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Best Games on the PSP.

As the PSP era comes to a close I think it'd be a good time to look back on all the great games it had. This list will encompass all worthwhile games, reasons for them and light descriptors. It will be slightly in order(Pirates is not really the 43rd best game), as a lot of games are dependent on the type of person who wants to play them.

I'm also choosing not to include collections like PowerStone, Japan only games like Bleach(soul carnival is pretty cool though...), remakes such as Persona, or games that are based off interesting franchises but aren't great themselves(Third Birthday, Bloodlines) I'm also not including games I haven't played such as Tales of Vs.

Honorable mentions:

Pangya Fantasy Golf

Naruto series(strangely good controls on the 2D fighters released in the US)

Ys(check the DS games as well if you're interested)

Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble(There's a great QL on it, and despite it not being one of the best it's one of my favorites)

Star Wars Battlefront Elite Squadron(Cool tech, poor design)

GTA Chinatown Wars(Remake)

Hammerin' Hero(Great look, Too Simple)

Knights in The Nightmare(Also a DS remake)

Riviera: The Promised Land(GBA remake)

Phantasy Star Portable(Mediocre game, Some cool ideas)

Exit(Worth a try, but not one of the best)

Space Invaders Extreme(DS version just as good, but a great PSP game)

Downstream Panic(Great Puzzle game)

Gran Turismo(It exists, and it's what you'd expect)

Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law(It's really part Phoenix Wright, part VN. If you want some comedy pick it up for this or the wii)

Medal of Honor: Heroes 2(I hated it, everyone I knew loved it. I hate enough to keep it on the list, but not enough to take away what people might like)

Thrillville(Combination Minigame collection, and light Theme Park Sim. It has a weird charm about it, take that as you will)

Powerstone Collection(Still great)

Every Extend Extra(Weird shooter, interesting mechanics)

Killzone: Liberation(Isometric 3D shooter. Well reviewed, but personally not great)

WTF: Work Time Fun(Minigame Collection.The first minigame is capping pens, so it's not for everyone)

Me and My Katamari(More Katamari. If you want a portable version, wait for Vita. If you just want more then try this.)

Tokobot(Fun, but not great)

Metal Gear Acid(Not my thing, but a lot of people love it. There's also a sequel)

SSX: On Tour(I've never played an SSX title, but otherwise from what I've heard it'd be on the list)

Shadow of Destiny(Weird remake of a story focused game with time travel mechanics. It's interesting as not many games are similar)

Ace Combat: Joint Assualt(If you like Ace Combat it exists, however I don't think it's one of the best on the PSP)

Blazblue(Some love it, some hate it. Either way the control is unique and it's imperfect)

Darkstalkers(Again, good for people who haven't played the series)

Mercury Meltdown(The original is on the PSP but this evolved so much more. It's still not one of the best but what can you do)

Manhunt 2(It's suprisingly well designed for a PSP version, but other than the unique premise and polish, it's not one of the best)

Phantom Brave(I really must play this after what I've heard)

R-Type Command(Interesting sequel that never lived up to it's past)

Parappa The Rapper(Not just a port, but also just not as good as it was. Maybe it's just a bad port)

Prince of Persia 2/3(The lesser of the three, but still worth a run if you missed them)

Metal Slug Anthology/XX(Both maintain the look and feel, but Metal Slug isn't as good outside of the arcades)

Samurai Shodown Anthology(I'm not great at fighters but this seems like a well designed series. Having said that, I could be totally off and deserving of a beat down)

Persona 1/2/3(I've never beaten the Persona series, but I've seen both it's history and it's quality enough to add these ports to the list)

Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling together(Remake)

Tekken 6(Still intricately designed, but never reached the height of 5)

Final Fantasy Tactics(Not my game, but beloved by many)

List items

  • Valkyria Chronicles is a great way to get both strategy and shooting for the PSP(though more of the first), it's a hybrid RPG/Squad management game. Overall it's a little long, and is extremely tough at points, but the gameplay alone makes it worthwhile.

  • One of the absolute best games on the PSP, Crisis Core melds a great fighting system with RPG basics and an interesting chance mechanic. Not much bad I can say other than the cheapness of some of the boss battles.

  • Patapon has gotten kind of old by now. Not to diminish it's appeal, but you should really only play two of the games because the mechanics don't last forever. That being said it's wonderfully innovative in it's music based Group control combat. That beat keeps it working way longer than it should, and when you put the RPG mechanics on top of that it's one of the best on the PSP.

  • Considered by many one of the best if not the best game on the PSP, Daxter expands the Jak and Daxter storyline while giving you a small open world, plenty of mission variety and slow combat upgrading. It's a detailed and well designed game that is often the face of the PSP.

  • I'm not much of a fighter game guy, but for some reason I got hooked on this game. Maybe it's the amazing graphics or maybe it's that it doesn't need that second analog stick. Either way I played the hell out of this game and never looked back.

  • This...isn't really like any other MGS game out there. It's more of a pokemon collection/squad management game combined with MGS. It's got some neat mechanics, but the objectives and story really pull it all together. Don't play Portable Ops Plus. It's nearly the same, but without the goals it really loses the fun.

  • I love Level-5. Guys that made Layton? Dark Cloud? White Knight? This is just as good. Better depending on your tastes. It's got a great art style both in 3D and 2D, as well as classic strategy tile based combat and a fun if imperfect story.

  • When I first played Just Cause 2, I thought the Stunt jumping was Unique. Actually, it came from this series. Styled like a cartoon/action cop show Pursuit Force made car combat(not twisted metal style) a thing. It's stupid, fun and it never really got the attention it deserved.

  • Like most of the best console inspired games on the PSP, this was designed to be a greater experience. It allows for a crazy amount of team control while still retaining a shooter feel all while fitting into the PSP controls. If you like shooters you should check this out.

  • Who cares about HD. Sure you can buy this on the PS3, but it really shines when you play it on the bus, or honestly in the bathroom. This top down musical shooter is fun, beautiful and symphonic. One more thing, you should wear headhones when playing.

  • If you want an easy to play yet fully featured game on the PSP this is it. The combat is extremely simple yet allows for air based fighting. The bad part is it's a little too simple and can cause annoyance with how much luck is part of the harder battles. Still it's not short of unlockables by any means.

  • You know what I said about portable ops? This is opposite that. It has the same controls but is more focused on being a straight up MGS game. It's worth checking out simply for that, but in my opinion Portable Ops is the superior game.

  • I almost didn't put this on the list. The Wii version is just so much more superior. But if you don't have a wii, and are determined not to get one because you hate it, buy yourself this. Trust me, even without the unique motion controls the game is still the best Silent Hill I've ever played. Speaking of that...

  • This is Silent Hill ass Silent Hill. You're a broken person in Silent Hill playing through a dark, disturbing and slightly dark magic filled story. If you love Silent Hill, check this out, it's awesome.

  • I haven't played the PS2 version but I've heard it's pretty much the same game but with more enemies on screen. This game is almost a 3rd person beat-em up RPG with all the side stuff, and it contains a good amount of stuff incorporated into Bully. Either way it's a warrior game, and it's good. Check it out.

  • One of my favorite weird PSP franchises, this is a reverse JRPG. you have to create an ecosystem of monsters, with carefully designed hallways and open spaces to encourage just the right amount of growth so no other monster will cause extinction to another. Then you have to be ready for a hero(or heroes) to come in and fuck up everything you made. It's a series that challenges you to be smart, and it's well worth not just a try but a purchase.

  • I'm only including this and not Echoshift as they're good for the same reasons. They both take a simple concept and use it to make complex puzzles. I do prefer this one, as I love the M. C. Escher look and puzzle design of it all to the flash game like clones of the "Sequel".

  • Probably the weirdest shooter you'll ever play, Resistance is one of the few console to portable games that doesn't feel like it's trying to be something it's not. It uses a weird autoshoot within 90% of the screen mechanic that works in conjunction with low health and lots of enemies to turn the cover, aim, fire, repeat system a little different. The game also looks amazing, sometimes it's hard to remember it's a PSP game.

  • Technically these are two games, but again, so many sequels are on the PSP that if you're going to check them out you're really looking at minor differences. More on the game though, It's God of War. Like so many PSP games it's trying to mimic the console counterpart, and to that extent it works. There's not much difference between the two although the second is both better looking and focuses more on defence than offense.

  • Although you can play as three characters, this is more kingdom hearts. It's useful for filling in more of the story, and is still an awesome game, but beyond that it's a portable expansion of the console experience.

  • There is a full version for the PS3 and 360, but this is so much better. It looks great, has a weird completely different arcade mode(seriously, check it out) and really really really difficult missions. This is one of the few games I've ever openly swore at, and on the hardest missions, one mistake will lose you your first place spot. Also everyone in it's world is a dick.

  • I lived in china with the original Monster Hunter 3G, which is basically this. But having played all three I can say it's worthwhile, under one of two conditions. A, you want a living world with well designed AI or B, you have friends to play it with. Even if you fulfill these conditions you're not guaranteed to love it or even like it. It's a weird ass game and different from almost everything out there. Still it's the flourishing point of the PSP in Japan and there's not much like it. Outside of the franchise that is.

  • Technically this is a Monster Hunter Ripoff, but it's so well designed it's hard not to like it. Give it a try if you want more MH.

  • Like the Console Version, if you've bought this, you're not after it's story. You're either here to play all the greatest levels or the design great ones yourself. Little Big Planet(PSP) allows you to play a portable version of the awesome console version. Just don't expect any expansions.

  • Also Known as Rock Band without instruments, this is a much simpler game than it appears, but other than gameplay and song selection is pretty much a clone of RB2. Also, though it might just be me, the song selection for this game is my favorite Rock Band selection.

  • This is kind of an odd one. It's part puzzle solving, part combat, and part trap dodging. It's an interesting take on Ratchet and Clank that works well. It's not quite as high up as Daxter on sidekick games, but it's definitely worth your time.

  • This game often gets kicked around by reviewers. It looks decent, has less enemies than your normal R&C game, and is a little less well designed but overall is still a fun game that keeps up the spirit of the series. If you're looking for more ratchet and Clank on the PSP this works well, even if it's not much different.

  • There are three Battlefront games on the PSP and two more Star Wars ones. Only this one made it into the best though. That's because this game is surprisingly great on the PSP. It's got a relatively deep story, fun gameplay and captures the battlefront feel. Out of the many PSP games this is one of the best.

  • Probably the last Jak game for a while, it's worth a try if you've invested yourself in the series. Even if you haven't there's still a fun game with Hub Cities, flying, combat, and a cool story.

  • Most RPGs either stick to the basics or try something new. Half Minute Hero tries to do both. The entire goal is to fight, level up, buy equipment, heal, fight the boss, do sidequests, and find hidden secrets in 30 seconds. There's a little more to it with time control, but it's fun to find out for yourself. Also the humor in this game is pretty great. Just check out the QL if you're worried.

  • Use the screenshot mode for PSP Backgrounds. It's that good looking. But other than looks, the controls just feel right for all the vehicles, and the terrain is fun to drive on. You'll run out of new content fast, but for what it's worth the included content is extremely well designed.

  • Even though this is a spinoff game, it's a well made one. This 2D platformer starts easy and gets tough fast. Don't worry though, you have 999 lives. Prinny and it's sequel are kind of alone on the PSP not in strangeness, but in style. Regardless it's a well designed game that sits in the best.

  • The First of the two PSP Head-On games, Flatout provided a slower paced, heavier feeling game than all the other racers on the PSP. It's a solid feeling game that has a feeling of impact that separates it from the other racers on the PSP.

  • Twisted Metal has a bunch of games, and the controls were already crazy before the portable version. Luckily they cleaned it up a lot. Although the visuals aren't spectacular, it's still just as fun to blow up every last car around you in Head-On.

  • Released on both DS and PSP, the graphics just fit better on the PSP. Regardless of platform N+ is a fast, and tightly designed game that challenges your reflexes.

  • Syphon Filter hasn't really been as popular since it came on the PSP. That doesn't make it any less great, as it's still a great game. Logan's Shadow may be technically better but I place my choice on Dark Mirror for the design that just feels better than Shadow.

  • Ah Dead Head Fred. Not many people knew about this game as it was created in that post PSP adoration phase. The story is you've lost your head, and need to get it back. The gameplay use of that is you can switch heads allowing you to pull off unique powers. Corpse head can suck up air and fly for example. It's fun and overlooked so check it out.

  • Sure there's a 3D sequel coming, but it's not out yet. Crush was unique in combining 3D and 2D in a new way. At the same time the puzzles can be everywhere from deceptively simple to mindtearingly hard. You can pick it up pretty cheap now, so it's not a bad deal.

  • By now you've probably at least heard of Lumines. It's Simple, just move four blocks of the same color next to each other. After all there's only two colors. It's a simple concept that combined with some musical elements makes for a great game. It's never crazy but it's always fun, and in that it's a perfect portable game.

  • Really this applies to both games,and GTA Vice City Stories actually has more mechanics and overall stuff, but the GTA games are suprisingly well designed for portable systems, and fun to play. Especially if you look at the control mess that was GTA 3 for IOS and Android. Still These are fun for GTA on the go and have everything you'd want before San Andreas and IV.

  • This was probably the signature PSP game for way too long. After all it only uses the shoulder buttons. Even with that, it shows that minimal controls can still help to design an intricate world filled with cool stuff. The art style doesn't hurt either.

  • This is probably the only time I'll say this on the list, but don't play the sequel. This game isn't as pretty, but it's much better designed, gives you a sense of speed, crashes are crazy, and it's really just one of the best games on the PSP.

  • This is a weird fighting game. It's got the usual mechanics, but the story is more odd than most ones out there. On that note, this is extremely well designed for what it is, and although it doesn't reach the height of Tekken 5, it's worth a look

  • Sure you can argue about the DS having touch, but this is the technically superior one. You don't have the lag or low quality graphics you get on the DS, and it's a better experience for it.

  • I know I said I wouldn't put remakes on, but this game is an exception. You get to live as a Pirate, and it's well designed in every aspect. It's one of the games you can lose the most time in on the PSP and a title everyone should check out.

  • This game hates me. It's a well designed tile/turn based strategy game, much like Jeanne D'arc, Fire Emblem or many others. Combine that with a unique storyline and you've got this weird series. If you just want the story check out infinite, it's really just a VN where you can switch story perspectives.

  • There are a few games that have the same concept as beats. Take an MP3 and make it into a game. Beats doesn't quite get as far as audiosurf or other games, but every now and then it works, and works amazingly well.

  • It's hard not to include this. Like Gundam and Monster Hunter, this series is famous in the PSP world. It's a musical Rock Band like game only with buttons. Though there's not much more to it, some of the songs can get Crazy hard and the presentation is actually pretty amazing for a game you've probably never heard of.

  • There is an insane amount of weird crap no one will ever play on the PSP. This is one of them. Cladunn is a top down 32 bit RPG with a world where everything is built to make fun of itself. It's got fun mechanics but beneath that it's an interesting world. It doesn't really take itself seriously and doesn't want you to either. Check this out if you want something weird, different and well made.

  • I have love hate relation with this game. I died on the first main boss and lost enough that I quit the game. But on the other hand, this is a well made Tales game with interesting 2D combat and squad control much like kingdom hearts. It's not perfect but it's worth a look.

  • There is a crapton of Gundam games for PSP. Back in China highschool, everyone would eat it up. If you like combat arenas, this is like a less fast paced tenkaichi but with guns and less craziness. Maybe what I'm trying to say is it's a japanese anime fighter, and the insane amount of work that's been put into the PSP games to make them playable is enough to make it to the best of PSP. Maybe at the bottom.