While the PC is a great gaming platform that can deliver beautifully rendered games with high-end hardware, its potential is sometimes held back by shoddy ports of console games. We’re going to highlight the worst, most notable offenders.
In the following gallery, you’ll see ports that were locked at 30 FPS, feature low-resolution assets, game-breaking bugs, and more. While many of these issues have been ironed out over the years, either by subsequent patches or fan-made mods, let this be a reminder for you to do some research and check out PC-specific reviews before you dive into a multiplatform game.
Resident Evil 4
The original PC port of Resident Evil 4 (done by Ubisoft) was arguably scarier than the game itself. To start off, it was a port of the PlayStation 2 version of the game, which was inferior to its GameCube counterpart. In addition, there were missing lighting effects, but its biggest sin was that it didn’t support mouse aiming. It also had really awkward keyboard mappings. For instance, left shift equipped your knife, right shift equipped your gun, and you had to use enter to attack. While you could remap your buttons, the QTE actions in the game did not take into account your newly remapped controls. This meant you had to engage in an unnecessary memorization meta game on top of dealing with the already mediocre controls. Fortunately, the subsequent Resident Evil 4 HD port from Capcom itself addressed these issues.
Saints Row 2
The PC version of Saints Row 2 was developed by CD Projekt’s localization team and suffered from a row of problems. The original game was designed with the Xbox 360’s specs in mind, and PCs that drastically deviated from Microsoft’s hardware paid performance consequences. Yes, this meant even powerful rigs would suffer from poor framerate issues. Often, the game ran at 15 frames per second, no matter what settings you ran it at. The port also crashed a lot, had broken VSync issues, and exhibited spurts of speed changes. Fans did eventually create their own patches for the game, which fixed many of these issues.
While GTA V is a technically sound PC port, its predecessor didn’t fare as well when it launched in 2008. Its biggest issue was that it was poorly optimized. Even the most powerful PCs at the time had trouble running it smoothly. This would be forgivable if it looked dramatically better than its console counterparts, but it didn’t. Rockstar has since released a patch for the game, which has mitigated some of the performance issues.
Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition
When Dark Souls first came out on PC, it featured intrusive Windows Live DRM and controls that weren’t tailormade for keyboard and mouse. It was so bad that you couldn’t even move the mouse cursor away from the middle of the screen. Talk about annoying. To make things even worse, the game was locked at 720p. Fan-made tweaks have since solved many of the port's original issues, however.
The game featured long load times, missing textures, and controls that weren’t optimized for keyboard and mouse at launch. In addition to being locked at 30 FPS, it wasn’t optimized very well and ran poorly. Luckily, Rockstar has since patched the game so that it runs more stable now.
Need for Speed: The Run
In addition to speed, this port really needed more graphics options on PC. Not only was it locked to 30 FPS, but it lacked simple features like anti-aliasing. The game ended up looking quite jaggy as a result. On top of that, the controls were designed for console controllers and people had issues remapping the controls. This became a particular pain for those who wanted to use a PC racing wheel.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West suffers from some of the biggest and most common PC port sins: it's locked at 30FPS and runs at 720p. While the menu supposedly allows you to bump it up to 1080p, it actually doesn’t do anything. You have to edit the game’s .ini file to make any actual resolution changes. In addition, the game forces motion blur and had issues effectively using more than 2GB of RAM.
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
It suffers from mediocre keyboard and mouse support, crashes, game-breaking bugs, messed-up shadows, and audio bugs that would omit gun sound effects. (Not all guns have silencers, Double Agent!) The game would also only scale up to 900p, though you could tweak it by editing the game’s .ini file.
Devil May Cry 3
Devil May Cry 3 on PC has some of the weirdest quirks on our list. When you open up the game, it defaults to windowed mode. To move around with an Xbox controller, you use the right stick. The PC version also suffered from performance issues, which you could mitigate by deleting some of the music and menu sounds within the game’s directory.
Metal Gear Solid 2
Metal Gear Solid 2 was far from a solid port on PC. The game had flicking textures with missing shadows and effects. The PC version was also prone to crashes and featured glitchy audio. In addition, it wasn’t optimized for keyboard and mouse very well, since the PlayStation 2 counterpart it was based on relied on pressure-sensitive controls, which keyboard and mouse controls lack.
The PC version suffered from framerate issues, bad physics, and broken save files that required players to restart the game. Luckily, the port did get better with patches after launch.
The Evil Within
The PC version of The Evil Within suffered from crashing and graphical glitches. The fact that the game was locked at 30 FPS at launch and featured an annoying letterbox view that you couldn’t get rid of was also pretty annoying. Thankfully, the frame rate cap and letterbox issues were resolved with patches.
Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition
When Dead Rising 3 launched on PC, it had super long load times, poor performance that was locked at 30 FPS, crashed a lot, and featured shoddy online support.
Batman: Arkham Knight
While the previous Arkham ports didn’t have any major issues, Batman: Arkham Knight was a mess on the PC when it first launched. It had trouble running on anything less than 12GB of RAM. Even moderately powerful systems encountered stuttering frame rates and crashes. To make things worse, the game featured a 30 FPS cap. While the port is in much better condition today, it was initially so bad that WB had to pull the game from Steam after droves of fans complained about the port.