Top 10: Essential PSP Games

The PlayStation Portable had its problems, but the console had the support of so many developers that there was no shortage of games to play. Of course, its library of games isn’t as extensive as that of the PlayStation 2, for example, but there are so many games and from so many different genres on the PSP, that it can be overwhelming to choose some of the best ones. Below, you’ll find a list with what I believe are some essential PSP games to add to your collection and they cover a variety of different genres to satisfy as many people as possible.


Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Combat

This action RPG works as a prequel to the seminal Final Fantasy VII and as a part of the series Compilation of Final Fantasy VII that not only comprised several games, but also films. Crisis Core focuses on the story of Zach Fair, a young member of SOLDIER assigned to look for some missing comrades from the organization. The game uses a real-time combat system where you can move Zack around, use abilities, attack enemies and block or dodge. Zack’s attacks depend on the materia he has equipped at any given point and the more you play the game, the more powerful materia you obtain.


Daxter

This platform game explains what happens to Daxter between Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy and Jak II. Basically, the ottsel gets a new job that allows him to use an electronic bug swatter and an extermination tank. As you progress through the game, you get modifications for your tank, transforming the device into a flamethrower, a jet pack, a weapon and so on. One of the best parts of the game are the unlockable dream sequences that are minigames that parody modern classics like Braveheart, The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers or Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Patapon

patapon 1 boss

This rhythm game with god game elements is like nothing you’ve played before. You control a small army of tribal creatures known as Patapon using simple commands to march, attack, make it rain or defend. As you complete more missions, you improve your equipment, get more Patapon warriors. This strategic rhythm game has some problems (you can’t pause the game, for instance,) but it’s innovative and the art design are excellent.


God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Ghost of Sparta is pretty much the same as any other God of War game, but that’s its most impressive aspect, especially when you take into account that this game is able to run on portable console. Of course, the smartphone in your pocket is able to play some remarkable games now, but back in 2010, this was a technical feat. Loosely based on Greek mythology, Ghost of Sparta puts you in the shoes of Kratos, a warrior haunted by his past. The combo-based combat, inspired setting, engaging puzzle and platform mechanics and personal story make this game worth playing. If you’re going to check out Ghost of Sparta, you might as well play its predecessor Chains of Olympus.


Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

This updated version of Final Fantasy Tactics features everything that made the original such a terrific tactical RPG and fixes a few problems while adding some exciting new features. Permadeath is still here and the story is as involving as ever, so if you want to replay Final Fantasy Tactics or if you’ve never played it before, this is a great choice.


The Legend of Heroes: Trail in the Sky

This JRPG was praised for its fluid writing, dynamic combat and absorbing story, but not a lot of people played it. As you’d expect from a JRPG, you control a series of characters that embark on quests where they fight against mythical creatures, interact with NPCs and receive several rewards for their efforts, but believe me when I tell you that this isn’t your traditional JRPG. It’s also available on the PC.


Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy

Dissidia 012 Screenshot

In this one-on-one fighting game, you control different heroes and villains from the Final Fantasy series. The gameplay is very reminiscent from the first Dissidia where you dueled another character and performed two types of attacks to try and steal HP from your opponent until defeating them. This time around there are new mechanics in the form of EX Revenge and Assists, a story mode that takes place in a world map and new settings. The story has some problems, but fdor the most part, this is a great-looking PSP game with some engaging mechanics.


Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable

Persona 3 Portable Combat

Persona 3 portable is exactly that, a portable version of Persona 3. But the cult JRPG features several additions that weren’t included in its predecessor, such as the possibility of playing a female characters, two new difficulty levels, a revised battle system, new music tracks and exclusive cameos. To sum up, this enhanced port is the version to play if you want to check out Persona 3.


Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

There have been several versions of Tactics Ogre on the Super Famicom, Sega Saturn, PlayStation. The PSP version of this tactical RPG is worth playing nonetheless, such as a revamped soundtrack, renamed characters, thew world system which is a sort of new game plus where you can replay certain missions and take new path after beating the game, extra missions, new dialogues, new allies, new areas, more items to collect and the list of changes goes on and on.


Lumines

This flashy puzzle game is hard to explain, but something you totaly get as soon as you start playing. You should know that 2×2 blocks fall from the ceiling and the small blocks that compose the big ones come in two colors. You need to align and rotate them to create 2×2 blocks of the same color and the next time the timeline (which synchronizes the music) passes by, matching blocks disappear and you get points. Of course, other mechanics come into play, but you need to consider that there are different skins and modes. None of the sequels captured the essence of the original Lumines and the best way to experience this game is on the PSP.


Other amazing PlayStation Portable games that you might want to check out include: Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Final Fantasy III, LocoRoco, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Mega Man Maverick Hunter X.