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 typcially 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, ps1 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|
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 and Full remake (on Steam)
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|
|Megaman Legends||✓||terrible audio/video sync. Also on n64|
|Final Fantasy VII||✓||Many issues, many mods|
|Final Fantasy VIII||✓|
|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.
|Zelda: Ocarina of Time||✓ (E)||✓||✓(R)||3ds a full remake. there are two gamecube versions (one is a remixed edition).|
|Mario 64||✓||DS is slightly updated with more features|
|Conker's Bad Fur Day||✓(R)||Graphicly better, better mulitplayer but lotsa censorship|
|Sin and Punishment||✓||English translation|
|Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter||✓|
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.|
|Grandia 2||✓||Also on pc, contains game breaking glitch and a few bugs|
|Capcom Vs SNK 2 Millionaire Fighting 2001||✓||✓||✓||GC and Xbox: Slight balance tweaks and removes roll canceling technique, also adds easy controls option|
|Resident Evil: Code Veronica||✓||✓||✓||✓||
Also on Wii. all ports are extened directors cut
- Main article: List of notable PS2 ports and remakes
The 3DS has been emulated via Citra emulator but native ports are still preferable.
|Name||Windows||PS3||Xbox 360||Wii U||Notes|
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
|Resident Evil Revelations||✓||✓||✓||✓||Minor hd update for all.|