The 31 best PSP games

Join us as we count down over 30 games no PSP owner should pass up

  • 30. [[xref:|Tokobot|Tokobot]]

    Prehistoric robots take platforming to a new age in Tokobot--a short, but sweet romp through ancient ruins that test your jumping abilities and skill in commanding a legion of loyal mechanical pals. Only its short, linear single player story keeps Tokobot from being more than a diamond in the rough.
  • 28. [[xref:|Killzone: Liberation|Killzone: Liberation]]

    This handheld sequel unshackles the PlayStation 2 first-person shooter series for top-down play. The perspective takes some getting used to but thankfully all of the in-your-face action remains intact, letting you beat back creepy Helghan invaders on the war-torn surface of Vekta.
  • 27. [[xref:|Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles|Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles]]

    Pair a previously unreleased installment with a lauded classic and you get a UMD with a silver lining. Series favorite Symphony of the Night comes as a bonus for completing the tough-as-nails Dracula X game, which boasts a beautiful 2.5D graphical update. Two great games in one package that won't drive a stake through your wallet.
  • 26. [[xref:|Silent Hill Origins|Silent Hill Origins]]

    What Silent Hill Origins lacks in originality, it certainly makes up for in scares. Nothing comes close to this disturbing handheld thriller. As a prequel to the console games, Origins sets a macabre stage for the series with its gritty graphics, horrific scenes, and psychologically taxing gameplay. Without a doubt, the only game on our list that'll having you screaming like a little girl ... asking for more.
  • 12. [[xref:|Final Fantasy VII|Final Fantasy VII]]

    While no frills or enhancements whatsoever were made to the PSP/PS3 version of Square's role-playing magnum opus, why fix what ain't broken? Last month, Final Fantasy VII was made available on the PlayStation Store for the affordable price of only $9.99! There's really no better excuse to replay what many consider to be not only the greatest Final Fantasy game, but one of the best RPGS ever created (many of the GamePro editors are also guilty of playing through FFVII several times). And if Square finally gave us that full-blown PS3 remake of Final Fantasy VII, all our nerd desires will be satisfied.
  • 22. [[xref:|Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow|Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow]]

    Focusing more on action than stealth, Gabe Logan's second PSP adventure unquestionably tops the genre. Logan's Shadow surpasses Portable Ops in terms of control, even if it isn't as rich an experience. Don't let this gem get lost in Snake's shadow--one of the PSP's best.
  • 4. [[xref:|Lumines II|Lumines II]]

    This PSP title owes much to Tetris. Colored blocks fall from the top of the screen and it's up to you to clear them by forming like-colored formations. Beautiful special effects and a snazzy musical soundtrack gave it a stylish edge over its 8-bit inspiration. We chose the sequel for a few nice little upgrades, but the original Lumines is nearly as good.
  • 17. [[xref:|Monster Hunter Freedom Unite|Monster Hunter Freedom Unite]]

    The best way we can describe Monster Hunter to the uninitiated is by thinking of it as a grittier, more Lord of the Rings-influenced take on the world of Pokemon. Oddly enough, the game's publisher Capcom proudly boasts that the Monster Hunter series is actually even more monstrously popular than Pokemon is in Japan. The latest installment in the beast busting series is a completely revamped version of Monster Hunter Freedom 2, loaded with new missions, monsters, weapons, and armor with some gameplay tweaks also sprinkled in there for good measure, which makes Freedom Unite the ultimate version of Monster Hunter.
  • 21. [[xref:|SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Tactical Strike|SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Tactical Strike]]

    The third SOCOM for the PSP ups the tactical element for more deliberate, thoughtful action perfect for portable play. An impressive array of features including online play, voice commands and chat, and an 11-mission single-player campaign easily make it best of the handheld series.
  • 3. [[xref:|Patapon / 2. Patapon 2|Patapon / 2. Patapon 2]]

    The beat goes on for the team responsible for LocoRoco in Patapon, a rhythmic real-time strategy game exclusive to PSP. Using the face buttons to pound out rhythmic commands to cutesy Patapon tribesmen, you guide them in a prophetic quest to return to their holy promised land. Patapon is more than just clever beats and pretty presentation though, offering in-depth equipment customization and battle tactics for beating massive screen-filling bosses. At the budget price of $20, you can't afford to miss this game. And for a few dollars more you can pick up its superior sequel Patapon 2 which introduces a rather meaty multiplayer mode.
  • 23. [[xref:|Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness|Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness]]

    Despite having a name that sounds like a synonym for regurgitation, the Disgaea series is actually one of the best tactical role-play game franchises around, if not the best. Afternoon of Darkness is an overhauled version of the PS2's Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, with copious amounts of bonus content such as vicious new bosses, the option to play as a female protagonist with a new storyline, and a multiplayer mode where players can hook up via Ad-hoc.
  • h2>11. [[xref:|Metal Gear Solid|Metal Gear Solid]]

    Finally, gamers have the ability to take one of the most riveting action titles of all time with them wherever they go. That's right, if you haven't heard, Metal Gear Solid is now available for the Sony PSP as a download, and like Final Fantasy VII, another game no PSP owner should go without, it can be purchased for the extremely reasonable price of $9.99. We hate to sound like an official Konami press release, but there's really no reason not to own the original, and arguably the best, Metal Gear Solid game for the PSP. It may lack MGS4: Guns of the Patriots' mind-blowing graphics, but its compelling story and unforgettable boss fights are just too good to pass up.... even if you've played the game before.

  • 20. [[xref:|Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters|Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters]]

    Fitting tools of destruction in your pocket can be difficult when you're going commando, but Size Matters makes it possible. The first portable outing for Ratchet and his robotic buddy Clank establishes a new standard for handheld action with top-notch graphics, a challenging story mode, and full online multiplayer. Adjusting to limited camera controls takes time, although it's a minor complaint in the face of big action on your little screen.
  • 15. [[xref:|Star Ocean: Second Evolution|Star Ocean: Second Evolution]]

    Released early this year, Star Ocean: Second Evolution is an enhanced remake of the PlayStation-era classic RPG Star Ocean: The Second Story. If you like console role-playing games and have never picked up any of the games in the Star Ocean series, you owe it to yourself to check it out and there's no better game to take for a test spin than Second Evolution, which is crammed with delicious new goodies like additional playable characters, scenarios, artwork, and best of all, new animated cutscenes. It may not be as well known as Final Fantasy or even Dragons Quest in the realm of RPGs, but Star Ocean isn't any less of a franchise.
  • 29. [[xref:|Twisted Metal: Head On|Twisted Metal: Head On]]

    The only game on our list that lets you barrel through the Eiffel Tower as a psychotic clown behind the wheel of an ice cream truck, Twisted Metal has as much morbid appeal as hard-hitting vehicular action. As long as you put in the time to learn the controls, you're sure to smile barreling through the wreckage of fellow players online.
  • 9. [[xref:|Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops|Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops]]

    Only a Psycho Mantis couldn't appreciate the sophistication stealth-action gameplay that Portable Ops dishes out exclusively on PSP. Totally original from the ground up, the game does more than port over the console series. Creative recruitment mechanics take advantage of WiFi hot-spots, letting you draft soldiers into Naked Snake's espionage ring. Additionally, robust online play complements an intriguing single-player story. Don't let this one sneak by you.
  • 8. [[xref:|Grand Theft Auto Liberty and Vice City Stories|Grand Theft Auto Liberty and Vice City Stories]]

    It might be hard out there for a pimp, but Liberty City Stories makes it easier by bringing the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto series portable. Keeping tabs on your lovely ladies while building the Leone crime syndicate is as fun as it is impressive. Liberty City Stories packs the enormous urban locale onto your PSP in an amazing feat of game engineering. Although not perfect, it's hard to deny the pleasure you'll get from this stellar side-story.

    Or, for your 80s fix there's Vice City Stories, which doesn't offer much different from its predecessor other than its tropical setting, but that shouldn't keep you from getting in on all the action. Exploring the crime-ridden streets of Vice City taking on action-packed missions is loads of fun, even if visiting Liberty City ought to be your first priority.
  • 24. [[xref:|Burnout Legends|Burnout Legends]]

    Combining the best of the series and smashing it all together in one fantastic package is Burnout Legends, the ultimate in crash-tastic racers. The lack of online gameplay is a serious oversight, but there's still more than enough speeding tickets to earn and cars to crash in the satisfying single-player and local wireless modes.
  • 13. [[xref:|Daxter|Daxter]]

    Taking place during the events of Naughty Dog's first sequel, Jak II on PlayStation 2, the PSP-exclusive Daxter allows you to play as Jak's small sidekick and weasel/otter mixbreed, Daxter. Aside from switching up the series' protagonist, the game also plays with some interesting ideas such as having you hired by an old man named Osmo as an exterminator and eventually having to figure out a way to save your humanoid friend and partnet Jak who's been imprisoned by Krimzon Guards. The bottom line is that, while the game does introduce some new forms of gameplay and a new main character, it's still Jak & Daxter at heart and shouldn't be missed by fans of the series.
  • 16. [[xref:|Rock Band Unplugged|Rock Band Unplugged]]

    Similarly to how PSP ports of graphically advanced console video games like God of War and Resistance can leave one skeptical, we didn't know how the hell Rock Band would work on a handheld but for reasons other than graphics (let's face it: Rock Band/Guitar Hero games' visuals aren't all that awe-inspiring). How exactly do you play drums, guitar, not to mention sing on a PSP? Thankfully no miniaturized instruments accompanied the PSP-exclusive version of Rock Band, which took a more Amplitude and Frequency approach to creating music in the game where the player rocks out solo by taking up each instrument individually, cycling through them (with the exception of singing). Now, if only they'd bust out a DS version of Rock Band so we could have vocals in a handheld Rock Band game due to the platforms built-in microphone.
  • 6. [[xref:|LocoRoco / 5. LocoRoco 2|LocoRoco / 5. LocoRoco 2]]

    Now every boy (and girl) can have a blob of their own thanks to the gelatinous platforming action of LocoRoco and its equally charming sequel LocoRoco 2. Using only the PSP's two shoulder buttons, this cute and creative game has you guiding miniature globules through colorful stages. Charm helps alleviate the pain of LocoRoco being far too short for its own good, but given the tendency for its kid-voiced soundtrack to stick in your head you'll be enjoying it well after your PSP is powered down. In fact, LocoRoco is one of the most original games you'll find on any system.
  • 18. [[xref:|Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the WarLords|Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the WarLords]]

    Tetris may have opened the way for portable puzzlers, but Puzzle Quest stands above the pack. Its unique combination of puzzle-solving and role-playing is like nothing else out there. Not only does it provide immense depth, but also makes the game incredibly addictive. +1 charisma for this PSP version thanks to a cleaner presentation, although the DS edition gets a special enchantment for intuitive touch controls. Anyway you put it, Puzzle Quest levels up handheld gaming as a must-own.

  • 1. [[xref:|God of War: Chains of Olympus|God of War: Chains of Olympus]]

    Like mana sent from the gods, God of War: Chain of Olympus single-handedly reinvents the action genre with its tightly-wound combat and unparalleled presentation. Unquestionably this is the finest-looking game ever created on any handheld, which is enough for every gamer to take a look. Even more, Kratos' portable saga deserves praise for its superb design and energetic action. All in all, it's bloody good fun.
  • 25. [[xref:|WipEout Pulse|WipEout Pulse]]

    The king of futuristic racers goes online in the second portable installment of the WipEout series. While it hasn't made as much of a splash as WipEout Pure, Pulse packs in more options, better graphics, and added online gameplay that puts it ahead of the pack. Vehicle customization and the ability to take snapshots during memorable races give the game a unique twist. Infused with a fantastic electronic soundtrack and slick visuals, it's clear that there's more than just good racing flowing through Pulse's veins.
  • 7. [[xref:|Tekken: Dark Resurrection|Tekken: Dark Resurrection]]

    Portable pugilists finally have something to be proud of in Tekken: Dark Resurrection. Fine-tuned mechanics make it the definitive handheld fighting game, not to mention the most visually impressive. Online bouts are missing, although head-to-head matches using any of the 30+ characters is an acceptable consolation. Niggles with the controls prevent it from being ideal, yet it's still the best example of handheld fighting given form factor issues.
  • It's only been alive for just over four years now and already Sony's PlayStation Portable has accumulated a gargantuan library of games, with must-play titles that span every genre from action that matches the quality found in console games ([[xref:|God of War: Chains of Olympus|God of War: Chains of Olympus]]) to games that would seem impossible on the PSP like music games ([[xref:|Rock Band: Unplugged|Rock Band: Unplugged]]).

  • [[xref:|31. Beats|Beats]]

    Yeah, we've got the Beats and it's easy to understand why: slick, yet simple graphics combined with basic button-pressing rhythmic gameplay. Tack on a low, low price and there's no reason you shouldn't groove to the Beats too.
  • 19. [[xref:|Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII|Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII]]

    Phenomenal real-time battles and gorgeous graphics put Crisis Core among the most impressive handheld games around. Cameos from popular Final Fantasy VII characters make it a trip down memory lane, even though its innovative gameplay does much to differentiate it from other RPGs.
  • 14. [[xref:|Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions|Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions]]

    It always comes as somewhat of a surprise just how many gamers missed out on the original Final Fantasy Tactics on PlayStation. Oddly enough, Tactics shared little with the RPG behemoth aside from "Final Fantasy" being in its title. Some of the series' traditional spells and creatures like its mountable overgrown chickens are featured in Tactics, but other than those things it has a completely unique feel to it, from its epic score, to its rich water-color-like environments and art-style, to its heavy emphasis on strategy. The PSP-exclusive Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions is a revamped version of the PS1 classic game and proof that the game hasn't aged much since its initial release.
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