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What are the worst PC ports you've ever played?

By Andytizer on Sep 23 2013 10:08 PM in Questions
The settings menu contains but a single item: the volume slider. All the quick time event tooltips are in Xbox 360 controller icons - but you've only got a mouse and keyboard plugged in. The game runs like a fluffy rabbit swimming through treacle. Alt tabbing sends you to an unresponsive, flickering black screen hell.

Welcome to the terrible PC port.

What are the worst optimised PC games you've ever played? What games were clearly copy and pasted from their console origins? What games were unceremoniously dumped onto the PC and left for us, the community, to fix up? Come speak up in the comments, and to be clear, you can include any PC game, not just console ports.


LA Noire is the game I founded this wiki in order to fix. I went through so much pain and suffering researching in forums trying to get this working to an acceptable level, but failed miserably. Despite having a decent number of fixes in the article added by the kind PCGW community, I am loathe to ever try this again.


Please suggest some more - some of these may appear in a little 'Top 10 Worst PC Ports' feature at some point.

LA Noire sure was an epic port with the locked 30 fps and the lag on my Geforce 670. Hard to tell if it was worse than GTA IV still.


My vote is Dark Souls however, without the mods that completely fixed it

Deadspace. The character controls were using keyboard and mouse inputs but when aiming the sensitivity just went bonkers. I simply could not adjust to that and quit playing because of it. The worst part? In some games that were designed with controller in mind you could actually attach a controller and play that way. Not with Deadspace... ooooh no.


Deadspace 2 is improved in that regard but still could not attach a controller IIRC.

Lord of the Rings: War in the North. The game would just lose all stability by the end mission especially for AMD systems. The only fix is to uninstall the game and cry in a corner that you spent all that time and money for a game that will not give you a conclusion.


EDIT: The feeling's made even worse because the game is actually kind of a good action rpg.

Saints Row 2 goes down as one of the worst ports ever. It still can't be run properly unless your CPU is a specific speed and even then its sketchy.

Saints Row 2 goes down as one of the worst ports ever. It still can't be run properly unless your CPU is a specific speed and even then its sketchy.

Yes Saints Row 2 another one that just runs incredibly poorly. GTA IV is also incredibly unoptimised. It seems like these open world console ports don't run so well on PC.

Suicide machine
Sep 23 2013 10:54 PM

Having played LA Noire and Dark Souls... I'm still going to state, from all of the ports I remember Saints Row 2 to be the worst. While 30fps in Dark Souls (without dsfix) and LA Noire were certainly annoying, I can forgive a little with LA Noire, since this wasn't exactly highly action focused games - yes it was annoying at times and the graphics were for the most part worse than PS3 (our version was apparently ported from X360 and thanks to it, we've got awful X360, instead of nice, smooth PS3 ones), but for me - rarely was really frustrating...


Saints Row 2 however was more action focused and while the game wasn't capped - it's optimisation left a lot to be desired. Add to it junky controls and junky gameplay mechanics (I think, nobody is going to argue, that shooting mechanics, driving mechanics as well as melee fighting mechanics in SR2 were really good) and this mess ends up being near unplayable for some... and then comes an absolutely horrid sound quality - my god, I love playing on my headhpones... but I just couldn't stand this - not while all of the music is played only on a right channel and only in terrible quality. And then there were problems like chunks of city failing to stream in... massive problems with stuttering - and all this ported by CD Projekt - what the hell happened?! Thank god modders were able to fix this game a bit... sadly, I just don't have patience for it, any more. To think, this port got outclassed by almost unfinished Saboteur.. just lol.

Fwinest JediThug
Sep 23 2013 11:23 PM

Prototype 2. The godawful mouse controls made it hard to play, so using a controller helped. Additionally, memory leaks in later parts of the game rendered it unplayable.

Mortal Kombat. If you have a powerful rig, there should be no problems but this game was just not optimized for laptops, I don't even think it recognized my Nvidia mobile graphics card correctly. It also crashed when texture quality was set to the lowest possible value, so that you had to edit the config file to make the game work again. Also netplay is pretty shit.

LA Noire sure was an epic port with the locked 30 fps and the lag on my Geforce 670. Hard to tell if it was worse than GTA IV still.


That's strange. I actually got LA Noire just last week and it's locked at 30fps with max settings on my Radeon HD 7770 and i3-2120.

On the other hand, GTA IV never went past 30-35fps, even on medium settings, so my vote goes to GTA IV (Dark Souls would be there, but at least there was DSfix).

Saints Row 2.


Dark Souls was only a bad port for the fact that it had reverse mouse acceleration and was locked to 1024x720 @ 30FPS.  The mouse issue was fixed (as best as it could be at any rate) by a mod (dsmfix, or by using a controller, which is strongly recommended due to the way the combat system works), while the video issues were fixed by another mod (dsfix).  The stereo issue was a problem too, but was fixed in an official patch. The devs didn't know how to use multi-core CPUs properly, so it only ran on 1 single core, which hampered performance for some people or those using crazy high settings via dsfix.  Other than that, the game was -very- stable, never crashing once, not corrupting save files, etc.  It performed very well in that regard.  Hell, it ran BETTER than the PS3 version, that's saying something.


Saints Row 2 on the other hand.. it just wasn't playable, whatsoever, and nothing could be done to change that short of trying it on a completely different system and hoping it was actually playable.  I heard such good things about SR2 yet I have never been able to play it.


There's other bad or otherwise poor PC ports which escape my mind (though a few were mentioned), so if I remember them I'll update.   Generally anything capped to 30FPS is something that causes outcry from PC gamers, and for good reason.  Most of those games I haven't even played, and most of them are usually decent to good games.  Some were fixed via a mod, others remain unplayable for people like me, who cannot play anything below 60FPS anymore.

Sep 24 2013 02:46 AM

RAGE and Saints Row 2.


Saints Row 2 would only run fine if the PC was effectively a Xbox 360. Everything was jerking around and made it nearly unplayable without the Gentlemen of the Row mod. Even then the game still feels sloppily ported. Then again, the port wasn't made by Volition so it was partially expected.


RAGE on the other hand has no excuse. id is mainly a PC developer and has one of the best programmers creating their engines. I find it baffling that the same people made a game that worked perfectly on consoles, but has unplayable pop-in issues on beefy PCs. Even the general UI felt like it was designed for a controller. Overall, the game is still good, but it makes id look like they are getting sloppy.


At least id managed to patch up some of the nagging issues from launch (there were initially no graphics settings, the game would try to auto detect settings and adjust on the fly).

Alpha Protocol. Very limited in game options, asset streaming that causes stalling, and a camera that is both way too sensitive and  stutters if you move it too fast. Combined with several frustrating gameplay choices (That hacking minigame? Really?) as well as rolls to hit in the gun-play, and you have a frustrating game. 


That being said, there is a decent game inside trying to get out. I would've loved to see AP2 with all these poor choices and bugs fixed, but that will never be. Still haven't decided if I wanna give it up or not. 

Hmm, I know I've played some bad ones.  An old Street Fighter version with no controller support and problems when you pressed more than 2 keys, I think.  The most frustration was FF7, though.  It crashed like crazy in the old days, because of the rushed conversion.  The controls were fine once configured, but to configure them you had to figure out the numpad controls first.  Videos looked like crap, and the music was weak midi versions (I had a Yamaha sound card that worked with softsynth, but it caused the game to crash even more).  And the cutscenes were prerendered movies, which if there was so much as a spec of dust on the disc, would cause the game to stop because it couldn't read them. 

I have to say 90's japanese ports to PC.
The hazzle with installing and playing Final Fantasy VIII (8) and Metal Gear Solid on a computer back in the day was extreme.
I think these ports and the poor reception of these ports are some of the reason why we don't see japanese companies make a lot of PC games.

Saint's Row 2 - it was a good game and I didn't have too many issues with the port, but the control scheme is terrible, it had a huge lack of developer support, until recently some Volition employees started talking to IdolNinja about improving it, 4 years after release, and all of that was just talk, they have done nothing about the issues the players still have, even the famous unfixable ones, like the processor speeding up glitch, the low sound quality and the game lacking optimisation. Also, to note, everyone reports bad sound quality in the game, and I used to have it, but it just randomly stopped at one point in the game and never came back. Also, there is a laughable small amount of resolution options, and what makes it worse is that for people who can't quite make out spoken English (eg. me) , the "Subtitles" option is pretty hard to find between the graphics options.


Dead Space - the sensitivity was strange. It was wobbly and just uncontrollable. I think it was well optimised on PC (except the startup menu, that was laggy as hell for some reason) but it was just impossible to aim, which almost ruined it for me.


Just Cause 2 - being able to run Skyrim on Medium without a hitch at 1366x768, and then going into Just Cause 2, which struggles with 20FPS at same resolution and minimum settings is something that made the game feel pretty unfinished. The map was too big too, which meant a lot of rendering had to be done, and it was really too big and boring, and going around the map felt like an unnecessary chore. And there wasn't much to render, just bland ground with bland textures and bland trees with bland sprites, deserts are even worse though, they ran pretty laggy and as a fan of deserts in video games (thanks to San Andreas), I can honestly say out of all the deserts in video games, JC2 takes the title of having the worst deserts of all time, just a flat ground with a generic sandy texture on top if it, and how in all hell did that lag?


Crysis 2 - my main beef is that in graphics options, instead of Low, you have High, instead of High, you have Ultra. Pretty confusing and it feels like my weak computer is slowly dying when I play the game. And the performance felt bad. And the multiplayer really suffered for it, it was pretty much unplayable for me due to lag and how when I got killed by someone it feels really unfair, because I kept shooting them in the face five times with an automatic shotgun, and they shot me three times with an automatic rifle and missed, and killed me. Then, I saw the killcam, and it turns out they were actually jumping around when I could swear they had been standing in one place, and then I actually missed all of my times and they really shot me 30 times in the head.


Burnout Paradise -  The controls... You can't use a mouse to look around.


Bully: Scholarship Edition - I couldn't even get past meeting the principal due to a fatal crash.


Dead Island - Unoptimized and has sound issues that can actually DAMAGE YOUR HEARING!!!


Deus Ex: Invisible War - The interface feels way too much like it the game was made for console, which it was, kinda. Also, the loading times and lack of compatibility with Intel Integrated Graphics (only god can judge me)


You should make a best PC ports community questions too, since there are quite a few I can name, like BioShock Infinite, that ran at the same computer as JC2 for me, at 1366x720, and at lowest settings, it ran 50FPS and was much more to look at.

Right off the top of my head. I am playing suffering through GTA IV right now. That is a bad port but I cannot give it the worst award. Saints Row 2 out fails GTA IV on so many ways. Highly unstable but thankfully there are mods to at least try to fix it. Regardless it still crashes constantly and sometimes loses save games with no come back. I still prefer to play it any day over GTA IV.


Sort of a double standard as GTA IV works fine and does not crash for me. The problem I have with GTA IV is the complete lack of Anti-Aliasing, I am not able to turn up the graphics even slightly lest I be demoted to playing a substandard game (I am well in excess of the recommended specs), It is an awful game to play and I am lumbered with the soon to be destroyed Games For Windows Live. That malware disguised as a service is a hateful piece of software, sooner it is gone the better.


The worst port though? Let me check my list.

Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD is high up there, no online for PC when the consoles get it? Not good enough.

Burn Zombie Burn is in there but this is playable and still fun. plus the developers realised and did not make the same mistake twice.

Burnout Paradise is a hideous thing on PC. Shame as I have over 2000 hours on it for Console. I still play the PC port but it is not the same and the complete lack of DLC/support does not help. The modding community though? Golden. Some of the best people in there.

Sacred 2. Oh Sacred 2. I love you one of my favourite games and it is broken on every platform. Alas this is not a port issue but a company going bankrupt mid development issue. The PC suffered horribly with DRM issues caused by Secure Rom. now that a DRM free version has been released the game is a lot nicer. Rarely crashes at all anymore.

Saints Row The Third is not terrible but not up to snuff at all.

Sleeping Dogs. I can't really call it bad as it is an example of an excellent PC port. The Issue I have is the Community Manager, they knew how to fix the issue with AMD graphics cards and did not say one word until the community found the fix by trial and error. Only after that point did they say yes this fixes it and we knew this but did not want to tell you for another 2 weeks. Great game bad studio.

Test Drive Unlimited 2. Just not good enough but the studio were dealing with Atari cannibalising them during development. Shame really Eden were nice guys and soldiered on despite the publisher destroying them.

Metal Gear Solid 2. Poor show. 


I am sure there are more but that is just my personal list. Probably a little overcritical but that is just me. 

Many people may disagree with me. But I think the worst console ports I've played have to be Assassin's Creed 2 through Revelations. They have a fatal flaw which cause the games to freeze on multicore setups that Ubisoft didn't even BOTHER to fix over the course of all 3 games.

Almost everything that isn't PC exclusive really. Others have made good points about graphical optimisations, graphical options, framerate locks and mouse acceleration. However, my complaint is with clearly controller driven menu systems. They are inefficient, clunky and barely fit enough information on the screen because the text needs to be so large for TV screens. Maybe I'm wrong, but wouldn't menu adaptation be one of the easiest parts of the porting job?

Saint's Row 2 and Bully: Scholarship Edition, they are AWFUL. Still, finished both of them.


L.A. Noire isn't so good too...

Since playing the first Half-Life back in '98 i stuck to the PC when it comes to first person shooters. Sure there were some exceptions, like Goldeneye, Perfect Dark and a few Halo's, but when it comes to a multi-platform release of a shooter it has always been the PC for me. For some reason i just don't find it comfortable aiming with that little right thumbstick, Makes me feel handicapped opposed to the accuracy and preciseness of a mouse.

Anyways.. to me, when it comes to bad ports, it's mostly the (mouse) controls that would make it or break it for me. Dead Space , even though being a third person shooter , is a perfect example of this. I would have played it on the console but when i realized there was a PC version as well i immediately thought that aiming and dismembering would be a lot less stressing with a mouse. Boy was i wrong on that one. It basically felt like the mouse was one big frustrating thumbstick. In other words, a big bad port in my book. Just a one on one money grabbing port.

And that's what it comes down to obviously. Many developers/publishers nowadays would like to make or save some extra money by bringing their title out on PC as well while keeping the conversion as simple and cheap as possible. Rockstar North being a good example of this. Every GTA after GTA 2 that has come out on PC thus far has felt like a straight port to PC to me. There is no denying it, the evidence is all there. Poor controls, poorly optimized and unstable.
People are begging for GTA IV to come to the PC. Well i ain't one of 'em because i already know what the end result is going to be like.

But these are third person shooters, GTA even having auto aim and including more elements than just shooting, so i'm not too fussed about playing them on a console.
What does grind my gears however is when something like the first Bioshock comes along (an FPS i have to play on the PC), and even though being an epic adventure, has a frustratingly controller'esk feel to it. I don't care what you say, that game has been designed for the consoles and then optimized for the PC. And this , unfortunately , has been happening to a lot of shooters in recent years. Some being worse off than others. Bioshock hasn't left a great impression on me in that sence, as goes for Halo 2. Crysis 2 was alright, but was compared to the first Crysis quite a step back.

Luckily it's not all bad when it comes to multi platform releases in the FPS genre. Valve still does a good job in making sure the PC version of a game actually feels like a PC game. Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead, Portal, they all work great on PC. Just like multi platform titles Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Modern Warfare. Same game across all the platforms, but it felt like a genuine PC title on the PC.

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