Gaming Top 5: Best console to handheld franchises

Which games made the most enjoyable transition to handhelds? PC World finds out.

Some game franchises are so popular on consoles that they have made an appearance on handheld systems. But which ones have made the leap the most successfully? PC World identifies the top five games that defied the odds and found a new life in the palm of your hand.

5. Perfect Dark (Rare)

When Perfect Dark, Rare’s spiritual successor to GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64, hit the console, it was an immediate hit with critics and players alike for its well crafted single player mode and intense multiplayer component. As Rare was still owned by Nintendo at the time and the GameBoy Color was the dominant platform, the handheld version of Perfect Dark had to be significantly scaled down. What Rare did was present the game in an overhead perspective that retained the feel and ferocious gunplay of the console counterpart.

4. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega)

The Sonic platforming games on the Mega Drive were benchmark titles that pushed both graphics, sound and gameplay on the platform to new levels with each new sequel. Keen to make Sonic a successful and lucrative multiplatform franchise, Sega made scaled down and radically different versions of the platformer for its Game Gear handheld. While the first Sonic game on Game Gear did its best to mimic the look and presentation of Sonic on the Mega Drive, subsequent installments on the handheld adopted a vastly different approach to level and overall gameplay design for a more tailored experience.

3. Worms (Team 17)

When the original Worms game came out, it was one of the first true multiplatform titles, gracing all of the major 16 and 32 bit consoles alike. In fact, it even made it to the short lived Atari Jaguar at the time. Having already brought it to every imaginable console platform available, Team 17 also released a GameBoy version of the game. While the game’s colour graphics had to be brought down to monochrome for the handheld, the GameBoy version of Worms amazingly retained the same level of strategic gameplay and interactivity from the console editon.

2. Metal Gear Solid (Konami)

When Metal Gear Solid came near the end of the PlayStation’s life cycle, expectation was riding high on it following months of hype and anticipation. Fortunately, the game fulfilled its promise of providing stealth gameplay with a gripping story, and Metal Gear Solid as a franchise was born. Shortly after the release of the PlayStation game, Konami developed and published the GameBoy Color version of the game. Originally named Metal Gear: Ghost Babel in Japan, Metal Gear Solid on the handheld did away with the 3D graphics but translated the stealth gameplay into an overhead perspective and a new storyline.

1. Resistance (Insomiac)

Although Insomniac had already cut its teeth in the FPS genre with its little know PlayStation title called Disruptor, the debut of Resistance: Fall of Man for the PlayStation 3 launch marked a significant change of gears for the developer known for its Ratchet and Clank platformers. While the Resistance series enjoyed a lot of success with its multiplayer online component, the single player campaign was always the main draw. When it came to making Resistance: Burning Skies for the PlayStation Vita, developer Nihilistic crafted an immersive game that seems to channel the presentation and gameplay from the original game.

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Patrick Budmar

Patrick Budmar

PC World
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