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Playstation Vita review. Gran turismo psp vita

Playstation Vita review

Look familiar? It should: that’s the Playstation Vita, Sony’s up-and-coming challenger to the mobile gaming throne. It’s made the rounds a few times before, from E3, to Tokyo Game Show, to San Francisco’s Vita Hill Social Club, and it even took an early pass through Engadget’s review gauntlet.- courtesy of the Land of the Rising Sun, of course. After a strong start in its homeland (followed by a quick holiday slump), the budding portable hit the books, brushed up on its English and barreled its way back into Engadget’s game room, demanding another review. And why not? We’re happy to oblige.

And here it is, an extremely familiar looking slab of plastic, glass and electronics that calls itself the North American 3G / Wi-Fi Playstation Vita. Sony’s new region-free tradition ensures that it won’t be too different than Japan’s native model, but we’re diving in for a more detailed look anyway. Read on for a peek at its content management system, backward compatibility, the particulars of its fancy new thumbsticks, the latest firmware update’s contribution to the platform and much more.

Pros

Cons

The Playstation Vita’s face is dominated by its luxuriously large 5-inch OLED display, and with good reason: this touchscreen not only pops with rich colors, crisp textures and deep blacks, but it’s also the user’s primary method of input outside of games. Yes, this gorgeous display is capacitive, and is responsive enough to make the 3DS’ resistive screen feel decidedly dated. The 960 x 544 panel boasts some fantastically wide viewing angles, to boot. We did encounter a hiccup or two with the touchscreen, though. After sucking the battery dry during Engadget’s requisite endurance tests, the rebooted handheld failed to respond to finger input. Things were right as rain after a hard reset, but we braced ourselves anyway.- the US release may have to ride the same bumps its Japanese counterpart hit late last year. (Note: shortly after the incident, our Vita was updated to system firmware 1.60, and as of this writing, the issue hasn’t returned.) Flanking either side of the screen are the unit’s primary physical controls, with a classic D-pad on the left, and the traditional Playstation triangle, circle, square and X buttons on the right. Each side also has its very own miniature thumbstick, situated above the port side’s Playstation “home” button and the starboard’s start and select buttons.

PSP veterans will find the Vita’s face buttons and directional pad a bit smaller than those of their old mashing grounds, though they don’t feel too petite. The tiny set of user-facing toggles favor the “clicky” depression style Nintendo integrated into the 3DS, rather than the poppy, soft-bottomed buttons found in Sony’s last-generation handheld, as well as the DualShock 3, Xbox 360 controller and classic gaming consoles of yore. Although we personally favor the slight mushiness of the classic controllers we were brought up with, the Vita’s buttons respond to a comfortably light touch, and are plenty responsive. The D-pad is different as well, joining the four islands of Sony’s traditional directional offering to form a single unified joypad. It’s smaller, and a little different than the Playstation norm, but it’s also less stiff than the PSP’s old D-pad, and rolls easily under the thumb.

adding one later or mimicking the original PSP’s layout, the Vita simply includes both analog sticks up front, giving the handheld controls reminiscent of its big brother, the PS3. The sticks have been shrunken significantly, however, and don’t have quite as much play as the joysticks that inspire them. Compared to a DualShock 3, these petite sticks don’t tilt as far from their center, but because they still offer an appropriate level of resistance to their size, it’s still possible to execute delicate maneuvers. The twin sticks also have a smaller turning radius than the 3DS’ solitary circle pad, but their height lends them a feeling of leverage that Nintendo’s handheld simply can’t emulate. Unfortunately, that height also makes them stick out of the handheld’s surface somewhat oddly, which returns us to an issue haunting the original PSP: portability.

Measuring 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (7.1 x.73 x 3.3 inches), the Vita’s pushing the edge of.friendly gaming. We haven’t had so much trouble getting a portable gaming system into our pants since the Sega Game Gear, though the Vita is of course smaller. A pair of large, “only around the house” cargo pants held the Vita just fine, but any pair of trousers worthy of wearing public will hug the handheld with an awkward and uncomfortable firmness. This is a portable console, not a able one, and prospective owners should plan on keeping it in their backpacks, suit jacket s or at home, on the nightstand. The 3G / Wi-Fi version of the handheld logs a respectable 9.8 ounces (279g), but it seems lighter. The same wide, long body that makes the Vita look heavy at first glance also distributes its weight evenly, creating the illusion of a featherlight handheld. Yes, it’s a hair heavier than the PSP 3000 and Nintendo’s latest, but not by enough that you’re likely notice the difference.

unofficially required) Playstation Vita memory card. The card looks remarkably similar to a MicroSD card, although it’s a bit wider, a bit thicker and significantly more expensive.- a 32 GB MicroSD card will set you back about 30, versus the 100 you’ll spend on Sony’s equivalent storage media. Thankfully, the Vita’s south side isn’t a completely Sony exclusive zone.-the headphone jack supports the 3.5mm standard.

The console’s backside is painted with hundreds of Sony-styled triangles, circles, squares and crosses, highlighting the console’s rear touchpad in between a pair of matte black grips. This new piece of hardware hopes to give players a smartphone-like interaction without crowding the screen with fingers.- an admirable goal, considering how well the Vita’s glossy exterior collects fingerprints. In our time with the handheld, we didn’t stray too far from our microfiber cloth; the console’s smooth surface is a magnet for oil, dust and assorted fibers just begging to be wiped away. The edges collect minor scratches quite easily, and proved vulnerable to scuffs even when we casually placed it on a wooden table. We’d definitely recommend a case for the exacting perfectionists out there. Meanwhile, the handheld’s back is headlined by the VGA rear-facing camera, but we’ll get to that (and its front-facing companion) later. Now that we’ve got a good feel for the machine, let’s see what it can do.

Blowing off the buttons is a bit of a bold move, but when the touch controls work this well, we really don’t mind.

The Vita’s smartphone-esque user interface hasn’t changed one bit since we first smudged it at San Francisco’s Vita Hill Social Club. Its staggered icons are still accounted for, as are the intuitive touch controls. And touch is indeed the name of the game; the menu won’t accept any input, save that of your capacitive-friendly digits. Blowing off the buttons is a bit of a bold move, but when the touch controls work this well, we really don’t mind. Navigation is simple and intuitive.- flicking north or south brings you through as many as ten pages of staggered icons, each representing an app, game or feature. Tapping an icon opens up a starboard path, allowing up to five open apps to trail to the home screen’s right. Scrolling horizontally allows you to mange these applications through their “LiveArea” screens. Here you’ll find a centered launch button, as well as various shortcuts peppering the screen.- these might take you to the camera’s photo album, for instance, or perhaps to a featured movie available for rent in the Playstation store. A diagonal swipe closes a LiveArea tile with an animated flourish, “peeling” the program off of the Vita‘s screen and effectively terminating the program.

Open applications headline the status bar at the top of the screen, and can be viewed in a cascading file view with a quick click of the Playstation button. Holding the button down produces a quick menu, allowing the user to adjust the screen’s brightness, manage music playback and fiddle with the chat and microphone settings. A long press on any of the Vita‘s home screens will allow you to rearrange the icons, delete programs and customize any specific page’s background with a new color scheme or an image from your photo gallery.

The Vita comes equipped with a small suite of apps, and most of them are pretty straightforward. Through Photos you can manage your images and control the Vita’s cameras (more on that below), while the Music and Videos apps allow you to organize and.- you guessed it.- play your music and videos. These three media applications all share the same general layout: categories, artists or items flow in a vertical list. We’ve seen prettier media apps, but these get the job done just fine.

There are also a few applications pertaining to Playstation Network that do the obvious. Group Messaging, Friends and Trophies all do exactly what you think.- that is, send PSN messages, organize your buddies and manage your Trophy data, respectively. The other shortcuts peppering the home screens are a bit more unique. Party, for instance, brings cross-game voice chat to the Vita, allowing friends to catch up using the Vita’s internal microphone and send each other chat messages and game invitations (you can thank the Vita’s extra RAM for that). Parties also monitor a user’s status, letting your pals know if you’ve started a game or left the room.

The Near app also hopes to strengthen social ties between Vita owners, although the execution is less intuitive than we’d hoped. Diving into the Vita’s online manual tells us that Near finds players in your area and exchanges play history data, in-game items and, if you allow it, usernames with local gamers. In practice, however, this is a bit more confusing; the app’s “out and about” menu does indeed find a smattering of local Vita owners, shown on a friendly looking radar-screen. From here we were able to view expanded information on a recently played game, including a “buzz rating,” the number of people playing and a map of emoticons detailing how players felt about the game. The application is interesting, to be sure, but far from straightforward; even after thumbing through the Near portion of the Vita’s manual, we found ourselves stumbling through the program, unsure what, exactly, to do with it. It seems like a more robust (or maybe just complicated) version of Street Pass on the 3DS, but in the end we just found it to be the Vita’s most muddled feature. We’re hoping it’ll make more sense as our local userbase fills out.

Sadly, the Vita’s web browser hasn’t improved one iota since we reviewed the Japanese model. It remains shockingly slow, struggling to render most websites at a respectable clip. It’s not that it doesn’t load pages fast.- it does.- it just doesn’t tolerate much navigation. Even after fully loading a page, scrolling and zooming in feels painful, if not stunted, and that’s true even if you’re returning to an area of the screen that had previously been drawn. Some pages fared better than others, however. Google, for instance, didn’t suffer any of the above maladies, nor did the mobile versions of Engadget, or any other watered-down site, really. In a pinch, the Vita’s web browser is serviceable, but any modern smartphone simply crushes it in terms of usability.- which is surprising, considering how smoothly the rest of the Vita’s applications run. Hopefully future updates will make up for the PSV’s clunky introduction to the world wide web.

Our review unit didn’t have Google Maps in tow when we first unboxed it, but firmware update 1.60 handily tacked it on. The Vita’s map app is relatively simple, tapping Google’s servers for traffic data, directions and satellite imagery. Zooming in and out or panning to a new section of the map usually causes the app to stutter, though it recovers faster than the web browser. It won’t replace your GPS, or even your PC’s Google Maps bookmark, but it’s a nice feature to have if you’re lugging around a 3G-enabled games console.

Content Management and backwards compatibility

The Vita‘s proprietary memory card won’t play nice with your laptop’s multi-card reader, so you’ll be loading media and backing up games with the help of Sony’s Content Manager Assistant, a piece of desktop software designed to help you, well, manage content. This is no iTunes, however: the PC / Mac GUI does little more than tell the Vita what folders it has permission to play with (the Vita itself browses the file system, selects content and initiates the data transfer). Cutting out the necessity of learning a separate desktop interface for data management keeps things easy, and creates a uniform experience that doesn’t change regardless of platform. In other words, backing up files and transferring data works exactly the same way with a PC / Vita pairing as it does with a PS3 / Vita setup. It keeps thing simple, with just two menus: copy content, or backup utility. The copy content section lets you pick and choose the files you copy from your handheld to your host device or visa versa, and the backup utility lets you backup your Vita, restore it from a backup, or delete your previously saved backup files altogether. Update: The Content Manager Assistant was made available to Mac OS users when the Vita was updated with firmware 1.60.

While the device-controlled environment is easy to use and refreshingly uniform, it has some drawbacks, mainly stemming from the very strengths we just mentioned. Ease of use comes with a consequence. By making the PC syncing experience identical to the one you’ll enjoy on the PS3, Sony abandoned the opportunity to build a more robust file management system on the desktop end. The Vita will only browse files located in a handful of pre-specified folders.- if the Content Manager Assistant isn’t assigned to the folder that contains the particular picture or video you want to transfer, your Vita isn’t going to find it.

Even then the Vita is only looking at certain types of files. It favors MP3, MP4 and WAVE audio files, likes its films in MPEG-4: SP (Level 3) and H.264 and plays nice most major image formats, including JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP and PNG. Knowing exactly what kind of game data will transfer, on the other hand, is a little less straightforward. Yes, the Vita has a degree of backward compatibility with its father handheld, but its love of last-generation games isn’t universal. Be it licensing issues or a fault of the Vita’s PSP emulation, a chunk of the Playstation Store’s PSP library, such as LittleBigPlanet and Killzone: Liberation, simply won’t run on the next-generation portable. These games won’t appear in the Playstation store when you’re browsing from the device itself, but you can still download them through the PS3. And in case you were wondering, no, the Content Manger isn’t a loophole to compatibility. Purchase with care, or live with the consequences.

augmented reality trick. If all this wasn’t enough, the Vita’s secondary thumbstick can be given the power to emulate the D-pad, face buttons or left analog stick. Bilinear filtering won’t make every game look better.- in fact, as far as we can tell it didn’t make any difference at all when applied to Mega Man Maverick Hunter X.- but it adds a caring touch to a passable PSP emulator.

Despite its modest collection of multimedia apps, the Playstation Vita is, first and foremost, a Playstation. A portable games console, out to claim its place as king among handheld gaming beasts. It would stand to reason, then, that the Playstation Vita has games. It does. Perhaps in response to the mistakes its competitors made, the Vita is hurtling towards launch day with a strong library of diverse launch titles.

Even Engadget’s resident Nintendo fanboys had to give Sony’s new portable props: these are by far the finest handheld console graphics we’ve ever seen. Still, it’s not perfect.- close ups of Nathan Drake’s shirt in Uncharted: Golden Abyss betrayed the games low-res textures, and a careful eye can see that some edges just aren’t as smooth as they would be on a home console. We didn’t expect anything else, of course. You aren’t going to give up your PS3 for the sake of the Vita’s graphical chops, but they’re still darn impressive.

Playstation Store

Although gamers around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief when Sony backed away from the PSP Go’s digital exclusivity, Sony is still gunning for a future of games untethered by physical media. Getting there will mean making digital purchases more convenient and more appealing than the alternative. The Vita’s Playstation store isn’t the solution, but it’s a start. The handheld shop’s main page is headlined with a rotating banner of featured content and four categories: featured, new releases, top downloads and all. Sony told us that more options are on the way, noting that game demos will start showing up after February 14th and that Netflix is due to arrive on the 21st. The default view, “All,” offers the choice of PS Vita games, PSP games, minis, media as well as the chance to search by genre.

Jumping in is a fairly smooth, if somewhat basic, experience.- we easily hopped into the Vita category to see a short, alphabetized list of titles available for download. The PSP and Minis sections didn’t stray too far from the formula, though here, the larger lists are further split various categories, arranged in alphabetical order. The Vita’s online shop suffers the same faults as its PS3 counterpart: it’s well organized, but no fun to use. While alphabetized games and clearly marked categories may make it easy to find the specific game you’re looking for, but it doesn’t make us want to just “look for games.” The over-organized structure makes it difficult to browse, and the scarcity of gameplay screenshots put casual shopping out of the question. The aforementioned “Near” app seems to lean heavily on discovering new games that are being played in your local area, but users (this reviewer included) who find the location based social sharing application confusing won’t find refuge here. The Vita’s incarnation of the Playstation store is no more engaging or creative than its big brother’s online shop, but at the very least it’s easier to navigate than its PS3 compadre, and for now, simpler as well.

Much like the Vita’s web browser, not much has changed about the handheld’s camera since its Japanese launch. Its rear-facing camera still whimpers with a maximum resolution of 640 x 480, often producing noisy images that skimp on detail. Swapping to the front-facing camera will frame the player’s mug at the very same resolution, though its lens’ off-center positing ensures they won’t be looking at the birdie. These shooters work well enough for games like Little Deviants to use for augmented reality mini-games, but the Vita won’t make you consider leaving your point-and-shoot camera (or even your cell phone camera) at home.

Still, firmware update 1.60 gave the camera a small kick in the pants, tacking video recording to the end of the list of things that the handheld’s camera is “sort of okay” at. Videos adopt the camera’s native resolution, keeping the same noisy grain and washed out colors that plague stills. It isn’t any worse off than the 3DS’ offering, but the Vita’s camera simply doesn’t measure up to the standard the rest of its hardware sets. A turn of the century camera phone, on the other hand, might be able to give it a run for its money.

Battery life

We already know better than to expect the Vita to pack enough juice to get us through an international (or even domestic) flight, but we couldn’t resist running it through a handful of battery tests anyway. Our first few power drains matched our review of the Japanese unit almost exactly.- three hours of dedicated gaming on the console’s default settings left our handheld dead. Dragging the Vita’s brightness slider down to its dimmest setting scored us another hour of playtime, and kicking the console into flight mode seemed to buy it another twenty minutes. We were able to game for a little longer in PSP mode, stretching the battery to nearly six hours of gameplay on the minimum brightness level with Wi-Fi and audio disabled. We were hoping to drag the handheld’s longevity out a bit further than this, but were unable to get the Vita off of the company line.- our game-heavy battery tests match the Vita’s official battery life estimates almost blow-for-blow. Three to five hours of gameplay.- it’s what Sony promised, and it’s what we got.

Sony seems to have made looser estimates for media playback, however. Although audio playback fell just a few minutes shy of the rated nine hours, our video test eclipsed the expected five-hour runtime by a full hour. Although the Vita’s six hours of video playback isn’t enough to make up for its other electrical shortcomings, we have to respect a device that can handle Gone with the Wind, complete with overture and intermissions, and still have enough juice left over for some light gaming. That’s an inflight experience we could get behind. Despite our love of Rhett Butler, though, we still feel a bit let down by the Vita’s longevity. At the very least, Sony’s aware of this shortcoming, and has already announced an external battery pack.

3G connectivity and remote play

limitations haven’t been exaggerated. The cellular connection will get the Vita logged into the Playstation network, browsing the web and even using on the go, but a 20-megabyte download restriction keeps the Playstation store from using the connectivity to its fullest potential. Gamers on the go jonesing for something new to play will either have to settle for a Playstation mini with a small data footprint, or return to the warm embrace of Wi-Fi. Users can still “Party” over 3G, albeit without cross-game voice chat, as well as view their friends list, update their trophy data and check in with Near. Games will still let players check their leaderboard ranking over 3G, but won’t let them climb any higher.- mobile multiplayer will have to wait for Sony to build an LTE PSV.

Sony’s Remote Play magic won’t work over 3G either, though we were able to pipe a PSone game through our local network just fine. The Vita currently supports the same list of Remote Play capable titles as the PSP, which mostly consists of simple PSN games, the home console’s music, photo and video menus, and the aforementioned PSone games. We tried to recreate Sony’s TGS Killzone 3 demo, but the Vita wouldn’t have it. Right now, it’s up to developers to activate Remote Play for their titles, and unless Sony decides to tweak the PS3’s firmware to say otherwise, that’s the way it’s going to stay. In the meantime, Bionic Commando Rearmed and Gran Turismo numero uno will have to do.

Wrap-up

performance-enhancing peripherals, the Playstation Vita won’t be getting you through long flights or cross-country road trips. For gamers spoiled by the endurance of the original PSP and DS systems, it’s a tough sell. In fact, the Wi-Fi edition’s 250 price tag might give gamers burned by the 3DS’ price-drop pause, to say nothing of the 50 premium they’ll pay for the 3G model.

Still, it’s hard to shake the Vita’s siren call: adopt early, it says, I’m worth it. As seductive as that call from the souped-up PSP successor is, its real song is its games.- if none of them resonate for you, you’d better stay bound to your mast through these Uncharted waters.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this review.

Review: Playstation Vita

Whether you consider it progress or a race to the bottom, Apple’s iOS platform is gobbling up the gaming market. Nintendo’s 3DS was far from perfect (read our review), leaving many looking to the Vita for gaming on the go. But is there a future for dedicated gaming devices? After a week with the Vita, Gizmag’s Tim Hanlon hopes so.

Hardware

Display

The first thing you’ll notice is the 5-inch OLED touchscreen with 960 × 544 resolution that clocks in at 220 pixels per inch (ppi). On paper, that might seem a fair way behind Apple’s Retina Display levels (326 ppi), but make no mistake. this is a big, bright, gorgeous screen. and counting pixels will be the last thing on your mind once you start playing.

Controls

If you haven’t been following the previews, the Vita is the first mainstream handheld to feature dual analog joysticks, a control setup which has been the console standard for over a decade, and was surprisingly absent from every model of the first-generation Playstation Portable (PSP).

The second joystick is essential for precise control of first- and third-person shooters, and is ultimately responsible for an entire subgenre of arcade games. the “twin-stick shooter” popularized by Geometry Wars (so it’s no surprise to see Super Stardust as a launch title).

Both joysticks are a major, welcome departure from the awkwardly-placed, hard plastic “nub” of the PSP. They’re placed closer to the middle of the Vita, and tilt like a console stick, albeit with less travel than you’d expect. There’s also a much softer feel to surface of the stick which is far more comfortable.

The four face buttons are on the small side, and feature a distinct click, very similar to the PSP Go. They’re placed so close to the right joystick that the particularly dextrous might be able to operate them both simultaneously with some practice.

The joysticks are joined by perhaps the best directional pad on a controller yet. Each direction has a tactile click as distinct as the face buttons, while being absolutely effortless to operate. It’s beautifully showcased by launch title Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (I think fans of fighting games in particular will adore it).

but it’s not all good. The shoulder buttons move around a bit, and can fail to give a tactile click depending on where you’re pressing them, and the awkwardly-placed start and select buttons make it more difficult to pause a game than it should be, which is unfortunate for a portable device.

Ergonomics

Surprisingly enough, the Vita is far more comfortable to hold and operate than any PSP model and any DualShock/Sixaxis controller for the Playstation (even if it is a little on the heavy side). It’s no Xbox 360 controller (the high water mark for controller ergonomics) but it’s a clear second. and that’s a mighty feat for a portable device.

Storage

There’s no storage on board the Vita, and your growing collection of SD and microSD cards won’t help. you’ll need to purchase a memory card in Sony’s new proprietary format that is designed specifically for the Vita.

The cards are available for USD20 for 4 GB, 30 for 8 GB, 60 for 16 GB and 100 for 32 GB. While some are complaining about the cost of the memory cards, it could certainly be a lot worse (witness what Apple charges for extra memory in an unexpandable iPhone).

I’d recommend you get at least a 16 GB memory card, and consider the 32 GB if you’re a game hoarder. I filled an 8 GB card within a few days, though I already had an couple of digital PSP titles to install and was a little trigger happy on the Playstation Store.

Battery life

Battery life is admittedly the Achilles’ heel of the Vita, but it’s not as bad as many are making it out to be. With Bluetooth turned off, I’m getting at least five hours of solid gaming out of a charge.

I wish I could be a bit more scientific about this one, but the Vita won’t give a percentage reading from the battery, and it can tell when I’ve wedged down a button or joystick and eventually puts itself to sleep.

There are first- and third-party battery packs in the pipeline, but any battery packs that support the iPad (like the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation) should do the trick in the meantime.

Build quality

After four revisions of the PSP (five if you count the PSP Go) you’d expect Sony to be pretty good at making portables. and the Vita doesn’t disappoint. There’s no creaking plastic or “give” anywhere, and the controls all feel like they’re built to last.

Competing with the PS3

One interesting omission from the Vita is the lack of a TV output, which was in the original PSP. When you see the quality of the games running on the Vita you can see why. Sony knows that the Vita would be competing head on with the PS3, which unlike the Vita, can be sold at a profit. Hopefully there’s some serious discussion happening at Sony about eventually unifying the Playstation and the Vita.

Software

The Vita features one of the strongest launch lineups I can think of. You should be able to find at least two games that you enjoy, regardless of your gaming taste. Stay tuned for my list of the essential PS Vita games, which will be published in the next few days.

All “full-length” Vita titles will be available on physical media or as a download from the Playstation Network, generally weighing between 1 GB and 4 GB. Like the Playstation 3, there are download-only titles available from the Playstation Network.

I grabbed two of the downloadable titles, Super Stardust Delta and Motorstorm RC, which are both brilliant. with a no-brainer price (9.99) and gameplay that’s conducive to a quick five or ten minute session. Motorstorm RC will even play on your PS3, which is something I hope we see a lot more of in the future.

If you already own digital versions of PSP games, many of these can be installed on the PS Vita (the number stands at over 275 according to Sony). and I’m finding Gran Turismo far more enjoyable on the Vita than my PSP Slim thanks to the improved controls.

When you take into account the large back catalog of downloadable PSP games and PSP minis, Sony has the start of something that could viably compete with Apple’s iOS devices and the App Store. With aggressive discounts of the PSP catalog (like the existing 50 percent off the Grand Theft Auto games), continued courting of popular iOS developers, and an initiative to build a library of downloadable Vita games in the sub-5 range (including free games supported by ads or in-game purchases), the Vita will become infinitely more appealing to the people outside the core gamer set.

You can use a computer (PC or Mac) or a PS3 as a master library for all your Vita games and other content, so it’s easy to just keep what you’re actively playing on your Vita’s memory card.

Conclusion

I adore this thing, and urge anyone who plays games to go and have a play with one at a store. Even if you decide to wait for a price drop, a bigger library of games, or a hardware revision, playing the Vita is like a little glimpse of the future that’s worth experiencing.

The 25 best PSP games of all time

The best PSP games reflect just how ahead of the game Sony was in 2004. Going up against Nintendo’s 3DS was never going to be easy for the manufacturer, although it had faced stiffer odds in the home console market years before. With its multimedia UMD cartridges and a selection of fantastic launch games, including Lumines and Metal Gear Acid, the PSP steadily transformed the commute for any player who was willing to take a gamble on this portable powerhouse.

Over the years, the PSP carved out its own space in the handheld scene. Its beautiful screen and impressive tech specs ensured the system became the home for any player wanting to play AAA-quality games on the move. But there was more to the PSP than blockbuster games, with the console boasting a library of quietly innovative experiences that couldn’t be found anywhere else. So keep on scrolling for our pick of the 25 best PSP games of all-time.

For more definitive rankings of Sony Playstation games throughout the years:

Half-Minute Hero

Developer: Marvelous Entertainment Released: 2009

Got a minute? How about half? Good, because that’s all the time you get to save the whole dang world. Developed by Marvelous Entertainment, Half-Minute Hero turns standard RPG conventions on their head by holding players to a 30-second time limit in which they must battle fiends and build up their powers in order to save the world. Luckily, that timer can be reset, and the fun comes in using each groundhog day scenario to push forward towards greater enemies, acquire better gear, and become generally better at kicking ass in thirty seconds or less. Half-Minute Hero is a game that tries its damndest to defy categorization, but you won’t have time to care what it is.

Killzone: Liberation

Developer: Guerrilla Games Released: 2006

For a game that deals in death and destruction, Killzone: Liberation remains not only one of the most polished and prettiest games on the PSP, but it’s arguably the best Killzone game ever made. Liberation swaps the FPS vantage point for a top-down isometric view that rewards fast trigger fingers as much as tactical thinking. The game is also tough, training players to think before they shoot and perfect their approach in every mission. Rather than a glut of weapons and upgrades with no perceivable benefits, a huge assortment of tech and skills will keep you constantly reconsidering what the best way to play is. With the addition of one of PSP’s most robust ad-hoc multiplayer modes, Liberation is truly one of the PSP’s killer apps.

Jeanne d’Arc

Developer: Level-5 Released: 2006

Why Level-5 felt obliged to rewrite Joan of Arc’s history instead of creating a French heroine of their own is beyond us. But no matter, because this magical, demon-fighting version of the historical figure does a fine job of leading one of the deepest and most creative tactical role-playing game on the system. Like Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics, Jeanne D’Arc sees players taking on battles throughout an overworld map, collecting new team members and leveling their teams along the way. Innovative choices like using skills stones over classes, or setting time limits for each battle give Jeanne D’Arc a play style all its own, while the anime presentation and swift-yet-complex battles do their part to hoist it above others in the genre.

Secret Agent Clank

Developer: High Impact Games Released: 2008

The name’s XJ-0461. Clank XJ-0461. Remember it, because if you’re in the mood for a cool and efficient Ratchet and Clank spin-off, you can call on Secret Agent Clank to handle the job. Clank pulls off this solo adventure with class, blending traditional Ratchet and Clank gameplay with a nice variety of 3D platforming diversions. You’ll speed through vehicle levels, lord over Gadgebot objectives, play out Quark’s exaggerated memories, and even blast away foes with Ratchet. With numerous gadgets and outlandish weapons at his disposal, and familiar friends to fill in the gaps, Clank’s spin-off comes fully-loaded with the series’ trademark creativity and polish.

Every Extend Extra

Developer: Q Entertainment Released: 2006

Screenshots don’t do Every Extend Extra justice, as it’s easy to dismiss Q Entertainment’s shoot-’em-up as a colorful mess. Spend time learning the ropes and wrapping your head (and eyes) around the explosive gameplay, however, and Every Extend Extra will leave you star-struck. The mission is straightforward: detonate a ship to set off chain reactions and keep doing so until each main boss is destroyed. It’s learning how to detonate strategically and when to risk it all for power-ups that make each level a hybrid of twitch gaming and puzzle solving. What’s more, each stage features new enemies, backgrounds, and music composed by Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez, Lumines), making Every Extend Extra a game that always has something new coming up in its playlist.

Ys Seven

Developer: Nihon Falcom Released: 2009

Seven was indeed a lucky number for Nihon Falcom’s action RPG franchise. Ys Seven represents an evolution of the series, evolving Ys’ 2D sprites and environments into a full 3D adventure with new party members to discover, new systems to fine tune, and fresh new ways in which to dispatch justice in Altago. You’d think a 30 hour RPG would wear out its welcome on a portable system, but Ys Seven’s satisfying combat, rich world, and fascinating storyline keeps the quest feeling lively and fresh.

Mega Man Powered Up

Developer: Capcom Released: 2006

Mega Man Powered Up is not just a remake of the original NES game. It earns its place here by drawing from the series’ humble beginnings and reimagining them with cutesy new graphics, two new levels, and modes of play that let you swap Mega Man for one of his robotic bosses. Think of it like The Muppet Babies if the Muppet Babies were constantly blowing each other up to snatch their abilities from each other. If that weren’t enough to keep old school fans busy, it comes with a level editor and the ability to share player-created Mega Man stages with the world.

Ape Escape: On the Loose

Developer: Japan Studio Released: 2005

Ape Escape: On the Loose is a pristine, thoughtful remake of the PS1 original with upgraded graphics and a smattering of new monkey-themed minigames. The translation isn’t perfect, and the controls miss something without the second analog stick, but the game’s mix of platforming challenges, gadgetry, and charm overshadows these few complains. Ape wrangling is messy work, after all, but in the end it’s worth it.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Developer: Square Enix Released: 2010

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep would have been easy to turn into a quick cash-in; a portable Kingdom Hearts to milk fans perpetually waiting for a proper sequel. Instead Square made one of the most important games in the series, filling out the strange world’s lore with the same level of care and ambition as other titles in the series such as the epic Kingdom Hearts 2. Long before Kingdom Hearts 3 was announced for Playstation 4 and Xbox One, this was the closest thing everyone thought we would get to a third full game. Heroes Terra, Aqua, and Ventus make for a disorienting shift from Sora, but the game’s Command Deck and D-Link combat mechanics help to keep the adventure moving with fast, fluid, and surprisingly deep enemy encounters. It only takes a few visits to familiar Disney locales to ease back into the Kingdom Hearts vibe.

Gran Turismo PSP

Developer: Polyphony Digital Released: 2009

Gran Turismo PSP is a title that had no business looking and playing as good as it did on the PSP. Polyphony Digital barely took its foot off the pedal when creating an exclusive GT experience for Sony’s portable, and the result is a standalone title that purrs. No doubt, GT is great to look at, but it also packs a lot under its hood. With over 800 cars, 35 tracks, and 60fps of raw racing performance, it makes up for its lack of a traditional career mode or some of the deeper customization you’ll find elsewhere in the series. Plus, GT PSP’s ad-hoc vehicle sharing and one-off multiplayer races are a nice touch.

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy

Developer: Square Enix Released: 2011

The first Dissidia Final Fantasy may have turned the fan service up, but this sequel cranks its love for FF to 11. er. 012. um. it cranks it up to Duodecim. Designed as a prequel to the first Dissidia, Dissidia 012 mixes standard JRPG mechanics with flashy, high-octane one-on-one fighting game mechanics. It also tweaks a few balance issues from the first game and brings nine new FF characters into the fold. This is explicitly an FF fan’s delight but there’s plenty for newcomers to cling to in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy thanks to its theatrical antics.

Persona 3 Portable

Developer: Atlus Released: 2009

What’s amazing about this PSP adaptation of the PS2’s Persona 3 is how fresh and different it feels in the transition to handheld. In optimizing the overworld for quick-and-easy exploration and shifting the main character’s perspective from male to female, the overall tone of the story is changed, giving even old fans something new to latch on to. Impactful tweaks like these make the PSP version of this JRPG worthy of attention, but its biggest strength is the unchanged dungeon crawling that’s peerless in the RPG Canon. The only thing that matches it is Persona 4 Golden on PS Vita.

LocoRoco 2

Developer: Japan Studio Released: 2008

LocoRoco 2 is impossible to hate. Go on, try. After just a few minutes with Japan Studio’s painfully cute platform puzzler, you too will be singing along with the titular blobs and spending every extra second digging into their rich, colorful world. Everything that made LocoRoco an innovative hit returns in this sequel, including the game’s trademark tilt-a-world mechanic that takes a moment to learn and multiple playthroughs to master. And you’ll want to become an expert at rolling, bumping, and squishing LocoRocos through their environments too if you hope to collect all of the game’s secrets and bonus missions. Don’t let the Saturday morning cartoon vibe turn you off. LocoRoco 2 is as challenging as it is charming and as devious as it is cute.

Valkyria Chronicles 2

Developer: Sega Released: 2010

There was fear this portable sequel to PS3’s Valkyria Chronicles would rob the series of its breadth and depth, but Sega handles the transition like a champ. Valkyria Chronicles II picks up Avan Hardin’s story without missing a step, setting you on a path through the Lanseal Royal Military Academy that will see you navigating conflicts both on and off the battlefield that feel just as complex and satisfying as before. After spending countless hours managing troops, customizing vehicles, and perfecting your strategy in the war for Gallia, it’ll become clear that this handheld Valkyria Chronicles entry can hold its own.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

Developer: Square Enix Released: 2007

As an updated remake of Final Fantasy Tactics from the first Playstation console, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions extends the tactical role-playing goodness with new characters, jobs, and cutscenes which give even veterans of the original motivation to head back into the fray. If you don’t get lost in the labyrinthine plot, you’ll spend days tinkering with your army and perfecting your strategy in the field. As in the original, the game isn’t kind to beginners; but those who spend time learning its inner workings will no doubt find themselves dedicated to the cause.

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles

Developer: Konami Released: 2007

For years, Dracula X: Rondo of Blood was considered a lost holy grail in the Castlevania series trapped as a rare, Japan-only exclusive for the Turbo-Grafx 16 CD. Then came Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, packaging not just this 2.5D remake of Rondo, but the original and an updated version of Playstation 1’s legendary Symphony of the Night. The whole package is a blood-stamped love letter to fans, loaded with weird characters and a shiny new Boss Mode. To this day, it remains one of the best games in the series.

Power Stone Collection

Developer: Capcom Released: 2006

Forgetting the fact this compilation offers two games in one (Power Stone and Power Stone 2), Power Stone made 3D multiplayer brawling cool long before those fancy Playstation All-Stars came onto the scene. The game delivers a whole stack of playable combatants, all of whom light up the arenas with slick, explosive action. The decision to bring the formerly Dreamcast-exclusive Power Stone series to Sony’s PSP was an inspired choice, not just because the handheld was an ideal venue for quick, pick-up-and-play arcade action, but because it demonstrated how the PSP could give lesser-known series a second chance. In many ways, the PSP is the Dreamcast of portables. a misunderstood venue for brilliant, off-beat game making.

Monster Hunter Freedom

Developer: Capcom Released: 2005

Monster Hunter Freedom demands the best from you. It requires cunning, patience, the ability to take a beating, and the willingness to return for more. For those willing to tackle its challenge, however, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences on the PSP. Taking its lead from Monster Hunter G, Freedom is a massive monster-hunting game full of prey who will put your warrior through hell and back. You can try mashing your way through early-game bounties, but bigger enemies require experimentation and expert planning. That said, the genius of Monster Hunter Freedom is you’ll want to keep trying, not just to reap the in-game rewards, but to soak in that rare sense of accomplishment you only get from looking genuinely tough foes in the face and living to tell the tale. This game made MonHun an international treasure.

Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core

Developer: Square Enix Released: 2007

Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core returns fans to one of the most iconic gaming realms in a way that feels right on a handheld platform. There’s still plenty of opportunities to kick around with Zack and other FF7 familiars, but the short-burst missions do away with time-consuming RPG tropes and let you hack away at the meaty adventure at your own pace. Even the slot-machine feature (memorably dubbed Digital Mind Wave) keeps the action humming and injects a sense of luck and surprise into every encounter. It may operate differently than what we were used to, but Crisis Core keeps the FF7 components intact while delivering a fresh spin on a classic tale. This was one of the first big projects by Hajime Tabata, who went on to direct the big series with Final Fantasy 15.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Developer: Rockstar Released: 2006

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (VCS) isn’t the first portable GTA spin-off, but it’s the most polished of its kind in the PSP roster. A prequel to PS2’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, VCS pushes the PSP in all the right places to bring the Grand Theft Auto world to life in ways that seem impossible for the technologically limited PSP. This was thanks in part to a new game engine, resulting in a cleaner, more visually arresting handheld Grand Theft Auto. Even in the post-GTA Online world, it stands as a technical and creative achievement.

Patapon 3

Developer: Pyramid Released: 2011

What you do in this bizarre, PSP-exclusive series is hard to describe without using the word Patapon itself. It’s a game that marches to the beat of its own drum, borrowing notes of the rhythm game genre to compose a unique tune all its own. It’s like Lemmings meets Elite Beat Agents. Or LocoRoco meets Donkey Konga. See? Hard. With Patapon 3, the developer Pyramid perfects its formula. Once again, the game challenges you to lead an army of Patapons to victory against the Seven Evil Archfiends by tapping out drum beats to control their actions. The controls are more intuitive, the visuals are more varied, and the multiplayer adds a whole new dimension to the Patapons’ quest. It’s a sequel that layers improvements on top of nearly every aspect of the game without missing a beat.

Daxter

Developer: Ready at Dawn Released: 2006

Daxter is the spin-off to the Jak Daxter PS2 series you never realized was possible. Taking place at the beginning of Jak 2, Ready at Dawn’s offbeat open-world platformer/shooter chronicles the adventures of wisecracking ocelot Daxter as he attempts to save his buddy Jak from the clutches of Baron Praxis. If you’ve never played a Jak Daxter game before (shame on you), then that sentence might as well be gibberish to your ears, making this an experience catered to franchise fans above all else. Still, the visual and gameplay fidelity of Daxter on such a teensy, portable console was mega impressive at the time, and the title still holds up today as a big, premium action-adventure with a tonally consistent story deserving of the Jak Daxter branding. There’s action, drama, laughs, boss fights, LAN multiplayer, mini-games, collectibles and much more to be enjoyed in Daxter, making it an absolute must-play for the PSP enthusiast.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Developer: Ready at Dawn Released: 2010

Ready at Dawn and SCE Santa Monica Studio captured Zeus’ lightning in a bottle when they crammed the God of War series into Sony’s handheld. God of War: Chains of Olympus was an impressive achievement, but Ghost of Sparta surpassed it with an adventure that is slick and gorgeous. Following Kratos’ search for his brother Deimos, Ghost of Sparta is essential for followers of the series Canon. And while it doesn’t rise to the same scale as its console siblings, it comes damn close while showing off a few new moves along the way. By the time you plumb the depths of Atlantis, swim the River of Lament, and tear a swath through the Domain of Death, you’ll feel as if you’ve survived an authentic Greek myth.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Developer: Kojima Productions Released: 2010

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker captures the blockbuster feel of its console comrades in a way that make us wonder if Hideo Kojima secretly upgraded our PSPs. The insane plot, mounds of bonus content, and the obsessive army building later used in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain keeps you rapt the entire 30-hour runtime. Yes, thirty. The action mixes classic Snake ass-kickery with deep squad management that sees you tweaking the ins and outs of Mother Base while training Militaires Sans Frontieres for deployment in missions. Combined with the multiplayer co-ops and versus ops modes, these elements make Peace Walker feel like it’s about to burst out of its UMD at any moment. But then, Snake is never one for staying within bounds to begin with.

Lumines: Puzzle Fusion

Developer: Q Entertainment Released: 2004

Lumines is timeless. Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s psychedelic puzzler scratches our synesthesia itch by using light and sound in ways that make every round feel as fresh and exciting as the last even more than a decade after its release. Lumines turns block-matching into art, changing the landscape with every skin and evolving a well-worn concept into a trippy, tub-thumping, zen-like vacation for the senses. It says a lot that a PSP launch title remains its crowning achievement, but it only takes a few rounds with this musical prodigy to understand why. While it’s had sequels on PS3, PS Vita, even iOS and Android, the PSP original is still the best.

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The 50 Best PS1 Games Ever Created

The original Playstation, or PS1, sold a whopping 102.4 million units since its release in 1994. With an estimated 7,918 titles available for the console, which Playstation games are considered the best?

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What are the best PS1 games ever created?

Created to compete against the Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn, the release of the original Playstation heralded Sony’s rise to prominence in the video game industry.

Throughout its lifespan, 7,918 Playstation games were released for the console, and many were stand-out successes that fans fell in love with.

However, some of these games were markedly more memorable than the others and stand out even today as some of the best ever created.

The Best PS1 Games Ever Created

Our ranked lists are created by researching and rounding up information from the most reputable web sources.

If you enjoy this list, don’t forget to check out our other Playstation game lists:

Here’s our list of the 50 best PS1 games ever created:

Dead or Alive

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The first game in the Dead or Alive series was first released as an arcade game before being ported to the Sega Saturn in Japan and the original Playstation across the globe.

Taking a lot of inspiration from Virtua Fighter, this game had an incredible fighting system, advanced graphics, and memorable characters.

Fans of the latest release, Dead or Alive 6, have this title to thank for kicking the entire franchise off.

Syphon Filter 3

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As a third-person stealth shooter, this game was a PS1 exclusive, and it received a lot of solid praise when it was released.

While not the most critically acclaimed game, players loved it for its complex storyline, graphics, and wide selection of mission types.

Parasite Eve II

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As an action RPG melded with horror and survival, fans couldn’t get enough.

Although critics didn’t like that the controls were a bit outdated, this didn’t hold back players.

The story, general gameplay, and ability to unlock harder tasks made it one of the best and most challenging games on the PS1.

Final Fantasy Anthology

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Released in 1999, this anthology included Final Fantasy V and VI.

Instead of just a compilation of these two games, each had several changes, including CGI openings, access to concept art, a cinematics theater, a bestiary, and more.

Although the slow load times were criticized by fans, seeing as some modern games still struggle with this issue, it hardly overshadows the greatness of these games.

Brave Fencer Musashi

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This action RPG included real-time combat and a well-designed 3D environment. It followed Musashi, a swordsman tasked with defending a parallel world from an invading empire.

Praised highly for its graphics and action elements, this game also came with several fun minigames and puzzles that players had to beat to advance the plot.

Breath of Fire IV

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An RPG created by gaming titan Capcom, Breath of Fire IV follows the story of Ryu, a man with the ability to transform into a dragon.

Similar to Breath of Fire III, this installment uses both 2D and 3D graphics, along with turn-based combat.

Upon release, it was well-received in the West, with critics and fans praising its game design and beautiful soundtrack.

Alundra

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Developed by Matrix as an action-adventure game, Alundra followed the main character of the same name, who develops the power to enter people’s dreams.

While the story itself was fascinating and fresh, the gameplay, puzzles, platforming, and emphasis on exploration helped make this game even more exceptional.

Having earned critical acclaim upon release, it even earned a sequel released in 1999.

Spider-Man

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Based on one of the most popular Marvel characters, this game was originally published for the PS1 but later ported to numerous other consoles, including the N64 and Game Boy Color.

The action follows the adventures of our Spider-Man as he tries to clear his name after a doppelganger frames him. This title includes many of Spidy’s most recognizable villains, as well as narration from the one and only Stan Lee.

Gran Turismo

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Originally released under the title Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator in Europe and Japan, this game was one of the highest-rated racing games released for the PS1.

Selling 10.85 million copies across the globe and spawning ten spin-offs and sequel games, Gran Turismo was an incredible commercial hit, and the numerous awards it won further prove just how incredible this game was.

Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins

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Bringing back Rikimaru and Ayame from the first game, this prequel shows their early lives and how they became Ninja Masters.

This title requires a lot of stealth and challenges players to take out enemies without being seen.

While not the highest-rated game by critics, it was still the sixth-highest selling title when it was released and is consistently considered to be one of the best ps1 games ever created.

Ace Combat 2

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For players looking to live out their dreams of being fighter pilots, this sequel to Air Combat was a must-have.

With a selection of 24 different jets and 21 exciting missions, this game was exceptionally challenging and made players feel the heat when it came to getting into the cockpit.

Metal Slug X

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After being ported to the PS1, this run and gun game was immediately embraced by players.

Not only did it have a lot of fantastic levels, but it had a lot of upgrades when compared to Metal Slug 2. These included stages that included time of day changes, less slowdown, more power-ups, more action, and brand-new enemies throughout levels.

Medal of Honor: Underground

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In the second installment in the Medal of Honor series, this first-person shooter tossed players into the thick of 1940, when Germany occupied France.

While the Game Boy Advance version of this game didn’t receive as warm a reception, on the PS1 it was hailed as one of the best shooting games on the console.

Ridge Racer Type 4

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The last Ridge Racer title to be made for the PS1, but also one of the best.

Praised for being fast and addictive, this game gave players the ability to unlock a massive library of 320 cars in total, which was absolutely incredible at the time, and many players wanted to collect them all.

Final Fantasy VIII

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Final Fantasy games are staples of almost every console, and the 8th game in this series contains some of the best turn-based battles and most compelling plotlines of any in the franchise.

When it was released, it was simply stunning, and it pulled out all the stops that fans of the series have come to love.

Syphon Filter

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As a Playstation exclusive, this third-person shooter was one of the best spy games to be released on the console.

With high stakes, puzzle-solving, and an incredibly compelling story, Syphon Filter was universally acclaimed, and it earned several sequels and spin-offs due to its success.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

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This game was one of the most gore-heavy on the PS1, and it definitely wasn’t for the faint of heart.

When it was released, it received some of the highest praise of any game of the time, and fans immediately fell in love with how engrossing the characters and story were.

Featuring everything a great survival horror game needs, this game was so well-loved that it even earned a remake released in 2020.

Medal of Honor

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With a story created by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg, this was the first in the Medal of Honor series, and fans of shooters instantly latched onto it.

Another game on this list that critics acclaimed, MoH, featured some of the most engaging gameplay in any FPS, and even today it holds up as one of the best games of all time for the PS1.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

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Set in a 3D environment with the best punk, ska, and rock mixed soundtrack, this game was iconic.

With several of the most popular skateboarders to control, numerous tricks, several gameplay modes, and multiplayer co-op mode, Pro Skater really gave players a chance to channel their inner Tony Hawk.

Wipeout XL

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This futuristic racing game was the second game in the Wipeout series, and it served as a direct sequel to the original.

Building on the foundation of the first, this title featured faster and more competitive races, a new damage system, and brand-new tracks and new weapons.

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

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A game that is still a cult classic today, this RPG was created as a remake of Lunar: The Silver Star.

As an updated game for the PS1, it featured new scenarios and a larger cast of new characters without compromising the original storyline.

Arc the Lad Collection

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A compilation of the Arc the Lad trilogy, fans of the series were happy to get all these games within one collection, including the Arc Arena Monster Tournament and a Making of Arc the Lad documentary.

With each game building upon the last but featuring different characters as leads, getting them all in one collection made playing all of them sequentially much easier.

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee

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Oddworld, developed by the company Oddworld Inhabitants, was certainly an odd game. However, it was also one of the most enjoyable to play.

As a cinematic platformer, critics praised it for its incredible art, gameplay, and engaging cutscenes. While the learning curve for the controls was a bit steep, it did little to take away from how fun this title was to play.

Dino Crisis 2

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Developed by Capcom, this action-adventure title was the second game in the Dino Crisis series, and it sees Regina return as one of the main characters.

If you’d ever wanted to take on dinosaurs like a hunter on holiday in Jurassic Park, this was your go-to game.

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

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A sequel to Lunar: The Silver Star, Eternal Blue featured more extensive voice acting and more intricate cutscenes.

Taking place 1,000 years after the events of the first game, it contained some of the most memorable characters in the series. Since being released, it has amassed a dedicated fan base.

This game is so beloved that even today there are folks petitioning to have Lunar 3 created.

Tenchu: Stealth Assassins

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One of the best stealth games on the PS1, it follows Rikimaru and Ayame as they complete ninja missions across Japan.

The main goal of the game is to complete tasks without being seen or detected, which is much easier said than done.

Although Sony didn’t originally plan to release this game outside of Japan, Activision was impressed enough to petition for the rights and release it in the West.

It’s hard to believe that we almost missed out on this incredible game.

Einhander

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This side-scrolling shooter is named after a type of one-handed sword, and it refers to the manipulator’s arm that the player’s spacecraft has.

Although the story is based on Greek mythology, it takes place during a war between the Moon and the Earth.

Both fans and critics enjoyed this game when it was released, and even the soundtrack was praised for just how incredible it was.

Wipeout 3

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Between the graphics, music, and minimalist design, there was a lot to love in this racing game.

While it wasn’t an incredible commercial success, fans of the series had a lot of love for this game, and the high level of difficulty that some tracks provided made for hours of fun trying to beat them.

Mega Man X5

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Another great game created by Capcom, this was the fifth game in the Mega Man X series, and it was meant to be the final game. (Spoiler: It wasn’t.) But, it does have a feeling of finality to it that makes it stand out.

Although it received many positive reviews, some felt that it didn’t deviate enough from the previous games. However, fans didn’t complain because the gameplay and characters were already a winning combination.

Valkyrie Profile

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With a strong influence from Norse mythology, Valkyrie Profile has some of the most inventive gameplay to debut on the PS1.

Positively received by critics and fans, the writing, plot, and characterization were particularly singled out for being some of the best in any PS1 game ever created.

The Legend of Dragoon

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Not only was The Legend of Dragoon’s soundtrack incredible, but the monsters and characters were outstanding for an RPG.

No cost was cut when creating this game, and the developers spent three years and 16 million making it the best it could be. Fortunately, this was money well spent, as this game certainly earned a place as one of the greatest PS1 games ever created.

Silent Hill

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Silent Hill takes the horror survival genre and dials it up to 10. It also features possibly some of the creepiest characters ever created.

The popularity of this game — and the whole series — has only grown stronger. With the 2006 film, an influx of fans was seen as people wanted to experience the horror for themselves.

Overall, this is one PS1 game that has exploded into the mainstream to be one of the biggest and most popular series of all time.

Final Fantasy Chronicles

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A compilation of Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger, this game was incredibly well received by both players and critics, and it helped to bring these classics to a new generation of gamers.

It also features several bonuses, such as additional cut scenes, art galleries, and a full bestiary.

Upon release, this game was hailed as a must-buy, and it became an immediate commercial success.

Spyro: Year of the Dragon

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The last Spyro game developed by Insomniac Games, this title received critical acclaim and sold more than three million units worldwide.

This game expanded its environments, included more detailed graphics, and introduced additional player characters known as critters, which could be unlocked throughout the game.

As a Spyro game, it was by far one of the best, and fans still hold it in high regard.

Parasite Eve

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We’ve seen the sequel further up on this list, but the original takes the 16th spot.

Created as a follow-up to the novel of the same name, this game follows an NYC officer as she attempts to stop Eve, a woman bent on destroying the human race.

Fast-paced with cinematic graphics and a well-written, if linear, plot, critics and fans loved Parasite Eve for its astonishing detail and exquisite backdrops.

Crash Team Racing

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This title is the only one that comes even remotely close to matching the excitement of Mario Kart.

Featuring 15 of the most popular characters from Crash Bandicoot, players can choose from five different modes and 16 tracks, along with loads of unlockable content that can be earned by processing through the game.

Although not a critical success, fans still loved this game, and it still stands out as one of the best.

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped

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Speaking of Crash, this game was one of the best on the PS1, and the music alone instantly set the mood for a good time.

As the first-ever non-Japanese created game to hit one million sales in Japan, Warped was something truly special. Once you started playing it, it was hard to put down.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

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Set after the first game in the series, Blood Omen, this game followed Raziel along a plot so complex that even Game of Thrones looks straightforward compared to it.

It fit right in alongside other titles like Castlevania, and as a third-person horror platformer, it was one of the best — and critics agreed.

Vagrant Story

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As an action-adventure game, Vagrant Story is wholly unique in that it doesn’t feature shops or even interaction with any NPCs. Instead, players FOCUS on weapons, weapon customization, and puzzles.

For the month it was released, this game was the fifth best-selling title, and although it quickly was overshadowed by other titles like Chrono Cross, it definitely was a game worth picking up.

Gran Turismo 2

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Building off the smash hit that was the first game, Gran Turismo 2 is often considered one of the best PS1 games ever created.

With more cars — 650, to be exact — and 27 tracks, this game was high-octane, pulse-racing, and absolutely addicting from day one.

Final Fantasy IX

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This Final Fantasy game embodied everything good about the series and combined it into one hell of a great game.

With a top-down perspective, fantastic monsters and enemies, and a whole load of secrets to learn, this game had everything that fans of the series could hope for and more.

Final Fantasy Tactics

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It should be no surprise that a franchise that still ranks high on modern consoles holds so many spots on this list.

However, this tactical role-playing game is such a cult classic we couldn’t not give it the attention it deserves.

Featuring two gameplay modes, with battles taking place on a 3D isometric field, this game was as challenging as it was fun, and it could take some serious thought to get through it.

Thankfully, the soundtrack was so good that even if you were losing, it was still a great experience.

Resident Evil

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The game that began it all.

While Resident Evil: Village has been taking the world by storm in modern times, this series is no stranger to the hype with the strong foundation that the first laid out.

With zombie bad guys swarming across Raccoon City, the dark and gritty feeling of this game immediately set the scene, and the story sucked you in and had you coming back for more.

Final Fantasy VII

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As the 7th game in the series, it sets the stage with a science fiction theme that hadn’t been seen in the franchise before.

Featuring a massive map and engaging battle screen where you could take down your enemies, this is often considered one of the best PS1 games ever created, and fans of Cloud Strife particularly enjoyed it.

A remake of this game for the PlayStation 4 was also one of the most highly anticipated Playstation games of 2020!

Tekken 3

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Although Street Fighter may be one of the most well-known fighting games on any console, it doesn’t hold a candle to Tekken.

Compared to many other fighting games, Tekken boasts some of the most unforgettable characters, as well as some of the most engaging gameplay to ever come to the PS1.

While Street Fighter fans may beg to differ, this game definitely was better. Its sales reflect this, with Tekken 3 having sold 8.36 million copies and Street Fighter Alpha 3 only selling 1 million.

Suikoden II

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In the second installment in the series, this game sports an incredibly large base of characters with over 100 recruitable NPCs in total.

While the game itself is engaging and has an incredible story that features the son of the first game’s protagonist, it is largely considered a hidden gem, as there wasn’t a lot of widespread appeal, and sales were far from incredible.

It’s only in hindsight that it was able to get the recognition it deserved.

Xenogears

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The first in the franchise that would go on to rival even Chrono Cross, Xenogears was all about non-linear exploration and working with other characters to become stronger in battles.

As a breakout success in both Japan and America, Sony even gave it a Gold Prize, as sales rose above 500,000 in Japan.

At the same time, critics applauded the story, gameplay, graphics, and soundtrack, with many going so far as to call it the best RPG of the year.

Resident Evil 2

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Like Silent Hill, this game scared a lot of people, and it certainly wasn’t one to play alone in a dark room. While it may seem tame by today’s standards, when it was first released it was terrifying.

With the goal being to escape Raccoon City and avoid becoming a snack for the zombies, players really had to think hard about their strategies to stay alive in this horror-survival classic.

Although it was positively received on the PS1, it was also one of the best GameCube games of its time as well!

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

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Although this game almost tanked, it was saved by the praises of the critics who fell in love with it.

Symphony of the Night was a true non-linear RPG, and it featured a variety of weapons you could use as you worked your way through Dracula’s castle to save Richter Belmont.

It’s hard to go wrong with the Castlevania series, but this installment was certainly one of the best games of all time on the PS1.

Metal Gear Solid

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Taking the top spot is by far one of the most impactful games ever released on the PS1.

Rising to become one of the most classic and iconic games in history, Metal Gear Solid introduced gamers to Solid Snake and challenged the skills of even the most well-versed stealth game veterans. Especially when it came to defeating Psycho Mantis, one of the toughest video game bosses ever.

Upon release, Playstation Official Magazine – UK even called it “the best game ever made,” and it consecutively received incredible ratings from critics across the globe.

If you’ve never picked up this game, you’re definitely missing out because it is by far the best game to ever come out on the PS1.

Summary

The PS1 changed the world of gaming forever and gave us some of the most iconic games that are still beloved today.

While some games stood out more than others, ranking them is no easy feat, and all 50 on this list are worth playing at least once for the experience.

Here’s a quick recap of the 50 best PS1 games ever created:

  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Xenogears
  • Suikoden II
  • Tekken 3
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Resident Evil
  • Final Fantasy Tactics
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Gran Turismo 2
  • Vagrant Story
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
  • Crash Team Racing
  • Parasite Eve
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon
  • Final Fantasy Chronicles
  • Silent Hill
  • The Legend of Dragoon
  • Valkyrie Profile
  • Mega Man X5
  • Wipeout 3
  • Einhander
  • Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
  • Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete
  • Dino Crisis 2
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Arc the Lad Collection
  • Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
  • Wipeout XL
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
  • Medal of Honor
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
  • Syphon Filter
  • Final Fantasy VIII
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Medal of Honor: Underground
  • Metal Slug X
  • Ace Combat 2
  • Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
  • Gran Turismo
  • Spider-Man
  • Alundra
  • Breath of Fire IV
  • Brave Fencer Musashi
  • Final Fantasy Anthology
  • Parasite Eve II
  • Syphon Filter 3
  • Dead or Alive

Author

Kerariel

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