The Port Authority: A Few Of Gaming's Most Ported Titles
Some ports are exciting, like when Metal Gear Solid 2 made its way to the original Xbox. Some ports are less exciting, like Myst appearing on every interactive device on the face of the Earth. These are the games that we have seen re-appear more often than any other game. Some are old, like the original Prince of Persia, and some are young, already making their way to as many platforms as possible like Angry Birds. Here they are ranked in order of appearances.
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Appeared on Nintendo 64, PC, Dreamcast, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Color, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, iOS, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS for a total of 9 ports.
I’m not sure why Ubisoft holds this admittedly decent 3D platformer with such high regard. It was great when it came out, but every time it is re-released, it just seems to be a reminder that the game is aging very quickly. If you want to see for yourself how the game plays, just pick it up for pretty much everything you have. I think there is a refrigerator version coming soon.
Final Fantasy I
Appeared on NES, MSX2, WonderSwan Color, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, mobile phones, PSP, Wii, PlayStation 3, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 for a total of 10 ports.
Final Fantasy I made its first appearance on the NES in 1990, and it stayed quiet for a long time. Square (pre-Enix) was too busy making legitimate sequels to the franchise before they thought in 2002, “hey let’s just redo that old game,” with the PlayStation version of the game.
Appeared on iOS, Android, PSP, PlayStation 3, Mac OS, PC, Windows Phone 7, Google, BlackBerry Tablet, Facebook, Kindle Fire, and Xbox 360 (coming soon) for a total of 11 ports.
If you haven’t heard of Angry Birds, then you were probably born in the last twenty minutes, and your new parents are reading this to you. If you want to play Angry Birds, just find a screen, preferably one with a touch screen.
Appeared on PC, Mac, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, 3DO, Atari Jaguar, CD-i, AmigaOS, PSP, Nintendo DS, iOS, and Nintendo 3DS for a total of 11 ports.
Myst released today for the 3DS, and while it is very important in the history of the advancement of video game design, it’s basically a game where you are clicking pre-rendered images. It begs the questions, why is this game 535 MB large for iOS devices. I don’t think that game took up that much disc space when it originally released for PC.
Prince of Persia
Appears on Apple II, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, PC, Sega Master System, Sega CD, TurboGrafx, NES, Game Boy, SNES, Genesis, Game Boy Color, and Wii (unlockable in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands) for a total of 13 ports.
There are 13 ports of Prince of Persia since it first released on the Apple II computer, and that is not including the numerous Prince of Persia games that dealt with the Sands of Time. Something about the way the original Prince moved with his rotoscoped animation technology just demanded that everyone be able to play the game no matter what interactive console they owned.
Out of This World
Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, PC, Sega Mega Drive, SNES, Mac OS, 3DO, Tapwave Zodiac, Mega-CD, Mobile phones, Windows Mobile, iOS, and Android for a total of 13 ports.
The appeal of Out of this World, strictly from the porting point of view, is that the game has a simple art style with impressive animation that is dripping with a timeless sense of style. I can’t imagine a day when Out of this World won’t offer an instantly inviting experience. The complete lack of dialogue also means that you will never be hiring a team of voice actors to give dialogue to the assorted characters.
Sonic The Hedgehog
Appeared on Genesis, iOS, PC, Wii, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Android (Japan only), Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PSP for a total of 14 ports.
Sonic's first game has appeared on tons of consoles thanks to the never-ending stream of Sega Genesis compilations. We theorize that Sega constantly re-releases Sonic the Hedgehog to balance out the steady flow of new, awful Sonic games.
Appeared on arcade, Sega CD, Game Boy Color, PC, DVD, HD DVD, Blu-ray, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, Nintendo DS, iOS, Android, Xbox 360, and Laserdisc for a total of 14 ports.
Dragon’s Lair has the rare distinction of appearing on DVD, HD DVD, Laserdisc, and Blu-ray, something no other game on this list claims. Since the game is more or less an animated feature, it will always look solid no matter which platform it's released for. How it plays is another story.
Street Fighter II
Appeared on arcade, SNES, Mega Drive, Master System, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, PC, Game Boy, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PSP, Apple iOS, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii for a total of 18 ports.
Capcom is no stranger to re-releasing its games, often within the same console generation, but it can’t seem to help itself when it comes to Street Fighter II. It has appeared on compilations, it has had words like ‘Super,’ ‘Turbo,’ and ‘HD’ added to the front and back of it, and it’s not even done yet. In September it will appear again as part of the 25th Anniversary Collection, and that's after it already appeared on the collection honoring the 15th anniversary eight years ago (yes, I am aware that the math does not make sense). Capcom loves releasing this game, and we must love it too, because we keep buying it.
What hasn't Tetris appeared on?
Tetris has made appearances in hundreds of different forms, on hundreds of different consoles, computers, calculators, and arcade cabinets. If it has the computing power to run a game, then there is a version of Tetris for it.
Tetris was hugely popular on all manner of PC before It arguably gained its biggest splurge in popularity on the Game Boy. Since then, the game has appeared on everything, and it will continue to appear on everything until the Universe lines up its tetraminos and we're all deleted. The game has been, and will be ported into oblivion.
It's highly possible that I've overlooked a game that his been ported a similar amount than the games above. Is there a game that you are tired of seeing over and over? Or maybe one you never tire of seeing over and over? Or perhaps, a game you wish you saw over and over?