PC gaming has a lot of perks. Most titles look more impressive than their console counterparts and often have a slew of ways to mod and customize your experience. Distribution platforms like Steam and GOG also have frequent sales, making it easy to stock up on PC games you’ll likely never play. As great as all of this sounds, sometimes there are titles that aren’t optimized well for PC. The games may play great on consoles, but their computer versions are lacking. Save yourself the headache and avoid purchasing any one of the terrible PC ports below.
Terrible PC Ports – Resident Evil 4
Given the sequel’s massive success on GameCube and PlayStation 2, Capcom decided to port the survival horror classic Resident Evil 4 over to PC in early 2007. This computer version was published by Ubisoft in the West, a company that already had a track record of releasing poor quality PC ports by then. Its treatment of Resident Evil 4 was unremarkable, as the game suffered from lackluster textures, terrible controls, and a bizarre absence of mouse support.
Unsurprisingly, the mod community stepped in to add robust control options, HD resolutions, detailed environments, and cleaner character models. A single official patch for Resident Evil 4 was released after the game’s launch on PC, and Capcom has hardly spoken of this version of the title since then. Though this zombie masterpiece is much better now than when it released, eager fans should play it consoles to avoid any unnecessary headaches. This should be easy, given how many consoles Resident Evil 4 has been ported to.
Terrible PC Ports – Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight‘s PC port released simultaneously with its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions in June 2015, but had to be taken off Steam shortly after. Users flocked to the title’s page to post negative reviews, citing quality control issues like game crashes, frame rate drops, random save file deletions, and graphical hitches as the reasons why computer gaming fans should stay far away from the title.
The backlash that developer Rocksteady faced for Arkham Knight‘s PC port was justified, given how the company had to take the game down from Steam entirely to go back to work on it. It took the studio more than four months to address every issue fans had with the port, and only then was it re-released on digital distribution storefronts. While Mortal Kombat X also performed poorly on the platform for months, Batman: Arkham Knight was (and still) still WB’s most disastrous PC release.
Terrible PC Ports – Dishonored 2
Who was Dishonored 2‘s PC port for? Though this version of the game wasn’t riddled with the bugs that plagued other entries on this list, it was accessible by only a few computer users due to its demanding requirements. If low and mid-range machines attempted to run the title, fans were met with haphazard frame rates, wonky controls, and blurry graphics. High-end PC users had nothing to worry about, however, as the game ran fine on expensive rigs.
Bethesda didn’t offer an explanation as to why the sequel performed so poorly on most computers that tried to run it, leading many to believe that the company rushed out this iteration of the title for a simultaneous launch with its console versions. Many flocked to the game’s Steam page to post their negative feedback, which resulted in Dishonored 2 now playing a lot better on low and mid-range PCs than when in launched in 2016.
Terrible PC Ports – Dark Souls
Developer FromSoftware wanted to release the first Dark Souls on PC as fast as it could. One of the game’s producers, Takeshi Miyazoe, is quoted as saying they “did know there were PC-specific features… but it would have taken too much time for us to implement them.” Though the game was playable, it did indeed miss a lot of features that PC fans had grown accustomed to. This included frame rate options, key remapping, and multiple resolutions. Mouse and keyboard controls were surprisingly shoddy, too.
Luckily, Dark Souls‘ mod community did eventually patch these options in. It’s surprising that FromSoftware and Bandai Namco decided to ignore such critical details for this first installment in the hit series, especially given the franchise’s large PC following today. The game’s sequels were highly optimized for the platform from then on, so at least each company learned from its mistakes.
Terrible PC Ports – Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in April 2008. It didn’t receive a PC port until nearly eight months later, much to the dismay of computer fans who were eager to play Rockstar’s highly anticipated (and critically lauded) sequel. When these open world enthusiasts finally got the chance to install the game on their rigs, they found the title to be poorly optimized. Frame rates would drop unexpectedly and it would be impossible to cruise down the street without crashing into a street light.
Rockstar did eventually release a series of patches to stabilize the game, but GTA IV‘s mod community found itself doing a lot of the work. The studio learned from these mistakes and launched Grand Theft Auto V‘s PC port under better conditions. If fans ever get an inclination to return to Liberty City on PC, they should probably do their research to see what mods they should install alongside it. Otherwise, Los Santos is a better destination to call home.
Terrible PC Ports – Chrono Trigger
Re-releasing some of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System’s most beloved JRPGs on PC makes perfect sense, given how inaccessible retro consoles are today. When Square Enix decided to release a port of Chrono Trigger on PC, few thought that things would go awry. When PC fans began playing the game, however, they discovered that the publisher had ported over the mobile version of the title, complete with large font, ugly character sprites, and an interface clearly designed for touch controls.
It was obvious that the publisher didn’t put a lot of thought behind the port. Hardly anything about the title was optimized for PC, and Steam users let their opinions be heard with a flurry of negative reviews. Square Enix has since released five patches for Chrono Trigger and the game is finally at a place where it should have been all along.
PC enthusiasts today should count their blessings. Most titles that release on the platform are specially tailored for it, even if they were originally made for consoles. This list shouldn’t convince players that all PC ports are terrible. Rather, it should spur fans to demand that all computer games are treated with the same respect as their console iterations. Since the PC gaming market is continuing to grow, it only makes sense for developers to serve consumers well on all fronts.