The worst PC game port of all time?

By Scorpus
Jul 3, 2015
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  1. The launch of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC just under two weeks ago was an absolute disaster, with many users reporting crippling technical issues on a wide range of hardware. The issues mostly stem from a shoddy port, which is something PC gamers have had to deal with for years.

    And this got me thinking: what is the worst PC game port of all time? There have been some absolute shockers throughout the years, from games that performed horribly, to games with console-like restrictions on controllers and frame rates, to games that shipped in such a broken state that they didn't work at all.

    One particularly disappointing port that comes to mind, aside from Arkham Knight, was Grand Theft Auto IV. Rockstar Games took eight months to release GTA IV on PC after it first launched on consoles, and when it arrived, it was crippled due to a lack of engine optimization.

    Are there any other awful PC ports that come to mind? Let us know in the comments below.

    Permalink to story.

  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,374   +2,162

    BAK might take the cake. I could be wrong, but I don't believe anyone else has had to halt sales because of port quality. There may have been some games that were more technically broken, but, if we're going to hand out blunder trophies, being pulled from store shelves certainly qualifies for the podium.
  3. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,524   +288

    There was another one, but it was so bad I have blocked all memory. So BAK is the winner in my book.
  4. Resident evil 4 was mindbogglingly bad xD
    Cryio likes this.
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Need for Speed
  6. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,550   +594

    GTA IV was bad enough that I waited a full week after GTA V was released to see some reviews before getting it.

    But BAK is clearly going to be declared the "winner." The bar of awfulness has been set so high on that one, I don't think it will ever be beat. It deserves it's own wing in the Hall of Shame.
    ETF Soldier and hahahanoobs like this.
  7. Linoleum77

    Linoleum77 TS Rookie

    What!?! GTA V took a freakin while... Aside from the download manager (Social Club), this was a model of PC port in my mind. I had everything at high/max with only a GTX 760 and a crippled Intel Quad Core Q9550 (yup a 2008 CPU).
  8. antiproduct

    antiproduct TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Diablo 3? Haha, alright well it was more of a PC game crippled to go to console.

    Other than that, the Borderlands 1 port was pretty bad.
  9. GTA IV vanilla - horrific performance, had to buy a quad core specifically for this game
    patched - sort of ok, GTA V still runs better on my machine (!)

    Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth - nice game, but has a breaking bug on some configurations

    All 30 fps capped games in general !!! (SWTFU, NFSTR, Bully, Dark Souls, etc.)

    Any game without advanced settings that make us master race PC gamers feel comfortable :)

    Not ports actually, just hate games without proper xbox360 controller support on the PC (Mass Effect trilogy, CODMW3, ...)

    Haven't tried Batman AK and won't before it's properly patched (thank you reviewers)
    EClyde likes this.
  10. Vaibhav Sharma

    Vaibhav Sharma TS Rookie Posts: 19

    I thought it was unity but batman arkham knight takes the cake.
  11. aamiracle

    aamiracle TS Rookie

    GTA IV
    Assasins Creed III n unity

    Batman Arkham Knight:
    If you want to enjoy this game without any glitches you have to it treat as a console game. What I mean is that keep your settings to normal with the 30fps cap and don't go above 900p also with Nvidia Gameworks off. This way I've enjoyed it and after a while u get used to it and start enjoying a great game. But everyone to it's own.
  12. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,550   +594

    The problem with that is we don't spend time and money building gaming rigs to play a console game at console levels. PC gamers don't and shouldn't - settle for mediocrity.
    andrewyoung, mrtraver, motrin and 2 others like this.
  13. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 299   +152

    GTA4. I enjoyed this game a lot, but after a painful, several hour install and setup process. And while it looked and felt better than my cousins xbox360, still was kinda choppy.
  14. Is the PC community doing anything regarding this backstabbing from rocksteady?
    Rocksteady right now are like nothing, they just released the first DLC
    it takes literally just a few seconds to release a 2 line statement on twitter and everything is good?

    im a ps4 gamer, but still... that was messed up
  15. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 191   +57

    I would refrain from naming GTA IV the worst PC port of all time because after all, it knew how to leverage more than 4 threads (most games only used 3 threads in 2008) and it was far away more visually impressive on PC than on consoles, with tons of visual options and much higher texture quality throughout.
  16. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,598   +369

    Deus ex 2 was a legendary fail. Surprised it didn't get a mention.
    gradius likes this.
  17. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Maniac Posts: 161   +197

    Even +10 year old games were badly ported. Remember Deus Ex 2 (Invisible War) and Thief 3 (Deadly Shadows) from 2004, where the huge spacious feeling level sizes of the original 1997-2000 games had to be scaled down by up to 80% (on 4-7 year newer hardware) into mini "loading zone hubs with blue fog" purely to fit into the original XBox's 64MB memory limit? Throw in no attempt at HUD scaling (ie, games played at 2ft on the PC were give the same "designed for 10ft" HUD as consoles), sluggish mouse controls, etc. Many 2010-2015 games on modern hardware still have worse mouse response than 1990's games did on 1990's hardware. And 2014's Thief 4 (or Thi4f) still has smaller levels than 1998's Thief 2 even given 16-32x more RAM & CPU horsepower to play with and a 15 year newer game engine. That's just plain sad.

    The last cross-platform game I can truly say was "no compromise for PC" was Dragon Age Origins where the devs created a PC exclusive mouse-centric HUD (40x quickslots on 1080p resolutions, full blown drag & drop tactics menu, etc). Since then everything's been a "console & controller first" compromise, often to the extent of not even bothering to play-test with a mouse or variable HUD scaling so that giant icons or every line of text in size 40-50 fonts don't look completely stupid up close from 2ft away.

    Overall, I don't think there is a single "worst ported game of all time". In fact, that's the ultimate problem - we've been so "spoiled" for choice over the past decade, it's hard to even reduce them down to a top-20 shortlist...
  18. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 990   +90

    I remember when consoles were the ones getting crappy ports, seem to change in the PS2/Xbox era.
  19. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 191   +57

    One of the most crappy ports that comes to mind is Splinter Cell Double Agent on PC, in 2006. The game was absolutely broken, with visuals missing, bugged, textures black, animations stuck and so on for about half a year.

    When the game was finally playable, there were missing effects. Lower quality textures throughout, lack of ground litter, lacking transparency for ice, nonexistant shadows and a lack of HDR. After another few months and obligatory .ini tweaking, the game finally had better textures, HDR, ground litter and shadows. Though compared to the X360 version, the playable character still had inferior polygon count, the textures were still of a lower quality than the X360 version, the HDR in the game was worse, shadows were still worse (soft shadows were completely busted on all platforms, lol) and transparency on ice was never reinstated. But you had shadows now and you could see light sources from a distance as opposed to nothing at all.

    Adding insult to the injury, the game had zero 16:10 resolutions and the only 16:9 resolution was 1280x720. You had to modify the ini to get any 16:10 resolution and to get higher 16:9 resolutions.

    At least Ubisoft had the decency to release a patch to remove the DRM, so you even pirate the game and play it without a crack.
  20. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 191   +57

    Forgot to mention that it's still one of the best Splinter Cell games IMO. The most fun IMO and the 3rd best overall in quality after Chaos Theory and Blacklist.
  21. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    I don't believe any one game was worse than the other, they're all equally as bad, hence anyone who pre orders and pays gets exactly what they deserve if their game is a sloppy, broken port.
    The only way to stop this heinous practice is not to buy the game. Devs & publishers will quickly clean up their act when there's no money forthcoming.
  22. Assassin's Creed Unity
  23. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +70

    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 is probably the worst port I've seen, and the game itself was pretty bad to begin with. I just remember having a lot of problems with the graphics settings, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get V-sync to work. Resident Evil 4 was pretty bad as well, but at least it was a fantastic game.
  24. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,822   +870

    Assassin's creed 1 and 2. 1 was unplayable unless you had a controller. Even at that you still had to map your own controlled. I had a generic controller and everything came up as Xbox icons. I think that was the case with keyboard and mouse, too.

    AS2, on the other hand, just crashed frequently and that always on DRM stunt they pulled was a nightmare. Their servers kept crashing kicking everyone one out of game for weeks. You had to download a crack for the game to play it
  25. The retail version of Borderlands with the DRM was brutal. Bully with the 30 fps cap and lack of options was pretty awful. Black Ops when it first came out was pretty bad. COD MW2 with no dedicated servers was pure BS. BF3 felt like a disaster with Origin. I think far to many PC games are worthy of praise these days.

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