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Batman goty

One of many versions.

Chances are your favorite game has at least seen a number of ports, re-releases, End of the Year editions, and more versions than you can shake a stick at. This is due to companies trying to either milk a franchise for all it's worth, expand their audience, or to introduce new-players on new consoles to their game.

While sometimes it is clear-cut as to which edition or port you should get, other times it's not that simple. A special edition isn't actually better when the game on disk is missing something that the original game had. New versions can sometimes end up with FPS issues, toned down features, bad camera angles, or even ugly graphics. There have been many times when JP and PAL regions have a more superior version of a game while others get mere scraps and vice-versa. Sometimes even ports make a difference with some ports of a game having extra features or being better designed just because it's on a different console. All of this can make a specific version more or less desirable than the others!

This page is made to help gamers sort through all the versions and editions of a game and pick out which one is the best out of the bunch. Please focus on games that have multiple editions/releases of the same game (ex: Game Of The Year, Special Edition, Anniversary Editions, HD re-release, ect) in order to select the best edition of that particular game. Things like statues and music CDs are nice, but fixing up gameplay, less lag, faster loading, adding new levels, more on-disc content and updating graphics is much nicer! Please note that HD graphics or more DLC by itself does not automatically make a game "better"- there need to be actual improvements to the on-disk game itself for it to be better than previous iterations. Bonus points for when an HD release actually has text that can be read on a smaller screen or a tube TV.

Please do not list entire series as one entry unless they were released as a collection. (ex: all Bioshock games in one collection). Break games up into their own entries.

ROM hacks that do not significantly change the base game and are of a game that actually was released are allowed here. For example, a hack that simply fixes bugs the in a company-released game is OK; however, a Sonic game that is spliced with Metroid would not be appropriate. If the company releases a new version on par or better than the hack, please replace the hack with the official version.

It's also fine to give out honorable mentions of other editions that might not be as great but are better than the rest and well-worth checking out as well.

Versions Better Due to ContentEdit

Base Game System:
Game Name
(if different from Base Game name)
Description
Assassin's Creed II PC

Runner-up: PS3:
Assassin's Creed Ezio Trilogy Assassin'sCreedEzioTrilogy

Contains Assassin's Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations, which completes the trilogy that is the second game... what? It doesn't matter, this has a ton of content.

Now re-re-released on PS4 and XBone, but it's a bad port, because it's Ubisoft.

Batman: Arkham Asylum & Arkham City

PC

Runner-up: PS3 / Xbox 360:
Batman Arkham Bundle

Arkham asylum city

Collects Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City. The series might be over-hyped these days, but it got that way originally for good reason. Two excellent games where you're THE GODDAMN BATMAN doing what THE GODDAMN BATMAN does.

Both games include all DLC content, as they're based on the Game of the Year editions. Both games are ON DISC, (which is important to some people) and not simply downloads. If you hate Gamestop, get this used, because it's an exclusive in the US.

There is a similar collection in Europe  which also has Arkham Origins, but it is not suggested for a few reasons, namely that the only game on disc is Origins (the first two games are downloaded through a voucher), and it doesn't include any of the DLC content. Most people also find Origins to be an overall inferior game (it wasn't made by Rocksteady).

10 / 10 / A BAM HAM

Yet another collection re-re-released on new consoles, but with "better" graphics and more bugs/framerate issues!

Bayonetta PC

Runner-up: Switch

Header-0

The PC version is the best way to experience the first game, due to running very well on a wide range of hardware. Even a GTX 970 can run this game maxed out at 4K/60fps without a hitch.

The Switch version is near-identical to the previous Wii U version, with Nintendo costumes, a more stable framerate (still at 720p though), and the ability to play it on the shitter. Included in new copies of Bayonetta 2, otherwise available on the eShop.

Bioshock 1 & 2 PC

Runner-up: Xbox360 & PS3:
Ultimate Rapture Edition

Bioshock infinite Rapture inside

Bioshock 1 comes with the full game, new plasmids, a challenge rooms pack and an in-game museum showcasing the development aspects of the Bioshock series. Bioshock 2 comes with new updated voice acting Sinclair Solututions Tester, Rapture Metro, and the critically acclaimed Minerva's Den. It's all wrapped up in a nice double box with beautiful thematic art on the inside, a sliding dust cover and new verions come with Bioshock Infinite promotional stickers.

YET AGAIN! re-re-released on modern consoles with "better" graphics... you know the drill.

Blazblue: Calamity Trigger & Blazblue: Continuum Shift PC

Runner-up: Xbox360 & PS3:
Continuum Shift Extend

Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend Inside small

Play the first two episodes in the Blazblue series now all updated with higher quality sound, remastered full animations on story mode, smoother fighting animations, and new characters to try. The combat also has been rebalanced to amke things more fair. Also comes with a new Unlimted Mars mode (a 12-round advanced difficulty Endrance Trial), RPG-like Abyss mode with character upgrades, art book, soundtrack CD and a mini-calender. Supports DLC as well as multiplayer matches. Comes in a printed cardboard dust cover with the game and books inside.
Blood PC:
One Unit Whole Blood

BloodOneUnitWholeBlood

If you've never played a 90's era shooter, this is a great place to start Start with Dooms 1 and 2 first, then Duke Nukem 3D, then this bad boy. The irreverent humor, buckets of blood, bizarre weapons and B-movie references you know and love are all here.
Fresh Supply includes the original game and its two expansions on the initial story in which our charismatic psycho, Caleb, continues to battle the Cabal though suburbia (complete with Civilians to slaughter) and the Carpathian mountains. Four new multiplayer maps have been added for your LAN parties and dozens of new enemies to slaughter as well as new quips help keep things fresh. Also includes a sound track and music video both courtesy of Type O Negative, the definitive Goth metal band of the 90's, as well as modern features, like re-mapping, anti-aliasing, 4K resolution support, a framerate cap of 1920 FPS (you can select a framerate cap of your choosing), and a new 3D view (you can stick to classic mode if you like).
So all of that sounds good, right? Well sadly, Fresh Supply does come with a huge caveat: The game is more riddled with bugs than the original version. Seriously, just look at this shit.

So if Fresh Supply is out of the question, then lucky for you, sourceports are available for any OS: BuildGDX and NBlood, so stick with that one. However, if for whatever you don't want to use sourceports and are feeling edgy, you could just stick with using DOSBox and use this guide. However, if you're even more edgy and REALLY HATE emulation, then go get a DOS Laptop or build a Windows 98 desktop.

Either way, if you haven't gotten this game yet, the GOG version of Fresh Supply does come with the original OUWB version, although you can also get OUWB separately on Steam if you don't see the need to get FS.

Conker's Bad Fur Day N64

Conkers Bad Fur Day

While Nintendo were once known for having games toned down, the dawn of the new millennium saw them do the opposite, Conker's Bad Fur day is actually better on the Nintendo 64. The re-release (Live and Reloaded) censors some of the more mature content, cuts out sections of game play due to "content", and has clumsier controls than the original N64 version. The only thing close to improved in the remake is additional multiplayer maps, only good for local play now. If you're here for the hilarious story then the N64 version is the only way to go!

Also re-released on Xbone via Rare Replay but it's just the N64 version, no enhancements at all, some minor issues too.

Earthworm Jim Sega CD & Windows 95:
Special Edition

Earthworm Jim SE scd

A remastered redbook soundtrack, bonus levels, passwords to help skip levels, extra upgrades and new endings - what more could you ask for? The Windows 95 version requires a DLL (wail32.dll), which necessitates copying the CD's contents onto your hard drive, and replacing its packed-in version of that DLL to get it working. Also runs better if you run it from "WORM.EXE" in the "Assets" folder. The '95 version has slightly better sound effects, and is generally cheaper, but still requires both the CD-ROM and CD Player. SCD version is less of a hassle, but it isn't easy to come by. Both are on equal grounds, so you'll have a good time either way.

Ignore the 'HD' remasters and Steam/GOG re-releases!

Earthworm Jim 2 Sega Saturn

Ej2 front

While both the PSOne and Saturn versions are kind of identical, the Saturn version have parallax scrolling, shorter loading times, and somewhat better graphics thanks to the Saturn being a 2D beast. It also was released in America, unlike the Playstation version, which is PAL only.

Again, ignore the Steam/GOG re-releases!

Final Fantasy IV Nintendo DS (also on iOS)
Runner-up: PSP:
FF4 Complete Collection

FF4DS NTSC front

First off, take a look at this page: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_IV/Version_Differences
For First-Timers: If you want more story about FF4 alone and a bit more depth from it, the DS is the way to go. If you want more content and gameplay hours, along with a smoother experience, go PSP. Broadly speaking, the DS/iOS version tends to ironically be appreciated more by those who have played FF4 before and looking for a more challenging rematch. The PSP version is geared towards first-timers who also love post-game challenges.

The DS version has superior storytelling overall and bosses and enemies provide more challenge. The cinematics and "thought bubbles" especially stand out. The Augment System in DS is a nice addition, but you don't get the most out of it until DS's New Game +, as there aren't a lot of augment options to spread between allies until then, and then in NG+ it's only for thrashing the same dudes again, save for 2 new optional superbosses.
The iOS version is mostly the same as DS, but a bit inferior as noted in the above link, yet has an added Normal/Hard difficulty option.
FF4CC has more content overall with much more challenging bonus dungeons and bosses making up for the main game being easier on PSP (vs DS). The Interlude chapter, which ties into FF4: The After Years, uses the same gameplay as in FF4. TAY may or may not appeal to you, but if you're looking more challenges and bosses to face, it has several. The bonus dungeons and bosses really test your mettle, as you can't simply power-grind to beat them.
Final Fantasy XV PC (Windows Edition)

Runner-up:
Royal Edition (Xbox One X > PS4 Pro > PS4 > Xbox One)

Final Fantasy XV cover

A solid PC port of Final Fantasy XV, with many of the bells and whistles associated with them (High resolution support up to 8K, up to 120fps, and HDR10, along with NVIDIA GimpWorks features). Make sure your rig is up to the task by downloading the demo before buying this version, as it is quite demanding (and the benchmark is misleading). Includes all the DLC from the Royal Edition and mod support.
Ico

PS3:
The Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection

Ico shadow cover

Collects both masterpieces and ups the resolution to 1080p. Also features 7.1 stereo surround sound, and stereoscopic 3D if you're into that. No changes were made to the gameplay of Shadow. On the other hand, Ico is based on the European release, rather than the JP or NA. This is considered a good thing, as the EU version included some extra content and tweaked puzzles (for the better). The graphics of both have only been tweaked to the point of making them look good in HD.

If you think the cover art is hideous, you can reverse it for the originals. Also includes some digital knick knacks, like XMB themes.

Kingdom Hearts (Series) PS4:
The Story So Far

Kingdom-hearts-the-story-so-far

Compiles "KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX" and "KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue" into a single box, allowing you to play every Kingdom Hearts game on one platform before you tackle KH3. Includes KH Final Mix, Re:Chain of Memories, KH2 Final Mix, a cutscene movie of 358/2 Days, Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and another cutscene movie of Re:coded on disc one. Disc two contains Dream Drop Distance HD, KH χ Back Cover (another movie), and 0.2 BBS, which is basically KH3: Ground Zeroes. You can also get these two compilations separately on PS4. If you want to actually play Re:coded and 358/2 Days instead of just watching a movie, you can get them on Nintendo DS (3DS is backwards compatible).
The Legend of Zelda NES

Legend of Zelda NES cover

While it has been "remade" (re-imagined) for the Super Famicom's Satellaview add-on, the sucky thing about it was that there were split into two maps, the first map being dumped during the third week (meaning incomplete) while the second map is technically complete, yet wasn't dumped for a long time until sometime in 2008. Not only that, but the maps, both overworld and dungeons, have been rearranged for each map (and trimmed, meaning less areas), and has a timer that affects the entire game at certain time-frames (i.e. power-ups, stuns, etc.) for a limited time. Refer to this link for more info.

While the link provided does contain pre-patched roms (kinda legal, considering the situation with almost all Satellaview games), it should be said that playing the "remake" isn't really ideal for newcomers of the series due to aforementioned reasons, so its best to just play the NES original (there are patches that enhance this version without changing the base game - like this one for example). However, if you are curious about the Satellaview re-imaginings, try the Map 2 version with both a Fourth Quest romhack and a "FourthQuest - Thirdquest overworld/dungeon data" patch.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Super Nintendo

The Legend Of Zelda A Link to the Past SNES cover

If you want the full game with the best graphics and sound, play the original SNES version. The Gameboy Advance port was made for portability sakes and includes a multiplayer game, the Four Swords, and a better translation. However, the NEW Nintendo 3DS (n3DS) allows SNES Virtual Console emulation, so the GBA port is kind of considered obsolete, but if you only have a GBA or DS with GBA compatibility and want to play ALttP on the go, then the GBA version will have to do.

If you want a more enhanced experience of the game (with tweaked controls and uncensored content), check this hack out!

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Gameboy Color:
Link's Awakening DX

197769 50331 front

Other than the game being entirely in color for the GBC, there's also several additions to the games, including bug fixes, so obviously there isn't any reason to get the original version other than for collectors' sakes. Available on 3DS VC.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS:
Ocarina of Time 3D

TheLegendofZeldaOcarinaofTime3D

The N64 classic was ported to the GameCube (through emulation nonetheless) and includes the Master Quest version (a harder version of OoT), and later was "remade" (actually ported and re-engineered) for the 3DS, and includes better graphics, gyroscoping, a touch interface (thank God), and a "smooth" 30 fps as opposed to the N64 original's 20 fps (17 fps in PAL regions) and also includes Master Quest. The downside is the 3DS' small screen (emulators like Citra can help elevate that) and the fact that you have to beat the game for the first time to unlock the Master Quest. There's also mixed opinions on the remake's cosmetics, but overall, the 3DS version is more preferable to the N64 original.

Note: The N64 original had many revisions to the point of censorship (i.e. green blood, removal of Gerudo symbol, etc.), and have been carried over through ports and the 3DS "remake", so if you hate censorship (don't we all?) and want to emulate the N64 games on your computer, then there is a solution. A fine gentleman by the name of Aroenai from the Krikzz forums has made patches for the GameCube "ports". You can get 'em here. Keep an eye for updates until they say that it is finished. Now only if the 3DS version can get the same treatment

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Depends

Same with as predecessor OoT, except with the 3DS version, as not only does it have similar changes, but also changes to its save feature, bosses, implementation of a third-person camera system (assuming you have a n3DS or a regular 3DS (o3DS) with a Circle Pad Pro) and fishing, and much more, so that sounds pretty neato, right? Well, kind of, though some fans felt that the changes for the 3DS version fucked the game up, and go as far as to modding it to be more like the N64 original. It should be noted that the 3DS version is based on the Japanese 1.1 version, which is considered unpolished compared to international versions of the game. And just like OoT3D, MM3D also has mixed opinions on the remake's cosmetics, mostly the atmosphere, kinda like with Metro 2033's case. So if atmosphere is more important than visual overhauls and you are a nit-picky bastard when it comes to changes, stick with the international N64/VC versions, but for the rest, go for the 3DS version.

Avoid the Collector's Edition version!! That version is prone to crashing, has missing graphics, and runs at a snail's pace compared to the original version!

Note: Just like its predecessor, this game is also censored and was carried over to the 3DS "remake", so yatta yatta yah, you can restore plenty of content on the GCN rom version.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Wii U:
The Wind Waker HD

TheLegendofZeldaTheWindWakerHD

While the original game has aged gracefully in the visual department, well after 2003, the Wii U version has some changes and extras that improve the game's pacing and uses gyroscope for aiming similar to OoT3D (although the new bloom effects is a bit too excessive and some people prefer the original's cel-shaded graphics). If you do not have access to a Wii U, yet have the Gamecube original and a decent PC, and not allergic to emulation, there's a mod for the GC original that implements some features from the Wii U port.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Wii U:
Twilight Princess HD

Twilight Princess HD

Same as Wind Waker. Originally developed for the Gamecube yet was released on the Wii first, the Wii U version is more ideal due to being based on the superior Gamecube version with extra features and some changes to make the game have a better pacing. It's still Ocarina of Time 2.0 with some untapped potential to many, so your mileage may vary. Wii version has motion controls, but is mirrored and contains some bugs, one of which is game-breaking, and the Gamecube version, while more polished, is only in 4:3 aspect ratio, unless you use the 16:9 Aspect Ratio Fix code and is a lot more expensive due to said version being released late in the GameCube's life-cycle and underperformed against the Wii version.

That being said, there are some glitches on the HD version that aren't present in the original versions, but as long you don't try to find and/or exploit them, then you shouldn't have a problem.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Switch (overall)
Wii U (Mods)

BOTWSwitch

You can't go wrong with any version of the game, but the Switch version is generally better due to being on a slightly more powerful and portable system (slightly better performance), though the Wii U version has mods (Switch version has mods as well, but not as much as the Wii U version), so you can finally play as the GODDAMN BATMAN and ride on Big Smoke from GTA: San Andreas. Has an expansion pass for like $20 USD, which includes more outfits and trials, so who knows when a GOTY version will come.

Lumines Xbox 360:
Qubed (Lumines Live!)

Qubed xbox cover

Qubed expands on not one but three games to bring you better graphics, higher quality audio, and smoother gameplay than ever before. Although Extend Every Extra and Rez HD are also good, Lumines Live is where this game really shines with the same levels you know and love in glorious HD visuals and HQ sound as well as new multiplayer competitive modes, more puzzle modes, more characters, and the ability to purchase brand new level packs to easily double or triple your available songs. This game comes with just a regular Xbox disc, no frills, but is still very worth it for lovers of puzzle and rhythm games.
Metal Gear Series (Kojima) PS3:
Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection

Metal-Gear-Solid-The-Legacy-Collection

The Legacy Collection contains almost every Metal Gear game directed by Hideo Kojima up to Peace Walker plus two digital comic books and a physical info book (no MGSV for you). It's a great entry point to the series and a must for those who feel that Metal Gear ended when Kojima left Konami.

Games included:

  • Metal Gear
  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
  • Metal Gear Solid (Download Code)
  • Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions (Download Code)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Do keep in mind that, despite that MGS2 and 3 are now in 720p, the ports are by no means perfect; There are some visual bugs and fuck-ups here and there (especially with the pressure sensitivity for the PS3 version), many of which are still not patched in recent updates, with MGS2 faring worse. This may be inconvenient for purists and speedrunners (the grenades and codec calls for MGS2 last longer), so if minor technical issues like these piss you off, you're better off sticking with the updated PS2 versions (Substance and Subsistence) (more extras, but no progressive scan support without cheats). See here and here for more info.

Another thing is that, if you're familiar with SaveMGO, then you should be aware that the online servers for MGS4 have been resurrected for quite some time now. Only problem is, the only way to play MGO2 is if you owned either the original print-run or the Greatest Hits edition (both physical), as other prints for MGS4 after 2012, like both the Legacy Collection and the 25th anniversary edition, are based on version 2.0, meaning no MGO.

Metal Gear MSX2

Metal Gear (MSX)

While the re-released version has an official translation and has a save feature, what not many people seem to realize is that the original MSX2 version runs at a smoother framerate, while the re-released port on consoles doesn't. So if that sounds like a bummer to you, then play (or emulate) the Japanese MSX2 version with an English translation and the DynamicVsync patches. But if you want to save your progress, then the re-released version is the way to go, unless you acquire the Game Master II cart and know how to use it.

Metal Gear 2 PS2, PS3, 360:

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence/Existence

Ps2 metalgearsolid3subsistence

The MSX2 version lags like crazy unless you add patches like the Turbo patch (which fixes the game's speed) and a card patch that makes it similar to the PANCards from MGS2 and The Twin Snakes.

The MSX2 was programmed on an HP-64000 computer, which is not an MSX computer, meaning that, when playing (or emulating) on one with an 3.5Mhz Z80A chip, it runs a helluva lot slower than its predecessor (with the elevators being an exception), and if running on a 7Mhz MSX2 or turbo-R, the game runs too fast. This happens because its timing routine has a bug that allows it to run at 2x or even 3x the target framerate if the CPU can handle it (ref).

The game was later added for MGS3: Subsistence and HD Collection, which fixes the lag and adds a new translation, so its best to play that version first. Looks better on CRT displays.

Metal Gear Solid PlayStation

Metal Gear Solid PS1

The English version on Playstation is a pretty safe bet. Stable, fairly fast, and fairly smooth. It's also available on the PS3's store.

The PC version is okay, but its audio quality is somewhat weaker and may not work well on post-XP Windows unless you use a patch (no widescreen hack unfortunately), not to mention the whole Psycho Mantis fight with a keyboard. So if you want to run this game at high resolutions, you're better off using an emulator instead.
Don't even get me started on the Gamecube version, even though the translation is admittedly more accurate.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Depends

The HD version loses the skateboarding minigame, lacks some post-processing effects (like tone mapping and cross-fading), some elements like the rain drops, Snake’s optic camouflage reflection and particles, and the "heat waves effect" were slightly downgraded, the grenades and codec calls for MGS2 last longer making it inconvenient for speedrunners, and has audio mixing issues (MGS3's seems fine), but makes up for all of it in other degrees like better framerate and less lag. The Windows port is apparently not so good without V's Fix, as is the original Xbox port. If all of these sound like a problem to you, stick with emulating the PS2 Substance version, that is if you have a beastly computer. If not, HD Collection or modded Windows version it is then.

PS3 version's pressure sensitivity is so fucking sensitive that you have to let go of the square button more gently, while the 360 version uses the left stick to lower your weapon to compensate for the lack of analog buttons, so that version is probably more preferable.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater PS2:

Subsistence or Existence (Presentation and content)
Xbox 360:
Metal Gear Solid HD collection
(Accessibility and framerate)

Metal-gear-solid-hd-collection-xbox-360

The HD version loses the Snake vs. Monkey due to licensing issues, Metal Gear Online due to servers, Guy Savage mini-game (it was based on a prototype of Zone of the Enders 3), and the Duel challenges (for whatever reason), and sacrifices a couple of minor special effects (compare this scene from the original to the HD version) and even the intro song starts a little too early (no ambient sounds during the "Konami Presents"), but keeps the free camera and now runs at 60 frames per second... for the most part.

The 3DS version is meh, but adds crouch walking and moving while aiming; while these seem like good additions, it's similar to how MGS: The Twin Snakes had first person shooting which broke the game. And let us not forget the framerate (20fps at maximum). Consider getting the PS Vita version for portability sakes.

Again, the PS3 version's pressure sensitivity is flimsy compared to the PS2 original. The 360 version is backwards compatible with the Xbox One, meaning more stable framerates.

In October of 2013, the servers for MGS3S's MGO has been resurrected, but just for MGS3 Subsistence for the PS2. Check here if you're curious.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker PS3:
HD/Legacy Collection

Metal-Gear-Solid-The-Legacy-Collection

The PSP version is portable, but it's not the best in the world. The hardware is weaker and the game suffers for it (i.e. camera controls are mapped to buttons due to only one stick, framerate, etc.), so you're better off getting it from the HD/Legacy Collection. Plus you'll be getting more games from this collection, so it's a win-win.

However, if you happened to own the PSP original and have the hardware that's good enough for PPSSPP, be it a PC or Android smartphone, then you can improve upon it by using cheats like 60 FPS, right analog support US EU, and Enable Audio from the game.

Metal Gear Solid V: the Phantom Pain PC

Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain

You really can't go wrong with any of the versions, but the PC version is pretty good thanks to the modding community and the ability to tweak the game's performance to your liking. The downside is that one (or more) scene for the PC version is censored, just like the Japanese console releases, though oddly enough, the Steam version for Ground Zeroes isn't censored. Thanks Japan...

Either way, it's recommended that you get the Definitive Editions, as they include both GZ and TPP, and also comes with DLC.

Ōkami PS2 or PC

Okami HD poster with logo

We know you're here for the pretty graphics as much as the gameplay on this one so, depending on which is most important, we have two winners: PS2 and PC HD.

If you're looking for the real credits and beautiful rice paper-filter graphics, stick to the PS2 version. If you're less worried about pretty filters and instead want HD and prefer better controls, get the PC version for Okami HD, as being able to use the mouse as your "brush" is much easier, faster, and more fun than trying to use analog sticks or Wii-mote to do the same thing. The PS3 version has Move support as well, however, in combat the "waggle to attack" mechanic is much less precise than simply tapping a button, and makes some weapons nearly useless because they require timed inputs to continue combos. Not sure about the PS4 version.

If you hate Capcom for their injustice to Clover Studio, buy a PS2 copy pre-owned and don't buy Okami-den, despite the fact it's really quite good.

Policenauts Sega Saturn

Policenauts Saturn

For the longest time, the Playstation version was the only version with a fan-translation, but in 2016, the Sega Saturn version got one as well. It has a lot more content than the Playstation version and lets you use a light gun, but the video quality is somewhat worst, yet has a more smoother framerate.

The PC-9821 version has some of the best looking pixel art you'll ever see on the system, but sadly no translation, and if you're curious about emulating it, then good luck trying to set everything up. Until PC-98 emulation gets better, you're better off just watching a playthrough of this version instead (assuming you know what the hell they're saying). The 3DO port is kinda crappy and irrelevant, with video quality that's worse than both the Playstation and Saturn's, and is rather rough-looking instead, but it does have mouse support, so it has that going, but so do the PlayStation and Saturn versions. The Pilot Disk for the 3DO version DOES have a nice little teaser for the upcoming Metal Gear 3 (Metal Gear Solid).

Resident Evil (1996) Depends Since you're here, you should know that, when it comes to the original RE1 game, there really isn't any "definitive" version, it all comes down to preferences, priorities, and options.

Saturn version has better looking backgrounds, but more blocky looking 3D models. It has an exclusive battle mode mini game, also 2 new costumes (which are the bests) and a reskinned enemy. Depending on the region it will or won't have auto aiming.

PC version is the best looking but the difficulty is based on the original Japanese difficulty, yet some copies of the game have uncensored FMVs, so that's pretty neat. It should be noted that this version suffers with compatibility issues with modern hardware. Refer to this link for assistance.

The DS version (subtitled "Deadly Silence"), even in its "classic" mode, is more of a remixed port with a couple of tweaks to suit the handheld; All the 3D models were redone from scratch, has downgraded video and backgrounds, and a new "Rebirth" mode that utilizes the touch screen for puzzles. You also have 2 new moves (180° quick turn and RE4 style knife use) and to compensate for that, zombies have a better AI. It's the only version in which you can skip both door animations and cutscenes (one scene where you encounter the first zombie in the game is uncensored by the way). It's good for those looking for a portable option.

The Director's Cut release of Resident Evil re-balances the game to be closer to the original Japanese release, complete with auto-aim. Introduces a new Advanced/Arrange difficulty mode that ramps up the challenge. This particular release doesn't have the awful new soundtrack presented in the Dual Shock/Greatest Hits release. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Dual Shock version is the one that's on the American PSN, so if you want the proper version, you'll have to hunt down the disc. Although there is a mod called the Ultimate Director's Cut mod that not only does it replace the god awful music with soundtrack from the original, it also goes out of its way to add uncensored FMVs, and adds a new "Deranged" mode to the mix, allowing this version of the game's quality to be on-par with the PC version. The downside are some bugs (seriously, don't use the other door in the attic entry), though that shouldn't stop from completing the game.

The game did go on to receive a remake for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2002, but really it's best that you don't skip out on the original in favor of the remake, as both of them have to be experienced to see the evolution.

Video for comparison

Resident Evil 2 (1998) Original: PC (Sourcenext version with REbirth mod)

Runner Up: Dreamcast or Gamecube

Bio2-cover

This Japanese-exclusive PC release of RE2 is the best looking and playing version of the game by far, with high-resolution models, the highest quality cutscenes, no delays between camera cuts, and the ability to skip door sequences. Includes all of the content exclusive to the 1999 PC/Dreamcast releases (Hard/Nightmare difficulty, the model viewer, concept art, cutscene viewer, and unlocks 4th Survivor and Tofu modes right from the get-go). Install the Classic REbirth mod to receive an English translation, better compatibility with modern Windows, and (optionally) higher-quality sound.

If you don't feel like hounding for the PC port, the Gamecube version can be picked up and played relatively easy, as it is based on the PS1 Dual Shock version, and is the only console version that can run on one disc, making the PS1 version irrelevant. It also looks the best compared to the Dreamcast version and can also let you skip cutscenes if you're in a hurry. Also cheats can be enabled and disabled.

Speaking of Dreamcast, the DC version seems to have some content unlocked from the start. Yet, interestingly enough, it's the only version with 60fps support (in menus and door animations, 30 fps during gameplay) and allow the VMU (virtual memory unit) to display your status and ammo count, so that's cool.

The Nintendo 64 port is a rather interesting case for those curious about RE2, as the team behind the port (Angel Studios, now known as Rockstar San Diego) managed to cram in two CDs worth of data into one cartridge (PS1's 757 Megabytes vs N64's 64 Megabytes (512 Megabits)), which resulted in compressing video and audio quality. What's neat about this port is its Dolby Surround Sound support and its alternative control scheme, which is suitable for those who hate tank controls. It also adds 16 in-game documents known as the "Ex Files" that can be found throughout the campaign.

Really though, any version is fine, as long as you avoid the dreaded Game.com version, but it's not like you own a Tiger Game.com or anything, right? Right?

To give you a visual guide, watch these videos to judge for yourself.

Also received a re-imagining that's completely different.

Resident Evil (2002) PC: Resident Evil HD Remaster (Steam)

Resident Evil HD Remaster Logo

Polishes up an already beautiful GameCube game for modern consoles & PC, with a new babby mode Very Easy difficulty, an alternative control scheme, and RE5 costumes. Points in favor of the PC version over PS4/Xbox One are 60fps support, and some mods, like skippable doors, fixed music, and further improved backgrounds, just to name a few.
Resident Evil Zero PC: Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster (Steam)

Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster Cover

Same as above, but with a new "Wesker Mode", where you can play as everyone's favorite Neo-wannabe, and a shitload of paid DLC costumes instead of the RE5-specific ones. Not as many PC-specific fixes, but 60fps support and skippable doors put this version on top once again.
Shadow of the Colossus PS4 (Pro)

Sotc-ps4

Despite this game being a classic, Shadow of the Colossus was infamous for pushing the PS2 hardware so much to the point where the frame rate would often stagger during colossus battles, sometimes dropping to 15 frames or less when action was peaking. While the PS3 remaster had fixed this, the PS4 remake actually takes advantage of the PS4 Pro by increasing the resolution to 1440p (upscaled to 4k) and run at 60fps most of the time if set to performance mode. It also has better and more responsive controls (you can switch to classic controls if you're that adamant).

Regardless of what version you play, you'll have a helluva time with this masterpiece.

Silent Hill 2 PS2: Greatest Hits/Director's Cut

Runner-up: Xbox or PC with mods

Silent Hill 2

The updated PS2 release of Silent Hill 2 (Greatest Hits version in America, Director's Cut in Europe, Saigo no Uta in Japan) contains all of the extra content added in the Xbox release, while keeping the original presentation intact (excellent complex fog, CGI cutscenes that aren't compressed to shit, better sound quality, etc.).

If you have an OG Xbox and don't feel like paying through the nose for a Greatest Hits PS2 copy of SH2, the Xbox version is the next best thing. The presentation is downgraded in some ways (Xbox's 30 frames-per-second FMVs vs PS2's 60 fps FMVs) and upgraded in others (480p support) on Xbox, but you would likely only notice a difference if you had someone point it out to you. Contains extra content that wasn't in the original PS2 release.

The PC version is worth considering, but only if you don't mind doing some fiddling around to get it working on modern operating systems. Modding is a must as well, as the vanilla version is buggy as shit and doesn't look great when blown up on a monitor in HD. (Instructions). It's also rare and expensive as dicks, no digital release to speak of. Consider emulating the PS2 version if you insist on playing it on PC, unless you know some other way to getting the PC port.
Comparison between a modded PC version and PS2 emulation

Really, any version is fine as long as you avoid the HD Collection on PS3 and Xbox 360 like the plague. It doesn't help that the source code for the original was lost, and the port team had to use the beta builds, resulting in numerous technical issues stemming from an all-around crappy port job, making it, by far, the worst way to experience Silent Hill 2 today.. Any other version is a vast improvement, but if it's all you can really do, then get the PS3 version over the Xbox 360 one, as only the former has been patched to address some of it's issues.

Silent Hill 3 PS2

561292 51261 front

A masterpiece with fluid controls, fast loading, few glitches, good cameras, and few clipping issues. Hard copies often come with the sound track as a free bonus!

The PC port is technically a lot better than SH2's port, although it ditches some costumes (12 for the PC and HD versions compared to the PS2's 26 costumes) and has a shitty DoF and anti-aliasing (both of which can be fixed).

The HD remaster actually downgrades the camera in an attempt to be "scary" while adding rougher controls and various clipping issues and bugs. It feels sort of rushed like they did Silent Hill 2 first, then hurried to remaster Silent Hill 3. It's a shame. Stick with the PS2 or mod the PC version!

Snatcher Sega/Mega CD (English)
Runner Up: PC Engine Super CD

Snatcher

While the PC-Engine version is less censored and is less expensive (still pricey though), the Sega/Mega CD version is the only version with English audio and text, has light gun support, and contains most of the gore (despite the "T" rating). Either way, this game is a must-try for fans of Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear series.

Both the PC-8801 and MSX2 versions end with a cliffhanger, but uses the keyboard keys as a command instead of selecting them with a d-pad. The MSX2 version has a fan-translation, both in Portuguese and English (albeit not complete and full of typos), and the option to use either PSG or SCC-enhanced sounds, while the PC-88 version moves quicker, and has a slightly larger display window. Either way, both of these versions are more of a pain to go through due to its shitty interface. Only try them if you're curious.

Stay away from the Playstation and Saturn versions! They're both censored heavily and have shitty music and aesthetics!

Sonic Adventure Dreamcast

Sonic Adventure-1-

While later versions of the game (the Director's Cut version) has 60fps support and extra content, for every successive port after the Dreamcast, it just gets shittier and shittier, that you're better off sticking to the Dreamcast original.

If you insist on playing the DX version on PC, or you already own it, use the SADX Mod Installer to improve the experience.
Recommended mods for SADX

Read more on why later ports suck here.

Super Mario Bros. SNES/Wii:
Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World

Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World SNES cover

The game that saved the industry and shaped it to what it is today, or at least that's what a Nintendo/Mario fanboy would tell you. Anyway, this legendary game got a 16-bit remake and adds a save feature, just for the All-Stars collection, which also contains other 16-bit remakes of NES classics, including the Japanese-exclusive sequel titled "The Lost Levels". But if you find any of these features to be SHAMEFUR DISPRAY and want to experience the original (and prefer 8-bit graphics and music over everything else, you fucking hipster), then no one's stopping you from playing the NES Original.

SMAS is also available on the 25th Anniversary Wii disc, which also contains a soundtrack CD and history booklet, but no SMW, which is on the Virtual Console anyway (but lacks the SMAS updates).

It should be noted that there's an issue where, when Mario smashes a brick, he doesn’t rebound properly. There are fixes for that depending on what version you have (Wii owners are out of luck): Super Mario All-Stars "Super Mario All-Stars+Super Mario World Redux"

Super Mario Bros. 2 GBA: Super Mario Advance
Runner-up: SNES:
Super Mario All-Stars

Gb supermario advance

Was given an enhanced port for the SNES, and said ported was also ported to the Game Boy Advance with extra features, such as voice acting, challenge mode, a scoring system, etc. etc.. And you can play the Mario Bros. remake along with it (MB remake comes with every other Super Mario Advance game for the GBA as well as some others (not all however). The downside is the small screen and washed out colors (most colors can be restored with a romhack) and sound (music on this version ain't half-bad though IMO), so if all that sounds bothersome and you just want to experience SMB2 with no frills, then stick with the SNES remake.
Super Mario Bros. 3 GBA (Wii U VC):
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
Runner-up: SNES:
Super Mario All-Stars

B00009WAUO.01.LZZZZZZZ

Similar to the entry above; port of an enhanced SNES port of an NES classic, includes features such as voice acting, gameplay enhancements, and the Mario Bros. remake. Additionally, if you play it on the Game Boy Player (Gamecube add-on), the system will boost the colors to be similar to its SNES counterpart. The GBA port also includes e-Reader exclusive content, even though hardly anyone ever brought the damn thing. Thankfully Nintendo re-released this version with e-Reader levels unlocked on the Wii U Virtual Console (but no exclusive power-ups), but if you don't have a Wii U, then tough shit as there was a romhack that allowed you to play the e-Reader levels on a SMA4 rom, but was removed for obvious reasons. If you ever wanna try the e-Reader levels out, be careful because the levels are tough as nails, though the neat thing about them is that they implemented some new gameplay features (I won't spoil the surprise for you if you wish to find out yourself).

But if you hate the voices and the GBA's sound compatibilities, and have no desire to play the e-Reader levels, then stick with Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES.

Super Mario World GBA:
Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World

C784a5c5bdf5601cb86c5ff4ea629ad5-Super Mario World Super Mario Advance 2

You know the drill. Same as any other ports for the GBA, this one has changes and extras, and the ability to play as Luigi with his abilities from SMB2 (with some preferring SMA2's Luigi sprites over the SMAS+SMW ones). Downsides are, again, small screen and washed out colors (color restoration) and sound, so if that bothers you, get the version included in SMAS+SMW, which is more pricey than the one without it.
Tales of Vesperia PC:
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

Tov-de

The PS3 version contains additional content like more scenarios and more monsters. Of course, everyone outside of Japan wouldn't get an English version of the game, and instead, they had to wait for years until a remaster would come out for the PS4 and PC. The PC port is preferable due to uncapped framerate and enhanced visuals. Though if you do plan on getting it on Steam, use the Tales of Vesperia "Fix" to fix some micro-stutters.

If all you have is a PS3, assuming it has custom firmware (CFW) installed, you could get the Japanese PS3 copy and add the full translation patch.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter PC

Graw

Excellent AI, great first-person controls, NPCs using real-life military tactics and micro-management of your squad like the older Ghost Recon Games make this version more interesting, deep and fun than the others.
Vampire the Masqurade: Bloodlines PC:
Wesp5/GoG version

VTMB 800x600

A unique horror-RPG in which you play a vampire of one of several clans. These clans count as your "character class" and will change your abilities, speech options, action options, and even your entire path through the game depending on the clan you choose! The unpatched version is a notorious broken mess. Thankfully one crazy dude named Wesp5 released a fix patch that corrects and expands on an already massive (for the time, anyway) game. Buy the game on Good Old Games and it comes with the patch- no hunting required! Want more? Add the Plant Vampire upgrade to GoG's version: http://archive.planetvampire.com/Bloodlines/files/patches/
Virtua Fighter 5 Xbox 360:
Final Showdown

Virtua-fighter-5-final-showdown

VF5 Final Showdown is the same on both 360 and PS3, so just get that. If you want to get picky, however, The best port of the game is the 360 port, which is based on the arcade Version C, as opposed to the PS3's port of Version B. Also, it's online and the netcode is damn good.
Zone of the Enders 1 & 2nd Runner Depends While the HD Collection for the Xbox 360 and PS3 should generally be the definitive collection, there's the small problem that High Voltage Software, a generally bad developer, ported the collection. As such, you might get frame rate problems. Only the PS3 version was patched, and only for ZOE2 at that, by Hexadrive to add anti-aliasing, increased resolution, and more optimazation. See the differences here.

ZOE2 MARS for the PS4 and Steam have optional VR support and new special effects, but for the PC port is reported to have buggy audio and textures (Not sure about the PS4 version), and it has Denuvo! Read more here.

As such, your best choice is to either wait until the PC/PS4 remaster gets fixed (or at least try to find a copy with Denuvo removed) or get the original PS2 games or the PS3 Collection and either play them on on their respective console or play them on an emulator. Don't bother getting the Xbox Collection, for it hasn't been patched.

Games to add:

  • Most 8- and 16-bit games (Mega Man, Castlevania, etc.)
  • Every 'Tales of' entry
  • Arcade/Console/PC ports

... And a shit ton of more.

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