Top 10 Surprising PC Ports
Image source: Oleg Magni

Top 10 Surprising PC Ports

Rumors of Persona 4 Golden coming to Steam really surprised me. Never in a million years did I imagine a mainline Persona game would come to a non-PlayStation platform, let alone PC where modding runs rampant. I had also heard several rumors that Atlus had some kind of agreement with Sony that Persona would remain a PlayStation exclusive. Well, Persona 4 Golden has officially come to PC, and all my ideas about Persona’s PlayStation exclusivity have been turned upside down. The whole ordeal got me thinking: what other surprising games have been or are currently being ported to PC?

A trend you’ll see in the games on this list is that most were primarily associated with a specific console. Console exclusives can often be system sellers, getting people to buy a console they might otherwise have little interest in. I bought a PS4 just to play Until Dawn, and I’m sure many others have similar stories for different games and systems! Also, whether or not these are good PC ports remains to be seen for many of them.

Note that the listed release dates are from when the game initially released on PC!

10. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release: September 4, 2018

Dragon Quest XI launched in Japan on July 29, 2017 for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4. The 3DS version wouldn’t be released internationally, but when the game was released outside of Japan it wasn’t just the PS4 version. The PC version launched that day too! The only other time a mainline Dragon Quest game had come to PC was with the Japan-exclusive MMORPG Dragon Quest X, so seeing DQXI come to PC was a nice surprise.

9. Sonic CD

  • Developer: Sega
  • Release: September 26, 1996

I think the most surprising thing about this PC port is that is was ported to PC only a few years after the game’s release on the Sega CD. My guess is that the install base for the Sega CD add-on was so well below what Sega expected that they quickly scrambled to get Sonic CD on some other platform to recoup some losses. At least when it came out Sonic CD on PC was still distributed on CD-ROMs. These days its name looks quaint when you see it on digital distribution platforms like Steam.

8. Doom 64

  • Developer: id Software & Nightdive Studios
  • Release: March 19, 2020

The original Doom is known for being ported to everything thanks to the code being released as open source and id Software giving fans their blessing to make it run on whatever platforms it possibly can. Doom 64 did not get the same treatment, and for 23 years was only available on the console that shared half its name: Nintendo 64. But in 2020, a remastered port released for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

With the success of Doom (2016), it makes sense to release more Doom games, and ports like this one are likely easier to put out than wholly new games. Honestly, the PC port isn’t really the surprising part here. What surprises me most is that the ports to modern platforms exist at all. But I’m glad that they do!

7. Tales of Symphonia

  • Developer: Bandai Namco
  • Release: February 1, 2016

Tales of Symphonia was no stranger to ports before coming to PC. After its initial GameCube release, it saw a Japan-exclusive PS2 port, and a PS3 port in the form of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. Despite those ports, I was still super surprised to see what was at the time a 13 year old Tales game receive a PC port in 2016. I think the most surprising thing about this is that it’s still the only older Tales game to be released on Steam. When the port was announced, I kind of thought it might be followed by other older games in the series coming to PC as well, but that hasn’t happened.

Honestly, I haven’t tried playing through it on PC but I’ve heard it was a rough port. Visually and technically, it was a bit of a mess at launch. While the experience was cleaned up considerably both through official patches and fan-made tweaks, I’m still not sure how well the PC port plays today.

6. Valkyria Chronicles

  • Developer: Sega
  • Release: November 11, 2014

It was a PS3 exclusive when it released in 2008, and Valkyria Chronicles would remain that way for 6 years until it came to PC in 2014. It’s now available on both PS4 and Nintendo Switch as well, but for almost 2 years between the PC port’s release and the PS4 release, the only way to play it was either in its original form on PS3, or on PC.

I had no issues whatsoever with this port. It’s the way I played it for the first time, and I can easily recommend this version!

5. Octopath Traveler

  • Developer: Square Enix & Acquire
  • Release: June 7, 2019

Originally a Nintendo Switch exclusive, Octopath Traveler received considerable attention when it was announced due to its unique visuals and classic RPG gameplay. With the popularity of the Switch I assumed it would sell just fine and Square Enix wouldn’t release any other ports. It definitely sold well on Switch, selling over 1 million copies just a few months after release, but that didn’t stop Square Enix from porting it to PC!

4. Sunset Overdrive

  • Developer: Insomniac Games & Blind Squirrel Games
  • Release: November 16, 2018

This is the only game I can think of that launched as a true Xbox One exclusive. I’m sure there are others that I’m just not aware of, but it seems like most games that launched on Xbox One were also on PS4 and/or PC as well, or released on those platforms after a few months of console exclusivity. After 4 years of remaining exclusive to Xbox One, Sunset Overdrive released on PC, albeit without the multiplayer component featured in the Xbox One version.

Insomniac Games developed the original game, and Blind Squirrel Games handled the PC port. Judging from the positive reviews on Steam, it seems like the PC port is probably pretty solid!

3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

  • Developer: 343 Industries & Bungie & Splash Damage & Ruffian Games & Saber Interactive
  • Release: December 3, 2019

The listed release date is a bit misleading. That was the date Halo: Reach released on Steam as the first available part of The Master Chief Collection. It’s being released in parts in order of when the games take place chronologically. Reach was first, with Halo and Halo 2 becoming available since then.

I spent a lot of time playing Halo: Reach on Xbox 360, so this port has been a huge nostalgia trip for me so far! Halo is a series I’ve always associated with Xbox, even though the first two titles released on PC not long after they launched on Xbox. Anyway, this is a good PC port in my experience!

2. Horizon Zero Dawn

  • Developer: Guerrilla
  • Release: Summer 2020

Horizon Zero Dawn developer Guerrilla is a subsidiary of Sony, so that alone makes this PC port interesting. For years, Guerrilla’s games were developed exclusively for Sony platforms. Their successful Killzone series saw releases on every PlayStation home console from PS2 to PS4, and even a PlayStation Portable title. Horizon Zero Dawn, their first new IP since Killzone, was no exception to this PlayStation-exclusivity, and released as a PS4 exclusive. I expected it to remain that way forever. Long story short, it didn’t, and I was shocked when the PC port was announced!

The PC port is unreleased as of this writing, but I’m hopeful that it has a successful launch, and paves the way for future games developed by subsidiaries of Sony to release on PC as well!

1. Persona 4 Golden

  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release: June 13, 2020

I still can’t believe this port really happened. As I said at the beginning of the article, I never thought Atlus would bring a mainline Persona game to something other than a PlayStation system, but they proved me wrong!

Persona 4 Golden seems to have had a very successful launch on Steam, so I’m hopeful that we see other Atlus games ported to PC in the future too. Who knows, maybe a future entry in the Persona series will have a cross-platform launch? Even if that never happens, I’m now hopeful that Atlus will bring more of their back catalog to PC in the years to come, allowing more people to experience their games.

Ben

(bsinky)
Ben
The self-proclaimed "Guy with the Backlog", as of this writing his Steam backlog is slowly growing to the point of consuming him. Meanwhile, he spends most of his time trying to catch up on the retro classics he missed, as well as replaying the games he grew up with.

What I'm Playing - No. 91

I played through Super Mario Sunshine and started 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim this week. Continue reading

What I'm Playing - No. 90

Published on September 21, 2020

PS5 Showcase (September 2020)

Published on September 17, 2020