The most important part about video games is the game itself, of course. But as we come into the modern age of gaming, several words get thrown around and it can be confusing to newcomers to really understand what all these words mean. What games can you play? Is it the better version of the game? Will it run on your system, and can it run well? Can you play it with your friends?

 Misconception can often lead to a hole in your wallet or missed expectations.

So, we’re going to sit down and clarify what on EARTH all these terms mean.


Out of the two, this one is the easiest for the general audience to understand because movie remakes are so popular. (thanks Disney). This is when a game is entirely remade, which often come with updated mechanics and swanky new graphics.


A Remastered game is not remade from the ground up like a remake, but it usually comes with an update of graphics and audio. Sometimes it also comes with updated mechanics depending on how old the game is. We see remasters of older games, usually from the era where patches were difficult to mass distribute. Think the original Xbox, PlayStation 1 and 2, and older systems. But we still also see this in the Xbox 360 generation, such as Bioshock.

We’re beginning to see less and less remasters because of how efficient it is to patch games.


Some games are designed to run on one specific platform, such as a PC Computer. When it’s converted to work on a different platform, it’s called getting ported. A good example of this is Toby Fox’s Undertale, which was ported to the Nintendo Switch. It was originally only programed to run on a personal computer.


Backwards Compatibility is a console exclusive term, and perhaps the most necessary feature for a console so as not to alienate the previous console gamers, and allow a breadth of games that a player can play on their fresh as a daisy console. Normally new consoles cannot play games built for previous console generations.

Basically, consoles come in generations. For example, we have the Xbox, the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One. Backwards compatibility means you can play games deigned for the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One. There are websites where you can check to see what is compatible and what is not.

The exception for having to check is certain handheld Nintendo systems, such as the DS generations. If the console says it can run DS games, it can run any DS games, not a select few. Consoles like Xbox and PlayStation go game by game.


This one is easy. Basically, in order for different consoles to stay relevant and persuade players to pick theirs over another, they create console exclusives. This means that game is only available on one particular console (or PC). Between PlayStation and Xbox, PlayStation rules in console exclusives. Nintendo is a sort of outlier, as pretty much until the switch most of their games were console exclusives. This means you couldn’t play Legend of Zelda if you didn’t have a Nintendo system, for example. Pokémon (with the exception of Pokémon Go) also falls into this.

Always check to see what platforms a game can play on before you buy it!


This one is pretty simple. You can buy games in two formats: in physical and digital forms. Physical means you have the actual game disk or cartridge in your hands, and digital means you have it from a digital marketplace.

Each have their pros and cons. I prefer physical copies because I always have nightmares with digital downloads.


Every game wants this! This is the best! This is when people on different consoles with the same multiplayer game can play it. Cross-play is supposedly hard to do, but conveniently without cross-play, it forces gamers to have one of both consoles if they happen to make friends with different consoles. Minecraft is a cross-platform game.