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Remastered vs. Remake — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on May 7, 2024
Remastered works enhance original media through improved technical quality, whereas remakes completely recreate the content, often with significant changes.
Remastered vs. Remake — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Remastered and Remake


Key Differences

Remastering involves improving the audio and visual quality of an existing media product, keeping the original content mostly intact. Whereas, a remake involves recreating a piece of media from scratch, which may result in a completely new interpretation or significantly altered version of the original.
In remastering, the goal is to preserve the original's essence while enhancing its presentation using modern technology. On the other hand, remakes often aim to reintroduce a classic to a new audience, potentially altering story elements, settings, and characters to suit contemporary tastes.
Remasters typically target the existing fan base of the media by offering a technically superior version of beloved games, films, or music. Whereas, remakes can target both new audiences and old fans, presenting a fresh take or a nostalgic experience.
The process of remastering requires less creative input compared to remakes, focusing primarily on technical improvements like higher resolution or remastered soundtracks. On the other hand, remakes may involve substantial creative redevelopment, often requiring a new script, updated graphics, and sometimes even reimagined gameplay or plotlines in the context of video games and movies.
Economically, remastering can be less costly and risky as it builds on an existing framework. On the other hand, remakes require more investment in both production and marketing, given their scope of re-creation and the need to appeal to a potentially skeptical audience.

Comparison Chart


Enhancing the quality of existing media without altering the original content.
Completely recreating and often reinterpreting the original content.


Technical improvements (e.g., graphics, sound).
Creative reinterpretation and significant content changes.

Target Audience

Existing fans seeking improved experience.
New audiences and existing fans looking for a fresh experience.

Production Cost

Generally lower as it builds upon the original.
Higher due to extensive development and marketing.


"The Beatles: Abbey Road" remastered album.
"Resident Evil 2" remake video game.

Compare with Definitions


Enhancing original media's quality.
The film was remastered in 4K for its anniversary release.


Involves creative reinterpretation.
The video game remake includes new gameplay mechanics.


Revising sound or visual elements without changing the content.
The remastered version features a clearer, crisper soundtrack.


Often includes significant changes in story, characters, or setting.
The remake sets the story in the modern day, unlike the original.


Primarily aimed at technological upgrades.
The video game was remastered for next-gen consoles.


Creating a new version of existing media.
The 2020 film is a remake of the 1980s classic.


Often reissued in improved formats.
The album was remastered and released on vinyl.


Aims to reintroduce the work to a new generation.
The remake features contemporary actors to attract younger audiences.


Keeps the original work's spirit intact.
The remastered classic respects the original director's vision.


Can diverge markedly from the original.
The remake of the series explores previously untouched themes.


To master again, especially to produce a new master recording of (an old recording) in order to improve the sound quality.


A remake is a production of a film, television series, video game, or similar form of entertainment that is based upon an earlier production. A remake tells the same story as the original but uses a different cast and may alter the theme, perhaps to a different cultural context - either in geography or time.


Simple past tense and past participle of remaster


To make again or anew.


That has been produced by remastering


The act of remaking.


Something in remade form, especially a new version of an earlier movie or song.


(transitive) To make again.
You'll need to remake that cake, as it's completely burned.


(transitive) To make a new, especially updated, version of (a film, video game, etc.).
The director wanted to remake some of his favourite films from the Golden Age of Hollywood.


A new version of something.


A new, especially updated, version of a film, video game, etc.
I haven't seen the original film, but the remake was great.


To make anew.


Creation that is created again or anew;
It is a remake of an old film


Make new;
She is remaking her image

Common Curiosities

Do remakes usually perform well at the box office compared to original films?

Performance can vary, but remakes often benefit from brand recognition, which can help them perform well at the box office.

What is a common criticism of remakes?

Remakes are often criticized for lacking originality and sometimes for not respecting the source material's spirit.

What typically gets improved in a remastered version of a video game?

Graphics, sound quality, and sometimes user interface are enhanced without altering the core gameplay or story.

Are remade films eligible for the same awards as the original films?

Yes, remade films are eligible for awards, but they are judged as separate entries from their originals.

What motivates filmmakers to remake old movies?

Motivations include introducing the story to a new generation, updating the cultural context, or leveraging modern filmmaking technology.

How do audiences generally react to remastered versions of classic games?

Reactions can be very positive, especially when the remaster respects and preserves the essence of the original game while enhancing its playability and visuals.

What role do advances in technology play in the decision to remaster a film?

Technological advances enable significant improvements in sound and visual quality, often prompting the decision to remaster older films.

Is the original creator usually involved in the remastering process?

It varies, but original creators are sometimes consulted to ensure the remaster remains true to their vision.

Can a remaster become more popular than the original?

While rare, it's possible, especially if the original was limited by the technology at the time of its release.

Are remastered versions of music albums popular among audiophiles?

Yes, because remastered versions often provide clearer, enhanced sound quality that appeals to audiophiles who value superior audio fidelity.

How do remakes affect the legacy of the original media?

Remakes can rejuvenate interest in the original, although they might also overshadow it if the remake becomes particularly successful or controversial.

Why are video game remasters popular among developers?

They offer a cost-effective way to reintroduce timeless classics to new technology platforms, expanding their market with lower risk compared to developing new titles.

Is there a trend towards remaking films in different cultural contexts?

Yes, there is a trend towards culturally adapting remakes to reflect different societies and contemporary issues, which can broaden the film’s appeal.

Can a remake change the genre of the original work?

Yes, remakes sometimes shift the genre to give the story a new perspective or appeal to a different audience.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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