Sony, it’s time to show the PSP some love.
Sony released their first handheld way back in 2004 taking the market by storm by bringing PlayStation gaming into the hands of more than 80 million gamers worldwide. With over 1300 games released for the console we find it hard to believe that the PS Plus Premium service only has 9 PSP titles to date.
The PSP delivered games from all genres that fans would expect to find on a Sony system, everything from platformers and racers, shooters and open word crime titles. We think it’s about time for Sony to increase the PSP library on its new service and we have some suggestions to get them started.
10. Secret Agent Clank
Ratchet & Clank are riding high right now following the success of their PS5 exclusive Rift Apart and luckily for fans, PS Plus Premium allows them to experience no less than 10 titles from the duo’s back catalogue of adventures, but oddly their portable games are absent from this extensive list.
Yes, there were 2 games released for the PSP with Size Matters coming first, but for our money Secret Agent Clank is what most folks need to play. As you may guess from the title Clank is headlining this game and it is a spoof of spy tropes like 007, including Clank wearing his own snazzy tuxedo filled with plenty of gadgets to get the job done. He’ll need to help Ratchet who has been wrongly accused of stealing a precious gem but don’t worry you still have a chance to play as Ratchet dealing with prison life, and even Qwark has his time to shine in his own unique way.
9. Dead Head Fred
For most video game characters losing their head would result in a game over but for private detective Fred Neuman, it’s just the beginning of a crazy adventure to stop the bad guys.
Dead Head Fred sees the detective killed for looking into the shady goings on of Ulysses Pitt whose ‘nukular’ plant is poisoning the city and unleashing undead monsters. Fred is resurrected by Dr. Steiner but finds that his head is missing save for his brain and eyes in a large jar. Fred must investigate his own murder as well as look into the disappearance of a local businessman.
Gameplay consists of discovering other heads that all give different abilities and swapping between them to defeat enemies and solve puzzles.
Dead Head Fred reviewed well when released and needs the chance to be played by more people.
8. Chili Con Carnage
If you are looking for high octane action in your hands you could’ve done a lot worse than
2007s Chili Con Carnage from Deadline Games. The game acts in part as a sequel or possibly a remake of the better known Total Overdose that was released on PS2.
Chili Con Carnage sees you playing as Ramiro Cruz who on his birthday witnessed his father’s murder in a combine harvester accident and Ramiro vows revenge. It’s time for Ramiro to arm himself with all manner of guns and take on hordes of enemies in pursuit of those responsible.
What we love about Chili Con Carnage is the crazy combat featuring Max Payne style slo-mo shootouts and huge bombastic explosions, a real highlight is when the game throws all logic to the wind by having Ramiro hanging from a helicopter by one hand while firing an RPG launcher with the other, somehow managing to reload the single shot weapon without having to let go. It’s just crazy and something that needs to be experienced by anyone who loved the mid 00’s craze for OTT action games.
7. Death Jr
Konami went hard with their games for the Sony’s first handheld releasing 35 titles between 2005-2011, their big launch title was of course Metal Gear Acid, but they released 3 other games in 2005 for the PSP.
Death Jr was heavily advertised as a killer app for the PSP in the run up to its launch as a quirky cartoon Burton-esqe 3rd person shooter about the titular teenage son of Death known as Death Jr or DJ for short. DJ has been kicked out of every school he’s been in for causing chaos leading to his last chance before being sent to Military School. When DJ opens a locked box to impress Pandora all hell breaks loose and he must try to clean up the mess before his dad finds out.
6. Archer Maclean’s Mercury
One for the puzzle fans now. This puzzle platformer is from the mind of previous Atari programmer Archer Maclean who has other titles to his name like Dropzone for the Atari 8-Bit and International Karate for the ZX Spectrum. The gameplay consists of moving blobs of mercury through increasingly challenging levels trying to have enough left to complete the level within the allotted time.
Players tilt the level using their analogue sticks to move the mercury as desired sometimes having to split the liquid or change its colour to access certain switches or doors to proceed. The game was originally designed to work in incorporation with an unreleased tilt sensor peripheral which could translate to the Sixaxis sensors of the DualShock 4 and DualSense.
The game was conceived by Archer in an unconventional way while working on the snooker game Jimmy White’s Cueball World, the developer took a minigame from the Snooker title and added liquid metal physics. Archer then used real mercury from barometers to study its movement and attempt to replicate it in game.
Archer Maclean’s Mercury launched to favourable reviews on the PSP and spawned a sequel on the handheld as well as another follow up on the PS3 and 360.
5. Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines
For those that love the older style of Assassin’s Creed games but don’t want to replay the mainline series then Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines is worth playing. Acting as a direct sequel to the story from the original game, Bloodlines follows OG assassin Altaïr Ibn-LaʼAhad as he heads to Cyprus to remove the rest of the Templar Order and also shows his burgeoning relationship with former Templar Maria Thorpe.
Gameplay is very reminiscent of the first AC game focusing again on stealth and blending mechanics as Altaïr hunts his targets, but some mechanics are downgraded in order to work on the portable handheld.
The game plays very well considering its downgrades for the PSP and delivers a story that is worthwhile experiencing for fans of the series.
Another classic PS2 series with a spin-off that has yet to be ported off the handheld system, Daxter is of course based on the loveable Ottsel from the main series only this time he takes center stage. The game is set between the events of The Precursor Legacy and Jak II and follows Daxter as he takes on work for the Kridder Ridder extermination company, Daxter features platforming, action and driving gameplay as expected from the series.
Daxter was not developed by the mainline developers Naughty Dog, but rather Ready At Dawn stepped in for the spin-off, the studio is known not only for the God Of War PSP games, more on those later, but also for the critically adored Okami, so you know Daxter was still in good hands.
3. Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories
One of the highest rated games on the PSP from one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, getting GTA onto Sony’s handheld was a huge win. The first title, Liberty City Stories is exceptional for managing to squeeze the whole of GTA 3’s map onto a UMD and include new characters and missions along with motorcycles. For our money however, Vice City Stories is exceptional for a handheld GTA game, the Vice City map is fully explorable and runs really well on the system.
The game is set before the events of Tommy Vecetti’s arrival where you play as Vic Vance whose brother you may remember from the mainline game. Vice City Stories features the same open world mission setup you would expect from the series but it improves on Liberty City Stories by including additional vehicles like planes, helicopters and jet skis. Of course the real reason to play Vice City Stories is for the in-game render of Phil Collins performing In The Air Tonight, possibly the greatest moment in any GTA game.
2. Burnout Legends
Was there a greater feeling in 2004 than playing Burnout 3 and performing your first takedown? The camera cuts to a freeze frame of your opponent’s vehicle flying off a cliff and you get rewarded with Boost so you can do the same to another racer. The following year that feeling became portable.
Criterion Games brought us Burnout Legends, featuring tracks from the first 3 Burnout titles but with the gameplay of Burnout 3 Takedown. Legends features 8 different event types to play from Race and Road Rage to Pursuit and the famous Crash mode. With a total of 89 cars to race across the various modes, players have plenty to unlock and race to try to beat their scores and unlock the next event.
2 years later a follow up titled Burnout Dominator was released on both PS2 & PSP and although it was reviewed just as well as Legends it was missing some features mainly removing the popular Crash mode, however both titles would be a welcome addition to PS Plus Premium.
1. God Of War: Chains Of Olympus
No PSP list would be complete without the highest rated game on the system. God Of War Chains Of Olympus was released in 2008 as an exclusive to Sony’s handheld and was a system seller. Although it had to be scaled down in graphical terms, it delivered the gameplay fans expected from the PS2 flagship series.
The title acts as a prequel to the first game and sees Kratos serving the Gods of Olympus to find the missing sun god Helios as the world has been plunged into darkness in his absence.
As you’d expect from the series there’s plenty of hack and slash action mixed with platforming and puzzles, featuring plenty of mythological creatures and Gods from the Greek pantheon some of whom appear in other titles in the series.
Chains Of Olympus was a huge success for the PSP and spawned a sequel titled Ghost Of Sparta further expanding on Kratos’s backstory. Both titles would be brilliant additions to the Premium service and with them being rereleased in HD on the PS3 with the God Of War Collection Volume 2 they would also look pretty good running on a PS5.
The PSP has such a brilliant and varied library and we really would love to see more of it available on the PS Plus service, fingers crossed Sony steps it up soon.
Do you have any favorite PSP titles you think should be added to PS Plus Premium service? Let us know in the comments below!