Years later, newer portable devices are more powerful than the original hardware that the game was originally released on, and now these games can be ported as mobile versions that are almost identical to the originals. The games have to be engineered to use touchscreens, but the core is the same.
Here are five of the best ports available on iOS and Android.
Grand Theft Auto 3
The first game in the series to move to 3D polygons, Grand Theft Auto 3 is a dense game that offers hours of gameplay. It also features the original PlayStation 2 game with voice acting and radio stations. It’s an impressive achievement to jump into GTA3 and feel like nothing was lost when the game was brought to Android and iOS.
GTA3’s controls are also some of the best for touchscreens, even when the large control scheme that the game had with on-foot and vehicle controls is taken into account. GTA3’s only real fault is that it doesn’t work as well on smaller screens because your fingers can block your view.
Grand Theft Auto 3 opened up sandbox gameplay that continues with games today.
Metal Slug 3
The Metal Slug series has a long history on NEOGEO and arcades, bringing with it side-scrolling shooter action. Metal Slug 3 is one of the best games in the series, and SNK Playmore recently released it on iOS and Android. The gameplay and controls haven’t changed at all from the original game, trading physical buttons for touchscreen controls.
Gameplay is fast and full of gunfire and explosions. Metal Slug 3 does have issues with frame rates when a lot of action is happening on screen, like multiple explosions and lots of button pressing. Otherwise, the game feels just like the original or any other port of the game.
Metal Slug 3 is a game that can easily work on mobile devices and shows its chops on Android and iOS.
In the past, there was a yearly battle between FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer (PES). Originally, Pro Evolution Soccer was called Winning Eleven in the United States, but finally changed its title to match the worldwide release. The last couple years, FIFA has been improving more than PES and has become the number one soccer game for fans.
With a game that depends entirely on the controls, FIFA 12 contains some of the best in that regard. The precise controls required are included, and the iPad version can connect two iPhones via Bluetooth as controllers.
The amount of replayability is amazing, with multiple game modes and 500 officially licensed teams to play. The staggering amount of content in the game shows that Electronic Arts isn’t thinking of FIFA 12 as simply a port, but as a fully developed game.
Max Payne Mobile
Max Payne was the original bullet time game. It brought the gameplay mechanic into the lives of gamers and has been applied to numerous other games since then. Rockstar Games brought the original game to iOS and Android before the release of Max Payne 3.
Releasing Max Payne Mobile before the release of Max Payne 3 allows players to experience the history of the main character. Max Payne Mobile’s port of Max Payne on PC tells the story about the main hero’s attempt at revenge. Rockstar’s port of the game takes advantage of the hardware by including anti-aliasing and a new lighting system. Even though the graphics show their age and Payne’s constant grimace, the game is a classic that deserves to be experienced.
The huge 1.3 GB install can have an effect on your storage, but that includes all the improvements made for mobile devices.
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
When it originally released on PlayStation One, Final Fantasy Tactics was a huge departure from the original role-playing experience players got with Final Fantasy VII. Tactics is a turn-based strategy game that offers an insane amount of customization for all the characters you use. Feel like becoming a ninja? It’s possible, and you can go even deeper with stronger attacks and special moves. The number of available character classes is amazing.
The iOS version is actually a port of the PlayStation Portable version which adds video cutscenes and new content. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions on iOS works perfectly with touch controls because of the turn-based gameplay. Visuals are also optimized for iOS, but don’t expect a high definition jump from the original.
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions is a classic game for turn-based strategy fans and one worth playing until completion.
These are five of the best ports available for iOS and Android. There may be slight differences between the different operating systems, but overall they are the same game. Many of the titles are classic games that many players loved when they were originally released.
For the most part, these games have been faithfully developed for the new interface, but there are always some bugs here and there. And personally, I’m still waiting for Final Fantasy VII to be released on mobile so I can experience that game all over again as well.