All-time is a pretty broad term, especially given the PSP had a shelf life of approximately 10 years following its launch back in 2004/5. However, a lot can happen in 10 years. Back when PSP arrived in Europe in September 2005 Oasis and Gorillaz enjoyed No.1 hits. 2005 also saw the release of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the final part of the then new prequel trilogy. We’re now only a year away from the start of a new trilogy.
PSP was billed as a portable PS2, and for the most part delivered on that promise despite sporting only a single analogue nub.
The system went through numerous iterations, including the short-lived digital-only PSP go which adopted a sliding out screen to keep the device on the small side. Those with UMDs were left wondering how to play their catalogue of games.
God of War: Chains of Olympus, Lumines, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Patapon, LocoRoco, Wipeout Pulse, and Daxter are just some of the titles which highlight the breadth of quality titles available for the first of Sony’s portable PlayStations.
Ready at Dawn and SCE Santa Monica Studio captured Zeus’ lightning in a bottle when they crammed the God of War series into Sony’s handheld. God of War: Chains of Olympus was an impressive achievement, but Ghost of Sparta surpassed it with an adventure that is slick and gorgeous.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker captures the blockbuster feel of its console comrades in way that make us wonder if Hideo Kojima secretly upgraded our PSPs. The insane plot, mounds of bonus content, and the obsessive army building later used in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain keeps you rapt the entire 30-hour runtime.
Hero turns standard RPG conventions on their head by holding players to a 30-second time limit in which they must battle fiends and build up their powers in order to save the world. Luckily, that timer can be reset, and the fun comes in using each groundhog day scenario to push forward towards greater enemies, acquire better gear, and become generally better at kicking ass in thirty seconds or less.
For a game that deals in death and destruction, Killzone: Liberation remains not only one of the most polished and prettiest games on the PSP, but it’s arguably the best Killzone game ever made. Liberation swaps the FPS vantage point for a top-down isometric view that rewards fast trigger fingers as much as tactical thinking. The game is also tough, training players to think before they shoot and perfect their approach in every mission.
Ape Escape: On the Loose is a pristine, thoughtful remake of the PS1 original with upgraded graphics and a smattering of new monkey-themed minigames. The translation isn’t perfect, and the controls miss something without the second analog stick, but the game’s mix of platforming challenges, gadgetry, and charm overshadows these few complains. Ape wrangling is messy work, after all, but in the end it’s worth it.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep would have been easy to turn into a quick cash-in; a portable Kingdom Hearts to milk fans perpetually waiting for a proper sequel. Instead Square made one of the most important games in the series, filling out the strange world’s lore with the same level of care and ambition as other titles in the series such as the epic Kingdom Hearts 2.
Gran Turismo PSP is a title that had no business looking and playing as good as it did on the PSP. Polyphony Digital barely took its foot off the pedal when creating an exclusive GT experience for Sony’s portable, and the result is a standalone title that purrs.
No doubt, GT is great to look at, but it also packs a lot under its hood. With over 800 cars, 35 tracks, and 60fps of raw racing performance
The first Dissidia Final Fantasy may have turned the fan service up, but this sequel cranks its love for FF to 11… er … 012 it cranks it up to Duodecim. Designed as a prequel to the first Dissidia, Dissidia 012 mixes standard JRPG mechanics with flashy, high-octane one-on-one fighting game mechanics.
What’s amazing about this PSP adaptation of the PS2’s Persona 3 is how fresh and different it feels in the transition to handheld. In optimizing the overworld for quick-and-easy exploration and shifting the main character’s perspective from male to female, the overall tone of the story is changed, giving even old fans something new to latch on to.
LocoRoco 2 is impossible to hate. Go on, try. After just a few minutes with Japan Studio’s painfully cute platform puzzler, you too will be singing along with the titular blobs and spending every extra second digging into their rich, colorful world. Everything that made LocoRoco an innovative hit returns in this sequel, including the game’s trademark tilt-a-world mechanic that takes a moment to learn and multiple playthroughs to master.
There was fear this portable sequel to PS3’s Valkyria Chronicles would rob the series of its breadth and depth, but Sega handles the transition like a champ. Valkyria Chronicles II picks up Avan Hardin’s story without missing a step, setting you on a path through the Lanseal Royal Military Academy that will see you navigating conflicts both on and off the battlefield that feel just as complex and satisfying as before.
As an updated remake of Final Fantasy Tactics from the first PlayStation console, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions extends the tactical role-playing goodness with new characters, jobs, and cutscenes which give even veterans of the original motivation to head back into the fray.
For years, Dracula X: Rondo of Blood was considered a lost holy grail in the Castlevania series trapped as a rare, Japan-only exclusive for the Turbo-Grafx 16 CD. Then came Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, packaging not just this 2.5D remake of Rondo, but the original and an updated version of PlayStation 1’s legendary Symphony of the Night.
Forgetting the fact this compilation offers two games in one (Power Stone and Power Stone 2), Power Stone made 3D multiplayer brawling cool long before those fancy PlayStation All-Stars came onto the scene. The game delivers a whole stack of playable combatants, all of whom light up the arenas with slick, explosive action. The decision to bring the formerly Dreamcast-exclusive Power Stone series to Sony’s PSP was an inspired choice, not just because the handheld was an ideal venue for quick, pick-up-and-play arcade action, but because it demonstrated how the PSP could give lesser known series a second chance.
Monster Hunter Freedom demands the best from you. It requires cunning, patience, the ability to take a beating, and the willingness to return for more. For those willing to tackle its challenge, however, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences on the PSP. Taking its lead from Monster Hunter G, Freedom is a massive monster-hunting game full of prey who will put your warrior through hell and back. You can try mashing your way through early-game bounties, but bigger enemies require experimentation and expert planning.
Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core returns fans to one of the most iconic gaming realms in a way that feels right on a handheld platform. There’s still plenty of opportunities to kick around with Zack and other FF7 familiars, but the short-burst missions do away with time-consuming RPG tropes and let you hack away at the meaty adventure at your own pace.
Why Level-5 felt obliged to rewrite Joan of Arc’s history instead of creating a French heroine of their own is beyond us. But no matter, because this magical, demon-fighting version of the historical figure does a fine job of leading one of the deepest and most creative tactical role-playing game on the system.
The name’s XJ-0461. Clank XJ-0461. Remember it, because if you’re in the mood for a cool and efficient Ratchet and Clank spin-off, you can call on Secret Agent Clank to handle the job. Clank pulls off this solo adventure with class, blending traditional Ratchet and Clank gameplay with a nice variety of 3D platforming diversions. You’ll speed through vehicle levels, lord over Gadgebot objectives, play out Quark’s exaggerated memories, and even blast away foes with Ratchet.
Screenshots don’t do Every Extend Extra justice, as it’s easy to dismiss Q Entertainment’s shoot-’em-up as a colorful mess. Spend time learning the ropes and wrapping your head (and eyes) around the explosive gameplay, however, and Every Extend Extra will leave you star-struck.
The mission is straightforward: detonate a ship to set off chain reactions and keep doing so until each main boss is destroyed.
Seven was indeed a lucky number for Nihon Falcom’s action RPG franchise. Ys Seven represents an evolution of the series, evolving Ys’ 2D sprites and environments into a full 3D adventure with new party members to discover, new systems to fine tune, and fresh new ways in which to dispatch justice in Altago.
Mega Man Powered Up is not just a remake of the original NES game. It earns its place here by drawing from the series’ humble beginnings and reimagining them with cutesy new graphics, two new levels, and modes of play that let you swap Mega Man for one of his robotic bosses.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (VCS) isn’t the first portable GTA spin-off, but it’s the most polished of its kind in the PSP roster. A prequel to PS2’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, VCS pushes the PSP in all the right places to bring the Grand Theft Auto world to life in ways that seem impossible for the technologically limited PSP.
What you do in this bizarre, PSP-exclusive series is hard to describe without using the word Patapon itself. It’s a game that marches to the beat of its own drum, borrowing notes of the rhythm game genre to compose a unique tune all its own. It’s like Lemmings meets Elite Beat Agents. Or LocoRoco meets Donkey Konga. See? Hard.
With Patapon 3, developer Pyramid perfects its formula. Once again, the game challenges you to lead an army of Patapons to victory against the Seven Evil Archfiends by tapping out drum beats to control their actions.
Daxter is the spin-off to the Jak & Daxter PS2 series you never realised was possible. Taking place at the beginning of Jak 2, Ready at Dawn’s offbeat open-world platformer/shooter chronicles the adventures of wisecracking ocelot Daxter as he attempts to save his buddy Jak from the clutches of Baron Praxis. If you’ve never played a Jak & Daxter game before (shame on you), then that sentence might as well be jibberish to your ears, making this an experience catered to franchise fans above all else.
Lumines is timeless. Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s psychedelic puzzler scratches our synesthesia itch by using light and sound in ways that make every round feel as fresh and exciting as the last even more than a decade after its release. Lumines turns block-matching into an art, changing the landscape with every skin and evolving a well-worn concept into a trippy, tub-thumping, zen-like vacation for the senses.
As a game to pick up and play every now and again or to play with friends, Burnout Legends can’t be beaten on the PSP. Burnout is coming at us on multiple fronts this year. Not only is there.
Joyous controls and little nuances make Pro Evolution Soccer 5 the best game in the series and the best football game of this generation. Reviewing Pro Evolution Soccer games feels very, very familiar to me
If the idea of powersliding brings about even the slightest tingle of excitement in you, OutRun 2006 needs to be in your collection – the version you choose is up to you. It’s strange how certain games are tied to a system so tightly that you
While it’s taken a while to arrive, PS3 owners shouldn’t pass up the chance to play Rainbow Six Vegas. It’s one of the best tactical action games available and the only choice for PS3 gamers. Can an action game be released these days without using some kind of ‘cover’
Fans of last year’s console title will be thrilled by the new control scheme, making the game even more of a social life risk than before. You’ll be playing this until FM 2008. Some things simply get better over time, and the Football Manager series is
As an action packed shooter Chili Con Carnage is far and away the best the PSP has to offer, and there’s enough depth hidden away to keep you playing for months. It’s taken a while, but the PSP has finally got a third-person shooter that
A short campaign aside, GRAW 2 does everything GRAW fans would want from a sequel and once again confirms Ubisoft as one of the leading next-gen publishers. It’s fair to say that GRAW made quite an impact when it launched for Xbox
We expect fans of the series and newcomers alike to be wholly satisfied with Football Manager 2008. Time to lock the door, order some pizza and unscrew the coke. Football football football. Does it ever end? If you’re not a football