Welcome, fellow gamers! Today, we are going to explore some of the best PSP RPGs that have graced Sony’s iconic handheld console. The PSP was home to some of the greatest RPG titles of all time, with fantastic gameplay, compelling stories, and memorable characters.
Best PSP RPGs
From classic remakes to new IPs, the PSP offered a wide variety of RPGs that catered to different tastes and preferences. So, whether you are a fan of action-packed adventures, turn-based battles, or strategic gameplay, there is something for everyone on this list. So, grab your PSP, charge it up, and let’s dive into the world of the best PSP RPGs!
Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection
When it comes to the best PSP RPGs, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is undoubtedly among the top choices. Originally released in 1991 as a 2D RPG for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), this title was later remade in 3D for the Nintendo DS portable console and the PSP.
The PSP version offers players access to all versions of the game, including the original and the remake, as well as Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, which allows players to assume the role of Cecil’s son, a dark warrior who transforms into a paladin to battle enemies. The game’s narrative, wrapped in a well-crafted turn-based RPG-style game, offers a medieval royal-style experience that will stir your emotions and leave a lasting impression. In short, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is one of the best PSP RPGs that you cannot afford to miss.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is one of the best PSP RPGs that stands out from the main game of Final Fantasy due to its dynamic gameplay. Unlike the turn-based style of the main game, Crisis Core allows players to move around and strike enemies in real-time, making it a more engaging and thrilling experience. This game is a direct precursor to Final Fantasy VII, with players assuming the role of Zack, a SOLDIER member, instead of Cloud. With its unique gameplay and engaging storyline, Crisis Core is an unforgettable addition to the Final Fantasy franchise.
Trilogy The Legend of Heroes: Trails in The Sky
Trails in the Sky, a PSP game based on The Legend of Heroes series, is one of the best PSP RPGs due to its outstanding plot and world-building. Originally released for the PC in 2004, the game made its way to the PSP in 2006, and its English version was finally localized by XSeed in 2011.
Trails in the Sky and Trails in the Sky SC were both launched in 2015, with their English versions following suit. The lengthy localization process was due to the game’s intricate character interaction and vocabulary, indicating that the plot is rich in character development. The Trails series uses a turn-based system with unique powers for each character, offering a unique gameplay experience that sets it apart from other RPGs. If you’re an Android gamer looking for an exciting adventure, be sure to check out Trails in the Sky.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable is undoubtedly one of the best PSP RPGs and a beloved game for many RPG enthusiasts. With millions of fans eagerly anticipating each new instalment, the Persona series is a spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei video game franchise, featuring diverse creatures based on world tales. In Persona, these monsters are referred to as “Personas” and are used to combat “Shadows,” the dark half of someone that is constantly hidden or unnoticed by mankind.
In Persona 3 Portable, players assume the role of a protagonist whose gender they can choose. As they explore Tartarus, a tower in the Dark Hour, they will encounter Igor and his aide Elizabeth, and they will acquire Personas by combining them or obtaining them at random during battles.
This game mixes dungeon crawling with elements of forming relationships with other people, known as Social Links, to create a unique and engaging experience. Although it has some feature reductions, such as a point-and-click interface instead of 3D motion, Persona 3 Portable remains one of the best PSP RPGs and a must-play for any RPG enthusiast.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is an exceptional entry in the Kingdom Hearts series, making it one of the best PSP RPGs that fans of the franchise will adore. This game sets off the Kingdom Hearts series, and its RPG status is still fun to play. Players get to interact with a variety of Disney characters, making it an entertaining experience.
However, if you’re not a fan of complicated and intricate plots, then Kingdom Hearts may not be for you. With its hack-and-slash gameplay and well-known characters such as Donald Duck and Goofy from Disney and Final Fantasy VII’s Zack Flair, this PSP RPG action game is sure to keep you entertained for hours on end.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
When it comes to the best PSP RPGs, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is a title that cannot be ignored. Fans of strategy RPGs consider it one of the greatest examples of the genre. Originally released for the Super Nintendo, it was later revamped for the PlayStation and Saturn before finally arriving on the PlayStation Portable. This remake retains the original tale but adds several new mechanisms that affect gameplay, making it a must-play for RPG enthusiasts.
Brandish: The Dark Revenant
Antiques have a mysterious allure that captivates us and evokes a false sense of nostalgia for a time that many of us never experienced. They offer a glimpse into the past, providing a living history and a fragile connection to where we came from. Brandish: The Dark Revenant, an ancient but relaunched title, is a testament to this. Falcom’s legendary role-playing game was first released on the PC in 1991, then ported to the SNES, and finally remade for the PlayStation Portable in 2009, albeit only in Japan. However, it has finally made its way to western shores after more than half a decade, making it a noteworthy entry in the list of the best PSP RPGs.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is one of the best PSP RPGs and exceeded expectations upon its arrival on North American shores in 2011. With six games released to date, this series boasts an incredibly well-crafted environment that is brilliantly represented in the genre.
The characters are likeable, well-written, and their interactions are consistently engaging, making this game an unforgettable experience. The game’s scale is also impressive, with a 40-hour gameplay experience serving as only the first instalment of a critically acclaimed trilogy featuring recurrent characters, subplots, and musical motifs. Moreover, this title is accessible to younger audiences aged around 10-15 and even those who are not avid gamers, making it an excellent choice for anyone who loves RPGs.
Star Ocean: Second Evolution
Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a 2D RPG game that has been remastered from the PlayStation 1 game Star Ocean The Second Story, making it one of the best PSP RPGs available. The game features minor adjustments, including modifications to the soundtrack, extra anime material, and a few story enhancements. The real-time combat of Star Ocean Second Evolution makes it an excellent RPG for players looking for fast-paced fights without waiting for a turn-based game. The game offers up to 100 different endings to choose from, making it an RPG game that offers exceptional replayability.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is a standout among RPGs for its distinct gameplay that sets it apart from others in the genre. In this game, players don’t level up in the traditional sense. Instead, they become stronger by obtaining items through crafting and successfully completing quests that require them to battle formidable monsters using an array of weapons such as greatswords, long swords, and more. With challenging enemies and a high level of difficulty, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is not for the faint of heart. Despite being an older game, it remains a must-play for RPG enthusiasts.
Half-Minute Hero is a unique RPG that defies the conventions of traditional Japanese RPGs. It earned the title of PSP Game of the Year in 2009 for its fresh take on the genre. The game’s quests pack all the standard RPG elements into bite-sized chunks that last no more than a few minutes. Along with the RPG mode, Half-Minute Hero features other gaming modes like RTS missions, action missions, and “lord of the hill/protect the VIP” scenarios. The game’s satirical humor and non-conformity make it an unforgettable and refreshing experience that easily earns its place among the best RPGs for the PSP.
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is a PSP remake that has updated graphics and newly orchestrated music, which enhances the already stunning visuals and sound of the game. Although the voice actors are different from the PlayStation version, they still do an excellent job, making the game feel like a Broadway play with two different casts.
XSEED’s localization is also praiseworthy, retaining the Working Designs humor but without anachronistic pop culture references from the 1990s, resulting in a more timeless tale. However, the design choice of more streamlined dungeons and less severe difficulty has been debated, so Silver Star Harmony does not receive a better score. Nevertheless, it remains a beloved RPG classic that every genre enthusiast would enjoy.
Ys: Seven, the next stage in Adol’s journey, is a must-play for anyone who loved Adol’s last journey or the previous Ys Seven game. This PSP RPG game may be considered a re-release or a sequel to Ys 7, and it features real-time fighting and a hack-and-slash combat style that adds to the dynamic and stressful character of conflicts, much like in the previous games in the Ys series.
The different weapon system allows players to vary their playstyle, assaulting the adversary and determining the most efficient weapon type against each type of enemy. The Ys: Seven games by Nihon Falcom have received widespread acclaim for their gaming mechanics and beautiful soundtrack, making them some of the best PSP RPGs available.
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is not your typical Final Fantasy RPG or PSP game. This version of the game is more exciting and different from other versions, making it one of the best PSP RPGs available. The PSP version contains more content than the original game, including new cutscenes and gameplay tweaks to make it more balanced.
Additionally, Final Fantasy Tactics boasts complete voice acting, allowing players to hear each character’s voice in every dialogue. Two new jobs, Onion Knight and Dark Knight, have also been introduced. If you enjoy boss battles, then Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is the game for you.
Wild Arms FX
Wild Arms FX is a unique tactical role-playing game that offers something different from other games in the genre, making it one of the best PSP RPGs available. Instead of a grid-shaped grid, the game uses a hexagonal grid, providing players with a range of different adventures.
The gameplay style is familiar to those who have played other tactical RPG games like Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem, with players arranging their heroes in specific formations to deal more damage to the adversary. By grinding your character, you can swap classes and gain permanent skills. The skill can also be assigned to the character even if they change classes. With its great storyline and class system, Wild Arms FX is a must-try for any RPG enthusiast.
MARVEL Ultimate Alliance
MARVEL Ultimate Alliance is an exceptional RPG game that features more comic book characters than any other video game, making it one of the best PSP RPGs available. With more than 20 Marvel Super Heroes to choose from, including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Blade, and Captain America, players’ choices impact the fate of both planet Earth and the Marvel universe. Players can customize their team’s name, icon, vehicle, and reputation entirely.
They can also choose to level up each character separately or all of their team members at once to keep their heroes balanced. In both online and offline cooperative story modes, players can team up with their friends as their favourite Marvel Super Heroes to fight evil. A competitive mode is also available, allowing players to adjust their experience points and equipment allocation. With multiple endings and its competitive mode, MARVEL Ultimate Alliance is a full-fledged remake of Marvel’s characters that any RPG enthusiast should play.
Level-5’s Jeanne D’Arc is a highly regarded strategy RPG on the PSP, offering an alternate timeline take on the story of Joan of Arc. The game’s unique blend of personalization and warfare, mixed with Level-5’s signature magic, tactics, and character development, has made it a favorite among RPG fans. While the story does take some fantastical turns, the challenge of tactfully defeating France’s enemies with heroes such as Jeanne and Gilles de Rais makes it a worthy addition to any PSP RPG collection.
Riviera: The Promised Land
Riviera: The Promised Land is a hidden gem among the best PSP RPGs, originally released on the WonderSwan. What sets Riviera apart from other handheld games is its full voice-acting from start to finish. The game’s six playable characters each possess unique backstories, skills, and personalities that aid you in your mission. The storyline is based on Norse mythology, featuring mystical spells, glittering swords, Grim Angels, and unusual location names such as Asgard and Ragnarok.Expect a lot of mystical spells and glittering swords, as well as Grim Angels and funny-sounding location names.
Phantasy Star Universe fans can now experience the popular series on the go with Phantasy Star Portable. Up to four players can team up to solve the new plot that picks up where Phantasy Star Universe left off but before PSU Ambition of the Illuminus began. The alien SEED invasion was supposed to be under control by the end of PSU, but a new threat has emerged in the Gurhal system and neighbouring systems. With the help of a new character named Vivienne, players must explore the pollution and eliminate the affected species, uncovering the secrets of the Phantasy Star Universe along the way.
Don’t forget to check out our list showing the best RPGs with character creation and customization options in 2023!