What are the best PSP games? First released on 12th December, 2004 in its native Japan, Sony’s initial foray into the handheld arena followed years and years of speculation. The company officially acknowledged the device a year prior, at E3 2003, with PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi describing it as a “Walkman for the 21st Century”. In many ways, the product was a trailblazer, launching several years before the first iPhone and offering media capabilities such as MP3 playback and UMD movies. It’d later receive add-ons to transform it into a satnav, webcam, and much more.
Of course, in addition that free copy of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 2 which was available alongside the delayed European release, the PSP played hosted to a wealth of outstanding games. Packing the kind of horsepower that its rival the Nintendo DS could only dream of, Sony marketed it as a console you could take on a road trip. And third-party support was impressive: in North America, specifically, it launched alongside games like Metal Gear Acid, Lumines, WipEout Pure, and Twisted Metal: Head-On. It would go on to receive three original Grand Theft Auto games, and even high-profile spin-offs to Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, and God of War.
Sony revised the hardware a number of times over the years, improving the form factor and functionality. While the PSP-2000 and PSP-3000 merely iterated on the launch model, the sliding model PSPgo was noteworthy for being the first digital exclusive console to ever reach retail. This version also introduced the ability to suspend games at any time, really enhancing the portability of the unit. It was succeeded by a budget PSP Street model in Europe only, which reinstated the UMD drive but cut back on some of the core features in order to bring the price point down.
The PSP was also notable for its pioneering XMB interface, which would later be adopted by the PS3 as well. Also known as the Cross Media Bar, this aggregated all of the system’s core media features into a series of tabs, allowing players to transition seamlessly between music, movies, and games. It also introduced the PS Store, which players could use to download demos and purchase games, including classic PS1 titles which ran flawlessly on the format. As a result of its many functions, the PSP would go on to sell 80 million units, and proved particularly popular in Japan, where games like Monster Hunter became cultural touchstones.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best PSP games based on your votes. This is a definitive list determined by your ratings, so if you happen to see anything you disagree with, remember you can do something about it. Please do keep in mind that a game will need at least 20 ratings in order to appear on our list, so that may explain why your favourite is missing. Nevertheless, if you would like to submit some scores, you can do so using the search panel below to do so.
With all that said, scroll down for our definitive list of the best PSP games, as determined by you...
30. Patapon (PSP)
Pata-pata-pata PON! If you've played even a minute of this unusual PSP game, you'll remember its iconic and fiendishly catchy chants. Casting you as an ethereal deity, you command a growing fleet of tribal eyeball creatures as they hunt for food, battle encroaching armies, and storm into new territory. The odd combination of rhythm and strategy, not to mention that smooth vector art style, makes Patapon wholly unique even today, but it's the satisfying grind of building your army, mastering the beat, and leading those critters to victory that players will fondly remember. It's since been treated to a remaster on PS4, but the short stages were built for a handheld, meaning the original is arguably still the best experience. A charming, addictive game that's become synonymous with PSP.
Size doesn’t matter – but we suppose that was the joke! Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters was the first handheld instalment in Insomniac Games’ action-platformer franchise, although development duties were led by High Voltage Games. Despite later being ported to the PS2, the gameplay felt right at home on Sony’s portable platform, sticking closely to the blueprints established by the main console games. That means plenty of explosive armaments, including some returning favourites like the Hypershot and RYNO.
Sony Bend was the one of the unsung heroes of the PSP era, making a bunch of excellent Syphon Filter titles that often flew under the radar. When it turned its attention to Insomniac Games’ Resistance in 2009, it arguably delivered one of the best third-person shooters for the system. Set in Paris, this felt like more of a successor to the original Resistance: Fall of Man than any of its subsequent console sequels, and delivered a strong, engaging campaign – despite the limitations of its parent system.
27. Patapon 2 (PSP)
Sony, specifically its Japan Studio unit, came up with some brilliant concepts for the PSP, rhythm-based strategy mash-up Patapon among them. The original was such a critical darling that it was inevitable the platform holder would expand on concept, and so Patapon 2 launched in 2009. While the release was largely similar – you had to beat out drum patterns in order to command monochrome minions – it did introduce some new unit types, and was ultimately well received by critics owing to the overall novelty of its gameplay loop.
For MotorStorm's debut on PSP, BigBig Studios wasn't content with taking what came before and shrinking it down to size. Instead, it explored all-new territory for the off-road racing series, taking the action to snowy mountain peaks. After the original's scorching desert and Pacific Rift's exotic jungle, MotorStorm: Arctic Edge was a fresh spin on things, introducing new vehicle classes and dangerous hazards. While not as technically accomplished as its PS3 brethren, the PSP racer was a surprisingly solid portable version, allowing fans to get some adrenaline-pumping thrills on the go.
25. Daxter (PSP)
There was definitely a trend on the PSP of breaking up iconic PS2 platforming double-acts. Secret Agent Clank would release a few years later, but Ready at Dawn got the party started with Daxter in 2006 – a fairly traditional collectathon platformer that saw Jak incarcerated and his furry sidekick take centre stage. It’s perhaps best remembered for its unlockable Dream Sequence minigames, which riffed on famous scenes from movies like The Matrix and Braveheart.
LittleBigPlanet was already a technical achievement on PS3, but squeezing all of that Play Create Share goodness onto a UMD? Sony's Cambridge Studio pulled it off brilliantly, with a portable entry that offered the full-fat console experience. An original campaign of levels takes you through another adventure with Sackboy before jumping into a fully-featured level editor. While it was understandably a little pared back, the create mode still afforded players lots of opportunity to unleash their imagination and share it with the community. An impressive conversion of the fan favourite franchise.
After Angel of Darkness failed to impress, Tomb Raider: Legend put things back on track. A reimagined Lara Croft starred in this fresh take on the series. The game takes you on an epic journey as our heroine searches for the mythical sword Excalibur. While it's impressive the title was ported to PSP, Sony's handheld struggles to run it, with various technical problems holding it back. A great game, but this is perhaps not the best version.
A Final Fantasy fighting game has always seemed like a total no-brainer, and Square Enix actually gave the concept a fair shake back in 2009 with the awkwardly titled Dissidia: Final Fantasy. The release would go on to be a fan favourite, and although it was rendered pretty much redundant by Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy — an enhanced semi-sequel — the original remains a high quality spinoff, which is something that the series doesn't always get right.
Crisis Core can be an immensely frustrating game to play, but its portrayal of Final Fantasy VII's world and characters as they existed before the main game has always been enough to make it something of a fan favourite. You play as Zack Fair, the surprisingly cheerful SOLDIER whose actions help shape the Final Fantasy VII timeline. Crisis Core also hinges heavily on Sephiroth and his relationships with his fellow SOLDIERs, which makes for an interesting character study. Oh, and there's that cutscene where Sephiroth spars with his companions — complete with his iconic theme — and to angsty teenagers the world over in 2008, it was just about the coolest thing ever conceived.