Top 10: PlayStation Minis

A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks

The PlayStation Minis program was one of the most creative attempts at trying to release small, inexpensive games for PlayStation platforms. But several things conspired against it: the ubiquity of smartphones that feature millions of games (most of them free) and the fact that PlayStation never promoted Minis made the program a failure. But there were some terrific games that came out of the PlayStation Minis initiative and in case you want to go back and check out some of the better ones, here’s what you should keep an eye on. By the way, almost 300 games came out of PlayStation Minis, so chances are I might have missed some of your favorites. So which is your favorite Mini? Which hidden game should I check out? Would you like to see the program come back in the future? As usual, leave comments below.

10. Fieldrunners

Fieldrunners PSP

Fieldrunners is one of those games that came out on a variety of systems and one of those platforms was the PlayStation Minis. For those who have never heard of this game (shame on you,) Fieldrunners is a traditional and eminently satisfying tower defense game that anyone can enjoy, so if you’re into the genre, check it out.

9. Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess

I never enjoyed games where you need to jump vertically for a long time, but Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess changed my mind about this simplistic premise. As the title suggests, monsters sneaked up on your castle and stole the princess you had kidnapped, so you need to go and retrieve the maiden as soon as you can. To do so, you must jump over platforms in a vertical fashion and defeat monsters before they leave the screen.

8. A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks

Probably one of the most descriptive titles I’ve heard in a while (with the exception of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition.) In this budget-priced vertical shooter, you travel through space shooting everything that isn’t you to rack up points, upgrade ships and acquire power-ups. If that sounds remotely interesting to you, give this game a chance. It won’t disappoint.

7. Pix’n Love Rush

Pix N Love Rush

Do you like modern games that use a retro presentation? Then this is definitely up your alley. As most classic platformers, the controls are remarkably simple (you can move left, right or jump,) but one of the best parts about Pix’n Love Rush is that as you progress, the visual style pays homage to different classic consoles, such as the Game Boy or the Virtual Boy.

6. Coconut Dodge

In Coconut Dodge, you assume the role of a beach crab and you need to dodge falling coconuts and grab precious stones that fall from the sky. Sounds simple? It is and that’s one of the best qualities. I spent countless hours playing this game and I was so hooked that I couldn’t stop. If you’re interested in playing something that distracts you and something that doesn’t have complex mechanics, look no more. Coconut Dodge is your game.

5. Age of Zombies

Short, laugh-out loud funny, fun and good-looking. Those are some of the characteristics of this simple and witty shoot ’em up where you need to use different weapons to defeat as many zombies as you can. It may not be the most original game ever made, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.

4. Carnivores

This is probably one of the few Minis that’s a PC port. For those of you who have never heard of the Carnivores franchise, the game puts you in the shoes of a hunter who travels to recently discovered planet to hunt dinosaurs. Of course, hunting the gargantuan creatures requires skills and patience, so take that into account before buying this game. If you were around when Carnivores came out, you’ll have a terrific time with this game and you won’t believe that a PC game is now able to run on a PSP.

3. Who’s that Flying?!

Leave it to Mediatonic to create eminently entertaining and small games that hook people in a few seconds. That’s Who’s that Flying in a nutshell, a side-scrolling shooter similar to Astroboy for the GBA where you need to shoot as many incoming enemies as possible. If you like colorful visuals, a story that doesn’t take itself too seriously and challenging gameplay that’s never too hard, this is for you.

2. Where Is My Heart

This is probably one of the most popular PlayStation Minis ever released and one that was covered by several dedicated websites. Yes, it was that good. This is one of the best-looking Minis and one of the most creative ones. In Where’s My Heart, the screen is divided into chunks and each chunk forms an improvised jigsaw puzzle. Since this is a platformer, you need to jump over platforms, switch between playable characters and make it from point A to point B, but the fact that the screen is divided into pieces complicates things and makes it ingenious and fun to play.

1. Velocity

Velocity is probably the most popular Mini ever created and the game deserves that reputation. This space shooter takes some of the most common characteristics of the genre and adds depth to it to create something special and unique. The result is a game that once you pick up, you’ll have trouble putting down. Also, the soundtrack is delightful which always helps.

Other Minis I haven’t played but came up doing research include Wizorb, Hungry Giraffe, Ace Armstrong vs. The Alien Scumbags, Alien Zombie Death, Canabalt, The Impossible Game, Juetpack Joyride, Flying Hamster, Angry Birds.