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Since the launch of the Game Boy, no one has been able to best Nintendo when it comes to handheld gaming. But that hasn’t stopped companies from trying! Sony tried twice: first with the PlayStation Portable (PSP), then with the PlayStation Vita.
Neither system came close to challenging Nintendo, but both had plenty of great games. While PSP games are tough to get your hands on, plenty of Vita games are still available, and the system itself can be found cheap enough that you might want to buy a PlayStation Vita just to play some of these awesome titles.
1. Wipeout 2048
Every PlayStation system needs a Wipeout game, and the Vita is no exception. If you’ve never played one, think of Nintendo’s F-Zero series combined with Mario Kart-style power ups. The end result is a fantastic blend of speed and strategy.
As Tetris proved with the original Game Boy, a solid puzzle game can almost singlehandedly make a system worth buying. Lumines: Electronic Symphony doesn’t stray far from the formula that made the PSP original so additive, but especially with puzzle games, you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel.
Now that we’ve seen so many solid ports of games like Doom and Wolfenstein II on the Switch, playing an FPS on a handheld doesn’t seem strange. When Killzone: Mercenary, the fact that it was a good shooter on a handheld was shocking. If you love the Killzone series, this is a can’t miss.
With the release of its sequel, Spelunky Fever (that’s not a real condition) is back in effect. Why not hone your skills on the original before playing the devilishly difficult sequel? The Vita is a perfect place to do that.
Originally released late into the PlayStation 2’s lifetime, Odin Sphere was a fantastic game that not nearly enough people played. Looking to fix that issue, Atlus re-released the game with updated graphics and combat on the Vita and the PlayStation 4, but the handheld version is the one to play.
Even if you’re not into visual novels or the Phoenix Wright series, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is worth experiencing. The combination of visual novel storytelling and investigation along with the deadly circumstances make this game and its sequels surprisingly gripping.
It’s Metal Gear Solid 2: Guns of the Patriots and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in one package. That’s really all you need to know. Throw in handheld versions of the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 and it’s an even better package.
8. Gravity Rush
It’s not for everyone, but Gravity Rush is a unique experience that plenty of Vita owners fell in love with. A remaster of this gravity-defying adventure game was eventually released for the PlayStation 4, but the Vita original is still absolutely worth playing.
Persona 5 might be the current entry in the series, but there are still plenty of people who maintain that the previous entry in the series is the best. A lot of this comes down to personal preference, but no matter what, Persona 4 Golden is the best version of what was one of the best RPGs on the PlayStation 2. Play it.
What About PlayStation Portable?
While the Vita can play digital versions of PSP games, you won’t find any on this list. Why? Because we’ve already got another article dedicated to the PSP!
Got an old PSP that isn’t getting enough love? Be sure to check out our list of the best PlayStation Portable games ever made!