Portable video game hardware usually has gimped software due to the lesser specs. This is mostly true with ports, where the original game was from a home console or an arcade cabinet which is much more powerful than the PlayStation Portable(PSP). Here are seven of the best PSP ports that are almost a miracle when it appeared to the handheld gaming device.
Best PSP Ports
7. Disgaea 2
The Disgaea titles are one of the few cases where the portable version is the superior game as compared to its console versions. These titles are more numerous in content and have improvement in their quality.
Dark Hero Days is an enhanced port of Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories for the PlayStation 2. Nippon Ichi adds substantial content and further enhancements not seen in the portable transition of the first entry. Dark Hero Days introduces new bosses, maps, and a story mode, making it a worthwhile experience for both those familiar with the PS2 version and newcomers.
Disgaea 2's sprites are sharper and more vibrant in the PSP port. While Nippon Ichi's graphics haven't seen significant evolution, the overall visual charm and style compensate for any perceived limitations. The 3D isometric maps, especially in the Item World, showcase improved aesthetics and variety.
The storyline of D2, though more typical than its predecessor, unfolds as a hero's quest to lift a curse. The characters, notably the main protagonist Adell, may seem less eccentric compared to other Nippon Ichi games. The addition of Axel mode in the PSP version provides new chapters, adding depth to the character and unlocking additional features.
The core gameplay revolves around turn-based strategy battles on panel-based maps. Disgaea 2 introduces the job class system, offering diversity in unit types. The game encourages experimentation with units and features, such as the Dark Assembly for proposing bills and the felony system, where penalties translate into rewards. The item world, a multi-level dungeon within each item, adds depth to character customization.
This version of Disgaea 2 introduces the Magichange feature from Disgaea 3, allowing monsters to transform into weapons for human characters. Magichange 2, exclusive to this port, enables a second monster to be transformed.
6. Silent Hill: Origins
Silent Hill: Origins, a prequel to the original game, introduces Travis Grady, a truck driver mysteriously drawn into the eerie town of Silent Hill. Tasked with unraveling the town's mysteries, he faces nightmarish creatures in a deserted and fog-filled environment. While the game provides some clarity to the original's ambiguous plot, it primarily focuses on Travis, offering a new perspective for series enthusiasts.
The gameplay, reminiscent of older survival horror titles like Resident Evil, emphasizes exploration, combat against grotesque enemies, and solving cryptic puzzles. The dual-layered world of Silent Hill, transitioning between a foggy light world and a decayed, rust-tinted nightmare world, is a hallmark feature.
Classic Silent Hill elements, such as the flashlight and radio, return, contributing to the game's atmospheric tension. The analog control setup departs from the "tank" controls that have been employed by horror games ever since Resident Evil. Melee weapons now have a durability feature, requiring players to pick up replacements.
Silent Hill: Origins impresses with a faithful recreation of the series' atmospheric and horrifying environments. The unique buildings and diverse locations in the town contribute to a vivid and immersive world. The nightmare world, characterized by decay and macabre imagery, is visually stunning.
Silent Hill: Origins has great voice acting. The fully voiced dialogue is a commendable feat given the PSP's storage limitations. The musical score by Akira Yamaoka, while not the series' best, remains haunting and fitting, capturing the distinctive Silent Hill atmosphere.
Silent Hill: Origins stands out as one of the series' best, effectively adapting the Silent Hill formula to the PSP. Surprisingly for a horror game, there is a replay value here with alternate endings and achievements-like features.
5. Manhunt 2
Manhunt 2 maintains the stealth-oriented, third-person action style of its predecessor, focusing on brutal violence within a gripping narrative. Players step into the shoes of Daniel Lamb, an escaped amnesiac mental patient, navigating through labyrinthine locations. The gameplay revolves around stealth, utilizing shadows strategically for silent eliminations. While the stealth-kill approach is toned down due to ratings modifications, the emphasis on precision and control in firearms combat is a notable improvement.
The narrative unfolds in a deliberately fragmented and disjointed manner, mirroring the protagonist Danny's troubled state of mind. The game's environment is characterized by squalid, trashy locations and despicable characters. Manhunt 2 employs a unique graphic style with a slightly scratchy appearance, resembling a security camera feed. Characters, environments, and lighting are well-executed, contributing to the game's dark and unsettling atmosphere. The sound design enhances the experience with realistic and impactful sound effects, especially during brutal kills.
While not being a 1:1 conversion into the PSP, Manhunt 2 retains everything good (and bad) of its console origin. This game is not for everyone, but one thing is for sure, this is one of the best ports to the PSP.
4. Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition
This game has appeared in our best-of-psp lists so many times already. It is well-deserved. Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition is everything one wants from a racing game. Its high production, amazing core gameplay, and killer soundtrack are only hampered by its loading times, but then again, everything about this game is worth the wait.
Most people will find the graphics as its most attractive feature. There is nothing wrong with being shallow. However, let it be known that its smooth controls are its magnum opus. There is nothing left to say about this game that was not already said on a number of our rankings.
3. Dante's Inferno
This game is one of the most unique ports on the PSP. It is a PlayStation 3 game, now, be as it may, there may be cut corners but the fact that it nevertheless found its way into the handheld which has a fraction of the console’s power is anything other than a miracle.
Many detractors would have easily pointed out that Dante’s Inferno is a God of War clone. Which it is, but should anyone care? No one should, since it’s a good game in its own right. Despite some imperfections, this game proves to be a special action experience. Borrowed screencaps aside, it stands out as a very good action game, making it a worthwhile rental at the very least. While it may not be a top-tier game, it successfully adopts the formula of a second-rate God of War clone with satisfying combat mechanics, a vast moveset, and an abundance of boss battles, outdoing its inspiration in this aspect.
Dante, armed with Death's scythe and Beatrice's cross, engages in brutal combat with various enemies, offering an extensive upgrade system. The variety in enemy types keeps the combat interesting, especially during boss battles. The puzzles and platforming, though somewhat straightforward, is still an engaging experience.
2. Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix
Tony Hawk's Underground 2: Remix essentially mirrors the console version but with the addition of four new levels, bringing the total to 16. The game kicks off with Tony Hawk and Bam Margera planning a World Destruction Tour, where the losing team foots the bill for the entire escapade.
The gameplay is divided into two main modes: Story Mode and Classic Mode. In Story Mode, players tackle a variety of goals, each with assigned point values. The narrative unfolds with kidnappings, team selections, and a competitive skate tour. Classic Mode harks back to the series' roots, offering a more traditional Tony Hawk gaming experience with time-limited runs and distinct goals.
The graphics on the PSP are commendable, considering it's a portable system. It is a miracle that this portable version successfully replicates the visuals of its console counterparts, showcasing the capabilities of the PSP. Not to mention the 53-song soundtrack which was heavily catered for the target audience of those times.
Tony Hawk's Underground 2: Remix stands out as the first fully-featured 3D portable entry in the Tony Hawk series. With its engaging gameplay, impressive graphics for a handheld console, and solid replay value, it earns one of the best ports to the PSP second only to…
1. Power Stone Collection
It is still unbelievable that Power Stone never had a follow-up entry, a reboot, or simply a remaster or a port to modern hardware. This fighting game is one of the best games out there whatever the form, arcade, home console, and most especially on a portable in the PSP.
Power Stone, at first glance, might seem like a typical fighting game, but it quickly reveals its distinctive charm. With eight diverse characters, each with a unique archetype, the game introduces players to lightning-fast combat in 3D arenas. The single-player campaign, while brief, offers a quick and enjoyable romp through battles against other characters. What truly sets Power Stone apart is its dynamic gameplay, where a plethora of weapons and items constantly spawn, creating chaos and excitement in each match.
The game's signature mechanic involves collecting Power Stones, transforming characters into super-powered beings with homing attacks. While this adds an element of randomness and a dash of unfairness, it contributes to the fast-paced and exhilarating style of play. Power Stone 2 builds on this foundation, introducing new characters, expanded levels, and tweaking gameplay elements. The addition of bosses, though slightly disrupting the flow, doesn't overshadow the overall enjoyment.
Both the games in this collection pop off with a vivid graphical style. The Power Stone Collection, despite its short single-player campaign offers a u