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Worst PC Ports

Worst PC Ports

Today, it’s common to see a so-called “Day One” patch that either squashes a final group of bugs or adds more polish to a game. However, there are some cases where the finished product doesn’t meet the standards of PC players. Poor optimization, lack of visual features, and continuous crashes are a death sentence to a game’s PC port. Developers have only so much time to make amends through additional patches and troubleshooting articles before fans get angry and drop their support for a long-running franchise or a cult classic.

The following games are a veritable Hall of Shame, and a cautionary tale for developers who want to bring their titles to the PC.


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15: 'Mortal Kombat X'

The latest entry in the popular fighting series didn’t have the best launch on PC. Players had issues with downloading the full game, low framerates, corrupted save files, and playing online. Over the next few months, the developers at High Voltage Software released multiple patches that addressed problems. However, it wasn’t enough. Players were frustrated because additional content, specifically the Kombat Pack 2, wasn’t coming to PC, which they took as a sign that the studio abandoned the ongoing repairs to the game. Eventually, the pack made its way to PC via Steam, and the developers released a massive patch last year that improved the base game’s visuals, online gameplay, and overall performance.


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14: 'Forza Horizon 3'

Forza Horizon 3 was one of the first titles to participate in the Xbox Play Anywhere program, which attracted players to try out the PC version — which was available exclusively for the Windows 10 OS. Even though we enjoyed our time with the game, others had issues, which ranged from multiple app crashes to framerate problems that made it difficult to participate in any race. Playground Games then released monthly patches to fix specific issues. One of the most notable updates was in May when it added more stability patches, improved optimization for graphics settings, a fix for a crucial framerate drop at the start of street races, and a lower overall minimum spec for the game so that even more players could experience racing in the Australian Outback.


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13: 'Deadly Premonition'

The release of the Director’s Cut variant on PC was highly anticipated because it contained improved controls, additional content, and enhanced graphics. However, players quickly noticed that the game’s resolution was locked at 720p. The studio didn’t remedy the issue, but a modder named “Durante” delivered a fix. Not only did the mod unlock the option to change the resolution, but it also allowed for an increase in overall framerate. Other issues for Deadly Premonition included crashes and OS compatibility, but the developers eventually published a support guide on the game’s Steam forums in order to help players troubleshoot these problems.


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12: 'Grand Theft Auto IV'

One look at Rockstar’s troubleshooting page shows the many issues that plagued Grand Theft Auto IV. Those who wanted to play it with a controller noticed that the game didn’t acknowledge the new input device, and there was also an issue where the software believed that any GPU used with over 2GB of memory was deemed below the hardware requirements. Other issues included sign-in errors for the Rockstar Social Club service, missing textures, and firewall problems. It also didn’t help that the game was tied to Microsoft’s now-defunct Games For Windows Live service, which had its own set of issues.


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11: 'Dishonored 2'

The sequel to Arkane’s 2012 game wasn’t received well by fans because of the plethora of bugs that disrupted gameplay. A glance at the collection of patch notes showed that a majority of updates focused on bug fixes. Some of these errors affected animations and graphics, but there were also some inconsistencies for gameplay mechanics, such as a specific guard disappearing and reappearing out of thin air or enemies not behaving correctly after they were affected by Corvo or Emily’s powers. In the time since its release, Arkane has released four major updates, which should solve many complaints from the fanbase. One can only hope that its latest entry in the franchise, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, doesn’t suffer from similar problems.


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10: 'Mafia 3'

During the launch of Mafia III, the developers at Hangar 13 mentioned that framerate would be an issue. The game was capped at 30 frames per second to ensure that “Mafia III’s performance is consistent across all platforms.” Those who already had their copy noted that they also experienced some game crashes. The studio released a patch on the next day that added cap options for 30, 60, and unlimited frames-per-second cap, and that same patch also made some improvements to keyboard mapping. However, players needed to reconfigure the controls again in order for the update to work. Another patch was issued one week later that improved the game’s overall stability and “blurry rendering” problems.


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9: 'Dead Space 3'

]When a game is ported to PC, you expect an overhaul of sorts in terms of visuals and performance so that the new variant can reap the benefits of better hardware. That wasn’t the case with Dead Space 3. Instead of hiring an outside studio or asking its developers to optimize the experience for PC players, Visceral Studios opted to make the game a direct port from console to PC without any improvements. This meant that fans couldn’t take advantage of improved textures or higher resolutions, but more importantly, it wouldn’t use the DirectX 11 API, which came out in 2011. The lack of work put into the PC version did little to calm fans’ anger towards the studio and EA.


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8: 'Battlefield 1'

Battlefield 1 is one of the most popular competitive multiplayer titles to date, but it also suffered from its share of problems. Even when you closed the game, it suffered from multiple crashes. Those who played with an Xbox One controller also received a slight advantage for some time because there wasn’t an option to disable aim assist. Other issues included stuttering in cutscenes in the single-player campaign, a GPU hang for DirectX 11 users, and the borderless window option not functioning as intended. Fortunately, these were eventually patched out in subsequent updates, but the early gameplay experience left an unfavorable mark on the studio’s reputation.


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7: 'Assassin’s Creed Unity'

When people make fun of Ubisoft, they use this game and its many flaws as their foil. A few days after launch, fans complained about multiple gameplay problems such as low framerates, crashes, and animation issues. Ubisoft even mentioned that there were additional obstacles for those with specific AMD CPU and GPU configurations. Patch notes from later updates showed the full extent of the damage<: Bugs were scattered not just in the gameplay and stability categories, but also in matchmaking, AI behavior, and the menu. In the end, then-Ubisoft CEO Yanni Mallat apologized in a statement for the many issues. The game’s post-launch DLC would be free to everyone, and those who bought the season pass could get a free game from the company’s lineup of titles.


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6: 'Need for Speed: Most Wanted'

Criterion Games’ second attempt at a Need for Speed title wasn’t up to the standard of longtime fans of the series. The list of known and common issues is still available on EA’s Answers page, and it features a few problems with the PC version. For example, some players experienced a dip in performance when super sampling was increased to x4. Others couldn’t even reach the settings menu, as they were stuck on a white or loading screen. Fortunately, some of these issues had solutions--which required a workaround or a clean reboot of the game.


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  • nukemaster
    If Skyrim was a port it could be top of the list.
    I know the games popularity may cause backlash over such a comment, but it does not change the facts.

    So many mission breaking bugs(no 2 plays are the same because the bugs are different every time). Sure you can use console commands to "complete" these quests, but no patches from the developer have been released to fix these. Only community patches fix most of them.
    Reply
  • Cryio
    1) Battlefied 1 wasn't "bad" even on launch day. And it's absolutely perfect today.
    2) Dead Space 3 wasn't "dramatically prettier" than consoles is your excuse? The game has higher rez textures, shadows and bokeh depth of field on PC, slightly better AO while having unlocked FPS and can be run at a higher resolution. Dead Space 3 on PC is superb.
    3) Arguably Batman Arkham Knight doesn't deserve to be on "horrible PC ports", given it's absolutely superb today. It's either flawless or almost flawless.

    So ... like usual, horrible list.
    Reply
  • Cryio
    Also, I don't get these lists. Forza Horizon 3 is superb on PC. Same I think for MK X.

    Enslaved was pretty, ran fine and while there weren't graphical settings, the game ran fine on anything. So it's a good port.

    Also, you highlight NFS MW 2012, yet you mention NOTHING about the fact the game has input lag, the defacto reason the game is so hated on PC. The game reacts 1-2 seconds after you press a button. And that makes it horrible and incredibly difficult on PC for no reason. It has no such problem on consoles.
    Reply
  • coolitic
    You forgot Halo: Combat Evolved.
    Reply
  • Gil_7_
    RAGE! was my worst experience of a ported game. They forced you to use a keyboard to steer thru a very winding race course. Something I just couldn't manage! One tap on the key would move you slightly , but the next would flip you sideways! IMPOSSIBLE!
    Reply
  • Blair_1
    I can concur that Assassin's Creed Unity still sucks even after all these years. Still has frame rate drops even on the lowest settings.
    Reply
  • therealduckofdeath
    I guess they could only find 12-13 games for the 15 list...?
    Reply
  • Martell1977
    I must have missed the time when Forza horizon 3 was having problems as I have not had any issues running the game. The visuals are impressive and I'm looking forward FH4.
    Reply
  • Verrin
    I can confirm that with the release of Death of the Outsider, Arkane still hasn't fixed the frame pacing issues that plagues even Dishonored 2 to this day. The microstutters are the most brutal I've seen in any game, although the frame rate is much improved (although that was never my biggest complaint).

    Still, the only fix is to lock the game to 30, 60 or 120FPS with a frame rate cap, such as the one included in the in-game options, and have a powerful enough card to maintain that frame rate. FreeSync and G-Sync don't seem to help, nor does setting the refresh rate of your monitor to other refresh rates other than 30/60/120Hz. The game just doesn't like any frame rate besides those (as far as my tests have seen). This issue seems to be fundamental to the way the engine works.
    Reply
  • redgarl
    Cmon, Street Fighter 5 with no keyboard and Direct-X controller support was easily one of the worst game. Anything by Warner Studios like Mortal Kombat X and the last Batman was an abomination.

    IMO, Deus Ex Mankind Divided is so poorly optimized, that you cannot run the game at all even with a 1080 GTX.
    Reply