The best games for PS Vita show how much can be done in a short amount of time. Sony’s portable console was a powerhouse, but it burned brightly and then went out.
However, its huge library of games, which can be played in many different ways, goes on. The PS Vita was way ahead of its time with its beautiful OLED screen and impressive tech specs.
This is just one reason why it is so high on our list of the best handheld systems.
Still, the method is still so popular because of the experiences it gave people. It made AAA games portable, which you can see in our list of the best PS Vita games, many of which were made by the biggest game companies in the world.
Even though this Vita didn’t sell very well, those who bought it know how awesome it really was.
- 28. MotorStorm RC
- 27. Borderlands 2
- 26. Velocity Ultra
- 25. Killzone: Mercenary
- 24. Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition
- 23. Soul Sacrifice Delta
- 22. WipEout 2048
- 21. Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours
- 20. Hotline Miami
- 19. Mortal Kombat
- 18. Lumines Electronic Symphony
- 17. Dragon Quest Builders
- 16. The Walking Dead: Season One
- 15. Rogue Legacy
- 14. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
- 13. Ys: Memories Of Celceta
- 12. Velocity 2X
- 11. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
- 10. Guacamelee!
- 9. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
- 8. Spelunky
- 7. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
- 6. Dragon’s Crown
- 5. Severed
- 4. TxK
- 3. Tearaway
- 2. Persona 4 Golden
- 1. Gravity Rush
28. MotorStorm RC
Another excellent racing game, MotorStorm RC, combined old-school racers and contemporary gameplay to create a wholly unique experience.
Players could collect up to 24 vehicles, with more unlocked via DLC, and build their own impressive garage to take on other racers.
27. Borderlands 2
This addictive cel-shaded shooter came to the PS Vita with the ability to team up with friends to take on the world of Pandora.
Players could experience all of Borderlands 2 just as they would on a home console, and it immediately became one of the best Vita games.
26. Velocity Ultra
Another 2D scrolling shooter, Velocity Ultra, builds on the foundation of the first game and manages to be even better with new HD graphics.
Set in 2212, players had to navigate their teleporting spacecraft through space, avoiding hazards and using bombs to take out enemies.
This game was everything the first should have been, and it stands out as one of the best remakes on the PS Vita.
25. Killzone: Mercenary
Killzone: Mercenary gave players a new way to experience the Killzone universe, putting players in the shoes of a gun for hire out to fight for the highest bidder.
Each client would give you an objective, but the rest was up to the player. You could use any tactics you wanted, so long as the job got done.
There were three different difficulty settings, and the harder you made the game, the higher your rewards were overall.
24. Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone unfamiliar with Minecraft, if only on an at-name basis.
Fortunately for fans, it ended up becoming one of the best PlayStation Vita games so that they could take their crafting on the go and get their Minecraft fix anytime.
While it did have a few minor performance issues, it was ultimately one of the best portable versions of the game.
23. Soul Sacrifice Delta
Soul Sacrifice Delta was a unique game for the PS Vita. Players could give up parts of their characters to do powerful moves.
Challenges had to be dealt with strategically, and players could not always make adjustments.
Players could choose from three different ends, and the overall story was interesting enough to keep fans playing for hours.
22. WipEout 2048
This anti-gravity driving game was a must-have for anyone with a Vita. It let players go very fast on 10 new tracks.
Wipeout 2048 took advantage of all the new features on the PS Vita and let you race with up to eight other people online.
It was always hard to stay at the top of the leaderboards, so many players spent hours getting better at racing to keep their places.
21. Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours
Few shoot-em-up games for the Vita are as bold as this huge one. Even though many people were upset by its high digital price, it makes perfect sense when you see how much material Taito’s amazing shooter has.
Saviours has all the extras from the many arcade versions, like the 3,000 different ways to play the Chronicles mode’s stages.
It also has a brand-new mode called Chronicle Saviours, which gives you over 180 more stages to play and lots of cool things to unlock, like new ships, bosses, and audio tracks.
Just remember that because these are arcade games, Arcade and EX mode are very letterboxed, which can make it hard to beat bosses that have to do with water.
20. Hotline Miami
This game takes place in Miami in the 1980s, and it starts with the player getting disturbing notes on their character’s answering machine that make them want to do terrible, violent things.
Things get rough quickly, and players must use any of the 35 different guns to bash and shoot their way through to the end.
Hotline Miami was a great example of a top-down shooter done right, both in terms of how it worked and how it looked.
19. Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat is one of the best fighting games of all time, and the PS Vita version more than lives up to the series’ reputation.
As a full relaunch of the series, this game combined the great fighting system, memorable characters, and deep story mode of the previous games with better graphics and brand-new game modes.
18. Lumines Electronic Symphony
The first version of Q Entertainment’s sound-based puzzle game came out for the PSP. This new version for the Vita keeps the same basic gameplay but adds a few new, smart twists.
You can use touch controls or a more standard set-up, and you can now get musical skins through a new experience system.
There are two brand-new blocks that let you move the blocks on the screen or link them together.
There is also a new Voyage mode where you must keep making colored squares, which is easier said than done.
With a beautiful music and the OLED screen on the PS Vita, it’s a beautiful combination of sight and sound.
17. Dragon Quest Builders
Even though Minecraft is great, not everyone will like the way it lets you play however you want. If you’re like us and need a little more order when you dig and build, Dragon Quest Builders is just what you need.
It takes the main idea of Mojang’s hugely popular game and combines it with the popular Dragon Quest world. It then adds likeable characters, lite RPG mechanics, and a story that keeps you interested.
It’s also clever in how it’s put together. At first, you’re given easy tasks that aren’t too hard, but by the end of the game, you’ll be in charge of goals that you could never have imagined.
16. The Walking Dead: Season One
The Walking Dead by Telltale Games was an amazing, well-written game that has many good reasons to be considered one of the best post-apocalyptic games of all time.
In this game, players had to make some really hard decisions that changed the story in surprising and sometimes sad ways.
It was hard not to fall in love with this game and its characters as they tried to stay alive and make the right choices.
15. Rogue Legacy
The player’s main goal was to explore a randomly generated dungeon and defeat four bosses.
However, if your character ever died, you wouldn’t revert to a previous save and instead, take up control of one of three heirs.
These subsequent characters each had unique traits such as color-blindness, dwarfism, and ADHD, which gave them abilities that other characters lacked.
It was an amazingly imaginative mechanic that made it stand out from so many games that otherwise were just run-of-the-mill dungeon crawls.
14. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
The second game in the Zero Escape series, Virtue’s Last Reward, followed the story of Sigma, who is abducted with eight other people and forced to play the Nonary Game.
Every scenario in the game requires players to solve puzzles in escape room-type settings where the stakes are life or death.
While it came out in 2012, today, this game will appeal to fans of the hit Korean show Squid Game, which became one of Netflix’s biggest series, since their stories are so similar.
13. Ys: Memories Of Celceta
The Ys series has been around since the late 1980s, and Memories is a remake of the fourth game in the series, which already has two versions made by two different creators.
Even though its history is confusing, Celceta is a great update with dynamic combat, a lot of interesting people to meet, and a real sense of exploration as Adol, who has lost his memory, tries to piece together his memories while mapping a huge forest.
It’s a great example of how a 16-bit game can be updated for a new audience, and it has some great boss fights and great story points. In 2016, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana would be Adol’s next Vita game.
12. Velocity 2X
Velocity 2X was a simple shoot-em-up game with beautiful graphics. It picked up where the first game left off, with Lt. Tana floating in space.
After she was caught, players had to help her get away and stop the Vokh Empire from growing. The Vokh Empire wanted to use her ability to teleport to take over the whole world.
11. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
Created as a side-scrolling 2D game, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir was an enhanced version of the PS2 game Odin Sphere.
This game combined classic fairytales, Norse mythology, and famous Shakespearian stories to create a vibrant world that the player could explore.
The combat was smooth, the characters were well-designed, and the visuals were updated to bring this classic game into the next generation.
There are a number of fun Metroidvania games for Sony’s handheld, but our favorite is still this one from DrinkBox Studios, which is bigger than life.
As you might guess from the name, fighting is a big part of Guacamelee! With his many fighting moves, luchador Juan is able to easily get around the town of Santa Luchita and beat most of its people.
Juan’s story takes place in both the land of the living and the land of the dead and never fails to impress with its fun characters, drop-in/drop-out two-player mode, sharp writing, and many memorable boss fights.
What a shame that the update didn’t come out for PS Vita.
9. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is one of the best PS4 games you can play right now, but Nathan Drake first appeared on the PS Vita in Golden Abyss.
In this part, Nathan Drake is hot on the trail of an old Spanish sect, which takes him to undiscovered temples and huge caverns as he looks for a legendary lost city.
Even though reviewers didn’t think it would be a perfect game when it was ported, Uncharted surprised everyone by bringing everything great about the series to this handheld console.
The first run of Derek Yu’s excellent platformer for Limited Run Games sold out in a few minutes, so it’s quite expensive to buy now.
But there’s a good reason for the high demand: it’s simply the best platformer you can play on Vita, which is high praise given how many other games are out there.
Many people won’t bother with Spelunky because it’s so hard, but if you stick with it, you’ll find one of the most satisfying experiences out there.
Even though stages are made by a set of rules, the enemies and traps that live in them follow those rules, and you’ll need to know those rules to move on.
Just make sure to put a chain around your wrist so you can’t throw your Vita.
7. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Although Danganronpa looks like one of the cute games you’d expect to appeal to all ages, it was actually really brutal and had a dark storyline.
Giving players control of a high school student trapped in a school where only murderers graduate, it was up to the player to investigate murders and try to find a way to escape.
A commercial success that spawned an anime, two mangas, and even a stage show, Danganronpa was deceptively addictive, fascinating, and unique.
6. Dragon’s Crown
Vanillaware’s colorful fight is also available on PS3 and PS4, but the Vita’s stunning OLED screen really amps up the action.
Dragon’s Crown is a modern take on the old scrolling fighters, but it takes things to a whole new level with its deep combat system, good RPG mechanics, six different character classes that all play differently, and some really big dungeons to explore.
Even though it doesn’t have multiplayer like its bigger brothers, the AI of the enemies is fair enough that it’s not too bad to fight the game’s bosses on your own.
The studio’s first game, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, is just as good, but it costs a lot more now.
Following the story of a warrior lost in a fantasy world, players have to piece together the heroine’s story from both the past and future to unlock new abilities and grow to master their skills.
The world itself is filled with interesting secrets and engaging enemies that you could fight using a gesture-based combat mechanic that was really well implemented.
Jeff Minter has been making changes to and improving Tempest for years, and with TxK, he’s pretty close to making it great.
At its core, TxK is a tube shooter, which means that you move quickly around the edges of complex forms and shoot at anything that gets in your way before moving on to the next level.
TxK is a simple game to play, but it works so well because Minter is a master at making shooters that depend on quick reactions, and TxK is one of his best games ever.
Each level not only looks great thanks to the trippy, psychedelic visuals and the Vita’s OLED screen, but it also sounds great, and it’s this perfect mix of shooting and aesthetics that makes TxK so hard to put down.
It has a pull that is hard to resist, and it’s a terrible shame that it was never put out in the world.
Even though a better version is coming to PS4, we think Media Molecule’s creative platform game works best on Vita.
Like many of the first Vita games, Tearaway makes heavy use of the PS Vita’s features, but they add to the on-screen action and don’t feel like they were thrown in for no reason.
Touching the back screen lets you poke your fingers into the world and interact with it.
You can also use the tablet to make different things for the people in the world, and you can even play the game as a Teletubbies-style sun.
Aside from its many new ideas, Tearaway takes place in a beautiful paper world with folds, creases, and wrinkles.
It also has a charming story that is just as memorable as the game’s features, which are always changing.
2. Persona 4 Golden
As an improved version of the game that was first released for the PS2, this was officially the fifth game in the Persona series, and we think it’s the best because of how it plays, how it looks, what it sounds like, what it’s about, and who the characters are.
Persona 4 Golden combines RPG elements with features found in some of the best real-life simulation games. It focuses on the main character’s different personas, each of which has its own skills and powers.
You could make new characters and teach the ones you already have new skills to make them better.
We’re not surprised that it won so many awards and gained so many fans because there was so much to do and so many great people to talk to.
1. Gravity Rush
Few superheroes in video games use their skills as well as the main character of this amazing action-adventure game from Japan Studio. Kat has the ability to control gravity.
It takes a while to get good at it, but once you do, you’ll feel invincible as you run along the sides of buildings, push yourself at enemies, and even learn to fly.
It gives you a great feeling of freedom as you explore the beautiful city of Hekseville and do jobs for its memorable NPCs while looking for the hidden gems that will heal Kat and give her new skills.
Since Crackdown, exploring hasn’t felt so rewarding, and it’s easy to lose track of the main story as you discover Hekseville’s many corners and nooks.
The game from Japan Studio has everything you want in a good app: beautiful graphics, great gameplay, and a great way to show off the PS Vita’s unique features. It’s the best thing you can do on Sony’s small device.