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Top 10 TERRIBLE Smartphone Game Ports

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Script Written by Dimitri Vadrahanis Who’d have thought that these amazing games wouldn’t translate well to a smartphone device...besides EVERYONE. Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Smartphone Game Ports. Special thanks to our user “InternalMatrix” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Worst Smartphone Game Ports

These are why mobile gamers can’t have nice things. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our top 10 worst smartphone game ports.

Porting games is a great way to give gamers access to titles across a wide variety of smartphone platforms. However, the lure of the vast mobile marketplace means many companies often try to cash out on their IP for a quick buck. They might have great reputations, but the titles we’re focusing on are the worst offenders of the practice.

#10: “Tomb Raider” (2013)


Given the limited graphical and computing power of most phones on the market, it makes sense that companies would focus on bringing older titles to handheld devices. This is why Tomb Raider is a prime candidate for mobile porting. The graphics hold up decently well, but the second you get control of Lara you’ll realize that 3D adventure games really weren’t suited for touchscreen inputs. All of your available actions are mapped to virtual buttons, which are incredibly unintuitive and only slow down the game as you fidget and slip your thumbs across the slick glass screen.

#9: “Jet Set Radio HD” (2012)


We really wanted to love this one, but translating the complicated tricks into limited, clustered inputs means it’s just too damn hard to pull anything off. You’ll keep moving your thumbs from the buttons to furiously swipe graffiti into existence, but they end up getting lost on the way since there’s no tactile feedback. This forces you to constantly look away from the action to reposition yourself, further adding to the frustration. While the game may work in the loosest definition of the term, it was essentially unplayable. Thankfully SEGA pulled the game, so no one will be tricked into putting themselves through this.


#8: “Chrono Trigger” (2011)


It’s undeniably one of the greatest RPGs ever made, but even if you’ve never played it you should absolutely not spend any money on this version. While the controls and graphics are perfectly fine, the actual performance of the game is abysmal for a twenty year old release on hardware more powerful than the console it originally launched on. There’s dropped frames all over the place, lag while in battle, and even though it’s gotten better over time, the game crashes far too often for our liking. There are plenty of emulators that do a better job, so the fact that the official release fails this hard is pretty pathetic.

#7: “Streets of Rage II” (2011)


A poorly executed mess of bad decisions, SEGA’s 2D brawler has a ton of issues that, while not game breaking, continuously ramps up the frustration the longer you play. The UI takes up half the screen and makes the game ugly to look at. The game stutters horribly the when more than 2 or 3 enemies are on screen, all the while assaulting your ears with one of the most oppressive soundtracks in a game ever. Don’t get us wrong, the actual music is great. Having the poorly-ported, crackly mess blaring through your speakers on the other hand, not so much.

#6: “Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions” (2011)


2D turn-based games are probably the best fit for a mobile experience since you can come back to it periodically for a few minutes at a time and not miss a beat. This should have been perfect, but between swiping through menus with inaccurate inputs and the lag that occurs when moving around the map and executing special skills, every action takes forever to complete. If you’re in the market for a mobile game, you probably don’t want to commit a lot of time to it, and this completely defeats that purpose.

#5: “Wolfenstein 3D Classic” (2009)


Due to their popularity, it only makes sense for FPS games to make the jump to mobile, but despite how good the game is, the actual port is terrible. For some mind boggling reason, movement speed is tied to your aiming sensitivity, meaning you’re either going way too fast, or laughably slow. It’s a serious problem when walking from point A to point B is a challenge in and of itself, and it makes shooting Nazis the most tedious and unfun activity. We know it can be done well since there’s plenty of better options available, so what the hell happened here?

#4: “Mortal Kombat X” (2015)


We all know that the real console experience would never work on smartphones, but despite NetherRealm Studios’ tinkering, the radical gameplay changes in an effort to make this title mobile-friendly ruined the core mechanics and controls. Fights are much shorter and more chaotic, and while X-ray attacks and fatalities all made it in the final version, executing them is basically just a quick time event, which completely takes the skill and sense of accomplishment out of perfroming the special moves. We want to outsmart and outplay our opponents, not tap the screen as fast as we can until their team is dead.

#3: “Resident Evil 4” (2009)


It’s on every other device in your home, but the version in your pocket is by far the worst one. The series has never been the most fast-paced of shooters, but this port takes that notion to a whole ‘nother level. Switching between running, aiming, shooting, the inventory, and knifing down your enemies makes every encounter an insane drag. Since all the enemies are slowed down to compensate, even the bosses don’t pose a threat, completely removing the tension. We shouldn’t be breezing through a game which focuses on struggling to survive.

#2: “Bioshock” (2014)


If there was ever a game everyone should experience, this would probably be the one. We wouldn’t call this a lazy port by any means, but it is a very disappointing one. The downgraded visuals are to be expected, but the constant stuttering is incredibly annoying, and the game is way harder than it needs to be. Switching between your plasmids and weapons on the fly takes much longer than on consoles, which really hampers the experience in many boss fights. Another daunting problem is the fact that a game like BioShock requires immersion, and atmosphere is a tough sell on a 5-inch screen.

#1: “Painkiller: Purgatory” (2011)


If you’ve never played the franchise, it’s all about fast-paced demon killing in closed-off arenas, and it’s awesome. The weapons, soundtrack, and senseless violence all kick serious ass. Which is why it hurts so much that all of it was thrown out the window for the mobile port. Sure, it tries, but with imprecise movement, clipping through enemies when performing melee attacks, and the unbearable lag that occurs when running on mid-range hardware, this is a Painkiller game in name only. Being a bad port is one thing, but with so few enemy varieties, ugly graphics, and poor optimization, this is also a lazy one, and that’s inexcusable.
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