Sony was way ahead of the curve in 2004 when it came to making the best PSP games.
It was never going to be easy for the company to compete with Nintendo’s 3DS, but it had faced tougher competition in the home system market years ago.
With its multimedia UMD cartridges and great launch games like Lumines and Metal Gear Acid, the PSP slowly changed how players who were ready to take a chance on this portable powerhouse spent their time on the go.
Over time, the PSP has made a place for itself in the mobile scene. Its gorgeous screen and amazing tech specs made it the go-to system for anyone who wanted to play AAA games on the go.
But the PSP was more than just blockbuster games. It had a library of quiet, creative games that you couldn’t find anywhere else. So keep reading to see our list of the best PSP games ever made.
- 28. Half-Minute Hero
- 27. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- 26. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
- 25. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd
- 24. Gran Turismo
- 23. Monster Hunter Freedom
- 22. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
- 21. God of War: Chains of Olympus
- 20. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
- 19. Killzone: Liberation
- 18. Jeanne d’Arc
- 17. Secret Agent Clank
- 16. Every Extend Extra
- 15. Ys Seven
- 14. Mega Man Powered Up
- 13. Ape Escape: On the Loose
- 12. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
- 11. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
- 10. Persona 3 Portable
- 9. The 3rd Birthday
- 8. Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together
- 7. Jeanne d’Arc
- 6. Lumines
- 5. LocoRoco 2
- 4. Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
- 3. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- 2. Valkyria Chronicles 2
- 1. Power Stone Collection
28. Half-Minute Hero
Have a moment?
What about a third?
Good, because you only have that much time to save the entire world.
Half-Minute Hero, made by Marvelous Entertainment, flips the usual RPG rules on their heads by giving players only 30 seconds to fight bad guys and build up their skills in order to save the world.
The good news is that the timer can be reset, and the fun comes from using each “Groundhog Day” situation to move on to harder enemies, get better gear, and get better at kicking asses in thirty seconds or less.
Half-Minute Hero is a game that tries really hard to be hard to classify, but you won’t have time to care.
27. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
With Grand Theft Auto III and its two sequels, Vice City and San Andreas, the Grand Theft Auto series became very popular.
All three games did very well at the store and set Rockstar up for at least the next twenty years. The game Liberty City Stories takes place three years before GTA III.
It tells the story of Antonio Cipriani, who goes by the name Toni most of the time, as he works his way up the mob ladder.
The story is great, and the gameplay is what you’d expect from Rockstar, since they’ve already made hit games.
26. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (VCS) isn’t the first GTA spin-off for the PSP, but it’s the most finished one.
As a predecessor to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for the PS2, 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 technology-limited PSP.
This was partly because of a new game engine, which made the mini version of Grand Theft Auto look cleaner and more interesting. Even in a world without GTA Online, it’s a technical and artistic success.
25. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd
Some of the best PSP games ever made were from the Monster Hunter series. This is the third handheld version of the series, after Freedom and Freedom Unite.
They are very famous. The name of the game tells you a lot about what it is about.
You begin in the town of Yukomo. The monster hunter group has sent you there to do what the title says.
The story is based on Monster Hunter 3, which came out for the Nintendo Wii. It changes some things and adds new ones, but the way it works is pretty much the same.
24. Gran Turismo
Gran Turismo PSP is a game that shouldn’t have looked and played as well on the PSP as it did.
Polyphony Digital barely took its foot off the gas when making an exclusive GT experience for Sony’s portable, and the result is a stand-alone game that purrs.
GT looks great, but it also has a lot going on under the hood. It doesn’t have a standard career mode or as much customization as other games in the series, but it makes up for it with over 800 cars, 35 tracks, and 60fps of raw racing performance.
Also, it’s nice that GT PSP lets you share vehicles with other people and have one-time races with them.
23. Monster Hunter Freedom
Monster Hunter Freedom wants you to do your best. It takes being smart, patient, able to take a beating, and ready to come back for more.
Those who are up for the task, though, will find it to be one of the most rewarding games on the PSP.
Freedom is a huge monster-hunting game that is a lot like Monster Hunter G. There are a lot of monsters to hunt, and they will put your warrior through hell and back.
You can try to mash your way through early-game rewards, but bigger enemies require you to try out different strategies and plan carefully.
The genius of Monster Hunter Freedom, though, is that you’ll want to keep trying, not just for the in-game rewards but also for the rare feeling of success you get from facing really tough enemies and coming out on top. This game made MonHun well-known all over the world.
22. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
Another great series that does well on Sony devices is Ratchet & Clank. This game is a spinoff of a series that has already been made.
As a 3D platformer, it has a lot of action and interesting tasks, as well as a story that keeps you interested.
The main characters are on vacation on the island of Pokitaru, where they meet a girl named Luna. Soon after, robots take her away.
On the way to save her, they find out about a terrible plan. This is one of the best PSP games, and you should play it.
21. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Another masterpiece is the God of War series, which is usually only available for Sony devices.
Even though the gameplay is really good and not just the story, that doesn’t help people who don’t have a Sony device.
In this game, Kratos goes through another war and a possible disaster.
Kratos is a Spartan. He used to work for Ares, but now he works for other Olympian gods. Kratos uses the famous Blades of Chaos, which are blades on chains that are attached to his arms.
They can be used for both attacking and defensive combos that are very powerful.
20. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII, which came out for the PlayStation 1, was one of the most famous Final Fantasy games.
This is one of many games that tell stories about Final Fantasy VII. It takes place seven years before FF VII.
We follow a SOLDIER called Zack Fair as he looks for another missing SOLDIER and his own mentor.
As an action RPG, battles happen in real time, which is different from other Final Fantasy games. It’s a great Final Fantasy game and one of the best PSP games.
19. Killzone: Liberation
Killzone: Liberation is not only one of the most polished and beautiful PSP games, but it’s also probably the best Killzone game ever made.
This is surprising, since the game is about killing and destroying things. Liberation changes from a first-person shooter (FPS) view to a top-down isometric view that rewards both quick trigger fingers and strategic thought.
The game is also hard, which teaches players to think before they shoot and improve their strategy with each task. I
nstead of a lot of guns and upgrades that don’t seem to help, there is a wide range of tech and skills that will make you think about how to play all the time.
With one of the best ad-hoc multiplayer modes for the PSP, Liberation is one of the best games for the PSP.
18. Jeanne d’Arc
We don’t know why Level-5 thought they had to change Joan of Arc’s history instead of making their own French icon.
But it doesn’t matter, because this magical version of the historical person who fights demons does a great job of leading one of the most complex and creative tactical role-playing games on the system.
In Jeanne D’Arc, like in Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics, players fight battles all over an overworld map, picking up new team members and building up their teams as they go.
Jeanne D’Arc is different from other games in its genre because it lets you do things like use skills stones instead of classes or set time limits for each fight.
The anime style and quick but complex battles also help it stand out.
17. Secret Agent Clank
It’s called XJ-0461. Knock on XJ-0461. Remember it, because you can call on Secret Agent Clank to do the job if you want a cool and effective spin-off of Ratchet and Clank.
Clank pulls off this solo adventure with style, mixing classic Ratchet and Clank gameplay with a nice variety of 3D platforming diversions.
You’ll race through levels in vehicles, rule over Gadgebot goals, act out Quark’s distorted memories, and even use Ratchet to shoot enemies.
Clank’s spin-off has all of the creativity and polish that the series is known for. He has a lot of gadgets and strange tools at his disposal, and old friends help him out.
16. Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra’s screenshots don’t do it justice, and it’s easy to write off Q Entertainment’s shoot-em-up as a colorful mess.
But if you take the time to learn the rules and get your head (and eyes) around the exciting gameplay, Every Extend Extra will make you feel like a star.
The goal is simple: blow up a ship to start a chain of events, and keep doing that until each main boss is dead. Each level is a mix of twitch gaming and puzzle solving.
You have to learn how to detonate carefully and when to risk everything for power-ups.
Also, each stage has new enemies, backgrounds, and music by Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez, Lumines), which makes Every Extend Extra a game with a constantly changing mix.
15. Ys Seven
Nihon Falcom’s action RPG series did get lucky with the number seven.
Ys Seven is an evolution of the series, turning the 2D sprites and environments of Ys into a full 3D journey with new party members to find, new systems to fine-tune, and new ways to do justice in Altago.
You might think that a 30+ hour RPG would get boring on a small system, but Ys Seven’s satisfying battles, detailed world, and interesting story keep the quest feeling new and exciting.
14. Mega Man Powered Up
Mega Man Powered Up is not just a copy of the original NES game.
It deserves to be here because it takes inspiration from the humble beginnings of the series and reimagines them with cute new graphics, two new levels, and game modes that let you switch Mega Man out for one of his robot bosses.
Think of it like The Muppet Babies if they were always blowing each other up to steal each other’s powers.
If that wasn’t enough to keep old-school fans busy, it also comes with a level creator and the ability to share Mega Man stages made by players with the world.
13. Ape Escape: On the Loose
Ape Escape: On the Loose is a clean, well-thought-out version of the original PS1 game. It has better graphics and a few new minigames with monkeys.
The translation isn’t perfect, and the controls are missing something without the second analog stick, but the game’s mix of platforming tasks, gadgets, and charm makes up for these problems.
Ape handling is messy work, but it’s worth it in the end.
12. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep could have been used to make money quickly. It could have been a portable form of Kingdom Hearts to make money off of fans who are still waiting for a real sequel.
Square instead made one of the series’ most important games. It added to the strange world’s past with as much care and ambition as games like Kingdom Hearts 2.
Before Kingdom Hearts 3 was announced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, this was as close as people thought we’d get to a third full game.
Heroes Terra, Aqua, and Ventus are very different from Sora, but the game’s Command Deck and D-Link fighting systems keep the story moving with quick, fluid, and surprisingly deep fights against enemies.
All it takes to get back into the Kingdom Hearts mood is a few trips to familiar Disney places.
11. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
The first Dissidia Final Fantasy may have turned up the fan service, but this second game turns up the love for FF to 11… er, 012… er, duodecim.
Dissidia 012 is a prequel to the first Dissidia game. It combines traditional JRPG gameplay with flashy, high-speed one-on-one fighting game gameplay.
It also fixes some balance problems from the first game and adds nine new Final Fantasy characters.
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy is a lot of fun for FF fans, but it also has a lot to offer people who have never played the series before.
10. Persona 3 Portable
The amazing thing about this portable version of the PS2 game Persona 3 is how new and different it feels.
By making the overworld easy to get around and by changing the main character from a man to a woman, the story’s general tone is changed, giving even long-time fans something new to latch on to.
Changes like these make the PSP version of this JRPG worth a look, but its best feature is still the dungeon crawling, which is the best in the history of RPGs.
Persona 4 Golden for PS Vita is the only game that can compare.
9. The 3rd Birthday
The 3rd Birthday is supposedly the third game in the Parasite Eve series, but it has little in common with the first two.
It’s a strange mix of styles, with a third-person shooter and an RPG, and it’s also trying to change the series.
The 3rd Birthday came out ten years after the last Parasite Eve game, but the series’ main character, Aya Brea, is still in it.
It feels like a sci-fi version of Resident Evil, since Aya uses her Overdrive power to go back in time and kill monsters called the Twisted.
For a game that came out late in the PSP’s life, The 3rd Birthday was not very good because it was hard to control the camera. Still, you can only play it on the tablet, and you shouldn’t miss out on it.
8. Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together
A new remaster was just released, but many people have never played the original PSP remake of Tactics Ogre, which was a lot of fun.
If you know that this game started out as a JRPG for the SNES and was made by the same team that made Final Fantasy Tactics, you should already know how good it is.
It has a complicated turn-based fight system, and even the way you move around the world map affects how the battle goes.
It’s known as one of the best games in the genre because you can change things like the weather. Add an emotional story to this, and you have a winner.
7. Jeanne d’Arc
Jeanne d’Arc is a tactical role-playing game based on the life of the same-named French historical person.
Even though developer Level-5 has gone on to make other popular RPGs like Ni no Kuni and Yokai Watch, this was the game that got the company started.
Using a rock-paper-scissors-style system for elemental strengths and flaws, the game was easy to understand on a basic level but had a lot of depth that RPG experts would enjoy.
What really made Jeanne d’Arc stand out was how it mixed real history with a lot of fantasy. One that, despite being famous, was never moved to another system.
Good rhythm games should be hypnotizing, with each beat pulling you in more.
Not only did Lumines get this right with its changing trance beats that mixed together like a DJ’s set, but it also got it right with the beat of the levels and the changing lights.
It was a risk to make Lumines. It had never been done before to combine a Tetris-style game with a music game.
The main difference between Lumines and Tetris, and why the music is so important to the game, is that layers only fall off when the beat does.
Lumines is different because you have to figure out where to put your pieces so they meet at the right time.
5. LocoRoco 2
LocoRoco 2 is hard to dislike. Try it out. After playing Japan Studio’s painfully cute platform puzzler for a few minutes, you’ll be singing along with the game’s blobs and spending every spare second exploring their rich, colorful world.
Everything that made LocoRoco an original hit is back in this sequel, including the game’s signature tilt-a-world mechanic, which takes a moment to learn and many plays to master.
And if you want to find all of the game’s secrets and bonus tasks, you’ll need to get good at rolling, bumping, and squashing LocoRocos through their environments.
Don’t be turned off by the feel of a Saturday morning show. LocoRoco 2 is just as hard as it is cute and just as sneaky as it is fun.
4. Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
The story of Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror got a lot of praise, but what really made this game stand out was how well it used the PSP technology.
This third-person shooter let up to eight people play at once, and they could even talk about strategies over voice chat.
You can imagine how rare this kind of online play was at the time, given that the game was later ported to PlayStation 2.
Also, the fact that it could run smoothly with eight people at the same time on such a small handheld was seen as a modern miracle.
3. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Metal Gear Solid is one of the best game series ever, so it’s no wonder that one of its games is at the top of this list.
Both Peace Walker and Portable Ops were made for PSP, but Peace Walker is thought to be the better of the two. The Japanese magazine Famitsu gave it a perfect score.
You can play as Big Boss in Peace Walker as he runs operations in Columbia. It is one of the first games in the Metal Gear Solid series, and it tells a lot about the backstory of many of the main games.
2. Valkyria Chronicles 2
There was worry that this portable follow-up to Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3 would take away from the series’ range and depth, but Sega does a great job with the change.
Valkyria Chronicles II picks up Avan Hardin’s story right where it left off, putting you on a road through the Lanseal Royal Military Academy where you’ll face battles on and off the battlefield that are just as complicated and satisfying as before.
After spending a lot of time in the war for Gallia managing troops, customizing vehicles, and improving your plan, it will be clear that this handheld Valkyria Chronicles game can stand on its own.
1. Power Stone Collection
Even though this collection has two games in it (Power Stone and Power Stone 2), Power Stone made 3D online brawling cool long before those fancy PlayStation All-Stars games came out.
There are a lot of playable fighters in the game, and they all make the stadiums look cool and exciting.
The move to bring the Power Stone series, which was previously only available on the Dreamcast, to Sony’s PSP was a good one.
Not only was the handheld a great place for quick, easy-to-play arcade games, but it also showed how the PSP could give lesser-known series a second chance.
In a lot of ways, the PSP is like the Dreamcast of handheld gaming systems. It’s a misunderstood place where great, unusual games can be made.