How would you rate Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft at making their past games available?

Who has done the best job at making their older titles available?

  • Nintendo

  • Sony

  • Microsoft

Results are only viewable after voting.


Dec 3, 2017
São Paulo, Brazil
Microsoft by light-years. Sony and Nintendo currently only dream of being in the same league as what Xbox has been doing with their BC program and Game Pass.

The simple fact that I can pop Alan Wake on my Xbox One and play without any hassle is something I wouldn't have imagined possible with consoles a few years ago, 'cause every port or "Classic" always had a catch (poorly ported, looked ugly, framerate issues etc. I speak from my experience with Sony).


Oct 25, 2017
Columbus, OH
Microsoft is objectively the best, no questions asked. Nintendo used to be very good at it, the Wii VC was one of the greatest online stores for video games-- period. They've done some good stuff this gen with the licensed Hamster arcade games, Nintendo Classics is a step in the right direction even if the library is a little skinny, but pretty disappointing overall.

Sony is trash this gen-- were pretty good during the PS3 era.


Dec 21, 2017
Microsoft is the best hands down: they rerelease all their games, sometimes with collections and most importantly they made all their consoles BC. A

Nintendo would be fine, just don't change their plans all the time. You have Virtual Console, just stick to it and make the library larger each gen instead of starting from scratch. C

Sony barely acknowledges their past and if you read some previous interview their mindset is very much "new is always better, we don't understand the appeal of playing old games". F


Jan 1, 2018
MS has done the best job at it with the XB1 BC, though their actual legacy is a different issue IMO.

Nintendo had it down pat during the Wii era with the VC, but slouched hard during 3DS/Wii U era with a less prolific Virtual Console and haven't done much of anything with the Switch, aside from NES Online and their Classic consoles (which aren't much of a consolation prize).

Sony was doing OK with the PS1/PS2 Classics on PS3 but aren't really doing much of anything with PS4, and PS Classic is a huge joke.
Oct 26, 2017
It's a great feature to have, but not really among the most important. That said, the only time I've really used my Xbox One this year was to play RDR1. So it's worth something.
Yeah, I can see that. But for where Microsoft is headed, this makes a lot of sense. It’s going to give them a massive leg up to position GamePass as the Netflix for games.
Oct 25, 2017
North Carolina
To be honest there is a ton of virtual console games across Wii, 3DS, and Wii U so its not awful like some people say. They way they go about distributing them and their prices are wack but otherwise there is a lot of games from past consoles to play.

Microsoft on the other hand doesn't have the largest backlog, its not even close, but at least what they do have doesn't require you to rebuy and many titles are getting enhanced visuals/fps. Not to mention all the 3rd party stuff thats available, also not requiring separate purchases. I wish I could afford to buy an X just for the BC on exclusive 360 and OG titles.

Im not even gonna talk about Sony. Garbage.


Nov 4, 2017
Nintendo: I'd give them a 3/10 on Switch, a 7/10 Wii U, 8/10 3DS, 9/10 Wii. Overall... 6.5???

Microsoft: 9/10 I don't even own a damn X1 and I know of their greatness in this area. They are killing it, I have no doubt I will eventually buy an Xbox just because of how they treat past releases. Upgrading them for free... Amazing.

Sony: N/A I don't own a PS4, but I have not heard good things.


Oct 27, 2017
Microsoft and it's not even close. I wish Sony would do something similar. Don't know what the fuck Nintendo is doing anymore, fuck those classic consoles.


Oct 28, 2017
It used to be Nintendo with their amazing Virtual Console and BC across different devices, but looking at where Nintendo is heading, even Sony is doing better right now. And for all the mistakes MS has made, their BC efforts are the best of the three right now.
Oct 26, 2017
Last Gen I never thought I'd say this, but MS currently is without equal in this regard. Sony is doing ok if you have a PS3, and Nintendo just completely what the bed this time.
Oct 27, 2017
Microsoft has set the standard that sony should follow into the next generation. Nintendo had a great thing going with vc...then they didnt honor your past purchases, then they stopped releasing vc game basically for the wii u outside of a handfull, then killed the program with the switch instead opting to sell you 60$-80$ Compilation boxes that are less convenient than having the games on the nintendo system you already own


Feb 25, 2018
MS, although slightly unfair since they have a smaller history.

Nintendo do well, but there pricing is absurb espcially in the uk

Sony basically only does remakes, which is great for those classics but shit for any other games

Like they dint even bother with PS3,2, or 1 lineup


Mar 4, 2018
BC clearly a PR win for MS. No way to tell if that PR win has translated to a financial win though. The argument against BC is that it's poor to very poor gamer money:time ratio. They don't want you replaying a game you already own. They don't even want you playing a game from last gen at a steep discount. They want about $2 per every gamer hour minimum. With BC they get next to nothing for those hours played. And whats worse, although there are very vocal supporters of BC on internet forums, in reality most people try it for a little then go back to new games. Microsofts stats only show many people trying it IIRC.

For me every time I have used BC it was tom play a game from the previous gen that I missed. But again, I bought those games at a steep discount. The current classic console trend is perfect for game companies because they get to sell plastic, have retail presence, and charge $100. And they're probably getting $10/hour on average. I have barely touched my classic consoles.

All that said, BC is going to be a big deal next gen I think. PS4/XBO was/is a huge generation with tons of big games. At the start of the gen momentum and PR is everything. It also reassures the consumer they will have a big library day 1. So yeah I think BC will be a thing at the start of the gen, then later they will drop it in the slim models.
I don’t think it’ll be that big tbh. BC is only good for the start of the gen when games are sparse or in the XO’s case to pad the lack of new releases compared to its competitors. Once new games start flooding it won’t be used that much but it certainly is a factor in a purchase regardless of if people use it because of mindshare.


Oct 25, 2017
Kind of strange to see people ding Sony so hard while ranking Nintendo higher...

Sony up until the PS3 launch model had backwards compatibility as did the Vita.

Both are completely dwarfed by the effort MS is putting in though. MS is the best example at the moment. Online purchases carrying through (I'm looking at you Nintendo lol) and actually having games look better (RDR) is amazing. This is a company doing it right.

Of the other two, Sony might be better poised? Because they have one singular online account that's carried forward.


The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
Scotland, UK
It used to be Nintendo with their amazing Virtual Console and BC across different devices, but looking at where Nintendo is heading, even Sony is doing better right now. And for all the mistakes MS has made, their BC efforts are the best of the three right now.
If MS are doing the best then why did you vote Sony in the poll?


Oct 28, 2017
MS - A+
Nintendo - B-
Sony - D

Sony - are you listening here?

I'm sitting out PS4. I usually get a second console but with BC and Game Pass (and PC, DS, PS3, classics) I have more good games than I can possibly play, AND I upgraded to the X, so the second console money also went to the primary platform. (And the good PS4 isn't $199 - - hard to go from an X main to a PS4 slim.) I would've bought a PS4 and sold my PS3 if it were BC and I could play my old games. Instead I just kept the PS3 and use it for cheap, old backlog.

Anyway - I WILL buy a PS5 if I can play all the PS4 games I skipped this gen on the clearance-rack cheap.

The converse is true. there's no WAY I leave behind my library of around 700 current playable Xbox games, so the BC + GamePass strategy has anecdotally worked in terms of keeping me for sure in the ecosystem next gen. (I would anyway b/c Halo Infinite, but still.) Let's say for sure keeping Xbox my primary system.


Oct 25, 2017
Microsoft is easily the best, at least in this generation. Not only are they making a lot of older games available, they also typically come with improvements, sometimes to the extend where they almost start resembling remasters.


Apr 5, 2018
Stuttgart, Germany
The very reason why I'm main Xbox again, especially given BC is all free with them and I was mainly on Xbox 360 last gen. I wish Nintendo Switch had a virtual console, maybe we'll have a service with SNES, N64 and Gamecube games like with NES at some point, but I highly doubt it. Wii/Wii U titles will be remastered. I even struggle when wanting to buy indie games very often, because I'd kinda like some of those to be played on Switch for portability, but I'm only really sure with MS that I will still be able to access them on Xbox Two, and thus often go for this version.
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Nov 3, 2017
Microsoft 9/10

The BC initiative is great, I just wish there were already more X enhanced games.

There is not much to say about Nintendo and Sony, both are awful.


Oct 28, 2017
MS is King in this.
And I really doubt Sony even with PS5-BC can compare to their efforts this gen. (and hopefully next)


Oct 26, 2017
Nintendo 0/10 until I get SW rogue squadron 2 and Super Mario Kart on my Switch *taps foot impatiently*

Also they are trash given how big potential they got with the back catalogue and all we get is shitty NES games right now.

No opinion on MS.

I only play old games on portable and my Vita is retired.


Oct 25, 2017
I don’t think it is particularly close because game preservation has become a core tennent of Xbox.

For years, MGS set the standards in remasters and remakes, and now the Xbox Team are really going above and beyond with backwards compatible titles.

I’d say Nintendo comes in second in terms of availability but they ought to be marked down severely for how cumbersome and pricey it can be to find and play older titles.

Sony aren’t great but they’re trying. I think their relationship with Bluepoint has also opened a lot of doors. I’d say they’re almost even with Nintendo because of the jump in quality in their efforts.


Crisis Dino
Oct 25, 2017
Ibis Island
Yeah MS wins this hands down. Even if you don’t like said titles. The fact you can play the majority of their Catalog from OG Xbox to XB1 on one system with all your old copies is great.

No having to stream games if you don’t own a PS3 anymore or paying for Online to be able to play some NES games.


Oct 30, 2017
Microsoft's bc is in another dimension. Nintendo's has a lot of potential but they need to hurry up. The Switch could be insane with snes, n64 and gamecube games. I'd rather not subscribe to Nintendo's online service, but I'd gladly pay $10-$20 for select individual snes, n64 and gamecube bc games.


Nov 14, 2017
White Plains, NY
I must say, I'm very pleased with Nintendo's classic consoles. They're definitely not a replacement for Virtual Console, but they have the following benefits:
- The replica controllers are amazing
- They have a great selection of games built-in, that did not need to be purchased separately
- Value for money is incredible. If you consider the hardware as having zero value (which isn't true), the price per game is still super cheap: $2 for the NES, and under $4 for the SNES. Absolutely worth it considering the game selection.

Microsoft still wins for their amazing efforts, but IMO, Nintendo is close. If you're only considering the selection available on Nintendo Switch, though, it sucks.


Nov 20, 2017
Nintendo's the only company of the three that's actually invested in doing this multiple times, each through an approach (or even multiple approaches) that made sense given the era and the platforms they were targeting. It seems silly to just focus on what they're doing with Switch when so many games are still available on both Wii U and 3DS, and via the classic consoles. So they win simply due to the fact that they have an established track record beyond just the current generation.

The approach Xbox is taking is obviously the ideal one in the current market, though. Games just work, the licenses carry over if you own them already, and they typically run better on Xbox One.

Nintendo's subscription service could have proven better simply because they have a bigger catalog to offer, but they haven't really met that potential with the right level of breadth to have the winning approach--yet. If I were them, I'd have started with a bigger NES catalog (50+ games), expanded outward with about 6-10 new games a month (rather than capping it at 3 like they're doing now), and then committed to adding SNES, GB/C, and GBA to the service in subsequent years.


Oct 25, 2017
Xbox Bc seems so good. And so unnaturally customer friendly for this industry.

That i can put my Halo CE disk from 2002 in a xb1 and it works is amazing considering how shit most companies are about that stuff.


Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Apr 27, 2018
Microsoft is easily the best, at least in this generation. Not only are they making a lot of older games available, they also typically come with improvements, sometimes to the extend where they almost start resembling remasters.
I mean shit those Gears games look so damn nice on an X.


Oct 28, 2017
Tampa, FL
MS - Going above and beyond expectations

Nintendo - Bad and somehow getting worse as the years go on

Sony - clearly don’t give a damn


Dec 13, 2017
I cant really play the games I want on PS4 or xbox one. So I like to see improvement in the software thats compatible with their BC solution. PS4 is much worse here than xbox as they dont have any support at all for BC. MS bc solution is impressive as the games now look much better in high res, especially at the X. So nextgen hopefully I'll be able to play outrun 2 at 4K. On PS any type of BC would be nice.


The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
Washington, DC
It's undeniably Microsoft at this moment. While I would love to see a tad more output on the BC games list front, they're still killing it.

Nintendo has somehow regressed. The company that invented the Virtual Console now only lets you play NES titles a-la-Netflix style, or requires you buy a proprietary mini box that only has a handful of titles that you may or may not be looking for. Otherwise you're basically SoL if you're just now looking to digitally hop into some N64 games, for example.

Sony just isn't even trying anymore.


Sep 16, 2018
Microsoft all the way. I salute them for their support of backwards compatibility.
Yep. I don't own or want an Xbox as I can play the few exclusives that interest me on PC and don't care about playing old games.

But they're the only answer here as the other two are terrible at it. Nintendo nailed it with the Wii VC, but has gotten progressively worse since. Starting over with the Wii U and 3DS VCs and never getting near the selection the Wii has. Now no VC on Switch, just a trickle of NES games if you pay for their online and silly retro consoles that have a limited selection and take up another HDMI port. And then they shut down Rom sites, when they could just launch a damn VC on Switch as a lot of people would buy the games if available rather than mess with emulators.

Sony has very few PS1/PS2 games available on PS4, PS3 stuff only via streaming on PS Now and a limited selection, put out a poorly reviewed retro console etc. So they're the worst at it IMO.

Razor Mom

Jan 2, 2018
United Kingdom
Clearly Microsoft is king here, but I'm amazed that Nintendo and Sony are neck and neck in votes here. With Nintendo you've got some kind of fair argument maybe, but why the hell is anyone voting for Sony?


Oct 27, 2017
Yeah I really hope they take note of what Microsoft have done this generation and go down that route with the PS5

As a PS4 owner I'm looking at those 4k 360 ports with envy

RDR1 in 4K looks so good

I'm expecting PS Now to be all we get though
It better not be, at least as far as PS4 backwards compatibility goes. That at least better be native. I really, really would like to get PS3 backwards compatibility though.