Sony clearly intended for the PlayStation Vita to sprint out of the starting blocks quicker than Usain Bolt when it deployed the system in February. It didn’t. But by launching the platform alongside a star-studded software line-up, at least it ensured that we had plenty to play on the train this year.

Best PlayStation Vita Game of 2012: Gravity Rush

Dazed and confused

An early standout in the PlayStation Vita’s very first software showreel, Gravity Rush delivered on its promise better than a fridge full of ingredients and a celebrity chef. Offering an eye-popping art style and an adventurous physics-based gameplay mechanic, the exciting exclusive successfully turned our worlds upside down when it was released in mid-June.

While the title could have benefited from a little more mission variety, soaring through the fictitious, floating city of Hekseville to the sound of twinkling harps and upbeat piano melodies delivered a unique experience, enhanced by its impressive use of the Vita’s remarkably accurate accelerometers.

The introduction of Kat really pushed Gravity Rush above its peers

And yet, for all of the release’s achievements in the gameplay department, it was the introduction of pert protagonist Kat that really pushed the portable adventure to the top of our game of the year poll. Witty, independent and armed with more one-liners than a joke book, the acrobatic heroine shot straight to the summit of PlayStation stardom.

“Gravity Rush is a rare gem,” we gushed in our review. “It's a game that defies expectations almost as frequently as the physical properties it’s built upon. A surreal narrative is complemented by genuinely ground-breaking gameplay mechanics, and while it’s not always flawless, it culminates in one of the most outstandingly original experiences of the year.”

Runner Up: LittleBigPlanet PS Vita

Touch arcade

Not all of Sony’s brands made the perfect transition from home console to handheld in 2012 – just ask Resistance: Burning Skies. But newcomers Tarsier and Double Eleven proved that ‘Play Create Share’ makes more sense on the move when it released LittleBigPlanet PS Vita in September.

Equipped with an arsenal of touch controls and some genuinely ingenious ideas – allowing budding creator curators to construct stages with save states is up there with Turkey Twizzlers as far as we’re concerned – Sackboy’s latest outing was one of the real standouts in the Vita’s exceptional opening year, and a shoe-in for a spot in our game of the year countdown.

Honourable Mentions: Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Sine Mora, Sound Shapes, Super Stardust Delta, WipEout 2048.

What was your favourite PlayStation Vita game of 2012? Do you agree with our winners? Let us know in the comments section below.