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The 21 Best PSP Games
GamePro staff (GamePro (online))
12. Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
Focusing more on action than stealth, Gabe Logan's second PSP adventure unquestionably tops the genre. Logan's Shadow surpasses Portable Ops in terms of control, even if it isn't as rich an experience. Don't let this gem get lost in Snake's shadow – one of the PSP's best.
17. Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
Pair a previously unreleased instalment with a lauded classic and you get a UMD with a silver lining. Series favourite Symphony of the Night comes as a bonus for completing the tough-as-nails Dracula X game, which boasts a beautiful 2.5D graphical update. Two great games in one package that won't drive a stake through your wallet.
6. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories / Vice City Stories
It might be hard out there for a pimp, but Liberty City Stories makes it easier by bringing the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto series portable. Keeping tabs on your lovely ladies while building the Leone crime syndicate is as fun as it is impressive. Liberty City Stories packs the enormous urban locale onto your PSP in an amazing feat of game engineering. Although not perfect, it's hard to deny the pleasure you'll get from this stellar side-story.
Or, for your 80s fix there's Vice City Stories, which doesn't offer much different from its predecessor other than its tropical setting, but that shouldn't keep you from getting in on all the action. Exploring the crime-ridden streets of Vice City taking on action-packed missions is loads of fun, even if visiting Liberty City ought to be your first priority.
14. Burnout Legends
Combining the best of the series and smashing it all together in one fantastic package is Burnout Legends, the ultimate in crash-tastic racers. The lack of online gameplay is a serious oversight, but there's still more than enough speeding tickets to earn and cars to crash in the satisfying single-player and local wireless modes.
15. WipEout Pulse
The king of futuristic racers goes online in the second portable instalment of the WipEout series. While it hasn't made as much of a splash as WipEout Pure, Pulse packs in more options, better graphics, and added online gameplay that puts it ahead of the pack. Vehicle customisation and the ability to take snapshots during memorable races give the game a unique twist. Infused with a fantastic electronic soundtrack and slick visuals, it's clear that there's more than just good racing flowing through Pulse's veins.
8. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the WarLords
Tetris may have opened the way for portable puzzlers, but Puzzle Quest stands above the pack. Its unique combination of puzzle-solving and role-playing is like nothing else out there. Not only does it provide immense depth, but also makes the game incredibly addictive. +1 charisma for this PSP version thanks to a cleaner presentation, although the DS edition gets a special enchantment for intuitive touch controls. Anyway you put it, Puzzle Quest levels up handheld gaming as a must-own.
10. Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters
Fitting tools of destruction in your pocket can be difficult when you're going commando, but Size Matters makes it possible. The first portable outing for Ratchet and his robotic buddy Clank establishes a new standard for handheld action with top-notch graphics, a challenging story mode, and full online multiplayer. Adjusting to limited camera controls takes time, although it's a minor complaint in the face of big action on your little screen.
7. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Only a Psycho Mantis couldn't appreciate the sophistication stealth-action gameplay that Portable Ops dishes out exclusively on PSP. Totally original from the ground up, the game does more than port over the console series. Creative recruitment mechanics take advantage of Wi-Fi hot-spots, letting you draft soldiers into Naked Snake's espionage ring. Additionally, robust online play complements an intriguing single-player story. Don't let this one sneak by you.
18. Killzone: Liberation
This handheld sequel unshackles the PlayStation 2 first-person shooter series for top-down play. The perspective takes some getting used to but thankfully all of the in-your-face action remains intact, letting you beat back creepy Helghan invaders on the war-torn surface of Vekta.
1. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Like mana sent from the gods, God of War: Chain of Olympus single-handedly reinvents the action genre with its tightly-wound combat and unparalleled presentation. Unquestionably this is the finest-looking game ever created on any handheld, which is enough for every gamer to take a look. Even more, Kratos' portable saga deserves praise for its superb design and energetic action. All in all, it's bloody good fun.
Yeah, we've got the Beats and it's easy to understand why: slick, yet simple graphics combined with basic button-pressing rhythmic gameplay. Tack on a low, low price and there's no reason you shouldn't groove to the Beats too.
The beat goes on for the team responsible for LocoRoco in Patapon, a rhythmic real-time strategy game exclusive to PSP. Using the face buttons to pound out rhythmic commands to cutesy Patapon tribesmen, you guide them in a prophetic quest to return to their holy promised land. Patapon is more than just clever beats and pretty presentation though, offering in-depth equipment customisation and battle tactics for beating massive screen-filling bosses. At the budget price of $59.95, you can't afford to miss this instant classic.
9. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Phenomenal real-time battles and gorgeous graphics put Crisis Core among the most impressive handheld games around. Cameos from popular Final Fantasy VII characters make it a trip down memory lane, even though its innovative gameplay does much to differentiate it from other RPGs.
11. SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Tactical Strike
The third SOCOM for the PSP ups the tactical element for more deliberate, thoughtful action perfect for portable play. An impressive array of features including online play, voice commands and chat, and an 11-mission single-player campaign easily make it best of the handheld series.
Jak's obnoxious fur-ball friend finds himself leading an ottsel in one of the PSP's earliest hits. Although Daxter doesn't innovate much, it's the first handheld platform-action game to provide a true console experience with mouth-watering graphics and seamless gameplay.
Now every boy (and girl) can have a blob of their own thanks to the gelatinous platforming action of LocoRoco. Using only the PSP's two shoulder buttons, this cute and creative game has you guiding miniature globules through colorful stages. Charm helps alleviate the pain of LocoRoco being far too short for its own good, but given the tendency for its kid-voiced soundtrack to stick in your head you'll be enjoying it well after your PSP is powered down. In fact, LocoRoco is one of the most original games you'll find on any system.
Prehistoric robots take platforming to a new age in Tokobot – a short, but sweet romp through ancient ruins that test your jumping abilities and skill in commanding a legion of loyal mechanical pals. Only its short, linear single-player story keeps Tokobot from being more than a diamond in the rough.
3. Lumines II
This PSP title owes much to Tetris. Colored blocks fall from the top of the screen and it's up to you to clear them by forming like-coloured formations. Beautiful special effects and a snazzy musical soundtrack gave it a stylish edge over its 8-bit inspiration. We chose the sequel for a few nice little upgrades, but the original Lumines is nearly as good.
19. Twisted Metal: Head On
The only game on our list that lets you barrel through the Eiffel Tower as a psychotic clown behind the wheel of an ice cream truck. Twisted Metal has as much morbid appeal as hard-hitting vehicular action. As long as you put in the time to learn the controls, you're sure to smile barrelling through the wreckage of fellow players online.
16. Silent Hill Origins
What Silent Hill Origins lacks in originality, it certainly makes up for in scares. Nothing comes close to this disturbing handheld thriller. As a prequel to the console games, Origins sets a macabre stage for the series with its gritty graphics, horrific scenes, and psychologically taxing gameplay. Without a doubt, the only game on our list that'll have you screaming like a little girl . . .asking for more.
5. Tekken: Dark Resurrection
Portable pugilists finally have something to be proud of in Tekken: Dark Resurrection. Fine-tuned mechanics make it the definitive handheld fighting game, not to mention the most visually impressive. Online bouts are missing, although head-to-head matches using any of the 30+ characters is an acceptable consolation. Niggles with the controls prevent it from being ideal, yet it's still the best example of handheld fighting given form factor issues.
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