List of notable ports
Some systems are easier, or harder to emulate than others. For that reason, using a port of that game for another system might be useful. Also, systems may have inherent flaws, which are not found in a port of that game on another system. A game may also be natively ported to the PC, which might be easier to run.
This is not a complete list of every single port ever. Instead this focuses on games which are notable for having issues, which are solved by using another system.
(E) beside the name means that this port relies upon simple emulation of a ROM, and thus the ROM can be extracted from that port and played in another emulator.
(R) refers to a full remakes. Remakes may dramatically differ from the original game. There is however, some grey area between an "enhanced port" and a "remake". A game may be ported
It is usually preferable to rely on a native PC port rather than emulation. With emulation, all of the flaws of the system are also emulated, which are avoided with a direct PC port. The system requirements are significantly less than emulation. Ports to PC may support enhanced graphics, and sometimes superior controls for FPS games.
However, sometimes these ports were sloppy, and prone to bugs. It has to be approached on a case by case basis. The game may also only have very out dated options, such as only a few resolutions.
The most common PC ports were to the Windows brand of operating systems. Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows 2000 ports may be difficult to run on a modern Windows OS such as Windows 7 or Windows 8, usually with varying levels of compatibility or patching required. Wine can many times play these games very well. Other ports were to DOS, which can be played very well in DOSBox.
Many times fans have stepped in and released patches which can fix some of these issues. This is typically for only the most popular games however, and obscure titles may have no fixes.
Often times, controllers will not be entirely recognized by these old PC games. The most commonly cited is the digital pad not being recognized. In that case the program JoyToKey can be helpful.
PC to console ports
Since game consoles are much less powerful than PCs, it is recommended to avoid PC games ported to consoles. Typically the games have to be altered to fit the constraints of console, and may be forced to use a radically different control scheme. An exception to this rule would be Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine's N64 port.
- Main article: List of notable NES ports and remakes
NES games sometimes suffered from slowdown, and sprite flickering.
May be easier to emulate ports than the original versions.
- Main article: List of notable SNES ports and remakes
Some SNES games suffered from slowdown which may be fixed in ports.
Many SNES games were ported to the GBA. These versions may have extra features, but at the cost of poorer audio and visuals. The resolution is lower, and it was never intended to be played on a full display. The screen area may also be reduced due to the lower resolution. The audio is much lower quality than the SNES. Also, the GBA has much stronger colors to compensate for the lack of contrast in the original GBA display. To compensate, a shader or an option is needed. Additionally for controls, the GBA has two fewer buttons.
Several SNES games were ported to the PlayStation. These are typically emulated, and the CD format creates long loading times. Generally it is recommended to avoid the PS1 ports for this reason and to stick with the original releases. However, in some cases the PS1 port might offer more features.
Saturn emulation is poor, with only one emulator, SSF, worth using. That emulator however is Windows only.
|Grandia||✓||Saturn version is Japanese only. The PS1 version has 'undub' fanhacks.|
|Panzer Dragoon||✓||✓||Both versions differ from the Saturn original (ps2 being a slight update) Also on Xbox as an unlockable in Panzer Dragoon Orta (it's a modified PC build)|
|Nights into Dreams...||✓||✓||✓||Original graphics mode, or enhanced graphics mode, missing a few features, also on Xbox360 and PC|
The PS1 has problems with 3D which become more noticeable in HD emulation. Many PS1 games were ported to Windows. However, these PC ports may be difficult to run on modern operating systems, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.
|Dino Crisis 2||✓|
|Metal Gear Solid||✓||✓ (R)||Windows: Patches needed for modern systems
GC: Full remake minus VR missions.
|Resident Evil||✓||✓ (R)||Win: Win95 only
GC: Full remake (also on Wii)
|Resident Evil 2||✓||✓||✓||480p, more features|
|Resident Evil 3||✓||✓||✓||480p, more features|
|Wipeout||✓||Also on Saturn|
|Wipeout 2097||✓||Also on Saturn. Slightly updated on N64|
|Mega Man Legends||✓||Terrible audio/video sync. Also on n64|
|Final Fantasy VII||✓||Backgrounds/FMVs are the same resolution as the PS1 version, and the music is played through terrible MIDI instruments. The music can be fixed with a mod.|
|Final Fantasy VIII||✓||Same issues as FFVII.|
|Final Fantasy Tactics||✓|
The N64 is a difficult system to emulate, and no emulator has a high degree of game compatibility. It may be easier to rely upon a port rather than try to emulate it. Also, many N64 games had poor draw distance and other flaws that ports might reduce or fix. PC ports would also typically sport enhanced graphics and superior controls for FPS games. While system requirements are substantially higher, emulating the emulated Wii virtual console releases results in more accurate emulation, even making some unplayable games playable.
Virtual Console N64
|Super Mario 64||✓||✓||DS is slightly updated with more features. VC is the same as the N64.|
|Conker's Bad Fur Day||✓(R)||Live and Reloaded is censored, but has updated multiplayer. The Xbox has no emulator, so you're shit out of luck on both ends.|
|Banjo-Kazooie||✓||Added widescreen mode, generally better framerate and draw distance. Ice Key and Secret Eggs available if the user also has a savefile for Banjo-Tooie or B&K Nuts and Bolts.|
|Banjo-Tooie||✓||Generally better framerate and draw distance. Ice Key and secret eggs collected in BK is available here.|
|Perfect Dark||✓||Improved graphics, better framerate, online multiplayer.|
|Turok: Dinosaur Hunter||✓|
|Turok 2: Seeds of Evil||✓|
|Star Wars: Rogue Squadron||✓|
|Zelda: Ocarina of Time||✓ (E)||✓||✓(R)||A full remake is on the 3DS. There are two GameCube versions: one the original, and the other an official romhack. Most N64 emulators run OOT pretty well (I wonder why...), so this game isn't a huge issue.|
|Zelda: Majora's Mask||✓||✓||The GameCube version has severe framerate issues, and audio glitches when moving between areas in Clock Town. The Virtual Console fixes the framerate issue, but keeps the audio problem. There is an audio fixed .wad out there.|
Dreamcast emulation is mediocre at best. Since the system died early, many games were ported to other consoles.
|Skies of Arcadia||✓||Slightly updated with new features.|
|Ikaruga||✓||✓||Slight remix, PC Demo & Full game available|
|Grandia 2||✓||Also on PC, contains game breaking glitch and a few bugs|
|Capcom Vs SNK 2 Millionaire Fighting 2001||✓||✓||✓|
|Resident Evil: Code Veronica||✓||✓||✓||✓||Also on Wii. all ports are extended directors cut|
|Crazy Taxi||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||PS3 and 360 versions replaces licensed music with new soundtrack|
|Sonic Adventure||✓||✓||✓||✓||All ports have updated player models, except Big and Gamma. GameCube version have additional missions and Game Gear games unlockable as a bonus. The bonus missions are sold as DLC on the PS3 and 360. PC version is the Directors cut. Note, however, that the ports, usually released as "Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut", are based on the original, less polished Japanese Dreamcast release, and are thus glitchier than the international (USA/PAL) Dreamcast releases, in addition to having new glitches of their own. A mod is available to fix these glitches for the PC edition.|
|Sonic Adventure 2||✓||✓||✓||✓|
- Main article: List of notable PS2 ports and remakes
The 3DS cannot be emulated yet as no emulator has been created for it.
|Resident Evil Revelations||✓||✓||✓||Also on WiiU, minor HD update for all.|