It's easy to forget just how spoiled we are with high-quality PC ports these days. Even though we occasionally still get bad ones like Arkham Knight or NieR: Automata, those kinds of ports are a rarity these days. Dial back to a decade or two ago and this wasn't the case.
For good measure, and to give everyone a reminder of the dark times that befell us all those years ago, we decided to round up 10 of the worst PC ports.
These PC ports were - and some still are - so bad that you can't help but appreciate just how much better off we are right now.
Dark Souls (2012)
Dark Souls isn't even that old, but it's already considered a classic. It's very rare for a game to release and end up creating its own genre within a year, but that's exactly what happened with Dark Souls.
A testament to just how iconic and influential Dark Souls is that it spawned a plethora of Soulslike games despite the dismal state of its PC port.
Make no mistake, the Prepare to Die edition is playable. It's still fun, it's just incomplete. It doesn't let you change its resolution from 720p and is locked at 30 fps. You can't even remap the keys. To make matters worse, the game stutters and it seems as though FromSoftware didn't even bother to make it play better with a keyboard and mouse.
To quote Takeshi Miyazoe in an interview with Edge, "Our main priority was to get the game onto the PC as fast as possible. We did know there were PC-specific features ... but it would have taken too much time for us to implement it."
Lucky for FromSoftware, fans stepped up to fix everything that was wrong with the original Dark Souls on the PC.
These days, the original Prepare to Die edition is no longer available to purchase digitally. There are other ways to obtain it, but for most people, the logical route is to go with the Dark Souls Remastered edition. It's a lot better than Prepare to Die is without the mods. However, if you have a choice and you're willing to do the legwork, installing the mods and fixes for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition is well worth it.
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
2015's Arkham Knight was a bit of a disappointment compared to Arkham City. It's not a bad game, per se, but people expected better. It's bigger and in some ways, is an improvement. The only problem was that it had a twist that any fan saw from a mile away and was not as satisfying of a conclusion as you'd expect.
All the flaws of Arkham Knight probably would have stung less if the PC port wasn't so bad that Steam had to pull it out until Rocksteady Studios fixed it.
Do you know just how bad of a game you have to be for Steam to pull you from its store? Even Cyberpunk 2077 continued selling on Steam despite all the bugs.
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection (2021)
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection has got to be one of the worst PC ports ever released and it's not because it's not playable.
Sure, Koei Tecmo deserves a bit of praise for making Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection run well on the PC. The only problem is that it looks like the studio just couldn't be bothered to do much else. The game doesn't even have a pre-game launcher or resolution options. To change the resolution, you'll have to do it from a drop-down menu on Steam and you'll only have these choices available to you: 1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080, and 3840 x 2160. That's it.
The store itself also has a warning on the page that says that the game won't run with a keyboard and mouse, which means that the port is only for those who have a controller available.
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection is what happens when a publisher or developer ports its game onto the PC and only does the bare minimum.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2013)
It took Ninja Theory three years to bring Enslaved: Odyssey to the West to the PC. How that happened, we'll never know. What we do know is that it should have gone better than it did.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West on the PC is 'Exhibit A' of lazy PC ports: it had low-resolution assets, was capped at 30 frames per second, no V-sync options, and no way to turn off motion blur.
While the game was playable on the PC for the most part, you'd have thought that the PC version would have been better than its console counterpart. Alas, it wasn't. Not even by a long shot.
Street Fighter 2 (1993)
Don't let the looks of Street Fighter 2 fool you - it appears to be the perfect PC port of the classic fighting game. The only problem? A deeper inspection reveals that everything that could go wrong about the game, went wrong.
If you'd like to subject yourself to torture, you can check it out here.
Resident Evil 4 (2007)
If you thought that the PC port of Dark Souls was bad, you might want to check out Resident Evil 4.
The original PC port that was released in 2007 was terrible in every sense of the word. It showed a complete and blatant disregard for how PC games worked. The key binding is prehistoric and the game doesn't even support aiming with a mouse. Resident Evil 4 on PC even forgot to take into account your new keys, so in case you needed to press something for a QTE, you'd have to remember what the original key was, which made it the ultimate test of patience.
Capcom later released an HD version of Resident Evil 4 for the PC that fixed everything that went wrong the first time around.
It's amazing that people still remember Resident Evil 4 as the best Resident Evil game ever when you consider just how badly the PC port turned out to be.
Metal Gear Solid 2 (2003)
The PlayStation 2 might be remembered by fans as the best-selling video game console of all time, but don't let developers catch you trying to praise it.
Even Sony's first-party studios and close partners struggled to understand what made the PS2 tick and work, which helps explain why PS2 games had so few PC ports and those few were some of the worst PC ports of all time. The PC port of Metal Gear Solid 2 has to take the cake though, as it had an inconsistent performance.
When we say inconsistent, we mean it. Some PCs ran the game without a hitch and it's not the specs either - it varied across all builds. For others, Metal Gear Solid 2 was a complete mess. It would crash, had missing effects, flickering textures, bad audio, and disappearing shadows, just to name a few issues.
The studio behind the PC port even forgot how the game required pressure-sensitive actions at certain moments due to how DualShock 2 worked. This meant that you were screwed if you were playing on a keyboard and mouse.
As much as people remember Metal Gear Solid 2 as one of Hideo Kojima's best games, its PC port was a nightmare.
Mega Man (1990)
There's a reason why older gamers still wince whenever they hear that a console game gets a PC port. Back then, it was like playing Russian roulette, except that, 9 times out of 10, the PC port was most likely to turn out badly. However, this didn't have anything to do with developers not caring. Rather, it was because of how much weaker PC hardware was back then compared to the ones found in consoles.
Yes. We're not joking. Back then, the console was the master race, or so to speak.
One of the more memorable bad PC ports from back then is Mega Man, which felt more like a completely different game than a port of one of the most beloved action-platformers of all time.
For one thing, the PC version of the original Mega Man only had three bosses, no music, bad art, and a control system that made you think that it was made by someone who was either drunk or high or maybe even both. We could go on and on for an entire article about just how bad the DOS version of the original Mega Man was and we still wouldn't be able to describe just how it's the worst PC port of all time.
Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
Grand Theft Auto IV will forever be remembered as the game that preceded GTA V, which went on to break many records in the gaming industry and became one of the best-selling games of all time.
For some people though, GTA IV was the rare GTA game that had a bad PC port. It was literally unplayable for a lot of people. Unless you had a powerful PC at the time, you'd have no chance at running GTA IV smoothly. This meant that most PC gamers missed out on what's arguably the most underrated GTA game of all time.
NieR: Automata (2017)
NieR: Automata is a weird game, which is why PC gamers initially thought that the janky gameplay on the PC was a feature and not a bug.
If it's your first time playing NieR: Automata, be prepared for some crazy things to happen. However, if you're playing it on the PS4 or Xbox One, just remember that everything that's happening is all intentional. The same can't be said for the PC.
From the white screens that pop up and freeze the game to the mouse cursor that insists on appearing on the center of your screen, NieR: Automata had a lot of things going wrong for it on the PC. Yet, despite all of this, the game still managed to sell over 800,000 units on the PC alone in its first year.
NieR: Automata would get patched later in 2021 after users caught wind that it was possible to play the much better Xbox version on the PC via Xbox Game Pass.