According to many on the internet the PS Vita has no games, and has nothing worth buying the system for. We want to put this ridiculous notion to bed right now; whilst the library many not contain as many big hitting titles as we would have hoped at this point, to say it has no games is very far from the truth – seeing as we have reviewed over 200 of the games available for the system, we should know!
With so many games to choose (and not a tremendous amount of information available) we thought it might be handy to make a few recommendations for both existing and prospective Vita owners. However, recommending the best PS Vita games to play is far more difficult that you would think. You can’t sort everything by review scores as these scores are generally one person’s opinion and perception and there is very little deviation in the scores to determine a suitable order. We felt that the best way to give a clear view on the best games would be for all of the staff to vote for their favourite experiences and then we collated the results to give our definitive list of Vita titles that you should own.
Whether you are interested in what we collectively think, or you are looking for something interesting to play we hope you enjoy reading! So without further ado, here are our favourite PS Vita games as of the end of September 2014.
The follow-up to SEGA’s successful kart racer made it to the Vita and was a near-perfect port of the console version. With great visuals, great handling and some interesting multi-terrain tracks, which required various transforming vehicle changes. Featuring great multiplayer and an iconic roster from SEGA’s stable of franchises (as well as a Disney Guest appearance) and you have a title which will keep you occupied for a while as well as something that all SEGA and racing fans should own.
24 – WipEout 2048
WipEout is as synonymous with PlayStation as you can get and this futuristic racer from the launch line-up certainly ticked all the right boxes for fans of the series. Fast, frantic, beautiful and addictive this really is a game you have to experience. With many different championships, a long lasting multiplayer mode and additional DLC – which is cross-buy and cross-play with the PS3 version – you cannot help but be impressed with WipEout.
23 – Guacamelee!
Gucamelee is a polished masterpiece with very few flaws. It appeals to action, role-playing, and platformer lovers, and succeeds in every element it attempts. The narrative is funny, the combat is smooth and the game looks beautiful. Go buy it!
22 – Soul Sacrifice Delta
This isn’t your typical Monster Hunter style title, and takes a much more “rated M for Mature” approach to the genre than most – this is a Soul Sacrifice game, and it’s about ripping people’s souls out of their body and consuming the energy. That’s just the underlying game mechanic though, as Soul Sacrifice Delta is much more than you end-game; it’s a magical experience. With tight controls, amped up visuals from the original, and tons of new content – this is the definitive version of Soul Sacrifice currently available and offers a rich experience to those willing to put the time in.
21 – Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment
Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is one hell of a game. Based on an anime/manga series (but taking the “alternate universe” path), this alternate take on certain events has you fighting through a hidden area of Aincrad for answers/training while simultaneously trying to fight your way to the top level and beat the game.
Packed with well over 100 hours of content, a branching and quite upgradable combat system, tons of enemy types and bosses to fight, multitudes of different areas to explore and more social links to develop than you can shake a stick at – it’s safe to say that with Hollow Fragment on your Vita, you’ll always have something to play. It doesn’t hurt that it’s loaded with fanservice and a ton of little jokes either.
20 – FIFA 14
Although the “Legacy Edition” approach has undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows, there can be no denying that your first impressions when playing FIFA on the Vita is very good. An almost perfect port of FIFA 11, the game will keep you occupied for a while as well as looking almost identical to the PS3 version. You can go for Football, 13 or 14 as they all offer the same experience, just don’t buy FIFA 15, as it has no online.
This game came out just as Sony was introducing Cross-buy where one purchase got you both the Vita version of a game as well as a copy for the PS3. Sly Cooper demonstrated that you could have the exact same game running on both consoles, and transition back and forth seamlessly. Tremendous fun with a lot to do, you could run around ancient Japan searching for lost treasure or stay in your hideout and play arcade games.
18 – Rogue Legacy
At first glance you may not think much of it, but Rogue Legacy is by far one of the best games you can grab on the Vita. You play as a Knight that is trying to save his father, the King. After you die – and you will die frequently – you can spend your money on new permanent upgrades that can help you push through the ever changing castle. You think you can just play for 5-10 minutes, but when you get those upgrades going you’ll find yourself 2-3 hours later still playing. Challenging at first, you eventually become more powerful and can hack and slash your way to victory with ease.
Danganronpa takes the murder mystery to a whole new level by locking you in a school you’re supposed to be attending and telling you that the only way out is to kill one of your schoolmates and get away with it. The person who’s responsible for keeping you in line isn’t a person at all, it’s a robot bear with unlimited copies and firepower…
This one might sound crazy from the outside – but living it on the inside is the real deal. With social links to tie you to the other players and get information about their lives from them, class trials with investigative mini-games to figure out “who dunnit”, and a unique progression system that rewards the innocent for finding the guilty with new areas to explore, this one’s a definite must have for anyone looking for a story-based adventure through a twisted world of crime-solving and chaos.
The Walking Dead: Season One is easily the best story driven experience on the PlayStation Vita – the graphics, sound, story and method of play are all very well executed and the “400 Days” DLC – which is included in the complete package – is a great addition to the theme they’ve built with the first season.
15 – Velocity2X
Velocity 2X offers the perfect mix of side-scrolling puzzle-platforming and top-down shooting action. With perfect controls, beautiful visuals and an amazing soundtrack, this game is one that you should definitely not miss! Beating each level on perfect is tough (both in difficulty and on your reflexes), but in the end you will feel like thumb kinda hero! The production values in Veloity2X are what all games – indie or otherwise – should aspire to have.
14 – Rayman Origins
Rayman Origins is one of the best platformers of the past decade. It’s art style is beautifully suited to the Vita’s bright OLED screen, and the platforming is smooth and rhythmical. The game feels fresh amidst the increasing heap of bland, grey, pseudo-photo-realistic military shooters because of its laid-back presentation. The responsive controls and terrific level design also make this game a must-own for every Vita owner.
Whilst there is no denying that it suffers a little in the visual department, Most Wanted packs almost everything else from the PS3 version and gave early Vita owners a taste of what “console quality on the go” could be. Excellent handling and a large amount of content as well as the multiplayer, which is tremendous fun. The EasyDrive feature will have you wasting many hours trying to beat your friend’s times.
While Ys: Memories of Celceta isnt too heavily story based (like Persona 4: Golden), it does what it should do as a action/RPG with such quality that any fan of the genre should give it a shot. It’s without a doubt the best ARPG on the Vita and the soundtrack is incredible.
Kyle’s go-to game, and for good reason; with solid mechanics, an active online community, tons of stuff to unlock and a fair amount of cheap DLC to add to the experience, it satiates every desire. It’s one of the games on the Vita and the best thing is that you don’t even have to like golf to enjoy it, you don’t have to buy a single piece of DLC to beat it and it’s as cheap as hell. What more could you possibly ask for?
10 – Hotline Miami
Pure adrenaline, addiction, and action. Hotline Miami is a non-stop barrage of thrilling gameplay, to-the-point graphics, topped with a killer soundtrack. Hotline Miami had me on the edge of my seat continuously wanted to sprint through levels and beat my scores. Although it is quite short, Hotline Miami is a blast to play because of it’s simple fast-paced core gameplay that leaves you hungry for more.
9 – Rayman Legends
Rayman Legends is a great game that you will be hard pressed not to like. With easy controls, great graphics, and some of the best level design out there – Rayman Legends deserves to be played. Any fan of the Rayman series should grab this one as they won’t be disappointed.
Fans of the Hyperdimension Neptunia games and new players looking for a RPG on-the-go will be delighted with this game. The changes implemented are breath of fresh air, the story is very funny at times and is interesting enough to keep playing for dozens of hours. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is right at home on the PlayStation Vita and deserves to be in everyones collection.
7 – Fez
FEZ is the embodiment of everything that makes video games great. This platformer takes traditional game-play mechanics and adds a twist. Its creation of a 2D game set in a 3D world creates an experience that is as enjoyable as its puzzles are challenging. It is a true classic and a perfect game for the PS Vita.
On the surface LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is a platformer with a reasonably short but charming campaign, which more than showcases the capabilities of the handheld but further inspection reveals a title where almost anything is possible with the facility to create practically anything you want via the creation mode. The community aspect of this game is unparalleled and some of the experiences that others have created for you to play are truly innovative.
The game promised the Uncharted experience on a portable console, and it delivered. While the chemistry between main characters wasn’t as good as in previous games, the gameplay and action was top notch. It stands as the one of the biggest and most graphically impressive games on the Vita.
4 – Gravity Rush
Almost two years since its release, Gravity Rush remains as one of the truly unique Vita titles and a great demonstration of the uniqueness of the controls. A great comic book style look and very enjoyable to play, we patiently wait for news from the sequel. That so many want one speaks volumes about this.
3 – Tearaway
Staring Iota and Atoi, the messengers, Tearaway is packed with charm, colour, humour and awesome gameplay this is another example of what can be achieved with the Vita’s hardware, with everything used without ever feeling forced. Whilst its quite short, you will enjoy every minute of it. Would you expect anything less from the talented Media Molecule team?
2 – Persona 4 Golden
Persona 4: Golden is easily one of the best games to ever grace the PlayStation Vita – a double edged sword as it’s an enhanced version of a PS2 classic. Despite this, it’s still one of the best games of its kind available on any platform. This enhanced version even goes as far as to rework the story-line from the original and include a new character and game arc for those who’ve already made the journey. The game is simply fantastic, and every Vita owner should have a copy.
A true demonstration of what the system can do, in a genre which needed a stand out performer. It has everything you could want in from a portable PlayStation game, from audio and visuals to match it’s console counterparts, to fantastic controls making use of all the PlayStation Vita’s unique inputs and gameplay that puts shame to other Vita shooters to shame. Killzone Mercenary is a title that should be in all Vita owners’ collections!
So, Killzone Mercenary is what we collectively determined was the best game that you can get on the Vita, although both Persona 4 and Tearaway ran it very close. Do you agree? Our 25 is a very eclectic mix of established franchises, new IPs and quality indie titles which should give a wide range of experiences which will not only last you a very long time, but also demonstrates the variety within the library – two Rayman titles notwithstanding!
How many of these titles do you own, and are there any titles that you think we have missed out? We will revisit this in a few months but until then why not let us know what your list would have been?