The PlayStation Portable (PSP) was a powerful handheld device with impressive specs when it was released. This allowed many action game developers to create their games according to their vision. Here are seven of the best action games on this incredible dedicated handheld device.
Best PSP Action Games
7. Me and My Katamari
Me and My Katamari brings the whimsical and utterly unique Katamari series into a portable package. As weird as the franchise already is, it still surprises with a fresh twist on the franchise. The game's scaled-down story and premise, while more modest than its console counterparts, feel just right for a portable gaming experience. Instead of recreating the epic task of restoring the stars to the sky, players will find themselves on a journey through a series of islands, with new islands emerging as a result of their actions. It's a fitting adaptation, considering the shift to a handheld platform.
For newcomers to the Katamari universe, the gameplay is a charming blend of simplicity and innovation. Players’ primary goal in each level is to roll up everything you encounter with your trusty sticky ball. As objects are gathered, the katamari grows larger, allowing you to collect even bigger items. The gameplay mechanics are straightforward yet strangely addictive.
While the controls have undergone some adjustments to accommodate the PSP's limitations, they still work reasonably well, even if they take a bit of time to get used to. The game's aesthetics are where it truly shines. The cheery, cartoon-inspired graphics, vibrant colors, and quirky style all feel perfectly at home on the PSP.
With plenty of content, from the main campaign to an extensive encyclopedia of items and locations, as well as infinite modes and multiplayer options, this PSP adaptation proves itself as a whatever size, the Katamari always is a delight.
6. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact
One of the biggest anime properties there also has a sizeable action game on the PSP. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact brings the beloved Naruto universe to life on the PSP with a thrilling blend of action-packed gameplay and an immersive storyline. In this game, players control some iconic characters from the Naruto Shippuden anime series, embarking on missions that involve crowd brawls, sidekick rescues, and epic boss battles.
The game's story kicks off with Naruto's triumphant return to his village after rigorous training. Players accompany Naruto, Sakura, Kakashi, and other beloved characters as they journey through the series' storylines, spanning from Naruto's return to his village up to the most current episodes. What sets this game apart is its extensive character roster, allowing you to not only play as heroes like Naruto, Sasuke, and Kakashi but also step into the shoes of the series' iconic villains, such as Kakuzu, Hidan, and Sasori. Each character boasts a range of special abilities known as Jutsus, many of which are designed for crowd control. The mission objectives are thrilling and keep players engaged with immersive dialogue.
There is also additional content, including side missions that provide fresh perspectives on the familiar story. Co-operative missions let you team up with friends or AI allies for added fun. The boss battles are particularly engaging, with some foes adopting changing strategies, like Kakuzu's evolving forms. The game's Quick-Time Events keep players engaged and on the edge of their seats. Additionally, map Jutsus becomes available in later stages, adding depth to the gameplay. Beating specific levels with certain characters can unlock extra bonuses, incentivizing replayability.
5. The 3rd Birthday
The 3rd Birthday received lambasting reviews at the time of its release from Parasite Eve fans for the reason it is not a Parasite Eve game. However, this action game is extremely polished and more than decent if you are just looking for an action game instead of rekindling your nostalgia. Those who are not rabid fans of Parasite Eve will find this game inoffensive.
Square Enix delivers a visually stunning and musically captivating experience, but it's important to note that its brevity may leave players yearning for more. The game's short duration could be likened to a feature-length film, a choice perhaps made to adhere to the short and sweet game length the series is known for having.
While categorized as a third-person shooter, the game takes an unconventional approach. Some weapons lack manual aiming and instead rely solely on lock-on mechanics. The standout feature, Overdive, empowers protagonist Aya to control soldiers on the battlefield, with carefully crafted scenarios and gameplay nuances encouraging players to make the most of this unique system.
Despite its short length, The 3rd Birthday invites multiple playthroughs with a plethora of unlockables, challenging difficulty levels, and the ability to implement Cheat Codes—both assisting and challenging—to tailor the experience. It's a game that beckons players to explore its depths, offering a fresh take on the Parasite Eve series while firmly establishing its own identity.
4. Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow marks a triumphant return for Gabe Logan, revitalizing his PSP action career after some mediocre outings. The game continues the thrilling action-packed tradition established by its predecessor, Dark Mirror. In this installment, Gabe faces a new storyline filled with twists, suspicious characters, and personal vendettas, taking players on a gripping journey through various locations, from prisons to war-torn cities and underwater environments.
Logan's Shadow retains the excellent control scheme introduced by Dark Mirror, offering players intuitive handling with nub-based movement, precise aiming, and an easy-to-use weapons menu. The gameplay is characterized by intense, cover-based firefights, with stealth elements minimized to favor balls-to-the-wall action. Gabe Logan is equipped with a range of combat techniques, including wall cover, underwater missions, human shields, and blind fire.
The single-player campaign features objectives such as protecting NPCs, blowing up helicopters, removing debris, and tackling bosses. While Logan's Shadow offers challenging and exciting gameplay, it provides players with checkpoints and quick respawns, ensuring an experience meant pick-up-and-play nature of the PSP.
3. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
God of War: Ghost of Sparta continues the epic saga of Kratos, delivering the familiar and beloved formula of brutal action, Greek mythology, and unrelenting vengeance. While some may argue that the God of War series has become predictable with its signature elements, including Kratos' anger-fueled rampage, over-the-top violence, and epic boss battles, it's precisely this consistency and execution that keeps players coming back for more.
Set as a midquel between the events of God of War and God of War II, Ghost of Sparta explores Kratos' past and his relationship with his brother, Deimos. The story delves into their shared childhood, training together as they aspire to join the Spartan army. However, their fates take a dark turn when they are marked as potential threats to Olympus, leading to the kidnapping of Deimos and the scarring of Kratos. This traumatic event shapes Kratos' rage and fuels his path of vengeance.
The game delivers the classic God of War gameplay, even on the PSP platform, with satisfying combat using the Blades of Chaos and gradual character progression. Despite the hardware limitations, the game's graphics are impressive, featuring detailed character models, environments, and spectacular death animations. The violence and gore, a trademark of the series, are not compromised on the portable console, providing players with the same intense and visceral experience.
2. Resistance: Retribution
In this portable Resistance, players are thrust into a gripping narrative that follows the journey of James Grayson, a charismatic soldier with a personal vendetta against the menacing Chimera. The story unfolds seamlessly through captivating cutscenes, exceptional voice acting, and breathtaking graphics that defy handheld limitations.
The game's controls and gameplay mechanics are impressively fluid, considering the PSP's lack of a second analog stick. The ingenious Aim Assist feature accommodates this limitation, enhancing aiming accuracy while ensuring players still develop their weapon-handling skills. The cover system, seamlessly integrated into the gameplay, allows players to take refuge behind various surfaces, providing a dynamic and natural combat experience. The variety of environments and enemies, as well as the exploration of each weapon's secondary fire, keeps the gameplay fresh and engaging throughout the campaign.
There is also a variety of modes, such as Containment, Assimilation, Team Death Match, and Capture the Flag. Resistance: Retribution offers an exceptional experience of the Franchise known for its triple-A productions which level of polished also trickled down in this PSP entry.
1. Patapon 2
Patapon 2 is a resounding triumph that builds upon the greatness of its predecessor, elevating it to new heights of fun and addictiveness. While the game does have a semblance of a story, it plays second fiddle to its stellar gameplay, where a fusion of rhythm, RPG, and strategy elements creates an experience that feels perfectly balanced.
At its core, Patapon 2 is a rhythm game masterpiece. Players assume the role of the Patapons' Mighty God, tasked with leading their army to victory against the native Karmens and various bosses. This is achieved through a series of drum-beat commands, with each button on the PSP controller corresponding to a drum sound. The genius lies in the simplicity of this control scheme and the satisfying rhythm it adds to the gameplay. Commands like "Pata Pata Pata Pon" and "Pon Pon Pata Pon" form the basis, but as you progress, you unlock more complex orders, including defensive strategies and retreat commands. The rhythm adds a layer of difficulty that enhances the game's appeal without making it overly challenging.
The game features various mission types, including hunting, boss battles, and fortress missions, each introducing different enemy types and challenges. Weather conditions can also impact the gameplay, adding an extra layer of variety and strategy.
Patapon 2 maintains the series' distinct and charming art direction, with beautiful backgrounds and character designs that enhance the overall experience. It is a unique experience that sadly is not being emulated by modern games today.