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.
Best PlayStation Games by Platform
With all that said, scroll down for our definitive list of the best PSP games, as determined by you...
Assassin’s Creed had yet to reach the peak of its powers in late 2009, although Ubisoft’s stealth series would subsequently blow up with the release of Assassin’s Creed II on PS3 the exact same day as Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines released on PSP. As was common at the time, this spin-off was designed specifically for Sony’s handheld, and starred previous protagonist Altair as opposed to Ezio. Set in Cyprus after the events of the first entry, it was a heavily watered down attempt at repurposing the series’ staple gameplay loop for Sony’s handheld. One neat trick was that you could connect it to Assassin’s Creed II, unlocking additional weapons in both games.
An enhanced and expanded version of the original Dissidia, the eye-rollingly named Dissidia 012 is basically the best Final Fantasy fighting game ever made, even though it isn't really a fighting game. Although some precariously balanced combat mechanics do dampen the fun, the joy that comes with battering your favourite Final Fantasy characters with your other favourite Final Fantasy characters is worth the learning curve. Still regarded by some fans as one of the series' best spinoffs, and so it's a bit of a shame that it was never remastered or ported to other systems.
Originally released for the Nintendo DS and later ported to the PSP, GTA: Chinatown Wars is the most recent handheld entry in Rockstar’s prestigious sandbox series. Adopting a top-down viewpoint, this sharply presented story starring snarky Triad member Huang Lee harks back to the PS1 titles. With laugh-out-loud comic book panel cut-scenes and an impressively dense drug trading minigame, this release provides some respite from the more modern entries in the franchise.
Like the original Final Fantasy, there's a straightforwardness to Final Fantasy III that makes it easy to play and enjoy. Crystals! Dungeons! Four heroes of light! This is an early instalment that's been remastered and remade numerous times, but it still holds up, and the experience is strengthened by an enjoyable job system that lets you customise the party to your liking.
A mind-boggling achievement at the time: Rockstar managed to squeeze its entire Liberty City sandbox onto Sony’s spangly handheld hardware, delivering a full GTA story on the go. Although GTA: Liberty City Stories is set in 1998, prior to the events of GTA 3, many characters from the seminal PS2 title cameo, further fleshing out Rockstar’s fictional world. The gameplay is somewhat limited compared to contemporary entries – there are no aircrafts, for example – but having an open world in your hands was simply stunning in 2005.
GTA: Vice City Stories is the second major handheld instalment in Rockstar’s crime series, and it turns back time to 1984, two years before Vice City. Playing as military corporal Victor ‘Vic’ Vance, the release sticks closely to the blueprints established by its contemporaries, seeing you building a criminal empire by purchasing rackets and compounds.
29. 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.
The PSP was, ultimately, a fantastic format for Metal Gear games – and it all started with tactical launch title, Metal Gear Acid. A turn-based collectible card game, the objective of the release was to use your deck in order to either escape arenas undetected – or defeat all of the enemies. Each card had a cost attribute, and this determined the order of turns. Despite being inspired by all three mainline Metal Gear Solid games at the time, it also featured cards with references to other Hideo Kojima titles, like Policenauts and Snatcher. Such was its success that a sequel released in 2006 which refined the formula.
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.
After years upon years of rumours, the eventual arrival of Gran Turismo on PSP was met with a muted response, despite being a technological marvel. Polyphony Digital, perhaps expecting most fans would play the game in short bursts, stripped back this handheld instalment of its driving simulator – focusing purely on individual races, time trials, and drift challenges. Without any real single player structure, many felt the release wasn’t worth the wait, although connectivity with Gran Turismo 5 made it a great way to expand your console garage on the go.