Everyone loves video games. Well, nearly everyone, but if you’re here you almost certainly do. So of course, you want to be able to play your favorite game whenever you want, maybe even wherever you want. Good games should always be treasured.
Unfortunately, sometimes great games get lost to history for many reasons, be it licensing, resources, or simply a lack of interest. Some games though, they’re eternal. You can’t miss them, no matter how unnecessary another port of them may even be.
8th street fighter 2
Street Fighter is a beloved fighting game. It’s the grandmaster in its genre and gave so many famous game developers their start in the industry. With its sixth entry on the horizon, Street Fighter has never felt so lively, though it may never again reach the heights of SF2.
Street Fighter 2 sold ridiculously well. Within two years of release, it had been played by tens of millions of people the world over, and such fame warranted more than arcade releases. It was released on multiple consoles of the time, with remasters and different versions for years to follow, and can still be played in Capcom’s modern collections too.
7 final fantasy
Final Fantasy occupies a unique space in gaming, being a long-running series without a strict continuity and rather shared motifs between games. It gives the series a lot of freedom. Although some entries, like Final Fantasy 7 may get preferential treatment in the number of entries they get, the mainline series is pretty evenly tied with regards to ports.
Final Fantasy has its original console releases. Then 3 and 4 were remade in 3D, then ported to PC with new graphics. Then given pixel remasters. 15 got a dedicated windows edition. The 13 series is still trapped behind poor PC ports and no new console versions. The series is a hilarious disjointed mess with the original versions still being the best, yet no way to actually access most of them in that form.
6 Resident Evil 4
How could anyone forget the beloved Resident Evil? The series was major from the moment of its release, though was suffering from fatigue by the third entry, and 4 revolutionized the series in a way many could never have expected, especially considering its development difficulties.
Thank you, you’ve never not been able to play Resident Evil 4. Though many still view the original GameCube version as the best, you could still get it on PS2, and then PC. It’s even on mobile, got a recent VR makeover, and is has a complete remake. In fact, Resident Evil 4 kind of started the endless porting trend.
When talking about influential games with endless ports that seem almost obsolete, Skyrim might be the first that comes to mind. Skyrim is a great game, conjuring up an atmosphere of a world with such vivid history and detail that so few can match on such a scale. There’s a reason it has such lasting appeal.
Of course, it’s also impossible to miss it. There are the obvious ports, like the PS4 and Xbox One versions to bring it to modern consoles, even with some limited modding! Then came the Nintendo Switch version, so logical. Then the… Alexa version. VR versions. Then a PS5 and Series X/S, which just added paid mods. It’s nice it exists everywhere, but it feels like it’s done as a joke at this point.
Minecraft is hard to comprehend nowadays. It took the world by storm in its beta release back in 2009, growing to incredible popularity in no time, being bought by Microsoft in 2014. It’s unparalleled in creative freedom and modding capability, and can truly be played just about everywhere.
Console versions, of course, scale back on the endless nature of the world for obvious reasons and streamlined some features to work on controller. The original PC version always remained separate, though the many console versions over the years eventually joined as the Bedrock edition, making a shared playing space for all. Even the original PC version has Bedrock compatibility now.
3 Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts is one of those things that sounds like it shouldn’t exist. A chance collaboration from a literal elevator pitch between Disney and Square Enix. And yet, 20 years on, the series is still going strong with a fourth mainline entry and even more mobile games on the way, just as likely to be integral to the story as every spin-off.
Square Enix has a history of awful ports of its old games, yet Kingdom Hearts never suffered from this. From all their original releases, they’ve received their remixes and remasters with added features, they’ve gotten multiple humorously mathematical complications, an all-in-one collection, and most recently every game on PC. As impenetrable as Kingdom Hearts may seem, the series has hilariously always been accessible
To describe Tetris as having an obscene amount of game ports seems partly unfair. Since its release in 1984 as one of the earliest video games, Tetris never really stopped existing. That simple little game of making falling shapes line up to rack up high scores was too simple-yet-engaging to ever die.
Direct ports of Tetris are limited. As such a simple idea, it’s instead been remade in endless numbers of ways so many times, always with that same core gameplay. It’s never been unavailable in some form, most recently as the beloved Tetris Effect. In fact, Guinness World records even recognized it as the most ported game in history.
There’s a little game on the internet, a challenge of sorts. What’s the most unlikely thing that can run the original Doom? With the source code of the original Doom freely distributed, it’s a challenge that people have never shied away from, and it is such a journey.
When you’re a game as influential as Doom, you’re never going to be forgotten. Sure, there are plenty of official ports, but games are kept alive by their fans. You want to play Doom while driving your car? sure! (Maybe don’t though). Food taking too long in the microwave? Play Doom on the display. Pregnancy test taking too long to show a result? Boot up Doom on that little stick. The things the Doom community has achieved are wild, and the world will only become a better place if they never stop.
NEXT: Handheld Ports That Are Actually Better Than The Console Version