The 25 Best PSP Games isn't a hard list to create. The Sony PlayStation Portable was heralded as a media lunchbox because of its ability to play music, videos, display pictures, and surf the web. But what would any portable console be without a library full of great games? Fortunately, the PSP pumped out a bunch of amazing titles for us to play while we were in waiting rooms, on road trips, or just roaming around the house, letting us escape the real world for minutes at a time. We've thought long and hard about which games showed the best of what the handheld had to offer, so here are our picks for the 25 Best PSP Games.
No list is complete without a zombie game or two. So starting us off is the undead puzzler, OMG-Z. In this game, you were sent off into the middle of a zombie infestation, but you were also down to your last three bullets. And as with any video game shooter, you had to make every shot count. Luckily, the undead exploded when you shot them, so it was up to you to wisely use your piddling amount of ammo to set off chain reactions of exploding zeds! This "minis" title was perfect for a quick gaming session on the go.
Velocity teleported its way into our 25 Best PSP games list because if there's one ability we wish every scrolling shooter had, it would be the power to teleport. Things can get pretty hairy in "bullet hell", so being able to zip around to an area that's not being riddled with projectiles is definitely useful. It was a great surprise to find that Velocity allowed you to do just that. In a tight spot? Just teleport out of there and start attacking the enemy from a fresh angle! You could even set respawn points for you to teleport back to, as a way to explore branching paths in stages. Now if only we could learn how to perfect teleportation in real life, then we'd be set.
Ah, the Maid of Orleans has her own video game. You know her better as Joan of Arc, one of most famous historical and religious figures from France, but did you also know she was a demon-slaying badass? Well, that last part's only true in Jeanne d'Arc, the strategy RPG from Level 5. This adventure featured grid-based tactical combat, anime cutscenes, and quite a few liberties taken in regard to historical accuracy. And you know what? It was amazingly fun for would-be tacticians. There's no better feeling than surrounding an enemy with a squad of your units and then just poking them into oblivion with spears and swords.
Burnout Legends took the best of the Burnout series and put that goodness in your hands, able to be carried anywhere. This was a beefy title for race fans, featuring eight main modes of play, almost 100 vehicles to unlock, and a soundtrack with awesome tracks from Goldfinger, CKY, Unwritten Law, OK Go, and a whole mess-load of other bands. If you weren't rocking out while crashing into your fellow drivers on the tracks, then you simply weren't doing it right. Legends gave you a whole lot of game for a modest amount of buck, so even if you sucked as a racer, you still won in the end.
This title was totally "pure" in the sense that it went back to the series' basics and became one of the best anti-gravity racers around. It'll probably be a long while until we'll have the technology to race around crazy Hot Wheels-like tracks in floating vehicles, but Wipeout Pure offered an excellent alternative (and, we're hoping, a look into the future). So whether you're into racing at high speeds, or just blasting your competitors with missiles, Pure had something for just about everyone to enjoy.
One of the best things about the PSP was the number of classic games that were remade for the portable wonder. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together was originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but received a makeover for the the PSP. It featured isometic tactical gameplay, meaning you had to move your characters on tiles throughout the land of Valeria, taking care not to get anyone killed. Some folk like to play haphazardly and just move everyone around any which way and attack, but great tacticians would see opportunities to expose weaknesses in enemy defenses. The best part of the Tactic Ogre series? Most of the titles are references to songs by Queen! No wonder this one made into our list of the 25 Best PSP Games!
This was quite possibly the coolest tower defense game on the PSP, starring some of the weirdest-looking creatures. Deluxe is also considered the definite version of PixelJunk Monsters, because of all the extra content it boasted. When you were all done defending the hell out of your huts, you could play in stages designed to look Pacman or Space Invaders levels! The title doesn't make much sense and neither did the creatures in the game, but it sure was entertaining.
Mega Man Powered Up is another remake that graces the widescreen display of the PSP. And it's actually a revamped version of the original Mega Man game, released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The major difference is the graphical overhaul in which Mega and the crew receive makeovers that make everyone SD (super-deformed, or "chibi"). This cute style was meant to attract kids, but that didn't stop the game from retaining its challenging difficulty. There was even a mode of play that took advantage of the PSP's screen and also added voice-acting. Say what you will about Capcom's remakes, but this one was definitely one of the best.
Another gaming classic makes it onto our list! Sir Arthur's been at this job since the mid-'80s and he's only gotten better with age. The lance-wielding knight's adventure on the PSP featured plenty of upgrades, like new weapons (on top of ones that appeared throughout the series), a new magic system, and three modes of play. Ultimate Mode, for those with constitutions made of steel, was punishingly difficult and played more like the games from the old days. If you failed enough times, one hit would be all that it took to kill poor Sir Arthur! The robust challenge was what made Ultimate Ghosts 'N Goblins one of the best remakes on the PSP.
This game was a direct sequel to the jaw-droppingly beautiful Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, but it certainly wasn't the first Metal Gear Solid title on the PSP. What made this 25 Best PSP Games title stand out from the rest -- other than the fact that it continued Naked Snake's story -- was that it was the first game of the series on the PSP to retain the stealth-action gameplay of its console cousins. Up until then, the Metal Gear games were tactical affairs. Another unique feature was the Comrade System, in which Naked Snake could employ the help of allies to tackle missions. And hey, any excuse to keep playing as the man who would become Big Boss is a good excuse.