nintendo's best remakes and ports are the ones they produced for their handhelds. While their line of (relatively) lavish handheld remakes arguably started with SMB Deluxe on the GBC, ever since the GBA was released, Nintendo developed or commissioned these sorts of remakes a lot more.

I have a soft spot for a lot of these handheld releases, especially ones in the GBA era; a lot of the time, they were my first exposure to those games. This won't be a comprehensive list, but here's a rundown of some of Nintendo's well-regarded handheld remakes and enhanced ports.


  • Super Mario Advance 1-4: Enhanced ports of SMB2, SMW, Yoshi's Island, and SMB3 with some to a lot of new features such as new enemies, playing as Luigi, extra levels, etc. All of them also included a remake of the Mario Bros. arcade game. They also included voices; I know a lot of people didn't like the voices, but I personally did.
  • A Link to the Past: A port of the SNES game with a few QoL features plus the multiplayer-only Four Swords.
  • Metroid: Zero Mission: A re-imagining of the first Metroid, bringing the mechanics approximately up to par with Super Metroid. Also included the first Metroid itself.
  • Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen: Gen 3 remakes of Pokémon Red and Green/Blue, including the new Sevii Islands area.
  • Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land: A GBA remake of Kirby's Adventure. Its engine was used as the basis for the later Amazing Mirror.


  • Super Mario 64 DS: Added 25% more stars, three playable characters, and minigames, not to mention a graphical overhaul.
  • Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver: Gen 4 remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver. A total improvement to a game already considered one of the strongest in the whole series.
  • Fire Emblem: (New) Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem: Remakes of the first and third games in the Fire Emblem series.
  • Kirby Super Star Ultra: Not only is it a remake of Kirby Super Star, it introduces beloved elements that would be put in later Kirby titles, such as Galacta Knight and Masked Dedede.


  • Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask 3D: Graphical overhauls of the beloved N64 Zelda titles. The former includes the Master Quest that was originally only in promo discs, and both have QoL improvements (though to some mixed results in the latter).
  • Star Fox 64 3D: Same as the above but for Star Fox 64.
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia: The second Fire Emblem game brought up to Awakening/Fates standards. The game is also fully voiced as opposed to only CGI cutscenes and grunts being the extent of voicing.
  • Metroid: Samus Returns: What Zero Mission did for Metroid 1, Samus Returns does for Metroid 2 and then some. It simulataneously revives 2D Metroid and breathes new life into it by overhauling the mechanics.

Even the Switch has continued this tradition, albeit to a severely limited extent:

  • Link's Awakening: The GB game remade approximately in the style of A Link Between Worlds, with many QoL features and a semi-dungeon maker.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition: Gives the game an art style overhaul in-between that of the original XC1 and XC2, plus the on-disc Future Connected epilogue.

The main reason I'm making this topic is because Nintendo as of late is focusing far more on the original versions of these games instead of the enhanced versions that were usually made for their handhelds, the two standout examples being the Super Mario 64 emulation in 3D All-Stars instead of having 64 DS as an option and making a semi-enhanced port of the original Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon NES instead of porting over Shadow Dragon DS.

Don't get me wrong, I am aware that it's probably easier to port over the originals since their original consoles are probably simpler to port from as opposed to the newer versions from later consoles. Still though, with this trend of lavish console remakes such as the Crash and Spyro trilogies, Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes, and Final Fantasy VII Remake, Nintendo could at least commission some outsource jobs to bring the definitive versions of these games to the Switch. I personally wouldn't expect something on the level of the N. Sane Trilogy, but I at least would like to see the features of these ports and remakes not be left in the dust of time.

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