I find it difficult to travel back and play early 8-bit consoles like the Atari 2600 or Colecovision. It’s not that their primitive graphics and sound fail to capture my attention, but rather, they’re so dedicated to replicating the arcade experience. That’s not entirely a bad thing, but it was a transient way to play games, as you would slot your quarter, played until you lost, and moved on hoping your high score would mean something. To make matters worse, early home consoles generally replicated the experience very poorly. I’m sure it was nice to be able to play Burgertime at home in 1983, but the Atari 2600 version looks and plays like a trash barge run aground.
The idea of having the arcade experience at home continued to be a carrot dangling in the face of developers throughout the ‘90s. Indeed, the Genesis liked touting its Altered Beast, while the Super Nintendo beckoned you with its port of Final Fight. But throughout this, the true console experience began to formulate, and while games like Super Mario Bros. started us towards that goal, it would be The Legend of Zelda, with its ability to save your progress, that would truly mark the beginning of the transition.
Sort of. Like most things in video gaming’s history, it’s a bit more complicated than simply saying, “Praise this game!”
Source: Destructoid How The Legend of Zelda helped free us from arcade ports