As good as many publishers have been in recent years about either remastering or remaking their old franchises for modern platforms, one fan favorite that seems to have been completely ignored by Square-Enix is Xenogears. With no official way to play outside of using original hardware, dedicated fan 1vierock has painstakingly remastered the entire game in glorious 4k.
This fan remaster is completely free to download here, but also has a Paypal donation link if you want to support the creator. The improvements to the game are purely visual, with no alterations to gameplay or story, but are a stark contrast to the blurry and pixelated originals. Sprites, textures, and the UI have all been improved, as you can see in the video above.
Xenogears was originally released in 1998 for the PS1 and was initially meant to be an entry in the Final Fantasy series. It was proposed by Tetsuya Takahashi and his wife Kaori Tanaka to be Final Fantasy 7, then transitioned for a brief time as a sequel to Chrono Trigger, before finally settling on creating a new IP. Unfortunately, the development was heavily impacted by time constraints, leading to a notoriously different experience on the second disc, which was relegated almost exclusively to cutscenes.
While the series does live on in a way through the Xenosaga franchise, this initial installment shouldn’t be left in the past. This is just another example of hardworking fans preserving gaming history for other reason than passion.