5 Games That Make the PSP Still Worth Owning
It’s probably fair to say that most people aren’t quite as prone to nostalgia as I am, but I’m sure that there’s a healthy amount of individuals out there who are just as fond as diving into the past.
The PSP is a genuinely great little system, despite its flaws, and I’m not just talking about its versatility as an emulation base, which seems to be why most folks seek them out nowadays. But the PSP has seen me through many many hours of time spent on public transport or in a waiting rooms in its time, and though I tend to emulate most of my modern PSP gaming (oh the irony), I still have a fondness for the real hardware and those tremendously frustrating UMDs. So what better way to look back on the PSP than to mention five games on the system that still make it worth owning?
Now, this isn’t some sort of an attempt at telling you what the very best games on the PSP are without exception. Such list exists in droves as it is. This is merely five games suggested by me. Feel free to drop your own suggestions in the comment section below, the more the merrier!
#5–Valkyria Chronicles 2
You know, I tend to give give Valkyria Chronicles 2 a hard time for being what I consider to be the most janky and busted game in the entire series, which it is to a certain extent. Valkyria Chronicles 1 introduces us to a decently sized cast on a war footing trying to defend their land from a creeping enemy Imperial advance. This gives us a reason to care from the very beginning as we get to see these people grow and develop throughout the war effort. Valkyria Chronicles 2, however, is set a few years after the actual war and focuses a rising civil war with the main playable cast being school kids from a military academy who are combating aristocrats and once-soldiers who are waging a war of ethnic cleansing.
That’s…different? The game doesn’t lean into the actual war aspect until much too long into the campaign, which makes it feel as though it’s dragging its heels, and the endless walls of text being thrown up over the barely changing art can get a little bit irksome.
But despite the above, I do still enjoy Valkyria Chronicles 2 when I play it, and as the years go on, I soften to it more and more. With its colorful cast, which I do still think is a little too big, and an interesting take on multiple small battlefields (a hardware limitation turned in-game feature) it definitely does feel unique. It’s not as personal as VC1; it’s not as crazy as VC3, and it simply isn’t as good as VC4, but it’s a good experience in its own way and one that can only be found on the PSP.
#4–Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
I’m sorry, what was that? You’re a top ranked hunter in Monster Hunter World? That’s cute, check back in with me when you’re a no-damage-taken single player bow hunter in MHFU.
Sarcasm aside, Monster Hunter has changed in recent years, and not entirely for the better. I’m going to make that comparison now. Like Dark Souls, the difficult and accomplishment that you could find in earlier Monster Hunter games was often rooted in your skill and mastery of the world, your equipment and the game mechanics. As more weapon types have been introduced, as more monsters have appeared in the world and more gameplay mechanics have changed how your hunter interacts with the world, the games have become markedly more easy.
Yes, some Monster Hunter World monsters present a considerable challenge, some Monster Hunter Generations beasts will have you tearing your hair out and the grind to get better gear will grow more intense with each passing day. But in the older Monster Hunter games, it was all on you. These games punished you hard for your mistakes, and every person who started the series with the original game on PS2 knows exactly how it feels to take on the two star quest, “Raid The Wyvern’s Nest” and think you can tackle a Rathalos before being humbled in the extreme. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite draws on this school of gameplay. The player is a human trying to overcome monsters and will often fail at the drop of the hat. Only the best players can make decent progress in this game. You could buy a PSP specifically for playing this game. I have.
#3–Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
You knew it would be on the list, I knew it would be on the list, we should all be happy that it’s still on the list. This isn’t a nostalgia listing, not in the least, because Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is still a fantastic game with an engaging and exciting story that still stands out in the series as being different, but familiar. I’m sure that any fan of the game has already played the HD remaster at some point, and so the original isn’t something that you’ll really need to revisit. But I’m a fan of revisiting games I enjoy on the original hardware to get the authentic feeling if possible, and Peace Walker consistently delivers an impressive and enjoyable stealth action experience, and it’s always fun to revisit a mission you know like the back of your hand with a perfect loadout and god-like knowledge of the missions requirements so that you can blow through it with nary a care in the world. There’s not much that can be said about Peace Walker that hasn’t already been said. So I’ll simply say, prepare to hurt your thumb on button-mashing torture scene all over again.
#2–Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?
“Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?” is easily one of my favorite 2D sidescrolling platformers out there, so it’s a shame that it’s still only available on the PSP, because I believe that it would enjoy a decent wave of popularity nowadays were it re-released. The Prinny, outwardly taking on the appearance of peg-legged penguins with a small pouch, are in fact the souls of sinful humans given a new form which is prone to exploding, unless they live in Prinny Land which is an explosion-free area. Anyway, this game is a spin off from the massively popular Disgaea series and puts the player in control of a legion of Prinnies as they make their way through the game-world in search of the ingredients for the Ultra Dessert. A fun array of abilities, a very recognizable brand of humor, and an adorable art style makes the game a simple and straightforward must-play for platforming fans looking for some fun on the go.
#1–Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command
Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command is great for scratching that Warhammer 40K itch that might strike when you’re out and about. This game takes the form of a turn-based skirmish scale series of missions where you’ll lead your forces to victory by way of careful navigation of the area and the proper application of force in the right area. You can turtle up and let the enemy come to you, but that might cost you objectives, or you can push forward into enemy territory and try to take the fight to them. As you move across the battlefields, you’ll encounter cultists, enemy vehicles and chaos space marines which you’ll combat with space marines, scouts, dreadnoughts, and more, with a variety of weapons at your disposal, all of which are accurate to their canon counterparts. It’s not a terribly long game, and you shouldn’t come here expecting a fantastic narrative. But the concept is simple, and very well executed, which isn’t something that can be said for all 40K games. There’s a Nintendo DS version of the game and it’s perfectly serviceable, but it really shines on the PSP.