The Best PSP RPGs

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In 2005, Sony launched their first handheld console to the public, called the PlayStation Portable. This small handheld was intended to create a home console experience anywhere in the world, and Sony succeeded. Using their UMD technology, Sony was able to pack an insane amount of content into such a small package. Sony also included media player features and full internet connectivity, allowing for the PSP to be a must-have for any gamer back in 2005. Sony’s PSP was the only rival to the Nintendo DS that was really competitive, making a rivalry between DS owners and PSP owners.

RPGs are one thing that Japan does best, and Sony showed this through their awesome library of role-playing games for the PSP. Throwing yourself into a fantastical world full of monsters, magic, and having plenty of characters all with their own reasons to fight really makes the genre wonderful. Role-players have been a mainstay in the gaming industry since almost the very beginning, allowing for escapists anywhere to enjoy a world that could not be possible on pen and paper. RPG fans have been some of the most hardcore fans ever, finding secrets behind every corner and building the best team with the best stats the game can handle.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable

The Persona series has been an awesome, landmark series of JRPGs that has built a large fanbase of hardcore players. This title was originally released on the PlayStation 2, but has been ported to the PSP for more players to experience this unusual game.

The player takes control of a seventeen-year-old student who has just changed schools, but there is something different going on. At night, he soon finds out that evil shadows lurk, waiting to attack. Throughout the game, the player will follow their character through their usual activities depending on the in-game clock. Players will be able to create relationships with other students as they progress, making this title deep and exciting.

Half-Minute Hero

Half-Minute Hero mixes the fun of an RPG and the quick, fast-paced action of a handheld game beautifully and seamlessly. This title separates the intensity of a JRPG into thirty-second increments in which the player must clear the dungeon and defeat the boss within the time allotted. After each mission, the player’s performance will directly affect the next missions as the player tries to complete the game.

There are thirty missions per mode and three initial modes then another three once those are completed. This game is full of content and a great game for players who need a quick RPG fix before their bus ride ends.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

A prequel to the classic and critically acclaimed Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core takes place seven years before the fateful events of the original. Players will take control of Zack Fair, a young unit in SOLDIER, as he fights even more corruption and evil in Midgar. The story also includes the origin of Cloud’s iconic armor and sword as he is just a young soldier at this point in the story.

The combat uses a real-time system in which the player can execute moves in real-time rather than turn-based events. This prelude to the classic game is an awesome adventure and reveals a lot more about the world of Final Fantasy VII.

Valkyria Chronicles II

One of the most exciting and innovative RPGs for the PlayStation 3 has received an even more groundbreaking sequel for the PSP. This entry, taking place three years after the last game, has the player trying to stop a violent civil war brought on by the Gallian Revolution Army.

Valkyria Chronicles II keeps most of the gameplay elements that set this series apart from the rest, but makes more of an effort to connect the player with their units. Players will learn about their unit’s personalities, motives, and fighting styles by talking to their units between encounters, giving this title an insane amount of depth. This is an awesome successor to a great title.

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

Another entry into the awesome Disney, Final Fantasy crossover series, Kingdom Hearts brings even more Goofy action and exciting gameplay than the last - the combat system has been completely revamped to allow for more reactive and intuitive play.

This title is a prequel to the original Kingdom Hearts, taking place while Sora was asleep. The player will follow Terra, Aqua and Ventus on their quest to find the missing Master Xehanort. There are also four multiplayer modes allowing players to team up with their friends and take on this engaging story. This is a must-play for fans of the series and newcomers alike.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Marvel has been one of the most beloved franchises for around the last eighty years. Their cast of iconic characters have left an impression on our culture as a whole. Ultimate Alliance is a tribute to the series as a whole, giving players the option to play and interact with 140 characters, from the instantly recognizable to the obscure.

This title plays similarly to that of X-Men: Legends, where players create their own team of characters in an RPG style and take on a legacy of comic baddies. Each character has a collection of alternate costumes which allow them to perform different abilities and can be unlocked by progressing through the story.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

Take the fun, monster slaying action on the go with the third installment to the Monster Hunter Freedom series. In this entry, players will take on the familiar quests to slay and capture monsters in order to level up their character and gear. There are plenty of new monsters and gear to find and fight in this entry, allowing for plenty of replayability.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is an exciting pick up and play game allowing players to play a quest or two and put down the game, only to come back hours later craving more action. This series of games could not be recommended enough.

Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman

This title was made for on the go play. Z.H.P plays a little different from other Nippon Ichi titles, allowing for players to create their own hero to explore randomly generated dungeons in order to save the world. The combat in this game is turn-based, meaning that encounters will take place in an arena outside of the gametime.

Character customization is like nothing ever seen before. Players will be able to change out their body parts in order to have a better advantage in battle, and all of these upgrades can be purchased in the homebase. This is an awesome RPG and one of the best on the PSP.

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth

Travel back in time to a world ravaged by the Norse. In Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, players will fight in the fateful battle that takes place at the end of the world, Ragnarok. Players take control of Lenneth, a warrior faced with the task of recruiting souls to fight in Ragnarok. After recruiting fallen souls, players will have to train them in order to be valiant opponents in the war of all wars.

This story is not linear, allowing players to explore the world at their will and turn the tide of Ragnarok in their favor. There are twenty-four different characters that the player can customize and build relationships with, giving this game a lot depth and replayability.

  • Updated September 2, 2020